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Appendix: The Underlying Causes of Underdevelopment in Latin America

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to analyze general causes for the whole region, thus ignoring the particular history of each country that would amount to a more detailed inventory. The main objective of capital export is profit just as it is with any relevant action of capital. Latin America offers this possibility because foreign capital can operate here with higher rates of surplus value, given the low value of labor-power. Most of capital exports to Latin America beginning from final decades of 19th century focused on production for exports and activities linked to export production. Capital export was also dictated by the production needs of more developed countries. The enormous growth of production was unsustainable without an increase in the supply of raw materials. The boom of export-led production actively stimulated labor mobility and wage-labor expansion. The conditions of emerging capitalist underdevelopment also reveal the conditions of the reproduction of underdeveloped capitalism.

Keywords: capital export; labor-power; Latin America; underdeveloped capitalism

10.1163/9789004259065_008
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