Query on dependency.

Sam Pawlett rsp at SPAMuniserve.com
Tue Oct 12 00:43:58 MDT 1999

Carlos Eduardo Rebello wrote:
> Dear Sam: Your comments are very good, but they should not repeat the
> problem of treating all UDCs as an undifferentiated mass.

Hi Carlos. Thanks for your reply.
Yes, that was Cardoso's point, no?

 It must be
> said that the core problem for US foreign policy in the immediate
> aftermath of WWII wasn't the 3rd World as such - there was an
> interregnum during the late 40s and the early 50s when it seemed that
> European colonialism might reassert itself in Africa and S Asia, where
> the US adopeted even the anti-colonialist, "3rd force" rethoric
> described in Graham Greene's The Quiet American - but the specter of the
> coming "communization" of Western Europe, that had to be averted by the
> Marshall Plan. The starting-stone for the work of Prebisch and ECLA
> [CEPAL, in Sp. andPort.] was exactly the absence of a Marshall Plan for
> Latin America, which had been  receiving the slightest possible economic
> attention from Washington in the beggining of the Cold War, except for
> some political agreements of the most subservient kind, eg., the free
> export of Brazilian radioactive minerals in exchange for decomissioned
> ships, discarded armoured cars, etc., from the US military.
>  This lack of interest was the focus of the early work of Prebisch, who
> argued in 1949 that Latin America suffered from the transition of the
> core of the imperialist systemn from an "open" economy -ie, a net
> importer of raw materials and agricultural produce, namely Great Britain
> - to a "closed" one, namely the US, who were at the time a net exporter
> of most raw materials- including oil. This closed character of the US
> economy generated a lack of interest in investment opprtunities for the
> Lat.Am. economies.In the Keynesian terms used by Prebisch,there was a
> weakening of international Effective Demand; the *Keynesian* basis for
> ECLA's thought is something that must not be understated at all costs,
> except in the Us academic, that tends to view Dependency theory only in
> the framework of 3rd World marxism, insted of a case of  native
> ruling-class Keynesian liberals frustated with their expectations of
> American aid turning leftwards, as happened with Getulio Vargas in his
> second government, when he began denoncing imperialism after being
> cheated in his expectations of the Marshall plan for Lat.Am.

  Interesting, I've never thought of Cepal and Prebisch in Keynesian
terms before, perhaps I haven't read enough of their stuff. I thought
their project and methodology was much more broad than what Keynes was
up to. I was mostly interested in their pre-figuring of dependancy
theory and the structural mechanisms they identified in the
core-periphery relationship and the failure of the UDC's to repeat the
growth and development of the core countries.
  I know CEPAL later make criticisms of import substitution and
especially Sunkel began to become more realistic, gravitating towards
class analysis and imperialism.

> These are some precisions that I think necessary, but can expand on the
> subject if you want.
Oh, yes. I'm really struggling with these ideas and would appreciate any
and all input and discussion.


More information about the Marxism mailing list