ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In Defence of Eucalyptus

Comecon, trade plans and bilateral arrangements; they have their stock of gold and other precious metals; they have their more specific problems of mutual adjustments and accommodation. They could seriously consider assuming the risk of destabilising the existing arrangements only provided they were reasonably sure of either or both of the following two development: (a) a major ideological breakthrough among the group of so-called non-aligned nations; (b) a major increase in the availability of long-term capital as well as short-term liquid funds, which could eventuate in case the OPEC countries decided to lend their support to an alternative structure of international financial institutions of this nature. Either development can be ruled out. Neither trade with, nor finance from, the socialist world is likely to prove to be of much help for spreading the message of socialism in the non-aligned group of countries; if it were otherwise, given the magnificent strides in our trade relations with the East European countries since the 1950s, the forces on the Left would have by now succeeded in capturing the major citadels of power in this country. As for the oligarchs who rule the? roast in the oil-rich countries in West Asia, they will just never agree to pump their wealth into any so-called non-aligned bank. Such sowing of wild oats is against their nature. When the bell begins to toll, they know only too well, it is only the governments of the capitalist West which will offer them succour and shelter; it is only the governments of the capitalist West which will rescue them from the nightmare of summary confiscation of assets. Since 1973, when their fortunes began to skyrocket and their earnings began to jump severalfold, the bulk of their extra earnings have been safely deposited in the Western countries. The non-aligned nations and the Group of 77 are all right as a lobby they can occasionally patronise and make use of; the oligarchs of the Arab world are still no fools to fall into the trap of a non-aligned monetary and financial framework. They would rather keep their options open. If some of the more wretched among these non-aligned tramps have to be offered help and sustenance, they will do so selectively, on their own, through bilateral arrangements; such arrangements will be advantageous to the Arab oligarchs in more senses than one

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