Chuck Grimes cgrimes at tsoft.com
Wed Jul 22 08:58:17 PDT 1998

This really does not capture the essence of the problem. Authoritarian political structures are not the cause of corruption, inequality and greed. Capitalism is. The sort of social rot that you find in Vietnam today has been around for decades in "democratic" countries in Latin America such as Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. The American victory over Vietnam, China and the former Soviet Union has consisted of this very achievement: turning the communist world into third world banana republics.

Louis Proyect ------------------

I won't argue with you, because I mostly agree, except. The position of political institutions (and therefore political argument and analysis) does mediate socio-economic systems through law--even if the legal system is a hollow shell that does nothing but support capitalist rot--it is nevertheless 'supporting' that rot. It could do otherwise. (Yes, I know, if pigs could fly, but). If we can't control capital with law, then we are really sunk.

On Vietnam, I also agree (I just didn't emphasize the long, deep background). There was another aspect to the war and later failure that is often forgotten and that is that the whole generation of the communist north started on this revolution in 1920 (?). By the time of the victory against the US there was almost nothing left of that generation, so there was no social/cultural/political/theoretrical continuity for a transistion into civilian administration and development--no administrative class that hadn't just spent their entire lives in a military based revolution.

Chuck Grimes

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