Colonialism and Dependence

Powerful Essays
Colonialism and Dependence

In "Imperialism, the Highest State of Capitalism", Lenin warned, in refuting Kautsky, that the domination of finance capital not only does not lessen the inequalities and contradictions present in the world economy, but on the contrary accentuates them.

Time has passed and proven him right. The inequalities have become sharper. Historical research has shown that the distance that separated the standard of living in the wealthy countries from that of the poor countries toward the middle of the nineteenth century was much smaller than the distance that separates them today.

The gap has widened. In 1850 the per capita income in the industrialized countries was 50 per cent higher than in the underdeveloped countries.
To have an idea of the progress that has been achieved in the
DEVELOPMENT OF INEQUALITY, we have only to listen to President Richard
"...and I think about what this hemisphere, the new world, will be like at the end of this century. And I consider that if the present growth rates of the United States and the rest of the hemisphere have not changed, at the end of this century the per capita income in the United
States will be 15 times higher than the income per person of our friends, our neighbors, the members of our family in the rest of the

The oppressed nations will have to grow much more rapidly just to
MAINTAIN their relative backwardness. Their present low rates of development feed the dynamic of inequality: the oppressor nations are becoming increasingly rich in absolute terms, but they are richer still in relative terms.

The overall strength of the imperialist system rests on the necessary inequality of its component parts, and that inequality is achieving ever greater proportions.

Capitalism is still capitalism, and unequal development and widespread poverty are still its visible fruits.

"Centralized" capitalism can afford the luxury of creating and believing its own myths of opulence, but myths cannot be eaten, and the poor nations that constitute the vast capitalist "periphery" are well aware of this fact. Imperialism has "modernized" itself in its methods and characteristics, but it has not magically turned into a universal philanthropic organisation. The system's greed grows with the system itself. Nowadays imperialism does not req...

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... the consumer market, which is increasingly attracted by
U.S. advertising, to channel national savings and the economic surplus produced by our countries, to use advertising and the various other ways of creating public opinion, and, also, to exert that political pressure required by imperialism's digestive needs.

The new type of imperialism does not make its colonies more prosperous, even though it enriches its "enclaves"; it does not alleviate social tensions, but on the contrary sharpens them; it extends poverty and concentrates wealth; it takes over the internal market and the key parts of the productive apparatus; it appropriates progress for itself, determines its direction, and fixes its limits; it absorbs credit and directs foreign trade as it pleases; it does not provide capital for development, but instead removes it; it encourages waste by sending the greatest part of the economic surplus abroad; it denationalizes our industry and also the profits that our industry produces. Today in Latin
America the system has our veins as open as it did in those distant times when our blood first served the needs of primary accumulation for
European capitalist development.
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