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The Interrelation Between Political And Economic Independence

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Such a colonial economic structure—marked by mono-product economy and mono-market outlet—actually constitutes the economic basis for imperialist colonial control and exploitation. Unless this abnormal structure is demolished, it is impossible for the Asian and African countries (and also the Latin American countries) to get rid of their economic dependence on the imperialist countries. In the long run, economic dependence will inevitably lead to political dependence. This is because, on the one. hand, the economic dependence of the Asian and African countries on the imperialist countries makes it possible for the latter to use, whenever they please, their monopoly positions and economic privileges as a lever to influence the domestic and foreign policies of these countries and carry out political intervention and control; on the other hand, the imperialist countries, in order to perpetuate the basis for their exploitation, will always try their utmost to keep intact and, if possible to strengthen, their political control of the newly independent Asian and African countries.

In the postwar years, because of increasingly ruthless exploitation by the imperialist countries, many newly independent Asian and African countries have suffered growing financial and economic difficulties. Taking advantage of these troubles, the imperialist countries have exported huge amounts of capital and granted many high-interest bearing loans to these countries so that they can extract fabulous profits from the debtor countries and bind them hand and foot. According to incomplete statistics of the “World Bank,” the debts incurred by Asian and African countries amounted to U.S. $5,000 million by the end of 1955; by the end of 1964, this figure had risen to an estimated total of U.S $20,000 million. There was a fourfold increase in nine years, the average annual rate of increase being 16.5 per cent. In some countries, the rise in foreign debt is still more striking. India, for example, witnessed an average annual 38 per cent increase in its foreign debts between 1955 and 1962. In recent years, Asian and African countries have paid out a total of about U.S. $2,500 million annually in servicing debts. Without doubt, the imperialist countries do not hesitate to turn this financial dependence to their own advantage to interfere in the internal affairs of the Asian and African countries.

Such a state of affairs shows that so long as the newly independent Asian and African countries fail to attain genuine and secure economic independence, imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism will always try by every means to use their monopoly positions to carry out intervention, control and even subversion. Only when genuine economic independence has been achieved, particularly when an independent national economy has been established by self-reliance, is it possible to smash the pressure, obstruction and sabotage of the imperialists, colonialists and neo-colonialists and establish secure and full political independence.

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Upon winning political independence, the Asian and African countries face the following major and urgent tasks: to adopt appropriate and effective measures to eliminate the economic influences of the imperialists and to abolish all their political, military, economic and cultural privileges, to nationalize imperialist-owned industries, mines, plantations and other enterprises, and to put the nation’s economic lifelines and economic sovereignty in the hands of the people. These measures, however, will inevitably affect the interests of imperialist monopoly capital and the latter will inevitably rely on their own state machine and resort to every means, including counter-revolutionary violence, to make a last-ditch struggle. Hence, it can be affirmed that the process of recovering economic sovereignty from the imperialists and eliminating their influence in the economic sphere is inevitably a process of repeated tests of strength with imperialism, and the struggle will inevitably be accompanied by political struggle.

The imperialists, colonialists and neo-colonialists share a common abhorrence for the development of independent national economies in the Asian and African countries. The reason for this is simple: they understand that once independent national economies are established and developed, the economic basis for their colonial rule will be undermined, their control over the Asian and African countries will be broken and they will be deprived of the means to carry on their colonial plunder and reap their superprofits. Can Standard Oil (New Jersey) survive without the petroleum resources of the Middle East, and Venezuela? And where will Dunlop be if Malaya is no longer under the sway of British monopoly capital?

The imperialists have always treated their colonies and semi-colonies as sources of raw materials, markets for their commodities and profitable places for investments. By means of capital export and non-equivalent exchange, they have always ruthlessly exploited the Asian and African countries. It is estimated that in recent years the imperialists have annually taken out from these countries some U.S. $10,000 million in profits and interest and by means of non-equivalent exchange. This is why imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism are always trying to obstruct, sabotage and meddle with the development of independent economies by the Asian and African countries.

The development of an independent national economy and winning of full economic independence concerns the vital national interests of the newly independent Asian and African countries. It is at the same time opposed to the basic interests of the imperialists, colonialists and neo-colonialists who want to retain their colonial rule. Hence, the struggle for the development of an independent national economy necessarily reflects itself in political struggle, in serious political struggle against the imperialists, first of all against U.S. imperialism. Revolution is the locomotive of history. Only by continuously pushing forward the national revolution against U.S.-led imperialism can the productive forces of the newly independent Asian and African countries be liberated and their independent national economies be gradually established and developed. Thus, continued and intensified struggle against U.S.-led imperialism and its lackeys remain’s the primary, and most urgent, task confronting the Asian and African countries today.

III

For the newly independent Asian and African countries, the struggle for political independence and the struggle for economic independence are interrelated. Without secure and full political independence, genuine economic independence is impossible; without genuine economic independence, secure and full political independence cannot last. In other words, political independence is the precedent for economic independence, while economic independence is the basis for political independence.Whether before or after independence, the winning, maintaining and consolidating of political independence is always the primary task for all Asian and African countries. Political independence takes precedence over economic independence. At the same time, the two are interdependent and complementary. Before independence, all efforts must be directed first of all at winning political independence so as to prepare the conditions for economic independence. After independence, Asian and African countries, while continuing to consolidate their political independence, need to make full use of their political power to obliterate the influences of the imperialists and their lackeys, carry out agrarian and other social reforms, establish and develop independent national economies and thus consolidate the political independence already secured. In the process of striving for economic independence, it is necessary to combine economic struggle with political struggle so that they complement and promote each other. The end purpose of both is to achieve full independence. To win full political independence and genuine economic independence will require a long and arduous struggle, the whole process being marked by zigzags—with quantitative changes leading to qualitative changes—and by sharp and complex struggles with imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and all other reactionary forces at home and abroad.

 

By: Hsu Nai-chiung

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