Coordinated by Aurelian GIUGĂL


Some Considerations on the

Development and Underdevelopment Theories in Latin American States


Răzvan Victor PANTELIMON


“Ovidius” University Constanţa, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso PhD


Abstract: This article analyzes a debate about the existence of a dual society in the Latin American states and some development theories which arise in the same period with this debate. The discussion, which was held in the end of the ’60 and the beginning of the ’70, tried to analyze if the Latin American countries were ready at that moment for a socialist revolution or they must passed before through a bourgeois-democratic period. We present here the opinions and positions of some very important Latin American thinkers like André Gunder Frank, Rodolfo Staveghen, James Petras or Theotonio dos Santos. Although this debate seem more academic and without importance we thought that is important to analyze it because these problems and discussion about the rhythm and speed of the modernization were the same in Romania.


Keywords: revolution, dual society, modernization, development theory, structural dualism, capitalism, socialism.





            We will analyze in this article a controversy about the problem if the Latin American states were ready or not (at the moment of the debate) for a socialist revolution or if it was necessary for them to go first through the stage of bourgeois-democratic revolution. In the analysis of this debate we use a series of writings, the majority of them grouped in a volume entitled “The New Latin American Marxism” which is the result of International Congress on Latin America, organized in 1968 in the Netherlands.

In fact, the whole debate is focused on the criticism of the thesis of “structural dualism”, the vision on Latin American states as dual societies that must modernize gradually, and which was sustained by a number of scholars and was widespread especially among researchers belonging to ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – a United Nations organism). Thus most researchers grouped around ECLAC (Raul Prebisch, Celso Furtado, Osvaldo Sunkel, Fernando H. Cardoso, Enzo Faletto, Anibal Pinto etc) leaves from an approach using historical-structuralist method for analyzing the realities and evolutions from Latin America.[i]

The authors around ECLAC, mentioned above, states that within the Latin American states coexist two different and independent societies: a traditional agrarian society, backward, pre-capitalist and condemned to stagnation or involution, and a modern, urban, industrialized capitalist and developing one. As a result, the two major ideas of this theory are: that the progress and the development of Latin-American states will be guaranteed by the spread of industrialized capitalist sector in the backward rural areas and that the alliance between popular social sectors and the progressive bourgeois ones will permit, through fight against land oligarchy and imperialism, the development of a national, independent and progressive capitalism.[ii]

This image of dual societies in which the past and the present, feudalism to capitalism, tradition and modernity are in cohabitation, however it will not be the monopoly of the economists around the ECLAC. For example the Mexican Abelardo Villegas state that


Latin America is a layered reality: the past coexists with the present, the ancient with the new. The dynamic nature of this dominant antagonism is brought by the capitalist expansion that gives birth to new situations at every step. The passive character, or the changes base, is the traditional society that resists and adapts to new situations without disappearing.”[iii]





Although this debate seems one academic and sterile at first glance we believe that it is extremely important to the issues discussed in this research from two points of view: The first is that the voices which intervene into the discussion belong to famous thinkers in the Latin American area and whose writings had a great influence on the political and social thought in Latin America (to name only André Gunder Frank, Rodolfo Staveghen, James Petras or Theotonio dos Santos); and secondly, the different answers that it may give to the question that was the subject of debate of this Conference influences another aspect: if Latin American states were ready for a socialist revolution this mean that this revolution should be done and must be done very quickly and regardless of the methods, including taking the power by insurrection; if the conditions of a socialist revolution were not fulfilled and Latin American states had other steps to go through before they can make the transition to socialism, then it was needed the participation to the legal political life until it succeed to create the necessary and sufficient conditions for socialism.

The criticism of the structural dualism thesis implies the assertion that we don’t need of capitalism, but we need of socialism and the fight against national bourgeoisie, as a necessary premise for the fight against imperialism.[iv]

James Petras chapter about “Classes and Politics in Latin America” analyzes the role of each social class in the political evolutions of the states from the region. Contrary to widespread belief of the eminently revolutionary role of urban working-class masses, he discovers that given the agrarian problem, the peasants can also play an important role in the changes that will occur. Petras rejects the thesis that considers the rural residents as a conservative force, slightly open to social changes and revolutionary movements, stating that

“lately the peasants played a crucial revolutionary role in Mexico, Bolivia and most recently in Cuba. Latin American revolutionaries put more and more their hope in the peasant masses as carriers of social revolution, on the one hand because of their political consciousness development, and on the other hand thanks to the victory model of the Cuban revolution.”[v]


Petras also claims that the role of these peasant masses is not restricted to the revolutionary one, but they can have an influence even in the democratic ways to reach power, and gives the example of Chile where


recent studies of the results of presidential elections in Chile in 1959 and 1964 revealed that those who voted in large number for socialist-communist alliance, the Popular Action Front (FRAP), are peasants.”[vi]


This demonstrates that the theories regarding the lack of class consciousness of the peasantry outside the modern capitalist world are largely inaccurate and outdated.

The most acid criticism of the theory of structural dualism comes however from André Gunder Frank, the best known socialist political thinker, whereof Michel Löwy says that


of all Latin American Marxist researchers, Gunder Frank was the one whose work has caused the greatest political impact among the revolutionary left and gave birth to the most passionate debates and polemics.”[vii]


According to Gunder Frank:

the obvious inequalities in terms of income and cultural differences have led many authors to see the existence of “dual” societies and economies in underdeveloped countries. They imagine that each of the two parties has its own history, structure and dynamics totally independent of each other. It is assumed that only a part of the economy and the society were influenced in a relevant manner by the economic relations with the external capitalist world; and that part, it is argued, has become a modern, capitalist and relatively developed, precisely because of this contact. The other side is seen as isolated, concentrated on subsistence, feudal or pre-capitalist, and is perceived as underdeveloped.”[viii]


Gunder Frank's opinion it is totally different and he considers that the whole theory of dual society is false and the economic policies recommendations based on this theory, once implemented, serve no other purpose than to intensify and perpetuate the underdevelopment conditions which they claim they want to end.

Based on recent research and extensive documentation he believes, and he is sure, that future research will confirm its position, that


in past centuries the expansion of the capitalist system entered, in a complete and efficient manner, even into apparently most isolated sectors of the underdeveloped world. Therefore, the institutions and the economic, political, social and cultural relations that can currently be seen in this area are the product of historical development of the capitalist system, just as the apparently more modern or more capitalist features of the national metropolis from these underdeveloped states. Just like the relationship between development and underdevelopment at the international level, contemporary underdeveloped institutions from the internal areas of some underdeveloped states, considered backward or feudal, are the product of a complex historical process of capitalist development, as well as so-called capitalist institutions from areas alleged to be more developed”.[ix]


We observe that André Gunder Frank believes, unlike previous researchers, that underdeveloped areas are not so because there didn’t entered capitalism and they remained isolated, but they are underdeveloped as a result of capitalism development in the last decades. Thus it contradicts the theories which support the idea that Latin American states are characterized by a dual society or by the survival of feudal institutions and that these are major obstacles against economic development.

Based on these findings Gunder Frank will enounce a series of hypotheses on the development and underdevelopment, on which he will base his subsequent analyzes. A first hypothesis is based on the observation that “within the worldwide structure metropolitan – satellite type, the metropolis tends to grow, while the dependent area tends to be underdeveloped”[x], is that in contrast with the development of worldwide metropolises that do not dependent on anyone, the development of national and subordinate metropolies is limited by their dependency status itself.

Another Gunder Frank's hypothesis is that the satellite states greater economic development, especially the classic industrial-capitalist type one, if and only when their ties with the metropolis are the weakest. This thesis opposes popular belief that the development of underdeveloped countries is achieved when increasing the number and intensity of contacts with developed countries.

The third hypothesis is that the regions which are currently less developed and apparently with a feudal economic structure are precisely those regions that previously had the closest connection with the metropolis. These were the areas that were the main source of raw resources and capital for worldwide metropolises, which were subsequently abandoned by them when they revenues began to decline.

The last two hypotheses stated by André Gunder Frank are related and it refers to the problems of large latifundia. The first is that landowning whatever form it takes in the present, has emerged as a commercial enterprise that created the institutions required by the global or national increasing demand in base of the increasing of the means of production. And the second hypothesis states that the landowning that currently appears isolated, subject to subsistence and semi-feudal economy are those who have seen declining the demand for their own products or the decrease of their productive capacity on the world wide capitalist market.[xi]

André Gunder Frank's theories show that areas or even states in Latin America, which at first impression seem retrased, undeveloped, living in a feudal and subsistence model are actually the result of a capitalist development based on  the export of raw material model, which is abandoned, once proven his inefficiency. Opposing those who think that Latin American states must go first beyond the feudal stage in order to enter the capitalist development stage, and then to debate the idea of a socialist revolution, because current conditions did not allow this revolution, he sugest that in fact the current situation of Latin American states is actually the result of intense capitalist development and that exists all the necessary conditions for the revolutionary outbreak.

Gunder Frank opposed, therefore, to the feudalism theory (defended even by some communist or Marxist), a conception of the Latin American states as a coherent and integrated systems, of a capitalist nature, and on this analysis of socio-economic forms of the continent bases its view according to which: is an illusion the idea of a bourgeois democratic reform (the anti-feudal reform) and therefore proposes the socialist revolution as the only realistic option for the “development of underdevelopment.”[xii]

We said before that Gunder Frank was one of those authors whose ideas strongly influenced the Latin American revolutionaries, who demanded immediate realization of the socialist revolution, regardless of the method and the form in which this could be achieved. One of Gunder Frank texts which present clearly his theory on the necessity of a immediate revolution, seen as insurrectional movement, as an assault on the power, is entitled “Who is the Immediate Enemy”, first appeared in 1968 and subsequently resumed and enriched.[xiii]

Before making a brief analysis of this text we should mention that the figure and the model constantly present in this text, even if not always explicitly, are those of Che Guevara, easy to understand if we consider the emergence of this text in 1968 when the effect of Che's death was major, and his myth began to take shape.

Gunder Frank clarify from the beginning the thesis he wishes to analyze in his text.[xiv] Although, the immediate enemy of national liberation in Latin American states is, tactically, the national bourgeoisie and the local bourgeoisie in rural areas, strategically, the main worldwide enemy is imperialism.

The classes social structure in Latin American states is formed based on the development of colonial structure of worldwide capitalism from mercantilism to imperialism, the same colonial structure extending within states where national cities subordinates provincial centers and they in their turn the local ones.

The fight against imperialism in Latin American states is done and must be done through class struggle, but the popular mobilization against the class enemy nationally and locally generates a confrontation with the main enemy, which is imperialism, a more powerful confrontation if it was resorting to direct anti-imperialist mobilization; national mobilization through a broad alliance between anti-imperialist forces is not a proper challenge to imperialism as a class enemy and generally doesn’t ends up in a real conflict with imperialism.

This strategic coincidence of class struggle and anti-imperialist struggle and the tactical primacy in Latin America of the class struggle with the metropolitan bourgeoisie over the anti-imperialist one, it is clearly useful to guerrillas who had to be initiate the fight against the national bourgeoisie, and it is useful also to ideological and political struggle which should be directed not only against imperialist and colonialist enemy, but also against local class enemy.

Gunder Frank does not reject the idea that imperialism is the main enemy, but in his vision this is not the immediate enemy, which is been constituted by Latin American bourgeoisie, who must be fought first in the revolutionary struggle. The best way to face the main enemy, imperialism, is to fight against the direct class enemy; many revolution failures must be assigned to excessive emphasis on the external enemy against the internal enemy.[xv] Here Gunder Frank enters in an apparent contradiction with a series of revolutionary of his time, who believed that the main battle must be fought with imperialism and colonialism, especially the United States ones.

Regarding the social reality of his time he use some of the ideas developed previously in the text of “The Development of Underdevelopment” that we have already presented, so that we will not resume them. Using new data, Gunder Frank reconfirms all his assertions on the class structure and rejects again the idea of a dual society, composed of a backward part, archaic and feudal, and a dynamic one, capitalist and modern.

He also rejects the idea of a dogmatic Marxism which will make him entering in a conflict with a number of Marxists of the time.


The organization and revolutionary political mobilization can have benefits from Marxist analysis of colonial and class structure from certain regions or areas. This analysis, however, should not be done outside some generally accepted schemes and should be carried out by Marxist revolutionaries who actively participate at the political movements to which such studies intended to serve. But the same principle can be used for theoretical research on wider political problems: a real Marxist theory can be produced only through revolutionary political practices.”[xvi]


It shouldn’t be understood that Gunder Frank is a critic of Marxism or socialism in its entirely, but a critic of that theoretic Marxism which doesn’t prioritizes the revolutionary struggle, practically with this article, as well as through all his work, he is the critic of that model that considers the social change can be made gradually and without violent ruptures.

He rejects as inadequate and false all those political and ideological models according to which all humanity must pass necessarily through a series of same stages, from primitive communism through the era of slavery, then to feudalism, to capitalism, till arrive to modern socialism. He also reject all those theories that argue that Latin American states are divided into two parts, one still in a feudal stage and the other in a capitalist one, and also those who say that only the feudal oligarchy and imperialism are obstacles to national development and not the national bourgeoisie.

What have to do then, according to Gunder Frank, those who wish to provide scientific and political principles to Latin American socialists in order to justify their struggle? The main tasks are to build a theoretical work in order to complement revolutionary practice with revolutionary theory, to analyze Latin American societies in order to help the people's forces in their revolutionary struggle and to develop revolutionary principles that Latin American revolution needs. The ideological purity on these issues becomes essential, especially during times when revolutionary movements are in a temporal retreat, because in this phase it is needed more ideological firmness to resist the temptation to give in to a reformist policy with the excuse to achieve a possible and necessary “social peace.[xvii]

This ideological clarity can be achieved by the Latin American socialist only thru intellectual activity, but not only intellectual, inspiring himself from the model of Che Guevara, who was first a revolutionary and then an intellectual. The Latin American intellectual socialist must decide if it remains in the system, following the reformist path, or go out with the people to make the revolution.[xviii]

Again we see the appeal to Che’s image that is a myth for most Latin American revolutionaries. In a first version of this text, to the question Who should make the revolution and against whom?, Gunder Frank answers again with an appeal to the example of Che Guevara (interestingly, this passage is subsequently suppressed):


Che and his example will guide us in the revolutionary struggle against all obstacles, whatever they are and wherever they may come: from imperialism, from the very Latin American societies, from the ideology and counter-revolutionary practice, including the some people from socialist countries or Marxist parties. Che’s permanent message is to start to face the enemy on the battlefield now, immediately, from our own country and then to expand the revolution worldwide. From this battlefield came his message to the Tricontinental: Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle cry, may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to wield our weapons. Che's weapon is his example, that of a revolutionary who is at the same time an intellectual and not only an intellectual who aspire to be a revolutionary”. [xix]


Most of André Gunder Frank's ideas are echoed by a Mexican researcher, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, who also rejects the dual society thesis, proposing replacing it with the concept of “internal colonialism”.[xx] Stavenhagen recognizes that there are differences within Latin American states, but according to him these differences do not justify the use of the concept of “dual society” for two main reasons:


The first is that relations between regions and social groups “archaic” or ”feudal” and the “modern” or “capitalist” ones are the mechanism for a single and unified society, for which the two poles are integral parts; The second reason is that the two poles were formed in the same historical process”.[xxi]


In his opinion, during the internal historical evolution of these states was repeated the existing scheme internationally. Thus, the type of relations settled between the mainland and the colony, it repeats within these states in a system of relations that have been developed between the few “growth poles” and the rest of the country. As were those metropolis states for these underdeveloped states, as well were the centers of economic, political and social power from within the country for the rest of the territory.

Adopting this explanation, he believes that backward or underdeveloped regions from Latin American states have always played the role of “internal colony” of developing urban centers or agricultural areas with a higher productivity. Although the most widespread opinion considers that the development direction of the Latin American states is from the urban, modern, with capitalist economic structures areas, Stavenhagen shows that, in fact, the progress of developed urban and modern areas was based on resources from archaic, backward and traditional areas. Capital flows, raw materials, food and workforce, resulting from poor and backward areas, enabled the rapid development for some centers of power and modernity, but at the same time condemns poor areas in a permanent and continuous stagnation and underdevelopment. Trade and economic relations between urban and under-developed areas have the same operating character as those worldwide between developed states that functions as metropolis and underdeveloped states.[xxii]

Another important thesis of Stavenhagen is the rejection of the idea that the socialist revolution can be achieved by the alliance between workers and peasants, and as such should be awaited the optimum conditions in order to achieve this alliance. To demonstrate the impossibility of this alliance he used different arguments relating to the interests of the two classes. Thus the main demand of the rural masses is the agrarian reform, but once this done they will become owners whose class interests will resemble those of land oligarchy, at the same time achieving the agrarian reform involves, at least initially, the decrease in the quantity of food products that riches the urban areas and the increase in their price, which would lead to discontent among the urban proletariat.

Regarding the urban proletariat, the class struggle aims the increase of the wages and rights for industrial workers, objectives that are not the same as the peasants and as such they have no interest to support them. Stavenhagen make here a very bold statement and for which he has been criticized by some radical circles: “the working class of our country is also a beneficiary of internal colonialism, this being one of the precise causes for which a really revolutionary labor movement doesn’t exists in Latin America.”[xxiii]

To conclude we can say that the demonstration of the Mexican author leads us to the fact that the greater will be the internal colonialism in Latin America (meaning the more will grow the differences between cities and their internal colonies), the more difficult will be the possibility of a real political alliance between workers and farmers.

What would be then the solution to solve the problems of Latin American states? The answer is offered by the author himself by saying that “the only long-term solution appears to be political and social mobilization of the "colonized" peasants who must fight their own battle alone, without rejecting the possible help from the radical sectors of the intelligentsia, students or working class.”[xxiv]

This is basically a replay of Che Guevara’s ideas on the rural guerrilla and it will influence in an important way the political imaginary of those who wished to achieve a socialist revolution immediately, without waiting for the creation of the objective conditions to allow an alliance between classes. The theory of internal colonialism shows that the model of gradual reforms leading to development is not sustainable in order to achieve massive social change (the most concrete case being the effects that may have the land reform) and as such, it is needed to take over the power thru insurrectional way, whether the actor of this insurrection is the proletariat or the peasantry.

One last author which we will be reminded here briefly is Theotonio dos Santos, a Brazilian economist particularly known for his studies and analyzes on the Latin America economics[xxv]. The analysis that he makes on the economic situation of contemporary Latin America's leads him to the idea of a deep crisis, and in his view, the causes of this crisis are pointing in the same direction as in André Gunder Frank’s opinion, so we’ll not resume the discussion.

It’s interesting to note, however, how he sees the solution of this crisis. Thus the combination between the crisis of dependent industrial capitalism development, the crisis in international trade, exporting and traditional sectors and the crisis of the accumulation of the dependent monopoly capital, produces a “revolutionary situation”. In case of a revolutionary situation, the ruling classes are not satisfied with the forms of domination that they exercise, meanwhile dominated and intermediate classes loses their confidence in the legitimacy of the existing power. In Theotonio dos Santos view the result of the crisis that was facing Latin American states at that time was the need to seek new forms of political action and new models of social and political organization appropriate to the changes that occurred at the base of the society. The contradictions of the crisis situation produce antagonisms that tend to radicalize progressively in order to obtain an organic solution.[xxvi]

The evolution of the crisis will lead to political radicalization between powerful governments and popular movements, appearing nevertheless a third variant produced by certain sectors linked to the nationalist and populist conceptions of years ‘30-‘60 of the past century, which will support a reformist and progressive alternative. Nevertheless as this third alternative it is not possible in dos Santos view, the nationalist sectors will divide in a nationalist revolutionary stream close to the left and underlying guerrilla movements, and a nationalist reformist and progressive stream which accepts the inevitability of dependence and will propose a compromise solution: a dependent development inside of which to negotiate foreign capital participation thru joint formulas involving massively the state.[xxvii]

The Brazilian economist conclusion, is however, the one on the inevitable crash of the reformist ways, both the one who tried to rely on people (in the form of Latin American populism), but also the one of the reforms thru a strong government that base his power on political and social elites or on a negotiated dependence reformist path.

As such, the only alternative that appears obvious to Theotonio dos Santos is a profound social revolution that allows establishing the foundations of a new society on the ruins of the old decadent order and which will provide to Latin America states a greater and important role in creating the world of the future.[xxviii]

The idea of the possibility of direct transition to the socialist state, even in the case of a not fully modernized society, without the need for intermediate stage of capitalism, will occur with other authors, such as Carlos Franco that justified this idea in a series of Marx texts on the pre-modern oriental societies and applies them to the Latin American case.[xxix]





We’ve seen so far a number of authors who support the idea of the possibility of “burning stages” and they constituted the justification for most Latin American socialists advocating for immediate start of the revolution without waiting for favorable conditions for this. Although in the minority in the socialist movement there was a stream that promoted the model of the consumption of all stages and they based their ideas on a range of Latin America social and political realities, especially on the theory of dual society and underdevelopment of these countries. We try to present some of the arguments of those theorists of a gradual path, which at that time were not taken into account, but which will later become important for the new Latin American socialism.

Since the beginning of socialism in Latin America appeared some thinkers who supported the idea that these countries are not ready for socialism and that it is needed a gradual transition to it. Thus, Carlos Octavio Bunge, author of a paper on “The problem of the future of the law”, wrote that socialism involves not only economic and political choices, but also a moral impulse, a revolutionary idea and it was seen as a suitable doctrine to solve the problems of a rapid transformation society. But that society was not prepared to accept socialism so, according to Bunge, social progress needed to be connected to biological and moral perfection of the man. The socialism can be reached thru a natural evolution, and the maximum social solidarity, which had its origin in the will of the individual, was the result of this evolution.[xxx]

In the same line of thought wrote also Juan B. Justo who was one of the first Latin American socialists. So he accepted the Marxist interpretation of class inequality and the fight between them, but rejected the theory of proletarian dictatorship, which he considered a myth in decline. According to Justo, the idea of a sudden social transformation to establish in one shoot a society and a perfect order will lose ground in the eyes of the people as it will be able to judge with more discernment everyday problems. No state, no law can move from day to day the relationships between people establishing more capable of managing collective property ones. The most important task was to educate the people, to make him discover gradually the class inequalities, so that he will accept gradually the need for socialist ideas on equality.[xxxi]

The one who will best illustrate, in the first half of past century, the idea of gradual change and gradual preparation for the transition to socialism, will be Victor Raul Haya de la Torre, the founder of APRA (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance), which, due to his ideas, will have an ideological conflict with José Carlos Mariategui, but also with other socialists who will accuse him of betraying socialist ideals, of right deviationism etc. Interestingly, some of his ideas will be taken by Latin American socialism after 1990 that will put more emphasis on the state's role in preparing the socialist society. Haya de la Torre proposes an “anti-imperialist state” a model state that may not be the instrument of imperialism to maintain in an economic slavery the national masses, but to be their defense body.[xxxii]

How this anti-imperialist state should be organized, Haya de la Torre also answers. Thus, in his opinion, because the peasant classes cannot exercise state power because of lack of preparation and the workers ones due to the low number and a lack of class consciousness, typical situation in developing states, the participation task to state management as a unique front of the oppressed classes against imperialism is back to the middle classes, urban and rural - smallholders, craftsmen, tradesmen, intellectuals, etc..[xxxiii]

This anti-imperialist state,


formed by an alliance of classes oppressed by imperialism, must control the production and distribution of wealth, to achieve the progressive nationalization of the means of production and to create the conditions for capital investment and trade. Must be an open body to the relations between that nation and imperialism, because we cannot deny his existence, but also a political school for productive classes and prepare them for the moment when will disappears the system that favors the existence of imperialism.”[xxxiv]


 We note that Haya de la Torre is the exponent of some theories that directly contradict those of the followers of a violent and immediate revolution. Thus, he doesn’t reject the idea of a socialist state and even a revolution in this direction, but support the necessity to go first through to the capitalist stage where the main role goes to the state managed by middle class representatives. This capitalist period who maintain ties with imperialist metropolis and in which investments are made in order to develop the industry and trade, serves to deepen class antagonisms, to strengthen the working class and especially its class consciousness, his main purpose being to prepare all the objective conditions necessary for the transition to socialism.

To those who supported the idea of immediate socialist revolution, he replied that

socialism cannot be claimed until industrialism will not reach full maturity and will not have fulfilled its great historical stage. As to the industrialization of our countries will be needed, as long as there is capitalism, to have capital, the state - in the view of the future socialist nationalization of the means of production - will have to provide this capital”.[xxxv]





We have seen from this brief presentation that there was no general view on the direction and the form that must have the socialist revolution in Latin American states, but it is obvious that at the middle of that last century the opinion that advocates for the necessity of an insurrectional movement which will takeover the power by any means and only after that will made the necessary changes for the transition to socialism was majority. Such ideas were based not only on a number of theoretical, philosophical and ideological considerations, of which on we have discussed previously, but also on some real historical events, like the Cuban revolution, the failure of the “Allende democratic path to socialism” and the Sandinista revolution.

Although this debate seem more academic and without importance we thought that it was important to analyze it because these problems and discussion about the rhythm and speed of the modernization were the same in many other countries, Romania included.




CAMPA, Riccardo, Antologia del pensiero latino-americano. Dalla Colonia alla secunda guerra mondiale, Editori Laterza, Bari, 1970.

FRANCO, Carlos, Del marxismo eurocentrico al marxismo latinoamericano, Centro de Estudios por el Desarrollo y Participación, Lima, 1981.

GUNDER FRANK, André, “Lo sviluppo del sottosviluppo” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.

GUNDER FRANK, André, “Chi è il nemico immediato” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.

GUNDER FRANK, André, “¿Quien es el enemigo inmediato?” in Michel LÖWY, El marxismo en América Latina. Antología, desde 1909 hasta nuestros días (edición actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007.

HAYA de la TORRE, Victor Raul, Teoria y tactica del Aprismo, Editorial APRA, Lima, 1931.

JUSTO, Juan B., Teoria y practica de  la historia, Buenos Aires, 1937 in Riccardo CAMPA, Antologia del pensiero latino-americano. Dalla Colonia alla secunda guerra mondiale”, Editore Laterza, Bari, 1970.

LÖWY, Michel, El marxismo en América Latina. Antología, desde 1909 hasta nuestros días (edición actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007.

PETRAS, James, “Classe e politica in America Latina” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.

SANTARAELLI, Giancarlo, (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.

dos SANTOS, Theotonio, “Socialismo o Fascismo: dilema del l’America Latina” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.

STAVENHAGEN, Rodolfo, “Sette tesi erronee sull’America Latina” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.

VILLEGAS, Abelardo, “Identidad y contradiciones de America Latina” in Latinoamerica. Anuario del Centro de estudios latinoamericanos, no. 2, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexic, 1969.

****** Cincuenta años de pensamiento en la CEPAL. Textos seleccionados, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Santiago de Chile, 1998. 

[i] A very thorough analysis of their ideas, and an anthology of the most significant texts could be find in the two volume work ****** Cincuenta años de pensamiento en la CEPAL. Textos seleccionados, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Santiago de Chile, 1998.

[ii] Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. VII.

[iii] Abelardo VILLEGAS, “Identidad y contradiciones de America Latina” in Latinoamerica. Anuario del Centro de estudios latinoamericanos, no. 2, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexic, 1969, p. 149.

[iv] Giancarlo SANTARAELLI Il nuovo marxismo…  cit., p. IX.

[v] James PETRAS, “Classe e politica in America Latina” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 43.

[vi] Ibidem p. 47.

[vii] Michel LÖWY, El marxismo en América Latina. Antología, desde 1909 hasta nuestros días (edición actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007, p. 497.

[viii] André GUNDER FRANK, “Lo sviluppo del sottosviluppo” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 142.

[ix] Ibidem p. 143.

[x] Ibidem p. 147.

[xi] Ibidem 147 – 153.

[xii] Michel LÖWY, El marxismo en América Latina… cit, p. 497.

[xiii] The first version of this text was presented at the Cultural Congress in Havana in 1968 and can be found in André GUNDER FRANK, “¿Quien es el enemigo inmediato?” in Michel LÖWY, El marxismo en América Latina. Antología, desde 1909 hasta nuestros días (edición actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007, p. 497 – 501. A much enlarged and enriched version appears as André GUNDER FRANK, “Chi è il nemico immediato” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970,  p. 310 – 351.

[xiv] André GUNDER FRANK, “Chi è il nemico immediato” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 310 – 311.

[xv] Ibidem p. 313.

[xvi] Ibidem p. 343.

[xvii] Ibidem p. 349.

[xviii] Ibidem p. 350.

[xix] André GUNDER FRANK, “¿Quien es el enemigo inmediato?”...cit, p. 498.

[xx] Rodolfo STAVENHAGEN, “Sette tesi erronee sull’America Latina” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970p. 156 – 176.

[xxi] Ibidem p. 158.

[xxii] Ibidem p. 163.

[xxiii] Ibidem p. 174.

[xxiv] Ibidem p. 175.

[xxv] Theotonio dos SANTOS, “Socialismo o Fascismo: dilema del l’America Latina” in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 352 – 371.

[xxvi] Ibidem p. 368.

[xxvii] Ibidem p. 369 – 370.

[xxviii] Ibidem p. 371.

[xxix] Carlos FRANCO, Del marxismo eurocentrico al marxismo latinoamericano, Centro de Estudios por el Desarrollo y Participación, Lima, 1981, p.14.

[xxx] Riccardo CAMPA, Antologia del pensiero latino-americano. Dalla Colonia alla secunda guerra mondiale, Editori Laterza, Bari, 1970, p. 65 – 66.

[xxxi] Juan B. JUSTO, Teoria y practica de  la historia, Buenos Aires, 1937 apud Riccardo CAMPA, Antologia del pensiero….cit, p. 67.

[xxxii] Victor Raul HAYA de la TORRE, Teoria y tactica del Aprismo, Editorial APRA, Lima, 1931, p. 35

[xxxiii] Ibidem p. 34.

[xxxiv] Ibidem p. 36 – 37.

[xxxv] Ibidem p. 39.