Development notes.docx - Development Underdevelopment Jan...

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Development & Underdevelopment Jan. 22, 2018 Underdevelopment: when used in Truman’s 4 points, is ahistorical, implies there is potential for dvlmpt in any country. Ignores why some countries are not developed, ignores power relations behind this. Foundational Theories 1. Adam Smith Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith: not just an economist. Economy influenced by sociology. Saw markets everywhere. Part of enlightenment. Pre-dates Marx, Weber, Darwin. Very foundational in their development. Against mercantile politics: saw regulation as detrimental to economic growth. Didn’t think government should be uninvolved entirely; just thought overinvolvement was harmful. Main economic ideas for development Paid attention to production rather than trade. Focus not on state but on production process. -Division of labor: more productivity, more economic growth. Breaking up productive process into smaller elements. -When tasks are divided, people become specialized in a single task. Over time, people become experts. Increases efficiency, dexterity, innovation in machinery. In this model, division of labor begins with self-interest. Bc of self-interest, they get into the market; trade doesn’t happen from benevolence. They can thus keep their dignity. Specialize, trade what you’re good at. Higher quality of goods. This would lead to “universal opulence” (essentially development). If everyone acts in their interest, economy will reach peak production, raise GDP. Advocated for high wages for laborers. Less productive if children raised in poverty. Moral reason: no society can flourish when the greater part of its members are poor. Recognized that repeating the same task becomes tedious; argued for luxury, theater, distractions to mediate this. 2. Karl Marx Historical Materialism 19 th century. At the time, two main schools of thought: materialism vs. Idealism. (see chart slides) -Materialism: ignores the role humans, individual actors, subjects play in history.
-Idealism: confines itself to thought, as if the world is formed by thoughts we impose on it. Marx’s version: historical materialism. Foundation of Marx’s theory. Humans’ ideas are not formed in abstract conditions; material circumstances influence what a person thinks. These ideas compel that person to change their circumstances. Some constraints, but within, we have agents. e.g. race, gender, material realities influence worldview. -Materialist conception of history Main premises of Marx’s theory of history: -Productive forces tend to develop, get stronger over time. -Economics determines ideas, politics, everything that comes after (superstructure); economics is the base, the mode of production, what comes after is superstructure. Primacy thesis: economics comes first to determine other aspects of identity (e.g. religion) For Marx, history progresses in stages. Change when social relations come into conflict with stages of production. Changes from feudal to capitalism: industrialization was no longer in line with existing

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