Re: [OPE] Patnaik's Notes on Contemporary Imperialism

Date: Mon Dec 27 2010 - 12:45:21 EST

> But on the other hand Patnaik is
> probably right to see the alliance of a working-class and peasantry as
> primary.
Hi Dave Z:
Why would it continue to be primary in social formations where the
peasantry has shrunk drastically in size and where a huge
percentage of the former peasants have moved to urban areas to become
willy-nilly part of the informal sector?
> The structural capacities and interests of the informal
> proletariat and petty producers are more contradictory and unclear to be
> the basis of a socialist movement.
This was the basically the same claim used to deemphasize the role of the
peasantry vis-a-vis the working class (see debates between
Lenin and Trotsky over the slogan "dictatorship of the proletariat
and the peasantry" vs. "dictatorship of the proletariat assisted
by the peasantry"). It is, of course, true that petty producers
are in a very contradictory situation (vis-a-vis the state and
capital) but they are also potentially a huge revolutionary social
layer - see, e.g. the role of the (non-peasant; non-wage-workers)
poor in Venezuela.
Re the issue of fascism and finance capital:
> From the standpoint of individual capitalists the liberal-parliamentary
> state is the most stable form of political rule.
Well, I think that capitalists have shown that they are pretty adaptive
and pragmatic as a class. They may under ordinary circumstances favor
bourgeois democracy, but when their class power is seriously challenged
in a pre-revolutionary situation, they have shown that they are more
than willing to jettison bourgeois democracy for other more authoritarian
forms of governance. That's why in a crisis they can't be counted
on to defend principles of bourgeois democracy (the same is often true
during war-time, including nominal wars like the "war on terrorism").
> In other words, financial capital will not
> 'promote fascism' but rather the traditional political forces of
> reaction.
I think there are plenty of historical examples of both.
> Fascist movements on the other hand are best understood as, what Eric
> Hobsbawm called, 'revolutionaries of counter-revolution'. In other
> words, as popular movements against the liberal-parliamentary system in
> general and the Left in particular; prepared for violent cleansing and
> 'restoration' of what they perceive to be their community under
> cultural, and often military, threat. In this strategic outlook
> cosmopolitan capitalism and its 'materialism' is rejected and instead
> the goal is to support national producers and preserving the national
> class structure.

I agree that fascism is a mass movement, unlike the garden variety of
bourgeois reaction, but finance capital along with big (and
often small) capital will generally support fascism if they think TINA
to something worse (working-class power).
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Mon Dec 27 12:46:45 2010

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