RE: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

Date: Thu Jan 07 2010 - 14:02:36 EST

> > I thought your claims were particularly
> > weak and an example of another problem with the form of argumentation by
> > Marxists which has existed historically: rather than replying directly to
> > particular claims, it seeks to tease out the political "implications" of
> > a perspective.
> The implications of a theoretical structure are not necessarily realized
> or advocated by those who formulate it. This is not a question of
> academic philosophy. For instance, the leader of the main far-Right
> party in Britain, Nick Griffin, made an explicit attempt to articulate
> its racist politics in the discourse of identity politics. It is not the
> intellectual strength of the far-Right but the weakness of identity
> politics that leaves it open to that.



Hi Dave Z:


Well, that sword cuts both ways. For instance, I could point to the very

real history of how those on the Left who most frequently have called

(like a mantra) for working-class unity and dismissed identity politics as

"divisive" have, in fact, played right into the hands of racists and sexists.

And I don't have to talk about "implications" here: there is a historical

track record which I could refer to.


> > But, one should not conflate the general meaning of imperialism across history
> > with its specific meaning under capitalism.
> I agree. The trouble is that the orthodox formulations are not being
> clear about the specificity.



Well, certainly, the concept of imperialism - like that of fascism - can be

abused by those who uncritically and simplistically accept certain theoretical

propositions. So, a call for (historical and theoretical) specificity is certainly

in order.

> > The fear by much of the Left of the bogeyman of "Third Worldism" is mis-placed.
> > IMO, it fails to articulate the relation between class struggles in different
> > parts of the world.
> Well, that is the problem I have with 'Third Worldism'. It reifies
> nations, conflating them with oppressed and exploited classes and
> effectively turns the class struggle into a struggle of 'nations'.


Well, there _can_ be a reification of nations. True enough. And, true

enough, the class struggle can not be reduced *simply* to a struggle of nations.

But, the reality is that there are nation-states and there are struggles

which have their origin in the history of class struggle within those

nations and that history is linked, oftentimes, with colonialism,

imperialism, and neo-colonialism. To simply dismiss nations as reification

is to miss this important aspect of social reality. It is also the case

that class struggles must ultimately deal with the reality of nations and

states and confront states in praxis.


In solidarity, Jerry

ope mailing list
Received on Thu Jan 7 14:13:19 2010

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Jan 31 2010 - 00:00:02 EST