Political Economy, Ideology, and the Impact of Economics on the Third World

By Derrick K. Gondwe | Go to book overview

6
Ideology and the Economics
of Less Developed Countries

This chapter will consider the three ideologies discussed in the previous chapters in terms of how they apply to less developed countries (LDCs). The fact that all three ideologies evolved in the capitalist countries of the West is significant, since it means that they developed within the western social environment, reflecting western cultural values and historical experience. Nevertheless, the proponents of each ideology believe that their ideas are directly applicable to the social environments of nonwestern societies.

All three ideologies presuppose either that LDCs will develop into affluence just as the industrialized countries have, and/or that they want and need to develop into replicas of currently affluent societies. That is why it should not be surprising that economists, especially those of the neoclassical persuasion, have posed as expert advisers to governments of less developed nations on what to do to achieve rapid economic development. The notion that the West has a blueprint that less developed countries should follow seems to cross ideological boundaries. This is partially illustrated by the fact that it was Karl Marx who said that the more developed countries show the less developed an image of their future. It is further illustrated in W. W. Rostow Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto, which was written in the 1960s as a blueprint for LDCs to follow. 1

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Political Economy, Ideology, and the Impact of Economics on the Third World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Transition from Political Economy to Economics 11
  • 3 - Ideology in Political Economy 31
  • 5 - Economics and the Political Economy of Less Developed Countries 93
  • Notes 115
  • 6 - Ideology and the Economics of Less Developed Countries 121
  • 7 - Toward a People-Centered Political Economy 151
  • Bibliography 177
  • Index 189
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