12 March 2010

Article: The Politics of Development

Brij Mohan, "The Politics of Development", Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, 25 (3), October 2009: pp. 255-67:


Abstract: "Global poverty and inequality, in the context of current capitalist crisis, will remain a daunting challenge in the twenty-first century. This reality will unleash an era of post-democracy bedeviled by multifaceted meltdowns in political, cultural and economic structures. The outcome will be a catastrophe that will be beyond any human intervention unless we think self-critically and fast. This article seeks to theorize the main processes that thwart the rational-humane logic of development in the 'post-American world'."

Some excerpts: "A hedonist culture wallowing in hubristic delusions is bound to crash. The contradictions of a society based on unprincipled consumption and consumerism is bad news for the future of humankind. [...] All political roles are implicated in a culture of deceptions and depredations until proven not guilty. Will there ever be an acceptable rationale and due compensation for the Iraq war that was launched by neo-cons based on lies? Can anyone on this planet rewind world history and undo India's partition that created a phony – now a failed – state named Pakistan, which has become the womb of world terrorism? [...] A cultural meltdown reflects on the nature of social contract that serves as the foundation of modern society. The rusted fabric of social institutions is in disarray. Social institutions are losing legitimacy and their leaders are guilty of bad faith. Banks cheat; schools do not teach; hospitals sometimes kill; prisons dehumanize; markets collapse; ideologies mislead; academe sucks; and faith corrupts. [...] It is cultural meltdowns of varied hues that destabilize systems of sustenance that render democracies vulnerable to the creatureliness of reptilian behaviors. From the Wall Street to Rwanda, the gluttony of greed and gloom has produced widespread dysfunctionality that thwarts all democratic institutions."

I venture the opinion that the acceptance of this incoherent little piece that reads as if it had been written on speed was greatly helped by the fact that the author is himself Editor-in-Chief of the journal it was published in.

Indian-born Brij Mohan is Professor of Social Work at Louisiana State University.

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