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PSC 309: Terrorism & Developing Countries

Brief Discussion Notes on Developing World

by Prof. Jeremy Lewis, revised 21 Oct. 2015

Marxism | Russia | China | Comparing communism | Less Developed Countries |
India | Mexico | Brazil | Latin America | Saudi | China Briefing |

Brief Notes on Marx's communism
Theory of Karl Marx (German exile)
economic base = exploited workers
superstructure = government institutions
capitalist = bourgeois class
proletariat = working class
déclassé = exploited women, prostitutes, children and unclassed (destitute) elements
women exploited by marriage as property of man, or as workers or prostitutes.
System of private property is root cause of working class misery
inevitable revolution, based on materialist history (economics drives politics) and class struggle.
The dictatorship of the proletariat must replace the dictatorship of the capitalist class.
Early work
Early publication of Communist Manifesto, 1848, optimistic and youthful
Critique of the plight of workers in the industrial revolution
Theory of the cause of this plight
Assertion of communist leadership -- a spectre haunting Europe, much exaggerated as propaganda
Late work
Posthumous publication of more forceful theory, 1870s, in Das Kapital
Convoluted and complex, in four volumes
Crises of capitalism force empires to develop, and these pit empires against each other in imperial wars
As the new socialist man is developed under a dictatorship of the proletariat,
The state will wither away (it has no function left)
While Marx rightly criticized conditions of the industrial revolution ...
He underestimated the ability of reformers to improve conditions in factories
He died just as working class men were acquiring the vote in UK
His single cause of politics is too limited a theory
His labour theory of value is too limited compared to modern economics
If the state is conceived in armed struggle, why would the new leaders let it wither away, thereby yielding up their power?
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Brief Notes on Russian communism
Lenin: industrial vs peasant revolution in What is to be Done?
Lenin's revolutionary vanguard party, secretive and with force
and democratic centralism (once policy is decided)
But how could democratic centralism permit evolution of the revolution?
Bolsheviki outvote Mensheviki
Comintern meetings (communist international)
Dissenters forced out of party
Collapse of Tsarist Russia, as soldiers vote with their feet
Failures in Japanese war 1905, bread riots, German war 1914-19
Germans send communists back into Russia to undercut Russian adversary
Lenin leads crowds with slogans such as "Land, Bread and Peace", as soldiers vote with their feet
Trotsky leads the Red Army in the civil war against both Socialist Revolutionaries and White Russians
Stalin forms a secretariat, which develops into an opressive bureacuracy
Lenin is assassinated by a radical
Socialism in one country; opposed Trotsky's international revolution and permanent revolution
Forced collectivization of the farms, to bring food to the cities
Forced expropriation and then elimination of the Kulaks as a class
Forced industrialization to catch up
Democratic centralism turned to suppression of dissent, control of apparatchiki and nomenklatura
International revolution (attacked by Stalin as adventurist)
Permanent revolution (against new elite of apparatchiki)
Purges of old revolutionaries, then of Trotskyites and generals
Show trials and Gulags
Great Patriotic War, 1940-45, a victory at huge cost
Expansion of the gulags and of the KGB and political commissars
1953 Death of Stalin
1956 Krushchev rises, denounces Stalin's terrors
Cold war: military and secutiry state grows to 30-50% of GDP
Brezhnev and détente with Nixon, SALT talks
Gorbachev: Glasnost and Perestroika
1984-5 START talks with President Reagan
1991 Soviet Union becomes Commonwealth of Independent States
Democracy, mafiyas and capitalism under Yeltsin
Nationalism in Near Abroad under Putin in Russian Federation

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Brief Notes on Chinese communism

Mao T'se Tung = Mao Zeodong
Peking = Beijing
Wade-Giles = Pinyin transliteration
Nationalists and Communists -- against old imperial system
Confucian culture: conservative respect for elders, education and power structure
Mandarin tradition: well educated and organized civil service
need for iron rice bowl, to prevent starvation

Nationalist revolts in 1920s against imperial regime

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, revered leader of nationalists
1930s CCP and KMT against Japanese invaders
CCP = Chinese Communist Party
Kuomintang = nationalist party = KMT
1930s-1048 Chinese revolution of CCP vs KMT
Long March of CCP, decimated but survived
Mao: Guerrillas as fish in sea of population, teaching and growing
Peasants valued, almost all of population
Lin Biao and PLA = People's Liberation Army, won a conventional battle
KMT exiled Formosa = Taiwan and Taipei
CCP in power:
1956-7 Great Leap Forward, industrialization and mass mobilization
Hundred flowers campaign (brief only)
1961 Sino-Soviet split
1966-69 Cultural revolution, against intellectuals and civil servant class,
for peasants and students, organized through army.
1970 Nixon plays China card, rapprochement, Kissinger meets with with Zhou Enlai
ROC on Taiwan must be de-recognized to recognize China
Lin Biao attempts coup against elderly Mao, dies in plane crash
Post Mao: Zhou Enlai summons back Deng Xiaoping from second humiliation
Deng's victory over hardline Gang of Four (including Jiang Ching, Mao's widow)
Four modernizations: agriculture, military, science and industry
Normalization of relations with US under Carter
reforms of market under Deng and his successors
and of local and regional but not of central politics
1989 Tiannanman Square in Beijing, confirms party will stay in control
Rapid and massive economic development under Deng's successors
Political tensions in CCP between hardliners and younger, pragmatic communists
PRC actually cooperating with West over N. Korea problem
Post Deng: technocrats and pragmatists in charge
Media still controlled [including internet]
Participation: polls show surprisingly active Chinese population
in local village and party meetings
contacting to influence a party official
of course, CCP members still more active than others
Dissent still repressed by force
Democracy wall 1978
Wei Jinsheng (electrician, imprisoned)
Fang Lizhi (physicist, silenced, exiled)
Democracy movement, 1989, students
Falon Gong ("evil cult," Buddhism meets yoga) -- reeducation camps
Superstructure: complex web of local, provincial and national organizations
officially local organization separates party, but in practice little difference
Nepotism and corruption:
Families of top CCP officials are now leading officials and entrepreneurs
PLA now divided
Overall assessment of Maoism
Collectivism -- traditional loyalty transferred to State and CCP
Struggle and activism -- contrast with traditional harmony & status quo
Egalitarianism and populism -- replacing hierarchy of classes & elite; gender equality
Self-reliance -- people to control their own destiny
[Mass mobilization: swat flies, build dams, purge homosexuals or intellectuals]
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[Long term developments under Russian and Chinese Communist Party rule
Defended the nation in 1930s and 1940s
Substantial economic development (if not fast until markets opened)
Iron rice bowl? More consistent feeding of population than previously, in China
In Russia, expropriations of peasant supplies for cities caused millions of deaths.
In China, economic experiments caused millions to starve.
Equality: at least more than under capitalism, but party elite was more equal than others
Individual rights: poor record in both, substantial repression]
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Brief notes on Less Developed Countries (Third World, Global South)
[This material has been transferred to a PPT file]
How to classify?
"North" and "South"?
(exception of Australasia)
(exception of OPEC)
"Third" and "Fourth" worlds?
"LDCs" versus "Advanced Indiustrialized States"
Asian tigers, NICs and BRICS
OECD, G7, G20
Low, middle and high income countries
Weak states
Lack of infrastructure: transport, water supplies, sewage, security
Lack of security, law and order
Weak states versus failed states
Single party regimes
Military and civilian dictatorships
Elites concentrate ownership of government, businesses, military and land
Economics (low income states)
Poverty: One fifth of humanity lives on $1 a day, half on $2 per day
Sub Saharan Africa owns precious minerals but lives in poverty
Extraction and manufacturing leads to environmental decay
Dependency on few industries or resources
Economics (middle income states)
Dependencia on Multi National Corps
Terms of trade
Import substitution
Debt trap
Structural adjustment
IMF and World Bank, conditionality
Impact of colonialism & imperialism
Independence regimes
Dependency on decisions made externally
Multinational corporations
Ethnicity (tribes, languages) across arbitrary colonial borders
Identity issues
Patron-client relations
Lack of legitimacy
Communal groups
Led by politics, society or economics?
UN Human development index
Does development need to be balanced to be sustainable?
Can a free market develop a country fully without strong government services?
(Gilded Age without the New Deal?)
Policy problems
Least effective health care
Lowest literacy level and life expectancy
Highest infant mortality rates
Lack of access to safe drinking water (and sewage systems)
Impact of AIDS (and other) epidemics
Resource-dependent economies
High levels of national debt
Sign of failed state: child soldiers drafted for warlords
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Brief notes on India

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brief notes on Mexico brief notes on Brazil
  • leftover effects of Portuguese Empire
  • less violent
  • huge factor in Portuguese wealth during Empire
  • language Portuguese, not Spanish
  • economic dependency on few exports
  • role of military
  • slavery observed by Darwin
  • environmental damage from growth period of 1970s
  • race as a continuum, not a cleavage
  • whites, mestizos, natives
  • role of women
  • welfare largely limited to urban workers
  • urbanization on large scale
  • populist benefits liable to cause debt
  • Constitution 1988 did not specify relations of institutions
  • Church separated, not an issue
  • Centralized on Presidency
  • Executive legislation & emergency decrees
  • but implementation by 26 states
  • 1997 multiple terms allowed
  • Bureaucracies provide services for fees, relatively efficient
  • clientelism often means favoritism, corruption
  • military as subgovernment
  • police responsible for many homicides
  • police & gendarmerie separated but both are national - not local as in US.
  • Reps can move to new district
  • ballots blank for write-ins
  • lack of distinction between chambers
  • weak legislature
  • homogeneous ethnicity
  • racial divide is hidden, say critics
  • media funded by and supportive of government
  • participation by violent protest or passivity
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  • brief notes common to Latin America
  • role of caudillo
  • role of police
  • role of military
  • extremes of urban and rural
  • extremes of rich & poor
  • role of populism and clientelism
  • populism & protectionism v neoliberalism
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  • brief notes on Saudi Arabia
  • Bedouin tradition of hospitality
  • early twentieth century, nomadic tribes in desert
  • kingdom quickly won by fighting
  • pact with Wahhabism
  • instant wealth from oil
  • symbiotic relationship with US oil companies
  • oil for security pact with US
  • tensions over Israel, e.g. embargo
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    China briefing,
    by a student: Blair Casebere, Fall 2013, from CIA World Factbook

    China is number 4 in country comparison of area

    Area has three subfields. Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.
    Cases the Highest Court Goes Over: Supreme People’s Court
    Civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases
    Cases Subordinate Courts Go Over
    Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts;
    Autonomous Region People's Courts; Special People's Courts
    Military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
    Population [Chart shown from World Factbook]

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