Forwarded from John Enyang

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Jan 25 07:23:21 MST 2001

Hi Lou,
Could you please post this.... and thanks again.

Mark Jones wrote:

>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?

Mark, two things here ....

(i) I agree completely with your estimation of neocolonialism. What I did
take issue with was a particular statement in which you specifically and
innaccurately attributed these problems to a social group that is
hardly an economic or political force today -- if it ever really was.

(ii) The existence in the 13th century of a university and mosque in
Timbuktu are interesting facts, but facts which are scarcely more germane
to our discussion than, say, the re-discovery of a lost Bach cantata. In
other words, and I'm sure you'll agree Mark, it is not our task here to
glorify and reconstruct any mythical past. Were this our purpose, could we
not find better ways to pursue it than through the marxism list?

>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.

I think Samir Amin has done a hell of a lot of valuable work, but I find
it impossible to swallow the line about de-linking which sounds
suspiciously like just another path to re-compradorisation.

Ditto Boris Kargalitsky and Patrick Bond -- though some might find it
impossible to agree with them all the time, if we didn't have these two as

>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
>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.

You're putting words into my mouth here. That aside, is committment to
necessarily small and local struggles really equivalent to capitulation as
you seem to suggest?


John Enyang

Louis Proyect
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