Summary of the First Reading
Mr. Wolfgang Sachs discussed the concept of development and the extension of the Western values over the rest of the world in the six first chapters of his book Planet Dialectics: Explorations in Environment and Development. He explores a suspicion that "the Western development model is fundamentally at odds with both the quest for justice among the world's people and the aspiration to reconcile humanity and nature." I found it is interesting to read Sachs’s trenchant and elegant explorations of the foremost crisis world faces. As I come from China, the thought and vision of the Orientals are quite different from that of Westerners. So I think this reading is good for me to understand how the world develop and what is wrong of nature and social justice in the Western terminology and mind-set.
At the beginning, Sachs shows us how development where the global economy is largely driven by the ‘developed’ countries Since Truman defined the largest part of the world as “undeveloped area”. It was gradually established that the only way to go about ‘developing’ was by ‘achieving a higher standard of living’ by improving industrial activities’. What is however choking, at least to me, is that all the developing countries have absorbed the Western viewpoint of being underdeveloped and accepted their role in the market based economic progress race, even though the development dogma marginalizes local cultures, worldviews and lifestyles and hasn’t led to equal welfare development. This phenomenon also happened in China. Though the government and the people of China are gradually aware the importance of sustainable development in recent years, but the issues such as population growth, ecosystem decline, greenhouse effect causing by merely pursuing GDP and income before are big blockers and challenges for China. In my opinion, I think China still put economic development in the first place in order to shake off poverty and backwardness....
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