New Age for Aussie imperialism
Jose G. Perez
jgperez at SPAMfreepcmail.com
Sat Oct 2 21:31:25 MDT 1999
>>My basic point was that Jose was wrong in suggesting that the US supports
the 'democrats' today because they are leading popular movements and were
necessary to stabilize things and prevent revolutions where old
dictatorships were crumbling.<<
>>I was trying to establish that in the past the US intervened *against the
democrats* - I should have said this was because, as you say, they worried
that the democrats might not be able to contain the situation. Today,
however, the US is *for* the 'democrats'. This suggests that something
*new* has occurred.<<
The U.S. has intervened on both sides, alternatively. Much of the
pro-legalistic republicanism (I like Nestor's phrase) is done through
extragovernmental and pseudoprivate foundations. That was a change made
after Chile, because I think it was the Christian democrats took CIA money
and that proved embarrassing for them to admit, so now Congress votes money
for a national endowment for democracy or some such thing, which in turn
gets handed over to some republican and democratic politicians who had it
I do not believe there is anything essentially new in the US being "for"
the "democrats." The modes through which the US exerts its influence are
different in different situations however. But if you go back to the "Good
Neighbor" policy (Roosevelt) or the "human rights" policy of Carter, you'll
see this is a fairly cyclical phenomenon.
From: Philip L Ferguson <PLF13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Friday, October 01, 1999 1:09 AM
Subject: Re: New Age for Aussie imperialism
>>> So the fact that they now support bourgeois democrats
>>> cannot therefore be put down to the impact of mass
>>> movements for democracy. These have always existed and
>>> always been opposed by the imperialists.
>>You are not right on this, Phil. In fact, imperialism has
>>ALWAYS had a preference for what you call "bourgeois
>>democrats" in most of Latin America. These are not exactly
>>"bourgeois democrats" but more properly "colonial
>>legalist republicans". The problem with them
>>was that they were not able to curb the militancy of the
>>mass movements, so that stronger medicine was necessary.
>Hi Nestor, thanks for the correction.
>Perhaps this was a rushed/sloppy forumation of mine. I did not mean to say
>that the imperialists "preferred" juntas to bourgeois democrats (or, as you
>probably more rightly call them, "colonial legalist republicans"). I was
>more indicating that in practice the imperialists opposed the 'democrats'
>and supported the juntas etc.
>I am thinking of the democratic regime in Guatemala in 1954 (Arbenz?), the
>regime in the Dominican republic that the US invaded and overthrew in 1965,
>the Somozas in Nicaragua etc, Batista in Cuba, and a string of similar
>regimes in South America.
>My basic point was that Jose was wrong in suggesting that the US supports
>the 'democrats' today because they are leading popular movements and were
>necessary to stabilise things and prevent revolutions where old
>dictatorships were crumbling.
>I was trying to establish that in the past the US intervened *against the
>democrats* - I should have said this was because, as you say, they worried
>that the democrats might not be able to contain the situation. Today,
>however, the US is *for* the 'democrats'. This suggests that something
>*new* has occurred.
>My view of what is new is that the demise of the Soviet bloc involves the
>demise of an alternative model to the market (whether the Soviet model
>really *was* much of an alterntaive is another thing, the point is that it
>was widely seen as such). The demise also means that any Third World
>country has little choice but to be drawn into the global capitalist
>This is the framework which allows us to understand why the US, having in
>the past put military dictatorships and so on in power, is now able to
>remove them and back bourgeois democrats/colonial legalist republicans.
>(The other very important aspect of this framework, of course, is that many
>of these old dictatorships have become obstacles to imperialist profits,
>free flow of capital and so on, while the 'bourgeois democrats' these days
>are often more pliable instruments of the World Bank, IMF and so on.)
>All the best,
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