Review from ROAPE Volume 4 Number 9
How Long Will SA Survive (Johnson)
How long will South Africa survive? examines the effects of the international financial system on South Africa, and especially the role of gold as a standard medium in international commodity exchange. The effects of the imperialist system of international relations are illustrated by Johnson's study of the relations between South Africa, as a major gold producer, and the United States as the most powerful state in the world capitalist system. Johnson sees the US as having the will and the power to fix arbitrarily the price of gold. The US can also control the policies of international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (the IBRD). According to Johnson, the United States can use its economic power vis-a-vis South Africa in three ways. It can apply diplomatic pressure on the South African government through its foreign affairs office, as witnessed by the Kissinger shuttle diplomacy. It can control the gold price, either directly or in a more subtle way through the manipulation of the activities of the IMF. It can close sources of credit to the South African government, thus making the South African government obtain short-term or long-term loans at high rates of interest.