Do we force development?

http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3682_f08/Articles/Ferguson%20-%20The%20Anti%20Politics%20Machine.pdf

At the top of this blog I have linked what I believe is a very interesting article. I will not much say about it as I will just be repeating its points, and I would rather people read the words straight from the source and from a far superior writer to me.

The title ‘Do we force development?’ is something I have never thought off until only about an hour ago when reading this paper. It raises the point of whether ‘western’ organisations almost force development upon countries that may not even want it, or force it in ways that simply do not work. A key example it gives is the World Bank and food production and stocks. Basically what the paper appeared to show to me, was that organisations like the World Bank want to create agricultural development in LIC’s and the undeveloped countries with prime ‘real estate’ for agriculture, so that the country can export these goods and help provide sustenance for the rest of the world which is growing in population size and needs feeding. It is a point that really grabbed my attention and interest.

If it sounds interesting to you I would definitely justify reading the paper. Of course there’s the usual biased stuff that we will get from every paper, but inspire of that we can’t forget about some of the points, very legitimate points, it does raise about how western organisations and countries try to ‘help’ and develop those in poverty and in need of help, just maybe in ways we don’t think of or maybe just ignore.

The Underdeveloped and the Developed

Many would say there are two types of worlds upon our little planet. Those which name themselves developed, and others named the underdeveloped. Some also may call these the first and third world, with the second world and newly industrialised countries forgotten about somewhat. There are the use of several acronyms, such as HIC’s (High Income Countries) and LIC’s (Low Income Countries).  To me, it seems these clear difference between the world needs to be blurred, if it isn’t starting to already, and ripped down, replaced by a singular world. Unfortunately at the moment this appears a pipe dream.

The world is seemingly constantly being pulled apart, segregated, or simply put in a state where some countries and lives matter a lot more than other countries or lives. It is a shocking thing, one that has just become normal and part of our lives, whether we like it or not. No one wants poverty, yet some companies and organisations force it upon those ‘underdeveloped countries’ whether we know it or not.

I recently had to read several segments of a book entitled “The Shock Doctrine”. It truly was a very interesting read, and one I would recommend to many people. The book talks about many different things, but the main section I was reading was effectively how US businesses, US academic organisations and US secret services have tried to stop any sort of development or progress in some poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries. One very interesting example was Chile. Although not suffering from poverty or a lack of infrastructure even close to some other countries, it is nonetheless not exactly what people would call ‘fully developed’. In the past 40 years it has been trying to grow its industry and provide more opportunities for its population. In the 1970 a new, revolutionary government was put in place, a government which wanted to get people the wages they deserved without massively long working days, they wanted a fair development programme and hoped to bring many out of poverty. However, some of their plans would have effected the US, through resources they would not allow to be exploited, and the export and import market. It would have effected the US so much that the CIA had a project, funded by the government, to halt this development. Californian economic professors were also placed in Chilean universities to effectively brainwash them into thinking money and profit meant all, and that cheap labour force was needed. Effectively, it halted the incredible progress Chile was hoping to make. It is an incredible story, and one I would recommend people to read about. A lot of this info is from that book which I have not had the time to research so I am sorry for any biased or warped opinions.

Inspite of that, it does show the true way in which the world is run. I remember my old sixth form teacher passionately telling us how the developed world keeps the underdeveloped world in a state of, well no development. It means they can get cheap labour, exploit their resources, spread their values, and so on. Some say it is a modern form of colonialisation, but I am not sure on that. It is a shocking thing and something we all pay into everyday without realising. We buy items created in these areas of the world where labour is cheap, and through our purchases we force an increase in things like sweatshops, and overall bad quality work. We create a demand that many businesses want to make the most of, and increased profits can be increased even more from cheaper labour. In all it is a pretty remarkable idea and one I believe we need to start to think of more and more.

We give billions in aid each year through charities and country aid programmes, why are not bigger changes happening, is it because we are not giving the best charities the biggest amounts, or because every country has its hidden agenda, that a lot of the time isn’t actually that hidden.

It maddens and saddens me, I learn more about this subject each year, starting out with that incredible teacher I mentioned earlier. It is one of the reasons I aim to spend my life helping others and hoping to improve peoples lives and making sure every child in whatever country can grow up in a world no different to the other. A world where hopefully, one day, there will be no developed or underdeveloped, no third or first world. Just a singular entity, equal and fair. It will never happen in my lifetime, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t aim for it, that just makes me want to work for it all the more.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on a big matter, a huge topic and a massive idea to take in and actually realise the system we live in. I just hope together we can force a change and finally bring everyone up to an equal level.

Disasters

Disasters, whether conflict, natural, biological or chemical, and many others, are subtle reminders of our underlining weakness as humans. Our need to protect ourselves from them is a constant battle for some, and not even in the minds of others. It is quite remarkable how one disaster event can bring the most developed nations to their feet. It is remarkable, and something I find fascinating. So fascinating intact, that I hope to go on to study it at Masters level and hopefully, with enough blood, sweat and tears, go into a career of disaster management.

The key thing that grabs my attention so much towards disasters is the relationship between some of these very physical disasters and the human world. This interaction grabs my focus. Something like floods can show the weakness of an areas planning, an earthquake could quite literally rip open California, genocides and conflicts continue to occur worldwide, and yet are some of the most forgotten and ignored disasters. This human-on-human disaster is hard to study, not in that there is a lack of info, but the views and ideas you are dealing with.

The reason I am writing about all this is that I feel we don’t truly see the vulnerability of any society or nation until you see some sort of disaster thrust upon them. Whether this is a 1 in 200 year flood event, or a 10 year-long civil war, it shows both the best and worst of us, and shows how equal we truly all are. When a disaster hits, your money may not stop it from ruining your life. I say may, as money can create safety, but through large flood schemes, earthquake proofing, preparedness, but one single man or women bank full of money will never protect them from anything. Disasters put us on a level playing field. When a hurricane hits parts of the south of the USA, it rips apart a million dollar mansion just as much as a rundown house in the less fortunate areas of town. Disasters single-handedly shows every persons vulnerability, shows them their true human side.

Disasters are becoming an ever more pressing issue and one we have to keep an eye on, and most of all prepare for. Blame is a lot to do with what happens after a disaster strikes, but should it not occur continuously before, blame being turned into social pressure to make sure emergency plans are in place and being constantly evaluated. We love to get angry after an event, but usually months after many of the world forget, and with no media presence, a lot of the time nothing else happens. This need to evaluate and delve plans constantly before now appears to be growing, and hopefully getting to a state where it truly can protect and help those at risk when some disaster occurs.

Of course, these kind of plan cannot bemused for things like conflict. Plans could be put in place but in a very different way. For instance, the uK has riot plans for areas, but places in Asia and Africa do not have the resources, time or social justice needed to force and create this plans. Conflict is something I have far less knowledge on but a lot of passion for. Nonetheless it is a disaster that cannot be forgotten, especially as these are not point sources of disasters but long-term, deadly events.

I am sorry if my previous blog came across in a bad manner, I am not the greatest of writers and only get by through my passion. I now understand that many more people are aware of Boku Haram than I thought, which was through my own stupidity to think others wouldn’t, I apologise for any ‘pomposity’ I may have seen to cause. If you know me you will know I aim not to enrage or cause anger, I do read about things first, I may have just wrote my previous blood badly and for that I apologise. However, I hope people still read it and take away that we battle amongst ourselves way too much, in my thoughts anyway.

We Are Together

Togetherness has probably been one of the key things seen around the world and in the media this week due to the shocking events in Paris, and across France. However, was this true togetherness?

This week, while the events in Paris where unfolding, I also read a very interesting article about Boko Haram’s ‘activities’ in Nigeria. My first question is whether you have heard about the shocking events they carried out this week? Many will not have heard of any of these events, and this is not the fault of many of the casual media readers and viewers out there. To put it in its simplest terms, Boko Haram is a ‘terror’ movement primarily in Nigeria. In the past week they have carried out the deadliest massacre in Nigeria history. 2000 killed by terrorism and conflict. Yet this made very few  headlines, except on a few online news feeds. So while 2000 Nigerians were practically ignored by the western media, 12 western lives took every headline. Now I am NOT trying to make these awful attacks in Paris sound normal, or condone them in ANY way. However, I just feel a bit of prospective needs to be shown on these two stories, both occurring in the same week.

This is where my crazy idea of ‘togetherness’ comes in. I believe this world needs to stop everything and realise the true corruption, lack of transparency, conflict and pure lies that happen everyday all around us, many of which we either do not know about or just do not care about. Now, let’s be honest, that is a pipe dream. The world in one day isn’t going to change, as much as I would love it to. But what we do need to realise is that we are stronger together, and that we should think about how we are being torn apart by thousands of different religions, ideals, thoughts and memories. Conflict is pretty much the biggest killer in the world, yet from my perspective, we only ever see this when it is brought to ‘our lands’, as some may say. For our world to get over these forms of terror and pain we have to come together. We have to stop bickering amongst ourselves and look at each other in the eye and see what chances this world does have.

The other day I was looking through twitter and saw how someone was being talked to very aggressively, rudely and inappropriately on a social media platform about their thoughts and views about the Paris attacks, isn’t this just unnecessary hatred on what is really, a quite stupid platform? Why do we fight and shout at each other, when in fact we could come together, create true transparency, look beyond our European walls and see the true worlds, the true conflicts, the famine, the genocides, those at risk from disasters, those at risk or in poverty, why can we not just see this? I believe we are simply blinded too much by our own issues and rely too much on what the media tells us, but that is just me.

As you can tell I am not the biggest supporter of most of the media, even though by writing this blog I am creating a media form with a value and ideal others may not agree with, I suppose this goes back to the Paris attacks on freedom of speech. However, I’m not trying to say all our views are wrong. I just think we need to all come together, and instead of wasting time arguing about problems, start sorting them. It will never happen, with so many different upbringings and values, we will always bring our personality into changes, limiting their effectiveness. But for today, as I go to publish this blog, lets just to stop for a minute, take a breath, and try to look past each others values and beliefs, and see what truly matters in this world, not the fighting or the money, but having a person beside you. A person to trust, love, laugh with, or simply to be with. Togetherness is a wonderful thing, we all do it individually with each other, but maybe we just need one big ‘us’.

My View Of The Year To Come

I am someone who always looks at the positive side of anything and everything. I see it as a far more interesting and useful way to live, as well as one that keeps me driven and in a good mindset. Therefore, I see the future as one of opportunities and changes, and not one of challenges and negatives. As a species we must learn, and learning takes time. So far it has taken us thousands of years, but with each day we make small changes and achievements. Sometimes it is hard to see this from some viewpoints, from the media or within a western country. But I believe we do move forward. The issue we have is the challenge of keeping this forward trajectory a reality with an ever growing population.

2015 is a year of many opportunities for myself, and I see it as a year where changes can be made and life’s and fortunes can be improved. First of all we have the general excitement of 2015 that is cinema. 2015 looks to be the biggest and most exciting year in film for many years, and as a lover of film this excites me and keeps me involved with the whole filmmaking community. Let us think, this time next year a new Star Wars will be upon us. That in itself is enough to put a very large smile on my face when 2015 is mentioned.

However, that is a very superficial thing to be excited about in 2015. Many will see that as naivety, I see it as just be joyful for joyfulnesses sake. Of course we do have some very real troubles ahead in 2015, and most likely tens of years after that. We have the worries of a UK general election, the ever-growing and ignored threat of climate change, the increased ignorance of people towards the media and the continued lack of caring for the rest of the world.

This sounds past depressing, but if we view it in this way we will never make progress and change will never occur. We must now start to challenge these issues. Why is our media like it is? Is it the base for all western issues? Why do we ignore the important issues so much? These are big questions I hope to look at in the coming year but not right now. Right now, I want to remind people that change will always come, the time of a dynamic and engaged society is coming, a world of hate and ignorance will decay. If we focus on making positive changes, big and small, or remembering our individual brilliance and chances we can move forward, we can live together.

For now, I simply want to leave you with a good New Years message. Every life has worth, and every life matters, don’t believe you do not or your voice does not.

A happy new year to all.

A New Time

In 2015 I am hoping to use this blog in a new way, and one I hope will spread the word on many different events and topics.

This blog has been a part of myself since 2011, and I now have realised the chance I have to raise the profile of issues and problems facing, not just myself, but millions around the world. With finding a path in life comes passion and drive, something I know I have in spades and something I hope to convey in this blog.

Over the years I have restarted, renewed, redone this blog over and over. But, after four years, I finally know what I want my blog to be and how I want to use it.

You will notice a new blog theme, stripped down to its bare bones, for I want this blog to simply convey a message. One of hope, compassion and a future filled with opportunities. I want every word to have an impact and I hope to use this blog for good, if I am to be all too cliche.

However, to do this I need all my readers help. We all want a better world, and together we can do it. I personally, want to devote my life to helping others around the world, I always have. I now understand the responsibility we in the developed world have to the rest of the world, and I want to use this opportunity as much as I can.

I hope you read my blogs and understand what I am saying, and feel as determined to help the world as I do. Together differences can be made, we just need to band together.

I will be blogging once a week, most likely every Wednesday. So please do take a read on that day, and I hope you find my blogs both interesting and entertaining.

Please also check out my blog on Facebook, Louis Sherman Blogs.

Thank you

And a Merry Christmas.