National Democratic Movements

Chris Burford cburford at
Mon Feb 6 01:34:06 MST 1995

Fascintating contributions on Peronism. What matters is not who is
right or wrong, though just enough edge in the debate stirs the dynamic,
but the overall result in bringing out the main features.

It seems to me that the Althusserian overdetermination emphasis in analysis
should be very happy.

I read the debate as someone whose main efforts to understand Peronism have
been to avoid the musical, but who is very concerned about the sister

Efforts at socialism in Tanzania, Angola and Mozambique have been broken.
Mugabe's ideals of autonomous development are being structurally readjusted.
Kaunda has been ousted. What is the future for South Africa?

The drum beat of economics is signalled in the contributions by the point
that capital deserted Peron. In South Africa the options of the Government
of National Unity are cruelly constrained by the fact that the attitude of
international capital is on a knife edge about its sense of the credibility
of the new regime.

The development of ante-natal clinics to deal with the appalling number of
infant deaths, may have to be cut back.

It is surely just a matter of time before someone writes a musical about
But would I be mistaken for denying the complexity and subtlety
of all the relevant phenomenon to ask a schematic question?
Socialism in just one country seems increasingly improbable. To what extent
however does the story of Peronism fit into an analysis of what is needed
for a viable national democratic (national bourgois democratic, or new
democratic) regime in a country of the economic south?

Chris Burford
Community Psychiatrist, specialising in schizophrenia.
Member of the Forum for Marxism, Philosophy and Science,
and the Southern Africa Economic Research Unit, SAERU.

London                                   "Only connect..."


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