ABSTRACT

In Marx's day, the issue of socialism was quite separate from the issue of underdevelopment. For Marx, the future of poor societies involved breaking out of the shackles of feudalism, developing commercial agriculture, and creating a capitalist economy, that is, an economy guided by the principle of surplus accumulation and based on such structural characteristics as wage labor, private ownership of the means of production, and market exchange. It is only when capitalism was firmly established and with that an efficient industrial economy and a large, self-conscious, organized and angry proletariat—that is, many decades, if not centuries down the road for a poor agrarian society—that the issue of socialism would become relevant. For Marx, then, the answer to underdevelopment was building capitalism first and socialism second. As a result, any dialogue between socialism and underdevelopment would be for Marx a dialogue of the deaf.