Re: [OPE] fascism / opposing imperialist militaryinterventioninLibya

From: Paula <>
Date: Fri Apr 01 2011 - 18:32:06 EDT

Jurriaan wrote:

“I am not saying that what Lenin and Bukharin wrote is ipso facto all “wrong”. They provided quite a good description of some features of capitalist development in their time, and shrewdly diagnosed the ‘character of the epoch’”.

Then we agree (I’m certainly not saying they were “right” about everything - nobody ever is). It’s the “character of the epoch” we’re discussing here, and those authors understood at least the main outlines of it.

“It is just that as a scholar I don’t think that a couple of political pamphlets from 90 years ago ... can be the basis or the model for a scientific understanding of imperialism now, just because they were written by some famous revolutionaries”.

OK, but that’s not what I’m proposing. For sure, those texts have to stand on their own merits, not on the reputation of their authors (same with any text, right?). Simultaneously, they need to be considered in context, not as simply “a couple of pamphlets” but in their connection with other works – including bourgeois studies such as Hobson’s, Lenin’s own research into the history of Russian capitalism, etc. Finally, we always have to ask ourselves how much we take from any text, and how much we criticize/reject from/add to it – again, we should do this with any text, whether written by Marx, Darwin, Lenin, Einstein, Bendien, or anyone else.

To get back to the contemporary issue – how do we explain, for example, China’s policies today? There are many influences and factors, of course, but at a fundamental and rough level, those policies are first and foremost determined by the needs of Chinese ‘big business’ – or Chinese monopoly capital, if you prefer a less populist but more jargonistic formulation. Same can be said about France, Germany, Brazil, Turkey, etc. It is IN THIS SENSE that all these states can be considered imperialist.


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Received on Fri Apr 1 18:33:02 2011

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