Pierre Jalee has written a brilliant book, The Pillage of the Third World, which is a resource tool for all
who are concerned by the blind faith in free markets that is prevalent the world over. Jalee gets to the
core of the capitalist system and free markets, and also deals with the exploitation of the third world by
imperialist powers. The data used in this book is mostly 50s and 60s.
The Pillage of the Third World first appeared in France under the title of Le Pillage du Tiers Monde in
the spring of 1965. The purpose of his research work was to examine the part played in the world
economy by the Third World on the one hand and the industrialized capitalist countries on the other
and more specially to illuminate the economic relations between the Third World and imperialism.
The work is divided into six parts: the first chapter discuses the economic and political division of the
world. Chapter II concerned itself with problems of production, chapter III with trade and chapter IV
with movements of capital. Chapter V makes a special study of the convention associating eighteen
African countries with the six countries of the European Common Market. In a concluding chapter,
author attempted to coordinate the major trends which have been revealed in the preceding chapters
and further to set out certain perspectives that follow from them. The author mainly relied on the
United Nations documentations for the statistical figures and other data necessary for the research.
His documentation remains the chief merit of the book--it's a gold mine for anyone interested in
getting information about the pillage of goods and resources from the third world countries in the
name of ‘aid’ and concerned by the dangerous proliferation of free markets.
Chapter 1: The World Sliced in Two
In the first part the world has been divided into three parts. Socialist group of
countries like China, North Korea and Soviet Union etc. Capitalist group of countries which has
further categories of Imperialist countries like U.S.A, Canada, Australia and New Zealand etc.
And third world countries like whole of Africa, most of the countries of Asia and Latin America.
Some variable have been used to compare these countries.
For example population of third world is 46.6% of total world population. Per capita national
income of advanced countries is 10 to 20 % higher than African and Asian countries and
5%higher than Latin America. Two third inhabitants of third world are not getting necessary
2500 calories per day. No. of inhabitants per doctor is very high in third world. Per capita
consumption of industrial steel and energy ranges from 1/16th to 1/20th as compared to imperialist
countries while in Africa and Latin America it ranges from 1/20th to 1/30th and 1/6th to 1/9th
This shows lack of industrialization in third world. The average growth of the socialist countries
is about 57% higher than that of advanced capitalist countries. The average growth rate of
advanced capitalist countries is more than twice that of countries of third world. The data also
shows that there is also classification in third world which says that Latin America is less
developed than Asian countries than African countries.
Gulf countries have been put in between advanced capitalist and third world countries because
they were rich in oil and at that time all the economies of world were heavily dependant on oil to
run their systems. This fact has also been revealed that the major reason of backwardness of third
world is that they had been under colonial system for a long time and are still being controlled
and owned by western countries directly or indirectly.
Chapter 2: Imperialism in the Third World:
In second part the contribution of countries of world toward production
has been highlighted. Third world has been said proletarian nations who are poor not because of
lack of natural resources which is required for heavy industry but the extraction of natural wealth
by imperialist countries who use these resources for their own industries. The data reveals that
the extractive industry of imperialist countries has grown only 19% between 1958 to 1965 while
in case of third world it was 97%.
Moreover the imperialist countries are rich in coal while third world countries are constantly
improving in the production of oil and metalliferous. On other side the secondary industries
which produce the equipment and consumer goods third world is very much further behind the
imperialist countries than in extracting industry and third world ‘s growth rate in this regard is
not too sharp.
Third world countries has one thirteenth of the production of imperialist countries and in heavy
industry it is one nineteenth. Most of the industrial undertakings of underdeveloped countries are
foreign owned or controlled and profits are repatriated. Such enterprises rarely fit into the
development plans of the countries in which they operate.
Agricultural production per capita is declining in third world countries because of rapid increase
in population, is stable in North America and increasing in Western Europe. This rapid increase
in population in third world causes hunger.
Products like cocoa beans, coffee and tea that are imported to imperialist countries their growth
rate has increased drastically because third world is the sole supplier of these products. While the
growth rate in those products which are used for food consumption of country of origin is not
In short the motive of production of crops is to fulfill the demand of imperialist countries.
Chapter 3: The Trade of the Third World
As far as trade of imperialist countries is concerned it is growing faster than that of third world.
Moreover, the imperialist countries are trading more and more among themselves and less with
third world. While the trade between third world countries is decreasing and they are trading
more and more with imperialist countries.
Almost 90% export of third world countries to imperialist countries is made up of primary
products and for many of the countries they are exporting a limited range of products. On the
other hand most of the goods sent to third world by imperialist countries contain a wide range of
products and they are manufactured goods.
Almost all the countries of third world have a major trading partner among imperialist countries
which absorbs a high proportion of their trade. The major partner to which they are subordinate
in trade matters is the imperialist country which formerly concurred or dominated them and with
which they maintained special ties.
However these privileged trade links are showing signs of weakness and trade between third
world and the imperialist group of nations is becoming more and more multilateral. Over a
period of fifteen to twenty years the prices of many products have risen but those of primary
products have fallen.
This has led to an improvement in the terms of trade for imperialist countries but deterioration in
terms of third world. Efforts to stabilize the prices of primary products have an insignificant
Chapter 4: Imperialism and the Third World:
Movements of Capital
The data presented in this chapter provide the basis for an estimate of the public financial aid given by
the capitalist countries to those of the Third World. Jalee tried to explain with various references about
the exploitation of third world countries in the name of foreign aid and private investments within
these countries. Political independence has not stopped economic exploitation.
The poor nations export raw materials at low prices, buy manufactures at high ones, and get relatively
poorer every year. They are poor because of aid and private investments and drainage of surplus from
these third world countries by the imperialists. The bilateral and the multilateral public aid flowing
from the developed countries to third world were very little.
Bilateral Public Aid, The bilateral aid has intertwined aspects which includes primarily the political
reasons for giving the aid and secondly the economic aspects of the lender on the receiver. The
economic and financial aid granted to the third world countries is basically to preserve the privileged
sources of raw materials. It is basically two fold exploitation- given for the benefit of the local
oligarchies in the receiving country and secondly for the benefit of the private businesses running
there, which is mainly designed to strengthen the business circles of the country giving aid, keeping
the ruling elites of the recipient in their pockets and to pursue and intensify the neo- colonialist
exploitation by creating class systems.
International Public Aid, Jalee reported that international public aid is relatively small in amount and
it is dispensed from three sources: World Bank and its two subsidiaries; IFA and IDA. He believed at
the back end there are usually political preferences that influence the allocation of loans and the
placing of investments by these institutions. International aid is dispensed by agencies which are
institutions of imperialism to benefit solely the imperialist camp with the basic purpose of defending
its frontiers. In 1964 there was a tendency of increasing international aid and decrease in bilateral aid.
Private Investment and Retransfers, It has been estimated that the economic relationship between
the Third World and the developed nations annually drains three times as much capital from the poorer
nations than it puts back. The private investments from the imperialist countries to the third world tend
to stagnate or grow very slowly then private investments in the imperialistic countries.
The foreign investments primarily emphasized directly on the oil and raw materials producing
enterprises and investments in the secondary industry are chosen to conquer the local markets to
increase the competition and acquire them. In addition to that there is a strong tendency to repatriate
profits from the country in which it was invested to their own countries. Retransfers are usually done
in the form of salaries paid to foreign technicians and specialists and above all as payments for
licenses and patents.
Chapter 5: A Typical Neo-Imperialist Contract:
Association with the European Common Markets
In this chapter author made a special study of the convention associating eighteen African countries
with the Six countries of the European Common Market. This contract has been taken as a typical neo-
EEC made a contractual relationship with the eighteen African states signed at Yaoundé’ convention in
July 1963 to be a part of the Six. The bias in the Yaonde’s convention has enabled the EEC to set up a
real Euro-African common market encompassing the six and their eighteen African associates. This
Yaoundé convention enabled the metropolitan countries to receive duty free from its colonies, the raw
materials and other products its industries and consumer markets required. The free movement of
capital facilitated the establishment of enterprises for the extraction of primary raw materials, and
unlimited and unchecked high profit repatriation. African associate states were, in the veil of free
markets and trade union, crippled by the EEC. They cannot fight against the powerful European
Free Trade, For the further exploitation of the eighteen states, Eighteen were required to put tariff
reductions and abolishment of taxes as a whole on the products like: pineapples, coconuts, coffee
neither roasted nor decaffeinated, tea packed in bulk, nutmegs, pepper neither; crushed nor powdered,
vanilla, cocoa in whole or broken beans respectively. From this list one can easily notice that the prime
emphasize of the shrewd six was on the primary commodities; raw materials. They excluded any
packaged product or processed materials.
This exploitation is multi lateral in nature. Instead of two partners; one European and one African,
there is six European and eighteen African partners. EEC has disguised colonialism into a joint stock
company. Instead of being imposed by conquest, the colonialism has been set up by the mutual
consent I mean mutual agreement between the European states and the African association. The
attractive colorful wrapping of this convention is very alluring but inside it is still a typical rotten
colonialism. The fact is that African governments have put their signatures to the economic, social and
political death call of their countries, in the form of economic exploitation, political servitude and
In a nut shell, the convention associating the eighteen African countries with the European Common
Markets appears to be an attempt to contractualize and institutionalize links between a group of
imperialist countries and a number of third world countries. It shows that imperialism has remained
true to itself; its real face is unchanged behind the attractive mask. This system is set up of the old
colonial pact. I regard it as “an old wine in a new bottle”. It has softened itself to some extent to
mislead people. The financial aid of the six is only the sugar quoted on the “quinine” pill.
Chapter 6: conclusion
Chapter six is the concluding chapter in which the author combined all the incomplete conclusions
which he offered at the end of each chapter and I found him, in this chapter, augmenting against
Lenin’s analysis of imperialism for which he gave lots of examples, few of them are discussed below.
He tended to show that in the peak period of political decolonialization imperialist exploitation not
only persists but is becoming very harsh. The international division of labor characteristic of
imperialism become more and more marked, the underdeveloped countries produce and export more
and more primary products where as the industrialized countries produce and export more and more
manufactured goods. The terms of trade continue to move against the former and the private capital
invested by latter is still mainly directed to petroleum and raw materials and extracted directly or
indirectly the highest possible rates of profit. The original structure set by EEC serve to extend the life
of the old colonial relationship while attempting to camouflage it. A new concept of third worlds
exploitation has been introduced in the name of “aid”.
He is particularly preoccupied with trade, arguing against Ernest Mandel's view that the industrialized
nations are disengaging from Third World trade. According to Jalee, imperialism today is more
concerned with trading with the third world than investing capital in underdeveloped countries. He
believed that imperialism cannot do without many of the basic products and raw materials of the
underdeveloped countries and whether they are produced by imperialist enterprises or those of the
secondary industries. Neither can imperialism do without its sales to the third world which provide
almost one quarter of its total exports.
He compared the Lenin’s analysis about the third world countries with the present day world’s
occurrences and compared his findings with those of Lenin’s.
Like all good things for body and soul, this book hurts. Pierre Jalee has made a pretty fierce analysis of
imperialism in the various sectors into which it can be divided.
I think his investigation has shown that for the third world, there is no hope of ending exploitation and
underdevelopment within the framework of the imperialist system. The most important conclusion to
be drawn from this analysis is the belief, not only that imperialism persists unchanged in its essential
nature, but also, and most empathetically, that the exploitation and underdevelopment which it causes
are growing more severe. Seventy or eighty countries of the third world may indeed be the “peer” of
the “great powers” of western world in international proceedings but the others are still the pillagers
and they are still the pillaged, more and more as the time passes.
It should never be forgotten that imperialistic exploitation weighs on the third world this exploitation
needs the third world and cannot do without it. In this analysis it has been shown that the third world is
the sole or principal source of many products or raw materials without which many of the markets of
imperialism would collapse and many of its most essential factories come to a standstill.
The people of the third world extract ever more basic materials and for these the imperialist buyers pay
less and less. In return the people of the third world are obliged to buy more and more of the
manufactured goods they lack and as these goods increase in prices and their income from exports
falls, they have to cut back on their essential needs or else extract a larger volume of basic products the
price of which then falls further, there is no way out for them.
Review of: The Pillage of the Third World
By Pierre Jalee
SHAHBAZ CHAUDHRY (857) & NAZISH SOHAIL (862)
Discipline: BBA (Hons)
MONSIEUR RAZA NAEEM
HAJVERY UNIVERSITY LAHORE
MY FIRST AND FOREMOST HUMBLE AND GRATITUDE TO “ALLAH” THE ALMIGHTY FOR GIVING
ME THE VALOR TO REMAIN DEDICATED TO MAKE THIS AUDIT REPORT .
Apart from it I take the opportunity to acknowledge the real efforts
We would like to thank SIR RAZA NAEEM, for his valuable support
and encouragement which he has offered. Without his guidance this
review would not have been possible for us to write.