An exchange with an Australian on PEN-L

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Apr 12 11:39:04 MDT 2002

Greg Schofield:
>Could not help but reply to this one Louis.
>I cannot shed much light on comparisons between Australia and Argentina,
but a
>few things about Australia show up anomolies in capitalism as a world system
>not easily slotted into imperialist or victim.
>Australia was a major recipient for British export capital up until WWII when
>the Americans took over that role. There was never any need to send in gun
>boats when Britian controled the state Govenors (representatives of the
>Crown). When during the depression Jack Lang (Premier of NSW) suggested
>renigging on the loans used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge he and his
>government were dismissed.

Greg, as I said, I plan to go into Canada in much more detail but there are
a couple of things worth noting in the Argentina-Australia comparison. But
there are some things that I can say now.

Australia established a protectionist policy after the Commonwealth was
founded in 1901. Despite a lack of foreign capital, the GDP increased 45
percent between 1900 and 1914.

By contrast, Argentina was deeply subordinated with the British financial
empire and subject to punishing trade agreements as late as the 1930s, when
the worldwide depression had put the country in a weakened state. As a
consequence of the 1933 Roca-Runciman Agreement, Argentina agreed to
restrictions with regard to trade and currency exchange, and accepted
Britain's commercial interests in the country. In a manner reminiscent of
the 1990s, British (and US) corporations picked apart the country like
vultures. By 1942 Britain owned 3/5ths of the $2.5 billion foreign
investment in the country. Just to show how deferential President Justo
could be to the British, he outlawed Buenos Aires's 'colectivos', the small
locally owned buses that took most of the slow British-owned trolley's
traffic, and gave Britain a new muncipal monopoly charter with a guaranteed
return of 7 percent.

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list:

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list