New Age for Aussie Imperialism

Alan Bradley alanb at
Fri Oct 1 06:03:24 MDT 1999

> From: Carlos Eduardo Rebello
>  It must be kept in mind that most Cold War rightist dictatorial regimes
> in the 3rd World had to keep civil peace by way of bribing the upstart
> sections of the petty bourgeoisie and the more organized  layers of the
> working-class by means of a job-cretaing policy of massive capital
> accumulation, that required, in its turn, a policy of fence-building
> around the national economy, by means of protectionism, minimun control
> over foreign investment movements, state-agencies-induced
> industrialization, public works, Keynesian spending and the like. In the
> long run, such regimes proved unable to cope with Imperialist pressure -
> expressed, above all, in the debt crisis of the 1980s - and had to seek
> an arrangement with said pressure, by means of open markets, huge
> denationalization of state property, allowing the swamping out of
> existence of national industries by cheap imports, etc. Such democratic
> regimes, are, however, not popular, supporting themselves mostly on the
> unorganized civil society left by the demise of the Left after the end
> of the SU and by the last 1& 1/2 decade of general economic crisis.
> There is no torture of political opponents as such and there are the
> traditional democratic rights; but, for the monstruous majority, social
> conditions are appaling, and worsening. The political alienation of the
> petty bourgeoisie is most alarming, since, in the absence of an
> organized Left, it can easily give rise to all kinds of political
> para-fascist adventures and adventurers, such as Roberto Unger's pupil
> Cyro Gomes. Therefore, there is very little to be hailed by the Left on
> those new democratic regimes, contrary to what the DSP says...

What Carlos is describing seems to bear some resemblance to 'classical'
conservatism versus liberalism.

It certainly is interesting that some such conservative to liberal changes
seem to have occurred in the absence of mass popular pressure.  Clearly
there is a 'tide' in this direction.

We might be entitled to ask why the left has failed to capitalise on this
'tide' in some states, when it has been able to make considerably headway
in others (Indonesia, of course, being an example of the latter).  We might
also be entitled to ask why some sections of the left are bemoaning the end
of some of the 'positive' aspects of the conservative mode of bourgeois
rule, instead of setting about the tasks of combatting capital in its
liberal face.  Perhaps the fall of the Soviet Union has had more serious
effects on the left than I've tended to assume.

(Oops, that was a little sharper than I intended.  I apologise for any
personal offence I may have caused.)

We don't, of course, have a great many models for how to move from liberal
bourgeois rule to socialist revolution.  The examples we have mostly
correspond to transitions from the conservative forms.  I'm not sure that
that is a problem, as any movement capable of carrying out a revolution
will probably be met by a lot of good old fashioned counter-revolutionary
violence, effectively destroying the politically liberal facade of the
dictatorship of the bourgeoisie....

In short, the correct response to liberal bourgeois rule is to continue
with the hard slog of a transitional program, which will, in time, lead to
the nature of the bourgeois state becoming abundantly evident, and
dangerously so to a revolutionary movement that is not aware of where it is

Alan Bradley
alanb at

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