Theories of Development and Underdevelopment: Some of the ABCs..

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at
Sat May 26 14:35:35 MDT 2001

In his book _Theories of Comparative Politics_ , Ronald Chilcote examines
the theories of development, underdevelopment and imperialis in light of
Marxist and non-Marxist versions. His classification is useful  for
clarifying some of the issues about capitalist development in the third
world. It also raises the question of whether there is a unified body of
thought called dependency theory (Chilcote, 1981; 1994).

1) Paul Prebish of Argentina and Celso of Furtado of Brazil  (ECLA
economists): They belonged to the non-Marxist section of dependency theory.
They defended the proposition that a new bourgeoisie, commercial and
industrial in character, can emerge as a supporter of national interest in
the context of imperialism and foreign penetration into domestic economies.
Examining various stages in the development of European industrial economy,
Furtado noted that European expansionism led to "dualism" in the third
world--some structures characterize the capitalist system and others
perpetuate the features of the pre-capitalist mode of production. Although
these thinkers assumed a nationalist yet an anti-imperialist stance, they
"favored autonomy as a solution to national development" and did not
necessarily embrace a Marxist analysis of imperialism. National development
in their view implied that both the center and periphery  "could benefit
from the maximizing of production, income and consumption" through a
program of bourgeois economic modernization in the periphery. This version
of dependency theory can be labeled as third world versions of
modernization theory OR Brenner/Warren thesis as applied to the third
world. Comparative advantage, convergence of world economies and
possibilities of development _within_ capitalism are emphasized.

2) Samir Amin: Being a  world system Marxist,  he questioned the stagist
Marxist theory's criticism of dependency theory that "underdevelopment" is
a non-Marxist concept (Brenner can be classified in this category due to
his rejection of dependency). Marxist attention to underdevelopment should
NOT be viewed as a bourgeois theory. What is needed, instead,  is a Marxist
analysis of underdevelopment that can abridge the _gap_ between class and
core-periphery analysis. Amin argued that
"Marx foresaw that no colonial power would be able to preclude for long the
local development of capitalism. With the rise of monopolies , however,
"the rise development of capitalism in the periphery was to remain
extraverted, based on the external market, and could therefore not lead to
a full flowering of the capitalist mode of production in the periphery"
(1976:199). Also, negative development of capitalism on a world scale
emerged in Marx thinking, which stressed that *** A new and international
argued that merchant capital destroyed but did not necessarily transform
pre-capitalist social formations in a country such as India. British rule
"created misery and backwardness along with the conditions of capitalist
development, but full-fledged capitalism and industrialization never took
hold there". As Mohri (1979) observes, Marx's writings on Ireland, in
contrast to his views on India, resembled the contemporary writings on
underdevelopment. Marx defended the idea that Ireland needed 1)independence
2) self-government 3) agrarian revolution and 4) protective tariffs AGAINST

3) David Lane (1974): Inspired by Lenin's analysis of capitalism in Russia
that Russia was a backward nation at the time of the 1917 revolution, Lane
combined Lenin's theory of imperialism with capitalist development in
peripheral areas. 1)  Lenin's theory imperialism criticized capitalism
since it affected the less developed countries 2) His theory embraced a
model of centralized decision making 2) It embraced mass participation.
Although Lenin's views were later misinterpreted as stagism
(industrialization>capitalism>socialism), this interpretation of Lenin did
not conform to Lenin's original concerns. Lenin's theory should be read as
"State ownership and control, the facilitation of rapid economic growth,
and direct forms of political participation for social equality must be
combined in the less developed areas. The consequence may be a policy of
industrialization WITHOUT capitalism in combination with greater
participation and equality". This lays the groundwork for the state
socialist model as opposed to capitalist modernization

4) AGF (1966)  While Rodney (1972--How Europe Underdeveloped Africa),
Malcom Caldwell (1977--The Wealth of Some Nations), Szentes (1976). These
works are radical Marxist attempts to elaborate the meaning of
underdevelopment. First, underdevelopment is not  traditional or original
state in the development of societies. Second, what we are talking about is
a  CONTEMPORARY underdevelopment, not UNDEVELOPMENT, which is a consequence
of the "relationships between the new developed metropolitan countries and
the underdeveloped stallite countries, a reflection of the development of
the capitalist system on a world scale". The duality between some societies
as  modern, capitalist and developed and others as "isolated, feudal and
pre-capitalist" is misquided because underdevelopment is a product of the
same historical process of capitalist development on a world scale.
Although in times of war and depression some autonomous capitalist
development emerged in the stallites, within the present capitalist economy
as a world system this was destined to result in capitalist
underdevelopment .In that respect, imperialized countries are not
developing because they can not escape from their backward conditions. The
solution to development is to DELINK from the world capitalist system with
a socialist revolution (I have some reservations for this version of
underdevelopment theory as it applies to Peronism in Argentina, Kemalism in
Turkey, Nasserism in Egypt. Although the world system _in which_ these
political economies were operating was capitalist, the national
bourgeois+working class popular alliance as a backlash to imperialism is
not _well theorised_, or quickly simplified as "underdeveloped" in this
version of underdevelopment theory. Nonetheless, the concept of "delinking"
has a revolutionary connotation)

5) Emmanuel (1972). Sharing some similarities with the theorists of
underdevelopment, E  specifically focuses on "unequal exchange". With the
value transferred from the periphery to the center ( as the labor gets
relatively rewarded at the center), the proletariat "aligns itself with the
bourgeoisie to ensure the status quo". Amin criticized E on the grounds
that " we cannot think of class struggle as occurring within separate
national contexts but must think of it as occurring within the context of
the world system". Amin instead came up with the theory of  "unequal
development". Whereas E and Frank stressed exchange and market
inequalities, Aming (along with Wallerstein)  seemed to use concepts such
"as mode of production" going beyond market categories, and focused on
"capitalist world system as a mode of production" differentially allocated
between center and periphery. In Chilcote's interpretation, Amin argues
that ***the theory of unequal development acknowledges the different
patterns of transition to peripheral capitalism and to central capitalism
as the consequence of the impact of  the capitalist mode of production and
its MECHANISM of trade upon pre-capitalist formations, resulting for
instance, in the destruction of  crafts without being replaced by local
industrial production. Unequal international specialization is manifested
by distortions in the export activities, bureaucracy and light industries
of the periphery. The underdeveloped countries should not be confused with
the advanced countries  at an earlier stage of  their development, for the
underdeveloped countries are characterized by an extreme unevenness in the
distribution of production, which primarily serves the needs  of the
dominant center***. In Amin's views, uneven distribution of capital on a
world scale  blocks growth in the periphery, making autonomous development
difficult, if not impossible. In the periphery, development requires a more
direct intervention by the state. Class, production and struggle must be
analyzed within this context, and the transition from capitalism to
socialism on a world scale must begin from the periphery.

To be continued with new Marxist and non-Marxist theories of  dependency.
Chilcote's classification presented so far can be schematized as follows.



a)  Desarrolista, structuralism, and nationalist autonomous development
(Prebisch, Furtado and Sunkel).
b) Internal Colonialism (Gonzalez Casanova-- he replaced  issues of class
conflict with a concern for national and regional differences)
c) Poles of Development (Andrade)


a) Monopoly capitalism (Baran and Sweezy)
b)Subimperialism (Marini)
c)Capitalist development of underdevelopment (Frank, Rodney who were
critics of ECLA)
d)New Dependency (Dos Santos).
e) Unequal development (Samir Amin)

Furtado, Peter Evans (emphasizes the role of foreign+local bourgeoisie in
promoting industrialization. Eliminates the meaning of "comprodor

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Ph.D Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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