Sunday, February 8, 2004
Importance of inputs from traditional cultures in development of rural areas
The most important factors for the current development were laid in the early nineteenth century. The "rejection of thinking" and "acting as a community" -- meant for the technology -- resulted in enormous increase in the industrial production because the division of work led to higher productivity and new professions. It appeared, on the face of it, as a way to increase the standard of living and quality of life. Best example that can be cited is Taylorism as introduced in Ford automobile factories and other production units in the early industrial age.
Analysis of the society by political and economic thinkers led to development theories, which could not foresee the effects of these policies as evidenced today. The cardinal error by these theorists was the euro-centristic model -- nobody took what was happening in other cultures into consideration.
In Smith's economic system, the free market functioned globally, as long as global meant regional and maximum on a national level. In Marx's political system the democracy functioned internationally, as long as the power base was centrally located. Similar concept is also found in ancient Greek city state models on a local basis. In all the cases, there appears to be consensus on one point that multiple behavioral models (Artenvielfalt) are not acceptable in these theories. But this is precisely the decisive error.
It is in this context that the present development situation can be analyzed. Today, the market factors are democratically functioning in society, which determines the general welfare of the people. Paradoxically, the market – in the traditional sense -- neither takes into consideration the environment nor the traditional cultures that are present in rural areas. Production of goods leads to a certain uniformity because of cost reduction methods. Every effort must be undertaken, so that the production does not fall short of targets under any circumstances. The multi-national concerns attempt by adding more products to their production programs to offer a variety of models: since all parties participating in the market work in similar way, but the demand in the market is relatively fixed and not able to be increased arbitrarily, it is clear where the wastage of resources is taking place.
The winner is the one, who has the largest potential of human resources as long as these can be controlled politically. The intentions and the wishes of so-called democratic countries are understandable, if they exert all possible pressure on others to accept their form of governance. If this effort does not succeed, their system – let us call it western system -- would collapse together with all parties involved in it.
There are incredible factors, which remain unconsidered by the members of the urban culture, they being the innovators and carriers of the enormous misunderstandings and the cardinal errors. These cultures have developed over a long period of time in inter-action with the climate and the environment. Each culture has its own set of rights and should be the subject of research to shed light on this enormous richness. Of course much of the matter has been lost due to the way of thinking and the actions undertaken up till now, but exactly this is the task before us; to track down these materials.
Misuse of environment and resources are hardly a subject of discussion in economic appraisals. Similarly, the richness of traditional cultures, which still exist at least in part in the rural areas, which are typically described as "under-developed" is not mentioned in these appraisals. There is no code or value allocated to them. The damages become visible only when the values are already destroyed. The extent of destroyed traditional cultures is quite evident in the number of museums, i.e. as soon as the traditional cultures began to be considered as moneymaking measures for the institutions, they received recognition as a valid market factor, but in effect became still unstable.
As the international flow of money is not directed towards local industry and national states, there is a trend towards uniformity through optimization and standardization. This uniformity can be concealed through various designs and requires increased consumption of goods. In order to increase the consumption, the consumers (all consumers of the world united!!) require financial means, which are actually not available to the majority of population.
A special sort of market is created at the place where traditional cultures are promoted. Members of the community have a chance to participate, if they consider it a possibility to maintain their basic requirements, i.e. a form of satisfaction of most basic material needs must remain intact.