[Marxism] Models

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Mon Aug 21 12:12:29 MDT 2006

On 8/21/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> >"One plan is to offer discounted shares in the bigger state companies
> >to the 8 million most needy Iranians, in line with Mr Ahmadinejad's
> >redistributive "Islamic socialism".
> >
> >There's probably a big difference between "privatisation" as in
> >"sell-off state enterprises to the highest bidder" and "privatisation"
> >as in "sell discounted shares of state enterprises to the 8 million
> >most needy Iranians".
> >
> >The full article is available at:
> >
> ><http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldbriefing/story/0,,1842653,00.html>
> But this is *exactly* how privatization took place in Russia, under the
> guise of people's capitalism.

If those who are allowed to buy shares are allowed to resell them,
yes, but that is not a foregone conclusion in Iran, nor is it clear
whether initial sales of shares are planned any time soon and if so on
what scale.  As you know, the move toward privatization began in the
Rafsanjani era, and revisions of the Iranian Constitution meant to
accelerate it happened in the Khatami era.  And yet, privatization has
hardly happened at a pace and scale that can satisfy foreign and
domestic investors and neoliberal power elite -- which, in addition to
Iran's nuclear program, explains the West's hostility to Iran.
Paradoxically, however, the very existential threat that the West
poses to Iran today puts a brake on actual privatization again, for
foreign investors can't buy into it in a way they did in Russia, even
if shares were offered to them (which they aren't, for the time
being), unless they know that economic sanctions or war or something
like that won't wreck it, and the Iranian power elite will be loathe
to risk revolt (which explains why the government balked at gasoline
rationing: <http://www.payvand.com/news/06/aug/1081.html>).

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