Progress and Regression
When we plan our economy, do not let us confuse issues by bringing in
politics. I appreciate that economics and politics are intimately con-
nected, but let us keep politics out for a moment. Let us not indulge in
attacks on imperialism; let us not look for excuses.
—Aung San, 19471
I agree with our ASEAN friends that we are all in the same sinking boat,
but the water level is rising faster in our part of the boat than in your
part of the boat. We are not good swimmers. But we believe we have a
lot of resilience and we think the “good resource base” we have in the
country can be depended upon to serve as a lifeboat. This lifeboat is
expected to see us through the present [economic] crisis.
—U Myint, 19982
All indigenous regimes in Burma have been dirigiste; the salient issues are to what degree and with what competence.3 The monarchical state held A. monopolies on oil, teak, and exports; the civilian governments were restrained socialists; and the military has vacillated between rigid socialism in