[Marxism] Imperialists don't pillage their 3rd World partners

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Wed Jul 7 21:02:28 MDT 2004


Lou Paulsen: 

> "Democratic" businessmen aren't natural allies of wealthy Arab 
> nobility.  "Democratic" businessmen are natural pillagers of 
> wealthy Arab nobility.

May I suggest Louis P. has been taken away by the thrust of his 
thoughts.

Imperialist bourgeoisies pillage the Third World through a 
partnership with the retardatary dominant classes _in_ the Third 
World.  They are not pillagers of their partners in the Third World, 
they pillage through keeping extroverted economies there, which needs 
a ruling class that smothers any possibility of local accumulation 
(that is, the usual "bourgeois" model).
  
But what imperialists can do is to attempt some kind of accomodation, 
from time to time.  This may bring about complex confrontation 
(complex because they need each other), so that it is reduced to a 
minimum.  

And probably this will not take place unless one imperialist 
bourgeoisie replaces an older one as the metropolis of the country in 
question, which of course does not rule out accomodations due to 
pressing need of the imperialist bourgeoisie to reach a new point of 
equilibrium.  But the only expample I know of belongs to the first 
possibility.

During the 1966-73 dictatorship in Argentina you had a proverbially 
pro-US military regime which _confronted_ the Argentinean oligarchy 
on an important issue.  This dictatorship, among other things, meant 
complete and full replacement of British hegemony here and substition 
of American hegemony for it.

The project behind the dictatorship was more or less as follows;  
"Arg domestic market, as well as its industrial base, is now a datum. 
 What we must do is to take over that market and that industrial 
base.  What we cannot do without a massacre is to return to the times 
before 1945. So that let us develop an economic policy that (a) makes 
it easier for American corporations to purchase Arg firms, and (b) 
ensures that industry is not elliminated, only reindered into our own 
needs."

This was incompatible with the general British project, which had 
been to keep Argentina as a vast ranch.  The difficulty in developing 
industry and keeping Britain as hegemonic power was unsurmountable.  
The first "colonial" industrializing project, drafted by Federico 
Pinedo (the teacher of Raúl Prebisch) in 1940, tried to turn the 
industrial development that had been taking place due to the de facto 
protectionism of the Second World War into a semicolonial device that 
would keep Arg accumulation into compliance with the necessities of 
the global economic scheme, and the kernel of this project was to 
turn Arg into an American, not British, semicolony.

By the mid 60s, as well as during the 40s, there was only one source 
of funds to capitalize industry in Argentina: was foreign trade 
results through agricultural and cattle exports. The pro-US regime, 
unlike former pro-British regimes, decided to take the cream of those 
exports through heavy taxes on them.  This money was used to fund Arg 
takeover by American companies.

This led to some degree of conflict.  Part of which ended up in an 
unexpected (and highly undesired) evolution:  some members of the 
ruling class, traditionally pro-British rather than pro-US, entering 
the "armed formations" of the late 60s/early 70s:  among them such 
families as the Muniz Barreto, a very old family of oligarchs that 
existed since they established in North Eastern Arg during the 17th 
Century, coming down from North Eastern Brazil; this was made all the 
easier by the "Catholic nationalism" of a fraction of that oligarchy.

When, through popular mobilisation, the first part of that 
dictatorship ended with the demission of Juan Carlos Onganía, the 
traditional local oligarchy gained power as against its partners, and 
the exports tax were heavily reduced (don't remember if they were 
elliminated altogether).  Thus, the whole model entered a serious 
crisis, which led to a general disarray in economic variables.

Only in 1976 did the Arg oligarchy begin to adapt to the new 
conditions.  But at the same time, they changed their structure, 
making finance their main business rather than agricultural exports.

Imperialism operates by _consolidating_ local oligarchies, unless it 
finds it convenient, possible and necessary to establish a colonial 
regime with their own troops on the ground.  This may well be the 
case with Saudi Arabia, but this becomes an entirely different 
situation.  Just think of it: Ho Chi Minh was the son of a family of 
mandarins...

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

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"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
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