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Contents WOLFGANG SACHS Preface to the New Edition vi WOLFGANG SACHS Introduction xv GUSTAVO ESTEVA Development WOLFGANG SACHS Environment C. DOUGLAS LUMMIS Equality MARIANNE GRONEMEYER Helping GÉRALD BERTHOUD Market IVAN ILLICH Needs WOLFGANG SACHS One World MAJID RAHNEMA Participation ARTURO ESCOBAR Planning BARBARA DUDEN Population MAJID RAHNEMA Poverty JEAN ROBERT Production JOSÉ MARÍA SBERT Progress VANDANA SHIVA Resources CLAUDE ALVARES Science HARRY CLEAVER Socialism SERGE LATOUCHE Standard of Living ASHIS NANDY State OTTO ULLRICH Technology Contributors Index Preface to the New Edition WOLFGANG SACHS very time the Olympic flame is lit in front of the host country’s president, Ethe pulse of a nation quickens. But the Games have rarely been staged with more ambition to self-aggrandisement than in Beijing , when China celebrated its arrival as a world power. Moreover, this message that in the summer of was broadcast to the world through the language of the Olympics will in be reiterated in the language of a world exhibition in Shanghai, in which China will present itself to the global public as a platform for the scientific achievements of the twenty-first century. The Olympics and the World Expo are symbols of the secular shift that occurred around the turn of the millennium: the ascent of China – and other countries of the Southern hemisphere – to the exclusive club of global powers. It is scarcely possible to overestimate the significance of this shift for world history, and in particular for the people of the South. After centuries of humiliation, they finally see a Southern country on a par with the powers of the world. Countries once treated as colonial underdogs now measure up to their masters, and people of colour take over from the white man. Yet what amounts to a triumph of justice threatens to turn into a defeat for the planet. The desire for equity is largely fixed on development-as-growth, and it is development-as-growth which strains human relations and fundamen- tally threatens the biosphere. Indeed, China’s success brings the dilemma of the twenty-first century into focus: politics is compelled to push either equity without ecology, or ecology without equity. It is hard to see how this dilemma can be resolved unless the belief in ‘development’ is dismantled. A CHANGING ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY While discussing the end of the development era in October , we the authors of this book were unaware that at that very moment ‘development’ had been given a new lease of life. For as the group of friends who eventually became contributors to The Development Dictionary gathered for what we called a living-room consultation in State College Pennsylvania, to review key concepts of the development discourse, on the other side of the Atlantic the vi events that brought down the Berlin Wall in November were coming PREFACE to a head. Like most of our contemporaries, we were stunned by the event but blissfully ignorant of the way in which the fall of the Wall would turn out to be a historical watershed. In hindsight it has become obvious that the events of finally opened the floodgates for transnational market forces to reach the remotest corners of the globe. As the era of globalization came into being, hopes of increased wealth were unleashed everywhere, providing fresh oxygen for the flagging development creed. On the one hand, the age of globalization has brought economic develop- ment to fruition. The Cold War divisions faded away, corporations relocated freely across borders, and politicians as well as populations in many countries set their hopes on the model of a Western-style consumer economy. In a rapid – even meteoric – advance, a number of newly industrializing countries acquired a larger share of economic activity. They notched up growth rates far higher than those of the old industrial countries, playing their cards as energy suppliers (United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Russia), as export platforms (South Korea, Thailand, China) or as sizeable markets (Brazil, China, India). In any event, quite a few Southern countries broke away from the group of money-poor economies and transformed into a new generation of industrial countries, narrowing the distance that separated them from the rich economies. For them, it is as if President Truman’s promise at the birth of the development period in – that poor nations would catch up with the rich – had finally come true. But, on the other hand, the age of globalization has now superseded the age of development. This is mainly because nation-states can no longer contain economic and cultural forces. Goods, money, information, images and people now flow across frontiers and give rise to a transnational space in which interactions occur freely, as if national spaces did not exist. Develop- ment thinking used to concentrate on nation-states’ transition from agrar- ian to industrial societies. The state was conventionally considered to be the main actor, and the national society the main target, of development planning. For this reason, development thinking increasingly lost its way, as both the actor and the target of development withered away under the influence of transnationalization. With the state moving out of focus, the development concept looks strangely out of place in the era of globalization. Development, in short, became denationalized; indeed, globalization can be aptly understood as development without nation-states. As a result of this shift, development came to mean the formation of a global middle class alongside the spread of the transnational economic complex, rather than a national middle class alongside the integration of a national economy. Seen from this perspective, it comes as no surprise that the age of globalization has produced a transnational class of winners. vii THE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY Though they exist in different densities at different points around the globe, this class is to be found in every country. In the large cities of the South, glittering office towers, shopping malls filled with luxury brands, gated com- munities with villas and manicured gardens, not to speak of the stream of limousines on highways or the never-ending string of brand advertisements, signal the presence of high purchasing power. Roughly speaking, half of the transnational consumer class resides in the South, and half in the North. It comprises social groups which, despite their different skin colour, are less and less country-specific and tend to resemble one another more and more in their behaviour and lifestyles. They shop in similar malls, buy the same hi-tech equipment, see the same films and television series, roam the globe as tourists and dispose of the key instrument of assimilation: money. They are part of a transnational economic complex which is now developing its markets on a global scale. Nokia supplies it everywhere with mobile tele- phones, Toyota with cars, Sony with televisions, Siemens with refrigerators, Burger King with fast-food joints, and Time-Warner with DVDs. Western- style development, to be sure, continued spreading during the globalization period, but boosted the expansion of the transnational economic complex rather than the formation of thriving national societies. DESIRE FOR EQUITY It would be misleading to recognize only the desire for wealth in the scram- ble of countries and classes for income. Though it goes without saying that the time-honoured vices of greed and arrogance are omnipresent drivers in this scramble, it is also true that from the point of view of the South there is more to it. Behind the craving for skyscrapers and shopping malls, gigawatts and growth rates, there is also the desire for recognition and equity at work. A quick glance at China may illustrate the point. The ascendancy of China to the ranks of a world power is balm on the wounds inflicted during her two centuries of colonial humiliation. And the success of the middle class is a source of pride and self-respect that puts the Chinese elite on a par with social elites elsewhere on the globe. The Chinese example brings to the fore what has been part and parcel of development all along: the desire for justice is intimately linked to the pursuit of development. Looking at The Development Dictionary today, it is striking that we had not really appreciated the extent to which the development idea has been charged with hopes for redress and self-affirmation. It certainly was an invention of the West, as we showed at length, but not just an imposition on the rest. On the contrary, as the desire for recognition and equity is framed in terms of the civilizational model of the powerful nations, the South has viii emerged as the staunchest defender of development. Countries in general doPREFACE not aspire to become more ‘Indian’, more ‘Brazilian’ or for that matter more ‘Islamic’; instead, assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, they long to achieve industrial modernity. To be sure, the element of imposition has not been lacking since Commodore Perry appeared off the coast of Japan in , forcing it at gunpoint to give access to goods from the USA. Self-defence against the hegemonic powers has been an important motive of the drive for development until today. Nevertheless, what might once have been an impo- sition has more often than not turned into a basis for identity. In this way, however, as indeed the book points out, the right to cultural self-identity has been compromised by accepting the development world-view. Despite decolonization in the political sense – which has led to independent states – and despite decolonization in the economic sense – which has made some countries into economic powers – a decolonization of the imagination has not occurred. Quite the reverse: across the world hopes for the future are fixed on the rich man’s patterns of production and consumption. The longing for greater justice on the part of the South is one reason for the persistence of the development creed – even if, in this century, neither the planet nor the people of the world can any longer afford its predominance. However, it is crucial to distinguish two levels of equity. The first is the idea of relative justice, which looks at the distribution of various assets – such as income, school years or Internet connections – across groups of people or nations. It is comparative in nature, focuses on the relative positions of asset-holders, and points towards some form of equality. The second is the idea of absolute justice, which looks at the availability of fundamental capabilities and freedoms without which an unblemished life would be impossible. It is non-comparative in nature, focuses on basic living conditions, and points to the norm of human dignity. Generally speaking, conflicts about inequality are animated by the first idea, while conflicts about human rights are animated by the second. As it turns out, the demand for relative justice may easily collide with the right to absolute justice. To put it in political terms: the competitive struggle of the global middle classes for a greater share of income and power is often carried out at the expense of the fundamental rights of the poor and powerless. As governments and businesses, urban citizens and rural elites mobilize to forge ahead with development, more often than not the land, the living spaces and the cultural traditions of indigenous peoples, small farmers or the urban poor are put under pressure. Freeways cut through neighbourhoods, high-rise buildings displace traditional housing, dams drive tribal groups from their homelands, trawlers marginalize local fisherfolk, supermarkets undercut small shopkeepers. Economic growth is of a cannibalistic nature; it feeds on both nature and communities, and shifts ix THE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY unpaid costs back onto them as well. The shiny side of development is often accompanied by a dark side of displacement and dispossession; this is the reason why economic growth has time and again produced impoverishment next to enrichment. The globally oriented middle classes, although they push for development in the name of greater equality, largely disregard the plight of the poor. No wonder that, in just about all newly industrializing countries, social polarization has been on the rise along with growth rates over the past thirty years. To invoke the right to development for the sake of greater equity is therefore an untrustworthy undertaking. This is particularly the case when governmental and non-governmental representatives call for accelerated growth in the name of helping the poor. Most of the time, they take the poor hostage when garnering relative advantages from the richer countries, without much of an intention of guaranteeing the fundamental rights of economically disadvantaged communities. At the core of this cover-up – as this book argues – lies the semantic confusion brought about by the concept of development. After all, development can mean just about everything, from putting up skyscrapers to putting in latrines, from drilling for oil to drilling for water, from setting up software industries to setting up tree nurseries. It is a concept of monumental emptiness, carrying a vaguely positive con- notation. For this reason, it can be easily filled with conflicting perspectives. On the one hand, there are those who implicitly identify development with economic growth, calling for more relative equity in GDP. Their use of the word ‘development’ reinforces the hegemony of the economic world-view. On the other hand, there are those who identify development with more rights and resources for the poor and powerless. Their use of the word calls for de-emphasizing growth in favour of greater autonomy of communities. For them, development speech is self-defeating; it distorts their concern and makes them vulnerable to hijack by false friends. Putting both perspectives into one conceptual shell is a sure recipe for confusion, if not a political cover-up. A PARENTHESIS IN WORLD HISTORY It is the legacy of the twentieth century that the desires of nations for a better tomorrow are predominantly directed towards development-as- growth. However, the multifaceted crisis of the biosphere turns this legacy into a tragic liability. As the book points out in a variety of ways, the development viewpoint implies both a chronopolitics and a geopolitics. In terms of a chronopolitics, all peoples on the globe appear to move along one single road, following the pacemakers who are supposed to represent x the forefront of social evolution. And in terms of a geopolitics, under thePREFACE development gaze the confusing diversity of nations across the globe turns into a clear ranking order with the GDP-rich countries at the top of the pack. This way of constructing the world order has revealed itself to be not only obsolete, but also mortally dangerous. Assigning the Euro-Atlantic model of civilization to a vanguard position either along the course of history or across the social ranking order has by now lost any legitimacy: it is proven to be incompatible with the planet. In retrospect it becomes clear that some of the very conditions that have been responsible for the rise of the Euro-Atlantic civilization are also responsible for its fall. Why was Europe able to leap ahead of the rest of the world in the early nineteenth century? An important part of the answer (as US historian Kenneth Pomeranz has shown) is to be found by looking at the resource base. At the end of the eighteenth century, both of the two major civilizations of the world – Europe and China – were constrained in their economic development by the scarcity of land available to grow food, supply fuel and provide raw materials. But it was only Europe – first of all England – that succeeded in overcoming this limit by tapping into new resources. It began massively to import agricultural goods such as sugar, tobacco, cereals and timber from America, and, above all, set out systematically to utilize coal for industrial processes. As foreign land replaced domestic land and carbon substituted for wood, the English industrial economy was able to take off. Put more generally, access to biotic resources from colonies and fossil resources from the crust of the earth was essential to the rise of the Euro-Atlantic civilization. There would have been no industrial society without the mobilization of resources from both the expanse of geographical space and the depth of geological time. As the planet’s biodiversity disappears, fossil-fuel resources dwindle and the global climate destabilizes, the conditions that brought about Europe’s success are no longer available. Resources will be neither as easily nor as cheaply accessible. In particular, dwindling oil supplies and threatened climate chaos suggest that future historians will consider the past two hundred years of Euro-Atlantic development a parenthesis in world history. Indeed, it is difficult to see how the automobile society, high-rise housing, chemical agriculture, or a meat-based food system could be rolled out across the globe. The resources required would be too vast, too expensive and too damaging for local ecosystems and the biosphere. Since the Euro-Atlantic model of wealth emerged under exceptional condi- tions, it cannot be generalized to the world at large. In other words, the model requires social exclusion by its very structure; it is unfit to underpin equity on a global scale. Therefore, development-as-growth cannot continue to be a guiding concept of international politics unless global apartheid is xiTHE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY taken for granted. If there is to be some kind of prosperity for all world citizens, the Euro-Atlantic model of production and consumption needs to be superseded, making room for modes of well-being that leave only a light footprint on the earth. Production and consumption patterns will not be fit for justice, unless they are resource-light and compatible with ecosystems. For that reason, there will be no equity without ecology in the twenty-first century. RESILIENCE IN DIVERSITY It is against this background that The Development Dictionary is of unbroken relevance. Breaking with ‘development’ as a habit of thought is part and parcel of an overdue decolonization of minds. We, the authors of the book, started with the premise that Western hegemony leaves its imprint not only on politics and economics, but on minds as well. Just as domestic furniture carries the imprint of its age, mental furniture is also marked by the date of its formation. In this respect, the development discourse is an outcome of the post-war era of fossil-fuel-based triumphalism, undergirded by colonial perceptions and the legacy of Western rationalism. Cleansing the mind from development certainties, however, requires a conscious effort; therefore, the authors of this book have ventured to expose those key concepts that make up much of the mental furniture of ‘development’. As it emerges, just to name some examples in the book, ‘poverty’ incorporates a materialistic prejudice, ‘equality’ is transmogrified into sameness, ‘standard of living’ reduces the diversity of happiness, ‘needs’ make the dependency trap snap, ‘production’ brings forth disvalue next to value, and ‘population’ is nothing but a statisti- cal artefact. Exposing the epoch-specific nature of key concepts liberates the mind and prompts it to find a language that is equal to tomorrow’s challenges. The Development Dictionary is meant to help in this endeavour. In particular, it will not be possible to reconceptualize equity without recovering the diversity of prosperity. Linking the desire for equity to eco- nomic growth has been the conceptual cornerstone of the development age. Delinking the desire for equity from economic growth and relinking it to community- and culture-based notions of well-being will be the cornerstone of the post-development age. Indeed, today, to a much greater extent than when this book was written, initiatives are launched all over the world that, in a smaller or larger way, aim at transcending the conventional development idea. There is an upsurge of initiatives in the industrial world in both the northern and the southern hemisphere that edge away from the fossil-fuel economy and aim for a solar economy, which goes under the name of ‘green economy’ in Europe and the USA, and of ‘ecological civilization’ in China. xii Moreover, there is quite a bit of creativity at the margins of the mainstream,PREFACE be it the search for a ‘sufficiency economy’ in Thailand, the call for ‘earth democracy’ in India, the rediscovery of the cosmovisión Andina in Peru, or the groping for ‘degrowth’ in France and Italy. And, last but not least, there are myriad communities – professional, local, digital – affirming in their specific contexts that resilience, beauty and meaning can be found outside of the logic of growth and expansion. Looking at the multitude of post-development initiatives, two themes emerge. First, a transition from economies based on fossil-fuel resources to economies based on biodiversity is paramount. In contrast to the ever- expanding nature of ‘development’, the recognition of limits is at the root of numerous attempts to re-embed the economy in the biosphere. Examples abound in architecture, agriculture, energy production, forestry and even industry. What is more, opting for solar energies and materials is consonant with a certain amount of deglobalization. For decades, a lack of local fit and adaptation in those areas had to be compensated for by the import of fossil energies from far away, but without them a new appreciation of the land, habitat and seasons becomes essential. While the massive use of fossil-fuel-based resources allowed one to disregard the character of specific places, bioeconomic systems – be it in cultivation or in construction – find their strength in connecting with local ecosystems and energy flows. For this reason, decentralization and diversity will be guiding principles for solar economies. Second, post-development initiatives attempt to push back the predomi- nance of the economic world-view. They oppose the secular trend to func- tionalize work, education and the land in order to boost economic efficiency, insisting on the right to act according to values of culture, democracy and justice. In the global South, for instance, initiatives emphasize community rights to natural resources, self-governance and indigenous ways of knowing and acting. In the global North, post-development action instead centres on eco-fair businesses in manufacture, trade and banking, the rediscovery of the commons in nature and society, open-source collaboration, self-sufficiency in consumption and profit-making, and renewed attention to non-material values. At any rate, what appears to be the common denominator of those initiatives is the search for less material notions of prosperity that make room for the dimensions of self-reliance, community, art or spirituality. Their underlying conviction is that human well-being has many sources beyond money; drawing on them not only provides a base for different styles of prosperity, but makes people and communities more resilient against resource crises and economic shock. In such a perspective, however, the conventional politics of justice is turned upside down. In the development age the rich world was able to xiiiTHE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY sidestep the hard issues of justice, because economic growth was seen as the main tool to bring greater equity to the world. Growth was a substitute for justice, and inequality was no problem as long as the have-nots were able to improve their position along the way. Indeed, for decades development experts defined equity primarily as a problem of the poor. They highlighted the lack of income, lack of technologies, and lack of market access of the poor, advocating all kinds of remedies for raising their living standard. In short, they worked at raising the floor, rather than lowering the ceiling. With the emergence of bio-physical constraints to economic growth, however, this approach has definitely turned out to be one-sided; it is not just the poor but also the rich, and their economy as well, that have to be called into question. At any rate, the quest for fairness in a finite world means in the first place changing the rich, not the poor. Poverty alleviation, in other words, cannot be separated from wealth alleviation. It was in October that Mohandas Gandhi already sensed the impasse of development. In one of his columns for Young India, the mouthpiece of the Indian independence movement, he wrote: God forbid that India should ever take to industrialisation after the manner of the West. The economic imperialism of a single tiny island kingdom (England) is today keeping the world in chains. If an entire nation of million took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts. Nearly eighty years later this statement has lost none of its relevance. On the contrary, its significance has exploded since today there are, just between India and China, no longer million but , million setting out to imitate Britain. What would Gandhi say if he met Hu Jintao at the inauguration of the World Expo? Berlin, xiv Introduction WOLFGANG SACHS he last forty years can be called the age of development. This epoch is Tcoming to an end. The time is ripe to write its obituary. Like a towering lighthouse guiding sailors towards the coast, ‘develop- ment’ stood as the idea which oriented emerging nations in their journey through post-war history. No matter whether democracies or dictatorships, the countries of the South proclaimed development as their primary aspira- tion, after they had been freed from colonial subordination. Four decades later, governments and citizens alike still have their eyes fixed on this light flashing just as far away as ever: every effort and every sacrifice is justified in reaching the goal, but the light keeps on receding into the dark. The lighthouse of development was erected right after the Second World War. Following the breakdown of the European colonial powers, the United States found an opportunity to give worldwide dimensions to the mission their founding fathers had bequeathed to them: to be the ‘beacon on the hill’. They launched the idea of development with a call to every nation to follow in their footsteps. Since then, the relations between North and South have been cast in this mould: ‘development’ provided the fundamental frame of reference for that mixture of generosity, bribery and oppression which has characterized the policies toward the South. For almost half a century, good neighbourliness on the planet was conceived in the light of ‘development’. Today, the lighthouse shows cracks and is starting to crumble. The idea of development stands like a ruin in the intellectual landscape. Delusion and disappointment, failures and crimes, have been the steady companions of development and they tell a common story: it did not work. Moreover, the historical conditions which catapulted the idea into prominence have vanished: development has become outdated. But, above all, the hopes and desires which made the idea fly are now exhausted: development has grown obsolete. Nevertheless, the ruin stands there and still dominates the scenery like a landmark. Though doubts are mounting and uneasiness is widely felt, development talk still pervades not only official declarations but even the language of grassroots movements. It is time to dismantle this mental xvTHE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY structure. The authors of this book consciously bid farewell to the defunct idea in order to clear our minds for fresh discoveries. Over the years, piles of technical reports have been accumulated which show that development does not work; stacks of political studies have proven that development is unjust. The authors of this book deal neither with development as technical performance nor with development as class conflict, but with development as a particular cast of mind. For development is much more than just a socio-economic endeavour; it is a perception which models reality, a myth which comforts societies, and a fantasy which unleashes passions. Perceptions, myths and fantasies, however, rise and fall independ- ent of empirical results and rational conclusions; they appear and vanish, not because they are proven right or wrong, but rather because they are pregnant with promise or become irrelevant. This book offers a critical inventory of development credos, their history and implications, in order to expose in the harsh glare of sunlight their perceptual bias, their historical inadequacy, and their imaginative sterility. It calls for apostasy from the faith in development in order to liberate the imagination for bold responses to the challenges humanity is facing before the turn of the millennium. We propose to call the age of development that particular historical period which began on January , when Harry S. Truman for the first time declared, in his inauguration speech, the Southern hemisphere as ‘underdeveloped areas’. The label stuck and subsequently provided the cog- nitive base for both arrogant interventionism from the North and pathetic self-pity in the South. However, what is born at a certain point in time can die again at a later point; the age of development is on the decline because its four founding premises have been outdated by history. First of all, it was a matter of course for Truman that the United States – along with other industrialized nations – was at the top of the social evolutionary scale. Today, this premise of superiority has been fully and finally shattered by the ecological predicament. Granted the US may still feel it is running ahead of the other countries, but it is clear now that the race is leading towards an abyss. For more than a century, technology carried the promise of redeeming the human condition from sweat, toil and tears. Today, especially in the rich countries, it is everybody’s best kept secret that this hope is nothing other than a flight of fancy. After all, with the fruits of industrialism still scarcely distributed, we now consume in one year what it took the earth a million years to store up. Furthermore, much of the glorious productivity is fed by the gigantic throughput of fossil energy; on the one side, the earth is being excavated and permanently scarred, while on the other a continuous rain of harmful xvi substances drizzles down – or filters up into the atmosphere. If all countries INTRODUCTION ‘successfully’ followed the industrial example, five or six planets would be needed to serve as mines and waste dumps. It is thus obvious that the ‘advanced’ societies are no model; rather they are most likely to be seen in the end as an aberration in the course of history. The arrow of progress is broken and the future has lost its brightness: it holds in store more threats than promises. How can one believe in development, if the sense of orienta- tion has withered away? Secondly, Truman launched the idea of development in order to provide a comforting vision of a world order where the US would naturally rank first. The rising influence of the Soviet Union – the first country which had industrialized outside of capitalism – forced him to come up with a vision that would engage the loyalty of the decolonizing countries in order to sustain his struggle against communism. For over forty years, development has been a weapon in the competition between political systems. Now that the East–West confrontation has come to a halt, Truman’s project of global development is bound to lose ideological steam and to remain without politi- cal fuel. And as the world becomes polycentric, the scrapyard of history now awaits the dumping of the category ‘Third World’, a category invented by the French in the early s in order to designate the embattled territory between the two superpowers. Nevertheless, new, albeit belated, calls for development may multiply, as the East–West division gets absorbed into the rich–poor division. In this light, however, the entire project fundamentally changes its character: prevention replaces progress as the objective of development; the redistri- bution of risk rather than the redistribution of wealth now dominates the international agenda. Development specialists shrug their shoulders about the long-promised industrial paradise, but rush to ward off the flood of im- migrants, to contain regional wars, to undercut illicit trade, and to contain environmental disasters. They are still busy identifying deficits and filling gaps, but Truman’s promise of development has been turned upside down. Thirdly, development has changed the face of the earth, but not in the way it had intended. Truman’s project now appears as a blunder of planetary proportions. In , the Northern countries were twenty times richer than the Southern, in forty-six times richer. Is it an exaggeration to say that the illusion of ‘catching up’ rivals on a world scale Montezuma’s deadly illu- sion of receiving Cortez with open arms? Of course, most Southern countries stepped on the gas, but the North outpaced them by far. The reason is simple: in this kind of race, the rich countries will always move faster than the rest, for they are geared towards a continuous degradation of what they have to put forth: the most advanced technology. They are world champions in competitive obsolescence. xvii THE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY Social polarization prevails within countries as well; the stories about falling real income, misery and desperation are all too familiar. The cam- paign to turn traditional man into modern man has failed. The old ways have been smashed, the new ways are not viable. People are caught in the deadlock of development: the peasant who is dependent on buying seeds, yet finds no cash to do so; the mother who benefits neither from the care of her fellow women in the community nor from the assistance of a hospital; the clerk who had made it in the city, but is now laid off as a result of cost- cutting measures. They are all like refugees who have been rejected and have no place to go. Shunned by the ‘advanced’ sector and cut off from the old ways, they are expatriates in their own country; they are forced to get by in the no-man’s-land between tradition and modernity. Fourthly, suspicion grows that development was a misconceived enter- prise from the beginning. Indeed, it is not the failure of development which has to he feared, but its success. What would a completely developed world look like? We don’t know, but most certainly it would he both boring and fraught with danger. For development cannot be separated from the idea that all peoples of the planet are moving along one single track towards some state of maturity, exemplified by the nations ‘running in front’. In this view, Tuaregs, Zapotecos or Rajasthanis are not seen as living diverse and non-comparable ways of human existence, but as somehow lacking in terms of what has been achieved by the advanced countries. Consequently, catching up was declared to be their historical task. From the start, development’s hidden agenda was nothing else than the Westernization of the world. The result has been a tremendous loss of diversity. The worldwide simplification of architecture, clothing and daily objects assaults the eye; the accompanying eclipse of variegated languages, customs and gestures is already less visible; and the standardization of desires and dreams occurs deep down in the subconscious of societies. Market, state and science have been the great universalizing powers; admen, experts and educators have relentlessly expanded their reign. Of course, as in Montezuma’s time, conquerors have often been warmly welcomed, only to unveil their victory. The mental space in which people dream and act is largely occupied today by Western imagery. The vast furrows of cultural monoculture left behind are, as in all monocultures, both barren and dangerous. They have eliminated the innumerable varieties of being human and have turned the world into a place deprived of adventure and surprise; the ‘Other’ has vanished with development. Moreover, the spreading monoculture has eroded viable alternatives to the industrial, growth-oriented society and dangerously crippled humankind’s capacity to meet an increasingly xviii different future with creative responses. The last forty years have consider-INTRODUCTION ably impoverished the potential for cultural evolution. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that whatever potential for cultural evolution remains is there in spite of development. Four decades after Truman’s invention of underdevelopment, the his- torical conditions which had given rise to the developmental perspective have largely disappeared. By now development has become an amoeba- like concept, shapeless but ineradicable. Its contours are so blurred that it denotes nothing – while it spreads everywhere because it connotes the best of intentions. The term is hailed by the IMF and the Vatican alike, by revolutionaries carrying their guns as well as field experts carrying their Samsonites. Though development has no content, it does possess one func- tion: it allows any intervention to be sanctified in the name of a higher goal. Therefore even enemies feel united under the same banner. The term creates a common ground, a ground on which right and left, elites and grassroots, fight their battles. It is our intention, as the authors of this book, to clear out of the way this self-defeating development discourse. On the one hand, we hope to disable the development professional by tearing apart the conceptual foundations of his routines; on the other hand, we would like to challenge those involved in grassroots initiatives to clarify their perspectives by discarding the crippling development talk towards which they are now leaning. Our essays on the central concepts in the development discourse intend to expose some of the unconscious structures that set boundaries on the thinking of our epoch. We believe that any imaginative effort to conceive a post-developmental era will have to overcome these constraints. The development discourse is made up of a web of key concepts. It is impossible to talk about development without referring to concepts such as poverty, production, the notion of the state, or equality. These concepts first rose to prominence during modern Western history and only then have they been projected on the rest of the world. Each of them crystallizes a set of tacit assumptions which reinforce the Occidental world-view. Development has so pervasively spread these assumptions that people everywhere have been caught up in a Western perception of reality. Knowledge, however, wields power by directing people’s attention; it carves out and highlights a certain reality, casting into oblivion other ways of relating to the world around us. At a time when development has evidently failed as a socio- economic endeavour, it has become of paramount importance to liberate ourselves from its dominion over our minds. This book is an invitation to review the developmental model of reality and to recognize that we all wear not merely tinted, but tainted, glasses if we take part in the prevailing development discourse. xixTHE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY To facilitate this intellectual review, each chapter will dip into the ar- chaeology of the key concept under examination and call attention to its ethnocentric and even violent nature. The chapters identify the shifting role each concept has played in the debate on development over the last forty years. They demonstrate how each concept filters perception, highlighting certain aspects of reality while excluding others, and they show how this bias is rooted in particular civilizational attitudes adopted during the course of European history. Finally, each chapter attempts to open a window onto other, and different, ways of looking at the world and to get a glimpse of the riches and blessings which survive in non-Western cultures in spite of development. Each chapter will be of worth if, after reading it, experts and citizens alike have to blush, stutter or burst out laughing when they dare to mouth the old word. This book, it must be said, is the fruit of friendship. Above all, it is our gift to one another. Over the years, all of us authors, in various contexts and associations, have been involved in a continuous conversation, spending days or weeks together chatting, cooking, travelling, studying and celebrating. We shared our uncertainties and championed our convictions; we lived through confusion and hit upon sudden insights; we challenged our idi- osyncrasies and enjoyed inspiration. Slowly and sometimes inadvertently, a common frame of reference emerged and informed, in turn, our individual work. Deprofessionalized intellectuals, in our experience, derive life from friendship and common commitment; otherwise, how could non-academic research be sustained? In our case, this would not have been possible without the personal and intellectual magnetism of Ivan Illich, in particular, who brought a number of us together and animated our thinking throughout the years. In the fall of , sitting on the porch of Barbara Duden’s wooden house at State College in Pennsylvania, we drew up the plan for this book after an intense week of debate interrupted by cutting onions and uncorking bottles. I would like to thank Christoph Baker and Don Reneau for their help with translations. I gratefully acknowledge the institutional support of the Science, Technology and Society Programme at the Pennsylvania State University, where we convened several consultations, and of the Institute for Cultural Studies in Essen, Germany, where I carried out the editorial work. xx Development GUSTAVO ESTEVA o say ‘yes’, to approve, to accept, the Brazilians say ‘no’ – pois nao. But Tno one gets confused. By culturally rooting their speech, by playing with the words to make them speak in their contexts, the Brazilians enrich their conversation. In saying ‘development’, however, most people are now saying the opposite of what they want to convey. Everyone gets confused. By using uncritically such a loaded word, and one doomed to extinction, they are transforming its agony into a chronic condition. From the unburied corpse of development, every kind of pest has started to spread. The time has come to unveil the secret of development and see it in all its conceptual starkness. THE INVENTION OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT At the end of World War II, the United States was a formidable and incessant productive machine, unprecedented in history. It was undisputedly at the centre of the world. It was the master. All the institutions created in those years recognized that fact: even the United Nations Charter echoed the United States Constitution. But the Americans wanted something more. They needed to make entirely explicit their new position in the world. And they wanted to consolidate that hegemony and make it permanent. For these purposes, they conceived a political campaign on a global scale that clearly bore their seal. They even conceived an appropriate emblem to identify the campaign. And they care- fully chose the opportunity to launch both – January . That very day, the day on which President Truman took office, a new era was opened for the world – the era of development. We must embark President Truman said on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress avail- able for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas. The old imperialism – exploitation for foreign profit – has no place in our plans. What we envisage is a program of development based on the concepts 1 of democratic fair dealing. THE DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY By using for the first time in such context the word ‘underdeveloped’, Truman changed the meaning of development and created the emblem, a euphemism, used ever since to allude either discreetly or inadvertently to the era of American hegemony. Never before had a word been universally accepted on the very day of its political coinage. A new perception of one’s own self, and of the other, was suddenly created. Two hundred years of social construction of the historical–political meaning of the term ‘development’ were successfully usurped and transmogrified. A political and philosophical proposition of Marx, packaged American-style as a struggle against communism and at the service of the hegemonic design of the United States, succeeded in permeat- ing both the popular and the intellectual mind for the rest of the century. Underdevelopment began, then, on January . On that day, billion people became underdeveloped. In a real sense, from that time on, they ceased being what they were, in all their diversity, and were trans- mogrified into an inverted mirror of others’ reality: a mirror that belittles them and sends them off to the end of the queue, a mirror that defines their identity, which is really that of a heterogeneous and diverse majority, simply in the terms of a homogenizing and narrow minority. Truman was not the first to use the word. Wilfred Benson, a former member of the Secretariat of the International Labour Organization, was probably the person who invented it when he referred to the ‘under- 2 developed areas’ while writing on the economic basis for peace in . But the expression found no further echo, either with the public or with the experts. Two years later. Rosenstein-Rodan continued to speak of ‘economically backward areas’. Arthur Lewis, also in , referred to the gap between the rich and the poor nations. Throughout the decade, the expression appeared occasionally in technical books or United Nations documents. But it only acquired relevance when Truman presented it as the emblem of his own policy. In this context, it took on an unsuspected colonizing virulence. Since then, development has connoted at least one thing: to escape from the undignified condition called underdevelopment. When Nyerere proposed that development be the political mobilization of a people for attaining their own objectives, conscious as he was that it was madness to pursue the goals that others had set; when Rodolfo Stavenhagen proposes today ethno- development or development with self-confidence, conscious that we need to ‘look within’ and ‘search for one’s own culture’ instead of using borrowed and foreign views; when Jimoh Omo-Fadaka suggests a development from the bottom up, conscious that all strategies based on a top-down design have failed to reach their explicitly stated objectives; when Orlando Fals Borda DEVELOPMENT and Anisur Rahman insist on participatory development, conscious of the exclusions made in the name of development; when Jun Nishikawa proposes an ‘other’ development for Japan, conscious that the current era is ending; when they and so many others qualify development and use the word with caveats and restrictions as if they were walking in a minefield, they do not seem to see the counterproductivity of their efforts. The minefield has already exploded. In order for someone to conceive the possibility of escaping from a par- ticular condition, it is necessary first to feel that one has fallen into that condition. For those who make up two-thirds of the world’s population today, to think of development – of any kind of development – requires first the perception of themselves as underdeveloped, with the whole burden of connotations that this carries. Today, for two-thirds of the peoples of the world, underdevelopment is a threat that has already been carried out; a life experience of subordination and of being led astray, of discrimination and subjugation. Given that precon- dition, the simple fact of associating with development one’s own intention tends to annul the intention, to contradict it, to enslave it. It impedes think- ing of one’s own objectives, as Nyerere wanted; it undermines confidence in oneself and one’s own culture, as Stavenhagen demands; it clamours for management from the top down, against which Jimoh rebelled; it converts participation into a manipulative trick to involve people in struggles for getting what the powerful want to impose on them, which was precisely what Fals Borda and Rahman wanted to avoid. A METAPHOR AND ITS CONTORTED HISTORY Development occupies the centre of an incredibly powerful semantic constel- lation. There is nothing in modern mentality comparable to it as a force guiding thought and behaviour. At the same time, very few words are as feeble, as fragile and as incapable of giving substance and meaning to thought and behaviour as this one. In common parlance, development describes a process through which the potentialities of an object or organism are released, until it reaches its natural, complete, full-fledged form. Hence the metaphoric use of the term to explain the natural growth of plants and animals. Through this metaphor, it became possible to show the goal of development and, much later, its programme. The development or evolution of living beings, in biology, referred to the process through which organisms achieved their genetic potential: the natural form of the being pre-seen by the biologist. Development was frustrated whenever the plant or the animal failed to fulfil its genetic programme, or substituted for it another. In such cases of failure,