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Unformatted text preview: bbing peoples of different cultures of the opportunity to define the forms of their social life. The vernacular sequence (development is possible after envelopment) was inverted with the transfer. Scientific laws took the place of God in the enveloping function, defining the programme. Marx rescued a feasible initiative, based on the knowledge of those laws. Truman took over this perception, but transferred the role of prime mover the primum movens condition from the communists and the proletariat to the experts and to capital (thus, ironically, following the precedents set by Lenin and Stalin). Cultural meanings are subjective. Western development crushes other cultures and imposes austerity upon them. Serge Latouche, Mouvement anti-utilitariste dans les sciences socials and university prof in Lille and Paris,The Development Dictionary, 1993, p.168-9 With all the well-intentioned efforts to measure the standard of living in the Third World and to push it to higher levels, a tragic farce has been staged. To bring about well-being has contributed increasingly to the very negation of being. The wealth of the `other' has not only been denigrated (even in the other's eye), but its very foundations have been torn apart. Wealth and poverty are clearly relative concepts. What they mean varies according to what a culture defines as its reference points and how it models reality. According to the ethno-geographer Joel Bonnemaison, one of the islands in the New Hebrides
named Tanna `is thus rich and poor at one and the same time, according to the interpretation which is adopted. Its people live in a certain abundance if seen in the context of their traditional milieu, but they look "proletarian" if seen from an imported socio-economic perspective. All the values which fail to pass through the filter of quantifiable utility, which are foreign to a `dollarized' life, are downgraded. Their practices, excluded from the definition of standard of living, tend as a result to disappear. This happens to the ideal of heroism which in warrior societies i...
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- Fall '13