is development developmental?

August 27, 2017 | Autor: Lourdu Nathan | Categoria: Social Sciences
Share Embed

Descrição do Produto

Is Development Developmental? S. Lourdunathan


S. Lourdunathan
What do we mean 'development' when we mean development?

evelopment Camouflage
The term development is popularly used with reference to ideas such as growth, progress, good and happiness. Development agencies often propagate a make-belief that the practice of development implies economic growth, social progress and good and human happiness. Thus the functional relation between the idea of development vis-à-vis the ideas of growth, progress, good and happiness seems to be either used in implicative or equivalent meaning. The question is what is meant by development when we mean development,

Before we discuss the thinking about development, what is , we need to be primarily at once perplexing since it is used synonymic with reference to ideas The question is - are these terms equivalent in the sense of similarity (same as)? If they are used as similarity, what do they refer to? Similarity as a notion (I hold) is so confusing that it need not have an empirical content. One can speak of a family members being similar in certain features but each member is specifically different. So the case with the use of the term development. If and when development is used as progress, as growth, as good and as happiness though one can note a sort of family collectiveness (family resemblance), each of these terms refer to different sensibilities. And to use all of them under the umbrella called 'development' is to miss boat. It is a sort of disguised/disgusted usage where nothing specific/concrete can be accounted. Since the very specificity of reference to development is misleading, it does as well lead to misleading references of development actions/agencies.

Development and Growth: Let us take for instance, the use of the terms development and growth. Do these two terms mean the same? Are they similar notions? One can speak of the 'growth' of the butterfly in different stages like egg, larva, pupa, adult butterfly and finally death of the butterfly. If development means growth (economic growth), do we mean that development is a process of having an egg stage, a larva stage, a pupa stage, an adult stage and finally a 'death'? One can say the child is growing from childhood to manhood. But one cannot claim that the child is developing. To say that the butterfly/child is growing is agreeable where as to claim that the butterfly/child is developing is not-that-agreeable if not ridiculous.
If you agree on this meaning-conditionality, then, the claim that development means growth vis-à-vis growth means development is rather a disguised notion if not a ridiculous notion. Growth is normally meant the biological sense of it where as development is normally meant the cultural (social, political, economic factors) dimension. From the above illustration we may infer that development does not actually mean growth and growth does not mean development and this imply the fact that one cannot afford to situate sensibilities purely in terms of resemblance or similarities for they are quite misleading, – misleading both in conceptual bearing and in practical application through which the user/utterer/promulgator/performer/agent can easily flee/veil from any sort of accountability of the practical implications of development.

Development and Happiness: The other similarities, development as happiness is also misleading. One can be happy, for instance, a robber or corrupt agency when not punished or escapes legalities can be happy. A Christian for instance celebrates the death of Christ in crucifixion and still be happy because he believes 'death will eventually bring about resurrection'. Does this happiness of the robber or the Christian be called 'development'? Is the robber/corrupt developed when s/he is not punished for his crimes? Is the Christian believer who celebrates suffering and death, though happy, can s/he be called 'developed'? Take for another instance, when the poor people are gifted with free/welfare scheme aids (Food, Medicine, Kitchen Utensil, household things, laptops in Tamilnadu, some % of reservations etc) they are said to be happy. Does it mean they are 'developed' because they are happy with/about such welfares/charity/corporate social responsibility programmes?
I believe, happiness is psychological, connected with one's mood, emotion, mental dispositions. It is cannot and does not mean development. They are two different notions with differentia of sensibilities. To combine both in terms of similarity is again misleading and deceptive of the common man. The giver/utterer/promulgator/performer/agent of welfarism induces the psychological disposition that development means happiness, like that of the believer who self-imposes the idea that his/her belief means happiness and happiness is meant to belief in such and such manner. Inducing a belief/psychological disposition through cultural practices or political programmes however may mean a temporary sense of happiness but surely not development either.

Development and goodness: If development does not necessarily mean growth or happiness, does it mean good? Are the terms development and good similar resonating equivalent sensibilities? The issue of 'good' needs some clarification. 'Good' is predicated of the status of being moral. What is moral is good and what is good is moral.
A good life, hence, ought to be defined in terms of 'being good' rather having good with an abundance of material 'goods'. When development is used as good, does it refer to the idea of moral goodness or material additions/goods? If goodness is moral connotation then moral connotation cannot refer to material abundance and material goods or affluence. A rich business entrepreneur may be predicated of the affluence of material goods but this need not mean that s/he is morally good. Many times the opposite is true. Material affluence is tied with the notion of the ability to success by being deceitful (we may call it Business tactics) and thereby immoral without the sense of consciousness that s/he is not-moral and lives by preying on the vulnerability of the others in the society. Economic affluence/goodness does not necessarily mean either moral or social goodness.
Development as good does not necessarily the case of being good morally. They are notions apart. In fact, development as modernisation operates on the (economic cum political) rationality of human control (domination) over nature as to provision abundance of goods, namely the accumulation of material and technological goods. As previously pointed out, there is a vast chasm between morally good and developmentally good. One does not imply the other. A person may be economically 'good' does in no way means s/he is morally good. Hence the argument is that what is materially and technologically good is not necessarily morally good and by extension the action that is developmentally good need not morally and socially good. The ascription that development thinking as good is to covert the idea of moral goodness. A nation may be deemed developed in the sense of higher level of per capita income, but this does in no way mean that nation and its people are morally good. Granted that development means goodness, then the question is to whose 'goodness' and at whose expense? Does development carry the traces utilitarian hedonism?

Development & Progress: The term progress seems to be more closely connected with the idea of development. The factor that is identified as progressive can equivalently be predicated as developing. In my school days after every examination a progress report was given accounting my performance-development that implied the idea that 'I' am educationally developing. To a larger extent we may agree to this usage of development as progress and progress as development. The more one progresses into different educational stages s/he may be considered educated or developed.
But what is the type of education in through which someone is considered progressive or developing? Suppose for instance, if a person is placed in a gurugula system where in perfect utterance of Vedic hymns and verbatim repetition of them by memory is considered as best progress, can we say, that the person is 'developed'? Suppose a person is place in Biblical School where in s/he is taught to utter the tactics of repeating biblical texts in the given varying life-contexts, can we say, that the person is educated and thereby he has progressed or developed? Education for repeating old is different from education for discovering the new for the progress of mankind. The latter is developmental and the former is anti-developmental. Are all types of education developmental? Can we not speak of mystifying, banking system of education (Friere) and development education itself is one such?

Thus the term development seems (to me) like a camouflage. The moment I 'see' development I am under illusion that it is 'good', the moment I see 'good', I am under the illusion that it is happiness. It is like 'seeing the snake and the rope type'. The moment I see the snake the rope evades and the moment I see the rope the snake escapes, escapes only to poisonously bite me to the trap of concomitant suffering. The disguised perceptions development, though alluring, compels towards its further exploration.

Development and Social Change: Though rather ambiguous, the term development has been the central issue in human history for several decades. The concept of development is allied with the idea of social change. But not all 'social' change is called development. Movement in the historical backwardness cannot be considered development. The type of changes towards modernisation is alone called development. Movement towards economic and social modes of existence geared through science and technology and rational control of environment in favour of human interests is deemed development. Development is generally perceived as synonymous with economic growth of a nation/people measured in collective quantitative categories in terms of a higher annual rate of growth of Gross National Product. The presupposition is that the higher the levels of economic growth better the status of development. Development means economic growth and economic growth is tied with the notion of viable social change of the people who benefit development action. The variable social change refers to increased quality of life in political, cultural, economic and social factors. Does development bring about social change in the case traditional structures or use them as viable medium of/for developmental process towards the interest of the powerful?

Rationality of Development: The global context of education over the last four centuries (European Thought/history) is predominantly identified with this type education as development. Breaking away from the ancient and the medieval patterns of education, the philosophy of education as development propelled the ideas/ideals of human rationality (Science and Technology) as Development. Reason cum Sense Experience as certainty of the foundations of knowledge is the epistemological position that embedded the foundations of development in all these period/epochs. The priority of human rationality as against illegitimate forms of traditions and illicit rationalities came to be called Knowledge for/as development.
Onto theses foundations of human reason/sense experience, the developmental categories (avenues) namely science, social sciences, human control of nature, technology, technology with human face, democratic politics (secularism and modern state), industrialization, transport, journalism, net work of communications, capitalism, transnational capitalism, Market Economy, corporate sectors, globalisation, defence, social relations, legal systems, Human rights discourse, one world human order, and so on are indwelling.

Development Dilemmas: Development is a relative concept constituted by binaries categorically oppositional but inclusive of either Developed vs. Underdeveloped. Given to the binary positioning between these two, there lies an operational logic of strategic hierarchy. The pertinent dilemmas/questions/debate here are as follows:
Is right for the developed countries/man to be developed while the- other is under developed?
Is one's development caused by the underdevelopment of the other?
Does development means 'under-developed countries' are increasingly subsumed as consumers of technological invasion?
Is the developed nation any way responsible or feel guilty of their own development and for other's underdevelopment?
Is it morally correct to designate the other as underdeveloped simply because the other has insufficient material 'goods' and technological sophistications?
What is the relation between the possession of richness and being humanly rich/good?
Which are the institutions that developed countries sponsor? If so why? Which institutions and interests do the developed countries serve? If so, what is effect of these institutions on the underdeveloped nations?
Can/must the developed man work/serve the interests of the underdeveloped if so, to what extent? Even if it demands a sacrifice of his/her privileges?
If Developmental Aids are explored/revealed to be domestications of the other, should development be deemed development?
Those development agencies who have not experienced the case of deprivation, displacement, and death, what is the legitimacy of their 'representations? Can we claim the problem of casteism and its discriminatory practice is eradicated because the untouchable has 'developed' within modernist models of development?
Is development a process of 'perpetuating' underdevelopment and thereby retaining the economic and political power? If so, is development a concept adhered to the principle/practice of power-relations?
Though disturbing, these questions are important to engage a post-development/post-modernist debates.
Development as Modernization: Development in its totality is the issue of being scientific-rational-democratic-trans-national or global (in terms of economic and technological advancements and abundance -either by control or manipulation of Nature and the people of nature who are quite 'natural'). These factors cumulatively refer the thinking called Development. And by definition, development is 'the human be-coming techno-logical (tactical, the tactical can implore upon the political and the economic considerations), a movement away from being natural and the old-cultural form of life towards a sense of being non-natural (namely newly political, economic, and technological and differently 'cultural').
The catchy and witchy phrase is then Development is Modernisation. Modernization is trans-nationalization and Trans-nationalization is 'letting us to be technologically communicative to participate in Free Trade Market as to enjoy its benefits namely progress and happiness. Development thinking is inclusive of the practice of '(i) utilization of natural resources towards the benefit of market forces, (ii) reorientation of public expenditure by private entrepreneurships and carefully targeted social expenditure, (iii) tax reformation (in practice, this means regression of taxation), trade and financial liberalization, (iv) trade and financial liberalizations, (v) elimination of barriers to direct investments by foreign agencies, (vi) promoting cut-throat competitive market economy by privatization and International Market Regulations (beyond the national legal sovereignty) and ensuring human property rights (in practice human rights here is meant the rights of market forces).' These factors are called as economic reforms since 1991 in India. These economic reforms/development thinking is deemed 'good' towards the progress of the nation and its people.
The operational logic is: Development implies Global Merchantalization through Modernisation and there by human progress and happiness is guaranteed.
However, the modernisation rationality veils the deceit namely those (nations/People) who possess the power of modernist rationality has the 'right' to exist by way of 'manipulation strategies/ the Descartian premise, I think therefore I am, is globally actualised in the sense of those who 'think' (who possess the power of economic/technological reason) self impose the right to exist by way(s) inclusion and exclusion or appropriation or misappropriation.

Social Capital or Global solidarity as social inclusion for exclusion: Allied with the rationality of human control over nature, namely modernization, is the principle of the global need for expansion, a sort of evangelization of the 'good' news of development. The evangeliser needs the evangelised for continuous evangelization. i.e., Development as expansion. Perhaps one may call it yet-another-form of (neo) colonial control of the not/yet-developing (underdevelopment) nations. Development thus, conceives the practical principle of getting itself expanded beyond the 'borders of national and individual integrity'. That is how the very idea of development is programmed to be developed. To be developed is to be expanded. I expand therefore I am. The language of development for expansion is 'global solidarity' 'global village' one 'world human order'. This means that the modernised economic expansion requires its corollary namely the liberal practice of infringement into national cum political solidarity of nations in particular. To put it differently, the national democratic borders must voluntarily be loosened to pave way for development expansion.
The political slogan for trans-national colonial market expansion is Social Capital.

The term Social Capital here needs some clarification in the recent development thinking. Development as social capital is marked by the high sounding terms such as 'Getting the Social Relations Right and Development Thinking, Civil society, civic involvement, and building up of transnational corporate and corporate social responsibility, 'communitarianism etc – all geared to form a 'good' government which would in turn facilitate Development as a process of capitalising the resources of other nations. According to social capitalism, a government, which is formed, supported and governed by civil society, would generate free market possibilities. This implies a specific sense of social inclusion, flattening of multiplicity through strategic means or ways of 'calming down' or domestication of or 'differently voicing the voices of resistance segments or quintessence of political and cultural pluralities. Social Capital holds the belief that Development as modernisation is not pragmatic if it does not expand and include the-other, namely the under-developed nations and people and their resources.

Principle of participation: The consequence of development thinking, is the necessity of locating the social capital of the individual nations / people by ways of promoting people-participation, which in other words, a sense of promotion of local-organisational modes (associations or forms of civil society) to guarantee development-modernisation so that 'all men are associated and made-to-participate and if need be against ruling states that resist development in order that it is 'developed. The 'vulnerability' of nations is the precondition of the practice/principle of development.

The vulnerability of people instance for, the low-income status, class consciousness, and of course caste-consciousness may not be seriously questioned by development agencies rather they are maintained in cultural private space/realms) so that the already available 'social capital' –the privileged class, the professionally educated elites, the already politically/economically powerful, the NGO sectors, the affluent religious, and the so-called culturally privileged high caste segments- are used as Development Agencies as to propagate (evangelise) development programmes and in turn they primarily benefit or enjoy the major share due to their own already available social capital (the cultural conditions to be powerful) of being powerful.

According to social capital theory further holds that the State-led approach to (economic) development does not favour the interests of the development agencies (global market-economy) because State politics is essentially predatory of development process and therefore needs to be 'guarded or locked inside or kept under people's watch'. The cleavage/dividing line of State vs. Market can be trespassed or solved by a developmental thinking namely the promotion of social capital. Development thinking argues that State (Nation) is block to economic development and hence needs to be strategically carved if need be curved as to encourage people's participation to guarantee the supply of 'objects' of development, namely the raw material (work force/ natural resources) for developmental ends. To this, the 'social' (people) needs to be identified and what is social is the 'organisational possibilities' (forms of civil associations/NGOs) of the people in the under-developing countries who would act as agents of development of that of IMFs and World Bank Organisations.

That the powerless have to be strategically retained powerless in order that the pre-established cultural/social capitalists enjoy the benefits of development. This seems to be the reason why in spite of development actions such as industrialization and economic growth, no basic changes have occurred in class relationships and caste cultural relations and distribution of wealth and power and social system remains structurally exploitative in large scale in the face development process over last several decades. What is required is the voluntary submission of the people's will (participation) as to allow oneself to be 'developed' by developmental capitalists or agencies. The 'lack of social capital' of the vulnerable poor people becomes the 'social capital' of the already powerful sections to 'utilise' the vulnerable people to their developmental interests. The organisational forms (cultural and political and social) of the powerful are turned in to assets/resources (social capital) to reap the benefits of material goods, namely of that of development practice. In other words development seems to be working well in favour of or on the side of the already powerful people rather than working on the side of the poor people. The poor are increasingly subordinated towards the maximum good of the maximised sections. Instead of destroying classism and casteism, development process seems to be either producing new forms of class or maintaining class/caste consciousness. The lack of consolidated social organisations set-ups, (social capital) is politically retained towards the economic/political interests of the socially capitalised sectors. Development thinking conceives the idea that a free-market (advocacy of the freedom of Market as against democratic/individual freedom) and market forces are an end in themselves which might address the issue of poverty to be progressively 'taken care of'.

The rationality is that development as Modernisation is practicable in the form of neo-liberalism and Neo liberalism is practicable both by State-led cooperation and if the State is proved to be predatory, then simultaneously by promoting social capital namely people participation (the social condition for development) so that world markets are left to themselves to undue expansion/exploitation (development) and such economic expansion/development might in the long run address the problem of poverty and if possible discrimination.

Social inclusion/Social Capital on the other hand, demands or 'suppliers of raw materials towards development process and consumers of development products'. In other words, the concept of development is pitched continuously on the maintenance-practice of underdevelopment in the catchy word called social capital. Though seemingly paradoxical, development requires underdevelopment and underdevelopment requires development and the process is sort of a Hegelian dialectics, and Hegelian Dialectics would literally mean negation of any opposition in the most sophisticated (so called the historical-natural way). To put it sharply, the vulnerability of people is a necessary precondition to development and the logic of development thinking is domination per se.

Development and Progress Trap: The issue of development as progress for happiness, scholars identify, conceives the problem, technically known as the 'Progress Trap'. A progress trap is the condition human societies experience when, in pursuing progress through human reason and technology, they inadvertently introduce problems they do not have the resources or political will to solve, for fear of short-term losses in status, stability or quality of life. This prevents further progress and sometimes leads to collapse or what is known as progress trap. The Progress trap implies the idea that large scale human exploitation of nature and people, depletes the natural resources and deprives human accessibility to natural resources and causes ecological crisis and ecological crisis in turn affect living conditions of people which in turns pronounces death penalty of human kind at large.

Trapped in progress, those in positions of authority are unwilling to make changes necessary for future survival. To do so they would need to sacrifice their current status and political power at the top of a hierarchy. They may also be unable to raise public support and the necessary economic resources, even if they try. Since development as modernisation is counter-active to human development, scholars are of the opinion that development as modernisation is but a practice of human domination over natural resources and the vulnerable people. To start with, one of the suggested alternative to Development as modernisation and there by domination is to counter-act it in an unconditionally manner is morally good, socially relational, and economically sustainable.

Postmodern/post-development inferences for discussion
There are those who believe that development as modernisation is the way towards human progress.
There are those who hold development is western, and not Indian, and hence tracing the 'golden- Indian' is the way of indigenous development action.
There are those who hold that development as modernisation has not favoured the development of the vulnerable nations and people and in fact it has continued to propagate old forms of domination in a newer fashion and hence arises the need to engage a post-development discourse in favour of the vulnerable people and in so doing seek alternate ways of engaging development.
There are those who argue that development belong the culture of scientism, economism and a form totalitarianism, the forms of the dominant medieval colonial traditions in newer-vessels. Hence, proclaim incredulity towards meta-narratives(Lyotard, Derrida).
There are those who argue that development as modernisation is contingent to socio-historical constructs of power and domination and hence must be seen from the point of view of power relations (Foucault). Foucault, a critique of the modernist rationality raises this issue: "Is it not necessary to draw a line between those who believe that we can continue to situate our present discontinuities within the historical and transcendental tradition of the nineteenth century and those who are making a great effort to liberate themselves, once and for all, from this conceptual framework?" The postmodern question is –What is the rationality of development paradigm that enforces the vulnerability of nations and people?
In other words development looked from the point of view of the vulnerable is newer form of power domination and thereby exploitation of the weaker sections of people. Since Development as modernisation relies on the principles of modernist rationality and people's vulnerability, the very foundations of development must be seriously eroded and suspended.
There are those who argue that, one cannot modernise and acclaim development without losing sight of power- relations. If so, development is meant to share/contest for social power.
Within Indian Diaspora, the paradigms of alternate ways of perceiving development include:
Development as modernisation but without losing sight of the past i.e., development as modernisation cum Indian Tradition,
Development as modernisation but for reproduction of the old patterns and forms of life
Development as modernisation which privileges the enlightenment eschatology/Morality
Development as Project Engagement as to involve 'social capital' of the people which might in turn mystify any viable political protest against the politics of development and development agencies.
Given to the fact that there are pre-established power relations in culture/traditions (casteism), development benefits are reaped by those who are in upper layer of hierarchy and hence such cultural practices of hierarchy and discriminations must be annihilated however without losing sight of the benefits of modernity.
Some others augment for Development as Liberation but what is meant by liberation is yet another overloaded debate.


Paper presented at National Seminar on, "Democracy, Development and Governance: An Analytical and Critical Quest" org., by Indian Social Institute, Bangalore on November 21st to 23rd, 2014.
Dept of Philosophy, Arul Anandar College, Karumatur, Madurai e-mail: [email protected] Mobile: (0)9566477696.
John Harriss, depoliticizing development, (LeftWrod Books, Dehi, 2001)p.78.
Social Capital is the set of resources that inhere in family relations and community social organisation, and they are useful for cognitive and social development. It refers to aspects of social structure that constitute 'a capital asset for individual'. Social capital is defined by its functions such as community organization, informal socializing, lobbying, engagement in public affairs, community volunteerism, social trust etc . it refer to the ways and means of creating relationships and ties and associations. Social capital is the resources that are latent in social networks/relationships. These resources are otherwise identified as 'trust' 'reciprocity', civil responsibility, corporate social responsibility etc. Bourdieu . P, (An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology) Coleman (Social Capital and the Creation of Human Capital), Robert Development Thinking Putnam (Making Democracy Work), are some of the chief advocates of social capital as a corollary of Development thinking. Social capital is the way of governing market.
The term gained attention following the historian and novelist Ronald Wright's 2004 book and Massey Lecture series A Short History of Progress, in which he sketches world history so far as a succession of progress traps. With the documentary film version of Wright's book "Surviving Progress," backed by Martin Scorsese, the concept achieved wider recognition. The syndrome appears to have been first described by Prof. Walter Von Krämer, in his series of 1989 articles [1] under the title Fortschrittsfalle Medizin (Medical Progress Traps).Daniel O'Leary's proposal for The Progress Trap and how to avoid it was accepted by McGill Queen's University Press in 1992. (
Foucault's critique of modernity and humanism, along with his proclamation of the death of man' and development of new perspectives on society, knowledge, discourse, and power, has made him a major source of postmodern thought. Foucault draws upon an anti-Enlightenment tradition that rejects the equation of reason, emancipation, and progress, arguing that an interface between modern forms of power and knowledge has served to create new forms of domination. In a series of historical-philosophical studies, he has attempted to develop and substantiate this theme from various perspectives: psychiatry, medicine, punishment and criminology, the emergence of the human sciences, the formation of various disciplinary apparatuses, and the constitution of the subject. Foucault's project has been to write a critique of our historical era' which problematizes modern forms of knowledge, rationality, social institutions, and subjectivity that seem to be given and natural but in fact are contingent socio-historical constructs of power and domination. Nietzsche provided Foucault, and nearly all French poststructuralists, with the impetus and ideas to transcend Hegelian and Marxist philosophies. In addition to initiating a postmetaphysical, posthumanist mode of thought, Nietzsche taught Foucault that one could write a genealogical' history of unconventional topics such as reason, madness, and the subject which located their emergence within sites of domination. Nietzsche demonstrated that the will to truth and knowledge is in-dissociable from the will to power, and Foucault developed these claims in his critique of liberal humanism, the human sciences, and in his later work on ethics. Foucault was also deeply influenced by Bataille's assault on Enlightenment reason and the reality principle of Western culture. Bataille (1985, 1988, 1989) championed the realm of heterogeneity, the ecstatic and explosive forces of religious fervor, secularity, and intoxicated experience that subvert and transgress the instrumental rationality and normalcy of bourgeois culture. Foucault as a profoundly conflicted thinker whose thought is torn between oppositions such as totalizing/detotalizing impulses and tensions between discursive/extra-discursive theorization, macro/microperspectives, and a dialectic of domination/resistance.
Vulnerability is the position and exposure to forces that one finds it hard to control if not resist. Vulnerability is the inability (of depressed societies like Dalits and the Tribal) to determine the outcome of responses to pressing economic-political and social forces. Vulnerability provides a 'frame' for viewing underdevelopment and social deprivations. Social Vulnerability refers to the social and low-income status to meet the demands of development goals.

Lihat lebih banyak...


Copyright © 2017 DADOSPDF Inc.