File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 397


Date: Sun, 19 Oct 1997 15:43:15 -0500
Subject: Re: M-I: boom


james m blaut wrote:

>Me: This looks like simple diffusionism. Yesterday Britain, today S. Korea,
>tomorrow the world. So Bill Warren and friends wwere right?

No. I've said several times that East Asia stands in marked contrast to
what's happened in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

>You: There's been a decline to near 0 in family farming in the U.S. too. So
>what's that prove?
>
>Me:  This, Doug, is a very serious error, unless I have misunderstood you.
>It reeks of moderniozation theory and ideology.

It sucks that peasants be pushed off the land by brutal state and business
policies. But what are you advocating? That peasant life be sustained
indefinitely? That people work from sunrise to sunset without a moment for
education or leisure?

>You: The point is that the East Asian countries we're tlaking about went
>from "developing" status to near-First World status in a generation. Look
>at education/literacy, health, and other social indicators if you prefer.
>
>Me: Lets look at them. They prove you wrong. (Health may be an exception as
>it has been throughout the postcolonial wortld, reflecting new low-cost
>technology).

Let's look at education. In South Korea, 93% of the relevant age group are
in secondary school, compared with 58% in Mexico, 52% in China, and 19% in
Bangladesh. And with 48% of the relevant age group in tertiary school, S
Korea outdoes Britain's 37%, and nearly matches France's 50%. 100% of the
SK population has access to safe water, compared with 87% of Mexico's, 46%
of China's, and 83% of Bangladesh's. Just 4% of SK's newborns are
low-weight, compared with 7% of the U.S.'s.

>Away with all economism!

Ditto anti-economism.

Doug





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