Ecoscript 35

Edward Goldsmith. Development: Fictions and Facts

The author doubts if anyone today would dare state in public
that the policies we are applying to improve the welfare of
the people of the Third World have proved effective. Their
ineffectiveness is apparent in every domain. Some critics
might go further and suggest that, not only are they inef-
fective but, rather than solve the problems of the Third
World, they are in fact exacerbating them. Others would go
further and suggest that, they are in fact the basic cause of
the escalating poverty, malnutrition and famine -- which we
are now witnessing throughout the Third World. Whichever one
of these positions one adopts, the case for reconsidering
these policies appears to bevery strong. In fact not to
reconsider them appears to be at best irresponsible, at worst
callous and cynical. Those responsible for our policies must
be fully aware of this. Indeed they assure us that the old
type of development is over. To be replaced by 'appropriate'
development or 'eco' development (a term used in particular
by the United Nations Environment Programme) or 'sustainable'
development (one particularly favoured by the World Bank).
However, it is difficult to see how the vast livestock
projects, the huge dams and other water development schemes
and the mechanized plantations which are still routinely set
up by the Development Industry can in any way be regarded as
'appropriate' 'ecological' or 'sustainable'. Indeed it is
the rhetoric that has changed, the policies remain the same.


Introduction 7
Development and Colonialism 7
The Consequences of Colonial Rule 8
The Concept of Development 9
Aid 10
Traditional Agriculture 12
Breakdown in Control 14
Exports 15
Dispossessing the Peasants 17
Chemification of Agriculture 19
Increasing Yields, Malnutrition and Destruction 20
Imports 21
Population 22
Development - A Dead End 24
Conclusion 26
References 27