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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

English Spanish

Brazil: Options for the future

This article analyses the present situation and future prospects of Brazil in the light of the globalization process. In the author’s view, the market only generates globally coherent decisions in countries with a high degree of social homogeneity. Thus, the greater the social heterogeneity of a country, the greater the need for a national development policy. Such a policy should link up the concepts of globalization and social profitability on the economic and political level. Globalization furthers the destructuring of production systems in favour of companies that plan their investments on an international scale and promotes the concentration of political power, widening of the productivity gap, and the destructuring of cultures. Social profitability, on the other hand, has to do with the priorities of economic decision-making in national political systems and allows the values of the community as a whole to be taken into account. In a country of continental size, with great population mobility, the danger of disintegration of the national production system makes it hard to subordinate the channeling of investments to the rationale of the transnational corporations. If globalization is an unavoidable technological imperative, then the country has little room for taking its own decisions. The author concludes that in these circumstances countries like Brazil, with great natural resources and marked social disparities, may disintegrate or slither in the direction of fascist-type authoritarian regimes in response to the growing social tensions. In order to escape from this prospect it is necessary to return to the idea of a national project and make the domestic market once again the dynamic centre of the economy. The greatest difficulty is in reversing the tendency towards income concentration, which can only be done through a great social mobilization process.

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