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Submitted by Jason on Sat, 14/04/2007 - 11:07

Arthur, you say using the term 'semi-colony' is a mantra. Actually it's not but it is a technical term not in common use which is why, if you read what I wrote, I also used neo-colony 'Third world' and 'developing world' the last two though are inadequate particularly the last as it obscures the way in which capitalism forcbly under-develops.

You ignore the lived experience of hundreds of millions of workers and small farmers in the underdevloped world. You ask:

"What is a semi-colony? Is it like being half pregnant? In what way was the Argentine local bouregoisie acting on behalf of Britain??? If they were then surely the British ruloing class would have welcomed them invading the Falklands wouldn’t they. Haven’t you put yourself in a clear logical contradiction. The fact is that very few states in the world have comprador bouregoisies that act on behalf of some foreign imperialist power. Some, the more undeveloped do, but the majority of states in the world, particularly those with developed economies such as that of Argentine do not fall into that category. Nor do most of the states in the Middle East. The local ruling class does not exploit its working class on behalf of foreign Capital, it exploits its working class on behalf of itself. That is why socialists should oppose them rather than attempt to form Popular Fronts with them."

Basically, the bourgeois anywhere tries to maximise profits, itw own self-interest. If it can it will do so at the expense of anyone else, primarily the workers it exploits but will certainly act in its own interests not on the instructions of others.

Of course the local bourgeois don't directly follow orders for the sake of it.So how does my argument add up?

Because international trade agreements enforced at gunpoint mean that through Stuctural Adjustment Programs, through debt relief, through aid from the IMF and World Bank, through having their economies forcibly opened to mulitnationals sometimes with accompanying armies and miltia (e.g. Congo) it becomes in th eimmediate self-interest of the local bourgeois to comly. If they don't there's always gunboat diplomacy- assasinations, economic sanctions, funding and arming of militia and rebel armies, aerial bombardment and direct invasion. This system is pretty monolithic and most of the time the threats work- the West turns a blind eye as workers' organisations are smashed as long as its interests are served-but on occassions of course military force is used.

We don't at all advocate a 'popular front' with the bourgeois but the independent action of the working class against imperialism which may at times include temporary military alliances with bourgeoisw or petit-bourgeois forces fighting imperialism.

So in Iraq we recognise that Sadr is a threat so that is why the working class must come to the fore of the resistance to win workers and small farmers away from the reactionary forces and be armed against them. Why don't you read our piece on Iran on the front page of the website or just do a simple search?

The truth is always concrete- there may be times, the Taliban for example, where even a temporary military alliance is not possible.

But read what we write - in no way should the reactionary politics of Hisbullah etc be supported but independent working class action against imperialism.

You ask for specific examples:
“That means that the stuggle for working class emancipation in those countries will immediately come up against the arms and almost immediately the armies of imperialism. That is why in those countries we must stand for the military defeat of imperialism and organise here for all action that hastens that end- a direcxt action mass movement and movement in the trade unions to build strike action, blockades and refusal to handle/ transport armaments.”

Could you give some examples. In Chile its true the CIA helped the coup against Allende, but by and large it was the forces of the Chilean state that suppressed the working class."

Examples? The DR Congo - over 100 British multinationals with their won militia in many cases, Ethiopia- the strikes and protests last year put down by soldiers firing from British donated vehicles, Venezuala the failed coup immeidately recognised by the US, sierra Leone, Britain invading a few years back, Chad a whole village massacred by French forces last month: corrupt dictatorships all over the world bank-rolled and feted by governments and companies from US, Britain, France, Germany.

It's not a big conspiracy- it is the global operation of the capitlaist market. It requires a gloabl working class response- support armed resistance and organsiation by the working class, for the military defeat of imperialism. It is on that that you and the AWL are on the wrong side- because sitting on the fence and refusing to actively campaign for and organsie for the military defeat of imperailism is playing into their hands and is part of a rightward trend in the working class and tremendously damaging.

You have begun to see the problems with the AWL on Impeiralism. There are good militants on bread and butter issues in the AWL but they are seriously misled and reactionary in refusing to stand with workers in the underdeveloped world (call it what you will) against imperialism.

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