By James H. Mittelman
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Extra info for Out from Underdevelopment: Prospects for the Third World
The topic of conversation then shifted 34 Ideologies and Structures of Accumulation to an assessment of the foremost thinking about modernization conveyed to students and filtered to the general public. Needless to say, as with other schools of thought we will examine, there are different versions and major debates among authors working within the compass of the modernization framework. Bibliographies and distinctions among individual writers, however, would be burdensome to follow and need not detain us.
All three levels are deemed vitally important in history, economics being the major yet not the sole determinant in the capitalist mode of production. It is true, as its detractors claim, that some versions of Marxism are economistic. The crass view has it that 'politics is all economics'. Marx himself railed against this brand of reductionism, and the large majority of contemporary Marxists go to great lengths to scotch this way of thinking. In keeping with the classical authors, then, political economy involves the social processes that differentially allocate produce among proprietors, holders of capital and labourers.
Kuwait has a higher average per capita income than does the US, and there is a greater incidence of poverty in Harlem than in many parts of the Third World. Furthermore, at stake is a qualitative, not a quantitative, condition. From yet another angle, the term 'Third World' means the proletarian nations. It suggests the existence of states that are exploited and of others that are exploiters. The designation of proletarian and bourgeois nations has a certain cachet in some quarters because of its Marxist ring.