The Conventional Route, Joining Global Capitalism: Track 1 — Brazil

  • James H. Mittelman
  • Mustapha Kamal Pasha
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Formulating a strategy of development requires looking back over the trails Third World countries have already trod in their quest to accumulate capital. The real choices in the current global political economy are quite limited. One is to join the lane of traffic headed for capitalist development. (Tracks 1 and 2 distinguish the different conditions traversed by this outward-bound lane.) A second is to leave the mainstream, join the incoming traffic and aim for another destination. Third is to weave through the congestion, exploring an alternative passage, forcing an opening to the other end of the tunnel. Each route is a risky venture.


Capital Good Multinational Corporation Foreign Capital International Capital Global Capitalism 
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Notes and References

  1. The acquisition of Hills Brothers by Corpersucar is discussed in ‘Brazil’s Coffee (with Sugar) Billionaire’, Fortune, 46, 1 (July 1977), pp. 82–8.Google Scholar
  2. The scale of Brazil’s economy is surveyed by Marsha Miliman, ‘Brazil: Let Them Eat Minerals!’, NACLA’s Latin America and Empire Report 3, 4 (April 1973), pp. 5–7.Google Scholar
  3. Additional data on the economy can be found in the World Bank’s World Development Report 1993 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sandra Steingraber and Judith Hurley, ‘Brazil’s Debt and Deforestation — A Global Warning’ (San Francisco: Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1990) p. 2.Google Scholar
  5. The figure for the size of the Brazilian Amazon was from Rachel M. McCleary, ‘Development Strategies in Conflict: Brazil and the Future of the Amazon’, Case Study in Ethics and International Affairs (New York: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, 1990) p. 1.Google Scholar
  6. Information on the historical backdrop may be found in Alfred Stepan, The Military in Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971), andGoogle Scholar
  7. Alfred Stepan (ed.), Authoritarian Brazil: Origins, Policies, and Future (New Haven, Con.: Yale University Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  8. Specifically, we are drawing on Sylvia Ann Hewlett, The Cruel Dilemmas of Development: Twentieth Century Brazil (New York: Basic Books, 1980) p. 34, andGoogle Scholar
  9. Peter Evans, Dependent Development: The Alliance of Multinational, State, and Local Capital in Brazil (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979) pp. 110–11.Google Scholar
  10. The sources for material on Brazil’s exploitation of the Amazon are Anthony L. Hall, Developing Amazonia: Deforestation and Social Conflict in Brazil’s Carajás Programme (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989), andGoogle Scholar
  11. Marianne Schmink and Charles H.Wood, Contested Frontiers in Amazonia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
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  13. The Johnson administration’s view of the Goulart government is quoted by Hewlett, The Cruel Dilemmas of Development, p. 72. Data on the resources found in the Amazon were from Shelton J. Davis, Victims of the Miracle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977) p. 32.Google Scholar
  14. On repression and labour organization, see Kenneth S. Mericle, ‘Corporatist Control of the Working Class: Authoritarian Brazil Since 1964’, in James M. Malloy (ed.), Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977) pp. 303–8;Google Scholar
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  19. The statement from the World Bank Report was taken from Tad Szulc, ‘Brazil’s Amazonian Frontier’, in Andrew Maguire and Janet W Brown (eds), Bordering on Trouble: Resources and Politics in Latin America (Bethesda: Adler & Adler, 1986) p. 228. The number of Indians affected by the Greater Carajás Programme was from Hall, Developing Amazonia, p. 89.Google Scholar
  20. The growth of agricultural exports is discussed in Werner Baer, The Brazilian Economy: Growth and Development (New York: Praeger, 1989) p. 346.Google Scholar
  21. Delfim’s remarks appear in Cheryl Payer, The Debt Trap: The International Monetary Fund and the Third World (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1974) p. 161.Google Scholar
  22. For information on Brazil’s state-run corporations, see Douglas H. Graham, ‘Mexican and Brazilian Economic Development: Legacies, Patterns and Performance’, in Hewlett and Weinert (eds), Brazil and Mexico, especially p. 32; ‘Brazil’s Economy after the Miracle’, New York Times, 17 July 1983; andGoogle Scholar
  23. Eul-Soo-Pang, ‘Brazil’s New Democracy’, Current History, 82, 481 (February 1983), p. 56. Attitudes on state intervention in the economy are reported by Evans, Dependent Development, p. 238.Google Scholar
  24. On the involvement of multinational corporations in the local economy, see Hewlett, The Cruel Dilemmas of Development, p. 135, and ‘Brazil’, in George Thomas Kurian (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Third World: Afghanistan to Guinea-Bissau, rev. edn, (New York: Facts on File, 1982) vol. 1, p. 234. The figures on the repatriation of profit can be found on p. 144 of Hewlett, The Cruel Dilemmas of Development. Sources for the discussion on the development of the Amazon are Hall, Developing Amazonia; Davis, Victims of the Miracle; and Schmink and Wood, Contested Frontiers in Amazonia.Google Scholar
  25. The quotation from the Amazonian caboclo was from Jose Lutzenberger, ‘Who is Destroying the Amazon Rainforest’, The Ecologist, 17 4/5, (1987), p. 156. Data on income distribution are provided by Hewlett, ‘Poverty and Inequality in Brazil’, in Hewlett and Weinert (eds), Brazil and Mexico, pp. 317–38.Google Scholar
  26. On the impact on women see John Humphrey, Gender and Work in the Third World, andGoogle Scholar
  27. Sonia E. Alvarez, Engendering Democracy in Brazil: Women’s Movements in Transition Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990). The quotation by Alvarez was taken from p. 260.Google Scholar
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  30. Mr Reagan’s gaffe is reported in ‘President Promises to Give Brazilians a $1.2 Billion Loan’, New York Times, 2 December 1982. The declining confidence of international banks in investment in Brazil is noted in ‘IMF Plans Pressures on Banks to Help Brazil’, New York Times, 15 December 1982.Google Scholar
  31. The plight of the Pereiras is described in ‘Poorer Brazilians are Going Hungry, While the Rich Worry about the Future’, Wall Street Journal, 6 May 1983. The changing political climate is assessed in ‘A Country that is on the Verge of Exploding’, Business Week, 2 May 1983.Google Scholar
  32. President Figueiredo’s reaction to the wave of civil unrest is reported in ‘Blowup: Jobless Workers on a Rampage’, Time, 18 April 1983.Google Scholar
  33. The European ambassador’s statement appears in ‘Brazilians Condemn Liberalization Foes’, New York Times, 11 April 1983;Google Scholar
  34. the lawyer’s observation is in Penny Lernoux, ‘The “Moder Shattered: Brazil, the Banks, the Third World”’, The Nation, 237, 14 (5 November 1983), p. 435.Google Scholar
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  37. Thomas Kamm, ‘Brazilian Official Maps Federal Plan Against Inflation’, Wall Street Journal, 15 June 1993, p. A14.Google Scholar
  38. A summary of the different plans designed to counter inflation and attempts to solve the debt problem may be found in James M. Malloy and Eduardo A. Gamarra, Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary Record, Volume VII, 1987–1988 (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1990) pp. B63–B69.Google Scholar
  39. For a detailed discussion of Brazil’s relationship with the IMF, see Ernest J. Oliveri, Latin American Debt and the Politics of International Finance (Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 1992), pp. 119–62. On the debtors’ cartel and the huge profits reaped by international banks in Brazil, see Pang, ‘Brazil’s New Democracy’, p. 55, and Lernoux, ‘The “Model” Shattered’, p. 435, respectively. Mr. Delfim’s reaction to the pile-up of debt is quoted by Payer, The Debt Trap, p. 161.Google Scholar
  40. On dependent state capitalism, see James Petras, Critical Perspectives on Imperialism and Social Class in the Third World (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978) pp. 47, 89, 92. The 1985 economic recovery is reported in ‘The Ash Wednesday Awaiting Brazil’s Revelling Politicians’, The Economist (London), 8 February 1986.Google Scholar
  41. On the relationship between Brazil’s debt and the environment, see Susan George, The Debt Boomerang: How Third World Debt Harms Us All (London: Pluto Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  42. A statistical profile of trade with Brazil is provided by the US Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1982–83 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1983) p. 880. On p. 435 of ‘The “Model” Shattered’, Lernoux examines the options facing Brazil.Google Scholar
  43. The material on inflation and Cardoso’s intended solutions to Brazil’s economic difficulties are discussed in Kamm, ‘Brazilian Official Maps Federal Plan against Inflation’, and ‘Brazil Reaches Accord with Large Banks on Cutting its Debt’, New York Times, 17 April 1994.Google Scholar
  44. Sources on indigenous peoples include ‘Amazon Indians’ Battle for Land Grows Violent’, New York Times, 11 June 1995, andGoogle Scholar
  45. ‘Indians Suffer Arrows of Misfortune in Brazil’, Financial Times (London), 4 July 1995.Google Scholar
  46. The decrease in the external debt is noted in the Wall Street Journal, 11 January 1993.Google Scholar
  47. The growing problem of debt peonage is reported in ‘Slavery on the Rise in Brazil as Debt Chains Workers’, New York Times, 23 May 1993.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James H. Mittelman and Mustapha Kamal Pasha 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Mittelman
    • 1
  • Mustapha Kamal Pasha
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International ServiceAmerican UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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