Students of Third World societies are substantially agreed that the various models of dependency that emerged in the 1960s have contributed to a deeper understanding of their condition of underdevelopment, Dependency is not only an economic condition; it is also political and intellectual in nature. It is increasingly clear, however, that many students of dependency have so politicized the models of dependency that they can only produce heavily ideological and moralistic theories of dependency. Not only is the heuristic and operational value of the model reduced, but also two quite serious distortions become integral parts of these value-laden theories of dependency:

A focus so narrow that it tends to interpret only certain types of elites and decisions as dependent. The focus varies with the political-ideological predilections of the particular author, though generally speaking radical or revolutionary elites are not seen as dependent.

A denial of any decision-making capabilities and options to the "dependent" Third World elites—all decisions are seen as direct consequences of a wide-ranging dependency, a dependency that is cause for moral indignation.