[Marxism] Re: Capital fright in India
borhyaenid at yahoo.com
Tue May 18 15:53:16 MDT 2004
It appears that jittery nerves in the market played a
significant role in persuading Sonia Gandhi to not
assume the position of Prime Minister. Instead, it
appears that Manmohan Singh will be the next premier.
Singh was finance minister under the Congress
government of Narasimha Rao during the early 90's, and
is responsible for ushering in the
(neo-)liberalization process in the country. Although
Gandhi had other reasons certainly for turning down
the post, especially her Italian and Catholic origins,
and the fact that the previous members of the dynasty
Indira and Rajiv both fell to assassins, I'm quite
sure that the demands of the Indian and Western
bourgeoisie were decisive in this affair. She was, in
a debased way, a relic of a dynasty closely associated
with a now rubbished economic model.
Corrections induced by fears of capital flight afflict
all nations, of course. In the West we saw how the
political trajectories of leaders like Mitterand and
even Clinton were shifted strongly to the right after
some initial turmoil. And this effect is far more
obvious and debilitating in the developing nations.
The 18th Brumaire illustrates this phenomenon as well
as anywhere; how a government can change policy and
behave in contradictory ways, even while serving
certain consistent interests. Marx wrote:
"The Executive power, with its tremendous bureaucratic
and military organization; with its wide-spreading and
artificial machinery of government -- an army of
office-holders, half a million strong, together with a
military force of another million men --; this fearful
body of parasites, that coils itself like a snake
around French society, stopping all its pores,
originated at the time of the absolute monarchy, along
with the decline of feudalism, which it helped to
Bonaparte as autocratic Executive power, fulfills his
mission to secure "bourgeois order". But the strength
of this bourgeois order lies in the middle class. He
feels himself the representative of the middle class,
and issues his decrees in that sense. Nevertheless, he
is something only because he has broken the political
power of this class, and daily breaks it anew."
Indira Gandhi could be said to have been Bonapartist
in some sense, but in general, the Congress party has
rode its way to power for decades based upon a breed
of populism, even while restraining the aspirations of
the mass of workers and peasants.
India was bequeathed a governmental bureaucracy from
the British, not from native feudalism, yet even this
already gigantic mechanism was bloated by three or
four hundred percent in the years following
independence as it expanded its role, seemingly, but
not fundamentally, at the expense of the private
sector. This, I suppose, is another example of how a
nation attempts to "catch up". Yet, it is also a case
of a country inheriting a system and simply anointing
it with it's own oil, as Lenin put it.
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