Is India a third world country?

Tue Aug 17 01:37:17 MDT 1999

>>> Louis Proyect <lnp3 at> 08/17 2:42 AM >>>
(From the chapter on Frederic Jameson in Aijaz Ahmad's "In
Theory: Classes,
Nations, Literatures)

the point is
that the binary opposition which Jameson constructs between
a capitalist
First World and a presumably pre- or non-capitalist Third
World is
empirically ungrounded in any facts.

Jameson would certainly be very silly to regard India as
pre- or non-capitalist. I don't believe that there is a
pre-capitalist country in the world today, although if Ahmad
does not want to concede that India has many features of
'feudal' or pre-capitalist society, then he is also living
in some kind of parallel universe! As for 'non-capitalist'
countries I think we can agree that there aren't too many of
those around - some countries can be termed 'socialist' with
all of the qualifications that I've mentioned previously,
but India's not one of them. I think Ahmad is being a little
over eager here to rebel against an admittedly Eurocentric
marxism. I think a sounder discourse on these subjects is
provided by the underdevelopment / dependency school of Amin
and others, but I don't know if Ahmad engages with it or
not. It's really about power and exploitation on a world
scale, isn't it?. The US and some European countries exploit
 the workers of foreign countries more than they do their
own workers. Just as the ruling classes of 'third world'
countries are not really able to rule without the consent of
their 'first world' counterparts. But if we can come up with
a better terminology then I'm all for it. It might enable a
sharper analysis of these phenomena.


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