Monday, June 26, 2017

"Accumulation and Development: A Theoretical Model" by Samir Amin (1974)

This paper has a particularly good abstract, worth reading:
"In this article Samir Amin sets out the core of his model of the global accumulation of capital. In it he defines two distinct patterns: one applying to development at the centre, the other to dependent development in the periphery. Central development is characterised by the dominance of economic activity to satisfy mass consumer needs and the consequent demand for production goods. The power of the masses is enlisted in a social contract which allows the establishment of a limited economic viability, at a national level. owever, the internationalisation of productive capital increasingly threatens that stability. The peripheral systems are dominated by production of luxury goods and exports and the consequent lack of importance of internal mass markets. This leads to growing inequality, technological dependence, political weakness among the oppressed - in sum, marginalization. Restructuring of these econo- mies requires a break with the international economy, and self- centred development which establishes the dominance of production for mass needs, though there are particular difficulties for individual countries attempting such a break and ultimately a solution can be found only if such changes take place internationally. Policies for the difficult period of transition must first and foremost focus on the need to build the political consciousness necessary to complete this process." - p. 9

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Feudalism, Capitalism, and the World-System in Perspective of Latin America and the Caribbean" by Stern (1988)

Steve Stern, who is, incidentally, perhaps the best professor I had in all of graduate school, traces the history that led to Wallerstein's World-System Theory. Wallerstein offers up his own version of the history of the world. Stern is a historian specializing in Latin America. (I highly recommend his trilogy on Pinochet's Chile.)

He presents Dependency Theory as a precursor of World-System Theory. Wallerstein was not the first person to look at global development and find it relevant that some parts of the world were exploiting the others; dependency theorists got there first.

One scholarly disagreement he traces is whether Latin America was "feudal" before development. Andre Gunder Frank said no, because European mercantilists brought capitalism to Latin America as they exploited the heck out of it. A worthy rebuttal came from Ernesto Laclau:
"It was obvious, observed Laclau, that mercantile exploitation used as its instrument the coercive labor relations and tributary obligations corresponding to the feudal mode of production. This was not a trivial point, since it greatly affected the explanation of Latin America's historic underdevelopment. In Laclau's scheme, underdevelopment derived not only from Europe's channeling of the colonies' economic surpluses from satellite to metropolis [periphery to core] but also from its "fixing the relations of production in an archaic mould of extra-economic coercion, which retarded any process of social differentiation and diminished the size of their internal markets."" p. 839

Stern expands the point out, including Laclau's assertion that an entire economic system could be capitalist but it could have different modes of production within it, including a feudal one. Furthermore, this feudal mode of production in Latin America means that the region was fated to underdevelopment even if Europe hadn't been appropriating all of their surpluses. Last, "material progress in twentieth-century Latin America did indeed require the break-up of the feudal socioeconomic structures that dominated many backward regions."

Then Stern puts his history hat on. Yes, it seems like Latin America is "'in but not of' the capitalist economy" but to a historian, "posing the choice as one between a "feudal" or "capitalist" economy may itself misconstrue the nature of the problem" (p. 839). He provides a description of the economy in colonial Latin America and then concludes on pp. 840-841 that "the colonial Latin American economy, though part of a European economic system in transition to capitalism, followed principles of economic evolution qualitatively distinct from those associated with a capitalist mode of production."

Stern follows with more discussion of why either label is not accurate. One point worth noting is that the regime that extorted labor from indigenous people (such as those forced to work in the mine at Potosi) and enslaved people from Africa in Latin America and the Caribbean is different from Europe's feudal system and also different from Old World slavery, so equating this with feudalism "obscures both the intensity of mercantile exploitation inherent in the colonial system and the degree to which this very intensity led to labor relations, subsistence and market patterns, and technological developments with structure and dynamics qualitatively distinct from those of pre-capitalist Europe" (p. 841).

Stern's term for being forced to choose between "feudalism" and "capitalism" is "a conceptual trap" (p. 842) since it's truly neither. He therefore agrees with Wallerstein that Laclau did not entirely get it right. He outlines four different positions that came about in Latin American scholarship prior to Wallerstein.
  1. Capitalism and feudalism are not the only modes of production. What existed in Latin America deserves its own category, like "colonial" or "colonial slavery."
  2. Latin America had "feudalism" but with particular features scholars in this camp defined, "stressing the historical context that joined colonial feudalism to international and local mercantile ventures" (p. 843)
  3. "To search for a dominant mode of production in colonial Latin America is misleading because the cornerstone of the colonial economy was precisely the dominance of commercial capitalism over production" (p. 843). This view "explore[s] the ways commercial capital organized and exploited various relations of production, none of which served as a basis for a fully constituted mode of production in Latin America."
  4. A minority view is that colonial Latin America was "capitalist" - although the scholars in this camp "went beyond the terms staked out in the initial Frank-Laclau exchange" (p. 844).
Each of the first three was critical of Frank and, by 1974, went beyond Laclau (p. 844). All three "circulated widely in Latin America but not in English translation" (p. 844).

Stern asks readers to consider Wallerstein in light of this debate that had already gone on for years by the time he published The Modern World-System in 1974. Wallerstein got a "surprisingly faint" response (p. 845) on his historiography of Latin America, and Stern contends that that is because he was, essentially, late to the game. Those debates had already been had. Additionally, "the idea of Latin America's historic dependence and manipulation by an external capitalist force, so much a part of life in Latin America, so current in the intellectual environment of the 1960s and 1970s, no longer constituted a revelation" (p. 845).

Going on, he says that "it would be a mistake to avoid a serious evaluation of Wallerstein's work from the angle of Latin American history" (p. 846). Stern commends Wallerstein on an excellent understanding of European history and a "systematic and forceful" argument on why the world-system as a whole must be analyzed together. He believes Wallerstein adds to the Frank-Laclau debate: he says "capitalism is best understood not as the replacement of coercive labor relations by free wage labor but rather as the rise of optimal combinations of free and coercive labor relations beneficial to the capitalist system as a whole" (p. 846).

Contrasting European medieval serfs with colonial Latin America, he believes its not accurate to equate European feudalism with the system in Latin America. He calls the latter "coerced cash-crop labor." He says that Latin America was capitalist, but redefines capitalism such that the core has free labor and skilled work and the periphery has coerced labor and less skilled work. (Also, there's sharecropping in the semi-periphery.)

Stern then pivots from the history of debate over "was Latin America capitalist?" to analyzing whether Wallerstein was correct based on Latin American history. He propose considering two case studies: silver mines and sugar plantations. In a fascinating and detailed explanation of labor relations in the silver mines in Potosi, he concludes that Wallerstein got it wrong. Labor relations were a mix of coerced labor, sharecropping, and wage labor. He adds:
In explanatory terms, the world-system framework also fares poorly. To explain the rise of share arrangements in terms of their utility to the world-system, or to American capitalists adapting to the international market, would miss the point entirely. The twisting of wage and forced labor in the direction of share relations greatly disturbed colonial entrepreneurs and officials, and it bolstered an Indian market of production, consumption, and speculation that developed a life of its own, one not easily molded by the preference of the colonial state, American cities, or the European world-system." - p. 855
Expanding to include other silver mines in Latin America, Stern says it would be wrong to entirely dismiss Wallerstein, as there was a colonial surplus going to enrich Europe. However, he identifies three different "motors" driving the economic system in Latin America: the world-system, "popular strategies of resistance and survival within the periphery," and "the rise in America of regional and inter-regional markets and elites whose "logic" and interests did not always coincide with those of the world-system" (pp. 857-858). Therefore, he calls Wallerstein's analysis "one-dimensional and misleading" (p. 858).

Moving on to sugar, he grants that sugar better fits the model outlined by Wallerstein. But, he asks, why African slave labor dominated in sugar production. Initially, "colonizers actually tried out several labor strategies" to produce sugar (p. 859). In Brazil, the Portuguese first "experimented seriously with five labor strategies," four of which used Indian labor (p. 861). To sum up his longer analysis, Indians died and rebelled to much. Still, the full transition to African slave labor took a century. Again, he finds that Wallerstein's world-system theory does not fully explain labor on sugar plantations in Brazil and the Caribbean. He concludes that arguments based on macro forces ignore the local elements that ultimately led to the labor systems used to produce sugar. He adds that he is not claiming that the world-system is irrelevant here: "An explanation that ignores the world-system is as limited and reductionist as one derived from the world-system" (p. 863).

It appears that the overriding argument in this piece is two-fold. First, the world-system did impact labor relations and the economic system in Latin America and the Caribbean but was not its sole determinant; and second, while the powerful international forces of the world-system played a role in determining the labor system in Latin America and the Caribbean, local forces (local elites, and popular resistance) also played roles.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A world-system perspective on the social sciences by Immanuel Wallerstein (1976)

After wasting the reader's time with several pages of babble backed by no data (apparently he does have data in his books, just not here), Wallerstein comes to his point. All previous theories of development assumed that each society functioned separately as its own unit. He wants to consider as a unit any system that is tied together either economically ("world-economy") or politically ("world-empire"). He calls these two "world-systems" - obnoxiously hyphenating his term that he coined. He claims that today, the entire planet is one economic unit to be analyzed together (p. 173).

Then he gets down to business:
"There are three separate intellectual questions that may be asked about this modern world-system. The first is the explanation of its genesis: how is it that the sixteenth-century European world-economy survived, unlike previous such systems. The second question is how such a system, once consolidated, operates. The third is what are the basic secular trends of a capitalist system, and therefore what will account for its eventual decline as a social system." (pp. 173-174)
He takes mercy on the reader by offering relatively short answers, given the immensity of the questions. Blah, blah, blah, development of capitalism. Then he comes to the point:
"The operation of the system, once established, revolved around two basic dichotomies. One was the dichotomy of class, bourgeois versus proletarian...
The other basic dichotomy was the spatial hierarchy of economic specialization, core versus periphery, in which there was an appropriation of surplus from the producers of low-wage (but high supervision), low-profit, low-capital intensive goods by the producers of high-wage (but low supervision), high- profit, high-capital intensive, so-called ‘unequal exchange’." (pp. 174-175)
Obviously, he got some of his ideas from Karl Marx. Next paragraph:
"The genius, if you will, of the capitalist system, is the interweaving of these two channels of exploitation which overlap but are not identical and create the cultural and political complexities (and obscurities) of the system. Among other things, it has made it possible to respond to the politico-economic pres- sures of cyclical economic crises by rearranging spatial hierarchies without significantly impairing class hierarchies.

The mechanism by which the capitalist system ultimately resolves its recurrent cyclical down-turns is expansion: outward spatially, and internally in terms of the ‘freeing’ of the market – remember the basic ambivalence about the free market, good for the buyer and bad for the seller – via the steady proletarianization of semi-proletarian labour and the steady commercialization of semi-market-oriented land." (p. 175)
... And it's all trending toward crisis and then the proletariat will rise up and we all get a socialist world-government, which we must hyphenate because Wallerstein said so.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cooper and Packard (1997)

The following is a summary of “Introduction” in International development and the social sciences: essays on the history and politics of knowledge by Frederick Cooper and Randall Packard, published in 1997. Cooper is also the author of Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present, a book on the end of the colonial era and the start of independence in Africa.

Main ideas:
  1. Development theories throughout the last half century are varied and diverse, although not all have achieved the same level of acceptance or influence.
  2. Development theories are linked to power. Those who pose theories differ in their level of power to be heard and to have their ideas accepted and disseminated, but also, one can use a theory or paradigm as a means of asserting power.
  3. Cooper and Packard seek to understand why development paradigms changed over time. Why did one become popular, or not; why was it accepted for a long time, or not; and why did another paradigm replace it?
Cooper and Packard introduce the idea of development as an idea relating to European colonies in the 1940s. It was an idea adopted by several different parties with different goals. For Great Britain and France, it was a way to "reinvigorate and relegitimize empire as it was being challenged by nationalist movements, labor militancy, and increased questioning of colonial rule... African political and labor leaders seized the vocabulary of state-directed change to escalate demands for wages like those of European workers, for social services on a higher standard, and for the power to direct change themselves" (p. 7). Cooper's book Africa Since 1940 provides more detail here, and this section also ties in to Mahmood Mamdani's Citizen and Subject (1996). Cooper and Packard add that the idea of development offered imperial powers a way to continue influence over ex-colonies even as they lost power over them.

After World War II, the Cold War began, the U.S. was established as a global superpower, and a number of international organizations were established (the UN, World Bank, IMF). How people lived in the Global South was no longer just a matter for the people themselves to decide (or the colonial power that ruled them), but both an international matter and the responsibility of the newly independent states. Like Rist (2002), Cooper and Packard locate Truman's Four Points speech as the moment when Truman "took development out of the colonial realm and made it a basic part of international politics" (p. 8). The creation of the FAO, WHO, UNICEF, etc, solidified this change.

Cooper and Packard also agree with Rist that the development framework was a way for Europe and the U.S. to serve their own national interests while claiming to be motivated by a desire for a "prosperous, stable world" (p. 9).

Cooper and Packard then detailed the shape this discourse took in different regions. In Latin America, they trace the roots of dependency theory initially to a "structuralist" approach by Argentinian Raul Prebisch defining a "center" of the world market that produces manufactured goods and a "periphery" that supplies raw materials. The world market did not favor the periphery (p. 10).

India "experimented with combinations of Soviet planning models and capitalist production" (p. 11). There, a debate occurred over how to be "modern" while still remaining "Indian." They emphasize that there is a lot of grey areas instead of black and white: "struggles do not neatly line up between the friends and foes of development, between "modernity" and "community," but engage differences in a more nuanced manner and involve people who have been immersed as deeply in international organizations and communication as in local social movements" (p. 12).

Africa, they write, was "least able to generate its own academic knowledge" (p. 12). Still, the continent was not without leaders and intellectuals who "pushed a distinct view of economic development, one less oriented than the conventional view toward a generic "developed economy" and more focused on the communitarian roots of African economies" (p. 12).

Cooper and Packard sum up:
"The heterodoxy of development theory in the last half century implies neither randomness nor equality: certain sets of ideas and theories have gained prominence at particular periods of time, while others have been excluded from international debates... Within particular domains the development construct has become a framework that rationalizes and naturalizes the power of advanced capitalism in progressive terms - as the engine bringing those on the bottom "up" toward those who are already there" (p. 12).

Development theory was preceded by events outside of academia. When the so-called "real world" needed development experts, universities began offering training courses - "even before they had much knowledge to offer" (p. 13). In the mid-1940s, development economists claimed a "big push" was needed to "get poor economies into a position where self-generating growth could begin" (p. 13).

One issue for academics was how to resolve their desire for universal principles and theories with the messy particulars of different parts of the world. Examining the approaches of different fields to development, Cooper and Packard write:
"One can see the tension between the contextualizing fields (history, anthropology) and the universalizing fields (economics), as well as the more profound tension inherent in the relationship of social science and policy and the fact that abstract theory and empirical research both arise in concrete situations, in relation to funding possibilities and distinct knowledge communities with their own prestige systems" (p. 16).
Later, they say of modernization theory:
"The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of modernization theory, a social science approach that purpported to demonstrate that change in one domain of life implied conprehensive reconfiguration, leading virtually to the creation of a new sort of person - rational instead of superstitious, oriented toward achievement rather than status. Modernization theory has been effectively discredited, but the ethos behind it lies behind less comprehensive approaches to development" (p. 17).
This idea is described well by Nick Cullather in The Hungry World as he writes about how modernization theory led those behind the Green Revolution to believe that Asian peasants were irrational but purchasing seeds for "miracle rice" (and, presumably, the inputs needed to grow it) would be a first rational decision that would transform the peasants into rational economic beings.

Cooper and Packard add that "the idea of creating a new person... goes back to missionaries" (p. 17). Such an idea was "downplayed" by colonial governments in the 1920s, but the "development drive of the 1940s brought to the fore once again the possibility of reconstructing Africans or Asians in all aspects of their beings, this time in a way that was attractive to leaders of newly independent countries as it was to social scientists eager to chart the movement from tradition to modernity" (pp. 17-18). (Cullather adds that this change was also attractive to the U.S. during the Cold War, particularly after 1949 when China fell to the Communists and the USSR got the bomb. Millions of Asian peasants who could potentially turn Communist scared them.)

Cooper and Packard go on to describe a further implication - categorization of people who did not make the desired transition. Generic categories ("traditional," "indigenous," etc) "collapsed the variety and complexity of life in particular locations into a single word (p. 18). Critics as well as proponents of development interventions are guilty of this too, only they attach a positive instead of a negative connotation to words like "indigenous" or "community." Cooper and Packard write "Historically... the two sides [modern vs. traditional] are more imbricated in each other than such a dichotomous suggestion implies" (p. 18) because development projects will fail if they do not "resonate in a local context."

The restate the notion that at the end of the colonial era, development was used by both sides for their own ends - by the colonial regime to "reassert control and legitimacy" (p. 18) and by the colonized for other reasons (not stated by Cooper and Packard).

Cooper and Packard say "development is fundamentally about changing how people conduct their lives, and the very claim to technical knowledge is itself a political act" (p. 19).

The question Cooper and Packard ask is: Why do some development theories or paradigms catch on (and sometimes stick around) and not others? Or, as they put it "Complex questions arise about the ways in which economic problems are conceptualized at the interface of social science and policy and the responsiveness of leaders of states or international institutions to counterhegemonic claims" (pp. 19-20). On p. 19 they outline a number of potential explanations and why each does not work. Ultimately, they conclude "paradigm shifts... occur through complex, historically specific interactions" (p. 20).

They provide a few examples of how institutions such as the World Bank adopted development paradigms, without really explaining why they did so. They go on to say that the adoption of a paradigm by an institution does not explain why it is accepted outside the institution. "In part the ability of powerful institutions to disseminate ideas arises from their place at the center of development finance. Money talks. Yet this materialist explanation overlooks the specific networks of communications through which ideas circulate internationally" (p. 21). They add that the power of institutions changes over time. When few alternatives are available, their ideas gain power. Here, Cooper and Packard discuss alternatives not in terms of ideas but financial possibilities. That is, when countries could afford to do something else, some did. But during the credit crunch of the 1980s when that was not possible, they had little choice in what to do. "Much of the current rhetoric about structural adjustment programs is about the absence of alternatives, while critics of such policies try to get the idea of alternatives back in" (p. 22). This might be a reference to TINA: There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism).

Another potential reason for paradigm shifts was changing politics: "The end of the Cold War narrowed development options by discrediting socialist alternatives" (p. 22). They note that both prior to and after the Cold War, developed nations pushed for "market-led development," compared to during the Cold War, when they sought more intervention due to fear of Communist expansion.

Cooper and Packard see the push for neoliberalism as running counter to the push for democratization: "Compelling as many of the critiques of government corruption, clientalism, and incompetence are, it is not clear that imposed austerity helps to build political capacity" (p. 22). They add that the Washington Consensus pushes for "good governance" and "good economy" are "a bland assertion that the West has defined objective standards for others to meet, a generalized set of categories (elections, multiple parties) that define those standards, irrespective of the actual debates that might be going on in specific contexts over how more people might acquire meaningful voice in their own lives" (p. 23).

The next section deals with how ideas might not simply disseminate from institutions but be appropriated and even changed.

They go on to suggest that language can be even "stickier" than policies, saying: "Concepts like sustainability and participation become a kind of shorthand, distilling complex and in many cases highly problematic processes" (p. 24). They constitute "template mechanisms:" "preconstructed frameworks which are used to simplify and control complex environments" (p. 24). Template mechanisms "structure options, define relevant data, and rule out alternatives" (p. 24).

Cooper and Packard are sympathetic to development efforts. They write:
"Templates, cultural paradigms, and generic representations of the "indigenous" are not about to disappear. Large-scale organizations need to simplify; funding cycles demand replicable project designs. When USAID and other organizations tried to focus on small projects to avoid the problems of giganticism for which past development efforts were rightly criticized, they needed approaches that did not demand deep situational analysis for each project. Academic social scientists should not be dismissive of such difficulties" (p. 26).
Surely, such difficulties exist for USAID in the work they do, but extending understanding to them as advocated above implies approval of both their mission and their methods. That is, it assumes that the Global South must change, that nations like the US and the development agents should change it, and that the projects of USAID are good and necessary. Surely all of the above should be questioned and not taken for granted by social scientists.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"The Development of Underdevelopment" by Andre Gunder Frank (1966)

Frank begins by taking issue with three common ideas (most likely common to the modernization theorists of the time).
  1. First, he says it is not the case that all nations pass through the same set stages of development. He disagrees that the state of current underdeveloped countries corresponds to the past of current developed countries. He remarks that developed nations were previously undeveloped, but never underdeveloped. Prior to their development, no countries on earth were developed.
  2. Second, it's inaccurate to believe a nation's state of underdevelopment is a product of factors entirely within that country alone. Underdevelopment is a result of a history of relations between underdeveloped and developed nations.
  3. Development will not come to underdeveloped nations via diffusion of "capital, institutions, values, etc" from outside. He believes "underdeveloped countries economic development can now occur only independently of most of these relations of diffusion." (emphasis added)

Frank takes issue with an understanding of inequality in developing nations that assumes that the wealthy industrialized fraction of the society became so due to its "intimate economic relations" with the developed world, and that the poor, subsistence-based fraction of the population is separate from that relationship, constituting a "dual" society. Frank believes that both halves of these "dual" societies are products of capitalist development.

In other words, the poor backward half of a nation is not poor or backward because it was left out of development that the wealthier half benefited from; it is so because of it. The two are related as parts of the same system.

He supports this statement by reminding the reader of the history of colonial cities in Latin America, centers of mestizo life, surrounded by Indians in a "peasant hinterland." The cities and countryside and their mestizo and Indian populations, respectively, were connected by "economic and social interdependence." The cities served to "suck capital or economic surplus" from the surrounding (satellite) region and to in turn "impose and maintain" the exploitative relationship on that satellite. While that system was put in place in the distant past, Frank calls it "the principal and still surviving structural characteristics" of the Conquest of Latin America.

It appears Frank uses "metropolis" and "satellite" as other scholars use the words "core" or "center" and "periphery."

Like Cardoso and Faletto, Frank emphasizes the economic, social, and political aspects of both history and the modern day. His two main case studies are Chile and Brazil. Any development that occurred in satellites was neither "self-generating nor self-perpetuating" so as soon as an area's exported good was no longer in demand, investment in that area stopped.

Also, somewhat hilariously, Frank predicts the impending invention of a synthetic coffee substitute that will deal a death blow to Latin American coffee producers.

Frank writes that the successful industrialization within Sao Paolo, instead of enriching the rest of Brazil, has "converted them into internal colonial satellites, de-capitalized them further, and consolidated or even deepened their underdevelopment."

He restates his point that underdevelopment is not due to isolation from the world market, it is due to contact with it. He adds that Latin America did best when Europe and the U.S. left it alone because they were busy having a Depression and two World Wars, using this as evidence that the best path to development for Latin America is less contact with Europe and the U.S. He says this development gets "choked off" when the core nations recover from their crises and re-establish trade and investment ties.

Frank further hypothesizes that regions that seem the most backward today are the ones that had the closest contact with the core nations in the past.

All in all, this appears to be a rather simplistic argument that the more economic ties a developing region has with developed nations, the worse off it is, and vice versa.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dependency and Development in Latin America by Cardoso and Faletto (1979)

The following is a summary of a 40 page excerpt of the English translation of Dependency and Development in Latin America by Cardoso and Faletto, which includes a preface to that version. Both were sociologists, Cardoso from Brazil and Faletto from Chile, but Cardoso served as President of Brazil decades after this work was published. The book was written between 1965 and 1967. Brazil was already under military dictatorship. It was prior to the dictatorships in Argentina and Chile, and even prior to Allende's presidency. The preface to the English version was written in 1976, after the other dictatorships had started.

Main points:
  1. One cannot separate the economic from the political from the social; analysis of all three together is required.
  2. Political, economic, and social systems of today came about due to the past, so historical analysis is needed.
  3. The concepts of central vs. peripheral, dependent vs. autonomous, and underdeveloped vs. developed are distinct from one another.
  4. Dependent, developing nations must be studied in their own right and not assumed to have the same development path as the nations of Europe and the U.S.
  5. Such analysis must include external and internal factors: foreign influences from outside, and class struggle from within ("We conceive the relationship between external and internal forces as forming a complex whole whose structural links are not based on mere external forms of exploitation and coercion, but are rooted in coincidences of interests between local dominant classes and international ones, and, on the other side, are challenged by local dominated groups and classes." p. xvi)
  6. Dependency can take different forms.
  7. Capitalist development in Latin America has produced inequality, as "wages of technicians, managers, and specialized workers... are incomparably higher than those earned by peasants" (p. xxii).

The preface begins with the authors' intentions for their book, written a decade before, to "show specifically how social, political, and economic development are related in Latin America" (p. vii). The introduction consists of a review of several Latin American nations (Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico) that seemed poised to achieve development after World War II but did not quite achieve it. Following several pages of analysis, Cardoso and Faletto conclude:
"It is not enough to replace the "economic interpretation of development with "sociological" analysis. What is needed is an analysis that makes possible a broader and more sophisticated answer to the general question of how development is possible in the Latin American Countries" (p. 7).
In other words, they find it necessary to do exactly what they set out to do, as stated in the preface.

In the next chapter, Cardoso and Faletto begin by critiquing the notion that the social structure of societies transitions from "traditional" to "modern" as the nation develops, as these two terms are useless to gain any real understanding of what is happening socially during development. Social change during development "involves a series of relations among social groups, forces, and classes through which some of them try to impose their domination over society" (p. 10).

They then reference modernization theory and note that it assumes all nations will follow the same path of development, and therefore differences in the histories of situations of underdeveloped nations are seen as irrelevant. Furthermore, changes in their economies and societies are analyzed based on the development path taken by European nations and the U.S.

Cardoso and Faletto introduce a term, demonstration effect, defining it as "the modernization of consumption patterns [in developing countries], implying some degree of income improvement for urban population" (p. 12). Modernization theory assumed the demonstration effect would "modernize" economies through consumption. Cardoso and Faletto don't necessarily agree. It could instead result in the importation of consumer goods, draining the nation of its domestic savings, which are needed for the nation's development. They add another assumption, that the demonstration effect would then change human behavior in the political and social arenas.

But Cardoso and Faletto do not accept the "demonstration effect" as a simple, causal explanation for how a society modernizes. They instead say one should "study the historical-structural contexts in which such a process is generated" (p. 13). It sounds to me like the idea of the "demonstration effect" is something like: "People buy TVs and cars and breakfast cereal ---> MAGIC ----> Development" and Cardoso and Faletto are (correctly) rejecting that as ridiculous and suggesting to instead study what is actually going on in a nation in all of its complexity if you want to understand it. In line with their earlier critique of modernization theory for ignoring the historical specificity of each nation, they are calling for scholars to go back and examine that to understand their path to development. They are also looping in not just what is going in a country itself but internationally, and within the country, they believe its necessary to understand social classes and social movements.

On pp 13-14 they present a clear case for why the social, economic, and political must be analyzed together. They propose to study "the economic factors conditioning the world market; the structure of the national production system and the kind of linkage it has developed with the external market; the historical-structural shape of such societies, with their ways of assigning and maintaining power; and above all, the political-social movements and processes that exert pressure toward change, and their respective orientations and objectives" (pp. 15-16). They add "Development always alters the social system of domination as it changes the organization of production and consumption" (p. 16).

In the next section, they define three different sets of opposing terms: developed vs. underdeveloped, center vs. periphery; and autonomous vs. dependent.
  • A society without development: those that have no "market relations with the industrialized countries" (pp. 16-17).
  • Underdeveloped: "refers to the degree of diversification of the production system without emphasizing the patterns of control of decisions on production and consumption, whether internal (socialism, capitalism, etc) or external (colonialism, periphery of the world market, etc)" (p. 18). They later define "national underdevelopment" as "a situation of objective economic subordination to outside nations and enterprises and, at the same time, of partial political attempts to cop with "national interests" through the state and social movements that try to preserve political autonomy" (p. 21).
  • Center vs. periphery: "[stresses] the functions that underdeveloped economies perform in the world market, but [overlooks] the socio-political factors involved in the situation of dependence" (p. 18).
  • Autonomous vs. Dependent: Dependence occurs when "the accumulation and expansion of capital cannot find its essential dynamic component inside the system" (p. xx). A dependent nation trying to industrialize is "in a position similar to the client who approaches a banker" (p. xxii). In an extreme case of dependence (such as in a colony) "decisions affecting the production or consumption of a given economy are taken in terms of the growth and interests of the developed economies" (p. 18).

They stress that these various concepts should not be confused with one another, and also that a previous definition of underdevelopment ("a type of economic system with a predominant primary sector, a high concentration of income, little diversification in the production system, and above all, an external market far outweighing the internal") is not sufficient (p. 17). Furthermore, it is not enough to just study what an undeveloped economy is like now, but how it got there, considering both external (how it was linked historically to the world market) and internal ("how internal social groups defined the outward-directed relations implicit in underdevelopment") processes (p. 17).

They outline the Latin American position as one of countries that began as colonies. Their political situation changes to one of autonomy following independence, but "economic links with external markets still impose limits to decisions and actions even after independence" (p. 21).
"The contradiction between the attempt to cope with the market situation in a politically autonomous way and the de facto situation of dependency characterizes what is the specific ambiguity of nations where political sovereignty is expressed by the new state and where economic subordination is reinforced by the international division of labor and by the economic control exerted by former or new imperialist centers" (p. 21).

To Cardoso and Faletto, this predicament proves that class relations in dependent nations cannot be like those of central countries during their early development. Those countries underwent development at the same time the "world market expanded, so that [they] came to occupy the leading positions in the system of international domination" (p. 23). Given this - which is a rejection of modernization theory - they content that scholars should study not how developing nations can copy the path to development of Europe and the U.S., but learn "how the relation between peripheral and central was produced" (p. 23).

They add a further rejection of modernization theory, essentially saying that the world has one economy that all nations participate in, so when the central economies went through phases such as mercantilism and industrialism, peripheral countries experienced those phases too from their place in the world market. It meant something different from then than it did for central countries. Therefore, it would be wrong to treat each nation as independent and expect each developing nation to go through its own phase of "mercantilism," etc. (p. 23)

Cardoso and Faletto also differentiate between colonies. Colonies of "settlement" (those settled by Europeans) "largely self-sufficient and using abundant labor" are different from "an exploitation colony that was more strictly exploited from the outside" (p. 25). Also, raw materials producers experiences differ if the market was competitive vs. monopolistic. Another difference is "the physical foundation of a country's economy" - i.e. land, minerals, etc. (p. 25). These differences all determine how the nation connects to the world market after it becomes independent.

They trace the history of Latin America as passing from the colonial era to a time of British dominance, and then to a time of U.S. dominance (p. 25-26). They do not blame dependency entirely on external factors - they say "internal class relations made it possible and gave it shape" (p. 26). In dependent, developing nations, internal groups who benefit from foreign influence represent foreign interests. Chapter 2 concludes with a call for studying dependent developing nations - something that apparently had not been done by those who subscribed to modernization theory, since they assumed dependent developing nations would develop along the same path as the U.S. and Europe.

Chapter 6 details the developmental paths of several Latin American countries, concluding that "attempts to maintain the rate of industrialization cannot succeed without profound political-structural changes" (p. 157). They detail a number of options for how a nation might try to industrialize while maintaining political stability. One problem is the lack of control over prices of exports, complicating efforts to use exports as a source of revenue for industrializing. Some potential routes to industrialization would profit some parts of the population and not others - obviously not a situation the poor masses would accept as an elite segment of their compatriots got rich. This would be politically unstable. But efforts to share the wealth across a broader share of the population (for example, via higher wages) would reduce the amount of money available (and needed) for industrialization, thus slowing down development.

They write: "The early phase of substitutive industrialization and consolidation of the domestic market had been one of public and private internal accumulation, which was encouraged by protectionist policies" (p. 157). Foreign capital was eager to get into these countries, and this was initially not seen as a problem. They did so by investing in the developing nations to get around the tariffs. This was not a problem to these nations until "easy import substitution ceased" (p. 159). They explain:
"In terms of diversification of production, levels of development may seem very high. But both capital flow and economic decisions are controlled from abroad. Even when production and marketing are carried out within the dependent economy, earnings go to swell capital funds available to the central economies. Investment decisions also depend in part on external considerations and pressures. Decisions taken by the parent companies, which only partly reflect the domestic market situation, significantly influence the reinvestment of profits generated in the national system." (p. 160-161)

In this phase, "local industries become dependent on foreign technology and require a continuous expansion," making it hard for the government to support older industries of the ISI period (p. 164). This adds to conflict as not only the masses are socially excluded but so are "the social strata that were economically important" in the ISI era.

It should be noted that Cardoso and Faletto are making generalizations about what occurs under the conditions above, but in the cases they are referring to, industrialization started during the Great Depression and continued during World War II, time periods when the U.S. and Europe were rather busy with their own problems and experiencing an economic situation that was drastically different from what occurred in the latter half of the 20th century. Therefore, perhaps these generalizations are accurate about any economy going through the stages described above, but perhaps the differences between the earlier ISI period and the later period where trouble arose are linked to what was occurring in Europe and the U.S. during those time periods.

(I am no great economist or historian so I cannot be more specific, but recall that the U.S. and Europe rationed during World War II and they struggled to produce enough to support the war effort. That is different from later, when their production capacity that had expanded during the war remained enlarged but no longer had a war to support. Soldiers came home to take on civilian jobs, war chemicals became agricultural pesticides, and so on. Therefore it seems like these phases of development in Latin America seem less generalizable to any era and more specific to what occurs when economic situation of the central economies unfolds as it did.)

Development and the World Economy by Evans and Stephens (1988)

Modernization Theory
In the 1950s and early 1960s, "the first substantial set of writings by mainstream sociologists and political scientists that focused on what was happening in the Third World. Interest in modernization clearly stemmed in part from America's new position of international hegemony, but it also grew out of a rediscovery of the central themes of classical nineteenth-century sociology." (p. 739) Evans and Stephens note that a difference between the study of industrialization by the 19th century founders of sociology and the development discourse in the mid-20th century is "This time it was not the origins or consequences of "our" industrialization that was considered problematic, it was "their" industrialization, the progress or lack of progress of the people of the Third World" (p. 741). In this latter case, "our" industrialization was taken as a normative and theoretical model, and sociologists sought to understand how it could be extended to the Global South.

Parsonian structural-functionalism was an influence of Modernization Theory. Specifically, it drew on Weber's notion of rationalization ("Increased "rationality" is the definition of the movement toward modernity, or more crudely put, of progress" - p. 741) and "Durkheim's vision of increasing functional differentiation as the master process in the development of industrial society" (p. 741). It neglected Weber's "preoccupation" with classes, the state, and "the historical evolution of the institutions of capitalism" (p. 741). Evans and Stephens elaborate on Weber and Durkheim's influences on modernization theory on p. 742.

Modernization theory predicted tension or conflict if different sectors of society modernized at different rates, or if "one modernization process proceeded more rapidly than others" (p. 742). It also predicted privileged traditional elites would resist new values but did not devote much analysis to "conflicting interests among different groups and classes" (p. 742). Since they assumed that modernization was ultimately good (and necessary) for all, they saw conflicts as "questions of adjustment" and not "long-term gains and losses" (p. 742).

The theory assumed all nations would follow the same trajectory that advanced capitalist nations had done, and any nation doing otherwise was an aberration "to be corrected" (p. 742). Ethnocentrism was an issue as "the distinctive cultures of Third World countries seemed only obstacles to be overcome and replaced by the value patterns of the industrial West" (p. 742).

The theory ignores that "there might be real conflicts of interest between developing and developed countries" and "the idea that the problems and possibilities of development are contingent on a country's position in a larger system of interrelations among nations" (p. 743). Evans and Stephens emphasize this latter point heavily, stating that "For small countries with recent colonial pasts, it was hard to accept this neglect as a convenient abstraction. It amounted to denial of the most salient features of their history and current problems." (p. 743)

Mid 1960s: Comparative Historical Approaches
"While the modernization approach dominated work on Third World countries," study of development of advanced industrial countries instead used a comparative historical approach (p. 743). In these studies, authors did not create a common theoretical paradigm (like modernization theory). In 1962, Gerschenkron argued that within Europe, "economic development took quite different paths depending on the timing of industrialization" (p. 743). In other words, "economic relations between countries" is an important factor in a single country's economic development, particularly for late developers (p. 744).

Next, they cite Polanyi (1944), who "convincingly drives home the point that the development and eventual total dominance of market exchange in economic relationships on a world scale was the creation of individuals and groups, primarily but not entirely the bourgeoisie, pursuing their interest politically" (p. 744). Evans and Stephens find this important because it "was perhaps the earliest attempt to integrate the interplay of classes within society and the interplay of states both in the world economy and in the world system of states in a single analysis. Moreover, Polanyi recognizes that the victims of the rise of market society, workers and peasants, were not simply on the receiving end of history. On the contrary, they sought, sometimes with success, to protect themselves from the market through struggles to alter the rules of the game" (p. 744).

Reinhard Bendix was a theorist within this tradition. He "attacked modernization theory for its ahistorical approach, its organic view of society and neglect of conflict, and its assumption of a single path of societal evolution" (p. 744). Evans and Stephens write: "In his view, society was a product of historical group conflicts, which endure to shape present-day social structure and culture. In contrast, however, to purely materialist analyses, he contends that cultural ideas do have very important effects on societal development that can- not be reduced to material interest" (p. 744). Thus, modernization theorists and comparative historical theorists were not simply writing about different regions of the world with different approaches and ignoring one another's work. Bendix was critical of the modernization approach.

Evans and Stephens rate Barrington Moore's The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy as the most important work in the comparative historical tradition. Furthermore, it spanned both the First and Third worlds. This is one more step in breaking down the wall between studying "us" using comparative historical methods and studying "them" with modernization theory.

Last, they cite Otto Hintze as important, noting that he "began with the assumption that the interplay of states in the European state system had a central influence on the internal development of individual states." (p. 744).

Dependency and World Systems Theories
Unlike modernization theory, dependency theory posits that the "core" nations harm - not help - the countries of the periphery. Evans and Stephens say the strongest statement of this comes from Andre Gunder Frank in 1967. Frank and Paul Baran (1957) together "reintroduced Marxist themes into the debate on development while at the same time focusing on the dynamics of change in the periphery." Together, they offered a clear alternative to modernization theory.

Evans and Stephens outline it clearly as follows: "Ties with developed countries were the problem, not the solution. For precisely that reason, among others, the path followed by the developed countries could not be followed by currently developing countries. Having climbed the ladder of industrial development and built strong state apparatuses, the developed countries were now in a position to exploit other regions and prevent the ascension along a similar road of the developing countries. The principal obstacle to change at the local level was not irrational attachments to traditional values, it was the very rational attempts of local elites and their foreign allies to defend their own power and privilege." (p. 745)

Additionally, both Baran and Frank used historical case studies that integrated examining both local and international actors to construct their arguments. They focused on interests instead of norms and values, and economic and political structures instead of cultural patterns (p. 745).

Dependency theory came even more from scholars in the South themselves, particularly Latin Americans. Cardoso and Faletto (1979) wrote the "founding statement of the dependency approach," Dependence and Development in Latin America.

Evans and Stephens describe world systems theory, saying Immanuel Wallerstein (1974, 1979) "provides a vision in which the logic of capital accumulation dictates not just relations among classes but also those among states and geographically defined zones of production. The position of individual states and societies within the world system may shift, but the structure of the system as a whole defines the pattern of development both globally and within individual societies" (p. 745).

"The New Comparative Political Economy"
Evans and Stephens regard the above approaches as precursors to what they wish to focus on, which are a number of approaches that share the following hypotheses:
  1. "Economic and political development cannot fruitfully be examined in isolation from each other" (p. 740).
  2. While sensitive to international factors, they reject "the idea that external factors determine the dynamics of domestic development" (p. 740)
  3. Rejection of "models that posit "necessary" outcomes, assuming instead that developmental paths are historically contingent. (p. 740)
  4. Relies heavily on comparative historical analysis.
  5. As it "combines the classic concerns of nineteenth-century political economy with a comparative historical perspective that emphasizes the international context of national developmental trajectories," (p. 740).

Evans and Stephens call it "the new comparative historical political economy, or "new work in comparative political economy" for short. They see it as a blending of European comparative historical analysis and analysis of dependency in the Third World. Researchers "blended perspectives" to form one body of literature on both the Global North and South during the 1970s and 1980s. Methodologically, it analyzed comparative history, with nations as cases.

Instead of "charting progress along a presumed unilinear path of societal development," scholars work at "uncovering, interpreting, and trying to explain distinctive patterns of development" (p. 746). The literature incorporates the roles of different classes within countries. They consider both the roles of the state and the masses. They attempt to explain "variability and distinctive patterns of development" (p. 747). Evans and Stephens elaborate in their description of this literature through pp. 746-748.

They then turn to four current issues to describe in further detail: the role of the state in relation to the development of markets, the relation between economic development and democratization, the relation between the accumulation of capital and pursuit of a more egalitarian distribution of income and, finally, the consequences of insertion in the world political economy for national trajectories of development.

States and Markets
According to Evans and Stephens, both traditional neoclassical economic theory and modernization theory "suggested that the state's developmental role was best limited to ensuring property rights and eliminating obstacles to the emergence of efficient markets" (p. 749). Development was to come from the market. But Paul Baran, who Evan and Stephens categorize as a "pessimistic version of Marxist analysis," as well as dependency theorists argue that markets alone would never bring development to the Global South (p. 749). Both saw stronger states as central to the solution. Evans and Stephens are not convinced of such a dichotomy between market and state: "Assuming the simultaneous, and occasionally mutually reinforcing, importance of both states and markets is a more fruitful starting point and one that is increasingly common in new work on comparative political economy" (p. 749). They detail several examples of states taking a heavy hand in economic intervention in a way that fostered strong private corporations later on and others of state-owned industries.

Evans and Stephens write, "Economic rationality cannot be separated from political rationality in these economies. The prediction of future state policies is as important as predicting market reactions" (p. 750). However, they add that "states that lack autonomy from private elites and bureaucratic capacity are likely to subvert the market in developmentally detrimental ways" (p. 750). They illustrate this with an example of a state agricultural policy aimed at generating political support for a politician from a rural base. Evans and Stephens cite the problem as the politicians needing to "purchase" support from a base and lacking a bureaucratic structure that can keep state officials from benefiting themselves instead of their nation. In short, "The consequences of state intervention depend on the political character of the intervening state" (p. 751). They add that the impact is not a one-way street. Sometimes economic policies have political consequences (e.g. economic policies produce a strong metalworkers union that becomes a powerful political actor). Also, sometimes state intervention in the economy is not for economic objectives but for security ones (e.g. developing a domestic energy supply available because you're currently getting your oil from a hostile neighbor who might cut you off).

Evans and Stephens sum up that it is now assumed that development will result from both state direction and market orientation, and "the question then becomes how do political forces shape the policies that emerge from this combination and how are they in turn shaped by it" (p. 751).

Development and Democracy
In the seventies, scholars were split between whether they thought economic development went hand in hand with democratization or not. Lipset, for example, argued that development brought industrialization and urbanization, and they were in turn associated with increased wealth, education, literacy, mass communication, income equality, and the size of the middle class, all of which in turn facilitate democratization (p. 752). Others disagreed. Rueschemeyer (1980) suggested a synthesis of the views, believing that industrial capitalism makes it more difficult for elites to politically exclude the working and middle classes.

Continental Europe shifted toward democracy during the same decades it shifted from an agrarian to an industrial economy. In almost all of the European countries that went democratic, the organized working class played a role. However, an organized working class alone does not lead to a democracy - they must find allies to achieve it, and the "key to the puzzle" was agrarian class relations (p. 752). When there are enough large landholders, they can stop a movement toward democracy.

On p. 753, Evans and Stephens analyze whether this theory holds true outside Europe. They determine it does in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Latin America, with some caveats. Generally, a stronger state is more likely to trend authoritarian, whereas a weaker one with less coercive power is not. In summary, they declare their hypothesis true, with caveats about the relative power of the state included.

Accumulation and Distribution
Modernization theorists generally assumed that "development would naturally produce greater equality" (p. 754). However, economic growth models show a trade-off between growth and distribution, implying that inequality is necessary for growth. Evans and Stephens focus on research on the "origins and consequences of redistributive efforts associated with the welfare state" (p. 754). They link the power of the working class (and thus unions) to leftist governments with policies that redistribute wealth. They compare this to the findings about democracy, since class composition is so important, and add that like they found with democracy, analysis of state structures is needed too.

However, studies of the Global South focus on inequality rather than redistribution. Noting high levels of inequality in middle-level developing nations (especially Latin America) they posit that dependent development is associated with high levels of inequality. In Latin America, they find that labor has two choices for employment, neither of which can support them well: a "marginal existence in the rural areas or marginal jobs in the urban service sector" (p. 755). Neither offers the ability to organize politically.

Evans and Stephens support this conclusion, noting "Penetration by multinational corporations, which is likely to bring with it a pattern of industrialization that is more capital intensive and more dependent on foreign technology, has been consistently found to be associated with higher levels of inequality" (p. 755).

However, East Asian nations, particularly Taiwan, industrialized rapidly while decreasing inequality, which seemed to disprove the hypothesis that countries had to trade off between growth and equality and generally every other theory outlined above. "These cases suggested that something beyond engagement with the international economy and reliance on foreign capital must be responsible for the extreme levels of inequality found in Latin American cases" (p. 756). Scholars believe that the land reform and construction of "a viable small-holder agriculture" seemed "critical" in the East Asian cases (p. 756). In general, the end result at the time of Evans and Stephens writing, this area was all a big question mark.

The World Political Economy and National Development
Evans and Stephens start by noting that "Development has never taken place in isolated compartments defined by national borders" (p. 756). Therefore, international influences are important to consider when examining any one nation. As an example, they cite the impact of international migration on labor markets, saying it does more than add new workers, it "changes the way in which the labor process itself is organized" (p. 756). Immigrant labor often cannot take advantage of labor protections, and "the modernization of productive capacity has not been accompanied by commensurate advances in local labor organization" (p. 757). There are two overall results. First "Third World workers have not benefited to the degree that the modernization approach might have predicted" (p. 757) and second, First World workers "must compete with Third World workers while undercutting" their own labor protections.

Evans and Stephens support a "synthesis" of the positions of modernization and dependency theories about whether developing nations will benefit from interaction with developed nations. They say this synthesis "views positive effects of international ties as possible but contingent on the ability of Third World states to renegotiate the nature of their links to the industrial north" (p. 757). Furthermore, nations cannot escape international influence (via markets, for example) even if they want to.

Rather than seeing international engagement as good or bad, current scholars seek to understand factors that allow countries to benefit or limit them from doing so. Evans and Stephens make a case for going even further, backing the view of Gourevitch (1978) that "the interaction of the world political economy and domestic development must be seen as recursive" (p. 757). Evans and Stephens write:

"Third World countries attempt to construct more interventive state apparatuses in part precisely because of the dependent position in which they find themselves vis-a-vis the international economy. If they are able to develop such capacity, they are then better able to restructure their domestic economies and create new bases of comparative advantage in international trade." (p. 757)

They go on to say:

"Changes in domestic policies and capacities do not just influence the links between individual countries and the international system. When changes in several countries are mutually reinforcing or when the weight of a single national actor in the system is large, they may have the effect of restructuring the international system as a whole." (p. 758)

They add a critique of dependency theory, that it neglects "geopolitical concerns as independent factors in determining the character of ties between north and south" (p. 758).

Evans and Stephens sum up this section saying "recent work on the interaction of national development and the world political economy has four salient characteristics" (p. 758).
  1. "It has attempted to examine the consequences of international flows for domestic institutions and how these are different in different regions of the world system" (p. 758)
  2. "It has moved toward a synthesis of the modernization and dependency positions on the consequences of international ties for developing countries, emphasizing the contingent character of these consequences" (pp. 758-759).
  3. "It has moved toward a more recursive view in which the world political economy both shapes and is shaped by the historical trajectories of development within individual nation-states" (p. 759).
  4. It has brought geopolitics back into the traditionally economistic analysis of core-periphery relations" (p. 759).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Invention of Development by Rist (2002)

In "The Invention of Development," Gilbert Rist (2002) traces the beginning of the modern idea of development to Truman's Point Four in January 1949. Prior to that, the world had been divided into colonies and colonizers. World War II and the Nazis made racism less accepted among whites, and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared all people equal. At this time, the U.S. was already giving technical assistance to Latin American nations, and the Green Revolution was underway in Mexico - still a project of the Rockefeller Foundation and not yet the U.S. government. It was during the Cold War.

Nick Cullather in The Hungry World points out that two events in 1949, neither of which had occurred yet at the time of Truman's speech, scared America into spending more on development: the Soviet Union getting the bomb and China falling to the Communists. Thus, in the years after Truman's Four Points speech, Cullather makes the case that the U.S. spent so much on development aid in an effort to prevent other nations from going Communist. But Rist focuses on the stroke of rhetorical genius of the speech itself, before anything else happened.

Rist makes the following points:
  1. The Four Points speech was the first time "development" was used as a verb in a transitive sense, i.e. one agent can develop another. Whereas in the past development was portrayed as a naturally occurring trajectory, Truman represents underdevelopment as naturally occurring, but development was something that could be achieved with human effort, not just by waiting for things to naturally unfold.
  2. Second, under the old colonizer/colonized paradigm, the two categories "had belonged to two different opposed universes" (p. 73). But in the new developed/underdeveloped paradigm, "'underdeveloped' and 'developed' were members of a single family: the one might be lagging a little behind the other, but they could always hope to catch up" (p. 74). Underdeveloped and developed are not opposites - they fall along the same continuum. Underdeveloped is an embryonic or incomplete form of developed.
  3. Development could be measured by a standard that the U.S. stood at the top of: GDP. This "claimed to be beyond the ideological divide between capitalism and communism. The key to prosperity and happiness was increased production" (p. 76).
  4. This creates a moral imperative for U.S. intervention around the world, not to stand idly by as people suffered when it had the capability to help. The U.S. was presumably doing this for the good of other nations. "Now, to intervene is to 'make resources available', 'to help others help themselves'...' to encourage everyone to produce more.' Furthermore, this was to be an international, collective effort. Whereas intervening as a colonizer in a colony was no longer politically acceptable and was seen as a self-serving act, this was seen as good - even morally necessary. "The proposed solution was genuinely hegemonic because it appeared to be not only the best but the only possible one" (p. 76).
  5. The development paradigm treats each nation as independent, ignoring the impact that nations have on one another. Development was "an internal, self-generated, self-dynamizing phenomenon, even if it could be 'assisted' from outside" (p. 74). The "'laws of development' are supposedly the same for all" (p. 74), so that slavery, colonization, and other forms of exploitation are deemed irrelevant in the condition of "underdeveloped" nations. It also does not consider the different predicament the first nations to industrialize were in compared to those who industrialize in a world where other industrialized nations already exist.
  6. The structure of Point Four also read very similar to a Christian evangelist's argument for why a sinner going to Hell needs Jesus to be saved. Therefore, the phrasing of Point Four tapped into a metaphor already in the consciousness of Westerners.
  7. Given the above, it was impossible to question the idea of development - "the most you can do is try to improve it" (p. 77). By not examining the reason why poor nations were poor, "'development policy' made growth and aid (conceived in technocratic quantitative terms) the only possible answer" (p. 79).
  8. "In just a few paragraphs, Point Four managed to chart a global strategy. Although it primarily served the interests of the world's most powerful nation, it made out that it had only the common good at heart, and presented 'development' as a set of technical measures outside the realm of political debate (utilization of scientific knowledge, growth of productivity, expansion of international trade)" (p. 78).
  9. While this was self-serving for the U.S. and other nations in the Global North, independent nations in the Global South accepted it in order to access development aid, and colonized nations saw it "as a way of affirming the legal equality that was refused them... In gaining political independence, they forfeited their identity and their economic autonomy, and were now forced to travel the 'development path' mapped out for them by others" (p. 79).

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Ecology of PCT Section A

My pet peeve is when PCT hikers refer to the first 700 miles of the trail as "desert." Some of it is desert, but some of it isn't. Within Section A, from the border to Warner Springs, most of the trail is not actually desert. This site provides an explanation of the many different plant communities within California. Some non-desert ones that you encounter in Section A are: Chaparral, Oak Woodland, Riparian, Mixed Evergreen Forest, and Coastal Sage Scrub. A desert plant community you may encounter is creosote bush scrub.

Coastal Sage Scrub
I have a hard time distinguishing between coastal sage scrub and chaparral, but as you start the trail, you are certainly in one of the two most of the time until you nearly reach the top of Mt. Laguna. The way I've been told to tell the difference is that chaparral is woodier and harder to walk through off-trail. Some call it "elfin forest" because, to a tiny elf, it would look like an enormous forest.

Common plants in Coastal Sage Scrub are: "California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) Buckwheat (Eriogonum spp., notably E. fasciculatum), California Lilac (Ceanothus spp.), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), Monkey flowers (Diplacus spp., the drought tolerant types), Sage (Salvia spp.), Gooseberry and Currant (Ribes spp.), Coyote Brush (Baccharis sp.)."

You certainly see these plants as you go along your first section of trail. In the early spring, the ceanothus, also known as California Lilac, is blooming everywhere. Trees are absolutely covered in white to lavender to dark blue-purple flowers. They are very hard to photograph (trust me, I've tried for years) because they are so tiny and they flutter in the wind non-stop.

Buckwheat is hard to tell apart from another plant, chamise, unless the two are blooming, but buckwheat has umbels of tiny white flowers that turn rust-colored as they dry. Even after the flowers are gone, you can see umbrella shaped umbels sticking out from the plant. Chamise also has white flowers, but they are not in umbels at all. I've seen both on the trail. The first mile or two of the PCT is covered in chamise, which should be in full bloom in May. Red and orange monkeyflowers are also common, and you''ll also see (and smell) plenty of white sage and California sagebrush.

DSC_4487.jpg
Buckwheat flowers with tarantula hawk wasp on it on Mt. Laguna, ~ mi 48

Chamise
Chamise in bloom, on the trail in the first mile

Monkeyflowers
Monkeyflower at mile 3

Chaparral
As noted before, Chaparral is sometimes called "elfin forest." It's similar to sage scrub but it would be harder to hike cross country through it because it's woodier.

"The aspect of a hillside can make a great difference in the makeup of the chaparral. North facing slopes are a lot moister and can support Toyon (Heterromoles arbutifolia), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), Scrub oak (Quercus spp.), Pitcher sage (Lepechinia spp.), Climbing Penstemon (Kekiella cordifolia, K. antirrhinoides), and Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum). The dry arid south facing slope is dominated by Chamise (Adenostoma spp.), Black sage (Salvia melifera), Yucca (Yucca spp.), Woolly blue curls (Trichostema lanatum) and Bush poppy, (Dendromecon rigida)."

Of these, I saw a lot of chamise, manzanita, scrub oak, poison oak, yucca, and woolly blue curls in the early part of the trail. The poison oak was mostly limited to wetter areas like creeks. You can tell the manzanitas by their gorgeous red bark. Woolly blue curls are one of my favorite flowers of all. I saw quite a few in the first mile of the trail.

Woolly Blue Curls
Woolly blue curls, in the first mile of the trail

PCT
A manzanita at mile 2

Chamise
More chamise, mile 3

Poison Oak
Poison oak at mile 1. Keep an eye out for more of it at the creek at mile 4.4.

There are a few other plants I saw quite a bit in the first few miles. They include:

Basket Bush
Basket Bush, Rhus trilobata, which some confuse with Poison Oak

Ribbonwood
Ribbonwood, also known as Red Shank, in the first mile or two of the trail

Sugar Bush
Sugar Bush, Rhus ovata, at mile 2. This shows the fruit and leaves in May.

Sugarbush
Sugar Bush flower buds in March at mile 1

This year, you'll get to see an interesting phenomenon as you hike toward Lake Morena. When you pass the several miles that burned in the Campo fire last year, you will see a lot of "crown sprouters." The crown is the part of the plant where the roots meet the top portion of the plant. A lot of chaparral plants are adapted to burn above ground in a fire, but stay alive below ground. After the fire, they re-sprout from the crown. In March I saw several miles of nearly entirely bare ground with dead shrubs poking up all over. At the base of each, the plant was resprouting. At that time, the only other plants growing tended to be wild cucumber vines (with nothing to climb on since everything had burned) and California peonies.

Wild Cucumber
Wild cucumber fruit starting to grow with its flower still intact. Note: These are NOT EDIBLE fruits

Wild Cucumber
Wild cucumber flower

California Peony
California peony

Sagebrush, Oaks, Buckwheat, Elder, and Golden Yarrow
Sagebrush, Coast Live Oaks, Buckwheat, Elder, and Golden Yarrow around mile 21

Riparian
As you hike your first miles of PCT, you also pass Riparian plant communities along streams. One example of this is right as you go under the 8 freeway, just north of Boulder Oaks. Riparian plant communities are always along streams, although sometimes the water dries up in SoCal during part of the year.

You commonly see three kinds of trees here: Cottonwoods, Sycamores, and Willows. You may also see blackberries, wild grapes, yerba mansa, California wild roses, poison oak, Douglas mugwort, cattails, and Juncus.

Blackberry
Blackberry near the footbridge just north of the 94, ~ mile 2

California Wild Rose
California Wild Rose, mile 24

Oak Woodland
Despite the description of Oak Woodland as containing both Coast Live Oaks and Engelmann Oaks, you'll see mostly Coast Live Oaks at the lower elevation. I saw a great example of oak woodland at Lake Morena, complete with acorn woodpeckers all over the place living on the acorns. Fred Canyon at mile 32 looked like another good example.

Coast Live Oak
Coast Live Oak leaves at mile 2

Oak Tree
Coast Live Oak at Boulder Oaks, mile 26

I thought I might have found one Engelmann Oak around mile 22. They are not very common trees. In general, most of the time you see a tree (not a shrub) and you aren't near water, it's probably a coast live oak.

Right now, our oaks are in trouble from a bug called the Gold Spotted Oak Borer. It is invasive, probably from Arizona, and scientists believe it came to California in firewood. That is why they encourage you to "buy it where you burn it" when you buy firewood. Pests can be transported in the wood. The Gold Spotted Oak Borer lays its eggs in the bark of the trees and the larvae eat the inner bark of the trees, ultimately killing the trees. Then they boroe their way out to reproduce so the next generation can kill more trees. They only like older, larger trees, so it's the big, old trees that are in trouble.

Mixed Evergreen Forest
At last you reach Mixed Evergreen Forest on Mt. Laguna. I was surprised how far up the mountain I was before I truly reached it. I hiked to mile 36 in the dark and camped there, and then I woke up the next day and continued. I don't think it was until I was really around mile 40 or so that I felt like I had at long last reached the Jeffrey and Coulter Pines and the Black Oaks (Quercus kelloggii) I associate with Mt. Laguna. Coulter Pines have pine cones the size of pineapples so they are easy to spot. Black Oaks are deciduous so they drop their leaves in the winter. Their leaves look much different from Coast Live Oak leaves. Their acorns are different too. Coast Live Oak acorns are long, skinny, and pointy, whereas Black Oak acorns are more rounded and fatter.

Black Oak at Sunset
Black Oak leaves, mile 47

Coulter Pine
Coulter Pine on Mt. Laguna

Coulter Pine Cone
Coulter Pine with my hiking boot in the shot to show scale

Desert
It's not until you leave Mt. Laguna that other ecosystems transition into true desert. The miles before and after Scissors Crossing (mile 77-78) are truly desert. There you will see lots of different kinds of cacti, creosote bush, cat claw acacia, honey mesquite, and other desert plants.

Cacti
Desert

As you climb out of the desert in the San Felipe hills, at a certain point the landscape changes and it's not truly desert anymore. I don't know at what point that is. You go up, up, up until about mile 96, and then you start going down the other side. And THAT is where you truly see a change. It's especially remarkable from about Barrel Springs (mile 101) onward, into Warner Springs. You can see this photo below, from near mile 106, is clearly no longer desert.

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It's interesting that you are hiking between about 2000 and 6000 feet in elevation for all of Section A, and you are about 50 miles inland and going north the whole way through a cross-section of San Diego county. Why is it not all desert?

The answer lies in the mountains. Think about the miles you hike on Mt. Laguna from about 43 to 49. You are at about 5800 feet looking down over a vast, dry desert. Moisture comes in from the coast and it rises and cools. A lot of the rain falls on Mt. Cuyamaca, named from the Kumeyaay word for "rainy place." What's left falls on Mt. Laguna. Very little moisture remains after that, creating the desert. But without such tall mountains to cool the air and wring all of the moisture out of it, other areas of the county that are equally far inland are not equally dry.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

PCT Day 7 - Miles 105 to 109.5: Warner Springs

My last day on the trail was a short one. I had just 4.5 miles to go, and they were flat, easy miles at that.

I'd been naughty and camped near a creek the night before, and I resolved not to go to the bathroom the next day until I was well away from it so that I did not pollute the water. I packed up, ate a bar, and got going, eager for the moment when I was far enough from the creek that I could do my business.

The trail crosses the creek and then climbs above it, eventually entering a meadow. This part of the trail is beautiful. I could not get an adequate picture of it, but imagine mountains all around in the background and green, rolling meadows filled with wildflowers of all colors. There were fiddlenecks, baby blue eyes, daisies, lupines, ground pinks, red maids, cryptantha, California poppies, and a creamy white flower I did not recognize.

Fiddleneck
Fiddleneck

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California Poppy

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Baby Blue Eyes

Red Maid

Ground Pinks

Before long, the trail reaches Eagle Rock, which is what it sounds like... a rock that looks like an eagle. The meadow gives way to some chaparral, and then the trail reaches another meadow, one I'd camped in before. I was now firmly on familiar ground. From there, the trail enters oak woodland and goes along a creek. For much of the way, the creek is not easily accessible from the trail. But just before the trail reaches the highway, there are some good campsites near the creek, and then the creek crosses the trail and I had to step through the shallow water.

The road is Highway 79, and the trail reaches it next to a fire station. Instead of continuing on the trail, I crossed the road and went right, walking about a hundred yards to the Warner Springs Community Resource Center.

With such a short hike, my body felt fine, but my feet HURT. I thought about it and realized that my hiking boots were probably at the end of their lives.

Unfortunately, even at Highway 79, my stupid T-Mobile phone STILL had no reception. I borrowed a man's phone at the Warner Springs Community Resource Center (he had Verizon, which has service) and called my friend to come get me. Then I enjoyed all of the creature comforts they had to offer: a flush toilet, a chair, and the opportunity to take my hiking boots off and put my camp shoes on instead.

My brief little adventure on the PCT was over, although I still have 28 miles of Section A to hike (from mile 48.9 to mile 77) that I plan to do within the next year. It was so much fun, I think I'll hike Section B next!