Forwarded from John Enyang (reply to Mark)

Mark Jones jones.mark at
Wed Jan 24 01:20:32 MST 2001

> Mark's bizarre assertions in his correspondence with Patrick Bond might
> cause one to wonder whence Mark learned his African history.
> Anyone with more than a rudimentary knowledge of the subject should
> presumably be aware that chiefs, far from "sitting astride any obscene
> wagon" for 800 years, were generally minor native functionaries (quislings
> if you like) imposed by colonial administrators and subsequently adorned
> with a fraudulent "traditional" authority. The king, like the African
> chief of Mark's imagination, owes more to feverish Victorian colonial
> fantasies and other persistent residues of 19th century views of the
> native than to any historical or contemporary reality.

There was a university and mosque in Timbuktu when there was no university at all in
England. And there were Saxon quislings under the heel of foreign tyrants for 200
years in England when there were no quisling chieftains in southern Africa. So the
phenomenon of servitude and colonial mastery has no colour. However, that is not the
point, is it? The point is that African rulers today are no more or less
'indepependent' than they were, and if anything the degree of servitude and of
neocolonial tyranny is worse than ever. Right or wrong? This being so, the fantasies
put about by Pat Bond, Boris Kagarlitsky and many others about how you combat
neoliberalism, and of Samir Amin and Pat Bond and many others about being more
'positive' and 'optimistic' about 'delinking' and 'relative national autonomy' and
'sovereignty' and popular movements and other related mumbo-jumbo, are not part of
the solution they are part of the problem. And I shall be saying why in subsequent
responses to Pat's recent posts and his other writings.

> (iii) We can well do without yet more whitewashing of imperialism or the
> kind of hoary and ill informed apologetics for racist oppression which
> attribute the supposed misfortune of the victims to no more than their
> own irredeemably bestial society.

I am not whitewashing imperialism. It won't help matters if you misrepresent me any
more than it will help to cover glaring holes in one's theory and to try to cover
glaring political opportunism by means of acres and acres of automatic writing ('I
am just a typewriter... servant of the people... not accountable for what I say...'
etc) in the course of which a very simple question remains persistently unanswered.

The issue is indeed really very very simple. Pat Bond, and presumably you, agree
with Samir Amin that it is possible to reform the neoliberal imperial system. I
don't agree with that and nor can any Marxist.


More information about the Marxism mailing list