Global System vs `Satellite` `“The Alternative Models Transformation and Development


By Sun Li
There are different perspectives, arguments, theories etc. regarding the global system and ‘satellite’ (periphery) to its economic situation and development. Some other argues about the ‘external factors’ as the cause of the miserable conditions of the Third World or those remain to the periphery. What is espousing to such ontology assumes globalization is the ingenious modification of the former imperialism. The terrible issues of poverty, environmental crisis, human rights violations, dismantle of indigenous culture etc are not yet overcome in the less developed countries (LDCs). On the other hand the global economies are more market oriented. The deterministic tendency of centre to periphery development model directs fate of many Third World countries. But this phenomenon is arguable. What shall be the practical model of a highly developed economy i.e. ‘Free Economy’ as contrary to dependency model, possibility to rise to the first class level of the core countries? It will bring the alternative radical development to ‘satellite’ countries and construction of the periphery.

The dependency model of centre to periphery indicates the opening routes of FDI, unequal trade agreement, the exchange of raw materials for higher price manufactured goods etc. which results the periphery into structurally unequal as compare to the ‘metropole’ or core. Gunder Frank argues about the ‘sucking out’ effects of FDI where wealth is systematically transferred from the ‘satellite’ to the ‘metropole’ which creates the chronic underdevelopment. His arguments are based upon the external mechanisms of the control system of ‘metropole’. The ‘metropole’ keep the periphery in an abject situation of underdevelopment for the purpose of superexploitation. In brief, dependency paradigm regards underdevelopment is not an original inherent condition; rather it is the determined outcome of the historical relationship between the dominant and subordinate states. In such way, Capitalism is a world system in which metropolitan states gains surpluses from the ‘satellite’ countries simultaneously results the development of the former and underdevelopment of the later. Third World countries are underdeveloped because they are structurally dependent within such a system. This theory is applicable to some countries but has limitations as it unable provides the convincing explanation to the phenomenon of ‘Tiger economies’.

Kwame Nkrumah, the Ghanaian independent leader argued about the new force of global operating system to indicate the powerful designation of neo-colonialism. According to him it is also maintains through a local elite or ‘comprador class’. The intelligentsia, academics, creative writers and artistes includes in the ‘comprador class’ ‘whose independence may be compromised by a reliance on, and identification with, colonial power’. Moreover some recent commentator argues ‘colonial powers deliberately avoided granting independence until they had, through internal discrimination and hegemonic educational practices, created an elite (comprador class) to maintain the aspects of the colonial control on their behalf but without the cost or the opprobrium associated with the classical colonial models.’ Such class also does ‘bidding of foreign capital at the expenses of the local economy’.

All the North Eastern states are dependent entity to the Indian union. Its economy is ‘half opened and half closed’. There is not much bulk of FDI & its development programs are comprised of centre to periphery model. Some sectors are developing but the rest of sectors remain disorganized. There requires new economic policies for the radical transformation of the entire underdeveloped region. However the threatening and obstructing factor is the operation of ‘captive market’ in the era of market economy. In such way the underdevelopment of this region is mostly the outcome of ‘external factor’. It is also necessary to find out as it is the inherent or original condition or rather the outcome of the historical relationship between the dominant Indian state and subordinate NE states. Many other new approaches shall entertain to give the suitable models of explanation.

The rise of unemployment, poverty, inflation etc leads the Third World countries of Asia, Africa & Latin America to call for a new Bretton Woods conference. Besides America & other OECD member states exercised their control to the rest of the LDCs by transfer of capital. The paradigms of dependency still prevail. However the rise of the Asian Tiger economies challenges the dependency model. The reason for the success of the Asian NICs (Newly Industrializing Countries) is widely and hotly debated. China, Hongkong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan have demonstrated the possibility of other Third World economy to develop like core countries. Such NICs have achieved the remarkably high rate of growth over the past 40 years.

In brief, the dependency paradigm regards the impoverishment of Third World is the result of the capitalistic relationship with ‘metropole’. However remarkable growth of Asian NICs has shown that it is possible to break free from such a centre to periphery deterministic relationship. For example, South Korea is now a member of OECD.  The rapid development of Asian NICs is the role model of a ‘Free Economy’ today. It is questionable in the context of NE states, can it be said to be developing as its citizens are politically oppressed and basic human rights denied?  On the other hand, the   transformation of the Asian NICs to the status of first world economy attracts more theoretical treatments, new analysis and practical approaches than the former dependency treatment. Besides there is enough proof to show that global inequality growing significantly to the Third World and requires new perspectives towards the ruling high class elites or are they actually the ‘comprador class’? That has to find out.


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