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International Socialism, Spring 1962


David Breen

South of the Himalayas


From International Socialism (1st series), No.8, Spring 1962, p.32.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Burden of US Aid
Pakistan Today
2 Rockwell Gardens, London SE19. 48 pp. 2s.

The Indian Middle Classes
B.B. Misra
Oxford University Press (under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs) 438 pp. 45s.

Pakistan Today is to be congratulated once again on a solid job of work, both factually dependable and politically relevant. In The Burden of US Aid, the authors show that aid has done nothing to trigger off development or to avert famine, that its flow was contingent on the installation of a pro-US administration in 1953, that military aid ties Pakistan hand and foot and is ruinous of the country’s resources, and that economic aid whether in the form of unwanted commodities or not is the means whereby the US controls every aspect of Pakistan’s economic and political life. The authors might be accused of holding too simpliste a view of contemporary imperialism’s drives particularly when they assert that the major role of the Pakistan army is ‘the maintenance of Western influence in the Middle East and to protect Western interests in that region’ (p.23), but the pamphlet as a whole is a closely argued, well-documented study of its effect in an important country and one that deserves to be read by all who take this journal.

Misra’s book is hardly in the same class. Although sub-titled Their Growth in Modern Times the narrative seldom advances beyond the first World War. As a historian, Dr Misra might be excused. But there is no excuse for the absence of analysis as to what constitutes a middle class. Instead we are given a jumble of categories which includes managers, peasant rentiers, and tenants, students, teachers and a host of others.

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