More on Japan and American 'Democracy'

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Thu Jul 16 15:21:57 PDT 1998

On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> I think it is misleading to speak of the USA and the Soviet Union (and
> their respective foreign policies) as mirror images. Both marxism and the
> world system theory should remind us that there is a specifically
> _capitalist_ logic--logic of capital accumulation and expansion--underlying
> American foreign policy, whereas such a logic was absent from the Soviet
> one, even when we acknowledge its repressive aspects, especially toward its
> own citizens.

If only. The USA was the original, the Soviet Union was the mirror. The accumulation of capital took a different form in the Soviet Union: one mediated more by the pursuit of "val", i.e. military-industrial output, based on (1) a kind of clan industrialism, where enterprise managers skirmished with ministries over inputs, export opportunities and the like, and (2) extensive raw materials and energy inputs. After the early Seventies the oil and gas industries were the driving forces of the Soviet economy, and the elites spent a lot of time developing specifically these sectors. Sure, the Soviet system also set up a fairly comprehensive system of social welfare, but beneath it was the bedrock of state-monopoly industrialization.

-- Dennis

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