In Development we trust?

At long last we are realizing we have all this while been living in an interdependent world, and the need to live in a world without walls, which we have worked so hard to create. However, we are also faced with multiple closures of our physical and democratic spaces by ‘Corporate Globalism and Militarized States.’ This has brought into focus the intimate relation between force, violence, poverty, inequality and non-sustainability. Consequently, Political, Social and Economic Justice and Ecological Sustainability have become central rallying points to restore development of humankind.

Freire says, “Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them. Liberation is like a childbirth and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person, no longer oppressor or oppressed but a person in the process of achieving freedom. It is only the oppressed who by freeing themselves can free their oppressor.” To achieve lasting and real changes, we need to understand development as a more inclusive concept, which is viewed and approached from the perspective of peoples. 

Developmental notion of justice is about taking less and changing the lifestyle of those in power while empowering the poor and oppressed people. For genuine development, Schumacher commented, it is important to remove the illusion that ‘development and universal prosperity is the strongest foundation of peace.’ This is an erroneous perception propagated by the State and people in power. Through such propaganda they effectively and efficiently succeed in pacifying people with a false sense of hope, while maintaining and safeguarding their own interest.

Habitually the rich seem and ‘claim’ to have regularly been more ‘peaceful’ than the poor. But it is argued that the rich have never felt secure against the poor, and that their aggressiveness stems from this fear. It could seem that the rich treasure peace more, but only when they feel secure. The rich depends on making large demands on limited resources which inevitably puts them on an unavoidable collision – not primarily with the poor but with other rich. Therefore why do the rich go to war? The argument that the road to peace is to follow the road to riches only concludes that the road to riches is not peace but war. 

Maybe it’s time to channelize energy and resources in the search for our need in developing alternative sustainable systems based on relations of partnership and equality – before we ourselves are forced by time and human destruction to do so. No system is absolute and though our actions for an alternative may be small, the impact of our actions is far beyond us. The struggle for human security and human development will not end until there is a comprehensive move for demilitarization around the world, which includes transformation of all oppressive structures that perpetuates violence and domination.