[DEBATE] : RE: SA capitalism and imperialism
azwell at ecsecc.org
Thu May 8 14:06:19 BST 2008
The complex turbulent complex history of SA capitalism has many phases, and
one may very well even become a professor just by studying its bits. I
regard these bits and pieces as belonging to the same chain.......SA
Dominic you are perfectly right that people, especially people with
children, will vote for food. The task you and I have is to always alert
them to the real cost of that food, and the toxins it always carries!
Still, thanks for the responses!
From: debate-bounces at debate.kabissa.org
[mailto:debate-bounces at debate.kabissa.org] On Behalf Of Dominic Tweedie
Sent: 08 May 2008 01:46 PM
To: debate: SA discussion list
Subject: Re: [DEBATE] : RE: SA capitalism and imperialism
Funny you should mention slavery right at the end, because one obvious
difference from the 1650s is that slavery came, and went, but it was here
for more than one and a half centuries. There was a period of time in
between, with a lot of missionary activity and the 1820 British settlers and
the demise of the Griquas and others in the mid-19th century, and the
setting up of the Boer Republics, and then the discovery of diamonds and
gold changed everything. The political economy of the country falls into at
least three very distinct and different periods. Only after Cecil Rhodes and
the Anglo-Boer war does South Africa become dominated by international
monopoly finance capital, and then it is in a big way. After the formation
of Anglo-American, it is all but total.
In my opinion these specifics are critical and a precise definition of
Imperialism is required. Therefore I am an anti-unbrokenist. I oppose the
unbrokenist theory of history.
Johnson is entitled to his opinion about Zimbabwe and he could well be
right. It is not mindless to conclude that Imperialism is not absent under
Mugabe and will still be present after him. A vote for or against
Imperialism is therefore only a gesture at this stage. That being the case,
people, especially people with children, will vote for food. I don't think
that is mindless at all.
2008/5/8 Azwell Banda <azwell at ecsecc.org>:
> Comrade Dominic, sorry for my not coming back yesterday - I went to look
> You have, as on many occasions, ripped the word "imperialism" from nowhere
> in my basic theses on South African capitalism, and proceeded to "educate
> me" on your version of "imperialism". Read my theses carefully and you
> see that I am talking about the unbroken history of South African
> capitalism. Prove, rather, that there has been any fundamental
> disruption/discontinuity in the history of SA capitalism from 1652
> As you very well know, SA capitalism has consistently relied on imports of
> finance capital, throughout its history. Do you dispute this fact too?
> My gripe with Bond and his "subimperialism" label of post 1994 SA economic
> trajectory is that he uses this label purely for his political purposes,
> in the process tends, in my view, to suggest that this tendency may be new
> and specific to the ANC phase of SA capitalism. You will be happy to note
> that he has collected quite an impressive arsenal of "facts" to prove this
> Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto accurately say the following:
> "The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh
> for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the
> colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the
> of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation,
> to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the
> revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid
> This was actually said in 1848.
> And I talk about the "SA capitalist revolution", and not "evolution" in
> recognition of the many complex qualitative changes it has undergone in
> UNBROKEN history since 1652. Does this make any "Marxist" sense?
> Bill Johnson, in the quote that brought all this upon me actually has the
> audacity to say this:
> "It was clear that, with a new democratic government, there would be
> immediate British and American help, quickly followed by the EU, the World
> Bank and IMF, with the emphasis on food aid and the restabilisation of the
> currency. One consequence would be that Zimbabwe would cease to be a
> state of South Africa and instead become more generally dependent on
> developed country donors and investors. Doubtless, Mbeki and Mugabe would
> see this as a victory for neocolonialism, though one is bound to say that
> even if the prospect was described in those terms, ordinary Zimbabweans
> would happily vote for it. And, in no time at all, as the Zimbabwean
> revived, South African companies of every kind would move in."
> Why do you ignore this extremely obnoxious assumption about "the people"?
> "Doubtless, Mbeki and Mugabe would see this as a victory for
> though one is bound to say that even if the prospect was described in
> terms, ordinary Zimbabweans would happily vote for it."
> How "mindless" can such "ordinary Zimbabweans" be? Nothing else really
> matters to the slaves, all they want is food and a functioning system of
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