New Age for Aussie Imperialism.

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at
Sun Oct 3 23:05:47 MDT 1999

Alan: Your reply to my post was very perceptive and alone would justify
my belonging for the MD.

Of course the main problem of socialist construction today, for all of
us, is to develop a *political* programme that can give a genuine left
directioning to the raw material of various economic demands generated
by the killing rampages of neoliberal, IMF sponsored policies, that I
believe surpass by far, in their mediun -range consequences, an
incursion of pro-Indonesian paramilitaries in E.Timor. The wave of
redemocratization in 1980s Latin America had a lot to do with the
highest quality of mass mobilization, ie *spontaneous mass mobilization
around specifically political issues*; the spontaneous movement in
Brazil, 1992, against the corruption in the unspeakable Collor
government, for instance, was one of the most splendid movements in the
whole history of Brazil and awaits its historian. The fact is that the
3rd World left,at that time, suffred very much from the fact that the
political forms of mature stalinism - one party/state-rule, bureaucratic
centralism, had just proved to be living on borrowed time and had lost
the appeal they still possessed in the 3rd World. Therefore the fact
that these movements led finally only to a whole string of pathetic
attempts to restore the "ethical" forms of bourgeois democracy in their
mythical, pristine ancestral character, an attempt that was
instrumentalized in Brazil by the "social-democratic" facade built
around Cardoso in the 1994 elections, held after Collor's impeachment
during the interim Itamar presidency. The main ideological problem is,
of course, the fact that the economicism of the old stalinist left has
left it an easy prey to the ideology of development that equates
economic growth and low inflation with more or less automatic
development of democratic institutions as a side-effect.

Thanks again

Carlos Rebello
> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 22:03:24 +1000
> From: "Alan Bradley" <alanb at>
> Subject: Re: New Age for Aussie Imperialism
> > 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
> heading.
> Alan Bradley
> alanb at
> ------------------------------

More information about the Marxism mailing list