[Marxism] Imperialism today: a critical assessment of Latin American dependency theory
rfidler at ncf.ca
Mon Mar 12 13:16:28 MDT 2018
Brazilian economist and sociologist Ruy Mauro Marini (1932-1997) was a prime
exponent of what became known as dependency theory, an attempt to explain the
systemic unequal relations of the Latin American countries in particular with
the developed economies of the imperialist North. He was a close collaborator
of, among others, Vânia Bambirra and the recently-deceased Theotónio Dos Santos.
Marinis best-known work, first published in Spanish in 1972, is Dialectics of
Morini was a founder of the Brazilian Marxist organization Política Operária and
later, during his Chilean exile, a member of the Movimiento de Izquierda
Revolucionaria (MIR). Forced into exile again after the Pinochet coup, he taught
at the UNAM in Mexico for many years, returning to Brazil shortly before his
death from cancer in 1997.
In the following essay, Argentine Marxist Claudio Katz analyzes Marinis work in
light of contemporary developments in global capitalism. He assesses Marinis
attempt to understand and explain the initial developments in neoliberal
globalization and suggests some ways in which dependency theory might now be
renewed and updated. And he comments critically on the work of some current
proponents of versions of dependency theory.
Among Katzs most recent works is Bajo el imperio del capital, also published in
French translation in Quebec. Katz is a professor in the University of Buenos
Aires, a member of the left economists group (EDI), and a researcher with the
National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET).
Published by Katz on his web page, my translation from the Spanish.
* * *
Imperialism and dependency: similarities and differences with the Marini era
By Claudio Katz
The main theorist of dependency anticipated trends of neoliberal globalization.
He analyzed productive globalization, the centrality of exploitation and the
relative weight of surplus value transfers. But the employment crisis exceeds
what was envisaged by Marini, in a scenario disrupted by the mutation of the
United States, the collapse of the USSR and the rise of China.
Claudio KatzThe new national and social disparities emerge in an
internationalized economy, without correlation in states and ruling classes.
This absence of total transnationalization recreates dependency. The
semiperipheries present an economic dimension differentiated from the
geopolitical status of sub-imperialism. The Global South does not reincarnate
the old periphery, nor does it include China. There are solid pillars to renew
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