Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized

Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized

Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized

Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized

Excerpt

On November 1, 1984, Algeria celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of its revolutionary war of independence against France with a brilliant display of military and economic might that would have amazed observers three decades earlier. When a motley assortment of guerrilla fighters had launched their "revolution," few people in Algiers or Paris even noticed. Yet, by the time the struggle was over, the world had witnessed one of the twentieth century's major military, political, and social events. A hapless array of disorganized rebels were eventually to "defeat" one of the world's major powers and, in so doing, to establish the legitimacy of wars of national liberation for colonial peoples.

When independence was achieved, critics still remained doubtful as to Algeria's ability to run its own ship of state--and with justification. After 124 years of intensive colonial rule and nearly 8 years of revolutionary warfare, Algeria emerged in a state of total economic decrepitude and political backwardness. Yet, in the more than two decades since regaining its national independence in 1962, the country has achieved a remarkable degree of political stability and economic growth. Aided by extensive hydrocarbon reserves, Algeria has embarked on a massive industrialization program that has enabled it to achieve, by the middle 1980s, a level of development that places the country among the more advanced of the newly industrializing states of the Southern sphere. Political life has been institutionalized under a presidential system of government that finds its principal support from the single party organization, the armed forces, and the burgeoning technocratic class.

In foreign affairs Algeria continues to maintain a militant diplomatic posture on most issues affecting North-South relations, espousing an ideology of revolutionary socialism and giving moral and material support to numerous Third World movements of national liberation, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the . . .

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