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The Assembly of the French Union, established by the new Constitution is nothing but a caricature. It has power only to formulate wishes. It is not the product of any elections, since one-half of it consists of elements sent by local administrations, in accordance with the pleasure of the Administration. The policy of the French Union approximates that of Great Britain at present, in its tendency to use, more than in the past, the native bourgeoisie as a transmission belt for imperialist interests.
But it differs insofar as France is economically feebler than Britain and has a smaller margin for maneuvers with regard to concessions.
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Besides, France is not faced anywhere in her colonies with a colonial bourgeoisie so developed as that of India. Diplomatic representation and the army remain in French hands; finance and the entire economy remain subject to the interests of the mother country, and so on. Under these conditions, to speak of independence is a bitter piece of irony. The wealth of the Dutch bourgeoisie has been acquired in the course of three centuries of frenzied exploitation of the Indonesian peoples, who, under the most brutal regimes, started asserting their autonomist aspirations even before The Japanese, who occupied Indonesia from February , encouraged, before they capitulated, the formation of an independent government, under the Presidency of Dr.
At the end of the war, the Dutch found themselves confronted with a fait accompli — Indonesia was independent.
Even with the aid of British troops, it was out of the question for them to reconquer by military measures a country which was up in arms against their domination. It was equally out of the question for them to allow this source of Dutch revenue to dry up. In a declaration of Queen Wilhelmina in December , the Netherlands Government announced its intention of creating a Commonwealth after the war, in which the metropolitan country and the colonies would enjoy equal status. The policy of Dutch imperialism is similar in the main to the line of French Imperialism toward Viet Nam.
Holland, too, is trying to support herself on the Indonesian bourgeoisie, but her own weakness, coupled with the vital importance for her of exploiting the wealth of Indonesia, prevent the Dutch from going very far on the road of concessions. Refusing actually to accord independence to the Indonesian Republic, Holland endeavors to confine the new State within double barriers. On the one side, by integrating it into the so-called Federalist Indonesia, which also includes the Republic of Borneo and the Indonesian East small islands of the East Indies, Celebes, Molucca, New Guinea and which has been constituted under august Dutch patronage; and on the other side by creating a Netherlands-Indonesian Commonwealth.
Finally, as France tried in Indo-China, Holland is trying to divide the Indonesian bourgeoisie by artificially creating separatist movements in various parts of the islands. The July military assault was intended to complete the strangulation of the Indonesian Republic. It must be emphasized that Holland could succeed in maintaining her positions in Indonesia only thanks to Anglo-American military aid and equipment. All these forms of indirect domination are only relative and passing in value.
By leaving more room to the colonial bourgeoisie, imperialism merely paves the way for sharper social struggles, pitting the working masses more directly against the native exploiters. The masses will presently realize that they can free themselves completely from imperialist domination only by overthrowing the national bourgeoisie and taking power in their own hands.
The national industrial and commercial bourgeoisie who find themselves bound to and at times coalesced with the landlords, and whose numerical strength is slight, have in the past manifested only a timid opposition to imperialism, aiming to enlarge their own base of profit and exploitation. To conduct their struggle against imperialism, they needed the support of the masses, but at the same time, they lived in fear of these same masses, particularly of the agrarian revolution, and they have always shown themselves eager to reach a compromise with the imperialists.
With the new form of domination which the imperialists are tending to adopt, with these indirect forms of rule in which the national bourgeoisie occupies a more important place, the indigenous capitalists become more firmly the allies of imperialism, and more directly the oppressors of the masses, while at the same time becoming less capable of playing a serious oppositional role.
In those countries where the revolutionary movement has acquired a broad scope, as in Indonesia and Viet Nam, the native bourgeoisie has shown that it does not hesitate to place itself at the disposal of the imperialists against the toiling masses. World War II has reduced virtually to zero the pretensions of the bourgeoisie of the semi-colonial and colonial countries to struggle against imperialism. In certain countries the bourgeoisie showed itself ready to struggle only in order to put itself at the disposal of the imperialist power strong enough to protect it against the movement of the masses.
This appears to be the case for a certain number of French colonies, notably Morocco where the penetration of American capitalism grows more and more considerable. There is an apparent outward development among those national bourgeoisies which still find themselves under the thumb of British imperialism.
These tendencies do not express either the strength or the growing independence of the national bourgeoisie in relation to imperialism. What they actually express is the inability of their industrial sectors to compete on major markets with imperialism. Hence this search for markets in weaker countries. We find expressed here the comprador character of the bourgeoisie as an intermediary for imperialist goods in search of new markets; and, generally speaking, the subordination of the national bourgeoisie to the old imperialist power. To the extent that the native capitalists strive to strengthen their position in relation to this power, these same tendencies express their increasing transformation into the victims of inter-imperialist competition and rivalry.
The indigenous bourgeois parties express various features of their class corresponding to their particular country. In China , the Kuomintang has now decomposed into many rival c1iques and the clamor for reforms is above all an attempt, up to the present still in vain, to reform the Kuomintang for the profit of the strongest Chinese capitalists.
The Kuomintang, in capitulating to US imperialism, keeps losing its popular base and suffers continued reverses at the hands of the peasant armies. Tied up with US imperialism, the Kuomintang plays an utterly counterrevolutionary role in relation to the Chinese masses as a whole.
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Never before has the comprador character of the Kuomintang bourgeoisie been so evident as in its abject capitulation to US imperialism. The existing friction between the Chinese bourgeoisie and US imperialism becomes increasingly subordinated to the antagonism between Soviet Russia and the US and to the class struggle in China itself. In Indonesia , the dismemberment of the Republic finds its expression in the camp of the national bourgeois leaders. In January , Shahir and his followers broke with the Socialist party and disclosed increasingly capitulationist tendencies.
The new government, on the contrary, while accepting the responsibility for a treaty which abandons a large territory to the imperialists, has been regrouped under the leadership of Mohamed Hatta, the Masjoemi Muslim, the Nationalist Indonesian Party of President Soekarno and the Stalinist and Socialist parties. In India , the transition from direct to indirect rule does not qualitatively change the character of imperialist exploitation.
Imperialism dominates by the sheer weight of its economy in the country as a whole, and by its control of the Indian Ocean. All exchange banks, as well as the bulk of foreign trade, are vested in the hands of the imperialist bourgeoisie. They own by far the most decisive sectors of tile economy mining, plantations, jute, transportation —except for railways—insurance companies, along with a section of textiles.
The Indian bourgeoisie has unquestionably increased its share of the spoils during the two world wars, notably in textiles, but its share in every other sphere of the economy is subordinate. And even in those fields where Indian capital has penetrated, it is more or less powerless to decisively alter the preponderance of British capital. It stands in danger of being squeezed to the wall and crowded out, despite a measure of disinvestment of British capital, which finds itself more than compensated for this by a most intensified exploitation of the workers.
The basic industries still remain undeveloped. The bourgeoisie is incapable of carrying out the industrialization of the country. Although there has been some advancement in heavy industry such as iron and steel, the most essential premise for industrial expansion as electrification is still undeveloped.
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Any considerable independent role on the part of the Indian bourgeoisie would involve a thoroughgoing industrialization of the country, especially the development of its basic industries, excluded under imperialism. It is possible to speak of an independent role of the Indian bourgeoisie, only in the context of a thoroughgoing industrialization of the country, which in the framework of decaying capitalism in its state of decline can be ruled out in advance. It will be no less impossible for the Indian bourgeoisie to expand with regard to the purchase of machine tools from, or have any kind of independent trade with, hard currency areas.
Coupled with the foregoing economic factors, is the fact that, despite the withdrawal of the army of occupation, the Indian Ocean remains a British lake, from which Britain is capable of enforcing her will on the bourgeoisie of India and Pakistan.
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Although the bourgeoisie of India has moved up the ladder of colonial status, it has not leaped from the ladder of colonial status to the ladder of independent status. The All-India Congress is the political party of the Indian bourgeoisie. It has exploited the combativity of the masses in order to obtain concessions from British imperialism. Right from its accession to power the Congress has shown its class nature by resorting to the most brutal repressions.
The Moslem League, led by Jinnah, has been able to develop a mass base in the backward peasant regions, following the agrarian policy of the Hindu Congress ministers who do not carry out a single serious reform and who protect the big landowners.
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The Moslem League contains at one and the same time feudal landlords who consider it as a rampart for their privileges, the growing Moslem bourgeoisie swamped by Hindu capitalists, and the peasant masses attracted by the demagogic support given to agrarian reforms. Its advent to power in Pakistan will not fail to rip asunder this heterogeneous agglomeration. In the Middle East , the Arab League, founded in , at the behest of the British includes, on the one hand, statesmen with divergent interests and, on the other, contending social classes: old feudal leaders sold out directly to imperialism and the young bourgeoisie seeking to extend their influence and markets.
The result is that the Arab League does not present any real homogeneity and only arrives at a common understanding in exceptional cases. Neither decadent feudalism nor the bourgeoisie condemned to remain an abortion is capable of unifying the Arab world. Capitalism has introduced into the colonial countries elements of capitalist economy which have led to the overthrow of their ancient social structure.
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