May 18, 2024


Underdevelopment and War

Dependency, neocolonialism, and the agrarian problem in Colombia

In the 1960s and ‘70s, the Colombian national government embarked on an ambitious agrarian reform program to address poverty in the increasingly violent countryside. Under the bipartisan project of the National Front, which alternated power between the Conservative and Liberal parties, these efforts sparked domestic and international debates around the nature of developmentalism in the country, especially since they coincided with a series of economic missions meant to tackle underdevelopment. Such interventions were influenced by international institutions like the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), as well as by discussions around economic growth and capitalism taking place in North America and Europe. Amid regional development debates, the Colombian approach would be determined by entrenched inequality in rural areas and the emergence of armed resistance against the state. 

Proposals that viewed the national economy through the lens of neocolonialism and global dependency began to circulate in intellectual and policy circles, and Colombia soon became a testing ground for various developmental diagnoses. The 1969 publication of Mario Arrubla’s Studies on Colombian Underdevelopment (Estudios sobre el subdesarrollo colombiano) linked these dependency theory debates with other theories of global Marxism. Arrubla, an economist, led the magazine Estrategia, the original publisher of the essays that made up his 1969 book. At a time when Latin American intellectuals sought to distance themselves from local communist parties and political liberalism—while simultaneously  advocating for a socialist revolution—the magazine brought together a group of left-wing intellectuals disillusioned both by the National Front and international institutions. In the case of the Grupo Estrategia, the revolutionary fervor did not translate into armed action. The group exemplified a new intellectual left in Latin America, which advanced critical renewals in Europe and North America to overcome the “sclerosis” of Soviet Marxism and repudiate imperialist tendencies. Today, the contributions of Arrubla and the Grupo Estrategia help explain Colombia’s greatest injustices: the state’s absence in peripheral regions, a powerful oligarchy, high inequality, and persistent violence in rural areas. 

Building the modern state

The victory of the Liberal Party candidate Alfonso López Pumarejo in 1934 brought an end to a long cycle of conservative hegemony in Colombia. The election resulted in a period of liberal policies and the expansion of social rights. López Pumarejo initially favored forms of national industry that relied on the masses to counterbalance landowners, who themselves opposed the comprador bourgeoisie. He promoted union organization and legalized the right to strike, which had been severely curtailed by previous governments. These pro-labor policies, however, proved to be too disruptive for his broad liberal coalition, and landowners began to oppose the popular movement. Under the succeeding government of Eduardo Santos Montejo, and even under López Pumarejo’s own government upon returning to power between 1942 to 1945, the Liberal Party abandoned the reforms and ultimately failed to halt a brewing conservative opposition. 

A conservative political shift ended the brief period of cooperation between workers and the industrial bourgeoisie. Land concentration rose in rural areas, and landowners launched a reactionary enterprise that massacred the liberal masses, making Colombia the “top producer of decapitated heads per capita.1 The “self-defense” of the campesinos—agricultural farm workers—was silenced with “blood and fire” during a historic period that was later known as La Violencia.2 The humanitarian disaster reached enormous proportions, paving the way for a “pacifying” dictatorship that would serve the interests of the liberal bourgeoisie who had lost political power. General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla claimed a de facto government between June 13, 1953, and May 10, 1957, until a Civil Front—composed of workers, students, and sectors of the traditional political elite—carried out a peaceful coup that sent the general into exile.

With the end of Rojas Pinilla’s dictatorship in 1957, an entire generation was born into political life. Students and young people pushed for the democratic Civil Front to support a vision of popular democracy grounded by the working class. Some had ties with local communist organizations that were aligned with international communism, which offered a critical analysis of the new regime’s agrarian policies. A local newspaper titled Crisis advocated for a “democratic agrarian reform” that would end the existing semi-feudal regime by redistributing land to campesinos. As support for the bipartisan National Front was growing, Crisis contributors (including Arrubla) championed the development of an independent national economy, which would require investment in productive agricultural forces and a ban on the importation of agricultural products.3 This vision echoed the agrarian reforms of the German occupation, which sought to tackle the post-war famine, transform rural property relations, and promote land redistribution.

Early critiques

Prior to the consolidation of the National Front in 1957, studies of the structure of the Colombian economy, neocolonialism, and development had long circulated among intellectual circles. These included conservative historian Luis Ospina Vásquez’s 1955 book Industria y protección en Colombia, 1810-1930, Alejandro López’s 1927 classic Problemas colombianos, and Luis Eduardo Nieto’s 1942 text Economía y cultura en la historia de Colombia. The latter was a key reference for Marxist economics at a time when the discipline had yet to be fully professionalized in Colombia. Nieto Arteta, a lawyer, was a member of the Marxist Group (1933–1934), which also included figures such as Liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán and the future rector of the National University Gerardo Molina. As heirs of the Second International, the Marxist Group had a deterministic vision that viewed social change through shifts in the forces of production and wealth generation.4

Some members of the Marxist Group joined the INCORA (Colombian Institute of Agrarian Reform) or the Ministry of Labor under the National Front government. Beginning in the 1960s, academics such as sociologist Orlando Fals Borda, as well as sociologist/priest/guerrilla-member Camilo Torres, spearheaded the professionalization of social sciences at the National University while also participating in state organizations.5 Other contemporaries aligned with the critical sector of the Liberal Party, represented by the Movimiento Revolucionario Liberal (Liberal Revolutionary Movement, MRL), which would dynamize a new modernizing era within the regime, thus hoping to compensate for the failures of the Liberal Republic. In his 1968 essay “Colombia: Violence and Underdevelopment,” philosopher Francisco Posada Díaz recognized the failure of the bourgeois-democratic revolution promoted by López Pumarejo, pointing to the National Front as an opportunity to recover that lost promise.6 Alongside those in academic circles, members of the National Front also sought to understand the Colombian economy through the lens of dependency theory. From the time the coalition took power, these efforts were influenced by a growing number of international missions in the country, which quickly honed in on the problem of  Colombian rural productivity.

“Operation Colombia”

During the 1950s, the World Bank, ECLAC, and the “Economy and Humanism” mission led by the Dominican priest Louis Joseph Lebret each arrived to Colombia amid international efforts to study Latin American economies. Despite distinct approaches, the missions all declared a situation of social emergency: the Colombian countryside had troubling levels of poverty due to unequal land distribution and land use restructuring during La Violencia. The country’s agricultural production had little value added: almost 90 percent of the most productive land was dedicated to livestock and remained in the hands of landowners. Campesinos had been displaced to hillside lands and carried out small-scale agricultural work that barely achieved subsistence levels.

Between 1945 and 1949, living costs increased by 71.6 percent in the city of Medellin and 58.2 percent in Bogotá, causing the currency to lose 41.7 percent and 36.8 percent of its value respectively—an inflationary scenario without wage growth. As the decade progressed, the indicators did not improve; the Lebret Mission reported a 21.2 percent increase in the cost of living between 1950 and 1954, while the index of real wages in relation to the cost of living decreased by 23.2 percent. The combination of inflation and stagnant wages intensified wealth concentration.7

After serving as an advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program in the US, Canadian economist Lauchlin Currie arrived in Colombia on a World Bank mission in 1949. Pressured by a strong McCarthyism in the US, Currie chose to stay in Colombia beyond the mission and continued to work as a World Bank consultant. By the time he presented his plan for “Operation Colombia” in 1961, he had already been in the country for over a decade and had produced several economic studies of the Colombian countryside. His plan proposed an accelerated form of development for Colombia with rapid technological advancement in rural regions.

Currie’s plan was one of two developmentalist responses in the public arena, alongside the  National Front’s agrarian reform. Currie advocated for expanding agricultural lands,  importing machinery, and relocating 1.5 million campesinos to cities, where they would become workers integrated into urban industry. This proposal implied a form of planning that would increase the availability of foreign exchange and the import of capital goods to generate massive housing programs and improve the quality of life. Such an outcome was unlikely, however, as Colombia faced a deficit in the balance of payments due to the global decline in the price of coffee, its primary export. 

Currie would later become one of the most important economists working in Colombia; his ideas influenced academic curriculums and policies implemented in the 1970s. But “Operation Colombia” was rejected by President Alberto Lleras Camargo,  who supported the agrarian reform proposed by Liberal politician Carlos Lleras Restrepo (then Minister of Government and later President of the Republic from 1966–1970). Lleras Restrepo’s outlook hewed closer to that of ECLAC, with a development strategy that understood center-periphery relations and dependencies and sought to embolden a strong state that prioritized planning, industrialization, protectionism, and import substitution. 

In contrast to “Operation Colombia,” the National Front-backed agrarian reform maintained campesino-managed small and medium-sized plots of land that had been thus far sustained with a low level of agricultural development and slow technical assimilation. The proposal advocated for “Rural Action Units” as a first cooperative phase to organize life in the countryside. In 1961, after significant debate, Congress passed Law 135 to carry out the reform, which by this point had come to more closely resemble plans backed by the US and the International Development Bank than ECLAC proposals.  The INCORA was responsible for implementing the reform over four years.8

Mario Arrubla and the Grupo Estrategia

In 1969, amid debates around agrarian reform, Mario Arrubla published Studies on Colombian Underdevelopment, a collection of three essays that offered a critique of both “Operation Colombia” and the National Front’s proposal. At the time of publication, political organizations of the New Left had consolidated, and the student population was increasing significantly. Arrubla’s text was widely disseminated, reaching over 60,000 legally published copies, thousands more bootleg versions, and over thirteen editions.

The book consists of three essays previously published in Estrategia. The magazine was active between 1962 to 1964, and despite its short tenure, had a lasting influence on the country’s economic and political debates. Estrategia sought to recreate the Sartrean project of Les Temps modernes, synthesizing a left-wing sociability in the 1960s. Mario Arrubla and the Grupo Estrategia went further, using theoretical and political arguments to challenge developmentalist solutions for the country. 

Born in 1936 in Medellín, Arrubla was a Colombian left-wing intellectual who, like Currie, attempted to diagnose the Colombian economy in the post-war period. Arrubla identified an unprecedented encounter between the high international demand for coffee and rising exportable production, which led to an increase in coffee’s global price. This led to a boom in Colombia’s foreign trade, and in the context of long-standing unequal exchange, Colombia reached a neocolonial stage in which the industrial bourgeoisie established its predominance over the comprador bourgeoisie and other exploitative classes. The industrial bourgeoisie also took advantage of a new customs tariff adopted in 1951 that protected industries producing consumer goods and taxed such products at a low rate. Industry advanced with these shifts, but wealth continued to accumulate to those with large (and sometimes idle) landholdings. For Arrubla, this indicated that industrial advancement alone could not lead to meaningful reform. He noted that in Colombia, three dynamics managed to coexist: low social indicators, industrial advancement, and the agrarian problem—a substantial expanse of land that remained unexploited due to land concentration.  

Arrubla’s 1962 essay was one of the first to criticize Lauchlin Currie, arguing that he sought an unfeasible vision of classical capitalist development in Colombia. He considered the agrarian reform promoted by Lleras Restrepo as “more starkly lucid” because, unlike “Operation Colombia,” it did not aim to accelerate the disintegration of the campesinos; instead, it sought keep campesinos in the countryside by incorporating them into a system of agricultural units that would support their families and stem urbanization. The plan was designed to contain rural poverty, that is, to avoid “an unsustainable social situation” that could take on “revolutionary” overtones in the cities. From the first installment of Estrategia, Arrubla was skeptical of bourgeois political interventions to alter Colombia’s economic structure. He rejected the notion that a progressive industrial sector could drive developmental alternatives, even as a necessary stage within the framework of a national project that considered the needs of the population.

In the third essay of Studies on Colombian Underdevelopment, Arrubla offered his own analysis of the structure of the Colombian economy. Relying on ECLAC statistics, he argued that the local bourgeoisie controlled the domestic market but failed to promote industrial development. Foreign flows resulted from the export of agricultural goods rather than manufactured goods, and as a result, the trade deficit had grown. With little industrialization, conditions of dependence deepened in this “neocolonial stage.” Arrubla disagreed with ECLAC, rejecting the notion that import substitution would solve this cycle. This neocolonial form of capitalism, he argued, was a “deformation” of classical capitalist development; without the heavy industry that would serve as the primary sector in a classical capitalist economy, neocolonial capitalism appeared as a remarkable creature that “lacked a head.” Given this deficiency, Colombian capitalism would “prematurely age in two or three decades against all the appearances of its vigorous initial impulse,” as the condition of structural neocolonialism would bring about successive trade deficit situations until the economy entered a stage of chronic crisis and paralysis. Such crises would invite greater imperialist penetration, as falling exports would lead to increased foreign investment and intensified dependence. Arrubla looked back on the early twentieth century, noting the failure of the neocolonial bourgeoisie to offset losses in import capacity: debts continued to exceed investments, and the exports still trailed imports by the end of the 1930s. In Arrubla’s view, the developmentalist path in Colombia remained unfeasible. 

Arrubla and the Grupo Estrategia engaged closely with the popular reinterpretations of Marxism and Marxist critique circulating around Latin America in the 1950s and 60s, such as The Theory of Capitalist Development and The Political Economy of Growth by American economists Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy. By the late 1950s, the Monthly Review—led from 1948 by Leo Huberman, Francis Otto Matthiessen, and Sweezy—became a point of reference for the international New Left in the field of Marxist economic history and Keynesian theory. 

Baran and Sweezy produced a fundamental corpus for the development of Marxist theories of dependency, showing that the exchange of capital with the underdeveloped world was governed by imperialist logics that generated a situation of dependence. The bourgeoisie of dependent countries—termed comprador or lumpen as heirs of colonialism—and ongoing militarism were important supports for this unequal relationship. This perspective “revealed the contradictions of any transformation of economic regimes in the underdeveloped world within the limits of capitalism.” During the 1950s, Baran’s texts were pivotal in understanding third world revolutions, as they articulated how the “morphology of backwardness” originated in processes of colonialism and imperialism. Furthermore, they identified two contradictory movements that marked the development efforts of dependent countries: a progressive movement marked by a process of creative destruction of productive forces, and a regressive movement that preserved existing archaic systems of labor. For Baran, overcoming backwardness required serious—ultimately socialist—planning that would curb unproductive consumption and allow a productive use of surplus.9

Studies on Colombian Underdevelopment translated the ideas of Baran and Sweezy into the local context. In the book’s second essay, Arrubla describes Colombia as part of a region unevenly linked to the great metropolises of the global economy. He establishes three stages: the first a colonial stage where Latin American countries advanced in semi-colonial development processes, which lasts until the 1930s; the second stage, in which the conjecture of the great imperialist crisis and the rise of import substitution created the conditions for a “new creature,” a form of Latin American industry that propelled Latin American capitalisms; and finally, the third stage, in which some countries transitioned from being semi-colonies to neo-colonies.

In this classification scheme, an “underdeveloped” or “dependent” country was structurally hindered in the global economy: “one member of the team specializes in starving to death while the other bears the ‘white man’s burden’ and collects the profits.”10 Arrubla also offers a critique of Baran for what he saw as a weak characterization of the colonies vis-a-vis the growing imperialism of classic capitalist countries. Responding to this absence, Arrubla himself undertook the task of building typologies of colonial and semi-colonial economies, what he referred to as type A and type B. Type A colonies were those in which natural resources, mining, and plantations were exploited by foreigners, such as Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba, whose commercial exchange was closer to a classic “plundering” situation. In type B colonies, which included Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, domestic elites exploited primary (usually agricultural) export products, and this trade generated a constant income and influx of foreign exchange.  

Type A and type B colonies faced distinct political consequences per their condition. As a result of the exploitation of primary products by foreign investors, Cuba experienced a form of imperialist domination that was simple to identify. For Colombia, on the other hand, the formation of capital by bankers and landowners had established a kind of domination exercised by the national bourgeoisie instead of a foreign entity. In those places, Arrubla argues, “nationalist consciousness” tended to “fall asleep more easily.”

Political legacies

Although the initial intention of the Grupo Estrategia was more agitational than militant, and the group refrained from declaring itself as the organ of any existing political party, its members did form the Partido de la Revolución Socialista (Party of Socialist Revolution, PRS) to “collaborate in the task of creating Marxist cadres and linking them to the working class.” These cadres were mainly composed of students from the public universities, such as the University of Antioquia, the National University in Bogotá, and the Santiago de Cali University as well as the University of Valle in Cali. 

Arrubla and Estanislao Zuleta, another prominent figure in Estrategia, shared experiences in communist campesino training camps in the Sumapaz moorland and trade union schools in Medellín. The PRS built on these early militancies, forming its base among  unions at Antioquia-based companies like Fabricato, Peldar, Tejicondor, Propalia, and Everfit, which helped found the Federation of Workers of Antioquia (Federación de Trabajadores de Antioquia, FEDETA). The PRS also aligned with the resistance efforts of mining workers in Segovia against the Frontino Gold Mines.

The PRS advocated for a socialist, anti-imperialist, anti-bourgeois, and anti-feudal revolution, but their calls to action resonated more with students than industrial sectors. The group only lasted for a year, as members disagreed over the decision to engage in insurgent armed action against the state. In order to keep the masses unified, the leaders of Estrategia argued that armed action required insurgent conditions. The group’s affiliation with the PRS became a balancing act to justify themselves as left-wing intellectuals while taking distance from a growing leftist armed struggle.  

Despite the dissolution of the PRS, Studies on Colombian Underdevelopment maintained a lasting influence, operating as an authoritative reference for economics departments well into the 1980s, as well as for several revolutionary and armed political organizations. In the mid-1970s, the text served as a reference for Marxist economic history, as historians shifted from “academic history” to a “historiographic revolution” prioritizing “bottom-up” perspectives.11 These sources rendered a long-term perspective of the world economy that illuminated uneven development over five centuries, in contrast to the linear views of  the USSR Academy of Sciences’ Manual of Economics, which stated that each society must develop its productive potential to the maximum before being able to move to a higher form. From 1974 to 1979, Arrubla also edited the magazine Cuadernos Colombianos, which, alongside the new magazine Ideología y Sociedad, sparked the growth of cultural magazines in the 1970s. This decade of intellectual output reflected the increased professionalization of history and the social sciences.

While Ideología y Sociedad initially aligned with Arrubla’s diagnoses, it soon featured prominent critiques as well. Most notably, Colombian economist Salomón Kalmanovitz argued that without considering production relations, Arrubla’s analysis lacked a careful examination of intermediate goods, and as a result over-emphasized external conditions.12 He cited macroeconomic indicators from the second half of the 1960s that showed growth in national development, demonstrating that the absence of capital goods did not prevent, via raw materials or intermediate products, developmentalist advances.

Kalmanovitz refuted the notion of dependence in Studies on Colombian Underdevelopment, arguing that it “explains the non-development of capitalism without specifically referring to the transformation of production relations.” Kalmanovitz was particularly interested in arguing for the theoretical superiority of Marxism, which he juxtaposed with Arrubla’s dependency theory. One of Kalmanovitz’s references was Brazilian political scientist Francisco Weffort, who denied the “real-historical existence of a contradiction between the nation (as an autonomous unit, necessarily understood in terms of power and class relations) and dependence (as an external link with central countries).” Weffort criticized the “mechanism often suggested by some dependency theorists when they spoke of a ‘concomitant relationship’ between the changes occurring in peripheral countries and the changes produced in central countries, since it nullified the possibility of a transformation emerging from the dominated countries.” By contrast, Arrubla’s theoretical approach considered the relationship of dependence with the metropolis not as an “external” fact but as a structural element of the national economy. 

Dependency and the armed conflict

Mario Arrubla and the Grupo Estrategia strongly critiqued the form of industrialization pursued in Colombia during the mid-twentieth century. Like many of his generation, Arrubla rejected the National Front, accusing the project of excluding the masses and obfuscating the role of external political forces. He was also disillusioned with local communist groups who maintained an alliance with the left-wing of the Liberal Party and thus indirectly participated in the regime. Arrubla’s distance from the organs of the state enabled his writing, and his anti-developmentalist stance grew stronger the more he identified Colombia’s national industrial development with its bloody history. For Arrubla, the violent dissolution of the campesino structures had severe implications under neocolonial conditions in Colombia, amounting to the highest “social cost” and requiring “a particularly high quota of pain for the popular masses,” since “in the absence of heavy industry, employment opportunities lag far behind labor supply, and the reserve army takes on monstrous proportions.”13

In Colombia, the acute dissolution of rural life was achieved “with blood and fire.” The bourgeoisie of dependent countries had understood that they needed to “introduce more or less significant modifications in the political forms of their domination,” which could imply strong, “big-bourgeois” governments or dictatorships of various types. The guerrilla groups opted for the armed path: early gestures toward what would be the guerrilla processes of the sixties had already begun to propagate in the country and would strengthen shortly thereafter. In line with the Old Left, the old communist guerrillas regrouped and gave rise to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC)—the longest-lasting guerrilla in the continent. In May 1964, the army deployed a bloody military operation against one of the areas of campesino self-defense, the small territory of Marquetalia in the department of Tolima; the following year, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army, ELN) of Guevarist inspiration, made its public appearance in Simacota, Santander. It was not long before the figure of Camilo Torres emerged as the revolutionary intellectual of that group. Torres, in line with the decisive emergence of the new political left, would mark the eclipse of the committed intellectuals typified by the Grupo Estrategia, who radicalized their stance as intellectuals in place of bearing arms.  

As an exile in the US in the twenty-first century, Arrubla became more nuanced in his notion of dependence, although he would still consider “the true nature of imperialism” as a variable required to fully understand economic policy.14 Arrubla began to consider the revolution in a more positive light, as favorable to social justice. Meanwhile, Colombia’s historical drifts in the late 1970s left him profoundly disillusioned by the left parties’ appropriations of Marxism, as well as by the progressive paths forward for Colombia. Arrubla’s career reflects the intersections between dependency theories and Marxism during the period. From the 1960s onward, Latin American critical thought began to include an amalgam of theorists who viewed the national economy from the dependency-imperialism binomial—Faletto and Cardoso, for example. Today, we can look at very different theoretical and political efforts that renew theories of imperialism: “socialism of the 21st century,” “Bolivarianism,” or “buen vivir.”  

Situated within debates on the dependency-imperialism dichotomy and Marxist critique, Arrubla’s own trajectory demonstrates the plurality of dependency theories circulating in Latin America from the 1960s onward. More than half a century has passed since Arrubla described the Colombian economy as neocolonial, during which time political violence has intensified and macroeconomic indicators continue to exhibit disappointing findings. There is now talk of the weak industrialization or even deindustrialization of the Colombian economy; meanwhile, the agrarian issue and fierce land concentration remain the Gordian knot of the so-called post-conflict era. The current government under Gustavo Petro has proposed a structural transformation of the Colombian economy, but it continues to face domestic political challenges as well as ever-present global financial constraints. These persistent obstacles—present in both the local and international spheres—testify to the enduring resonance of Mario Arrubla’s diagnosis of Colombia’s society and economy. 

This essay is based on the author’s recent book, Hombres de Ideas. Entre la revolución y la democracia. Los itinerarios cruzados de Mario Arrubla y Estanislao Zuleta: los años 60 y la izquierda en Colombia (Bogota, Ed. Ariel, 2023).

  1. Mario Arrubla, “La sociedad colombiana, producto de la historia de la dependencia”. Estrategia, N°2 (1963): 7-39

  2. The expression “blood and fire”, used by Arrubla himself in his analyses, had its history. The conservative politician José Antonio Montalvo used the expression in a speech before the Senate of the Republic on November 6, 1947, to indicate that this was how the government of Mariano Ospina Pérez (1946-1950) would defend itself if necessary. Montalvo served as Minister of Justice and Government in that government, and his statement took place precisely during the period when the first signs of La Violencia were emerging.

  3. J. Montaña, “Apuntes latifundio Antioquia (I)”, Crisis I (2) (August 1957): 5-7.

  4. Gonzalo Cataño, La introducción del pensamiento moderno en Colombia. El caso de Luis E. Nieto Arteta (Bogota: Universidad Externado de Colombia, 2013).

  5.  Jaime Eduardo Jaramillo Jiménez, Estudiar y hacer sociología en Colombia en los años sesenta (Bogota: Universidad Central, 2017).

  6. Francisco Posada Díaz, Colombia: violencia y subdesarrollo (Bogota: Universidad de Antioquia, 1968).

  7.  Rafael Baquero, La Economía Nacional y la Política de Guerra en Colombia (Bogota: Labor, 1951).

  8. Juan Carlos Villamizar, Pensamiento económico en Colombia: Construcción de un saber, 1948-1970 (Bogota: Universidad del Rosario, 2013).

  9. Cf. Matari Pierre Manigat, “La Monthly Review y la formación de la teoría marxista de la dependencia”: Políticas de la Memoria, n° 21 (Nov. 30, 2021): 183-97.

  10. The author uses the term “underdevelopment” while also signalling how it can sometimes be misleading and give the false impression of referring to qualitative limitations that could be overcome over time.

  11. This movement saw structuralist currents that introduced a new perspective of history as a science: the Annales School, the New Economic History current from the US, and Marxist historiography itself.  This was nourished by the historical works of Fernand Braudel (El Mediterráneo y el mundo mediterráneo en la época de Felipe II), Ernest Mandel (Traité d’économie marxiste), and Maurice Dobb, which were studied by Arrubla’s group.

  12.  Salomón Kalmanovitz, «Crítica de una teoría de la dependencia: a propósito de Arrubla.», Ideología y Sociedad, n° 10 (1974): 50-90.

  13.  Mario Arrubla, “Análisis estructural de la economía colombiana (I),” Estrategia, n.o 3 (Jan. 1964): 26 ff.

  14.  Mario Arrubla, “Marginalia del editor. A propósito de Kalmanovitz. Los ´Estudios sobre el subdesarrollo´ y el ensayo ´A propósito de Arrubla´,” Al Margen, n° 11 (2004): 93-155.

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