M. Junaid Alam | 1 Oct 01:11 2003

Social Imperialism [DMS, Huato]

DMS Says:

"2. I never stated that the wealth of the advanced countries is 
unrelated to the conditions in the less developed areas.  On the 
contrary, I have consistenly argued for the totality of capital, the 
interlocking of advanced and the forced under-development of global 
capitalism.  It is the precise nature of that relation that requires 
careful examination and something more than just the parroting of 
phrases clipped out of somebody's interpretation of somebody elses 

In this paragraph you both obfuscate the point and then reveal your 
position on it by doing so: no one is talking about whether capital is 
"interlocked" or whether it has "totality": that is obvious. Any two 
persons can agree by looking at a man with an axe that the two are 
"connected": the difference lies in whether they are connected at the 
blade or the handle.

And so the issue is: has the West benefited in its historical relations 
with the periphery, economically and politically? I believe it has. You 
dismiss this in a convoluted fashion by saying I am "parroting phrases 
clipped out of sombody's interpretation of sombody else's analysis". 
Actually it is an idea propounded by several centuries of radicals and 
revolutionaries operating under a variety of conditions in myriad 
circumstances. The names Che, Malcolm, Fanon, Lenin, Walter Rodney, and 
Basil Davidson come to mind.

You note Lenin examined one period, namely the one he lived in, and ask 
if I have conducted a similar examination of the 1992-2002 period. Does 
the totality of history operate decade by decade? I suppose it would 
(Continue reading)

Fred Feldman | 1 Oct 01:39 2003

Fidel: The "mystery" of this Revolution lies in the masses

I think the "mystery" of the Cuban revolution, summed up here briefly
and clearly by Fidel Castro to the congress of the Committees for the
Defense of the Revolution, is also the "mystery" (in the negative) of
the fall of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies,
regardless of the imperialist machinations. money transfers, and other
forms of intervention that took place.

The ability of the central leaders of the Cuban revolution to adopt
and remain on this axis is the "secret" of the revolution's victory,
survival, vitality, and successes.

There really is a "mystery" here for revolutionists and fighters in
other countries, who have mostly been unable by comparison (because of
objective but also subjective obstacles -- the latter being largely a
product of the former) to adopt and sustain such a course in a
consistent way.

I'm not claiming the United States would have had a revolution like
Cuba if we had done so -- not at all -- but I think this is the axis
we have to win our way to if we are to take full advantage of openings
to advance on a revolutionary course that I think are starting to come
our way.  In that sense, Jose Perez's comment that we are coming to
the end of the "age of sects" is certainly appropriate as a
possibility and a goal to be worked toward. I still think we're a ways
from out of the woods.
Fred Feldman

GRANMA Havana. September 29, 2003

The "mystery" of this Revolution lies in the masses
(Continue reading)

Waistline2 | 1 Oct 02:16 2003

Re: On Social Imperialism (Reply to dms)/Wrong question posed

[ converted from html ]

In a message dated 9/30/03 11:48:25 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
junaidalam <at> msalam.net writes:

>You are not going to have a socialist revolution in the United States
of America until and unless the material privileges a large section of
the non-capitalist population enjoys is seriously threatened. No one
with a colonial house, a cabin on the cape, 2 cars, and a secure job
is going to join any revolution.

And even if those privileges, those comforts of life, are made to
disappear, there will still be no revolution unless the
all-encompassing propaganda machine is seriously challenged. Nothing
is "inevitable" about the socialist revolution. It is an option, a
possibility, above all, a goal.,<


Communists recruit any and everyone on the basis of digging into the
most poverty stricken sector of the workers. One cannot join a social
revolution, only a political organization. The material privileges of
a huge sector of American society are under relentless attack and
every statistic concerning our life proves this. We are undergoing
social revolution as this is being written.  Communism is inevitable,
or rather social revolution is inevitable. How the outcome is going to
look is subjective and depends on human will - politics. The social
revolution is the revolution in the means of production or the
material power of the productive forces.

(Continue reading)

dmschanoes | 1 Oct 03:21 2003

Re: Social Imperialism [DMS, Huato]

I believe I said interlocked with the FORCED underdevelopment of the
colonial areas.. All economics becomes, when push comes to shove, the
economics of extraction...  but that's not the issue-- the issue is if
capitalism does in fact contain an advanced sphere that bribes its working
class through the extraction of superprofits from the less developed areas?
Is there a rentier state?  Has capitalism somehow changed the logic of its
own structure, its own needs, to consign its metropolitan workers to
permanent allegiance to the forced extraction of superprofits.  Are there
even superprofits?

Before I reproduce the article on imperialism, I want to take serious
exception to your characterization of workers in the US as having two cars
and a house on the cape.  Lets be clear about the changes in the US economy
in the last 35 years and its impact on the working class.   Thirty years ago
who was the largest single employer in the United States?  Melvin knows the
answer.  General Motors.  With an entry wage of, Melvin help me out, I think
it was $7/hr.  Today who is the largest single employer in the United
States?  Wal-Mart, with an entry wage of $8 hour.  Now  $8 an hour puts a
family of four below the poverty line in the United States, M. Junaid Alam.
$8 an hour is no 2 cars and a house on the cape.  And Wal Mart doesn't offer
medical coverage for the first year of employment.

But let's continue, about the wealth and privilege of US workers, real wages
declined in the period 1973-1993, and the upturn in the 90s amounts to a
CAGR of about 1%.  The increase in the work force in the United States
(indeed, all over the world) is totally accounted for in the growing
participation of women in the labor force, and for the most part, these
women work in lower paying positions, in service industries, health care,
financial services, where they are paid below the level of men, and below
level of manufacturing workers.
(Continue reading)

Tom O'Lincoln | 1 Oct 02:39 2003

Re: Social Imperialism [DMS, Huato]

Junaid: >>And so the issue is: has the West benefited in its historical
relations with the periphery, economically and politically? I believe it

I haven't had time to follow all of this, but I did stick my oar into an
earlier similar debate, so I'll try my hand here:

This is only one of several related issues:

1. Does the west exploit the 3d world?
2. Does it use some of the fruits of this exploitation to buy off a section
(or all) of the working class in the west, creating a "labour aristocracy"?
3. Is that the explanation for reformism in the west?

My own views are:

1. Probably yes, though accounts are often partial and I've never been
clear on just how it all works in a systematic sense.
2. Highly unlikely, and the available evidence is against it. It tends to
be a conspiracy theory, because without a collective decision, what would
lead individual managements to hand out more benefits than necessary to any
of their workers? Let alone all of them. One of my posts from the earlier
debate is here:
http://www.mail-archive.com/marxism <at> lists.panix.com/msg41915.html

3. If so, how do we explain reformism in the 3d world? Which in some very
important countries, Indonesia for example, or Sri Lanka, is clearly as
strong as anywhere else. It is not exactly absent even in Palestine or
Iraq. I think reformism has deeper roots than this (it's about hegemony not
just material benefits) and affects the working class as a whole. I've
(Continue reading)

dmschanoes | 1 Oct 04:08 2003

Re: capitalism, slavery

First, an apology for the 4 messages.  I don't intend to use that email
program again.

Nothing in the history of the plantation economy indicates that the South
could or would have adopted more technically advanced techniques.  The
history of plantation economics is the history of technical backwardness.  I
suggest you read EF Williams  From Columbus to Castro for further

But moreover, where do you find evidence for such  the "peaceful evolution"
of a mode of production as you envision it?

In plantation economies that have, under the pressure of advanced capitalism
and the world market, been forced to incorporate more technical inputs, the
result has been violent confrontation between owners and laborers, and a
multiplication of intense urban poverty.  So where do you find you basis for
such fanciful speculation?

But that's the point, isn't it?  Speculation doesn't require a basis.  It
requires confidence.


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Jeremiah Hudson | 1 Oct 03:15 2003


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Jeremiah Hudson | 1 Oct 03:17 2003

New Board

We have started up a new communist message board at 
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a message board without the problems of such popular ones as ISF, Che-Lives, 
the Phora, and Soviet Revolution. Come Visit, and post what you think.

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M. Junaid Alam | 1 Oct 03:20 2003

Re: Social Imperialism [DMS]


I do not know how you have the time to post four, five times a day, but 
pitiful college student that I am, I will not be able to keep up in 
volume or pace. Let me address briefly for now a couple things.

"Before I reproduce the article on imperialism, I want to take serious
exception to your characterization of workers in the US as having two 
cars and a house on the cape."

That is fine, but that characterization does not exist. I said "a large 
section of the non-capitalist class", so more specifically the 
intermediate layer bridging between working masses and capitalists, ie. 
mid-level managers and professionals.

You point out that Walmart is the biggest employer. Very good. But it 
still employs less than 1% of America's workforce, or around there, I am 
willing to bet.

I have heard this apocalyptic talk all the time: "things are getting 
worse" and the person goes on to cite one or two examples here and there 
and moralistically invokes at the end just as you did:

"The women killed in the fire at the chicken processing plant in North 
Carolina didn't have two cars and a home in Cape Hatteras.  They had 
locked fire exits.  So check yourself, when you start talking about 

So the fact they had locked fire exits means the masses of America are 
not materially privileged? Hell, at least they _have_ fire exits.
(Continue reading)

Nicholas Siemensma | 1 Oct 03:35 2003

Re: The Natasha trade: a note on the political economy of prostitution

Jurriaan, have you read anything by the US writer
William Vollmann?


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