Science and Progress: Seven Developmentalist Myths in Agriculture


  • Richard Levins





In the third world, the view of "science" as unqualified progress is expressed in developmentalism, the view that progress takes place along a single axis from less developed to more developed, and therefore that the task of the revolutionary society is to proceed as quickly as possible along that axis of progress to overtake the advanced countries. The consequence of this view is the rapid reproduction of the worst features of world (capitalist) science and technology, the uncritical acceptance of the "modern." It fails to recognize that the pattern of modern technology is not dictated by nature but is developed through the interaction of the capitalist need to control the labor force, the desired outcome of research in the form of commodities, the intellectual climate in which the scientists work, the pattern of knowledge and ignorance coming from previous work, and the nature of the scientific problems to be solved.

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