Social Scientist. v 11, no. 116 (Jan 1983) p. 4.


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4 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

countries were faced with a world situation characteristic of the imperialist stage of capitalism that effectively foreclosed many of the possibilities of primary accumulation and expansion that were open to the imperialist nations during the early history of capitalism; and (iii) while the possibility of rapid industrial growth based on the domestic market in the post-colonial period depended on the ability of the state to do away with all pre-capitalist remnants (through a radical programme of land redistribution), such a possibility was foreclosed by the facts that the state itself was representative of the structures which existed at Independence and that capitalism had brought with it a working class whose presence, in the light of experience since the Paris Commune, encouraged an alliance between the landlords and capitalists.

This, however, was not to imply that either capitalist development or industrial growth would not occur. Rather, the experience of these countries was seen to be a case of 'capitalism from above', where development was based on support from the state. The stimulus for industrial growth in most of these countries came from the state in the form of extensive protection, large doses of public investment, and a wide range of subsidies and concessions. However, there were two major obstacles that such a strategy faced. Firstly, the lack of any significant indigenous technical development during the colonial period implied that even to the extent that industrial growth occurred it was based on the import of capital and technology, which considerably reduced the dynamic effects on the economy that are usually associated with industrial growth. Secondly, the very logic of the 'mixed economy' which was dominated by the private sector limited the manoeuvrability of the state and the resources at its command. Thus, though inter-imperialist rivalries and the existence of socialist states aided the process of industrialisation, development in these countries tended to be crisis-ridden and inevitably implied a squeeze on the living standards of the people, which accentuated the problem of slow expansion of markets.

The slow pace of industrial expansion that the above conditions imply, suggests both a tendency towards a widening 'gap' in industrial growth between the industrialised nations and the so-called Third World, as well as the persistence, by and large, of the classical pattern of trade where the developed economies export sophisticated manufactures, while the UDCs export primary products and some traditional manufactures. Thus, the process of expansion of capitalism on a world scale, the specific division of labour that it generates and the consolidation of this division in the imperialist phase of capitalism, all serve to limit the process of industrial expansion in the underdeveloped world.

It must be stated here that the argument that industrialisation in the Third World is to some degree constrained by structural



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