Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Secret History of Capitalism and The Myth of Free Trade (versus Protectionism): Is Free Trade Always the Answer?


"National interest should take precedence over cheap consumer goods purchased from a foreign power." – Friedrich List
 (August 6, 1789 – November 30, 1846), a leading 19th century German economist.


***********************
Hi All,

Any seriously thinking and concerned Filipino will note that the dominant orthodoxy is globalization aka neoliberalism (free trade) supposedly for us to economically catch-up , to attain economic/material progress -- for an underdeveloped country like ours. 

Any young Filipino who takes a course in national economic development (political economy) essentially obtains exposure solely in the gospels of
Adam Smith and David Ricardo, i.e. on the "market system" with its "invisible hand," and "comparative advantage," respectively. 


These are the gospels of the current economic thinking or global orthodoxy aka (westernized=Americanized) that are preached as the only way to progress for less-developed countries (LDCs) or underdeveloped countries like our homeland to escape poverty, to making economic miracles, to better standards of living.

To the knowledgeable and critically-minded Filipino, he knows that our traitorous technocrats during the Ramos regime were early signatories to the secretive agreements/negotiations with the WTO and its trading rules (replacing the GATT)--the organization created in 1995 by the rich countries led by the G7 club and enforced by the IMF and WB combo ostensibly founded to help the poor countries towards development. 

With the signing, the next 14 years to the present are and in the foreseeable future shall be full of the same punishments: but deeper, greater and wider impoverishment and misery to our fellow native Filipinos.

All these punishments will be endlessly worsening for the born and unborn generations unless native Filipinos in the homeland become educated, raise their nationalist consciousness, understand and thus become united to act against our collaborationist technocrats and rulers with their foreign partners/sponsors ( resident foreigners and transnational corporations (TNCs) who maintain and spread lies and who obviously have much to gain from our dumbing down and resultant massive ignorance and disunity.

Below is an eye-opening, almost plain, economics commonsense analogy/article (further expounded in the book "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism" by the highly regarded and influential Korean author Ha-Joon Chang, a Professor and Director of Developmental Economics at the University of Cambridge (England).

It is sadly interesting to note how naive and subservient we Filipinos are to take the words of our former colonizer - the U.S.A., on matters of national sovereignty, and most especially including that of our national economic development.

We native Filipinos have been led to and still believe in Walt W. Rostow's hypothesis in the 1967 publication of his book "Stages of Economic Growth - Anti-Communist Manifesto ," which to the intelligent but simple-minded (oxymoron?) so-called educated appears clear and simple.

Such so-called educated maybe unconsciously aware --AS IF we operate in a vacuum, with no foreign interests strongly and actively militating against our own economic take-off decades ago; by keeping us in economic bondage after "granting" our political independence, with its strings of pre-conditions disastrous to our native people and homeland, i.e. parity rights, military bases, military advisory group, etc.

I stumbled on 
Ha-Joon Chang's works (a few listed below) and I find his factually-based books, etc. publications highly analytical, readable and recommendable to those who
seriously want to know and understand the truth about economic history in the Western world and the Asian economic miracles of recent decades; and compare where our homeland and our fellow native Filipinos stand or left behind after religiously following and doing what our foreign friends and Americanized minds dictated.


Ha-Joon's arguments in his book are historically accurate, if one bothers to seriously verify the world's economic history. Unfortunately, his appeal to the developed nations will surely fall on deaf ears as similar appeals in the past: greed versus social justice and true fairness.

In our own particular case in the homeland, only an informed native citizenry of "what has happened and what's still going on" can provide the opportunity for fundamental changes in the economic-political system; and also the needed social transformation for the common good of our impoverished native majority.

- Bert




BEST WISHES FOR GOOD HEALTH TO ALL OF YOU IN 2010!!


***************************************

"Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism"
- Ha-Joon Chang, a Professor/Director of Developmental Economics, Cambridge University (England).

CHAPTER 3: Is Free Trade Always the Answer?

I have a six-year-old son. His name is Jin-Gyu. He lives off me, yet he is quite capable of making a living. After all, millions of children of his age already have jobs in poor countries.

Jin-Gyu needs to be exposed to competition if he is to become a more productive person. Thinking about it, the more competition he is exposed to and the sooner this is done, the better it is for his future development. I should make him quit school and get a job.

I can hear you say I must be mad. Myopic. Cruel. If I drive Jin-Gyu into the labour market now, you point out, he may become a savvy shoeshine boy or a prosperous street hawker, but he will never become a brain surgeon or a nuclear physicist. You argue that, even from a purely materialistic viewpoint, I would be wiser to invest in his education and share the returns later than gloat over the money I save by not sending him to school.

Yet this absurd line of argument is in essence how free-trade economists justify rapid, large-scale trade liberalisation in developing countries. They claim that developing country producers need to be exposed to maximum competition, so that they have maximum incentive to raise productivity. The earlier the exposure, the argument goes, the better it is for economic development.

However, just as children need to be nurtured before they can compete in high-productivity jobs, industries in developing countries should be sheltered from superior foreign producers before they "grow up." They need to be given protection, subsidies, and other help while they master advanced technologies and build effective organisations.

This argument is known as the "infant industry" argument. What is little known is that it was first theorized by none other than the first finance minister (treasury secretary) of the United States - Alexander Hamilton, whose portrait adorns the $10 bill.

Initially few Americans were convinced by Hamilton's argument. After all, Adam Smith, the father of economics, had already advised Americans against artificially developing manufacturing industries. However, over time people saw sense in Hamilton's argument, and the US shifted to protectionism after the Anglo-American War of 1812. By the 1830s, its industrial tariff rate, at 40-50 per cent, was the highest in the world, and remained so until the Second World War.

The US may have invented the theory of infant industry protection, but the practice had existed long before. The first big success story was, surprisingly, Britain - the supposed birthplace of free trade. 

In fact, Hamilton's programme was in many ways a copy of Robert Walpole's enormously successful 1721 industrial development programme, based on high (among world's highest) tariffs and subsidies, which had propelled Britain into its economic supremacy.

Britain and the US may have been the most ardent - and most successful - users of tariffs, but most of today's rich countries deployed tariff protection for extended periods in order to promote their infant industries. Many of them also actively used government subsidies and public enterprises to promote new industries. 

Japan and many European countries have given numerous subsidies to strategic industries. The US has publicly financed the highest share of research and development in the world. Singapore, despite its free-market image, has one of the largest public enterprise sectors in the world, producing around 30 per cent of the national income. Public enterprises were also crucial in France, Finland, Austria, Norway, and Taiwan.

When they needed to protect their nascent producers, most of today's rich countries restricted foreign investment. In the 19th century, the US strictly regulated foreign investment in banking, shipping, mining, and logging. Japan and Korea severely restricted foreign investment in manufacturing. Between the 1930s and the 1980s, Finland officially classified all firms with more than 20 per cent foreign ownership as "dangerous enterprises."

While (exceptionally) practicing free trade, the Netherlands and Switzerland refused to protect patents until the early 20th century. In the 19th century, most countries, including Britain, France, and the US, explicitly allowed patenting of imported inventions. The US refused to protect foreigners' copyrights until 1891. Germany mass-produced counterfeit "Made in England" goods in the 19th century.

Despite this history, since the 1980s the "Bad Samaritan" rich countries have imposed upon developing countries policies that are almost the exact opposite of what they used in the past. 

These countries condemning tariffs, subsidies, public enterprises, regulation of foreign investment, and permissive intellectual property rights is like them "kicking away the ladder" with which they climbed to the top - often against the advice of the then richer countries.

But, the reader may wonder, didn't the developing countries already try protectionism and miserably fail? That is a common myth, but the truth of the matter is that these countries have grown significantly more slowly in the "brave new world" of neo-liberal policies, compared with the "bad old days" of protectionism and regulation in the 1960s and the 1970s (see table). 

And that's despite the dramatic growth acceleration in the two giants, China and India, which have partially liberalized their economies, but REFUSE to fully embrace neo-liberalism.

Growth has failed particularly badly in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, where neo-liberal reforms have been implemented most thoroughly. In the "bad old days," per capita income in Latin America grew at an impressive 3.1 per cent per year. In the "brave new world", it has been growing at a paltry 0.5 per cent. In sub-Saharan Africa, per capita income grew at 1.6 per cent a year during 1960-80, but since then the region has seen a fall in living standards (by 0.3 per cent a year).

Both the history of rich countries and the recent records of developing countries point to the same conclusion. Economic development requires tariffs, regulation of foreign investment, permissive intellectual property laws, and other policies that help their producers accumulate productive capabilities. Given this, the international economic playing field should be tilted in favour of the poorer countries by giving them greater freedom to use these policies.

Tilting the playing field is not just a matter of fairness. It is about helping the developing countries to grow faster. Because faster growth in developing countries means more trade and investment opportunities, it is also in the self-interest of the rich countries.

The author teaches economics at the University of Cambridge. The article is based on his book Bad Samaritans - Rich Nations, Poor Policies, and the Threat to the Developing World (Random House).

Source:
http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:VgH8LsjduecJ:www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/hajoon-chang-protectionism-the-truth-is-on-a-10-bill-458396.html+ha+joon+chang&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

PS. Ha-Joon's other books are:

The Rebel Within: Joseph Stiglitz and the World Bank (Anthem Studies in Development and Globalization) by Ha-Joon Chang (Paperback - Feb 25, 2002)
  1. Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective by Ha-Joon Chang (Paperback - Sep 1, 2002)
  2. Globalization, Economic Development and the Role of the State by Ha-Joon Chang(Paperback - Dec 6, 2002)
  3. Rethinking Development Economics (Anthem Studies in Development and Globalization) by Ha-Joon Chang (Paperback - Jun 20, 2003)
  4. Brazil and South Korea: Economic Crisis and Restructuring by Edmund Amann and Ha-Joon Chang (Paperback - April 2004)
  5. Reclaiming Development: An Economic Policy Handbook for Activists and Policymakers (Global Issues) by Ha-Joon Chang and Ilene Grabel (Paperback - Sep 9, 2004)
  6. The East Asian Development Experience: The Miracle, the Crisis and the Future by Ha-Joon Chang (Paperback - Jul 24, 2007)
  7. Institutional Change and Economic Development by United Nations University and Ha-Joon Chang (Paperback - Nov 1, 2008)
“One of the major errors in the whole discussion of economic development has been the tendency to look at the United States or Canada and say that this has worked here, and therefore it must work in the poor countries.” – John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006)

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary." - George Orwell


END OF POST.


***********************************************************
PLEASE DONATE CORE SUBJECT BOOKS TO OUR HOMELAND (i.e. your hometown public schools, Alma Mater, etc.). Those books that you and/or your children do not need or want; or buy books from your local library during its cheap Book Sales. Also, cargo/door-to-door shipment is best.  It is a small sacrifice.  [clean up your closets or garage - donate books. THANKS!]
***********************************************************


" Fear history, for it respects no secrets" - Gregoria de Jesus  (widow of Andres Bonifacio)

Of 536 previous posts, the following listed links and the RECTO READER are essential about us native (indio)/ Malay Filipinos and are therefore always presented in each new post. Click each to open/read

OUR CULTURE: (full range of our learned values, attitudinal & behavioral patterns) 
  1. WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW:
  2. WHAT IS NATIONALISM [Filipino Nationalism] ?
  3. Impediments to Filipino Nationalism:
  4. Our Colonial Mentality and Its Roots 
  5. The Miseducation of the Filipino (Formation of our Americanized Mind)
  6. Understanding Our Filipino Value System
  7. The Ambivalence of Filipino Traits and Values
  8. Our Kind of Filipino Politics

  9. OUR RELIGION: (Belief Systems)
    1. Our Filipino Kind of Religion
    2. Our Filipino Christianity and Our God-concept
    3. When Our Religion Becomes Evil

    OUR HISTORY: (Nationalist point-of-view) 

    OUR  ECONOMY:  (Post-WW2 Agreements)
    1. President Roxas Railroaded the Approval of Bell Trade Act (Philippine Trade Act),1946 & Military Bases Agreements
    2. Bell Trade Act-1946 (Parity Rights)
    3. The Fallacy of "Philippines First"
    4. The Friar Lands Scandal-How Filipinos Were Being Robbed of The Soil
    5. Agrarian Reform - Conflicts During Implementation
    6. 16 Years of Agrarian Reform: The Lands Are Back in the Hands of the Lords, (Part 1 of 2)
    7. 16 Years of Agrarian Reform: Are Filipino Peasants Better Off Now? (Part 2 of 2)
    8. Globalization (Neoliberalism) – The Road to Perdition in Our Homeland
    9. Five(5) Years of Reasons To Resist WTO's Globalization & Learn WTO's Multilateral Punishments to the Philippines
    10. Resisting Globalization (WTO Agreements)
    11. Virtues of De-Globalization

    NOTE: Recto's cited cases, examples or issues were of his time, of course; but realities in our homeland in the present and the foreseeable future are expected to be much, much worse. Though I am tempted to update them with current issues, it's best to leave them as they are since Recto's paradigms about our much deepened national predicament still ring relevant, valid and true. In short, Recto saw the forest and never got lost in the trees. We native Filipinos have not learned from or not heeded his advice - Bert

*********************************


THE FILIPINO MIND blog contains 537 published postings you can view, as of April 18, 2012. Go to the sidebar to search Past & Related Postings, click LABEL [number in parenthesis = total of related postings]; or use the GOOGLE SEARCH at the sidebar using key words [labels, or tags] for topics of interest to you. OR click a bottom label or tag to open related topics.

The postings are oftentimes long and a few readers have claimed being "burnt out."  My apologies. As the selected topics are not for entertainment but to stimulate deep thought (see MISSION Statement) and hopefully to rock the boat of complacency (re MISSION).

(1) Bold/Underlined words are HTML links. Click to see linked posts or articles.

(2) Scroll down to end of post to read or enter Comments. Any comment sent to my personal email will be posted here.
 ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL BE IGNORED. 

(3).Visit my other website SCRIBD/TheFilipinoMind; or type it on GOOGLE Search. View/Free Download pdf versions of: postings, eBooks, articles (120 and growing). Or another way to access, go to the sidebar of the THE FILIPINO MIND website and click on SCRIBD. PLEASE Share!
Statistics for my associated website:SCRIBD/theFilipinoMind :
119 FREE AND DOWNLOADABLE documents 
148,510 reads
2,750 downloads

(4). Some postings and other relevant events are now featured in Google+BMD_FacebookBMD_Twitter and BMD_Google Buzz

(5) Translate to your own language. Go to the sidebar and Click on GOOGLE TRANSLATOR (56 languages - copy and paste sentences, paragraphs and whole articles, Google translates a whole posting in seconds, including to Filipino!!).
(6).  From suggestions by readers, I have added some contemporary music to provide a break. Check out bottom of posting to play Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Chris Botti, Josh Groban, etc. 

(7) Songs on Filipino nationalism: please reflect on the lyrics (messages) as well as the beautiful renditions. Other Filipino Music links at blog sidebar.  Click each to play.:
(8) Forwarding the postings to relatives and friends, ESPECIALLY in the homeland, is greatly appreciated. Use emails, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc. below. THANKS!!

"Those who profess to favor freedom
and yet deprecate agitation

are men who want crops without 
plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and
lightning.
They want the ocean without the
awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one

or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
demand
It never did, and never will." – Frederick Douglass
,
 American AbolitionistLecturerAuthor and Slave1817-1895

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Decolonization - A Postcolonial Perspective

"Certain marks of colonization are still manifested by the people. I have arbitrarily identified these marks as dependence, subservience and compromise." (I add compromise of our homeland and at our peoples' expense - Bert)

"Only the strong, unrelenting efforts of Filipino people can erase the blemishes to our culture and remove the negative label attached to it. Fortunately, there are concerned Filipinos who, with all their might, attack 'these cultural damages' with the pen and with the tongue. They are unrelenting." – Dr. Pura Santillan-Castrence (1905-2007)



*****************************************

Notes: Bold, colored and/or underlined words are HTML links. Click on them to see the linked posting/article. Forwarding the postings to relatives and friends,especially in the homeland, is greatly appreciated). To share, use all social media tools: email, blog, Google+, Tumblr,Twitter,Facebook, etc. THANKS!!

****************************************

Decolonization: A Post-colonial Perspective

Prasenjit Duara of the University of Chicago explores decolonization in the twentieth century
Richard Gunde Email RichardGunde

Decolonization was among the most significant phenomena of the twentieth century. Indeed, it helped shape the history of the past century, and in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, affected the lives of nearly everyone, all across the globe. In its shape and duration, decolonization varied from place to place. Furthermore, it has been evaluated in many different ways. But in any case, its importance is beyond question.

In a talk on January 30 sponsored by the International Institute’s Comparative and Interdisciplinary Research on Asia (CIRA) program, Prasenjit Duara (professor of History and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago) sought to interpret decolonization without reducing its variety and contingency. In the process, Professor Duara grappled with many of the fundamental questions of decolonization which continue to exercise scholars.

In what ways was the promise of decolonization fulfilled? How can we understand new forms of global domination in relation to this movement? Which strains and problems of decolonization continue to manifest themselves today? Why is it important to look at the historical moment of decolonization? How did nationalist, anti-colonial elites relate to the metropole and to their own people?



Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then


Professor Duara’s point of departure was his edited reader Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then (Routledge, 2003) The website of Routledge, the publisher, describes in the book in this way:

"Decolonization brings together the most cutting edge thinking by major historians of decolonization, including previously unpublished essays, and writings by leaders of decolonizing countries, including Ho Chi-minh and Jawaharlal Nehru. The chapters in this volume present a move away from Western analysis of decolonization, towards the angle of vision of the former colonies. This is a groundbreaking study of a subject central to recent global history."

The impetus for the volume is simple. Professor Duara explained that many of the ideas that motivated decolonization in the interwar period, and in the postwar period up to the 1980, “are beginning to disappear.” Thus, “it is important to capture” those ideas.

What are those ideas? It a word, much more than a change in political regime. “Decolonization,” Professor Duara argued, “represented not only the transference of legal sovereignty but a movement for moral justice and political solidarity against imperialism.” Thus decolonization involved both the anti-imperialist political movement and an “emancipatory ideology which sought ... to liberate the nation and humanity itself.”

“Until World War I, historical writing had been the work of the European conquerors.” Europeans viewed the peoples outside Europe as “without the kind of history capable of shaping the world. The process of decolonization which began towards the end of World War I was accompanied by the appearance of national historical consciousness” in regions outside Europe. This directly contributed to the birth of a literature by the colonized that dissected imperialism and decolonization.

It is this literature that allows us -- who live in the West, in the former colonial powers -- to witness the process from the other side, so to speak. It also has “enabled us to see how happenings in one region, no matter how peripheral . . . were often linked to processes and events in other parts [of the globe].” In other words, despite the variety of colonialisms and decolonizations, the history of decolonization in the twentieth century presents a coherent, interconnected phenomenon.

Nevertheless, Professor Duara argued, we must recognize that within the movement for decolonization, there was considerable variability from place to place. This makes it difficult, if not pointless, to try to pass judgment on all of decolonization, to decide once and for all if it succeeded in achieving its goals. Indeed, the recent debates surrounding post-colonialism have raised the question of the extent or thoroughness of decolonization when “independence from colonial powers meant the establishment of nation-states closely modeled on the very states that undertook imperialism.” 

While this question may be relevant for some places, it may hardly be the most important question to ask about movements in other places. What Professor Duara has attempted to do in Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then is to represent the variation in the experience of decolonization “without losing sight of the core historical character of the process.”



Imperialism and Colonization


The event that symbolized the beginning of the movement was the victory of Japan over Czarist Russia in 1905, “which was widely hailed as the victory of the dominated peoples against the imperialist powers.” The event symbolizing the culmination of this movement was the Bandung Conference, in Indonesia in 1955, a meeting of representatives of 29 new nations of Asia and Africa. The conference “aimed to express solidarity against imperialism and racism and promote economic and cultural cooperation among these nations.” 

The conference led to the nonaligned movement, which encompassed countries that nominally or in reality chose to remain neutral in the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. With the end of the cold war in 1989, the nonalignment movement became irrelevant.

The imperialism that Professor Duara is concerned with is the imperialism of the Western powers, and later Japan, that began roughly in the late 1870s. It was characterized by, in Professor Duara’s words, “brutal and dehumanizing conditions” that were imposed on the colonized peoples in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific islands. In addition, “as Karl Marx noted, this imperialism represented an incorporation of these regions into the modern capitalist system.” 

Thus the building of colonial empires in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century -- by the U.S., Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands -- became “an integral part of the competition for control of global resources and markets.” The ideology that accompanied this struggle was Social Darwinism: “an evolutionary view of the world that applied Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest to races and nations and justified imperialist domination in terms of an understanding that a race or nation that did not dominate would instead be dominated.”

From the perspective of the colonized, this incorporation “inevitably involved the erosion of existing communities as they experienced the deepening impact of capitalism and alien cultural values.” Often colonies became bifurcated, with a relatively developed coastal sector with close ties to the metro-pole  and a vast hinterland where historical “forms of social life and economic organization” continued to exist. But they did not continue to exist unchanged. Instead, the long fingers of capitalism reached far into the hinterland, to extract value (crops, minerals, labor, and so on) and to market "modern," finished products. “This is,” Professor Duara stated, “the phenomenon . . . known as the articulation of the modes of production, whereby modern capitalism utilizes non-capitalist modes of production and exploitation for the production of capitalist value.”

The gap between the relatively modern coastal areas and the relatively traditional hinterland involved “different types of incorporation into the capitalist system.” This gap often came to “shape and bedevil the decolonization process.”

Anti-imperialist nationalism typically emerged in the urban, coastal sectors, “where modern capitalist forms of knowledge, technology, capital, and organization had spread more widely.” It was also in the urban, coastal areas that the colonized peoples most directly and personally experienced “constant denial and humiliation because of their color or origins. But they were also people who, like Gandhi for instance, clearly recognized the contradictions these actions presented to Western doctrines of humanism and rationality.” Finally, they were the people “who understood the modern world well enough to know how to mobilize resources to topple colonial domination.”



Mass Movements of Decolonization


By far the most important resource to resist colonialism, and eventually to overthrow it, was the people of the colonized nations. How could the urban, modern nationalist elite reformers mobilize the people of the hinterlands and the lower classes of their society? While such mobilization was key to the success of decolonization, the answer to this question was never easy or obvious. On the contrary, the elite reformers increasingly found their compatriots in the hinterlands “living in a world that was. . . alien and distasteful.” The masses, for their part hand, found that “the modern programs of secular society -- national education, the nuclear family, and so on -- were quite inimical to their concept of a good society.”

The task for the nationalist reformers was not merely to bridge this gap, but “to remake hinterland society in their own image. This image derived both from their conception of humanistic reform as well as the need to create a sleek national body capable of surviving and succeeding in a world of competitive capitalism.” The decolonization movement was thus confronted by two tasks: “to fulfill the promise of its humanistic ideals and modern citizenship and, [at the same time,] to create the conditions for international competitiveness.”

Different nationalist movements used different methods of force or violence combined with education and persuasion. Nevertheless, in every case success seemed to hinge on the creation of nationalism. To the extent the elite reformers succeeded in generating a sense of national awakening that appealed to virtually all people, the leaders believed they had won the right to make the transformations -- such a land reform -- that they believed to be essential to the survival of the nation.

Professor Duara noted that many of the former colonies were not bereft of “indigenous foundations of modernity.” In this regard, he mentioned the “discovery” by “nationalist scholars” of, for instance, “the spouts of capitalism” in traditional China. But the problem with these findings are that they are “located within an evolutionary paradigm containing the implicit, and sometimes explicit, argument that these developments would have ultimately led to modern capitalism and nationalism. This is an instance of how nationalists adopted the basic assumptions of the evolutionism of their colonial masters.” In Professor Duara’s view the way that decolonization unfolded had more to do with “more immediate conditions and circumstances.”


The Role of Socialist Ideas & Women’s Movements


Professor Duara identified the spread of socialist ideas as a key to the decolonization movement. However, socialist ideas of equality and cooperation often collided with the demands of nationalism. For example, the Soviet Union supposed anti-imperialist, anti-colonial movements, but under the domination of Stalin it adopted policies that often put the particular interests of the Soviet Union before the interests of foreign revolutionary movements.

Similarly, nationalists often co-opted and distorted the struggle for women’s rights. Colonial powers often gasped upon women’s rights as a way of reinforcing their rule. Thus they championed the liberation of women. Nationalists typically placed the needs of the nation first. Thus they often viewed the role of women as helping to make the nation strong by rearing healthy children. 

This was not a merely reproduction of traditional patriarchal thinking, since nationalists believed women should educated and fully incorporated in the modern nation. But in any case “they were to be the mothers of the nation, protecting and cherishing its inner values, especially in the home.” Thus we have “not a traditional patriarchy but a national patriarchy.”

In large part, the nationalist resistance to labor movements and women’s movements was based on a notion that nation had deep, historical, even primordial roots. This sort of thinking allowed nationalists to challenge the imperialist contention that the civilized world was limited to the West. This “led to a sense of psychological liberation in the colonized world.”

Indeed, many intellectuals in the colonized world came to view Western civilization as bankrupt. Hence modernity could only be saved by the new nations, which would harmonize or synthesize the values of the West (rationality, materialism, competitive, etc.) with those of the precolonial world. This sort of thinking appeared early in the struggle against imperialism, and appeared in the 1960s, in what Professor Duara described as the effort to resist “Occidentosis.”

Most leaders of decolonization movements combined “the appeal to an egalitarian ideal deriving from socialism with an appeal to unique civilizational traditions, whether it is timeless Indian or Chinese practices hidden among ordinary people or pan-African communitarianism which Kwame Nkrumah should to identify with authentic socialism.”

* *
Prasenjit Duara is professor of History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942, which won both the Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association and the Levenson Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. He is also the author of Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China (1995) and most recently, Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (2003).



- END OF POST -


**************************************************************************************

Hi All,


The below link will show a short list of my past posts (out of 540 posts so far) which I consider as basic topics about us native (indio)/ Malay Filipinos. This link/listing, which may later expand, will always be presented at the bottom of each future post.  Just point-and-click at each listed item to open and read. 


Thank you for reading and sharing with others, especially those in our homeland.

- Bert

PLEASE POINT & CLICK THIS LINK:  
http://www.thefilipinomind.com/2013/08/primary-postsreadings-for-my-fellow.html