‘Progress has a price’ quipped a fellow blogger recently. Now, before we proceed to smash the commonly held assumption that ‘Progress’ exists as a universal, objective entity recognizable by all, let us first make clear what one means when referring to such a notion.
Among the many other definitions and meanings associated with the word, there is ‘progress’ as defined by the dominant socio-political ideology of the era. Thanks to capitalism and the ‘free market’, the world is currently categorised into three ‘sub-worlds’; First, Second and Third. When deciding what category nation X belongs to, we must consider the extent of nation X’s industrial development, it is by this factor only that nation X can gauge how large a voice it has when it comes to international matters and how large a say it has on its own, supposedly sovereign, domestic matters. History has taught us thus far that industrially advanced nations tend to interfere with the sovereignty of industrially inferior nations. Many confuse superior economic strength these days with ‘progressive’ or ‘progressed’, and unstable or weak economic performance for ‘regressive’, ‘static’, etc.
So, ‘progress has a price’. If you want Apple Macs and fast cars, you’re gonna have to fight for them. To speak of her torment at witnessing the poverty and degradation of her people will only render Ms. Y open to the accusation that her people are a lazy breed; far too willing to accept the charity of others rather than build and maintain a stable economy. What is more, the imperialist invasion and occupation of her particular society, and the subsequent assimilation of her forefathers into a system of bondage and extortion, whilst bad in the short-term, ought to be seen as good for her as a product of the long-run. The West may well have robbed her culture of its dignity and self-worth, but at least these days she and the overwhelming majority of her peers can work 9 to 5 for the minimum wage and generally enjoy the luxuries of a society now addicted to commodities.