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Thread: How It Was Done...

  1. #1

    Default How It Was Done...

    ‘In contrast with the surging growth of the countries in our socialist camp and the development taking place, albeit much more slowly, in the majority of the capitalist countries, is the unquestionable fact that a large proportion of the so-called underdeveloped countries are in total stagnation, and that in some of them the rate of economic growth is lower than that of population increase.
    ‘These characteristics are not fortuitous; they correspond strictly to the nature of the capitalist system in full expansion, which transfers to the dependent countries the most abusive and barefaced forms of exploitation. It must be clearly understood that the only way to solve the questions now besetting mankind is to eliminate completely the exploitation of dependent countries by developed capitalist countries, with all the consequences that this implies.’Che Guevara, 1964.

  2. #2


    Development in human society is a many-sided process. At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being. Some of these are virtually moral categories and are difficult to evaluate – depending as they do on the age in which one lives, one’s class origins, and one’s personal code of what is right and what is wrong. However, what is indisputable is that the achievement of any of those aspects of
    personal development is very much tied in with the state of the society as a whole.

  3. #3


    The relations which develop within any given social group are crucial to an understanding of the society as a whole: Freedom, responsibility, skill, etc. have real meaning only in terms of the relations of men in society.

    The relations between individuals in any two societies are regulated by the form of the two societies. Their respective political structures are important because the ruling elements within each group are the ones that begin to dialogue, trade or fight, as the case may be. At the level of social groups, therefore, development implies an increasing capacity to regulate both internal and external relationships.

  4. #4


    More often than not, the term ‘development’ is used in an exclusive economic sense – the justification being that the type of economy is itself an index of other social features. What then is economic development? A society develops economically as its members increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment. This capacity for dealing with the environment is dependent on the extent to which they understand the laws of nature (science), on the extent to which they put that understanding into practice by devising tools (technology), and on the manner in which work is organised.

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    Every people have shown a capacity for independently increasing their ability to live a more satisfactory life through exploiting the resources of nature.

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    underdevelopment is not absence of development, because every people have developed in one way or another and to a greater or lesser extent. Underdevelopment makes sense only as a means of comparing levels of development. It is very much tied to the fact that human social development has been uneven and from a strictly economic view-point some human groups have advanced further by producing more and becoming more wealthy.

  7. #7


    The moment that one group appears to be wealthier than others, some enquiry is bound to take place as to the reason for the difference. After Britain had begun to move ahead of the rest of Europe in the 18th century, the famous British economist Adam Smith felt it necessary to look into the causes behind the ‘Wealth of Nations’. At the same time, many Russians were very concerned about the fact that their country was ‘backward’ in comparison with England, France and Germany in the 18th century and subsequently in the 19th century. Today, our main pre-occupation is with the differences in wealth between on the one hand Europe and North America and on the other hand Africa, Asia and Latin America. In comparison with the first, the second group can be said to be backward or underdeveloped. At all times, therefore, one of the ideas behind underdevelopment is a comparative one. It is possible to compare the economic conditions at two different periods for the same country and determine whether or not it had developed; and (more importantly) it is possible to compare the economies of any two countries or sets of countries at any given period in time.

  8. #8


    A second and even more indispensable component of modern underdevelopment is that it expresses a particular relationship of exploitation: namely, the exploitation of one country by another. All of the countries named as ‘underdeveloped’ in the world are exploited by others; and the underdevelopment with which the world is now pre-occupied is a product of capitalist, imperialist and colonialist exploitation.

  9. #9


    African and Asian societies were developing independently until they were taken over directly or indirectly by the capitalist powers. When that happened, exploitation increased and the export of surplus ensued, depriving the societies of the benefit of their natural resources and labour. That is an integral part of underdevelopment in the contemporary sense.

  10. #10


    Developed economies have certain characteristics which contrast with underdeveloped ones. The developed countries are all industrialized. That is to say, the greater part of their working population is engaged in industry rather than agriculture, and most of their wealth comes out of mines, factories, etc. They have a high output of labour per man in industry because of their advanced technology and skills. This is well known, but it is also striking that the developed countries have a much more advanced agriculture than the rest of the world. Their agriculture has already become an industry, and the agricultural part of the economy produces more although it is small.

    The countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America are called agricultural countries because they rely on agriculture and have little or no industry: but their agriculture is unscientific and the yields are far less than those of the developed countries.

  11. #11


    It is typical of underdeveloped economies that they do not (or are not allowed to) concentrate on those sectors of the economy which in turn will generate growth and raise production to a new level altogether, and there are very few ties between one sector and another so that (say) agriculture and industry could react beneficially on each other.

  12. #12


    Taxes do not produce national wealth and development. Wealth has to be produced out of nature – from tilling the land or mining metals or felling trees or turning raw materials into finished products for human consumption.

    By paying attention to the wealth created by human labour out of nature, one can immediately appreciate that very few underdeveloped countries are lacking in the natural resources which could go in to making a better life; and in those cases it is usually possible for two or three territories to combine together for their mutual benefit. In fact, it can be shown that the underdeveloped countries are the ones with the greatest wealth of natural resources and yet the poorest in terms of goods and services presently provided by and for their citizens.

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