chapter  3
62 Pages

Propagating Profligacy

Th e adoption and intensifi cation of industrial development in socialist countries, whose offi cial political ideologies were contrary to capitalism, are nonetheless

consonant with developmentality. As discussed earlier, Marxism endorses technoindustrial growth as a necessary condition for the emancipation of humanity from nature’s forces as well as for abolishing private property and profi t – the foundations of capitalism. Th us, from the Marxist perspective, escalating technological and industrial growth seems to be in conformity with socialism’s professed goal of resolving the major contradiction that characterizes capitalism – the contradiction between an enormous productive force of society and the increasing amount of wealth appropriated by private monopolies at the cost of social wealth. Th e socialist economy in principle attempts to socialize the benefi ts from technological advances by abolishing private property. However, the quest for economic growth seems to have gained prominence in socialist economies not only in order to foster and escalate militarization of the state, but also to maintain a high living standard of citizens. Economic growth was considered to be the remedy to all lacunae in governance, defi cits in implementation of social development schemes, and individual moral lapses. Th us, both in capitalist and socialist economies, economic growth became a universal creed, ‘the indispensable ideology of the state nearly everywhere’ (McNeill 2000: 335). By the 1950s, the West and the East, capitalist and communist countries, industrialized as well as underdeveloped nations of the South, accepted the model of Western-style development based on industrial growth as a priority on the national agenda to overcome poverty and achieve prosperity.