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Helping development, but for whom?

There is no more delicate thing that one can undertake or that is more dangerous to carry out than to be the leader of an attempt to make changes.  Because whoever creates something new will have as his enemies all those for whom things are going well with the way things already are, and will, only find half-hearted support from those who only might do better under the new system.

Niccole Machiavelli,

Adviser to the Venetian Court, 1513.
My dear Kepler: What do you think of the leading philosophers here, to whom I have attempted a thousand times to show my studies, but who, with the laziness of a snake which has eaten to its fill, were never ready to look at the planets or the moon or even to look through a telescope.


Galileo Galilei in a letter to Johannes Kepler,

Who had discovered that the earth goes around the sun and not the other way around,  1630.

What possibilities do the less industrially developed countries have against the more modern ones to assert themselves?  Have they any chances at all?  What can still be done against the richness that is constantly growing?

When countries are compared, it is always material values that are taken into consideration.  The number of industrial products play an increasingly larger role.  But, if not there, where else must the relationship between the number of cars and the population be very important.  And there are many other such examples, where only material wealth is counted or taken into account.  Thanks to the influence of the media, the wish for material goods grows larger all the time, everywhere in the world.  People think that in order to have these material goods they must emigrate or if they stay behind then they have to blindly take on the values of cultures very different from their own.

Those who do emigrate are forced to support those who stay behind, and the latter are busy trying to create this same material paradise in a smaller version.  If there is any cultural freedom, we can see that there is an enormous and unused potential in "underdeveloped” countries.  They are underdeveloped, true, but only from the point of view of the more industrialised countries.

Helping development, but for whom ?


Using such stock phrases as globalisation, working together, etc., one is able to market very well the products of industrialised countries, and thus take care, from purely political motives, of one’s own countrymen. But apparently, nobody takes the time to recognise that something has gone badly wrong when we can look upon industrial waste material as a sign of progress. If this insight is followed though, one can recognise that the politics based on scientific thinking must reach a turning point. It is common for the present generation not to recognise a critical turning point in the way we look at the world, nor for it to wish to do so.

 And herein lies an opportunity for non Western cultures:

   They can develop their traditional and cultural specialities,

   They can bring back the value of production by hand of artistic creations,

   They can begin to think about new ways of doing business and how to bring back  

    educational traditions

• They can take up a critical exploration of the value of Western products.

 Here are some concrete examples of what can be done:

• There should be cooperation between local NGO’s, businesses and universities.

 • There should be the development of products finished by hand using traditional methods.

 • There should be the use of alternative technologies and methods of construction based on traditional knowledge.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch / Dr. Senta Siller


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