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Third Worldism

Third Worldism and Internationalism

The theory and practice of socialist internationalism has gone through several transmutations since it was given its basic form by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels’ innovation was to link what had until then been primarily a normative idea to a distinctive analysis of the ways in which common class interests came to be shared across national boundaries and to a new strategic perspective for revolutionary struggle. This change was signaled by the replacement of the old motto of the League of Communists, “All men are brothers,” with “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” Since then the meaning of internationalism has shifted along with the global patterns of power and resistance.

The Russian Revolution was the first revolution to be made with consciously internationalist intent. Its isolation after the defeat of revolution in the West brought to an end the assumption that socialist internationalism could take its lead from the advanced capitalist countries. After the formation of the Third International, Lenin looked towards the “toilers of the East”—the majority of humankind—to continue the conquests of the Russian Revolution. In time this perspective led to a shift in the class basis of socialist internationalism from the working class to an alliance of classes in which the peasantry had a major role.

Under Stalinism, socialist internationalism came to be equated with compliance with the foreign policy needs of the Soviet Union. Once Stalinism came to be discredited in the West—initially by Khrushchev’s revelations and the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956—no single model of revolutionary internationalism gained the same degree of hegemony. For a time, the Soviet Union and China competed for the central role in the international socialist movement, with the Chinese championing the cause of the Third World in opposition to the Soviet project of co-existence with capitalism. But the contest between them did as much to discredit the idea that any single party or state should occupy that central role, especially once China’s support for Third World liberation struggles became more erratic and opportunist in the 1970s. And at the same time as this contest between China and the Soviet Union was taking place, the international challenge to capitalism was itself being transformed both by the liberation of former colonies and by the emergence of new struggles within the advanced capitalist world. The predominant form of internationalism that took the place of solidarity with the Soviet Union as it declined after about 1960 was Third Worldism.

Third Worldism can be defined roughly as the political theory and practice that saw the major fault-line in the global capitalist order as running between the advanced capitalist countries of the West and the impoverished continents of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and saw national liberation struggles in the Third World as the major force for global revolution. Third Worldism was the form of internationalism specific of an age in which colonial rule was coming to an end—an age in which the economic power of western capital remained intact, but its global political dominance was contested. The existence of the Soviet bloc prevented western capitalism from translating its economic power into military and political dominance over the Third World. Third Worldism was the internationalism of an age in which the capitalist divide between economic and political power was in the process of being globalized but was not yet firmly established, in which formal equality among nation-states accompanied continuing and then growing inequality in the global economy.[1]

Until 1945, there was no pretense at formal equality between the Western powers and their colonies in Africa and Asia. The defeat of Nazism and the rise to global hegemony after 1945 of the Western power—the United States—that had never had a significant colonial empire made it possible to extend the divide between formal equality and material inequality into a global realm bounded by the reach of the world market alone. In this context, socialist internationalism orientated towards the emerging political power of the Third World and its struggles to remake its place in a global economy dominated by capitalism.

Perspectives on Third Worldism

Third Worldism has been both an ideology of the Third World and about the Third World. Viewed as a product of the Third World, it can be seen as no more than the assertion of the humanity of colonized or previously colonized people; an essentially timeless proposition, conditioned by the strategic needs of the moment in which it was made. This is the approach of Sartre’s famous preface to Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth: “Not so very long ago, the earth numbered two thousand million inhabitants: five hundred million men, and one thousand five hundred million natives.” This situation is brought to an end, according to Sartre, as the Third World “finds its voice”.[2] In this view, the “natives” were simply discarding an alien classification and becoming the “men” they always had been.

Viewed as Western ideology, Third Worldism is often seen as a rootless and passing fad, easily discounted and easily disclaimed. “I have never been a ‘third worldist’,” writes Samir Amin, one of the leading theorists of Third Worldism. “I believe the term applies only to certain Western leftists who in the Bandung era (1955–1975) thought they could substitute ‘third world peoples’ for the ‘proletariat’ in expressing their messianic expectation.”[3]

These perspectives are in conflict with one another, but there is a certain limited truth to both of them. The driving force behind Third Worldism was indeed the entry of millions of people from the former colonial world into a world-historical arena that had for centuries been dominated by a relatively small number of western capitalist societies. In the West, Third Worldism did not grow out of a rigorous critique of Eurocentrism. Often, the moral imperative of solidarity with specific Third World struggles obscured theoretical question of how processes of global change were determined. In this context, Third Worldism has become a derogatory term, often defined so that no-one would wish to admit to it.

But both perspectives stand in the way of a clear assessment of the historical meaning of Third Worldism and prevent us from recognizing the important role it has played in the making of the politics and intellectual life of the contemporary Left. The defects of Third Worldism were significant. At the same time, it was an extraordinary and unprecedented achievement to construct and sustain over decades a political and intellectual project capable of inspiring and harnessing the effort and commitment of millions of people in the advanced capitalist countries in solidarity with the struggles of people in the poorest societies. Even larger numbers of people in the Third World came to see their struggles as part of an effort to create a new world. Third Worldism provided as viable a model as we have of revolutionary internationalism as a living force, an ethos constantly shaping ideas and actions not through pronouncements from above, but through building links of solidarity, exchanging ideas, developing common resources, and engaging in collective action.

The Philosophical Roots of Third Worldism: Marxism

Within the history of Marxism, Third Worldism could be seen as a way of ridding earlier forms of socialist internationalism of their Eurocentrism, historical parochialism, and residual ideas of racial superiority. Eurocentrism was not simply a result of socialist theory having its historical roots in western Europe. Although Eurocentrism conflicted with Marx’s keen sense of how societies are formed by specific conditions, it still had a logical place in the Marxist conception of history. Because capitalism was most developed in Europe, a theory that gave the key role in any process of social change to the working class could not easily avoid the expectation that the process of global social change would be initiated in Europe. There was nothing arbitrary about Marx’s expectation that the liberation of India would have to await “a great social revolution” that will have mastered “the results of the bourgeois epoch, the market of the world and the modern powers of production, and subjected them to the common control of the most advanced peoples.”[4]

Before 1917, the Marxist who most fully anticipated an internationalism of truly global reach was Rosa Luxemburg. Not only did she give more importance than her contemporaries to capitalist expansion into the pre-capitalist societies of Asia and Africa in the analysis of capitalism as a global system. She was also more inclined to locate capitalism within a longer historical perspective, seeing it as “no more than a parenthesis in human history between two great communist epochs, that of the ancient past and that of the socialist future.”[5] In this perspective, Luxemburg foresaw the modern European proletariat and the indigenous peoples of the colonized countries forging an alliance against their common enemy, imperialism. But her argument was still very far from suggesting that the leading role in the struggle against capitalism as a global system could be assumed by the indigenous people of Asia, Africa, and Latin America—what came to be known as the Third World.

After the failure of revolution in the West, Lenin and the Bolsheviks looked towards the periphery of the capitalist system—Asia, in particular—for a new political upsurge. From the Second Comintern Congress of 1920, when Lenin first put forward a perspective for democratic revolution, led by the national bourgeoisie in colonized countries, to the “non-capitalist” form of development proposed for allies of the Soviet Union in Africa and the Middle East under Brezhnev, Soviet Marxism always proposed a secondary role for the less developed countries, following cautiously on the path opened by the Soviet Union. Soviet Marxism preserved the linear and evolutionary historical model of Second International Marxism while giving the Third World a more conspicuous role in it. In contrast, Western Marxism—as the name suggests—was mainly concerned with forms of cultural and political hegemony specific to the advanced capitalist countries of the West and had little to say about the Third World. In this sense, the emergence of Third Worldism in the West represented something of a reversal of roles.

Third Worldism, then, did not simply grow out of earlier forms of internationalism. It was a response to the end of European colonial rule and the emergence of national liberation struggles in Asia and Africa. But it was also a response to deep-seated problems within radical thought and strategy in the West. It was a way of resolving a central problem of Western Marxism: the problem of revolutionary agency.

This problem lay at the heart of Western Marxism from the outset. On the one hand, the Western Marxist tradition was born from a sense that the vanguard party—especially in the bureaucratized form it took in Soviet Marxism—did not ensure the active participation of the oppressed in their own liberation, and became a tool for actively denying that participation. On the other hand, for as long as the theorists of Western Marxism remained outside the ambit of Soviet Marxism, they were cut off from the working class whose leading role they asserted. While the international working-class movement was dominated by the Soviet Union and the communist parties that followed its line, Marxist theory could do little to address the question of the agency through which revolutionary change could be brought about.[6]

The major theorists of Western Marxism sought essentially philosophical solutions to this conundrum. From Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness to Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason, the major works of Western Marxism were concerned with grasping the dialectical movement of consciousness in such a way as to show how workers could come to an understanding of the necessity for their own self-emancipation. As long as this enquiry remained at the philosophical level, it was relatively independent of the actual existence of such revolutionary consciousness and its embodiment in concrete organizations and struggles. As the New Left emerged in the West—partly through radicalization of student struggles and partly in solidarity with the liberation struggles of the Third World—this problem of agency became more pressing.

At the same time, there was no obvious source of revolutionary agency in the advanced capitalist countries in the 1960s, after decades of economic expansion. The majority of the working class were either integrated into the politics of reformism, or looked to communist parties on the Soviet model, or—in the crucial case of the United States—lacked political instruments of their own. In this context, the national liberation struggles of the Third World provided a kind of solution to the problem of agency that had been central to Western Marxism for decades, and at the same time defined the task of the emerging movement in the West.

If any single work drew together the Western Marxist theme of the dialectical movement of consciousness with the struggle against colonialism, it was Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth—in effect, the manifesto of Third Worldism. Fanon’s account of the need for the victims of colonial oppression to discover their selfhood and autonomy through armed resistance reworked the Hegelian dialectic of master and slave, one of the central philosophical motifs of postwar French Marxism. For Fanon, decolonization is “the veritable creation of new men;” the victim of colonialism “becomes man during the same process by which it frees itself,” putting into practice the Biblical saying, “The last shall be first and the first last.“[7]

But in Fanon’s hands, this dialectic led to a different outcome than previously envisaged in Western Marxism. That is, the freedom that results from the struggle for recognition by the other is not the freedom of the servant, or the exploited class, but rather of the part of humanity excluded from its major institutions—the outcast rather than the oppressed.

The violence of colonization is not merely aimed at holding the colonized in a subordinate position within a common set of social institutions, recognized as the product of a common history, but rather to exclude the colonized from those institutions. Consequently, the colonized cannot seek to join the colonial world on the basis of equality, but must “break up the colonial world.” Their resistance is aimed at the “destruction of native social forms” that must be “broken up without reserve.” This “does not mean that after the frontiers have been abolished lines of communication will be set up between the two zones. The destruction of the colonial world is no more and no less than the abolition of one zone, its burial in the depths of the earth or its expulsion from the country.“[8] For Fanon, the struggle for freedom takes place on a global stage, but the freedom that results is strangely contained. Freedom is as much a burden and a historical duty as a blessing. Solidarity rather than freedom is often the central normative category of the struggle itself and the vision of the new society it seeks to create.

Fanon was sufficiently consistent to extend his emphasis on the desperate energies of the most marginalized and excluded to his assessment of the class forces ranged against colonialism. He saw the lumpenproletariat, “that horde of starving men, uprooted from their tribe and from their clan,” as “one of the most spontaneous and most radically revolutionary forces of a colonized people.“[9] Third Worldism adopted and extended Fanon’s assessment of the revolutionary potential of the anti-colonial struggle, but seldom shared his view of the class forces within that struggle. Even in Fanon’s own work, the concept of freedom for the outcast was never explicitly contrasted with that for the oppressed. But this changed concept of freedom provided the implicit starting-point for Third Worldism.

The difference between the two conceptions of freedom—for the oppressed, seeking equality, and for the outcast, seeking inclusion within a new social whole—is often obscured by a view of the two conceptions of freedom as representing different points on a historical continuum between the Biblical world of semi-nomadic pastoralism, on the one hand, and capitalist modernity, on the other. To see the difference in this light is implicitly to attribute the Third Worldist conception of freedom to the historical backwardness of Third World societies, and to comply with a linear conception of history that equates capitalism with progress. It is also to ignore a distinctively modern conception of freedom for the outcast that was most fully developed in Tsarist Russia, between the 1840s and the 1880s—the decades in which Russia’s place in Western modernity was most intensely contested.

The Philosophical Roots of Third Worldism: The Modern Outcast

There are complex historical reasons why this conception should have come to the fore most conspicuously in nineteenth-century Russia and not elsewhere—the sudden confrontation of an ancient moral tradition conveyed by Orthodox Christianity with modern scientific and philosophical ideas, rapid capitalist industrialization along with serfdom and its rural legacy, above all the complex and overwrought class structure of Russian society and the precarious position of the intelligentsia within it. It was in this context that the ancient figure of the outcast took on a modern guise.

The figure of the outcast was morally significant in Biblical times because the mechanisms of social control in ancient Israel were so rudimentary that exclusion was often the only available response to the halt, the lame, the blind, or the prodigal.[10] The figure of the outcast in Russian thought is instead the product of a society in which the mechanisms of social control—especially within the tiny polite, middle-class society, separated by a social gulf from the rural peasantry—exceed the social roles available. Within so small a circle of the privileged, any failure to conform has catastrophic results: Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment no longer has smart enough clothes to make money by giving lessons, and falls into poverty, despair, and murder; Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky in Demons faces the prospects—which he views as equally dismal—of “ending my life as a tutor in some merchant’s house, or dying of hunger in a ditch” if he loses the favor of his aristocratic benefactor.[11]

The modern outcast was brought into view in the context of Russian populism through a peculiarly tense critique of Western modernity. In the work of Dostoevsky, it combined an aspiration to “learn from the people” and develop the spirit of humility and sacrifice that would bring the intelligentsia closer to the peasantry with a belief in religious redemption under the guidance of a benevolent Tsar. For the populists of the 1870s and 1880s, “going to the people” had a similar moral cast but was aimed at creating a secular and democratic political order. Both theocratic and populist structures of thought could not easily be reconciled with a linear conception of history that dismissed the outcast as a relic from a bygone time.

The debates within Russian Marxism about the peculiarities of Russian history—from Marx’s correspondence with Vera Zasulich to Trotsky’s idea of combined and uneven development—are in their own way a continuation of this theme.[12] For them, too, the question of whether the first will become last and the last first has an eminently practical meaning.

The legacy of Russian populism lived on despite the Marxist critique developed by Plekhanov and continued by Lenin and its seeming relegation to the status of a historical footnote by the Bolshevik revolution. It would be more accurate to say that Russian populism produced two distinct legacies that lived on with little contact with each other. In the context of anti-colonial struggles, Tolstoy’s defense of nonviolence had a crucial influence on Gandhi.[13] The idea of sacrifice as the principal means of authentication of national leadership in these struggles had a history that spread far beyond Gandhi, India, and the strategy of nonviolence. In a different vein, “learning from the people” became crucial to anti-colonial struggles, and was formalized in the radical pedagogy of Paolo Freire. Finally, the Russian populist critique of the idea that each society had to pass through a predetermined set of historical stages found an echo in Maoism, and in anti-colonial struggles elsewhere in Asia and in Africa.

Within the history of political thought, Third Worldism can be seen as an attempt to reconcile these two divergent conceptions of freedom within a unified set of struggles. It has not succeeded, in some measure because it has not been conscious of its own tasks. Despite its stress on the role of the modern outcast—the “wretched of the earth”—Third Worldism as an intellectual construction has reconciled these two conceptions of freedom mainly within a philosophical framework, derived from the Enlightenment, in which freedom is conceived in opposition to oppression. Paradoxically, Third Worldism has given a global reach to the Enlightenment conception of freedom, and helped to ensure that the radical potential of the Russian theme remains submerged.

The figure of the modern outcast had a second, less explicitly political, afterlife. It lived on also in literary form, in Kafka’s victims of an impenetrable bureaucracy, Camus’s outsider, Beckett’s derelicts and tramps. African–American writers, such as Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison, have drawn on Dostoevsky’s archetypal outcast—the underground man—for their depiction of race in twentieth-century America. But it found no clear political expression again until the intersecting needs of national liberation in the Third World and Western Marxism gave a new charge of political meaning to the modern outcast and brought together its populist and existentialist strands.

The French Origins of Third Worldism

The conference of African and Asian governments held in Bandung, Indonesia, in April 1955 is often taken to mark the point at which the Third World decisively entered the arena of world history. Aijaz Ahmad’s analysis of the roles of three of its leading figures—Nehru, Nasser, and Sukarno—demonstrates that Bandung was a much more ambiguous exercise, as much electoral realpolitik as ideological call to arms.[14]

As with many other such initiatives, going back at least to the Anti-Imperialist League that met in Brussels in 1927, Bandung did not result in any lasting political alliance or structure. The attempt by Mao’s China during the 1960s to define itself as the champion of national liberation in the Third World—in conflict with the Soviet Union—had considerable impact on parts of the Third World, as far afield as Indonesia and Peru. But its impact on the political culture of the Western Left, though far less significant in political terms, may have had the greater role in making Third Worldism into an ideological perspective of global reach.

The internationalist character of Third Worldism was made possible by the political awakening of the Third World, the growth of Western solidarity with the Third World, and the complex interaction of these developments in the context of Cold war and superpower rivalry. Rather than the immaculate birth of the Third World at Bandung, the politics of Third Worldism took distinctly different routes in various national contexts—perhaps most distinctively in the major countries of the capitalist West.

Both the theory of Three Worlds and the term “Third Worldism” (tiers mondisme) had their origins in France. The term “Third World” was coined by the French demographer Albert Sauvy in 1952. The distinction between the three worlds was modeled on the distinction in pre-revolutionary France between the three estates: nobles, clerics, and Third Estate. In each case, the three–part division rested on two binary oppositions. The earlier distinction distinguished between noble and common, and sacred and profane, with the third estate as the residual category, neither noble nor with a vocation for the sacred. The later distinction distinguished between modern and traditional societies, and free and unfree, with the Third World neither modern nor free. The earlier categories of the noble and the sacred were much contested at the time that the Third Estate discovered itself as a political force. In contrast, the Third World was conceived on the assumption that modernity and freedom were the necessary goals of human development. In this sense, the idea of the three worlds was “thoroughly teleological.“[15]

The term “Third Worldism” gained considerable currency during the Algerian War of 1954–62. Third Worldism expressed itself mainly in solidarity with the FLN in Algeria, and often in joining the underground resistance to the Algerian War in France. But Third Worldists did not typically see their support for Algerian independence as implying any clear position on social change in France itself. Many of them saw the Bandung conference as an inspiration. But rather than seeing the Algerian War as the front line in a global struggle, they saw it as a form of solidarity owed to a neighboring country illegitimately subjected to the colonial rule of France. Evans’s oral history of French opposition to the Algerian War documents the extent to which Third Worldism drew on the legacy of partisan resistance to the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.[16]

Support for Algeria was in this sense an alternative to revolutionary politics in France, rather than its corollary. The major figure in the French underground network of the FLN, Francois Jeanson, emphasized the division of political tasks between the Algerian struggle and its French supporters: “Since 1 November 1954 the Algerian problem has become, and becomes every day more concretely, a problem for Algerians, so that regrets and criticisms are of no real significance if they are not made by Algerians and if they don’t have roots in at least a part of the Algerian people.” The material and moral difficulties faced by an independent Algeria, according to Jeanson, are “almost inconceivable to our European minds.”[17] After Algerian independence, many French Third Worldists took the logical next step of relinquishing French citizenship and settling in Algeria.[18]

There are specific reasons why French Third Worldism took on this moral cast, and did not develop into a revolutionary internationalism. Algeria was not legally a colony of France, but rather a province of it: the fiction was that “the Mediterranean cuts through France as the Seine cuts through Paris.“[19] Much of the French support for Algerian—and all of the underground support—was in opposition to the French Communist Party and other established parties of the Left. (The PCF called for “peace” in Algeria, but voted for special powers for the French military there.) The FLN’s use of terrorism was also seen as a kind of moral exception, justifiable in the context of Algeria but not in France.

French Third Worldism was often concerned with the practical tasks of solidarity rather than putting forward new strategies for social change within their own context or globally. Perhaps the most prominent French intellectual to align himself with the cause of the Third World was Sartre, who sometimes acted as a symbol of solidarity with their struggles and at others developed a sweeping philosophical critique of Western domination. The French Marxist most concerned with questions of strategy, Regis Debray, sought to generalize the lessons of the Cuban revolution for Latin America. French Marxist studies of the Third World—with the exception of Samir Amin, an Egyptian writing in French—similarly remained at a remove from the politics of Third Worldism.

The Third Worldism of New Left Review

The French pattern of solidarity with Third World struggles as an extension of, or even an alternative to, domestic politics has some parallels on the British Left in the same period—for example, in the work of Basil Davidson and Peter Worsley.[20] In Britain, this kind of solidarity represented a less dramatic break within left politics. Liberal and working-class opposition to imperialism went back at least as far as the South African War. There was no mass-based Communist Party. The Labor Party’s complicity with imperialism was of a piece with its reformism rather than being a major source of division for the revolutionary Left, as in France.

Third Worldism in Britain was initially in large measure a translation from the French, but a translation of a specific segment of the French experience made in response to specific needs. It drew above all on the work on Sartre and Fanon, and formed part of a deliberate attempt to assimilate the theoretical legacy of Western Marxism. The crucial context for the development of Third Worldism in Britain in the early 1960s was the journal New Left Review, especially after the appointment of a new editorial committee under Perry Anderson in 1962.

The new editors had translated Sartre’s account of Cuba and hailed the Cuban revolution.[21] An editorial on “Internationalism” in January 1963 announced that New Left Review had “chosen to begin with the most acutely oppressed and explosive zone in the world today: the colonial and independent countries that make up the Third World” aimed at stimulating “a debate on models and options in the Third World,” and contributing to “the necessary internationalization of British socialist thought today.”[22]

Perry Anderson’s three–part account of “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Imperialism” was intended to provide a model of a new kind of analysis of Third World struggles that linked the colonial system and the process of decolonization to the economy and society of the colonial power and distinguished clearly between different types of colonialism.[23] It is an impressive work: at the same time historically specific and theoretically informed, more fully materialist in its analysis than the work of Fanon, say.

Anderson shows how the “torpid fascism” of the Salazar regime determines the Portugese system of “ultra-colonialism—that is, at once the most primitive and the most extreme modality of colonialism”; how the brutality of forced labor in Portugal’s African colonies constituted “the absolute, literal nadir of African misery” and at the same time an essential basis for racial capitalism throughout the subcontinent (“Without gold there is no South Africa, and without Mozambique there is no gold”); and how the whole structure is held together at every point by extreme violence, a contagion which “settles on everything and deforms it” so that “in the end, violence tends to coincide with the very notion of social relations themselves.”[24]

But the analysis produces no clear perspective for political action; structural determinants are clarified and distinguished, but effective forms of political agency become indistinct. It is “the wave of African liberation” that threatens to engulf Portugese colonialism; the “Afro–Asian bloc” is crucial in making repression in Angola an issue at the United Nations, and the United States in disrupting previously united Western support for colonial rule.[25] New Left Review’s global and comparative perspective did not find a firm point of anchorage within the politics of the British Left.

This omission was not remedied by Keith Buchanan’s overview of the politics of the Third World, which drew heavily on Fanon, but struggled to translate his analysis into a political perspective for the advanced capitalist countries. Indeed, Buchanan’s argument that the “efforts of Western workers to raise their standards of living have contributed more to the deterioration of the position of the underdeveloped countries than has the profit motive of industrial or commercial leaders” provoked the resignation of older board members.[26]

This divide between the politics of the Third World and the First was never to be bridged by Anderson or New Left Review. Some years later, it was to be articulated by Anderson and Blackburn in their account of the “Problems of Socialist Strategy,” describing that divide in terms of the existence of scarcity:

Socialism as a movement and a critique is based on human needs and these needs evolve with society itself. The great, permanent landmark of real abundance will not be the end of ideology, but the end of necessity. The empire of scarcity, and its curse, will be over. Integral human freedom will at last be possible. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, in Asia, Africa and Latin America, men will still struggle to create a socialism of privation and duress. This must never be forgotten, in the task of creating in the advanced capitalist countries a socialism of liberty and privilege. The aims of both are ultimately the same: they are divided by all the immense distance of different historical time. The last and most vital test of an authentic European socialism is to remember this, and to maintain the fraternity between the two.[27]

But this division between a “socialism of privation and duress” in the Third World and a “socialism of liberty and privilege” in the First World could not be overcome by the bonds of fraternity alone. The appeal to fraternity never led to an account of the political strategies that would bring socialists in the two zones together. By the early 1970s, New Left Review was carrying substantial critiques of the economic theories underlying solidarity with the Third World—Ernesto Laclau’s critique of André Gunder Frank appeared in 1971, and Bill Warren’s critique of Lenin and much of the Marxist theory of imperialism in 1973.[28] Robert Brenner’s account of capitalist development, published in 1977, assumed a somewhat one-sided conception of Third Worldism, which it saw as the corollary of the critique of capitalist underdevelopment in the Third World: “The notion of the ‘development of underdevelopment’ opens the way to third-worldist ideology. From the conclusion that development occurred only in the absence of links with accumulating capitalism in the metropolis, it can only be a short step to the strategy of semi-autarkic socialist development.“[29]

The history of New Left Review currently on the journal’s website admits to a phase of Third Worldism in 1962–3, but to no more than that.[30] By the mid–1960s its main focus had shifted to other themes, above all, the assimilation of Western Marxist theory. But this shift in focus did not bring with it a new conception of the world-revolutionary process and the place of the Third World in it. It was not so much that Anderson and New Left Review had nurtured hopes for the Third World only to have them disappointed, or first defended a Third Worldist perspective and then abandoned it. Rather, the Third Worldism of New Left Review—even at its high points—had never quite resulted in a clearly political perspective.

In the context of popular struggle against colonial power, the Third Worldism of New Left Review had not been clearly in conflict with the its Western Marxist emphasis on the consciousness of the human subject. The new regimes established after independence, however, gave less encouragement to this approach. To its credit, New Left Review never deceived itself about the nature of these regimes. It showed a sober awareness of the tenacity of Stalinism in the Third World, and its Third Worldism may have foundered on this awareness.[31]

This retreat from Third Worldism was followed eventually by New Left Review’s retreat from Marxism during the 1990s—formalized in the relaunch of the journal in January 2000, once more under the editorship of Perry Anderson. In Anderson’s opening editorial, he called for resistance to the provincialism of the English-speaking world while at the same time conceding that the ideal of drawing contributors from outside the “homelands” of the West remained, for the moment, “out of reach.”[32]

The U.S. Model of Third Worldism

Although Third Worldism always retained many distinctive local forms and emphases, it was in the United States that it took on its most influential and its definitive political form. Conversely, Third Worldism played an unusually significant role in defining the characteristic form of radicalism in the United States, in a context in which the socialist Left has been unusually dispersed and fragmented.

The global dominance of the United States since 1945 led to military interventions abroad—most conspicuously in Korea and Vietnam, but also throughout in Latin America. In resisting U.S. imperialism, the socialist left moved towards an orientation to the Third World which had deep roots within sections of the African–American community. Robin Kelley has described how militant critics of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s “sought to understand the African–American condition through an analysis of capitalism, imperialism, and Third World liberation.“[33] Kelley emphasizes the role of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) which advanced “the theory that the Black liberation movement in the United States was part of the vanguard of the world socialist revolution.“[34] RAM and other African–American militants drew on a black nationalist orientation towards Africa that dated back to the nineteenth century. In the upheavals of the 1960s this orientation made itself felt throughout the U.S. Left. In the process it outgrew its nationalist origins and developed into a new model of Third Worldism.

The example of Monthly Review is instructive for an understanding of this process. From soon after its inception in 1949, Monthly Review developed a consistent critique of capitalist development in “backward areas,” which took on growing importance in their analysis. By 1951 the editors described it as the Monthly Review position that “social revolution must precede economic development in the backward areas” and that any program based on contrary assumptions—such as those of “sincere liberals and New Dealers”—was “doomed to certain failure.”[35]

This perspective was more fully developed in Baran’s Political Economy of Growth published in 1957. It did not yet give the struggles of the capitalist periphery the major role in global events, but laid the basis for a perspective in which these struggles became increasingly important. The Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 at the same time led Monthly Review to open denunciation of the Soviet Union’s claim to “moral leadership of the world socialist movement.”[36]

From the time of the Korean War Monthly Review had drawn attention to the problems of U.S. imperialism—not only in South East Asia, but also in Latin America and the Middle East. During the 1950s it also gave increasing coverage to developments in China. But it was the Cuban Revolution that provided a new point of orientation. Paul Sweezy later described how he and Leo Huberman “fell completely under the spell of this young and fresh revolution, and became almost immediately convinced that the dialectic of its internal and international development must inevitably turn it in a socialist direction.” Revolutionary Cuba provided a “brief glimpse of mankind’s astonishing potentialities” which was to be crucial for the development of a distinctive Monthly Review perspective in the 1960s.[37]

Cuba was an inspiration and in some ways a model for a socialist future, but it did not necessarily make clear the global process that could challenge the predominant position of U.S. capitalism. In that context, the critical case was Vietnam and Monthly Review kept up a regular commentary and interpretation of events in Vietnam from the initial U.S. military involvement in 1954 until the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Monthly Review’s treatment of the U.S. war in Vietnam became increasingly integrated with its analysis of the political economy of the United States. From the outset, their analysis focused heavily on the illegality of the U.S. intervention and its imperialist character, defending “the right of the Vietnamese people to choose Communist leadership if they want it, as they apparently do.” In an April 1965 article, Sweezy and Huberman raised the larger question: “Can a country fight its way out of the ‘free world’—that is, the free-enterprise world, the world open to exploitation by American capitalism—in direct confrontation with the most powerful imperialist nation?” They argued that the U.S. would lose its supremacy in the Third World and concluded that the road taken by the U.S. ruling class in Vietnam would lead to ruin: “The course of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire has now been charted for all to see.”[38]

From this point onwards, they came to see the global and domestic implications of the Vietnam conflict as intertwined: “Inter-imperialist rivalries, revolutionary and national liberation struggles in the Third World, class struggles in both advanced and underdeveloped countries— all will feel the impact of the capitalist world’s deepening economic strains. But the greatest effect, at least in the short run, will show itself in an explosive upsurge of that unique and irreconcilable conflict in the heart of the imperialist metropolis itself—the freedom struggle of the oppressed black inner colony.”[39] Unlike in France and Britain, it is possible to see here an orientation to the Third World that is at the same time an orientation to class struggle in the domestic context. Perhaps nowhere else in the world were class politics at home and abroad so closely interwoven as in the United States.

The basic premise of Monthly Review’s Third Worldism was set out by Sweezy in an essay published in 1967:

If we consider capitalism as a global system, which is the only correct procedure, we see that it is divided into a handful of exploiting countries and a much more numerous and populous group of exploited countries. The masses in these exploited dependencies constitute a force in the global capitalist system which is revolutionary in the same sense and for the same reasons that Marx considered the proletariat of the early period of modern industry to be revolutionary . . . . World history since the Second World War proves that this revolutionary force is really capable of waging successful revolutionary struggles against capitalist domination.[39]

In his Foreword to Modern Capitalism in 1972, Sweezy was still more specific: “The primary or principal contradiction of the system in the present period is not between bourgeoisie and proletariat,” as Marx had believed of his time, but “between the metropolis dominated by the United States and the revolutionary national liberation movements in the Third World.“[40]

Paradoxically, the threat to U.S. capitalism which Monthly Review saw coming from the Third World did not imply the feasibility of socialism in the Third World itself. In their review of the Vietnamese victory in 1975, Sweezy and Magdoff rebuked the “super-revolutionaries” opposed to reconciliation between classes and building national unity in South Vietnam:

The point is that in liberated South Vietnam the transition to socialism is simply not on the agenda. . . . Whether the class struggle, as it unfolds in the new and quite unprecedented conditions of liberated South Vietnam, will lead to the definitive political victory of the revolutionaries and the peaceful reunification of all Vietnam as a socialist state firmly on the road to communism, this we do not and cannot know.[41]

This reticence was consistent with a long-held position. Monthly Review had praised the ethic of shared sacrifice—“poverty combined with justice and hope”—that animated the Vietnamese struggle. But they had never described that struggle as socialist. Sweezy and Huberman wrote in 1968 that “the last stage of American capitalism” had been reached, and added, “The only way this stage of capitalism can end is through a socialist revolution.“[42]

The location of this revolution was not specified, and perhaps could not be. Although the collective energy that brought the prospect closer came from the Third World, this analysis did not require that socialism be initiated in the Third World rather than within the heart of the U.S. empire itself. The struggles of the Third World were the driving-force for world revolution but were not exemplary for socialists, or only in a secondary sense: exemplifying commitment and sacrifice rather than the socialist ideal.

It was only with the splintering of the New Left during the mid-1960s that the U.S. Left’s turn to the Third World became pronounced. Although there were many differences and conflicts within the U.S. left, this model of Third Worldism was widely-held and made itself felt far beyond its original context. Monthly Review would never have claimed the preeminent role for the United States in the process of global change. But its analysis could not exclude this role, and it came to be explicitly affirmed in other registers. Marcuse’s Essay on Liberation stated in so many words: “The preconditions for the liberation and development of the Third World must emerge in the advanced capitalist countries.“[43]

Third Worldism and the Struggle for South Africa

From the late nineteenth century, black resistance to racial domination in South Africa was always informed by its global context—with black South Africans appealing to their rights as subjects of the British Empire, to the principles set out in the Atlantic Charter, and the like. By about 1960 there were three major points of global orientation within anti-apartheid politics. The African National Congress (ANC) had traditionally looked towards liberal opinion in the West for support, and as former colonies became independent the ANC relied on their support in such bodies as the United Nations. African solidarity became central to the breakaway Pan-Africanist Congress and increasingly important to the ANC after the turn to armed struggle in 1960. A less widespread but influential perspective looked towards the Soviet Union as the driving-force and model for liberation.

In the years of underground struggle after 1960 the liberation movement came to base its strategies on the premise that racial domination could not be overcome except by a revolution that would have put the survival of capitalism into question. For the ANC, the turning-point was the Morogoro conference of 1969 when this perspective was formally adopted. This was clearly stated in its Strategy and Tactics:

In our country—more than in any other part of the oppressed world—it is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the land to the people as a whole. It is therefore a fundamental feature of our strategy that victory must embrace more than formal democracy. To allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact is to feed the root of racial supremacy and does not represent even the shadow of liberation.[44]

Although the South African Communist Party upheld the idea of a two-stage revolution, by the mid-1970s its projected stages were not always easily distinguishable. “True national liberation is impossible without social liberation,” Joe Slovo wrote in 1975. “No significant national demand can be successfully won without the destruction of the existing capitalist structure.[45] The Green Book issued by the ANC Strategy Commission after a visit to Vietnam in 1979 called for “protracted people’s war” in alliance with the “Socialist world,” the newly independent states of Africa and Asia, people still fighting against colonial rule, and the working class and “other democratic forces in the imperialist countries.“[46]

In effect, the ANC learned to mobilize the constituency specified by Third Worldism without ever endorsing the Third Worldist conception of social change. It fit in with a Third Worldist theory of world revolution without adhering to that theory. The Black Consciousness movement in South Africa during the 1970s was far more ready to become “part of a bigger struggle of the Third World that wants to shake off the yoke of imperialism and replace it with socialistic governments.” It rejected alliances with East and West in order to “join forces with the rest of the Third World in their struggle to break away from imperialist control by the big powers.”[47] But for all its adherence to the theory, this movement never became a legitimate and validated object of it.

The growth of an independent trade union movement in South Africa after 1973 and the emergence of a new Marxist interpretation of South African history strengthened the view of the struggle against apartheid as at the same time a challenge to capitalism. Both the trade union movement and the new generation of radical intellectuals were influenced by Western Marxism and never looked to the Soviet Union for inspiration or support. They helped interpret events in South Africa for the western Left, stressing the need for working-class organization and pointing out the pitfalls of nationalism.[48]

But although the western Left drew on an analysis that was unsympathetic to the ANC and the project of national liberation, its political conclusions often led in a different direction. Saul and Gelb’s Crisis in South Africa, published in 1981, argued that “the national liberation movement format remains, under South African conditions, a valid blueprint for socialist revolution” and that the ANC “demands support as best providing of this format, although it seems likely that the ANC that ultimately wins the struggle in South Africa will be rather different from the movement as it is today.” The ANC would be moved rapidly to the left, they held, through “the continuing dialectic between this movement and the considerable revolutionary energies at play within the society.“[49]

With the mass uprisings of the 1980s, South Africa came to be seen as pregnant with revolutionary possibilities. In 1986, Sweezy and Magdoff wrote of the South African struggle as “crucial to the whole history of our time”.[50]

It is so far the only country with a well-developed, modern capitalist structure which is not only “objectively” ripe for revolution but has actually entered a stage of overt and seemingly irreversible revolutionary struggle. . . . There is no other country in the world that has anything like the material and symbolic significance of South Africa for both sides in the conflict that rends the world today. A victory for revolution, i.e., a genuine and lasting change in basic power relations in South Africa, could have an impact on the balance of global forces comparable to that of the revolutionary wave that followed World War II. On the other hand, a victory for counter-revolution—the stabilization of capitalist relations in South Africa, even if in somewhat altered form—would be a stunning defeat for the world revolution.[51]

Decades of mass struggle engaging millions of South Africans and drawing the support of activists around the world yielded such a stabilization of capitalist relations in the settlement negotiated between the apartheid state and the ANC after 1990. The global context of the settlement played a major role in its capitalist outcome. The ANC’s capacity to contain the demands of its mass base could not be contested by socialists in the West who had argued for the centrality of the organization.

There is little consensus on how to date the end of Third Worldism, or even whether it has come to an end. In a sense, it has had many endings and also has lived on in residual forms. Certain forms of syndicalist or autonomist Marxism were never much influenced by it. Maoist–inspired versions of Third Worldism were increasingly negated by undiscriminating Chinese support in the early 1970s for opponents of the Soviet Union—the Shah of Iran, General Pinochet in Chile, Holden Roberto’s FNLA in Angola.[52] The rise of political Islam in the 1980s made the idea of inclusive Third World unity less plausible than before. For those who lived through the struggle against apartheid, the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president of a non-racial South Africa in April 1994 spelled both a victory over apartheid and the end of the hopes of Third Worldism.

Third Worldism’s Unequal Contract

It is possible to imagine a different outcome for events in South Africa, in which the global movement that had developed over decades of solidarity with the struggle against apartheid actively supported a radical challenge to post–apartheid capitalism and in which popular power in South Africa had a radicalizing effect on the southern African region and beyond. Many of the linkages existed, but they could not easily be activated. The obstacles in their way can be clarified by examining briefly the work of the figure who wrestled most consistently with the problem of giving revolutionary effect to international linkages of solidarity between the First World and the Third: Che Guevara.

If Fanon had written the manifesto of Third Worldism, then its program of action was provided by Guevara’s message to the Tricontinental Conference held in Havana in January 1966. The conference was an outgrowth of the Afro–Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization and it attempted to draw together guerilla struggles for national liberation in the three continents targeted by imperialism. Guevara’s message to the conference was written after his own withdrawal from Cuban government and his abortive mission to the Congo, while he was on his way to participate in guerilla war in Colombia. For Guevara himself there was, at that stage, no turning back. His personal defiance was generalized in his call to “create two, three, many Vietnams.”

In 1963 Guevara had spoken of Vietnam as “the great laboratory of Yankee imperialism” where the people were “fighting for the common desires which unite the peoples of the three oppressed continents of the present: Asia, Africa, and our America.”[53] In 1966, in what was to be his last message, Guevara acknowledged the “sad reality” that “Vietnam—a nation representing the aspirations, the hopes of the whole world of forgotten peoples—is tragically alone.” In this context, solidarity was “not a matter of wishing success to the victim of aggression, but of sharing his fate; one must accompany him to his death or to victory.” Imperialism is a world system, he argued, and “it must be defeated in a world confrontation.” For this a “true proletarian internationalism” was needed in which “to die under the flag of Vietnam, of Venezuela, of Guatemala, of Laos, of Guinea, of Bolivia, of Brazil—to name only a few scenes of today’s armed struggle—would be equally glorious and desirable for an American, an Asian, an African, even a European.” This militant internationalism would be the product of massive sacrifice in the Third World reaching a point where it sparked class struggle in the advanced capitalist countries:

Over there, the soldiers of imperialism encounter the discomforts of those who, accustomed to the standard of living that the United States boasts, have to confront a hostile land; the insecurity of those who cannot move without feeling that they are stepping on enemy territory; death for those who go outside their fortified compounds; the permanent hostility of the entire population. All this is provoking repercussions inside the United States. It is leading to the appearance of a factor that was attenuated by imperialism at full strength: the class struggle inside its own territory.

How close and bright would the future appear if two, three, many Vietnams flowered on the face of the globe, with their quota of death and their immense tragedies, with their daily heroism, with their repeated blows against imperialism, forcing it to disperse its forces under the lash of the growing hatred of the peoples of the world.[54]

Even so fervent and authentic a champion of the Third World captures here the unequal contract at the heart of Third Worldism. The Third World would pay “with their quota of death and their immense tragedies” and thereby prompt class struggle within the advanced capitalist countries. The standard of living of the advanced capitalist countries averts the need for such “daily heroism” on their part. The Third World struggles because its national context leaves it no alternative; the advanced capitalist countries take up their role when the global context created by Third World struggles makes this necessary and makes conditions of struggle favorable. [55]

Guevara himself traveled to Africa and to Latin America to share the fate of those fighting imperialism in the most exposed positions. He was aware of the moral ambiguity of his own willingness to sacrifice his life in other countries where his arrival had the effect of “carrying out a blackmail with my physical presence.”[56] The extraordinary legend that had grown up around him made it possible for him briefly to overcome the barriers between different contexts of struggle. He could become—or symbolize—the global outcast, the prodigal son at home everywhere. But his example could not easily be emulated. Nor could his calculus of sacrifice ensure that Soviet and Chinese differences were set aside in favor of joint support for anti–imperialist struggles in the Third World.

Nor could the contract implicitly enacted by the Third World’s quota of death and destruction easily be reciprocated by socialists in the advanced capitalist countries. They had to choose between making use of the greater legal space available to them or undertaking armed gestures that were largely symbolic and often self-destructive—the Weather Underground, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and the like. Nor could the dilemma easily be escaped. In 1970, when Huey Newton offered to bring the entire membership of the Black Panther Party to Vietnam to fight on the side of the NLF, “the offer was graciously declined.”[57]

Insofar as the contract at the heart of Third Worldism effectively reduced each side’s part to their moral commitment and capacity to sacrifice, it obscured a different inequality. The unequal division of death and destruction, in which the Third World carried the main burden, hid from view an unequal division of intellectual labor between the western Left and the Third World—an inequality that persists to this day, and grows along with the commodification of intellectual labor. It is not difficult to understand the historical and material reasons why the western Left took on the tasks of theoretical synthesis and renewal and the Third World those of providing raw materials and implementing strategic insights. In the context of left intellectual life, Third Worldism was primarily a Western perspective rather than the product of a genuinely internationalist collaboration. A renewal of socialist internationalism must learn its lessons, but build on a different foundation.


[1] The historical relationship of formal equality within the capitalist polity and material inequality in the capitalist economy is well-described in Ellen Meiksins Wood, Democracy Against Capitalism: Renewing Historical Materialism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). [2] Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), pp. 7, 9. [3] Samir Amin, Re-reading the Postwar Period: An Intellectual Itinerary (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1994), p. 10. [4] Karl Marx, “The Future Results of British Rule in India,” in Marx and Engels on Colonialism (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1959), p. 87. [5] Michael Löwy, “Marx’s Dialectic of Progress: Closed or Open?,” Socialism and Democracy 27 (Spring-Summer 2000), p. 41, citing Luxemburg’s Introduction to Political Economy (1908). [6] Cf. Perry Anderson, Considerations on Western Marxism (London: Verso, 1979), pp. 29-32. [7] Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 28. [8] Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 29. [9] Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 103; on the capacity of the lumpen proletariat to be mobilized in the cause of reaction, cf. p. 109. [10] Relevant Biblical passages include Psalm 147, Isaiah 11:35, Jeremiah 30: 31, Leviticus 21, Deuteronomy 18, 2 Samuel 5. [11] F.M. Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (New York: Knopf, 1993), pp. 111-14; Dostoevsky, Demons (New York: Knopf, 1994), p. 90. [12] Cf. T. Shanin, Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and the Peripheries of Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1993), pp. 97-126; L. Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution (London: Victor Gollancz, 1936), pp. 26-37. [13] Cf. B. Srinivasa Murthy, ed., Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy: Letters (Long Beach, CA: Long Beach Publications, 1987); Martin Green, Tolstoy and Gandhi: Men of Peace (New York: Basic Books, 1983). [14] Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures (London: Verso, 1992), pp. 293-308. [15] Carl E. Pletsch, “The Three Worlds, or the Division of Social Scientific Labor, circa 1950-75,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 23 (October 1981), pp. 565-90, especially 573-78. [16] Martin Evans, The Memory of Resistance: French Opposition to the Algerian War, 1954-62 (Oxford: Berg, 1997), pp. 31-72. [17] Francis Jeanson, “Algerian Dilemmas,” in Ralph Miliband and John Saville, ed., Socialist Register 1965 (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1965), pp. 80, 89. [18] Evans, Memory of Resistance, pp. 23, 39. [19] Robert Malley, The Call from Algeria: Third Worldism, Revolution and the Turn to Islam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 6. [20] On Davidson’s route to the study of Africa, cf. Crossroads in Africa: Basil Davidson Talks to Antonio Bronda (Nottingham: Spokesman, 1980). [21] Cf. Gregory Elliot, Perry Anderson: The Merciless Laboratory of History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), pp. 2, 6. [22] “On Internationalism,” New Left Review 18 (Jan-Feb 1963), p. 4. [23] Perry Anderson, “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (3),” New Left Review 17 (Winter 1962), p. 113, n.2. The three-part study was published in book from in French, but not in English. [24] Quotations from Anderson, “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (3),” New Left Review 15 (May-June 1962), p. 90; “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (2),” New Left Review 16 (July-August 1962), pp. 93, 99, 97. On violence, cf. “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism,” p. 88; “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (3),” p. 98. [25] Anderson, “Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (3),” pp. 85, 87, 99-100. [26] Keith Buchanan, “The Third World: Its Emergence and Contours,” New Left Review 18 (Jan-Feb 1963), p. 22, cf. p. 20. See also Michael Newman, Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002), p. 114. [27] Perry Anderson and Robin Blackburn, “Problems of Socialist Strategy,” in Anderson and Blackburn, ed., Toward Socialism (London: Fontana, 1965), p. 290. [28] Ernesto Laclau, “Feudalism and Capitalism in Latin America,” New Left Review 67 (May-June 1971), pp. 19-38; Bill Warren, “Imperialism and Capitalist Industrialization,” New Left Review 81 (September-October 1973), pp. 3-44. [29] Robert Brenner, “The Origins of Capitalist Development: A Critique of Neo-Smithian Marxism,” New Left Review 104 (July-August 1977), pp. 91-2. [30] Perry Anderson, “Internationalism: A Breviary,” New Left Review II/14 (March-April 2002), p. 16. [31] E.g., Perry Anderson, Arguments within English Marxism (London: Verso, 1980), p. 121; Perry Anderson, “Trotsky’s Interpretation of Stalinism,” New Left Review 139 (May-June 1983), pp. 127-8. [32] Perry Anderson, “Renewals,” New Left Review II: 1 (Jan-Feb 2000), pp. 22, 24. [33] Robin D.G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Boston: Beacon Press, 2002), p. 62. [34] Kelley, Freedom Dreams, p. 77; cf. pp. 81-2. [35] Paul A. Baran, “Economic Development of Backward Areas,” Monthly Review 3:4 (August 1951), p. 128. [36] Leo Huberman and Paul M. Sweezy, “Assessing the Damage,” Monthly Review 8:8 (December 1956), p. 259. [37] Paul M. Sweezy, “Paul Alexander Baran: A Personal Memoir,” Monthly Review 16:11 (March 1965), pp. 46-7. [38] Paul M. Sweezy, Leo Huberman and Harry Magdoff, Vietnam: The Endless War (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970), pp. 35, 58-9, 119. [39] Paul M.Sweezy, “Marx and the Proletariat,” Monthly Review 19:7 (December 1967), p. 42; republished in Sweezy, Modern Capitalism and Other Essays (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972). [40] Sweezy, Modern Capitalism and Other Essays, [41] Paul M. Sweezy and Harry Magdoff, “The Historic Victory in Indochina,” Monthly Review 27:1 (May 1975), p. 12. [42] Sweezy, Huberman and Magdoff, Vietnam: The Endless War, pp. 51-2, 123. [43] Herbert Marcuse, An Essay on Liberation (London: Allen Lane, 1969), p. 81. [44] Thomas Karis and Gail Gerhart, ed., From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1990, vol. 5: Nadir and Resurgence, 1964-79 (Pretoria: Unisa Press, 1997), pp. 391-92. [45] Joe Slovo, “South Africa—No Middle Road,” in Basil Davidson, Joe Slovo and A.R. Wilkinson, Southern Africa: The New Politics of Revolution (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976), pp. 139-40. [46] Karis and Gerhart, ed., From Protest to Challenge, vol. 5, p. 728. [47] Karis and Gerhart, ed., From Protest to Challenge, vol. 5, pp. 739. 743. [48] Cf. Andrew Nash, “The Moment of Western Marxism in South Africa,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 19:1 (Spring 1999), pp. 66-82. [49] John S. Saul and Stephen Gelb, “The Crisis in South Africa: Class Defense, Class Revolution,” Monthly Review 33:3 (July-August 1981), pp. 8. 46. [50] Paul M. Sweezy and Harry Magdoff, “Notes from the Editors,” Monthly Review 37:11 (April 1986). [51] Paul M. Sweezy and Harry Magdoff, “The Stakes in South Africa,” Monthly Review 37:11 (April 1986), pp. 5-6. [52] Cf. Max Elbaum, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che (London: Verso, 2002), pp. 207-26. [53] John Gerassi, ed., Venceremos! The Speeches and Writings of Che Guevara (New York: Macmillan, 1968), pp. 289, 291. [54] Gerassi, Venceremos!, pp. 415, 420, 422. [55] Gerassi, Venceremos!, pp. 415, 420, 422. [56] Jon Lee Anderson, Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (New York: Grove Press, 1997), p. 632; cf. 701. [57] Elbaum, Revolution in the Air, p. 67.


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