UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Imperialism and nationalism in the Caribbean : the political economy of dependent underdevelopment in Guyana Thakur, Rishee S.


The present stage of the vast majority of the peoples of the third world is characterized as existing in various stages of underdevelopment. Beyond that, however, there does not appear to he any overriding consensus as to how they got there, or perhaps more importantl;/", what combination of policies are likely to obviate such conditions. Consequently, there has been a proliferation of theories and prescriptions that have resulted in varying degrees of success and failure, without succeeding in-any major way to alleviate the conditions of poverty and oppression. The major problem with such attempts is in their "all-or-nothing" approach'", characterized by the belief that specific changes are either all pervading in their effects or, on the other hand, are not significant enough to warrant any particular distinction. The purpose of this study is to show that such an approach is misleading, First of all, underdevelopment is seen as the result of a specific form of development that has as its basis the relationship of the advanced capitalist and the underdeveloped countries of the third world. Since this relationship is characterized by a host of interlocking arrangements it is necessary, to comprehend them in their totality, if the process is to be understood at all. It should be immediately recognized, however, that though specific changes may not effect the structural contingencies of the relationship, they sometimes are of such significance that they constitute an important change. Such an articulation of the problem has the decisive advantage of noting and recording the specific changes within this relationship while recognizing the all pervasive effects of its totality. The result of such an investigation led us to the following conclusions: (l) the recent change in the attitude of the advanced capitalist countries has resulted in greater flexibility in their dealings with the underdeveloped countries. Most important, in this respect, has been that the "enclave economies" have been largely relinquished. Multinational corporations, at the same time, have been willing and. even calling for local government participation in their activities. (2) Governments of the third world have demanded and subsequently appropriated greater control of the local economy through participation and even nationalization of key sectors. This, in addition, allowed for greater maneuverability on the so called "inter-imperialist battlefield", with the result that they can now appropriately be described as junior partners of the system. Thus", imperialism and development are not contradictory terms; it is simply that dependent underdevelopment is the new form of imperialist control.

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