My argument in this chapter is a plea to researchers to take very great care in handling the current jargon of the ‘development industry’. There is a ‘climate of language’ which pervades the genre and can make it very difficult to see the difference between advocacy and analysis, or even to see clearly what is being advocated. Historical analysis, like Megan Vaughan’s on colonial medicine (Vaughan 1991), can reveal past forms of the collusion between political interest, the use of language and the representation of human experience. To anticipate my conclusion, I suppose I would like to say that the practice of ethnography and social science should aim to make such forms of collusion more visible in the present, as good history can do for the past.