Comprador Definition

Donal donaloc at
Wed Feb 13 16:20:23 MST 2002

[ bounced Feb. 8 due to technical problem. Les ]

I was wondering what that term meant. In Ireland, we use the term Gombeen
Class - obviously from the Irish original - roughly national
petit-bourgeoisie. That would include shop and pub owners, traders as well
as small time employers - they generally compose a group which is the
loudest in (vocal) defence of national rights, quietest in terms of action
(they've got too much to lose) and contains the largest proportion of
potential informers of any class in Irish society (usually, the cops lean on
their late bar license to enforce cooperation). And you wondered why Irish
pubs were allowed to stay open to 2 or 3 am but the license stopped at 11pm?

I think you could certainly characterise the current government of Ireland
as composed largely of representatives of the Gombeen class - although the
British Tory press love to use the term in anti-Irish rants.

I must complement Jose on his excellent argument on the nature of modern
trotskyist groups and their absolutely abysmal stance in relation to so many
colonial revolutions. I also want to agree with Jim Craven that people
coming from privileged middle-class backgrounds to lead local people to the
correct formulation of Marxism-Leninism are usually not worth talking to. I
reckon it would take at least one generation to get trusted as a
Revolutionary activist by people in rural Irish communities (either part of
the country) - that's not a great thing, but that's how the community has
survived against British attempts to get a network of informers. I'm sure
it's not too different for native american communities.

I would suggest that if Mohammed wants to pursue a career as an activist
outside the US, then England is the place to be for someone of Pakistani
descent - he'd have to learn to spell correctly though. Things are quite
rough over there for the immigrant Pakistani community, riots are easy to
find (particularly up north) and they need all the decent leadership they
can quickly. The immigrant population is large enough to ensure that you
wouldn't get isolated as an activist. I wouldn't go there if I had any
delusions though, the nature of building structures anywhere is very slow
and totally takes up your life. I reckon it might take anything up to 20
years to get something meaningful off the ground. What do the English
contributors make of this suggestion?

Finally, I would like to call for Joe Freemen to be readmitted - as he is a
good polemicist and we should forgive him his previous discretions. Everyone
should be allowed to make at least one mistake. Besides I hate to see a
person use two email addresses when one will do the trick :)

Happy hunting,


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