Technological Development And The Third World Essay

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Technological Development And The Third World Essay, Research Paper Technological Development and the Third World TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE THIRD WORLD I wonder if people in Third World countries know that they are considered the “Third World?” Do they use that term in reference to themselves? Do they have any perception of the comparison, judgment and bias that goes into that statement? I’d like to think that they don’t. In the film about the Ladack people that we watched in class, it was mentioned that they didn’t have a word for poverty. No such word even existed in their language. But that was before. It was before the invasion of other cultures, and it was before they had anything to compare themselves to. And in comparison, they saw that, materially,

they had less. And in that knowledge, they believed that they, as a people, were less. In this essay, I will examine third world communities and the relationship between technological development and environmental degradation. I will look first at the way in which development occurred in the South, and the reason it happened the way that it did. From there, I will show how these methods of development proceeded to eventually cause widespread environmental damage and it’s effect on the local people. . DEVELOPMENT: “WESTERN” STYLE When I refer to “the environment”, I mean not only the habitat that humans, plants and animals inhabit, but also the physical, emotional and psychological attitudes that are encompassed by these in their daily existence. Development, by my

definition, will consequently refer to the technological advancement of a community as well as the improved status of humans and other species. This is my definition, and one that others employ frequently now. However, the model I will be examining first is the development theory based on the economic – political system. “A typical western (read: economic) definition of development would be ‘ an ambiguous term for a multidimensional process involving material, social and organizational change, accelerated economic growth, [and] the reduction of absolute poverty and inequality.’” (1) The key emphasis in this statement is the phrase “economic growth.” In Europe and North America, development politics has revolved around the economic aspect of producing surplus, and

gaining capital. Because of our relatively rich land resource base, our method of technological development has been quite successful. Statistics show us as high wage earners, wealthy in public services such as health care and education, low infant mortality rate, long lifespan, and high GNP per person. Because of the comfort that our economic development has brought us, we have omitted the aspect of development in regard to human psychological well-being and the preservation of our natural surroundings that should be concurrent with technological development. With ours as the only current model of successful development, newly industrializing countries such as South and Central America, and Africa (and up until quite recently many Asian countries) attempted to achieve results in

the same way. The problem that ensued for these countries was that instead of working slowly towards their goals, they sold themselves to get ahead economically. Instead of recognizing the problems that this method was causing and stopping them, governments and the wealthy private sector, took control of the industry and continued to exploit it. With the rich in control, the poorer classes had little choice but to follow, and the downward spiral of poverty and instability began. HOW IT HAPPENED As the Third World nations struggled to become “developed,” the rich countries became involved in their affairs. Interest in the countries arose primarily because of the trade resources that these lands provided. The potential for profit became evident because the new countries were