Critique of Industrialisation

  • Andrew Webster
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines, briefly, a range of related ideas or schools of thought that could in terms of conventional thinking be described as ‘anti-development’, that is if ‘development’ is to be conceived of as the expansion of industry, capitalism and urban growth. This critique of industrialisation has taken a number of forms. We first look at the emergence and current appeal of a populist rural socialism that has its roots in early nineteenth century Europe, even though it was not to flourish there. Its principal impact has been in Tanzania and to a lesser extent in China and these two countries provide the focus for our discussion of populism which draws on the exceptionally valuable analysis of Kitching (1982). We then move on to our second critique of industrialisation, that which comes from the ecological movement, which in its attempt to defend the environment from the ravages of modern industry has within it an implicit critique of capitalist development. Its many recommendations for improving the quality of the environment often require a check on further capitalist industrial growth and even a complete end to the environmentally most damaging forms it takes. What is offered as an alternative is the construction of a less wasteful, less polluting and less ‘soul-destroying’ system of production based on ‘intermediate’ forms of technology.

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Copyright information

© Andrew Webster 1990

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  • Andrew Webster

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