Note on the development of the global south

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By BRUNO MACHADO*

Socialism is the only hope for the peaceful economic development of the peripheral countries of the world.

The capitalist system has long been understood as being a global economic system that works on a center-periphery basis. For central countries to have technological development and high labor productivity without reducing profit margins, it is necessary for these countries to exploit the workforce and natural resources of peripheral countries. With the technological progress that has occurred in central countries, the share of fixed capital (machines) rises in relation to variable capital (human labor), reducing the profit margin from surplus value. This reduction is offset by super-profits and the expansion of consumer markets and exploitation of natural resources in peripheral countries.

The direct consequence of this economic relationship in the field of politics is the imperialism of the central countries over the peripheral ones, which does not depend on any moral factor, being in fact a material necessity for the maintenance of the global capitalist system. Imperialism sustains capitalism, without the political action that organizes bodies and nature, there is no maintenance of any economic system.

A consequence of this system is the character of total competition between each country and each region of the planet. Core countries wage wars in military, economic and political ways to dominate a larger share of the human and natural resources available in peripheral countries. And the peripheral countries compete among themselves for the capital surplus of the central countries that seek new regions of the world with a higher realizable profit margin, because these countries have less technological development and, therefore, a greater share of variable capital in the formation of local capital , which allows for higher rates of surplus value, that is, higher rates of profit.

Prevented from developing their means of production due to the political and economic subordination they suffer in the center-periphery system, these peripheral countries are left with the delayed development resulting from foreign investment coming from the central countries. This relationship generates a double unequal dependency: the central countries need the peripheral countries with their consumer markets, their cheap labor and their natural resources; and the peripheral countries need the central countries with their investments in dollars to provide a slow economic development, without expressive technological progress and highly financially unstable due to dependence on foreign capital.

For such dependency reasons, politically, and ultimately militarily, the economic development of peripheral countries in the global capitalist system is not allowed. The exceptions to this rule were the Soviet Union and China, which confronted the prevailing economic system in terms of politics, militarism, economics and even culture, in order to seek to maintain its existence.

The Soviet Union has not been as successful as China, up to the present time. On the other hand, there was the economic development of Korea, Taiwan and other formerly peripheral countries and regions that had their development facilitated by the central countries as a geopolitical strategy in the Cold War. If there had not been the Soviet Union as a threat to US hegemony, South Korea would not have developed economically as it did, with economic and military support from the US and Japan.

China's recent development at the beginning of the XNUMXst century boosted GDP growth in several countries around the world, including the US and Brazil, which demonstrates that the economic development of a peripheral country can also be beneficial for central countries. Humanity's technological progress is of interest to the entire planet. However, the competitive, imperialist and exploitative nature of the central countries of the capitalist system will always boycott the economic development of peripheral countries, as happened with Brazil under Getúlio Vargas and more recently with Dilma Rousseff.

The socialist economic model, or at least what is closest to this theoretical model in the world today (the Chinese economic model) has been shown to be much more tolerant and cooperative with the peripheral countries of the world than the US economic model. Therefore, whether with China leading this process or another country, socialism is the only hope for the peaceful economic development of the peripheral countries of the world.

As it is based on increasing labor productivity, which depends on technological progress and mastery over nature, the socialist economic model allows for non-exploitative and non-dependent development in the center and periphery of capitalism as it is established today in the world. As long as the current economic model in the world is capitalist, what will be at the center of economic development will always be profit, which depends on the exploitation of surplus value on variable capital in the formation of capital in each country, and for this reason, imperialism it will always be an almost insurmountable barrier to peripheral countries like Brazil.

*Bruno Machado is an engineer.

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