African - Rodney Chpt 1.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 3205F/G
Professor
Richard Vande Wetering
Semester
Winter

Description
WHAT IS DEVELOPMENT  Unquestionable fact that a large proportion of the so-called underdeveloped countries are in total stagnation, and that in some of them the rate of economic growth is lower than that of population increase  They correspond strictly to the nature of the capitalist system in full expansion  The relations which develop within any given social group are crucial to an understanding of the society as a whole  At the level of social groups, therefore, development implies an increasing capacity to regulate both internal and external relationships  The very act of making tools was a stimulus to increasing rationality rather than the consequence of a fully matured intellect  The term development is used in an exclusive economic sense  It can be said that there has been constant economic development within human society since the origins of man  Every people have shown a capacity for independently increasing their ability to live a more satisfactory life through exploiting the resources of nature  Development was universal because the conditions leading to economic expansion were universal  Development can be seen rather as an overall social process which is dependent upon the outcome of man’s efforts to deal with his natural environment  Many instances quantitative change becomes qualitative after a certain period  Expansion of the economy leads eventually to a change in the form of social relations  Slaves did a variety of tasks , but their main job was to produce food. The next stage was Feudalism, where agriculture remained the principal means of making a livelihood  When the manor changed hands, the serfs had to remain there and provide goods for the landlord  Then came capitalism under which the greatest wealth in the society was produced not in agriculture but by machines – in factories and in mines  Labour thereby became a commodity – something to be bought and sold  In the present century, socialism has indeed emerged in some countries  The advance in production increased the range of powers which sections of society had over other sections, and it multiplied the violence which was part of the completion for survival and growth among social groups  Thereby, a new set of social relations – that of landlord and serf- replaced the old relations of slavemaster and slave  When classes are so well defined, their consciousness is at a high level  While all societies have experienced development, it is equally true that the rate of development differed from continent to continent, and within each continent different parts increased their command over nature at different rates  One of the most difficult questions to answer is exactly why different peoples development at different rates when left on their own  Political and religious patterns affected each other and were often intertwined  The consequence was that the landowners had greater powers as bureaucrats than as men of property, and they used that to keep social relations in the same mold  Never before in any human society had a group of people seen themselves consciously functioning in order to make a maximum profit out of production  Western Democracy in abolishing feudalism, the capitalists insisted on parliaments, constitutions and freedom of the press  The social class relations of capitalism are now outmoded, just as slave and feudal relations became outmoded in their time  Capitalism has proved incapable of transcending fundamental weaknesses such as underutilization of productive capacity  Capitalism has created its own irrationalities such as irrationality of incredibly poverty in the midst of wealth and wastage even inside the biggest capitalist economies  Capitalism has intensified its own political contradictions in trying to subjugate nations and continents outside of Europe  The fact that capitalism today is still around alongside socialism should warn us that the modes of production cannot simply be viewed as a question of successive stages  The bigger the gap between the two societies concerned the more detrimental are the consequences  Assuming that the weaker society does survive then ultimately it can resume its own independent development only if it proceeds to a level higher than that of the economy which
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