Imperialism, dependency, and social class
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INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this essay is to examine what has become known in the language of post-World War II social science as "dependency theory." Although all variants of this dependency theory are more or less nationalist and anti-imperialist, they are not uniformly socialist or Marxist. That is to say, many of those working within the broad category of dependency theory are not fundamentally anti-capitalist. Thus, they do not articulate a socialist program for breaking the constraints they see as being responsible for poverty, backwardness, stagnation, and underdevelopment. In the writings of these non-socialist or "bourgeois-nationalist" writers, the problem was seen merely as the domination of weaker economies by stronger ones. If this domination could be removed, so would be the economic backwardness that characterizes most of the Third World. The result would be capital accumulation and an independent, autonomous but nevertheless capitalist development. "Independent" or "autonomous" capitalist development should not be equated with some abstract notion of "absolute autarky." Absolute autarky is here understood to mean the complete severing of all economic links that any particular political-economic formation has that extend beyond its boundaries. It is, however, argued that some degree of autocthonous development is necessary if structural underdevelopment is to be overcome. [TRUNCATED]
African Studies Center Working Paper No. 45
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