Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 3. 1971

Letter: Rosenberg on Goldstein

Letter: Rosenberg on Goldstein

I am not, thank God, a political scientist, so I flatter myself that I can see through the kind of crap which Political Scientists substitute for analysis. I am willing to stand behind my assertion that an economic cause lies behind US policy in South East Asia. I do not intend to fall into the Political Scientist's trap of explaining phenomena by enumerating the phenomena themselves.

Mr. Goldstein lists a number of things which he calls the "explanation" of US involvement in Indo-China. He himself describes them as explanations, yet he seems, by some political alchemy to transform them into causes. Behaviour does not arise in a vacuum, it is the result of social and economic pressure.

Anyone with minimal intellectual abilities, the motivation to spend a few minutes in the library, and a brain which is not fucked up by years of academic masturbation could find out that, while US trade with South East Asia is small (although 7 or 8 percent of the trade of an economic giant such as the US is no small amount), US trade with the countries of the "Communist" and "Anti-imperialist" world is even smaller The countries which give trade to the US are those which knuckle under politically, and the US hopes to show those nations which do not that that can be a painful choice.

Mr. Goldstein, as a well-read person, should be aware that there comes a time in the development of a Capitalist economy, when the home population can no longer absorb sufficient of the expanding production of industry to allow profits to be reinvested with any hope of return, and since capitalism will die without the profit motive consumption must be increased. There are two good ways to increase consumption. One is to expand into overseas markets. The other is to increase consumption artificially by means such as war. The Indo-China war serves both purposes; both purposes are economic, and without those purposes being served somehow, capitalism cannot survive. That seems to be a pretty good explanation of the basic stimulus: behind the Indo-China war. Maybe it is naive, but it strikes me as even more naive to ascribe a policy to dozens of little factors, when all of these factors can be traced back to an initial, if unspoken, motivation.

George Rosenberg