Argentina + Einstein = x

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 9 06:01:30 MST 2002


On Fri, 08 Feb 2002 22:11:19 -0800, Chris Brady wrote:
>Argentina Paying Heavily for Squandering
>Blessings
>
> By LARRY ROHTER, NYT February 8, 2002
>
>BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 6 — Everywhere they gather in
>these days of crisis and collapse, Argentines
>are asking themselves the same question: how
>could it have come to this?

In the latest issue of LBO which arrived in my mailbox the other day, 
Doug Henwood departs from his usual USA-centric focus and offers up 
an article (the first in a series apparently--I wait for the next 
issue in 6 months or so with bated breath) that attempts to explain 
why Argentina collapsed.

He says "the story is complicated, but the salient point is that its 
early wealth was based on the export of grains and meats to Europe 
and the U.S. This was not a sound foundation for a long-term 
prosperity."

The last time I heard the word sound used in this fashion was when 
Jeeves told Bertie Wooster, who upon learning that his master had 
discovered Nietzsche, warned him that Nietzsche was most "unsound". 

Of course, Henwood's "analysis" begs the question of why New Zealand, 
Canada and Australia, whose economies also revolved around grain 
and/or meat exports, did not collapse as well.

To answer these questions in my characteristically brontosaurus 
Marxist fashion, I will begin my own series of articles. Drawing upon 
Alejandro Bendaña's Harvard University dissertation on "British 
Capital and Argentine Dependence 1816-1914", I will first of all try 
to explain the roots of Argentina's long-term problems in imperialist 
domination. Next I will try to explain what Peronism was and just as 
importantly what it wasn't. Finally, I will deal with the post-Peron 
era. In all 3 phases of Argentine history, I maintain that the 
problems of development were, just like Sandinista Nicaragua, largely 
subject to external domination. (I should mention, btw, that  
Alejandro Bendaña was Tecnica's 'responsable' in Nicaragua and we had 
occasion to meet with him frequently.)

-- 
Louis Proyect, lnp3 at panix.com on 02/09/2002

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