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Thread: The People's Republic of Benin

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    Default The People's Republic of Benin

    Was randomly surfing the internet recently and came across this article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Republic_of_Benin

    Huh, I never knew that Benin was once a self-described Marxist-Leninist state. Sounds like there was some classic ML purge-mongering, a (failed) coup sponsored by France, and a rather eccentric leader who ruled for almost two decades, converted to Islam, then became a born-again Christian and won free elections in 1996.
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    Seems more like a military dictatorship which called itself "Marxist-Leninist" to try and gain some economic support from the USSR.
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    Yeah but that applies to most of the Bonapartist "African Socialism" states.
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    There's a series of books called "Marxist Regimes", which deal with a whole bunch of self-described Marxist governments. From what I've read, they're definitely not the most entertaining books - but for many of the countries there are almost no alternative sources, so they're still quite useful (there are books on Guinea-Bissau, Suriname, Yemen, Angola, etc).

    Anyway, I've got one called "Benin, The Congo, Burkina Faso" (published in 1988). I haven't read the section on Benin yet. I bought it for the section on Burkina Faso, which was a big disappointment, since they devoted less than fifty pages to it. Sankara's revolution was in my opinion one of the most fascinating Third World uprisings and I wish they'd given it book-length treatment.

    I just skipped to the conclusion of the section on Benin, and the writer strongly suggests that it shouldn't be considered a Marxist regime. He says that the Marxism of the country's government is (at the time of writing), and perhaps always was, "mere rhetoric".

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    Is it "Military Marxist Regimes in Africa", by John Markakis?

    That's what came up when I googled "marxist regimes books". It's on Amazon but it must be very out-of-print, as a new copy is priced at almost 200 dollars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Os Cangaceiros View Post
    Sounds like there was some classic ML purge-mongering...
    Oh, come on!

    I know damn well that talking about Lenin on this forum is like playing musical chairs to the tune of the L'Internationale on the first row of a CPSU congress, but still, come on!

    What I assume you mean by 'purge mongering' isn't Marxist-Leninist. Purge mongering is standard fare for any "let's liberate the fuck outta you" sort of dictatorship.

    Hell, saying things like this is essentially making the supposition that Stalin (I'm invoking the ghost of Uncle Joe in the derogatory sense, not in the sense of stuff that he actually did) had policies that represented the ultimate incarnation of Leninism in practice!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Os Cangaceiros View Post
    Is it "Military Marxist Regimes in Africa", by John Markakis?

    That's what came up when I googled "marxist regimes books". It's on Amazon but it must be very out-of-print, as a new copy is priced at almost 200 dollars.
    No, as far as I'm aware, that not part of the series.

    They're subtitled "Politics, Economics and Society". If you go to Amazon and type in "Marxist Regimes", the way they're usually listed is by the name of the country, with the words "Marxist Regimes" in brackets. That's on the UK Amazon, at least.

    They're out-of-print but most of them are very cheap. I've picked them up for literally a penny (... though unfortunately I still always had to pay ~£2.50 for p&p).

    Some examples:

    Ethiopia
    Zimbabwe
    Hungary

    They're usually very dry and they're often quite critical of the regimes in question. Still, if you're interested in Third World socialist movements, they're worth checking out (if only for paucity of choice).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoot_allures View Post
    No, as far as I'm aware, that not part of the series.

    They're subtitled "Politics, Economics and Society". If you go to Amazon and type in "Marxist Regimes", the way they're usually listed is by the name of the country, with the words "Marxist Regimes" in brackets. That's on the UK Amazon, at least.

    They're out-of-print but most of them are very cheap. I've picked them up for literally a penny (... though unfortunately I still always had to pay ~£2.50 for p&p).

    Some examples:

    Ethiopia
    Zimbabwe
    Hungary

    They're usually very dry and they're often quite critical of the regimes in question. Still, if you're interested in Third World socialist movements, they're worth checking out (if only for paucity of choice).
    OK, thanks, I'll take a look.

    Oh, come on!

    I know damn well that talking about Lenin on this forum is like playing musical chairs to the tune of the L'Internationale on the first row of a CPSU congress, but still, come on!

    What I assume you mean by 'purge mongering' isn't Marxist-Leninist. Purge mongering is standard fare for any "let's liberate the fuck outta you" sort of dictatorship.

    Hell, saying things like this is essentially making the supposition that Stalin (I'm invoking the ghost of Uncle Joe in the derogatory sense, not in the sense of stuff that he actually did) had policies that represented the ultimate incarnation of Leninism in practice!
    MLs didn't invent the political purge, but they did perfect it. Kind of like how Americans didn't invent the english language, but we perfected it.
    "Win, lose or draw...long as you squabble and you get down, that's gangsta."

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