Social Scientist. v 4, no. 42 (Jan 1976) p. 57.


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J^eocolonialist Aid and Trade

A SYSTEMATIC plunder of developing countries is made by means of various forms of non-equivalent exchange, which mainly finds expression in the artificial imposition by the monopolies of the lowest possible prices on the developing countries' agricultural produce and raw materials and the highest possible prices for their industrial goods and raw materials. Arguments by some apologists of neocolonialism, that the only explanation for the low prices paid to developihg countries is the low labour productivity in the mining industry and agriculture, are blatantly inconsistent.

The main explanation for the low prices is the discriminatory policy of imperialist monopolies in production and export of manufactured goods and in the extraction and purchase of raw materials and agricultural pro- \ duce. In the developing countries, monopoly capital not only functions like capital elsewhere (in that it immediately appropriates part of the unpaid labour, that is part of the created value) but also as a part of world capital controlling the economic and trade relations of many developing countries. In view of this the imperialist monopolies in appropriating part of the surplus value on the spot, effect the systematic plundering of the developing countries in the sphere of their foreign trade. Monopolies are resorting to such manoeuvres as refusing to sell machinery, equipment and other commodities (so as to force up their prices) and refusing to buy goods from the developing countries (which thus temporarily lose their use value, so that in the long run these countries are compelled to sell these goods at lower prices).

Prices of coffee, tea and cocoa for instance in the relatively short period of eight years from 1954 to 1962 dropped by more than 50 per cent and in 1958 alone there was a 30 per cent drop. The most serious slump in prices for raw materials and agricultural produce was felt in 1962 and the overall trend has not changed since. In 1967 there was a further drop in raw sugar, coffee and wool prices and also in the prices of a large number of tropical exports. As a result the export earnings of developing countries for one and the same quantity of goods or even a larger one diminishes from one year to the next and their annual losses consitute hundreds of millions of dollars, while their exports fall in value and



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