4200Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] More questions on the theory of the labor aristocracy
- Jan 21, 2004So many questions, Bob!
On your question of sources of inspiration, which I
guess indicates a desire for some direction in
reading, I'll confess to being pretty (totally,
really, but the name sounds familiar now) about Eugene
Varga. So I did a quick google search and read
that (that is, my reading and immediate reaction) I
would say this is not relevant. Of course capitalism's
efforts to stablilise itself are relevant to
reformism, but form no more at most than a context in
which (as I've already indicated) the relationship
between monopoly superprofits and opportunism in the
working class movement develop.
As for your remarks that "both Peter Boyle and Jon
Strauss speak confidently about a conception of an
accomplished and complete construction they dub
historical materialism, and I assume they are
referring to the kind of constructions put forward by
Doug Lorimer in his collection-of-extracts-come-book
published by the DSP ... I'm just looking for a few
brush strokes to give me and others who may be
interested some idea of the evolution of this school",
I would, if being defensive, take them as another
attempted barb, but to be fair, you didn't use any
overt invective here.
So I'll just say your perception and assumption are
wrong. There is no (DSP?) "school" with a special
construction of historical materialism. I don't recall
that I've ever had any thorough discussion of
methodological questions with Peter Boyle (or Doug
Lorimer, for that matter). My key influence in
methodological thinking, through reading, other than
the writings of Marx and Engels, is not Lorimer's book
- which I confess I've not read in full(!) - but E.P.
Thompson's The Poverty of Theory, because of its
suggestions about how to "read" Marx and Engels.
Lenin's writings are significant as a revolutionary
application of the same method. I'm not sure his
"observations [of his own] place and time ... become
part of the general theory" as you claim. You'll need
to say which empirical observations you believe follow
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