A reply to Mario's post (was Re:PCP)

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at SPAMantares.com.br
Sat Aug 21 19:19:14 MDT 1999

Louis: Since I receive MD digested, the fact that Mario's post and your
came at the beggining made me easier to translate Mario and to provide a
reply. Mario's post goes thus:

> Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 11:15:04 -0400
> From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
> Subject: Re: PCP
> Mario wrote:

"What is the nature of such a thing as a showdown with the IMF of which
you talk so much about? Actually, all South American economies, as BTW
all heavily imdebted economies of today, are in a condition of near
bankrupcy. They will not pay [anyway] because of lack of money.So, to
take a stand against the IMF would mean only a stand to save face and
devoid of any consistency whatsoever, for the purpose of gaining
prestige in the internal political market. I doubt that can be a sound,
productive foundation to the formation of an anti-imperialist front".


To which I will reply:

It is intersting to discover that we Brazilians have become as
pragmatistic and averse to theorizing as Americans were supposed to be,
say, during the 30s, when Trotsky wrote a lot about the obssession of
Americanism with simple and sound remedies to all political problems.
The gist of Mario's post is that, since we in LA are ging to get
bankrupcy sooner or later, why to make all this fuss about that and do
not try to better things later, when the IMF will be in no position to
insist in an impossibel full payment of the debt? Why not to take
advantage of the major economic dislocations that shall be caused by to
possibility of a major debt-default and try to arrange things with the
IMF, the FED, etc, through plain fairplay?

The problem, Mario, is that we have already lessened a great part of the
debt contracted, say, during the 70s, by such simple and plain means
(extending deadlines, turning revolving interest rates fixed, turning
debts into securities, having the Braziliian government to buy its own
debt bonds in the secondary market with a heavy discount, having debt
bondies guaranteed with American - "Bradies" - bonds, etc., etc. But the
debt always starts anew, since its root - the dominance of international
finance capital over the accumulation process in the 3rd. World and the
lack of control over the movements of the said finance capital, *imposed
by the IMF*, remains. Therefore, a permanent exit from such a situation
demands, of necessity, opposing *on an international scale* the present
capitalist economic model *and* the Bretton Woods institutions. Since
the said model has its roots on a historical process begun in the eve of
WWI, as described by Lenin (*Imperialism* as the most advanced stage of
*Capitalism* as a totality) opposing the IMF would mean ultimately to
oppose Capitalism as a whole, a task that cannot be undertaken by any
means in Brazil only. In fact, if we do not denounce totally the
international economic model on an international scale, that will mean
that the said economic modell will reassert itself again, later, with
ever more violent means, eroding the totality of the social and
political rights that governments like Cardoso's have already eroded.
BTW, that is a problem akin to the problçem of debt; when we hear Jo
Soares on TV, declaring that the Cardoso government is frustrating
[decepcionante], we can be sure that it's only a matter of time before
even the Senator Magalhaes will begin to declare quite the same
thing...However, the point that needs to be driven home is that the
eventual failure and ultimate bankrupcy of the FHC government will be a
failure *not* of the individual Fernando Henrique Cardoso and his
shortcomings (vanity, arrogance, laziness, whishy-washiness, etc.) but
of the *totality of the economic model adopeted by him and the Brazilian
ruling class as a whole*. Without that, sooner or later we shall have to
deal with a Far-right "reformer"- e.g. *Elle*, i.e., Fernando Collor,
again- that will assure us that , because of his personal qualities, he
can apply the model sucessfully, with only given the full powers s/he
needs to avoid corrupt politicians ruining the plan. There is no
democratic exit and no democratic future whatsoever to Brazil, outside
from a renewed Socialism and a renbewed socialist international movement
that would base itself on the experience of the October Revolution
-without repeating it.

I will not provide you with a Portuguese translation, since I think it's
time that we Brazilians free themselves from this mixture of
intellectual arrogance and laziness that make us think : (a) that we can
go on ignoring the foreign languages and remain none the worse for it;
and (b) that all foreigners are duty-bound to understand us nonethless;
that is the idea behind, eg, the notion among Brazilian middle-class
tourists that any clerk in a depatment store at NYC, London, or
Hong-Kong, can understand Portuguese if they only want to...and if you
speak slowly(I met a lady in the Newark airport who had this notion,
much to the hate of the female clerk at the counter of the shuttle-cab
service).We are the "most beautiful province of the universe", of
course, but we have not been granted a gift from the Holy Spirit to make
ourselves untelligible by all...

Carlos Rebello

> >Qual a natureza do tal confronto com o Fundo Monetário Internacional do qual
> >vocês falam? Em verdade, as economias sul americanas, como de resto a
> >totalidade das economias endividadas, estão em fase falimentar. Deixam de
> >pagar por não possuírem caixa. então, até que ponto isso não corresponde a
> >uma posição política sem qualquer consistência, dado que são posições
> >visando a construção de suporte para jogo político interno?
> >Nesse sentido, fico em dúvida quanto a possibilidade de estar realmente
> >surgindo uma real e socialmente produtiva frente anti-imperialista.
> >
> >[se vocês são capazes de ler o espanhol, que tal treinar um pouco de
> >português?]
> Mario, lo siento mucho pero yo no entiendo português. Puede lo escribe en
> espanol? O quizas Carlos Rebello puede traducir en ingles. Yo puedo
> comprender su português mas o menos, pero mas menos que mas.
> Louis Proyect
> (http://www.panix.com/~lnp3/marxism.html)

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