Fall of Idi Amin

Document Sample
Fall of Idi Amin Powered By Docstoc
					Fall of Idi Amin
Source: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 14, No. 21 (May 26, 1979), pp. 907-910
Published by: Economic and Political Weekly
Stable URL:
Accessed: 15/10/2008 08:00

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless
you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you
may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.

Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at

Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed
page of such transmission.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with the
scholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform that
promotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

                Economic and Political Weekly is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to
                Economic and Political Weekly.
ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY                                                                                              May 26, 1979

UGANDA                                                                                               But soon these two were in trouble. To
                                                                                                 deprive the Obote forces of the base they
                                                                                                 had been grantedin neighbouring   Sudan-
                         Fall of Idi Amin                                                        and to benefit from Libya's promises of
                                                                                                 aid-Amin expelled the Israelis who had
TO many, Idi Ainin's end was                   regime. They share the weakness of their          used NorthernUganda as a base to supply
incomprehensiblyanti-climactic. He was         counterparts  elsewhere-they grew up in a        Anyanya guerillas in Southern Sudan.
the tyrantwho had smashedeven a murmur         colonial economy and continue to be              Thatsameyear(1972) he expelledthe Asian
of protest with brute force. Medieval          dominated by foreign capital, there also         minority,the capitalistsamong whom were
savagery with modern weapons-that was          exist sharp internal divisions within this      intermediaries for British commercial
his style. Now the very dictator who had       class, a product of Uganda's specific           interestsin Uganda. In retaliation,Britain
brazenly flaunted his military prowess         colonial history. Its strongest section, the    and Israel tried to cut the regime'slifeline
had simply melted away as the hour of          Asian capitalists(forinstance,the Madhva-       to the international market through an
reckoning approached, without so much          nis and Mehtas) came from a minority            economic embargo. For an effective
as a fight. The most militarisedregime in      nationalityand were closely identifiedwith      embargo,however,they needed superpower
the region thus failed to survive a military   Britishcolonial interest.The rest have also     co-operation.
confrontation.                                 failed to coalesce as a unified force                Now, no neo-colonial regime (let alone a
   To understand the source of Amin's          politically. Unable to form a single party      fascist one) can survive if opposed by a
weaknessat the final hour requiresunder-       to championthe interestof property, they        unitedfront of imperialistpowers. Amin's
standing the source of his strength at its     formed several. Each section tried to rally     regime survived as long as it did in part
prime, his local base, his foreign support,    behind it a segment of the people on a           because it always found one or another
the nature of the militarymachinehe built      religious, regional, or tribal platform.        imperialistpower to patronise it. In 1972,
up, and the character of the opposition        Becauseof its organisational  weakness,this      the British-Israeliembargo failed because
that he faced. For, by the time he fell, his   class has often had to act by proxy, as at       neither the superpowers nor other
local base had disintegrated;his principal     the time of the Amin coup.                       imperialistpowers were willing to support
foreign supportershad deserted him; the           In 1972, Amin took advantage of this          it.
pride of place in his fascist regime, the      division within the capitalist class. Also,          In fact, beginning 1973, both the US
military machine, was riddled with             like other fascists before him, he tried to     and the USSR stepped up their presence
factionalism and indiscipline; and Anmin       channel the anti-imperialism the people
                                                                              of               in Uganda. The US purchasedthe coffee
himself had succeeded in multiplyingand        into a racist mould. He expelled the Asian      that Britain would not. (Coffee sales
unifying the ranks of the opposition, both     capitalists (along with Asians of other         accountedfor over 90 per cent of Uganda's
internal and external.                         classes) and promisedparadise to the rest.      foreign exchange under Amin.) From
   Paradoxically, the         regime that         But only so long as this Paradiseremain-     buying a-fifth (20.6 per cent) of Uganda's
consolidated itself through the gun was        ed a promisedland could it be sharedby the      crop in 1973,it took a-third(33.5 per cent)
weakened by the same gun. Many an              multitude.Once the spoils had actually to       in 1976, emergingas the regime'sprincipal
observer was content to compile statistics     be divided, only the fittest could survive.     tradingpartner.In time, relations between
of the regime's brutalityand then wonder       Now, Amin's officers were not about to          the two became even cosier-though
whyit continuedto survivein spite of sucha     queue up behindthe big businessmen a   for      covert-as US firms supplied Amin with
staggering record. What such observers         share of the loot. In no time, the cabinet      much needed intelligence support.
never understoodwas the social character       of technocrats and bureaucratswas sent              The main external training ground for
of violence, that at every point violence is   packing on a long vacation. The first           the dreadedState ResearchBureauwas the
directed towards specific socio-economic       predominantly   militarycabinetwas formed.      US and, later, also the UK. According to
ends. Should its use accord with dominant      The most ambitious of the businessmen           information that surfaced at the US
economic interests, foreign and local, it      were either killed (for instance, Michael       congressional hearings on US-Uganda
will be supportedby them. Should it not,       Kawalya Kaggwa and Augustine Kamya)            relations, in 1977-78alone over 70 agents
it will have to confrontthese,soonerorlater.   or they simply ran away. The rest of them,      of the regime were trainedin the US. Most
As the brutalityof the Amin regimepassed       to continue to function, became extreme         of themweremembersof the StateResearch
from the first category to the second, the     opportunists ignoring all else so long as       Bureauand manyweretrainedas helicopter
regime became increasingly isolated and        some money came their way. It was then          pilotsor as 'communication   specialists'.For
vulnerable.                                    that the military-capitalists,such as Ali      example, the Harris Corporation, which
                                               Fadhul and Nassur (not to speak of Amin        sold Amin 'tactical trucks' and installed
              LOCAL BASE
                                               himself), were born as a group.The people      earth satellite stations and 'mass
   Local support for the 1971 coup ranged      baptised them the Mafuta Mingis (men of        communication     systems',signeda four-year
from Ugandan capitalists estranged by          much oil) after Operation Mafuta Mingi,        contract on April 17, 1977 to train the
Obote'snationalisationsto a section of the     the nameAmin gave to the Asian expulsion.      necessary personnel. Bell Helicopter
popularclasseswho momentarily    welcomed      Brought to life by Amin, the main local        Textron, which sold helicopters to the
any changefrom a regimethat had muffled        beneficiaries the coup and the expulsion,
                                                            of                                regime, trained 21 pilots and mechanicsat
them. Technocrats and bureaucrats, the         the Mafuita Mingis, prospered under him        its Fort Worth, Texas facilities in 1977.
mechanicsof a privateenterpriseeconomy,        but in time found him the main obstacleto          The Soviet Union, on the other hand,
staffed Amin's first cabinet. Propertied       their continued growth.                        became the regime's principal arms
interests, foreign and local, applauded.                                                      supplier. Following the visit of a Soviet
Both turneda blind eye to the first wave of                FOREIGN SUPPORT                    military mission in November 1973,
massacres of thousands of Acholi and             Britain,Israeland the US were delighted      MiG-19s and TU-54 tanks rolled in. By
Langi soldiers towards the end of 1971.        with the turn of events in 1971, and they      1975, the fascist regime had received an
   But Ugandan capitalists have had a          showedit. In fact, the firsttwo had actively   estimated $12 million in economic 'aid'
historical weakness which was to have a        participatedin the coup that realised their    and $48 million in military'aid' from the
telling effect on their relations with the     good fortune.                                  Soviet Union. According to the Soviet

                                                                                                                                    - Qn7
May 26, 1979                                                                                   ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY

Ambassador to Uganda, the "aid" was                 econoimic hardship also stirred student          gun. Over the years, any civilian authority
"in the interestof peace and securityof all         opposition.Makererestudents'demonstra-           that could exercise a measure of control
peoples"!                                           tions of early and late 1976 evoked              over the armed forces, in the name of
   Once convinced that the regime was no            favourable response from the lower and           preserving and orderto ensure regular
passingaffair,the peddlarsof yens, marks,           middle strata of Kampala. But civilian           trade, was done away with. When in 1972,
liras and francs-as those of dollars and            protest, without clarity of long-run vision      the civilian cabinet was replaced by a
rubles-ruslhed in. Japan came into road             and a correspondingly   high level of orga-      military cabinet, a few of the civilians
constructionand transport,West Germany              nisation, could not withstand the baton          survived as members of later military
in miningand prospecting,Italy to shore up          and the bullet the soldierslet loose against     cabinets. In 1977, those remaining also
manufacturingand electricity generation,            it.                                              left Oboth Ofumbi for the grave and
and Belgium to provide railway                         In the countryside, matters stood             Henry Kyamba for the US.
maintenance.                                        somewhat differently.In a predominantly              The same tendency was evident at the
    Its economic blockade having failed,            rural society, the effect of economic crisis     local level. In 1975-76,the administrative
Britain also made the best of the new               moves froniithe town to the countryside.         map of the country was redrawnto create
situation, soon becoming the regime's               Because peasantsgrow their own food and          10 provinces,each with its own military
second largest coffee purchaser        (20.5 per    build their own shelter, the effect on the       governor.Everyone of Amin's top officers
cent in 1976). Barclays Bank returnedto             countryside is         necessarily limited.      now acquired his 'own' province. He
 Kampala.Israel came in throughthe back-            Subsistence production was the peasant's         treatedit more like the fiefdom, a feudal
 door, using front agencies like ATASCO             response to urban tyranny. And it was            lord than the responsibility of a local
 (jointly owned by the Israeli Ministry of          indeed a devastating response.                   administrator.From the revenue and the
 Defence, the US Export-Import         Bank and        Faced with the inflation of industria         produce of 'his' province, the military
 an Israeli tycoon called Eisenberg) and            prices (of textiles, sugar, soap, salt), while   governor could now enlarge his personal
 Zimex-Aviation(a Zurich-basedfront for             agricultural prices remained stagnant,            booty. Less and less of coffee, sugar,
 the Israeli intelligence, Mossad) to supply        peasants simply stopped growing cotton            tobacco and tea found its way to Kampala
 aircrafts and crew for Uganda Airways,             and began uprooting coffee trees. In his          for export. More and more was smuggled
 establishedin 1977.                                budget speech of 1974-75,the Minister of          to neighbouringcountries such as Kenya,
    It is only in the context of this imperialist   Finance estimated that cotton production          Sudanand Zaire by the militarygovernors.
 jamboree in Uganda that we can assess              had declinedby 60 per cent. That minister            The central treasury now looked more
 support from regimes such as Libya,                was heard of no more. It was also the last        like a provincial chest. Amin found it
 Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and                 budget speech under Amin. Meanwhile,a             difficult to ensure for his troops the
 Bangladesh.Whereasthe latter three made            spiral movement had begun: repression             sumptuousliving to whichthey had become
 availablemuch-needed      technicalpersonnel,       coupled with harsh economic conditions           accustomed.The 'whiskyrun' to London's
 the reactionaryArab regimes gave Amin               fuelled the peoples' resistance which in         StandstedAirport could only suffice for a
 financialcontributionsat critical moments,          turn deepened the economic crisis and            select few. Soon, Amin found it difficult
 such as at the time of the 1975 OAU                 made the regime even more repressive.            even to pay soldiers'salariesin time.
 summit in Kampala. The Libyan connect-                 Under such conditions of tyranny and             This calamity had a two-fold result. On
 ion was by far the most important:                  massacre, however, the opposition of an          the one hand, in a situation where each
 investments channelled through the                  unorganised people could only be silent          military governor had his own domain,
  Libyan-ArabDevelopment Bank in such                and sullen. Opendefiancewas sporadicand          Amin himselfbegan to resemblea warlord.
 spheres as sugar, transport and cement              sponataneous. few who could vote voted
                                                                   The                                He could no longer physically eliminate
  production were valued at $25.5 million            with their feet. This is why the first and       top military brass such as Colonel Moses
  in 1976.                                           for a long time the only manifestation           Ali, the Minister of Finance, until July,
     So long as it was business as usual in          of organised opposition was among                 1978. He could only dismiss them, if even
  Uganda, bankers and merchants were                 exiles-particularly those in neighbouring         that. On the other hand, with soldiers
  willing to turn a blind eye to all else. This      Tanzania-who faced far more favourable           increasingly exposed to            economic
  was the first source of Amin's strength.           conditions for organisation. But exile           hardships civilians had long known
  Whatever the exposures of the regime's             politics also had its drawback. Removed           discontent spread within the lower ranks
  brutality,business came before politics.           from the actual situation at home-and,            of the army.
                                                     therefore, from conditions which would               The ground was rife for CoUps and
                                                     have had a unifying effect on any                 mutinies,as in fact it was the case during
    Having consolidatedits control over the          opposition-exile politics was shaped by
 State machinery, the regime tried to gear                                                             the last years of the regime. In response,
                                                     secondary questions, question far more            Amin relied more on non-national
 all economicactivity towardsbuildingup a            divisive. Exile organisations were many
 mighty war machine. Fully mechanised                                                                  mercenary elements in the army-those
                                                      and weak. This absence of an all-round           from Southern Sudan and Eastern Zaire.
 battalions,completewith tanksand armour,            organisation that could harness, concent-
 was the goaf. Expenditureto maintainthe                                                               He then cut off the rest of the army from
                                                      rate and direct the entire opposition            access to the armoury. Thus, when Israeli
 social andeconomicinfrastiucture, alone              was the second source of Amin's strength.
 to develop it, was reduced to a trickle.                                                              commandoslandedat Entebbein July 1976,
 Scarcityand inflation were the harvestthe                 AND
                                              WARLORDISM DISINTEGRATION                                it is most likely that the soldiers at the
 regime reaped in a short period.            No organism is immune from its                            airport were limited to the ammunition
    The effect on the town population was environment. The economic crisis could                       they had in hand and to no more. Also,
 imnnediate. Workers went on strike, in not but have an effect on Amin's army. A                       the raid exposed to the outside world
 1974, at the Lugazi Sugar Works, and in shrinking pie intensified squabbles among                     Amin's military weakness. Finally, those
 1975, at the Kilembe Copper Mines. But those wlho wanted a share of the spoils.                        disgruntled officers whom Amin found
 every open manifestation of protest was It also affected the very characterof the                      difficult to' eliminate for fear of their
 suppressed.Strike leaders were killed and State power.                                                 support in the army were transferred,
 unions were banned.                         Amin's newly-richofficersknew the one                      demoted,or dismissed.
    The combination of repression and sure way of makingmoney-through the                                 The round of coup attempts reached a

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY                                                                                         May 26, 1979

climax with the one in mid-1978 led by       coalesce into a single organisation: the    overthrownwas becoming a real one. A
none other than Amin's second-in-            Uganda National Liberation Front. As        change of position was required to be on
command, Vice-Presidentand Minister of       JuliusNyerereargued:'There are two wars     the right side of the wind. The US sought a
Defence, Mustapha Adrisi. Sent to Egypt      going on in Uganda: one, by Ugandans        foothold in the anti-Amin camp.
for recovery, Adrisi had to be returnedto    fightingto free themselvesfrom a fascist      The USSR, on the other hand, had
pacify troops loyal to him-though now        dictator; the other, by Tanzaniansfighting  openly armed the fascist regime ever since
strippedof his Defence portfolio.Such was    to defend their national sovereignty".-     1973. Its options were far more limited.
the backgroundto the widespreadmutinies      The point, though, was that both wars had   In this hour of Amin's crisis, the time had
of late 1978 in the Simba (Lion) Battalion   the same target: the regime of Idi Amin     come for the USSR to support its ally.
in Mbarara and the Chui (Leopord)            Dada.                                       To do so, however, would be to risk
Battalion in Gulu.                              Ironically,it was none other than Amin   political exposure without compensating
                                             himself who had played a central role in    gains. The USSR was paralysed. Soviet
             KAGERA   INVASION
                                             bringingtogether all forces, internaland    officialdom looked the other way as
   By then, Amin's army was seethingwith     external, opposed to him. And that too,     Ugandan students demonstrated against
intemal feuds. The little disciplineit could at a time whenhis regimewas wreckedwith     Libya in Moscow. Its officialnews agency,
have boasted of earlier had melted away.     internal divisions and his margin of        TASS, although with one of the few
Why then did Amin embark on an               manoeuvrein the internationalarena was      correspondents Kampala duringAmin's
adventuresuch as the Kagera invasion?        rapidlynarrowing.                           fall, could write no more than two short
   Incredibleas it may sound, Amin must                                                  paragraphs on the fall-and that, too,
have seen the invasion as a solution to his                FOREIGN   POWERS
                                                                                         anaestheticquotes taken from the Western
dilemma. The battalions that participated        For the superpowers,the October War press.
in the invasion were precisely those that was one they had not initiated. But like         This left Amin with his secondaryallies,
were the most problematic to Amin, the        other local conflictsaroundthe globe, they mainly the reactionary Arab regimes.
Chui and the Simba battalions. The had to reckonwith it; if possible,by turning Unlike the superpowers, Libya had less
predatorycharacterof the invasion-that        it to advantage. For the Western powers room for manoeuvre. It sought a middle
the invading troops took with them all and the racist regimes they support in ground-mediation-but could find none
formsof movablepropertywhile destroying SouthernAfrica, the Kagera invasion was in a polarised conflict. Seeing the world
the rest-provided the disgruntledtr6ops immediately a blessing from above. For mainlyin termsof the Arab-Israeli              conflict,
with new pasturesfor pillage and plunder. some time, the racist regimes had sought Gaddafi came to the rescue of the
Finally and, probably most significantly, to implement in Southern Africa the demagogic anti-Zionist Amin with troops
throughthe invasionand throughhis threat strategyIsrael had perfectedin West Asia: and equipment. But in a terrain they did
that the next time around he would attack the Frontline States, one by one, not know and in a war whose meaningthey
permanently annex the Kagera salient, make it appear as an inter-State conflict did not understand,these young and aged
Amin hoped that Tanzania would and neutralisethem, also one by one. Thus sons of the earth-cannon-fodder in every
permanentlyneutralise the Ugandan anti- the roundof invasionsagainstMozambique, reactionary           army-faced a wallopingdefeat
 Amin forces on its territory. For what Zambia,Botswana,Angola.But therewas a            at the Battleof Entebbe.Thosenot captured
 Amin dreadedmost was the possibilityof a problem: neither South Africa nor were soon withdrawn. Amin's last days
 connection between the exile opposition Rhodesia shared a border with Tanzania. had begun.
in Tanzania and the mutinous'battalions Now Amin, the man who was already
 in Uganda.                                   training Sithole's private army, had                           DEFEAT
    But the invasion precipitated the very presentedthem with a solution: a war by          We return to our original question.
 situationit was designedto avoid. Tanzania proxy. The most reactionaryforces on the Though left in the lurch by superpowers
 was determinednot to get involved in the continentbegan to crowd aroundAmin.            who had patronised him all along, with
 diplomatic quagmire Amin had prepared           Whereasthe smaller reactionarypowers none but secondaryallies to support him,
 for it: a recipe designed to neutralise the are incapable of looking beyond their why did Amin's military machine, built
 UgandanoppositioninsideTanzania,to cast noses, the vision of the imperialistpowers with all the resources the dictator could
 the whole question of fascism in Uganda necessarilyembracesthe whole world. But muster, disintegrateafter the first test of
 and the fascist invasion of Tanzania in no matter what their strength, the super- battle? We can now bring together the
 terms of the single issue of the territorial powers do not act on a blank State. It is threads of our analysis to answer the
 inviolability of all State boundaries and objective reality, 'the facts of the matter', question.
 to shift the question from the battlefield as they say, that compelledthe US to shift      First, the character of Amin's army.
 to-the conference table. It was a recipe its stance. Already by 1978, it had been From the massacresof late 1971 and more
 designedto not only let Amin off the hook awareof the weaknessof the Amin regime, so from 1975-76,the core of Amin's army
 in exchange for no more than some pious of both the necessity of law and order in were southern Sudanese and Eastern
  proclamations also to paralysethe exile Uganda to facilitate regular trade and Ziarois, mercenary
                but                                                                                           elementswho remained
 opposition.                                  profits and of the risks of political to gather hay while the sun shone. The
    Instead, Tanzania gave free rein to       exposure-in the context of Carter's Ugandan elements in the army were
 Ugandan anti-fascist forces. It carefully 'Human Rights'-if open relations with a       predominantlyrecruited from the riff-raff
 and methodically prepared the ground- regime as oppressiveas Amin's continued. of the towns, mainlyNubian. A marauding
 work-internally and internationally, Of course, the US embargo on trade with force used to medieval savageryto silence
 militarilyand diplomatically-for counter- Uganda did not put a stop either to covert and strip a defencelesscivilian population,
 ing Amin's forces. Finally, Tanzania relations or to indirect trade (to the it had no battle experience. At Masaka
 launched its own counter-attack.-                                                                                       at
                                              purchaseof Uganda coffeeeithersmuggled and Mbarara,and particularly the Battle
    The new situation providedthe impetus through Kenya or flown to Djibouti and of Lukaya, Amin's army found out that it
 for the entiregamutof Ugandan opposition shippedto New Yorkby Frenchmerchants). was one $hingto harass unarmedcivilians,
 forces, who understandably   sought to take But now, it had to contend with a new quite another to face the armed forces of
 advantageof Amin's weakness, to come factor: that while it could not openly another State.
 together at a~conference in Moshi and support Amiin,the possibility-of his-being           But that was not all. The army was

May 26, 1979                                                                               ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY

wrought with internal divisions from 1976      to shed their uniformand melt away in the
                                                                                      ing picture. The concept of labour as
on. Officers had been recklesslytransferred,   local population, and the non-Ugandan  the source of production enables one
demoted, dismissed and killed. Such a          mercenaries to roam the countryside as to make the distinction between labour
state of affairs hardly auguredwell for the    bandits until finally rounded up or killed.
                                                                                      and different forms of property as
discipline of the troops. It was a ragtag         The medieval savagery which had beenqualitatively distinct bases for claims
army that entered battle against the anti-                                            on the social produce. The recognition
                                               the hallmark of the regime all along was
Amin forces.                                                                          of alternative bases of income leads to
                                               also characteristicof its dying gasp. Not
   What Amin did have was m-litary             only that. When the anti-Amin troops   the concept of social class as the unit
hardware, a lct of it new and very             entered Kampala, they found huge cachesof analysis. Finally, class-relations are
impressive. As many a field commander                                                 viewed as essentially antagonistic in
                                               of arms from the USSR, Britain,Israeland
remarked,with their tanks and armoured                                                nature. The demand-supply theory, on
                                               Spain-all unused. In the final analysis,
cars Amin forces were confined to roads.       it was not the quantity of weapons but the other hand, views production as
Against long-rangeTanzanianartillery,as                                               a process of transformation of factors
                                               the quality of the organisation wielding
against the ambush of infantry in bush         them that mattered. Amin had           of production the supply of all of which
country, Amin's army turned out to be as       demonstratedan important truth, though involves some subjective cost on the
specialised as a dinosaur. At the first sign                                          part of their owners. The concept of
                                               by negativeexample.In war as in all realms
of defeat, the soldiersabandonedtheir new      of social activity, it is not the technicalbut
                                                                                      subjective-cost puts all types of claims
equipmentand fled the Ugandan elements         the political factor which is decisive.on the social produce on a uniform
                                                                                      basis and thus, eradicates the grounds
                                                                                      for any class-distinction. The individual
                                                                                      emerges as the unit of analysis with
 REVIEW ARTICLE                                                                       market as the only institution relating
                                                                                      the anonymous individuals.
                                                                                        A question which arises is whether
                                                                                      any mode of expression of antagonistic
   Grand Conceptions of Supply-Demand                                                 class-relations can be viewed as equi-
                                                                                      valent to production-relations.In Smith,
                Theory                                                                for instance, the master-worker relation
                                                                                      is viewed as bargaining relations. The
                                     A K MaIik                                        bargain for wages is between unequal
                                                                                      social classes and not between equal
 ClassicalPoliticalEconomyand the Rise to Dominanceof Supply-Demandindividuals. This inequality, Smith
 Theory by Krishna Bharadwaj; Orient Longmans, New Delhi, 1978; locates, in specific property bases.
 pp 106, Rs 14.                                                                       There is also the recognition that the
                                                                                      dominant classes manipulate the state
RECENT revival of interest in classical without any sense of perspective. As policies in their favour. But in Smith,
political economy challenging the neo- acknowledged by the author, the present there is no concept of 'production rela-
classical orthodoxy started on the book             owes a lot to Piero Sraffa's tions' in the sense of relations viewed
analytical issues in value-distribution writings. The suggestion of an overall from the standpoint of organisation of
theory. Krishna Bharadwaj, in this series perspective, especially in regard to the labour process within a production unit.
of lectures, attempts to view the two point of view of change, was implied While the basis of wage-labour is
schools of thought in a much wider per- in Sraffas work. Nevertheless, an explicit rightly located in property, the essence
spective. The transition from classical discussion on the classical method of of wage-relation is not located in the
political economy to the demand-supply dealing with change was not within capitalist's control over labour-process,
theory is viewed as a fundamental change Sraffa's immediate interest in the ana- ie, in the technology and work orga-
in the vision of how the economic lytical frame of value-distribution nisation of factory production. Social
system works, ie, a transition at the level theory. The present book with its organisation of production is discussed
of ideology having its roots in the explicit concern for a total perspective, in a general frame of division of labour.
broader history of social movements. therefore, looks useful.                         The sequence is from division of labour
The methodological implications of this       While agreeing with the basic theme of to the necessity of stocks in production
shift are then viewed with respect to Krishna Bharadwaj'slectures, a few com- to privately.-owned stock or capital.
the ability of the new theories to deal ments may be relevant on some of the Capital labour relation thus manifests
with a greater or lesser variety of ob- points of detail raised in course of her only at the level of bargaining that
servable change. On the one hand, theory discussion. The first lecture tries to bring determines the distribution of social
as ideology and on the other, theory out the difference between the two produce. State power is viewed as
in relation to the problem of change, theories at the level of ideology and strengthening the bargaining position of
provide the overall perspective- the to trace their historical roots. The the masters.
former for locating the origin or history dividing line is drawn in the beginning        One can, of course, understand the
of two streams of thought and the latter (p 11) in terms of "production-rela- author's position. She is viewing
for evaluating their analytical power. tions" vis-a-vis "market-relations". "The theoretical development from Petty to
Analytical problems in value-distribution primacy of production-relation in clas- Marx as a single tradition. The com-
theory are seen to fall into their proper sical political economy" was replaced mon concepts of labour-based produc-
places within this broader frame.           by "market-relations (or relations in tion, property, social class and anta-
   Appreciation of Krishna Bharadwaj's circulation)".      The    discussion   which  gonistic class-relations are sufficient in
effort is not intended to suggest that follows centres upon 'the major problems differentiating the work of all these
the recent works on the logical founda- and conceptualisation' of classical poli- economists from the demand-supply
tions of classical value theory are tical economy where one gets the follow- approach. But her frequent and un-


Shared By:
Tags: Fall, Amin
Description: Fall of Idi Amin