Re: breaking away as other side of development: destructive power

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Wed Apr 06 2005 - 17:55:47 PDT

Very interesting, thanks Iraj.

On Apr 6, 2005 12:19 PM, IRAJ IMAM <> wrote:
> *Mary** "*The kinds of loss produced by "development" produces an
> interesting line of inquiry."
> *Mike:* "It is the other side of Yrjo's notion of development as breaking
> away."
> *David:* "when you break away and put the rules of your cultural
> subjectivity to treat with the content of a strange one, what kind of
> complex cognitive act do you perform? Would be your cultural life as brief
> as the one of the butterflies?"
> *Kris: *"I think he's [Rodriquez] an excellent writer… and his rendering
> of his story makes him the perfect candidate for the English speaking Union,
> the anti-bilingual, and anti-affirmative action crowd." [again, other side
> of development; breaking away?]
> *Yrjo:* "The challenge to developmental theory is to account for the
> negative, destructive and explosive elements in developmental processes
> without patronizing and reducing them to safe formulas at the outset."
> I liked Yrjo's brief paper for connecting to much old and much ignored
> force of destructive power; both in its 'productive' and 'destructive'
> functions. Political economists since 19th century have demonstrated the
> contradictory process of social and economic 'development' in western
> societies. Marx showed in the process of (primitive) capital accumulation
> peasants became landless and hence available as laborers for the industry.
> In the 20th century, Gunter-Frank, Amin, Wallerstein, and others showed
> how this process of capital accumulation was manifested globally. These lead
> to the understanding of 'development' as an uneven process of both
> production and destruction. Mehrdad Vahabi has recently published an
> important book about destructive power (and its relative ignorance in social
> sciences):
> A summary is published in an online journal (scroll down to get to his
> article):>
> He suggests two forms of destructive power: (1) destruction as an act of
> creation; transforming and making something new from what exists --in both
> physical and actual spaces-- (logs to cabin; ignorance to learning). (2)
> Destruction for the sake of destruction— power of threat and exclusion both
> in violent (war, sanctions, demonization) and non-violent (strike, boycott,
> gossip) acts --in both physical and actual spaces. The first one has
> appropriative function (pirating), and second has rule-producing function
> (sovereignty and 'state of exception'). The former can function as a means
> to the latter.
> iraj
> The Center for Applied Local Research
> 5200 Huntington Ave., Suite 200 Richmond, CA 94804
> Telephone: (510) 558-7932 FAX: (510) 558-7940
> e-mail: <>
> Web: <>
> "The defence of free speech begins at the point when people say something
> you can't stand. If you can't defend their right to say it, then you don't
> believe in free speech." Salman Rushdie, 7/2/2005

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