State capitalism?

ROSSERJB at jmu.edu ROSSERJB at jmu.edu
Wed Jun 19 15:23:32 MDT 1996


To Louis P.:
     Well, about 70% of the capital stock of Egypt is
state owned, even today after some privatizations by
the Mubarak regime.  Although many of those nationalizations
were of foreign owned enterprises, not all were by the British
or French, the former colonial masters, e.g. Stella beer owned
by Heinekin's previously.  Much was previously owned by domestic
capitalists, although those were more likely to be Farouk allied
comprador types.
     Certainly nationalization went further in Cuba than in
Egypt (land was not nationalized in Egypt).  But I think that
your characterization is not all clear of why Egypt escaped
international wrath while Cuba did not.  There was certainly a
period in Egypt when even the national bourgeoisie was getting
dinged pretty hard.
     Frankly, although I think that Adam has a problem with his
definition of "state capitalism" he is right about Egypt versus
Cuba.  Cuba was too close to the US and the interests nationalized
were closely linked to US ruling circles.  The Suez Crisis was the
supreme moment of the US displacing Britain and France as the leading
capitalist power.  The US and the USSR both backed Egypt and the US
had nothing nationalized in Egypt, unlike the Brits and the French.
Remember that at that time France was Israel's main arms supplier.
Nasser did successfully play off the US and the USSR.  In downtown
Cairo residents can point out certain towers and buildings which
Nasser built with money from either the KGB or the CIA respectively.
     In the meantime we are all waiting with baited breath for you
to reproduce what you are reading about Algeria, whoop de doo, :-).
Barkley Rosser


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