Crisis: In the Third World

Crisis: In the Third World

Crisis: In the Third World

Crisis: In the Third World

Excerpt

This book, as well as its companion volume, Crisis. In the World Economy (abbreviated as WE), examines the development of the new economic and political crisis in the world. According to my dictionary, a crisis is a decisive turning point, filled with danger and anxiety, possibly meaning life or death for a diseased person, social system, or historical process. The outcome need not necessarily be death, but could be new life, if -- in our case -- the economic, social, and political body is able to adapt and to undergo a regenerative transformation during its time of crisis.

Both books are part of a global study of the contemporary development of a deep and widespead economic, social, and political crisis in the world, which seems to be centered on a new crisis of overaccumulation of capital in the capitalist West, and on the consequent transformation of its relations with the socialist East and the underdeveloped South. This book examines the position of the Third World South in the global crisis, and the more general companion volume (WE) traces the crisis's development in the West, East, and South. Each book can be read separately, if the importance of the interrelations in the global economic system, whose initiating force remains in the West, is kept in mind. Although the problems dealt with in both books are very serious, it has been my intention to employ an analysis and to write in a language that any interested reader can understand.

Crisis. In the Third World distinguishes between the principal kinds of Third World economies and the different modifications of their participation in the world economy under the impact of the crisis. These are principally the intermediate development in the seven major semiperipheral economies of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, India, Iran, Israel, and South Africa (which are examined individually in Chapter 1); the economies in which agricultural export, especially through agribusiness, is important (Chapter 2); and the economies promoting other exports of manufactures, oil, and minerals, as well as the expendable regions with very few exports (Chapter 3). The analysis then turns to some features and processes that are more or less common to all of these Third World countries despite their differences: the increase in foreign debt (Chapter 4) and its burden, paid through the greater exploitation of the local population; the increasing superexploitation of many members of the labor force in the Third World (Chapter 5); political economic repression (extensively documented in Chapter 6), which is necessary to sustain this exploitation and superexploitation; the transformation of the state (Chapter 7) as one of the principal instruments of the adoption of the Third World and its population to its new world roles, as well . . .

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