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If we wish to examine earlier attempts at creating a modern iron-manufacturing sector we can also turn to the history of cannon-casting. Here we encounter what Prof. Nakaoka calls the 'self-reliance/imitation model', which might prove to be a valuable example for today's developing countries. The reverbatory furnaces at Saga, Kagoshima, Mito, Nirayama, Tottori and Hagi, were all based on one book in the Dutch language. There was a drawn-out process of trial and error: only half the iron would melt, barrels burst at the first shot, etc "But it must not be overlooked that, in the midst of innumerable failures, they made steady progress." Indeed, in only a few years all the initial problems had been overcome; and "by the end of the Edo period [1600-1868] they had made about two hundred [cannon], including three cannon with rifled barrels, which were the latest development in contemporary Europe".
"In spite of the innumerable failures, the speed with which they assimilated new exogenous technology seems to us astonishing." There has been much debate about the reasons for this speed, but the position adopted by Prof. Ohashi Shuji is of special Interest here. "Drawing on his detailed studies of the late Edo iron metallurgy, Prof. Ohashi has shown three distinct stages in the formative process of Saga cannon-casting technology; each of these stages had its own counterpart in the European development." The first stage was the casting of bronze cannon. In Japan this stage lasted from 1842 to 1859, whereas European cannon-casting technology had remained at the bronze stage until the middle of the eighteenth century. In both places it constituted the historical basis for later iron cannon-casting. In Japan this second stage of casting iron cannon took place between 1851 and 1859, and it corresponded to European developments which took place from the middle of the eighteenth century to the 1850s. The third stage, dating from 1863, centred on the ability to make rifled cast-steel barrels; this stage corresponded to European development since the 1840s. "It must be noticed that, although each stage covered only a brief period of time, Saga had passed through exactly the same stages, and in the same order, as Europe."
In this development they relied not only on their own experience with bronze cannon-casting, but also on many other achievements of indigenous science and technology, such as the making of firebricks, the utilisation of water power, Japanese indigenous arithmetic and, above all, the domestic iron-manufacturing technology. Craftsmen had long been making arms, such as swords and guns, and agricultural implements, such as hoes and sickles, from pig iron and steel; and the temperatures of their furnaces were comparable with those of blast furnaces. Thus, 'the craftsmen had a significantly high level in the art of casting and forging; and they were well informed about the behaviour at high temperatures of melted iron and various other materials".
"Without solid support from indigenous technology and from their own experiences in the preceding stages, any attempt at imitation could not be expected to succeed." This much is beyond any doubt. But could they not have attained the same results without any imitation at all? "Surely, but perhaps only very slowly." Trying to imitate a Western model did, indeed, spur them on. "Exactly because their attempts to cast cannon were an imitation of exogenous technology, these attempts were accompanied by new and previously unknown problems. Solving these required a higher level of technological skill than the engineers had actually attained." Fortunately, the gaps they encountered were each time sufficiently small to overcome; but, because of the presence of these gaps, the increase in their abilities is best described as a series of 'leaps', rather than as a simple 'progress'.
Japanese technological development has known many such leaps, one of which is generally considered to mark the birth date of the modern Japanese iron industry: I December 1857 witnessed the first fire lit in the blast-furnace at Kamaishi, a charcoal-fired blast-furnace, again based on a design found in the single book mentioned above. Apart from the leaps, there were, of course, failures; but these, too, had their importance, for they prepared the Japanese engineers for their next leap. "This characteristic [i.e. a series of small leaps] in Japanese technological development is, I suggest, extremely important for the developing countries now. In so far as the developing countries aim to reach the same technological level as the developed countries... in a shorter period of time, their development plans must necessarily be designed as a series of leaps."
Social problems related to technological leaps should also be of interest for countries embarking on their own development. Technical leaps have to be seen in their full social and historical contexts. For, although in itself a technological endeavour, each leap was always an inseparable part of some historical social movement. "The first leap grew out of the agitation which began with the social shock brought about by the Opium Wars and the appearance of Western warships and which ended with the fall of the Edo Government. Many cannon cast during this time... were fired against the Tokugawa army as well as against Western squadrons. The second leap was, of course, associated with the great social change after the Meiji restoration; and the third with the international tension between the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War." Later, too, historical events remained the incentive for leaps. "Broadly speaking, it is true that Japan always succeeded in harnessing the nationalistic passion aroused by periods of agitation and in using it as a driving force for a technological leap. This is still true now. For instance, the Japanese leaders made full use of the oil crisis of 1973 in order to build up a feeling of emergency which they were able to turn towards the development of energy-economising technology."
In regard to nationalistic feelings helping to create a technological leap, an especially interesting period in the history of modern Japanese science and technology is that between the two world wars. World War I strongly impressed the Japanese with the virtues of science: more concretely, they had suffered different sorts of shortages because certain imports had had to be stopped, and they admired the Germans for having invented substitute materials in similar circumstances by means of scientific ingenuity. As the late Prof. Hiroshige pointed out, "the trend which began with this war was one of 'Science for Resources', which meant science for the ensuring of resources and for the invention of substitutes as well as the science of resource materials." The problem Japan had faced during the war was a sort of 'technological dependence 'like that which can now be seen in the Third World. Afterwards, therefore, stress was laid on independence from Western technology.
"It is ironical to see that the dynamic interaction of exogenous and endogenous forces, which had operated quite well when Japan concentrated mainly on imitation of the West, began to operate rather destructively as soon as Japan aimed for independence from the West, perhaps because of too much weight laid on the endogenous side." "Calls for self-reliance and for Japan's own science and technology evoked too much chauvinism." Moreover, the social pressures arising from rapid industrial development were giving rise both to a radical-revolutionary labour movement and to an extreme right-wing nationalistic movement, and the government hoped to use the extreme right to suppress the left. "In doing so, it encouraged the chauvinistic, spiritualistic and Orientalistic elements of the right wing. All these elements were aggregated into the movement of so-called 'Japanese fascism', which was very effective in mobilising the masses for the war but extremely inhibitory for the development of science and technology."
"Subsidising fundamental research, promoting the development of indigenous techniques, improving the system of scientific education and diffusing scientific knowledge among the masses - these steady basic efforts resulted in raising the level of popular scientific culture and prepared the way for later development, but the vast popular energy was oppressed and inhibited by the mystical and chauvinistic elements of Japanese fascism. Only when Japan's defeat in World War II had brought about the democratization of Japan and eradicated these inhibiting factors could Japan begin to develop rapidly. This experience may also be instructive for the Third World."
Another point which might prove to be a valuable historical lesson is that national effort in making a technological leap necessarily has repercussions on social structures. "Japanese historians of technology and science have talked a great deal about the 'biased structure' of Japanese technology. This concept has various implications, but, roughly speaking, it refers to a social structure in which only a few areas of industry have been developed to a high technical level, while others remain at a very backward, or even pre-industrial level...." Japanese scholars usually explain this structure as a reflection of the structures of Japan's "armament-based capitalist industrialization", but Dr Nakaoka considers it "a socially transformed mirror image of the technological leap". The point is that it seems "impossible for any developing country to make technological leaps at the same time in every industrial area". In itself, the gap between the advanced and the backward areas of the economy can play an important role in development. "If this gap is not too large, it may work as a stimulant for the more backward areas.... If, on the other hand, it is too large, it leads to conflicts."
A practical example of the potential negative effects of such a gap is provided by what are called 'the company-castle towns'. A modern company is set up in a traditional agricultural area, eventually dominating the area and providing nearly all the work there, much in the same way that a feudal manor did. In the same tradition, a feeling of company loyalty is created, since the company takes over the role of the native community. Through its power the company can also acquire strong ties with the prefectural government, not to mention the city mayor.
Citing a well-known case, Dr Nakaoka said that "many Japanese argue that there was a strong connection between the way in which Minamata disease was diffused and this regional structure". Minamata was one such 'company-castle town'. When the disease caused by the organic mercury from the company's effluent started to spread, the company denied the fact, tried to refute all scientific evidence of it and refused to take any countermeasures. "In this, the company received the tacit support of the Kumamoto prefectural authorities." Thus, the struggle against the disease became the struggle of scientists against the 'company-castle town' structure itself.
In conclusion to his outline of this aspect of Japanese experience, Dr Nakaoka said that he regards the technological leap "as an element of dynamic progress in society. In favourable conditions it can work as an excellent incitement to endogenous creativity; in other conditions it can become the starting point for serious conflicts."
In his paper entitled La apropriación y la recuperación de las ciencias sociales en el contexto de los proyectos culturales endógenos, Dr Guillermo Boreal Batalla considered the relationship between the Western social sciences and the traditional knowledge of society possessed by non-Western ethnic groups, and in doing so he gave special attention to the Indian peoples of Latin America.
All developmental projects that are set up nowadays, whether conventional or alternative, require social investigation. Very often, political considerations determine which type of social investigation is carried out and which schools of social thought the investigators represent "The political ideologies implicit in or ascribed to each current of thought identifiable in the social sciences are frequently assigned a determinate role of the final selection; this fact, together with the preponderance of a particular tendency in the institutions and apparatuses which sponsor and maintain such projects, works slowly to enforce the hegemony of a certain 'way of conceiving of' the social sciences so as to entrench a corresponding way of doing them." In this 'acceptable' way of working, however, "those who have no voice in the process whatsoever are precisely those who will be the object of study". Whenever it has been recognised that the people themselves might have something to say in relation to social sciences, they have only been thought fit to give 'data' or at most to act as valuable informants. "But it never seems to enter anyone's head that they might be able to contribute anything to the way in which social science is conceived."
Yet there is another approach to social problems which is founded on "the affirmation that all groups involved in any process must participate actively in it. This participation should be not only conscious, but also deeply motivated". Such creative participation can "bring into play all individual and social capacities, both in the conception and in the execution of activities directed towards development".
It is easier, however, to recognise the need for endogenous creative participation than it is to define its status within the social sciences. Can we validly speak of a 'social science' in every group that possesses a distinctive culture? This problem is "quite slippery," but it is not essentially different from that which we face when discussing agricultural technologies or medical practices. Except that the necessity of recovering social knowledge is much more pressing and indispensable than that of reclaiming many other areas of endogenous knowledge. "Socio-cultural alternatives for development cannot be conceived without implying the recognition and legitimacy of a distinctive model of society, and such a model can only be formulated by being based on a systematic and organised conception of what the society is, of how and why it is being transformed, of what its history has been and of what its options for building the future are. What is required, then, is a sociology, or, if you like, an ethno-sociology."
It is obvious that all societies have some knowledge of themselves and of the societies they have contacts with. This knowledge allows the members of a group to regulate and justify their conduct towards each other and towards persons not belonging to the group itself. In fact, every sort of social knowledge involves a system of classifying people and behavioural patterns in meaningful social categories. "For example, the kinship system has to be known by every member of the group in many Latin American Indian societies,... because it is a code of social behaviour that implies reciprocal and asymmetrical rights and obligations. The same can be said of the systems of power, of the institutions of collective labour, etc.. " There are also categories which refer to relations out-side the group itself. "Within Latin America, Indian groups often refer to their own group as 'the human beings' or 'the real people'; outsiders, on the other hand, are classified in various categories which sometimes reveal an ethnocentric ideology." Such a body of social knowledge is not abstract, but is the result of concrete history; and many Indian peoples attach great importance to a knowledge of their history.
Besides being systematic, the Indians' historical and social knowledge is also dynamic, since it constantly assimilates new realities. But is this knowledge at all institutionalized? "In approaching this question, it must be realised that colonial domination wiped out the institutions and specialists which undoubtedly existed in at least the more advanced pre-colonial societies." As a consequence, "social knowledge is today maintained in a diffuse form, without explicit structuring". There is now, however, an upsurge of Indian political organizations which are struggling for political change and for recovery of the Indian identity with its traditional knowledge. These organizations seek to create a new society with a modern intelligentsia which will be able to update and modernise the traditional knowledge.
It may have been remarked that so far in this discussion of traditional social 'knowledge', the phrase 'social science' has been avoided. "In the Western tradition, the concept of science has a restrictive connotation that refers only to a particular type of knowledge which meets certain requirements: it aspires, for example, to be universally valid; it is an institutionalized knowledge; and it presupposes as a specific condition that science reflect not only on its object but also on itself." Within the social sciences, of course, the criterion of universal validity is quite problematical. Very often "ideologies approximate scientific knowledge quite closely"; and the two are perhaps never rigorously distinguishable. But be that as it may, the fact is that everyone has an ideology, and this alone does not make his research unscientific. It should rasher tee said that "the sole manner of avoiding ideologising subjectively is precisely to make one's own ideology explicit, so that the research itself as well as its results might be constantly understood in relation to it".
It is often said that the societies we are considering are prescientific. If this were true, it would be quite impossible to recover and develop their endogenous social sciences, and the only possible strategy would be to accelerate the transmission of the Western scientific tradition to those societies which had not generated it on their own. "The only difference would lie in the use of such knowledge, in its employment as an arm for liberation rather than as a constantly more sophisticated tool for ensuring domination."
We have to realise, however, that 'even' the Western-style social sciences have not attained the rigour and universality characteristic of the physical-mathematical sciences. It is not clear whether this is a consequence of the nature of their object or whether it simply reflects the current state of their development. Yet, in the light of this obvious lack of universality, "what kind of scientific knowledge is to be transferred to societies that do not have an institutionalized social science?" This question has very important implications, for 'social science' in Latin America has often served as the foundation upon which governments based their policies towards indigenous peoples, a policy aimed at de-Indianisation and at integration of the Indian peoples into the dominant society. "Is this the social science the Indian peoples have to make their own?"
It is true that colonised peoples have a strongly distorted view of themselves. Such a view has been imposed upon them by a colonial order which never stopped at physical force alone, and it has subsequently been strongly internalized. On the other hand, "the social sciences developed by the colonisers and placed at the service of maintaining the colonial order ignore or mask objective realities, and this is their ultimate function; but they also give a systematic account of significant characteristics of the subjected societies, while at the same time saying a lot about the organization and functioning of the colonialist society itself". In fact, a good insight into the latter remains a major deficiency of the colonialised people. they need such insights in order to direct their liberation struggles effectively. "Ever since national independence, the great mass of the Indian population has been kept outside of modern sectors of society, subjected to archaic and brutal forms of economic exploitation and discrimination." An Indian could make 'social progress' only by abandoning his Indian identity and by integrating into non-Indian society; even then, he usually remained at the bottom of the social scale.
The educational system, too, has aimed at de-Indianisation; there are both obvious and subtle pressures. First of all, the lack of jobs in the Indian areas discourages graduates with secondary or university training from going back to their communities. But, on the other hand, the process of trying to assimilate into the dominant society is painful: it involves "hiding one's origin, abandoning one's loyalties, changing one's name, openly adopting new customs, etc... Despite all this, complete acceptance within the dominant society is almost never achieved". In the case of Mexico, "de-Iudianisation via the educational establishments was begun in a systematic and institutionalized form several decades ago". As a consequence, "the training of Indian primary school teachers grew considerably: by 1970 there were about 4000; today there are more than 25000, a thousand of whom have had university training." The political motive for training these people has been to use them as agents of de-Indianisation.
But recent years have given rise to an unexpected phenomenon. "Various trade unions and political organizations have arisen which are made up of and directed by young Indians who stand up in defence of the culture, language and political rights that are based on their ethnic identity." It is interesting to note that within such groups one can find young teachers whose education aimed at de-Indianising them and who now "affirm that the differences between Indians and non-Indians are legitimate and that the problems of Mexican society in general are attributable not to the existence of ethnic pluralism, but to the relations of domination to which [ their] peoples have been subjected". They do not want the bilingual-bicultural teaching which they are doing to be a means towards 'assimilation', and they reject "aspirations for upward mobility which are formulated in individual rather than collective terms".
Similar processes are taking place all over Latin America, and "the shame of being an Indian, which characterised many young students in the last decades, is being replaced by an affirmation of ethnic identity". Even officially, bilingualism and biculturalism are now accepted; and, although most schools continue to function just as they always have done, the change in the official political dissourse is nevertheless important.
The emergence of a new Indian intelligentsia raises important questions. In the first place, it must be asked why at this moment there arises a new intelligentsia affirming its Indian identity. One reason is that the government intended the educational system to be a means of acculturation and assimilation, but the dominant society "offered structural and ideological resistances to the incorporation of a growing number of educated young people of Indian origin". In these conditions it was obvious that these peoples had to look for another alternative; and they found it in the defence and expansion of "an educational system exclusively serving the Indian population and remaining necessarily under its control". "On the other hand, at the international level, the political and national visibility of other ethnic and national minorities inspires the struggles of the Indians." Moreover, many people have come to realise that the social and economic problems of the Indian communities "not only have not been resolved by developmentalist and modernising projects", but have, in fact, "been continually aggravated" by them.
An especially important characteristic of the new Indian intelligentsia is that many of its members have been trained in the educational institutions of the dominant society; frequently they have both lost their Indian identity and then subsequently rediscovered it. "This process enabled them to gain a knowledge of the dominant society as well as a knowledge of their own from a perspective different from that normally acquired within the Indian communities. Some of them have training in the social sciences, but all of them have at least a direct experience of non-Indian society." They have set themselves the task of formulating an Indian world-view that is suitable for present-day realities. The political programme based on this view will be a plan for the transformation of the entire society; and "the new Indian intelligentsia of Latin America (like the native intelligentsias of Africa and Asia) faces the problem of taking over the social science developed in the West and simultaneously of transforming it critically in order to make possible what we can call their own endogenous development".
Here we encounter in practice an endogenous development of the social sciences. Coming quite close to positions developed by Dr Pandeya in the first session, Dr Bonfil Batalla explained this endogenous development theoretically as follows: "Social knowledge of social reality is in all cases based in particular experiences; it is historical, and it is precisely from [this] concrete nature [of social knowledge] that the ability to carry out specific forms of behaviour is derived. The social sciences which attempt to achieve universal validity must be incorporated into the [more widely diffused] social knowledge of society if they are going to effectively contribute to the generation of suitable and appropriate projects of development." It should also be stressed that endogenous development cannot be effected as an insular process, separated from the forms of knowledge created by other societies and particularly by those which exercise power and have achieved hegemony. "Not isolation, but incorporation of everything that is valid and useful into the fabric of genuine and dynamic knowledge will permit a real development of the social sciences placed at the service of an endogenous project."
Several measures will contribute to this endogenous development.
First of all, traditional social knowledge should be institutionalized, and "one obvious condition here is that the new institutions will have to be controlled by and made up of members of the group itself....The process of institutionalisation is an indispensable prerequisite for constructing an endogenous base for the social sciences themselves, since it will permit systematizing and formalising the traditional knowledge of socio-historical reality, legitimizing it from both the inside and the outside, increasing it, disseminating it, incorporating it into the theoretical, methodological and factual baggage of the conventional social sciences, and reproducing it, through the training of specialists."
Secondly, there has to be a really Indian dialogue between traditional knowledge and present-day social science. This entails the recruitment of two types of specialists: those who are "carriers of traditional knowledge (who know the myths, legends and history of their people, who know their struggles or are specialists in traditional activities...) and those who have received training in the schools of the dominant society, but who have not lost - or who have recuperated - their Indian identity". Between these two there can be a real cooperation, the aim of which is "not to make traditional 'wise men' into 'informants'; but to recognise them as interlocutors and mentors of the 'new Indians' who are constructing the Indian knowledge and thought of today".
A third objective is the incorporation of this eventually institutionalized knowledge into development programmer- and not only into official programmes imposed from outside, but more importantly as the foundation for the management of internally generated projects. "Perhaps projects carried out along these lines can contribute to an ever more rigorous knowledge of social reality, in accordance with the necessities and historical perspectives of civilization which every people possesses and which will guide their genuine development."
In a collaborative paper entitled On the razor's edge, Rector Pecujlic and Dr Vidakovic argued that the present is a decisive moment in history. "Whether this epoch will represent a step towards the liberation of people and communities or a new technical barbarity, whether it will degenerate into lower or be reborn into higher forms of life, depends on [mankind's] capacity to offer a vision of a new world, a new civilisational alternative."
At present, "the hegemony of the old world is being maintained not only through repression, but also by means of cultural hegemony, the enslavement of consciousness - through the dominant patterns of production, technological and industrial development, patterns of consumption, types of urbanization...."
What, then, are the roles of science and technology at this crucial moment? It is clear that mankind now has at its command extremely powerful forces of production, "scientific and technical forces that no epoch of previous history could have envisaged". Automated systems make boring, repetitive labour unnecessary, and this should reduce the division between mental and physical labour. At the same time, new opportunities for collective responsibility and team-work arise, since "the complexity of the new technology makes the old hierarchical order inadequate for setting the new productive forces into motion".
In the field of education, "the classical industrial revolution created as its basis a type of elementary school which satisfied the need for a plain labour force.... But the technical transformations coming into existence now are connected with a cultural revolution of unprecedented proportions." Marx already foresaw this phenomenon when he said: "If industry develops, the creation of true wealth becomes less and less dependent on working hours and the amount of labour spent, and much more on the general state of science and technological progress.... The understanding of Nature, the development of human capabilities becomes the real pillar. The theft of the working time of others on which present-day wealth rests appears as a poor foundation compared with this newly developed one.... The free development of individuality and the reduction of labour time to a minimum suits this development... because [it is conducive to] the scientific and artistic education of man, which becomes possible due to free time and the resources which have been made." With the opportunities created by new developments, an ancient dream has come true: man can be liberated from the yoke of poverty, and the gap between rich and poor can be narrowed.
However, "like the ancient god Janus", the development of civilization also has another face. The new sources of productive power have become destructive, both for Nature and for mankind: "Almost 20 per cent of [all] scientists are working on the discovery and application of means of world destruction." People constantly live at war or under the threat of war; hunger is taking a toll of twenty million lives each year, and Nature's resources are being robbed, wasted and polluted. The new productive powers, likewise, are contributing only to the wealth and power of a limited few. New devices are being created for manipulating and dehumanising the human soul: just look at the creation of artificial needs which foster the growth of nihilism, violence and neurosis. And the gap between rich and poor, far from being bridged, has grown tremendously: from 1:3 to 1:70. At a global level, the 'periphery' is undergoing a new kind of dependence: an external dependence supported by political force has been transformed into an internal, organic dependence enforced by the multinationals. If there is any unity in the world today, it is a unity "based on a relationship of fundamental inequality" - and it is nothing but "an old prejudice" to think that the roots of this situation lie "in a stubborn adherence of pre-capitalist structures". On the contrary, "the development of capitalism itself has given birth to underdevelopment in the past, just as it does today". Yet even the great majority of Marxists have not foreseen the dimensions of the present global crisis, and definitions of socialism to date do not take these dimensions adequately into account.
In these circumstances, the two faces of science and technology can be seen as an expression of the contradiction between two visions of the world. "The vision of the apocalypse is taking the place of the technological Utopia. Social progress was [ formerly] equated with technical growth", but now a new slogan has appeared: 'Technology inevitably dehumanises and enslaves man.' It is of decisive importance, however, to realise that "science and technology are not negative powers in themselves". They only become so because of structures of social power and types of social organization. Know-how by itself is "a means without an end, a mere potentiality...; [and] what we need most of all is to turn this enormous potentiality into a new reality, to the benefit of the people". This means "breaking out of the encirclement of technological determinism which strips the world of everything that might suggest the capacities and actions of men", and which portrays technology as a new deity delivering commands from on high.
Indeed, our science and technology have not appeared in a vacuum. "The civilisation whose god-parents are profit-making and bureaucratic rule permeates them deeply"; and "such a deformed technology is no longer neutral - it has become an active factor which determines the attitudes of a producer towards his product, of a worker towards his labour, of an individual towards society, of man towards his environment. It becomes one of the foundations of the relationship of power, of the hierarchical division of society,.... a tool of domination over people and entire communities". Hence, adopting a society's technology also involves adopting some of its social structure, as can be seen from the experience of certain countries which have followed such a course of adoption in the early, difficult conditions of socialism with undeveloped productive forces. The dominant principles of profit, power and prestige have created a 'scientific subculture' with its own 'one-dimensional men' end its own separations between theory and practice, manual and intellectual work, professional knowledge and popular culture; such factors all work to prevent scientific and technological cadres from linking their knowledge into a broader context.
Nevertheless, "although science bears the stamp of the ruling civilisation in which it was born, it is never fully integrated into a system"; and therefore scientists often realise that they both "do belong and do not belong to the forces of social change". There is a definite desire for change within the world of science just as there is within the labour world. "However, the great changing of civilization will not just emerge as the creation of 'technological prophets', as an automatic result of intellectual creation motivated by its own mysterious imperatives. It is, rather, a great social and cultural process in which the potentials of technology and science are put at the service of new goals, purposes and values, i.e. I at the service of I a different quality of human life. A new technology and new sources of energy will be born out of the new collective practice of this mass social movement...." This practice will "by no means entail a rejection of the great accomplishments of science and technology"; but neither will it effect "a mere take-over of existing, ready-made parts out of which a new edifice can simply be erected".
Scientific and technological alternatives will have to be an integral part of a new historical project by which working people will accomplish their own emancipation; and "the decisive role in the formation of this new historical project is played" not by managers and technical experts who imagine that they alone know how to read the 'lessons' of history, but "by the organic intelligentsia of the plebeian classes", which is called to perform "a great elaboration of the collective aspirations... already developing within the plebeian masses". This organic intelligentsia differs from the "traditional satellite intelligentsia", which is purely imitative, because the former stands firmly on the foundations of its own national culture. Its members are not an élite, but the "representatives of their kin", "called upon to perform a revolutionary innovation of [ their nation's] professions and Ito create] new orientations in all fields of social life". As such, they are not just the travailing companions of the social movement but its key participants.
The transformation of the process of labour is becoming the decisive front of the social struggle, and the main questions in regard to it are those of how work is performed and of what is being produced. Developments in science and technology continue to revolutionize the production process every day; but new breakthroughs have liberated only a small minority from routine work, while "for a vast majority of workers it has brought forth new forms of monotonous routine labour... which, instead of being a source of health and sanity, becomes a punishment and curse". Decisions thus will have to be made about whether fragmentation of the labour process and disqualification of the workforce will continue and whether the organization of labour will be transformed. People are, of course, already reacting in a number of ways against being made into robots. Most significantly, they are creating alternatives in which the technological organization of labour is placed directly under the control of the producers themselves; and experience has shown that production actually increases when the workers have taken responsibility for the production process and done away with fragmented work. This shows that "the fragmentation of tasks is not simply a consequence of technology" but the result of technology being included in an oppressive system in which "the workers cannot be trusted" and in which a sharp division between manual and mental labour is reinforced as a typical means for domination. Isn't it indeed ironical that just as productive tasks are made more and more interchangeable and narrow, the hierarchy of non-productive functions becomes more and more oppressively baroque! It must be thoroughly understood that this division and domination is not so much necessary to ensure production as it is to ensure "the reproduction of capital and of bureaucratic (technocratic) power". One of the great sociological laws of modern society can be stated as follows: "The prestige carried by people in modern industrial society varies in inverse proportion to their closeness to actual production." This law must be overturned. One important means for doing so will be to reverse the tendency towards fragmentation of the labour process and disqualification of productive workers, for which, in any case, there is "no technical necessity". Nowadays "there is no need to condemn anyone to unqualified and stultifying tasks for an entire working life"; and the process of production can and should be organised in such a way that it will simultaneously function as a process of continuous education.
Another ploy of the ruling classes that must be abolished is that of widespread unemployment. Security of employment for the masses is now an essential precondition for the success of alternatives in both the developing and the developed worlds. A solution to unemployment in both 'worlds' might be found in simultaneously encouraging "modern automated production" and "decentralized production". "Quality products made in large series in an automated process of production would satisfy [basic] needs and would be [complemented] by a multitude of decentralized, local, self-initiated productive units...." In the poorer countries, especially, emphasis should be placed on developing "production by the masses" (Gandhi) by mobilising their skills and "supporting them with first-class tools".
"The potentially deepest civilisational alternative is that embodied in the demand for essentially shorter working hours." Indeed, fixing shorter working hours for people and longer working hours for machines would be an excellent way of creating more jobs; it would also act as an incentive for inventing timesaving devices. Shorter working hours would contribute to overcoming the division of labour, facilitate a link between work and education and thereby enable every worker to constantly enrich his practical and theoretic knowledge.
In addition to such alternatives pertaining to the character and conditions of work, it is also necessary to critically reappraise which products should be produced and which needs satisfied. At present there is a deep crisis affecting modern modes of consumption, both individual and social. But what remains concealed is the systematic nature of this crisis - "the deep, organic relationship between the ecological crisis and the crisis in the mode of production". It is really "only a single logic which is reducing man to a commodity and destroying Nature ruthlessly. However, solutions do not lie in putting a stop to growth while preserving the same system, as proposed by the Club of Rome." What is really needed is "a great inversion": production should be geared towards what is necessary for all, and not towards enhancing privileges and hierarchies. There must also be a tendency towards increasing the quality and durability of articles, and towards more collective services.
Besides labour organisation and consumption patterns, a third aspect of life requiring change is that of living conditions. The development of cities is subject now to the logic of profit, real estate speculation and city rents, all of which have transformed urban life into a monstrosity. Slums exist side by side with opulence; dwelling areas are destroyed to make way for flashy architectural colossuses; community services are becoming more and more expensive; and the quality of collective life is constantly being reduced. In the Third World, the major cities are surrounded by belts of incredible misery. People are drawn to the satellite industries, and this causes a breakdown in agriculture. In opposition to these trends, there are struggles for a new, alternative urban life. An example can be cited from the city of Bologna, where housing is being restored and rent kept cheap; public transport alone is allowed within the city, and that is free!
A fourth struggle is that for decent health care. Dehumanising working and living conditions take their toll in human lives and health, and yet medicine is oriented not to prevention but simply to repairing the human machine and returning it to working condition". Health is usually considered on a strictly individual basis; "like Shylock", the bosses are trying to get their pound of flesh "to the detriment of the living and working conditions" of the ordinary people. As Rector Pecujlic had observed during his intervention in the first session, scientific-technological innovation will only serve to improve these general conditions determining health if it is made the object of mass social action.
In conclusion, it can be said that science and technology will thoroughly serve human liberation only when based on the complementary unity of self-reliance and solidarity, of autonomy and a "new universality". "Intellectual creativity is only possible if the social ground is autonomous", and the 'concept of specificity' must encompass all dimensions of life, including "a strategy of technological development which is not restricted to the adoption of the patterns of others". This requires a search for a kind of development that will not dehumanise people and their environment, a development whose fruits will go primarily to the working people. Obviously this endogenously controlled development is not to be equated with confinement within one's boundaries; it is, rather, a necessary prerequisite for any mutually beneficial 'bridges'. Yet "without mutuality there can be no autonomy". We are striving towards a world that will be one, but one in which relations of hegemony will be replaced by "a pluralism of cultures". The libertation of the potentials of the entire world is the stake.
"Differences will remain. But the decisive question is whether they will lead to mutual complementariness or whether they will turn into hostility, antagonism." Moved by the great forces of national liberation and social revolution, the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America "are opening the gigantic hidden creativity-potentials of mankind, bearing the most valuable fruits in the creation of a new world". But, on the other hand, "the forces of hegemony are becoming the protagonists of the negative, antagonistic aspects of the integration of mankind", protagonists of "subordination" and the "annihilation of autonomy". It is crucial "to oppose this logic which disintegrates the unity of the working masses of the world; [it is crucial] not to enforce partial practice and truth as the only ones, not to present part of the sky as the entire horizon". In fact, "only autonomy, independence and equality can be a path leading towards a universal richness - towards a world enriched by the original and unrepeatable creativity of every civilization. of this, interdependence is not a way to mutual enrichment, but an obstruction to the growth of civilization."
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