Belamy-Foster Let them eat Pollution

Belamy-Foster Let them eat Pollution

Memo implications:
1. Individuals in the third world are worth less than that of people in advanced capitalist economies, judged by earnings (white collar vs blue collar)
2. Air pollution is inefficiently low in LDC (Less Developed Countries) compared to highly polluted cities like LA and Mexico City
3. Clean environment can be seen as luxury good; pursued by rich with high life Expectancies and higher aesthetic/health standards, thus production would be cheaper if moved from the center to periphery of world system
World Bank’s role is to create conditions conducive to world capital accumulation, especially at core of capitalist world; characteristic of bourgeois economics, governments make decisions that are based in valuations among classes
Regulatory measures should be chosen to maximize the net benefit to society
Argument for dumping toxic wastes in third world is nothing more than call for globalization of policies and practices already evident in the US
Traditional economic views undervalue natural wealth and underestimate economic dependence on ecological conditions
1992 earth summit; US showed that it was prepared to take on the task of opposing radical forces within the global environmental movement
capitalism history doesn’t show a system capable of solving solutions, rather towards “let them eat pollution”
Reforms (working class, protests) can force the system to moderate itself or put beneficial constraints on the market
Frank: “The development of underdevelopment”

Most theoretical categories and guides to development policy have been distilled only from the historical experience of the European and North American advanced capitalist nations
Available theories fail to reflect the past of underdeveloped countries entirely; ignorance of history leads us to believe that their past/present resembles early stages of now-developed countries; studies don’t take into account the relations of metropolis and economic colonies throughout history of worldwide development and expansion
Held that UD countries are in a stage, but neither past/present resemble in any aspect that of now-developed countries
Contemporary underdevelopment is product of past/continuing economic relations between satellites and metropolitan countries, they are an essential part of structure/development of capitalist system
“Dual society” theory false, policy recommendations only intensify and perpetuate the conditions of underdevelopment
Economic political social and cultural institutions and relations are products of the historical development of the capitalist system; backwards or feudal areas are the product of the single historical process of capitalist development
Metropolis-satellite structure: each satellite serves as instrument to suck capital or economic surplus out of its own satellites, channel part of this surplus to world metropolis of which all are satellites; serve to maintain monopolistic structure and exploitative relationship of this system, promoting their own development as long as it is for enrichment of their ruling class
Development in Sao Paolo converted them into internal colonial satellites, decapitalized them further, and consolidated or even deepened their underdevelopment; provincial poor migrate and become the poor of the metropolitan cities; increasingly satellized by world capitalist metropolis and its future development possibilities are increasingly restricted
Underdevelopment isn’t due to survival of archaic institutions and existence of capital shortage in regions that have remained isolated; but was/still is generated by very same historical process which also generated economic development: development of capitalism itself
Three hypotheses about under/development:
1. Development of national and other subordinate metropoles is limited by satellite status
2. Satellites experience their greatest economic development, especially most classically capitalist industrial development if and when their ties to their metropolis are weakest
a. Consequent loosening of trade and investment ties during these periods, satellites initiated marked autonomous industrialization and growth
b. Geographic and economic isolation of regions which at one time were relatively weakly tied to and poorly integrated into the new mercantilist and capitalist system
c. Regions became manufacturing centers and even exporters during periods preceding their effective incorporation as satellites into the colonial national and world capitalist system
d. When metropolis recovers from crisis or when it expands into previously isolated regions, previous development and industrialization are channeled into directions that aren’t self-perpetuating
3. Regions which are the most underdeveloped and feudal seeming today are the ones which has the closest ties to the metropolis in the past; greatest exporters of primary products to, biggest source of capital for, the world metropolis
a. Already existing economic political and social structure of these regions prohibited autonomous generation of economic development
Monopoly structure and uneven development of capitalist history, resulting persistence of commercial rather than industrial capitalism in the underdeveloped world; liberating political needs
Reno: aluminum profits and Caribbean people

Billion dollar will from company went to US and its possessions, lands in need of help weren’t mentioned, struggle by the countries that produce aluminum ore for a share of wealth extracted from their lands; primary producers Caribbean islands and lands bordering them to the south
By mid 1920s the industry had taken on monopoly form, prices maintained by restricting output
Total expenditure of producing countries is less than the big four companies net profit (for health education and welfare), underemployment universal and chronic, refugees flooding already overcrowded cities
Countries poor are getting poorer, few rich grow richer
Essential thing in developing countries is capital investment and social planning; upper class doesn’t invest money locally but sends it to US England and Canada
Earlier, advancement or advantages were given to those whose attitude/loyalty promised defense of colonial economic empires after political empires were dissolved

Aluminum profits and how they’re taxed
Companies make high profits from Caribbean operations, could be most profitable US investment structures in the world
Suspicion of paddling arose, and of payments to us shipping, insurance and other issues that permit a transfer of payments to hide profits
Bauxite: lower price means less taxes paid to primary producing country, and more profit after taxes left over for the companies; they were holding the price of imported bauxite at dead level while raising aluminum prices; when bauxite finally rose US companies could reduce total income taxes; countries don’t benefit from US high profit years

Aluminum’s wave of the future
Standard imperialist pattern: companies keep Caribbean as sources of raw material, refined and fabricated it in US Canada and UK; now economic compulsions are impelling them toward processing and refining operations in primary producing countries, mostly from opening of markets for aluminum products in developing countries
When consumption will be allowed to catch up, small nations will be left at mercy of great combines; profits go and stay in foreign lands, derived from diminishing natural resources of people who are presently at urgent need, and future at mercy of conflicting economic forces
Industry could easily give more to Caribbean development, especially higher bauxite operation taxes, insistence on more processing refining and fabricating in the countries
Great companies play one producing country off of another, so they can’t cope with the companies
Increased income from taxes, or loans from other sources won’t go into capital development but goods and services for the middle class, deposits by upper class in foreign banks
Mitchell: the object of development

Analysis fields introduce things obvious and straightforward, hard to deny; what appears as nature is already shaped by power technology expertise and privilege, international development discourse shapes itself in a way of expertise and intelligence that stands apart from country/people it describes, intelligence generated by organizations like world bank and USAID, external
1970s Egypt ended open door economic policy and switched from government to foreign and local sector initiatives, from state to the private sector or “the market”
New role of IMF, WB, USAID
Late 1980s USAID and IMF imposed policies that removed price subsidies, increased unemployment, brought economic recession, increasing inequality
Egypt began to import more grain, but majority was for feeding animals, dependence on grain imports caused by shift to meat consumption; import was for humans because in country grown grain fed animals; USAID helped them become the largest importer of subsidized grains claiming subsidies were to “help the poor,” loans only helped a part of imports, rest required borrowing which contributed to debt, US demanded that they shift from crop exports/staple foods to produce more hard currency to pay debts
Started growing more food for animals than humans, accompanied by increase of more expensive products like fruits/vegetables: growing disparity between rich/poor meant resources were to be put away from staples and towards luxury items (said world bank), also, US loans subsidized import of staples for consumers, taxing production of staples by farmers, subsidize production of meat poultry and dairy
Growth in agricultural production was always ahead of population growth

Official limits of family farm sizes didn’t apply to large agribusiness corporation holdings; if it were fair, no agricultural household would have less than necessary to feed themselves, production would increase; new definitions were from the British consul-general, not reflecting Egyptian farmers; redistribution of agricultural land
This also offered new livelihoods in country and towns, compared to large scale and capital intensive industry favored by state and international financial institutions, ignored demands/wants
USAID ignored proposals for land reform and instead introduced “free market” program for rural areas that created larger farms
Main reports ignore economic and political changes that transformed Egypt for historic idea
World bank goal: new capital investment, irrigation methods, seed varieties, mechanization, export crops to bring in foreign capital required to finance technologies; USAID project that encouraged mechanization
Arguments used to justify American funding were outdated and didn’t have firm evidence, mechanization also funded by WB, required large contributions from Egyptian government
Later “labor shortage” result of unequal distribution of land into large farms requiring hired labor, and low agricultural prices imposed by the state; response, high payoff program of mechanization made payoffs/profit go to the machine owners and importing agents/foreign manufacturers

Addition to land, inequality of central government policies that transferred wealth from rural population to the state, producing inequality and maintaining it, international development made it an issue of proper resource management
Land reforms made farmers under central gov control for cropping requirements, requisitions, price policies; small farmers later faced eviction as they reestablished “free market” in agricultural land
USAID began promoting reorganization of state “decentralization” and “privatization,” authority and funds transferred to power; village councils were controlled by village landowners and local officials, shift of exploitation; unequal relationship deemed “differential advantage,” pay low wages to employees and prevent protesting
Cost recovery in the provision of government services: major strategy in reducing role of the state by switching operation to market forces
Transform public services into private fee-based institutions; USAID used books as advertising; advantage of private health care being dependence on imported US drugs/equipment; mechanism for transferring wider social privilege from one generation to the next
Programs made social inequality and powerlessness into issues of efficiency and control, thus making underlying political issues invisible

Model answers
World bank treats nation state as functional unit, comparable to others, economic state features appear to be interchangeable, how IMF and USAID promoted growth of exports as solution to economic problems/keep up interest payments on its foreign debts, no evidence of policies
Development discourse practices a self-deception, discourse of rational planning; rather than being outside of the country USAID is actually central in power configurations within the country
Major goal of USAID programs was to develop “private sector” but effect strengthened power of the state, it worked with public sector in Egypt as a liaison, but couldn’t diagnose itself as an aspect of the problem

Prevailing wisdom of WB, IMF USAID was that problems stemmed from restrictions placed on initiative and freedom of private sector, their “structural adjustment” programs left Egypt unable to pay back international debts
Prices for major commodities determined by monopolies organized by states and MNCs, not a private market
US economic assistance was spent directly on US than on development projects in Egypt, most of “American aid” represents money paid by Egypt to America; recipients of funds were American manufacturing constructing and consulting firms; local implementation expenses of development projects were paid by Egyptian government in exchange for commodities imported from US
Aid program exacerbated problems in wealth distribution and political power, came at price of dependence on imports/debt
Program effect was to provide subsidies of US private sector, directly through purchase of products, indirectly by converting Egypt to future US market
USAID thus, as form of state support to American corporate sector, worked in Egypt to dismantle state supports
US aid channeled half its funds directly into the most powerful sector of the state (military), Egyptian military developed into major presence within country’s manufacturing, agriculture, construction and consumption
Egypt’s public funds/government expenditure became mostly devoted to military and minimally to public services, power/privilege on this scale would’ve been impossible without US aid contributions
Discourse of development is within, not outside such relationships (meat production and US remedy of subsidized food exports)
Non-west problems caused by lack of western expertise, technology, management skills


Rich: from Descartes to Chico Medes, brief history of modernity as development
Development is post WWII phenomenon, refers to progress modernization technology and growth, going on in west since 20th century; application of science and technology to production of goods and services
Critical point in history came with enlightenment, when western societies began to organize themselves in feedback loop of technical innovation and transformation, joined production of economic surplus to modern science/market expansion
Modernization ideals rooted in EN, eager to apply scientific technological methods to increase material production, desire for institutions/cultural transformations that embody Weber values (efficient, frugal, orderly, punctual, rational)
Political unit of nation state is favored vehicle
Concept of social organization came about in less than 4 centuries, Rostow says deciding factor was scientific revolution success in 17/18th centuries, taught natural world oculd be transformed for human benefit; Weber’s thesis that rationalism meant adjustment to the world

Descartes/Bacon; knowledge power and welfare, new inventions and devices to master and possess nature/earth without effort
Cartesian vision became embedded in global bureaucratic culture, world is an extension and can be rearranged according to circumstances and calculation, one answer to any problem, system with one goal of possessing nature for human use

Empire of man over things
Bacon; reevaluate previous, focus on method and induction, dominate nature and human affairs through “new philosophy”
Critical role of instrumental reason in world directed toward conquest of nature, division of labor and specialization, one taking charge; human knowledge and power meet in one, technology and information are in the hands of a few that account to the state

Modernity Development and Technology
Rostow: scientific rev the originating event that made technology and economic development a rapid evolution, first state sponsored institution Bank of England in 1964
Science by-product of technology, dominant project wasn’t knowledge but power over nature and humankind
17th century growth of interest in the occult sciences, relationship to magic

Keynes realized that Newton wasn’t rationalist but magician

“Universal idea”
St-Simon mission to improve mankind, material industrial production and technology being the means; “desire to command man has transformed itself into desire to make and remake nature in accordance with our will”
Envisioned society that channeled human aggression into massive development projects and industrial growth; government as applied economics, politics replaced by reason
First international development planner, followers were forebears of “technocratic faith” or “modernization ideals” with promise of power and faith in the future
Comte: systematic philosophy, evolved to “positivist” epoch, empirical science and rationally organized labor are goal of human existence

Paradoxes of Modernity Triumphant
Origins in 17th century, but transformations fully realized two centuries later
Collective will to power wasn’t new, but societies had been limited by the absence of it or method to transform nature
Weber; rationalization and bureaucratization characterized evolution of modern development in private and public sectors, rationality within an organization becomes more important than the ends in can serve, replaces ethics with instrumental calculation and technical competence
Global development is attractive areas because it fits into formal logic of its institutional needs
Weber; material goods have gained power over the lives of men, freedom came from rival bureaucracies and interests means they check/limit each other, nightmare would occur with abolition of private capitalism as top management would be bureaucrats merged into single hierarchy; most power rooted in knowledge and information, supervision and sharing necessary

Politics of Technocracy

The Danger
Typical instrumental reason of bureaucratic undertakings characterized by long sequences of mediated actions which lose sight of their original act of definition, as well as of their ultimate consequences; once sequence of action is launched the formal rationality of organization takes over
Modernity characteristic: social production of distance between human actions and their consequences
Development pursued as an absolute goal is nihilistic, reason becomes instrument harnessed to the social process, role in domination, transform existence into “field of means”

World bank founded on ruins of world war and Holocaust, made possible by technology and modern bureaucratic organization, embodiment of era that began with the enlightenment


Reading notes:
Frank’s Imperialism reading notes
Yet historical research demonstrates that contemporary underdevelopment is in large part the historical product of past and continuing economic and other relations between the satellite underdeveloped and the now-developed metropolitan countries. Furthermore, these relations are an essential part of the structure and development of the capitalist system on a world scale as a whole

Evident inequalities of income and differences in culture have led many observers to see “dual” societies and economies in the underdeveloped countries. Each of the two parts is supposed to have a history of its own, a structure, and a contemporary dynamic largely independent of the other. Supposedly, only one part of the economy and society has been importantly affected by intimate economic relations with the “outside” capitalist world; and that part, it is held, became modern, capitalist, and relatively developed precisely because of this contact. The other part is widely regarded as variously isolated, subsistence-based, feudal, or pre-capitalist, and therefore more underdeveloped.

Frank believes, on the contrary, that the entire “dual society” thesis is false and that the policy recommendations to which it leads will, if acted upon, serve only to intensify and perpetuate the very conditions of underdevelopment they are supposedly designed to remedy.

Underdevelopment is not due to the survival of archaic institutions and the existence of capital shortage in regions that have remained isolated from the stream of world history. On the contrary, underdevelopment was and still is generated by the very same historical process which also generated economic development: the development of capitalism itself.
Frank’s Hypotheses
(1) In contrast to the development of the world metropolis, which is no one’s satellite, the development of the national and other subordinate metropolises is limited by their satellite statuses.
(2) The satellites experience their greatest economic development if and when their ties to the metropolis are weakest. Frank observes that Latin America has experienced marked autonomous industrialization during the temporary isolation caused by the crisis of The First World War or by the depression in the world metropolis in the 1930s.
(3) When the metropolis recovers from its crisis and reestablishes the trade and investment ties which then fully reincorporate the satellites into the system, the previous industrialization of these regions is choked off.
(4)The regions that are the most underdeveloped and feudal today are the ones that had the closest ties to the metropolises in the past. Frank argues that the archaic institutions in the satellites are not their natural state but are historical products of the penetration of metropolis capitalism

According to Frank, the third world countries could never follow the Western path because they have experienced something that the Western countries have not experienced before. To put it plainly, the Western countries have not experienced colonialism, but most of the third world countries were former colonies of the Western countries.

Available theory fails to reflect the past for the underdeveloped part of the world entirely, & reflects the past of the world as a whole only in part.

The now developed countries were never underdeveloped, they were just undeveloped.

Believed that the contemporary underdevelopment of a country can be understood as the product or reflection solely of its own economic, political, social, & cultural characteristics or structure

Underdeveloped due to pre-capitalism

Frank believes that “dual” society thesis is false

Modernization school believes there’s something wrong within 3rd world countries, such
as—traditional culture, investment, overpopulation, ect.

Aluminum profits and how they are taxed:
Tonnage (capacity) export duties and royalties, along with income taxes
The lower the bauxite price, the less taxes paid to the primary producing country & the more profit left over after taxes

Aluminum producing countries turned towards a fixed tax per ton of bauxite produced.
-Downside is the countries don’t benefit from the companies’ high profit years

Aluminum smelting is important to underdeveloped countries

World aluminum consumption will grow fast enough to take up the new production is very doubtful—one of the doubts that cloud the future in unplanned capitalist society.





term papers to buy
research papers