Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Future of the Rural Development

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Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch, Omar M. Ali, Aaron Pinsker write still more on the future is in rural development

In the past, we have often discussed various opportunities of investment in rural areas. Mostly discussions at consumer and social oriented project forms showed the individuality of the regional possibilities.

Instead of an "either – or” it emerged more of a "this –as well as that" situation, although the combinations may be counter-productive, if the individual characteristics of the one or the other part are not sufficiently taken into consideration.

The discussion of the waveband of possibilities leads to recognition of an urban culture and a rural culture. In areas of high population and lesser access to immovable property, the residents have no other option but to continuously vary, to invest. This segment of population requires permanent income and is therefore forced to accept long-term employment in order to organize their livelihood.

The individual here can eventually juggle, in order to cover his financial requirements to some extent, multiple jobs are one other possibility, but to escape the urban system is hardly possible. It is unthinkable to create the opposite of an old saying "city air makes free", -this was said at a time, when more people lived in the villages than in the cities.

The general administrations have their own problems to overcome, which was not such a risk in a growth oriented time and appropriate tax income. The requirements and demands developed on the basis of growth economy can hardly be turned back, -privatization appears to be a logical possibility for decreasing the pressure on the households, but it fails to recognize the most general principles of economic administration in a global background. Just to mention a comment in this regard, already discussed in sufficient detail at other platforms: foreign corporations cannot invest out of social considerations of responsibility, -a well known fact, which does not interest the short-term thinking politicians.

Should we start to consider the individual and the costs of general administration, which are needed to organize the city life, we cannot but come to the conclusion that urban life in all respects is expensive and problem growth-oriented.

The city culture is international, just as also its problems. One is forced to stand in competition with each other; this leads not to a solution of the problem but to more and more brutal competition, the results being changeable and more uniform. So the main principle is Hope and –in the absence of other possibilities- the affected masses are forced to live on hope only.

The problem of de-population of rural areas is in-fact caused by the city culture itself; the financially stronger segment can enjoy the solitude of their expensive penthouses, what however leads to other problems already discussed at other place.

People living in rural areas, they feel the taste of backwardness, -backwardness as seen by the city dweller, who cannot judge the real situation in rural background and sees it –if at all- only in romantic context. The rural life functions in a different way as compared to the urban way, a fact which may not be not be appreciated by the politicians, because only universally applicable methods appear to be logical, which are however a basis for further problems, mostly of financial nature.

To keep a clear mind here is not impossible: still there is –let us call it-"traditional culture" prevalent in rural areas, which remains unconsidered in economic terms because their evaluation, similar to the fifties of the 20th century, is quite difficult. We are today aware of the traditional culture only sub-consciously in museum and amusement. The real traditional values are thereby increasingly being lost. Such thinking is often discarded as being obsolete, -a result of stagnation. Whereby it is exactly this thinking which should be the basis for a discussion about "Future in rural development”

Infrastructure measures in the rural areas are cost provoking only then, when these are taken from the position of the city culture. It is important in the rural areas –and with that we touch the main principles of development, to support the traditional handicraft, to make it independent of the central infrastructure and also to utilize fully the possibilities of small scale technologies.

The principles mentioned here are valid for rural areas but also for areas where the industrialization has still not fully established itself, for example. in the so-called developing countries, which after an exacter inspection and discounting the pressures of industrial standards and gross domestic product and due consideration of the value of traditional culture are actually not so poor after all!

In the times of mass production, the transfer of production to so-called cheap-labour-countries etc., an individualization of the products, i.e. production according to individual requirements is becoming more and more evident. The markets are saturated after local demand is satisfied. But the principle of industrial production is actually not production according to individual needs! If one looks at the forms of individualization in the automobile industry, the practice corresponds to designing of a single family house with the means of industrial production.

We have tried to emphasize, that when the above mentioned principles are kept in mind, the future lies in the rural areas. Up till now, the cost of livelihood in rural areas is quite cheap: a simple household and the possibility of self-subsistence in many ways are quite clear. On the other side we see the advocates of city culture and the growth-oriented strategists, the insufficient infra-structure, missing workplaces, bad education facilities and many more co-criteria.

The effects of developments in the 19th century on western societies were serious and led to the well known east-west conflicts. Even if the supposed winners of this conflict continue to follow their line, it should still be pointed out, that times have changed considerably. Unfortunately this fact is not given due consideration by decision-makers and their sub-ordinates. So we should not be surprised if the population continues to think according to old patterns and continues to energetically participate, in order just to survive. Notable is, that the solutions for bringing changes, not for reforms, lie on the floor like pearls, ready to be picked up, which unfortunately should be a difficult task for a well trained and well-fed body not so keen on change.

Where can we find the traditional culture of the past? How can we make ourselves independent of the central infra-structure? What do Small-Technologies mean?

These and many other questions arise and they are not produced in pre-arranged form as mass goods, -this is strenuous, but also a challenge. The answers lie like pearls on the floor: unheeded results of ethnologists, models for appropriate technologies, new forms of employment, etc. It is interesting to note that even from USA, the land of unlimited possibilities, interesting theories have emerged, which are gladly seen as necessary and already delayed reforms to the western system, but are useful to much further extent.

Finally, since we have become accustomed to quote and give references, otherwise we are not believed, so we name Th. Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolution), F.Bergmann (New Work). A. Gebhardt in Aachen looks forward to the period of individual manufacturing, of Recycelns, of three-dimensional printing, including developing and designing on a high-tech-level, -all challenges, new possibilities of rural development.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:10 AM, ,

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