[OPE] Patnaik's Notes on Contemporary Imperialism

From: Dave Zachariah <davez@kth.se>
Date: Sat Dec 25 2010 - 08:35:10 EST

Here is an interesting note by one of India's leading Marxist economists:

    Notes on Contemporary Imperialism
    Prabhat Patnaik

His critique of Hardt/Negri-style arguments is very good. A few points
that I found problematic:

   1. The orthodox idea that 'fascism is promoted by finance capital'
      has as a general theory very little backing. It is a serious
      misconception of fascist movements.
   2. Patnaik's correctly identifies structural obstacles for
      coordinated cross-national labour movements between high- and
      low-wage countries. But his alternative of 'de-linking' national
      economies from the capitalist world economy would probably have
      even less prospects. What is the viability of the national
      economies of Greece, France, Ireland or United Kingdom at current
      living standards of the working people? Perhaps economies of the
      size of India or China could do it, but not those of South America
      and Europe; there cross-national 'Bolivarian'-style strategy has
      greater prospects.
   3. In developing economies, Patnaik urges for an alliance of
      wage-workers and peasants led by the labour movement that can
      advance an alternative economic trajectory. He should have
      addressed the potential contradictions inherent to such a 'bloc'.
      The basic point is that a progressive trajectory would require
      development of the productive forces and that becomes increasingly
      incompatible with small-scale peasant holdings. In other words,
      what is the industrial policy that would simultaneously benefit
      the working-class and peasantry? The development in West Bengal in
      recent years indicates that the socialist movement in India has
      yet to find it.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Sat Dec 25 08:37:17 2010

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Dec 31 2010 - 00:00:02 EST