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Development vs Evolution?


The West has, unilaterally,  set ‘standards’ for the world , by fiat, for  some  4 centuries.

In essence, , whatever fit its own situation and  dispositions was  ordained the iconic ‘model’ for Others.

One of these, via its (materialist) – EuroModernist –   ‘economics’ avatar, is the  still  persisting canard of  ‘development’.

Using that notion, in the Seventies, the US/UK were, by self-proclamation,  ‘developed’ (what a coincidence!).

India and China ‘underdeveloped'(never mind the signal role the former  set of nations  had played in  effecting this  alleged outcome).


Let me  now counterpose, using  some non-materialist yardsticks.

Culture and civilisation are signal human achievements.

They take  time to ‘evolve’.

Civilization  involves a pacification of violence,  and aggression, both  natural and man-made (gender intended) . 


Now let us return to the Seventies.

The UK and the US were then engaged in  wars and expropriation across the world – as they had for over   a hundred years, and still are – not at all limited to Indo-China .

India and China had one or two  border skirmishes (and none for thousands of years of co-existence) but  of little import:  neither  was  scouring the world seeking conquest or expropriation.

Stated simply India and China , as civilizations, were far more evolved, than  the US/UK dyad .

So, now counterpose  ‘evolved’. to  ‘ developed‘ – as  societal templates.

And let nations be ranked, purely as a mental exercise,  on this  new scale.

Taking abstention from war as a civilisational standard.

The US/UK sink , swiftly, to the bottom, and  India and China (and Others)  float up.

The latter are far more ‘evolved’, societally, than the former.


There are many felicities to my notion.

Two are notable.

Human well-being cannot be reduced to material(ist) indices.

And people who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

You read me?

[©R.Kanth 2023]


Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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