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    #1

    "banana republic"

    Hello,

    one of the comments posted on a magazine site says:


    "You are doing a great (s)ervice to the nation. Just concerned that, too much information will drown the finer points that people must realize about the crony capitalist banana republic we seem to be."



    Some background for those who might be interested: Many scams have come out this year in India and these tapes have conversations relating to one of them (the 2G spectrum scam regarding allocation of spectrum for mobile phones). These tapes, which were leaked, contain tapped conversations between a lobbyist and several politicians, businessmen and journalists, exposing a nexus and corruption among politicians and raising serious doubts about impartiality and professionalism of the journalists.

    The definition of 'banana republic' is (from answers.com):

    n.
    A small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas, and is typically governed by a dictator or the armed forces.
    I am a bit confused about the usage of 'banana republic' in the comment above. Is there another meaning to 'banana republic'? I am not quite clear about what makes India look like a banana republic.

    Thank you.


  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "banana republic"

    That definition is a bit coloured by the origin of the phrase. In many uses today 'banana republic' refers not so much to reliance on a single export; what is more important is that a powerful external state needs its commodit(/ies), and so props it up financially. In that wider sense, it seems to me to make sense.

    b

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    #3

    Re: "banana republic"

    To me, "banana republic" also has overtones of a state that can't be taken seriously for whatever reason (e.g. bad organization). This isn't mentioned in the dictionary definition - maybe it is wrong, but I mention it for what it is worth.

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    #4

    Re: "banana republic"

    Thanks for your responses.

    Certainly there are several instances indicating 'bad organization', starting from the CWG (commonwealth games) which was a big scam that came out a few months ago.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "banana republic"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Thanks for your responses.

    Certainly there are several instances indicating 'bad organization', starting from the CWG (commonwealth games) which was a big scam that came out a few months ago.
    "Banana republic" is misapplied to India, no matter how disorganised the place is.

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    #6

    Re: "banana republic"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That definition is a bit coloured by the origin of the phrase. In many uses today 'banana republic' refers not so much to reliance on a single export; what is more important is that a powerful external state needs its commodit(/ies), and so props it up financially. In that wider sense, it seems to me to make sense.

    b
    Another feature would be that the external state would often interfere in the affairs of the banana republic, including installing and deposing leaders in order to ensure the continued operation of its interests (i.e. the banana companies).

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    #7

    Re: "banana republic"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Hello,

    one of the comments posted on a magazine site says:

    "You are doing a great (s)ervice to the nation. Just concerned that, too much information will drown the finer points that people must realize about the crony capitalist banana republic we seem to be."



    Some background for those who might be interested: Many scams have come out this year in India and these tapes have conversations relating to one of them (the 2G spectrum scam regarding allocation of spectrum for mobile phones). These tapes, which were leaked, contain tapped conversations between a lobbyist and several politicians, businessmen and journalists, exposing a nexus and corruption among politicians and raising serious doubts about impartiality and professionalism of the journalists.

    The definition of 'banana republic' is (from answers.com):
    n.
    A small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas, and is typically governed by a dictator or the armed forces.
    I am a bit confused about the usage of 'banana republic' in the comment above. Is there another meaning to 'banana republic'? I am not quite clear about what makes India look like a banana republic.

    Thank you.

    *** NOT A TEACHER ***


    Olympian,


    I googled "Is the United States becoming a banana republic?"

    There were many interesting results. If you get time, you

    may wish to check them out.


    Thank you & have a nice day

  3. euncu's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "banana republic"

    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***
    "Banana republic" is a derogatory term applied mostly to small Latin American countries whose totalitarian leaderships constantly change hands via coups d'etat. It doesn't have to reflect the actual facts about those countries, it's rather an image about them in some people's minds.

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    #9

    not a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***
    "Banana republic" is a derogatory term applied mostly to small Latin American countries whose totalitarian leaderships constantly change hands via coups d'etat. It doesn't have to reflect the actual facts about those countries, it's rather an image about them in some people's minds.
    This is correct. Bananas, of course, were and are a principle export of Latin America, but the meaning here is describing an unstable government.

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    #10

    Re: "banana republic"

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***
    "Banana republic" is a derogatory term applied mostly to small Latin American countries whose totalitarian leaderships constantly change hands via coups d'etat. It doesn't have to reflect the actual facts about those countries, it's rather an image about them in some people's minds.
    It has lost it's original geographical associations and meaing to me- any country that is corrupt, badly governed, a pawn, etc, can be called a banana republic IMO. I think that because we use bananas to mean crazy, or call someone a banana to mean idiot, it has acquired those associations.

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