>>> Chris Burford <cburford at gn.apc.org> 07/28 3:00 AM >>>
If by "get real", Patrick means get concrete, that is fine. The background articles on Tiny Rowland were very interesting and illuminate the picture. But any suggestions that our main criticism of capitalists is that they are nasty, is wholly wrong. Capitalism would remain capitalism even if they were all nice, which quite often they try to be by a scattering of gestures of a sort that do not not undermine but rather support the existing social order.
What is interesting is when for their fundamentally entirely selfish interests they support a shift in the existing social order and contribute themselves to refashion it.
I am interested in Patrick's comparison with Maxwell, both "foreigners" able to analyse Britishness from the outside, and at times making great play of being British but having a flexibility in their ability to make and break connections. Maxwell of course dabbled on the edge of the conventional by his commercial links with the former Soviet Union, and if history had taken a different course he might not be so despised.
Whether there is more behind Patrick's suggestion of Rowland's opaque financial manoeuvrings may come out in later years.
What I wanted to highlight was the highly contradictory nature of some capitalists. Orthodox marxists and leninists would not object to taking advantage of those contradictions, and would I have thought have had no objections in priniciple to receiving money from such people. Perhaps what is totentially corrupting is when there is not an open debate about whether the deal benefits the cause or compromises it. An atmosphere in which it is thought to be shocking to see a temporary progressive role for some capitalists may inhibit such an open discussion.
At 04:03 PM 7/27/98 -0400, you wrote:
>I'm sorry I was misunderstood. I'm quite sure Tiny was odious -- as
>odious as the other "major machers" I mentioned. With the implosion of
>popular confidence in government, there seems to be a growing belief
>that only super-capitalists on the Ayn Rand or Theodore Dreiser model
>can save us. I do not subscribe to this notion.
>From: Patrick Bond [mailto:pbond at wn.apc.org]
>Sent: Monday, July 27, 1998 5:27 PM
>To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com
>Subject: RE: Death of Tiny Rowland
>Carl and Chris, get real, comrades. "Progressive ally"? Tiny took the
>lead in the compradorization of Africa for global capital and carried
>it off in one of the most corrupt fashions ever known. When Tiny,
>formerly of Hitler Youth, moved in, any liberation movement in his
>way was poisoned.