Metaphors to live by. Enrique Diaz-Alvarez dislikes the comparisons Louis Proyect writes concerning Guatemalans. You like tOmato, I like tomatO. Or as Dean Martin was known to sing The moon in the sky, like a big pizza pie!
Enrique "No shit. Same could be said of the average Nicaraguan in the 80's finding his country transformed into Spain, or the average Cuban in the 90's awakening in Japan.
"Can we stick to meaningful comparisons here? Like West Germany vs. East Germany, Cuba vs. Haiti, and such."
Doyle Anyhow meaningful comparisons seems to me highly appropriate to the fall of the Soviet Union. For instance the Kennedy administration based a lot of their rhetoric about South America, as the development model the U.S. provided versus the Soviet Union. This method of comparing the merits of different models of development had great impact upon various liberation movements in the former colonies of England, France, Portugal, etc. This was persuasive to many in those countries that wanted to go from undevelopment in a hurry as did the S.U.
Doyle With the fall of the S.U. it became a lot less clear that development strategies worked out by the S.U. counter to the Capitalist models was efficaceous. It is true that China, and other communist regimes did not fall, and most notably in Chinas case, seem to have continued to develop, but for the rest of the world, the comparative models of development seemed more problematic after the fall of the S. U. It has been posited by some that development hinges upon the international financial systems policies. Where development did happen under the capitalist regimen, there is still the latent knowledge in all the undeveloped worlds minds that it can go bye-bye tomorrow when investors flee the local market. The still occurring Asian currency crisis marks the fragility of the lucky few able to development under the limited range of capitalist alternatives.
Doyle Louis Proyect makes the point that within the S.U. sphere of influence the development of their satellites was more equitable. That is a worthy point to make about the worlds financial system. Cant we see world banking policies as an instrument to make comparisons more rational about what works in development of the worlds differing regions? In that sense then it is highly appropriate to debate the merits of comparisons in order to figure out the best means to advocate a world wide development strategy that doesnt subject countries to market panics, and collapses. We have some history to better understand such things in the comparison between the S.U. and the U.S. relationships to their spheres of influence, and the subsequent period now with the U.S. in sole command of the whole system. Im quite sure the Indonesian fascists must be asking themselves, "What do those damn people want?". Regards, Doyle