from declaration of human rights to declaration of being human

There is a story by Osho which tells us how humanity has been indoctrinated by the system.

The story is called:

The Animal School

The animals got together in the forest one day and decided to start a school. There was a rabbit, a bird, a squirrel, a fish, and an eel, and they formed a board of directors.

The rabbit insisted that running be in the curriculum. The bird insisted that flying be in the curriculum. The fish insisted that swimming had to be in the curriculum, and the squirrel said that perpendicular tree climbing was absolutely necessary to the curriculum. They put all these things together and wrote a curriculum guide. Then they insisted that all of the animals take all of the subjects.

Although the rabbit was getting an A in running, perpendicular tree climbing was a real problem for him. He kept falling over backward. Pretty soon he got to be sort of brain-damaged and could not run anymore. He found that instead of making an A in running he was making a C, and of course he always made an F in perpendicular climbing.

The bird was really beautiful at flying, but when it comes to burrowing in the ground, he could not do well. He kept breaking his beak and wings. pretty soon he was making a C in flying as well as an F in burrowing, and he had a hell of a time with perpendicular climbing.

Finally, the animal who ended up being valedictorian of the class was a mentally retarded eel who did everything halfway. But the educators were really happy because everybody was taking all the subjects, and it was called a “broad-based education”.

(Osho 2001, 151)

A “broad-based education” is what I call homogenizing humanity and eradicating nature form its beautiful diversity.
I’d like to link to this beautiful story some beautiful words my yoga teacher says at the end of our practice when we meditate: “Breathe in. Concentrate on you breath. Every breath is different. Everyone is unique.” How beautifully said. I love those words in line with so many other words.
Everyone is unique and to be intelligent is to by yourself without any interference from the outside.
This requires concentration and focus.
Focus on your breath, as my yoga teacher says, not only during our yoga practice. The focus is to be permanent and constant without any deviation.
As Osho says intelligence dies in imitating others. The moment you imitate somebody else or start comparing yourself with someone else, you are losing your natural potential. You are stupid. People borrowed other people’s eyes. They are living a borrowed life, hence their life is paralysed (2001, 151).

We need to start from education which is nothing but a process of the total indoctrination of human kind. It is the process of colonization of the human mind and soul. It focuses on homogenization and therefore killing diversity. To be truly yourself you need to GET OUT of the system.

Drop the scenario and stop comparing.
Stop analysing.
Stop considering theories.

While I was “preparing” myself for my exam in development and underdevelopment, I came across an exam question that said: “Why are theories so important?”
I could not believe my eyes! I was shocked. The system shocked me again. Theories are nothing but well thought and defined “boxes” created by human beings in the past and which are no longer valid. Furthermore, theories are well – masticated thoughts, namely thoughts that have been analysed, reviewed, rethought and swallowed as I would express it. In academical terms let’s leave out the term “chew” and let’s use “written”. Theories are also the result of analysis of people who are simply not ME.
“If the above mentioned question comes up in my exam, I’m gonna fail” – that was my first reaction.
Why?
Because I do not think that theories are important. Then another question might come up:”So, why are you studying a paper that is about theories?”
I love reading. Period. I love reading anything, especially what is completely different from my perspective. That’s why I love conversing with priests and lecturers all of who are totally different from me. So, I love reading and knowing what “the box” says. What I mean by box is the system – any system with structures and which functions according to certain rules and criteria. I am a “free spirit”, a wild spirit – a human being.
It is interesting to read about theories and with “reading” I mean being detached from what we read. Detachment means not absorbing any information.
How can we graduate from a development diploma having only read or “studied” theories and nothing else?
How can we SEE our reality if we are looking at it with borrowed eyes, namely those of the past or the eyes of those who wrote a theory about modernization, a past period of time?
How can we apply a past theory to our reality?
Furthermore, while we are thinking about that theory we are missing out of lots of moments which determine our current reality.
So, what have we learnt? How can we solve global warming through the dependency theory for instance?
When the earth started to be affected by materialism – what man created such as cars, plastic, white ware and so many other things without which people cannot live nowadays anymore, dependency theory had not even realized that the earth was suffering, because dependency theorists were occupied with analysing countires’ underdevelopment which was apparently caused by a structured global world-system which made the periphery dependent on the centre. (While being stuck on thinking, analysing and comparing, dependency theorists missed out on the reality – which is the whole point.) In the meantime production kept rising and booming until creating a global headache to the earth. Now volcanoes are erupting, the ocean is angry and therefore reacting with powerful waves known as tsunamis, the whole in the ozone is widening and killing our beautiful plants, flowers and animals including us. We are not part of a higher category only because we possess intellect or “la raison” as French people would call it. We are all living creatures and part of this world. We are plants too. We are animals too. We are living creatures.

Drop the scenario and be wild.
To be wild is what defines our nature.
We are wild creatures. And we feel embarrassed when we have body odour, when we are not shaved, when we walk bare feet on the street, when we eat with our hand in a “public environment” because the system “taught” us to cover our smell with deodorant, possibly NIVEA – which is created and sold by the system by using modified natural products from the so called “Third World” countries. The system “taught” us to shave our beard, armpits, legs in order to be “more attractive”, to use cutlery to eat in order to be considered “sophisticated” and human by society. I could keep on listing a lot more “rules or conduct requirements” which indoctrinate humanity in the name of morals.
The focus on “Human rights” is another way to distort the human mind from reality and from focusing on being themselves in order to indoctrinate and homogenize people.
SEE the scenario:
How is it possible that we got to the point where we adopt and support policies which claim to be protecting “human rights” while clearly defining in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” what the requirements are “to be human”?
Who made up all these rules about being human?
Where is the reference? We are told by the system such as the university system to “reference” and therefore proof the validity of our statements.
I’d like to ask the system one fundamental question: Where is the reference that proofs the meaning of being human?

The Declaration of Being Human

A structured mind is not a human mind.
A categorized mind is not a human mind.
A knowledgeable mind is not a human mind.
A defined mind is not a human mind.
A full mind is not a human mind.

A wild mind is a human mind.
An instinctive mind is a human mind.

Humanity is wild. Unpredictable and anarchic.
Realizing this fact is purifying the soul and healing cancer.

Be wild!
Be natural – namely the way nature created you
Be human!
(my reference: the human DNA)

Dear system,
can technology and science question the DNA?

Poetic Lyric
Reference:

The human DNA

Osho 2001. Intuition – Knowing beyond logic, New York, St Martin’s Griffin

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

development – what it is

happiness-development

The notion of development sounds ancient and historical. Sixty years have passed since the time Truman gave life to this concept which he successfully used to divide the world into poor and rich, legitimising the existence of the “Third World” and classifying it as a place inhabited by people who “lack” necessary resources and tools to overcome their status of “underdevelopment”. Development was considered the project which “eliminates poverty”. After the failure and disillusionment of various development theories a new era of critical development thinking – post-development – has commenced. In this essay I intend to examine the critique of development of those post-development authors who rejected development and those who claim to have found alternatives to development. In line with these authors I particularly aim to outline the reasons why development needs to be rejected and what needs to be refused in order for it to be functional in today’s world of constant struggle and dissatisfaction.

As Sachs (1992: 3 in Pieterse J.N. 2000, p. 175) claims “it is not the failure of development which has to be feared, but its success.” Sachs refers to the success of a particular development – the one utilised by the “developed” countries as a tool to homogenise humanity and eradicate its roots to facilitate the path to achieve total control over the world. What post-development writers reject is not development – the project of improving people’s lives but the “Post-World War II” (PWWII) development project, which consists of “ideas and practices premised upon the belief that some areas of the world are ‘developed’ and others are not and that those which are not can and should set about achieving the ‘development’ which has thus far eluded them” (Matthews S. 2004, p. 375). As a result, the success and failure of the PWWII development project lies in the eye of the beholder, namely it depends on where one is coming from. For the South all development has brought is nothing but destruction of resources, forests and culture. On the one hand, for instance, deforestation in Ghana has led to sharp increases of malnutrition and disease in the South (McMicahel 2008, 161-164). On the other hand, the increase of exports has benefited the North economically and supplied people with various food commodities. In northern countries economic growth and availability of diverse food is considered development. In the South, on the other hand, development is not necessarily the equivalent of economic growth. It rather entails a plurality of meanings depending on the context, that is the environment, history and peoples. In my opinion, the PWWII development project has not brought development in the entire world. Instead it has infected humanity. Various multinationals such as Nestles, Starbucks and Monsanto control our food supply and make sure farmers behave according to the rules of the system, that is they get sentenced if they try saving seeds in order to reuse them for the next season. The multinationals are obliging them to use genetically modified seeds instead in order to produce more and make more profit (Food Ink. Robert Kenner, Fortissimo Films, 2008. Film). This harms the environment and our health. Furthermore, millions of acres once used to feed poor countries are now used to grow kiwis, strawberries and asparagus for upper-middle-class consumers (McMichael 2008, 161-164). As a result, what the PWWII development project has brought about until now is nothing but destruction and underdevelopment both in the South and in the North. Most of the people living in “developed” countries are either unaware of what is going on or have no choice but buying what the supermarket offers because they cannot afford expensive food such as organic aliments. The frequent eruption of volcanoes, tsunamis and cyclones which according to the Shamans of the Amazon (2010, youtube) is the manifestation of the anger of nature which has not been looked after are other factors leading to total chaos in the world and which human beings are totally unaware of. I think that post-development writers such as Escobar or Esteva do not reject development. They reject the PWWII development project practised until now, known as development and are opened for alternatives to it.

To put into practice true development we need to dismantle what development discourse has created until now. It has “colonised reality and thus became reality” (Escobar 1992, p.419 in Pieterse 2000, p.180). Furthermore, all the prejudices and concepts about the Third World and poverty we have stalled in our minds until now need to be eradicated. In my opinion, this is only possible if we undergo a mental process of tabula rasa which will allow us to “open up the possibility to think reality differently” (Escobar 1992, 424 in Pieterse 2000, p. 180) and depict the world for what it is. “Human existence is nourished by true words with which men and women transform the world. To exist, humanly, is to name the world” (Freire 1996, p.69). Thus, “to speak a true word is to transform the world”(Freire 1996, p.68). I think, everything is relative and in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, if everything is relative, development is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. As a result, dichotomy gives rise to unauthentic words and consequently limits the process of transforming reality (Freire 1996, p.69). Therefore, development does not need to be planned since it is a natural and spontaneous process that manifests by itself. It ought to be accepted as it is and comes. As a result, there is no need for countries to worry about the development of other countries. Moreover, every country or peoples go through a development path which is diverse, distinct and valid only in the context it originated. I agree with Rahnema and Bawtree (1997, 385 in Matthews 2004, p.376) according to who “the people whose lives have been traumatised by development changes do not refuse to accept change. Rather, they want change that could leave them free to change the rules and the contents of change, according to their own culturally defined ethics and aspirations.” What has shaped our reality is discourse power representing other places (the power to name, to describe, to publish, to claim and construct knowledge) which translates the differences between the West and non-West into superiority of the former and justified political interventions that underpinned imperialism (McEwan 2009, p.65). The realisation of this fact is a crucial step forward which enables us to combat old mind constructs. I think that this realisation which is only achievable through a high spirit of awareness constitutes the alternative to development.

Reality takes a complete different shape if we annul all the discourses that have been created by development agents and theorists until now. In this way development is everywhere and underdevelopment is nowhere. An alternative to development, therefore, consists of making present the non-existent produced by the monocultures of knowledge, universal and global, linear time, classification and capitalist productivity, created by the Enlightenment thinking (Gibson – Graham 2005, p.5). In Jarga, for example, development exists. It is place-specific and determined by a mesh of traditional practices and relationships of gifting, borrowing, volunteering, sharing and reciprocated individual and collective work all of which are existent economic practices that have been rendered non-existent (Gibsom – Graham 2005, p. 15-16). An example of sharing is the tihap practice through which rice farmers receive money or fertilizers before or during the land preparation and repay the donor in rice, with interest added in, after the harvest season (Gibson-Graham 2005, p.15). I think it is necessary to change one’s thought pattern in order to see through and thus be able to speak a true word (Freire 1996, p.69) to finally change one’s attitude and behaviour. This transformation represents the essence of development which according to me has not been annulled by post-development theorists. I see a net affinity between those who reject development such as Escobar and those who are searching for alternatives to development such as Gibsom–Graham. Both are actually rejecting imperialistic and universalistic development that has shaped today’s society until now, the so called PWWII development project, and searching for alternatives to it. I think that an alternative to development is the acceptance of the diversity of the world which gives rise to different realities all of which deserve to exist in the way the people create them, that is with their culture, belief, personality, language, religion and way of expressing. I agree with Etounga-Manguelle according to who “a project premised upon a set of values cannot succeed in absence of those values” (Matthews 2007, p.380).

If we change our thought pattern we transmogrify our reality that is dualism into pluralism, homogeneity into heterogeneity, poverty into wealth. As a result, poverty can be a resource rather than a deficit (Max Neef 1982, 1991; Chambers, 1983 in Pieterse 2000, p.177). Changing our thought pattern means fighting the concept of orientalism, namely western representations of southern cultures (McEwan 2009, p.60). This makes reality more human and less inhuman. “Culturally perceived poverty need not be real material poverty: subsistence economies which serve basic needs through self-provisioning are not poor in the sense of being deprived” (Shiva V, 1998b, 10 in Pieterse 2000, p.177). If poverty is only a construct of the mind created by planners and development actomaniacs who “give the uniformed public the distorted impression of how the world’s impoverished are living their deprivations by presenting them as incapable of doing anything intelligent by themselves” (Rahnema 1992, 169 in Pieterse 2000, p.177) then the realisation of this fact automatically changes development and thus reality. We then eliminate the concept of poverty in our mind and start looking at people for who they believe they are, namely rich and wise rather than poor and ignorant. The annulment of development is the abandonment of previous mind construct. We shall therefore stop referring to it as development and accept reality for what is rather than for what should be or what it is not. Discourse power has created a farce condemning indigenous populations to near extinction, firstly making them think of themselves as inferior, underdeveloped and ignorant and secondly presenting them to the world as the ‘illiterate’, ‘malnourished’, ‘small farmers’, all of which are abnormalities created by development discourse aimed later to be treated and reformed (Escobar 1997, p.92). As a result, it seems to me as if development has been created intentionally in order to “underdevelop” people, namely taking away their dignity as human beings.

There is more evidence that outlines how complex the nature of development discourse has been. Anisur Rahman’s critique to post-development outlines how trapped people such as him are in the development discourse. He tries to save development by stating that “development is a very powerful means of expressing the conception of societal progress as the flowering of people’s creativity” and asking a fundamental question: “Must we abandon valuable words because they are abused? What to do then with words like democracy, cooperation, socialism, all of which are abused” (1993, 213-214 in Pieterse 2000, 183). These words might be valuable in theory, but in practice they are nonexistent. Democracy which is supposed to give the people an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives represents a farce, since in reality people’s lives are ruled by “private tyrannies” as Noam Chomsky calls them (Pilger 2002, 72), like the WTO (World Trade Organisation) for instance, an undemocratic multinational corporation, firstly because it is not elected by the citizens, secondly because it excludes other countries to participate in the decision making of trade (Black Gold. Marc Francis and Nick Francis, California Newsreel , 2006.Film) and third because it controls the global trade by establishing what supermarkets have to supply (Food Ink. Robert Kenner, Fortissimo Films, 2008. Film). Thus, “to glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce; to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie” (Freire 1996, p.72). On the other hand, cooperation which implies togetherness and team work among countries is inexistent in reality. Instead people’s relationships are determined by separatism. If countries cooperated, then they would exchange resources equally and trade fairly. Instead “Iraqi children die because there is no chemotherapy and no pain control – the UN Sanction Committee had banned nitrous oxide as ‘weapon dual use’“(Pilger 2002, 50), while Africa has become more dependent than ever before. If Africa’s share of world trade increased by just 1 percentage point, it would generate a further 70 billion dollars a year or five times the amount Africa currently receives in aid (Black Gold. Marc Francis and Nick Francis, California Newsreel , 2006.Film). These examples prove Escobar’s statement to be right according to which the ‘discourse of development’ has been a ‘mechanism for the production and management of the Third World (1992b, 413-414 in Pieterse 2000, p.189) and “caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression” (McEwan 2009, p.63). Moreover, they prove that development discourse has been sustained by utopian and quixotic concepts such as democracy, cooperation, freedom and independence all of which, in reality, are nothing else but the equivalent of imperialism. The use of these concepts have facilitated the elites to achieve what they intended, namely being the managers of the world. I agree with Escobar (p.91) according to who the most important exclusion, however, was and continues to be, what development is all about: people”.

In this essay, I have shown how post-development writers do not actually reject true development. They reject the PWWII development project. Thus, the rejection of development and the search for alternatives to it have the same objective and represent therefore the same concept. What the PWWII development project has contributed to is the eradication of people from their culture and the homogenisation of humanity which is anti-people and therefore anti-development. I conclude affirming that development exists. It cannot be seen if people remain unaware and incapable of thinking with their own minds. Awareness would not allow discourse power to colonise their minds. Development, therefore is visible only by those who accept the world for what is, namely with all its diversity and vibrations. Furthermore, “those who are able to recognise themselves as the oppressed are among the developers of this pedagogy” (Freire 1996, 35-36). An alternative to development is both the acceptance of the plurality and diversity shaping the world and the realisation that development occurs spontaneously and is determined by the people and the environment it originates. Once humanity accepts these two facts, there will be no reason of naming development anymore since development will just be.

Poetic Lyric

References

Black Gold. Marc Francis and Nick Francis, California Newsreel , 2006.Film.

Escobar, A. (1997). ‘The Making and Unmaking of the Third World through Development’.
In M. Rahnema and V. Bawtree (eds) The Post-Development Reader. Zed, London, pp. 85-93.

Food Ink. Robert Kenner, Fortissimo Films, 2008. Film

Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin Group. Chapter 1,
pp.25-52.

Gibson-Graham J. K. (2005). ‘Surplus Possibilities: Post-development and Community Economies.’ Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 26(1), 4-26.

Matthews S. (2007). ‘Post-development theory and the question of alternatives: a view from Africa.’ Third World Quaterly, 25(2), 373-384.

McEwan, Ch. (2009). ‘The Origins of Post-colonialism’. Postcolonialism and Development. Routledge, New York, Chapter 2 Excerpts, pp. 60-75.

McMichael, P. (2008). ‘Instituting the Globalisation Project’. Development and Social Change:
A Global Perspective. Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks, Chapter 6, pp. 149-189.

Pieterse, J. N. (2000). ‘After Post Development’, Third World Quaterly, 21(2): 175-191.

Pilger, J. (2002). The new rulers of the world, London: Verso.

Pushedforfreedom (2010, May 22), Shamans of the Amazon speak of our destructive
nature. This is a case of rebellion against technology and modernisation seen as the cause of destructive nature (Youtube clip). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udcSlVic2jg

development without developing

Hau’ofa, E. (1993). ‘Our Sea of Islands’. In E. Waddell, V. Naidu and E. Hau’ofa (eds.).

A New Oceania: Rediscovering our Sea of Islands. University of South Pacific, Suva, pp. 2-17.

The author presents a vision of Oceania based on his observations of behaviour at the grassroots. He raises the awareness of the reader by referring to smallness as a state of mind, highlighting the distinguishable characteristics of the people of Oceania who conceived their world in macroscopic proportions and saw themselves belonging to Oceania, “a sea of Islands”. This on the other hand was seen by Europeans as merely Islands in a far sea. According to the author paying attention to what people do rather than to what they should be doing allows us to see the broader picture of reality (p. 12).

This paper shows how myths, legends, oral traditions and cosmologies were all treasures which constituted the life of the people of Oceania and their richness. Labelling them barbaric only because they are different, shows Europeans’ judgmental attitude and lack of sensing the diversity of humanity and their codes. The people of Oceania are naturally expanding social networks through reciprocity and therefore already progressing. Development is a natural part of their life. The west has misused the meaning of it in order to construct a reality that puts all non-westerners in one box called “underdeveloped”. Development here has fed people’s lethargy until becoming what Paulo Freire calls the “culture of silence” (Freire 1996, 12). Notwithstanding the evil force embedded in development, it is worth observing one vivid fact this paper reflects on: it is significantly harder to “colonise” people’s minds when they operate interdependently like the people of Oceania, rather than dependently such as the Third World (p.13).

Cowen, M. and R. Shenton (1995). ‘The Invention of Development’. In J. Crush (ed.).
Power of Development. London: Routledge, pp. 27-43.

This paper presents the complexity and indispensability of the term “development” through different theories of the nineteenth century which show its vastness going from an economical, political and social interpretation of it (Adam Smith, Thomas Maltus, Saint – Simonians, August Compt, Friedrich List) to a far deeper philosophical view based on individuality – the necessity of choice and the radical rejection of conformity (p.39). According to the latter perspective, “development can only occur where the conditions of development are already present” (p. 40). Esteva’s and Mill’s theories awake some truth within development. Esteva highlights the importance of awareness while Mill the significance of choice. For Esteva “in order for someone to conceive the possibility of escaping from a particular condition, it is necessary first to feel that one has fallen into that condition” (1992, 7).

Development can only come from “within” as stated by Mill according to who people need to choose their own path and employ all their mental faculties (p. 39). Development cannot possibly come from the outside or a past reality. History is past knowledge and is not the key for development since society is constantly undergoing radical transformations. Any theory based on history is a mere assumption and therefore invalid. If development comes from within then there is no room for the West to investigate into solutions leading to the achievement of development. This is a concept existing only in the mind of human beings. The West has used its tools of discourse to transmogrify this concept into a fact. Hau’ofa refers to the people of Oceania and states that “there are no more suitable people on earth to be guardians of the world’s largest ocean than those for whom it has been home for generations” (1993, 14).

Rist, G. (2002). ‘The Invention of Development’, The History of Development. Zed
Books, London, Chapter 4, pp. 69-79.

This paper describes the devastated post war situation characterised by the emerging of the USA as a controlling power. The USA did this by determining a new way of conceiving international relations. Their main focus was rebuilding the North, hence pushing inadvertently the changes of the South into the background. President Truman gave light to a new world view by redefining development as a transitive phenomenon and consequently altering the meaning of “underdevelopment” to a “naturally occurring state of things” (p.73). Underdevelopment was not the opposite of development, but only its incomplete form (p.74). As a result, development became a goal achievable through a determined application of modern scientific and technical knowledge.

Truman projected a new world-view. On the one hand he proclaimed freedom and equality for all nations liberating the ex-colonies from their status of dependency. On the other hand he drew a new picture of the world dividing it into developed and underdeveloped countries and people. What Truman alimented with the rise of underdevelopment is what the Brazilian author Paulo Freire calls sectarianism, an obstacle to the emancipation of mankind (1996, p. 19). Development and underdevelopment do not exist. Truman created this concept and fed the human mind with the illusion of being able to “realize the aspirations for a better life” (p.71). Development here is a reminder of what they lack and are meant to become (Esteva 1992, 10). It is a way of exploiting the South by an evil and quixotic promise of independence. Development is a new way of dependency alimented by free markets. Moreover, development is a synonym for dehumanisation which marks those whose humanity has been stolen and those who have stolen it (Freire 1996, 26) or in other words the oppressed and the oppressor respectively.

Esteva, G. (1992). ‘Development’. In W. Sachs (ed.). The Development Dictionary. Zed,
London, pp. 6-25.

This paper shows the darkness of development. It is seen as a series of actions towards the achievement of prosperity which is Truman’s policy. Development transmogrified two third of the people of the world into a mirror of others’ reality that belittles them, defines their identity and classifies them as underdeveloped (p.7), a perception that already existed in countries such as Latin America. It has been deepened through the rise of this term and become a fact.
It is noticeable how the meaning of development has changed from a metaphorical connotation which explained the natural growth of plants and animals to the process of evolution of living beings (Darwin), to the natural process of social change, combining nature and history and converting the latter into a programme.

Development seems to be connoting a plurality of meanings and at the same time annulling or naturalising those when seen with the eyes of the “now”. Historical development cannot be the continuation of natural development. Analysing today’s world by referring back to history means applying thought and intention to reality and consequently changing its naturalness. History is an accumulation of facts valid only in the past. Using historical facts to culminate today’s meaning of development means dismantling the world of its interconnected processes which form its totality and thus changing its reality. Any meaning given to development forms a certain imagination in people and consequently creates their reality. The term development today is a judgement originated by thought which divides and classifies the totality of the world into rich and poor and other binaries. It is not a fact but a concept which loses its validity as soon as individuals cease comparing each others’ realities.

McMichael, P. (2008). Development and Social Change. A Global Perspective.
‘Instituting the Development Project’, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA., Chapter 2, pp.25-54.

The author of this paper outlines the features of the development project seen as a natural response to the process of decolonisation. It was a plan of the nation state and a strategy for world order deploying a method based on the division of labour. The result of this was an unequal ecological exchange. It compelled non-European countries to reduce their agriculture to an export monoculture. In this way the sustainability and prosperity of the industrial countries was secured and dependent on the extraction of raw materials of the South. The sustainability of the human community which previously depended on a local system has been threatened. Over-harvesting substituted the previous process of producing only what necessary.

Development is a reality which exists only for those who are brainwashed by the elites and the media. Development is not the destiny of human kind. It is a tool to control the actual development of the other countries. It is the disease of the South which already contains the tools for its development and therefore does not need to cooperate with the West. The West is destroying human nature through its technological advancements. At the same time it preaches hope, solutions and order in the name of development. As a result, development “under-develops” and devalues other people and countries. Overharvesting “under-develops” countries while the creation of the stereotype of poverty devalues people accordingly. It is worthwhile noticing how overabundance and wastefulness dismantle the Islamic concept of falah according to which prosperity is not achievable through materialism (Sardar 1997, 52). In this case the notion of development and its practice goes against indigenous knowledge. According to the Shamans of the Amazon, for instance, the frequent eruption of volcanoes, tsunamis and cyclones are the manifestation of the anger of nature which has not been looked after. They consider technology destructive and see themselves as “the people who know” (Shamans of the Amazon 2010, youtube). In conclusion, a new conscience of the people needs to be formed in order to redevelop and get back to the status quo of humanity, where what is grown is strictly connected to what is eaten and not determined by money (McMichael 2008, 33).

Escobar, A. (1988). ‘Power and Visibility: Development and the Invention and
Management of the Third World’, Cultural Anthropology, 3(4): 428-443.

Escobar depicts the post war scenario of the world showing the functioning of development and mapping of the Third World. The former is based on the inevitable process of industrialisation imposed onto “poor” countries through planning, reorganising economic and social life while the latter has been classified by development policy based on discourses and programs. The visibility of the practices rendered development programs as techniques of power and knowledge apparent. As a result, development altered long-standing cultural practices, meanings and their social relations respectively.

Development has passed from merely being a potent discourse to a powerful missile of controlling the world, transmogrifying its natural diversity into homogeneity. Its meaning has clearly and intentionally been distorted and has strategically shaped people’s perception of the world. The introduction of development as a plan is a rationalised method of ruling the world and dividing it conveniently into binaries such as poor and rich. Moreover, it is a way of imposing one’s values onto other people who cannot be simply categorised as belonging to one group only, namely the Third World. What is known to be the Third World today is again a very restricted way of looking at it. The Third World constitutes a plurality of realities each of which functions differently and needs to be approached accordingly. Development can only exist if seen in its context. It is only valuable if it comes from the inside-out rather than from the outside-in. Accordingly, development does not need to be integrated with Western knowledge. Indigenous people possess their own systems of belief and knowledge through which they are able to progress. Progress does not go hand in hand with technology. Likewise prosperity is not the result of an abundance of materialism. Both progress and prosperity are a state of happiness based on total freedom. As a result, development is the happiness of the people living in that particular country.

Pieterse, J.N. (2000). ‘After Post Development’, The Third World Quarterly, 21(2): 175-191.

This paper shows the colossal intricacies and complications of development both as a theory and policy. At the same time it displays the enormous dilemma of post development and alternative development which the author considers flawed. The former rejects development but does not offer any constructive action while the latter seems to be attributing to it a narrow meaning excluding its polysemic realities and therefore reproducing the same result. The author embraces a new view of development seeing it as a vivid aspect of the Third World as well.

Post development thinking and development are two interconnected concepts which do not reject but rather attract each other. One cannot be thought of without the other. Development connotes infinite realities and therefore cannot be seen in only one perspective. Like poverty or any other concept, development is in the eye of the beholder and therefore connotes positive and negative realities. The meaning of positive and negative is also pluralistic and varies from eye to eye. Poverty, for instance, can be a deficit or a resource (Pieterse 2000, 177). It depends on the reality one comes from and is looking at it. Therefore, any concept incorporates an infinite corpus of meanings due to a polysemic reality. The interconnection of plural realities is what makes development so vast and complex. In order to see the beauty of it one needs to see things as they are.

Schlech, S. and Haggis, J. (2008). ‘Culture and Development’, in: V. Desai and R.Potter
(eds.). The Companion to Development Studies. Hodder Education, London, pp.50-54.

The author shows the pivotal but undefined role culture plays in the process of development. On the one hand culture explains why some countries succeed and others fail in development (Harrison and Huntington, 2000, as cited in Schlech and Haggis 2008, 50). On the other hand culture is used as a development tool by a variety of development actors to hold societies together giving them a coherent structure which can be used for development interventions. These development actors succeed in displaying an altered and well defined world through the utilisation of techniques of definition such as the International poverty Line. The Third World, for instance, is an artificial creation of the West.

Culture is a highly complex feature of humanity that incorporates plural realities and therefore cannot be simply categorised. Culture can be considered as the result of one’s conditioning by present and past experience. Therefore, culture contains a traditional and modern nature. The former is not barbarian but part of the past, while the latter is part of the present. Modernity and tradition are synonyms of new and old and do not imply “right” or “wrong”. Those societies labelled “underdeveloped” are already “modern” and “developed” because they are different from yesterday and will naturally grow without the influence of an external force imposing its culture upon them and making them underdeveloped. These well-developed societies have been framed as “underdeveloped” under one unique culture formed by powerful institutions such as the UN.

Briggs, J. (2008). ‘Indigenous Knowledge and Development’. In V. Desai and R Potter
(eds.). The Companion to Development Studies. Hodder Education, London, pp. 107-111.

The author of this paper analyses indigenous knowledge and its applicability and validity in the process of development. Indigenous knowledge has become significant because it allowed people to live in harmony with nature while being able to make a living (p.107). According to the author, the reason why the validity of indigenous knowledge has not been acknowledged is because firstly, it is complex, changing, irrational and therefore compared to a rational and controlled Western science does not give credibility because it remains undefined. Secondly, it is place-specific and consequently not easily transferable over the globe.

The approach of the author and several other theorists of development towards indigenous knowledge ultimately highlights the distortion of the term development which has shifted its pure and innate meaning of “societal progress as the flowering of people’s creativity” (Pieterse 2000, 183: Arisur Rahman 1993, 213-214) to a means of power over the globe. The validity of indigenous knowledge has already been confirmed as it has necessarily been integrated into the World Bank supported programs. This shows the West’s limitations in the progress of development whose goal is the achievement of global economy and society through a process of homogenisation. Development can only be country-specific because people, countries and time are different. As a result, it is necessarily based on the principle of accepting diversity. The development of a country needs to be seen with the eyes of the indigenous people living in that country who do not limit themselves to only one way of development. Therefore technology transfer cannot be a universal way to achieve development. This shows the limitations of the West in the process of development. Where there is a way there lies limitation. Development, therefore, is multiple, plural and diverse.

Sardar, Z. (1997). ‘Beyond Development: An Islamic Perspective’. European Journal of
Development Research, 8 (2): 36-55.

The author’s aim is to clarify that development does not fit non-western countries and therefore when it is imposed on them it fragments and destroys societies based on different world views which is referred to as “traditional”. Sardar’s idea of development is rooted in the discourse of “Islamation of knowledge” (p. 46-53). The author shows the flaws of development which are hidden in western rhetoric of democracy and human rights leading to the imposition of free-market and consequently framing the Third World in a situation of dependency. Non-western countries have been sustainable before the west discovered the notion of sustainable development. They have always enjoyed the rights of long life, security and community participation. The West has threatened these rights by suppressing tradition. As a result, traditional cultures can develop within their own systems of belief and knowledge. They are dynamic and constantly changing according to their own logic. Respecting their own system of progressing is what gives richness and meaning to their lives. Sadar foresees a “multiciviliasational” future which will drastically change the meaning of development. There will be more than one way of being human and there will be more than one way to “develop” (p.46).

Development implies opening up to other worlds. In essence there are infinite realities and therefore infinite ways of development in the world. There is no right or wrong way. However, there will be only one way until people become aware of their condition and realise that they have choice. “Those who recognise, or begin to recognise, themselves as oppressed must be among the developers of this pedagogy” (Freire 1996, 35-36). However, no reality transforms by itself. The achievement of freedom is based on choice. The South needs to choose “authentic comradeship” and reject gregariousness (Freire 1996, 30). In conclusion, for development to fully be applicable the West needs to get rid of its xenophobic beliefs, be humble and embrace the emergence of diversity and plurality.

Poetic Lyric

References

Briggs, J. (2008). ‘Indigenous Knowledge and Development’. In V. Desai and R Potter
(eds.). The Companion to Development Studies. Hodder Education, London, pp. 107-111.

Cowen, M. and R. Shenton (1995). ‘The Invention of Development’. In J. Crush (ed.).
Power of Development. London: Routledge, pp. 27-43.

Escobar, A. (1988). ‘Power and Visibility: Development and the Invention and
Management of the Third World’, Cultural Anthropology, 3(4): 428-443.

Esteva, G. (1992). ‘Development’. In W. Sachs (ed.). The Development Dictionary. Zed,
London, pp. 6-25.

Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin Group. Chapter 1,
pp.25-52.

Hau’ofa, E. (1993). ‘Our Sea of Islands’. In E. Waddell, V. Naidu and E. Hau’ofa (eds.).
A New Oceania: Rediscovering our Sea of Islands. University of South Pacific, Suva, pp. 2-17.

McMichael, P. (2008). Development and Social Change. A Global Perspective.
‘Instituting the Development Project’, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA., Chapter 2, pp.25-54.

Pieterse, J.N. (2000). ‘After Post Development’, The Third World Quarterly, 21(2):
175-191.

Rist, G. (2002). ‘The Invention of Development’, The History of Development. Zed
Books, London, Chapter 4, pp. 69-79.

Sardar, Z. (1997). ‘Beyond Development: An Islamic Perspective’. European Journal of
Development Research, 8 (2): 36-55.

Schlech, S. and Haggis, J. (2008). ‘Culture and Development’, in: V. Desai and R.Potter
(eds.). The Companion to Development Studies. Hodder Education, London, pp.50-54.

Pushedforfreedom (2010, May 22), Shamans of the Amazon speak of our destructive
nature. This is a case of rebellion against technology and modernisation seen as the cause of destructive nature(Youtube clip). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udcSlVic2jg