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Peru, Potentialities of Economic Development

Peru, Potentialities of Economic Development

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Excerpt from Peru, Potentialities of Economic Development: Elaboration of Address Delivered at the Opening of Lima University on 1st; May 1918

My associations with the group of sciences which deals with economic and financial factors, together with an old and profound conviction regarding the predominating importance of such factors in the developing and strengthening of a nation, will, I trust, explain my object in going at comparative length in this short treatise into the economic factor. So fur the latter has been unfortunately very much neglected, just as if there were a desire to act upon the Hispanic tradition that progress may be attained by other means, principally by the bettering of Institutions and that "it is sufficient to alter them (the Institutions) to, at the same time, change their destinies".

Economic factors have to day, however, a decisive importance. They were small at the time when peoples lived in isolation, and when the various industries changed hut little from one century to another: but such factors have finally assumed a preponderant importance. Scientific and industrial discoveries have changed all our conditions of existence. A simple chemical reaction, discovered in some laboratory, ruins one country and enriches another. The cultivation of cereals in the heart of Africa may oblige whole provinces in Europe to give up agriculture (1).

It is of course not a question of enslaving a people to the economic factors but, on the contrary, of subjecting such factors to a people's necessities. Although it would be an exaggeration to state, on that account, that the economic factor should be the only object of a country's activities there is still no doubt that it dominates the entire life of a nation. So far back as 1894 our illustrious Hector proclaimed that "the necessity of bettering man's condition explains a large number of political disturbances, In modern times the causes of transcendental revolutions, such as that of France towards the end of the eighteenth century, are due to economic losses of equilibrium.

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