- Jagadish Wagle
Development or Greed!
Development seems like a buzz word, which is a never-ending myth. There is no single and a unanimous definition and has a vague meaning from personal development to physical infrastructure. Indeed, the meaning of development may vary as per the needs and preferences of societies and individuals. Besides, the approach of development is an important path which is based on theory or practises to achieve the best possible objectives. However, the consequences depend on how available resources have been allocated. Let’s ask a question, is the programmes are fair inclusive enough or it has been designed following the ways like cheating, deceptive, selfishness or any kind of malpractice that is targeted for the benefit of self-interest groups such as political parties, which is not for the highest possible productivity of common interest. Man itself is a selfish animal who always seeks own (I and me) benefits.
As it is understood that, economics has put ‘economic man’ (generally 16-64 year age) at the centre of the human resource by ignoring the value achieved by the old in the past and will be achieved by the young in the future. To promote this idea as an approach, the deed of economics has been shaped in line with the ‘homo-economicus’ assumption by ignoring the homo-sapiens value. The Homo-economicus theory assumes human as an economic agent and acts rationally to get optimum profit and utility, however the same is assumed as an evolution of natural biological activities under Homo-sapien principle. According to Homo-sapien thinking, the need and actions of human have been determined by biology and after that culture, religion, language, level of understanding and so on. Hence, the evidences say that the laws of economics should be defined by the core biological human nature, but not as an economic agent for profit or materialism. This value undermines humanity and well being. In the excerpt, human activities should be able to protect humanism. No one is allowed to put future generation in a huge risk of sudden collapse by creating climate severity, inequality and conflict war. Whatever the problem we have been facing today is the outcome of future action done by men or state. So, this is a state-created problem. According to Adam Smith, father of economics, human resource is the wealth of nations. So, the human well being should be at the centre of development discourse rather than profit or material benefit or ill competition between the actors who are not physically, mentally and financially equal (poor and rich). The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be calculated in line with the wellbeing such as availability of education, health services, cultural freedom and happiness. Because of the GDP count so far, we earn so much profit by losing our basic environment such as water, oxygen and land; which has lead humanity under huge threat. That’s why a desperate need of the ‘new economy’ has been realised by the modern scientist.
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So, Let’s think about the current reality of development. The targets and objectives of development are determined by the level of understanding, vision and commitment of the policymakers and available resources. In this regard, it can also be understood that development is an agenda of the authority of the group to achieve their goal and secure power. So, an authority, institution or political group can lead the program and support it but others may oppose as the opposers see the different consequences of the same approach of the development program. According to David Brin, an astrophysicist, “Ever since civilization began, nearly all societies were dominated by centralized oligarchies, priesthoods or hierarchies who ruled on policy, resource-allocation and Truth for 4,000 years of general incompetence mixed with brutal oppression.” (source ). It is hard to find a space for the oppositions which has been circled by the political ideology, who may even deserve better solutions.
Hence development work so far is, indeed, accomplished to achieve unlimited human greed, an illusion, which has no end. People who have the unbalanced socio-economic condition are forced to compete in the same deceptive, manipulative and asymmetric platform of free-market and so as the countries do the same to grab the resources from other countries. of course, free-market is a beautiful principle but it has been discontented by the invisible hands and rent-seekers. How much wealth does a man/country need? There is no limitation neither are the evidence can tell any. So, frankly, development so far is a well-coordinated and fabricated approach to fulfil human greed whoever holds the power and resources.
For the same reason, the US and China are fighting each other to win their “trade war” let’s say a “greed of occupying the world” by increasing tariff on imports. There is very less chance to protect general people from inflation caused by the increasing tariff on imports. And, it is clear that they are controlling their own market in the name of the free-market (!?) and the global economy. While increasing tariff, the US farmers have mostly been affected negatively by the decision of the US government, meaning this approach is even not helpful for the American so as the global population. Experts have issued a warning of the potential risk of global economic recession due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China, which is bad for all.
Development should be inclusive for all, but it is exclusive. And Finally, Brin says “If there are still honest-smart men and women within those old and noble traditions, they should think carefully, observe and diagnose the illness. They should face the contradiction. Discuss the conflation.” (Source). Otherwise, we are rather heading in a wrong direction. Inequality, climate severity and humanitarian crisis (war and conflict) are the state created problems that pose a great threat of sudden collapse. As we may aware about monumental Mesoamerican Mayan civilisation which had been collapsed due to human activities. Let’s hope for the best of the new economy for all!