Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 1, 2008

Chapter one of José Carlos Mariátegui’s “Seven Interpretative Essays on Peruvian Reality”

Filed under: Introduction to Marxism class — louisproyect @ 3:55 pm

As indicated in the post on Mariátegui below, I am making available the first chapter of his important study of Peruvian history and politics. It can be read on the Introduction to Marxism mailing list archives. I have decided to open up the archives since there are some interesting posts that can be read there in addition to the posts that I have made available here.

Here is how the chapter (“Outline of the Economic Evolution”) begins:

The Spanish conquistadors destroyed this impressive productive machine without being able to replace it. The indigenous society and the Inca economy were wholly disrupted and annihilated by the shock of the conquest. Once the bonds that had united it were broken, the nation dissolved into scattered communities. Indigenous labor ceased to function as a concerted and integrated effort. The conquistadors were mainly concerned with distributing and wrangling over their rich booty. They plundered the treasures of temples and palaces; they allotted land and men with no thought of their future use as forces and means of production.

The viceroyalty marks the beginning of the difficult and complex process of forming a new economy. During this period, Spain tried to organize its immense colony politically and economically. The Spaniards began to till the soil and mine the gold and silver. On the ruins and remnants of a socialist economy, they established the bases of a feudal economy.

Read in full


  1. Hey, thanks for making that chapter available online. I had just put the book on my list of things to read at the library, and after the first chapter, my resolve to finish the book is now all the stronger.

    Comment by Buster — August 1, 2008 @ 6:49 pm

  2. Great post, it was very informative. I think its a must read.

    Comment by Mathew James — August 12, 2008 @ 4:15 am

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