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Democratic Republic of Madagascar 1975-1991

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Post 15 May 2016, 17:08
Was Madagascar a marxist state during 1975-91 or it was just heading towards socialism??
Post 18 May 2016, 15:00
According to the Soviets at the time, Madagascar was one of the third world countries with a "socialist orientation," meaning it was choosing a "non-capitalist path of development" by weakening the economic and political positions of imperialism, consolidating control of the economy in the state sector, creating a party that united all "revolutionary democrats," and gradually assimilating Marxist-Leninist concepts. Eventually, according to the Soviets, such countries would reach socialism and "bypass" capitalist development (just as Mongolia and Central Asia were said to have achieved socialism even though capitalist development in both areas had been limited.)

This concept was originally used to apply to Mongolia and Central Asia. After 1955 the Soviets began applying it to all sorts of other countries. The big problem was that when this was applied to states like Ba'athist Syria, Egypt under Nasser, Algeria, Guinea, Somalia, Burma and so on communists were either persecuted or were placed in a subordinate position with limited ability to operate independently. The logic the Soviets used was that the world socialist community was becoming stronger and the world capitalist system was weakening, so more and more third world countries would find it indispensable to ally with the former against the latter if they wanted to develop their countries, and therefore all their petty-bourgeois illusions about non-Marxist forms of socialism (Arab, African, Buddhist, etc.) would give way to Marxism-Leninism. But in practice that never really happened.

In the 1980s Madagascar dropped a lot of its revolutionary rhetoric and "socialist-oriented" policies in favor of getting loans from the IMF and mending ties with France and other Western countries. The ruling party was ideologically eclectic, it claimed to be practicing a "humanist Marxism" rather than Marxism-Leninism, and also toyed with Juche for a little while in the late 70s.
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