Sam Pawlett rsp at
Thu Feb 1 23:11:19 MST 2001

John Enyang wrote:
>  your claim "delinking could be accomplished with ease"
> is in need of qualification to take into account those harsh political
> realities, including the role of the "traditionalist" reactionaries and
> the modern comprador, which we have barely begun to describe above.

John, I meant that delinking could be accomplished with ease because so
many African countries are so marginal to the world economy that
imperialist countries wouldn't feel threatened or wouldn't care if some
countries set about 'delinking'. I could be wrong, there is always the
"threat of a good example" that has been used so often in the past as an
excuse for politico-military intervention. I mean is there enough
Anglo-American foreign investment in Africa to justify the costs of a
military intervention, if a government were to nationalize without
compensation and default on the debt? Or would the inevitable
financial/economic sanctions be enough to stall such a project? Such a
country would have a hard time raising money on the capital markets. The
FSLN needed Mexico to negotiate their foreign borrowing. Of course one
of the lessons of the whole 3rd world debt debacle is to keep foreign
borrowing as minimal as possible (preferably none). The IMF etc. have
always _encouraged_ southern nations to borrow as much as they possibly
can on foreign markets.
> What of this comprador elite?

Well, the comprador elite I think are 'pragmatic', they go which ever
way the wind blows, as long as their interests are protected and losses
minimized. I believe some of the comprador elite (i.e. landowners)
stayed on in Nicaragua. I didn't follow Kabila's Congo very closely, but
Mobutu fell in a matter of days. Then again, I don't think Kabila moved
strongly against the compradors. It really depends on who controls the
military and who has the most guns, who is the most motivated and who
knows what to do with state power.

Sam Pawlett

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