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Yes. And neo-colonialism.
“The third world is not poor. You don’t go to poor countries to make money. Most countries are rich. Only the people are poor. Ordinary people pay the costs of empire. These countries are not underdeveloped, they are over exploited.” -Michael Parenti
There’s also the nature of economic activity there. It’s often based around resource extraction, which tends to concentrate money and power in just a few hands. As you get more value added, it gets harder and harder to not at least treat your employees somewhat decently.
I think that captures only half of the story. The main problem these countries have is that the exploitation happens too early on the value creation chain. In fact, looking at the total value produced with inputs from these countries, much more exploitation of labour happens elsewhere. But because it happens so early in the value creation chain in these poor countries, this exploitation only supports a small local elite, with the rest of the population left with no chance at all.
I’m sure that’s true for some, but I would hesitate to make that as a blanket statement.
Provide me with a counter example then ;)
Because you claim that it isn’t true as a “blanket statement” and I would like to learn where it is different as I do think it broadly describes something that is true in all of them.
You got me before I could edit and clarify.
I don’t claim it isn’t true as a blanket statement. I said I would hesitate to make that claim. I’m not making any positive claim here, I’m in fact stating that I don’t make blanket statements if I don’t feel I have enough data.
That’s a very loaded question that can get you into heated arguments very easily.
I personally would say it did play a role, but around the 1950ties many of the formerly colonized countries were relatively speaking not so badly off economically. But what it really enabled was providing the infrastructure and laying the groundwork for the local elites taking over almost seamlessly from their former colonial overlords and subsequently embezzling all the growth that other countries (mainly in east-Asia) used to fuel big improvements in the welfare of their citizens.
Of course, their old (i.e. the former colonizers) and sometimes new (self-proclaimed socialist states) friends did their best to help the local elites with the embezzlement and other abuses, but that is a somewhat different topic than the original colonialism.
A kind of interesting case here is Liberia. In the early 19th century it was colonized by former enslaved people from the United States under the blessings of white people from the US. They turned right around and essentially enslaved the indigenous people. That created a small wealthy upper class with support from the US that was resented by the rest of the population. Eventually around 1980 the indigenous people toppled the ruling class, but unfortunately that led to 20 years of turmoil. It’s only recently that things have started to really show progress.