Post the cold war phase in the world, many third world countries intellectuals have retreated to their old ways in a bid to find a way to rejuvenate the civilization projects that were interrupted by the cold war (Nanda 32). As a way to prove their independence from their past colonial masters, these countries have parted company with them terming them as ethnocentric and racist (Nanda 32). This way, they have become oblivious of the information in the western world that, consequently fail to pass the nationality test of the native intellectual. Populism is a reactionary rejection of revolutions that have changed the course of human history, be they industrial or technological. This is what the third world countries natives are doing. These actions have an impact in both the economic and the cultural sphere of the lives of those that partake in the populism activities. However, the question to discuss is whether there is any justification to doing so.
One of the populists’ thoughts and intervention was felt at the time of the industrial revolution and capitalism. Then, the populists believed that increase in material well-being could be brought about without large scale industrialization and technology modernization in terms of production (Nanda 34). The ideology to remain in the dark with no technology involvement might have seen attractive. There may not have been any cost to incur in the course of upgrading the ways of production and many people, whose jobs were replaced by the use of technology, would still have maintained their jobs. From a conservative’s point of view, this was enough reason to oppose the industrialization process. The conservatives, however, failed to look at the economic gains that would be reaped from the industrial revolution, both from an individual and national level. The conservative ideology can be said to be buttressed by rejection of scientific rationality.
Modern science certifies the urge that fact and truth should always coincide, the structure of the fact should always certify our experience (Nanda 302). In the case of the economic field, rejection of modern science dooms a populist to failure. Nanda (50), talks of a populist’s view of modernization of agriculture as an invasion of alien and destructive forces. The populist compares the places that have embraced modern methods of farming to communist countries, such as china and Tanzania, where farmers only grow crops for subsistence use. According to the populists, the subsistence needs of the community decided how the social needs would be distributed (Nanda 50). From an economic viewpoint, there are no gains to be derived from having such a system. Introduction of better farming methods increased the output from various farmers in the places where new technology was embraced.
The founding fathers of science express a masculine way of thinking and acting upon the world, a fact that has been of scrutiny by feminists. This way, radical feminists, have come up with theories that they are closer to nature than men are (Nanda 47). The fact portrayed is none other than a feminist mystique that is totally out of line with the modern science. It is an ideology coined to make a woman fell superior to people of the other genders, whereas, this is not the case. In relation to modern science, the ideology of superiority is nothing short of a misguided way of reasoning. Modern science is all about protection of the environment and working towards ensuring that one can work towards a sustainable environment. The aim of modern science is not at all interested in superiority, as long as the objective is attained. Populists, on the other hand, will wish to oppose the modern science ideology on the basis of the superiority doctrine.
In line with the cultural effects of populists’ rejection of modern science, a populist gave the reasoning that profits and commodification of farm inputs led to a decline in a woman’s status in the society in the wake of the Green Revolution (Nanda 51). In this case, the populist did not at one point stop to consider the fact that perhaps a woman was responsible for the profits earned in the course of sales of the extra products. He or she was after conservation of the old ways regardless of the gains that were to be present in the course of acknowledgement of the new technology.
According to the arguments by Nanda on the rejectionist stance of the post-development populists, it is eminent that fear of change was a factor that greatly affected their stance. In this fear of change, the populists wished to lobby other people into accepting and viewing their ideology as a true doctrine. Coming to look at the two illustrated situations, in both, change was inevitable with the onset of industrial and green revolution. The populists wished to stay in their old ways because they did not know what lurked beyond the doors of change. Evident from the positive impact the industrial and green revolutions had on the economy and agriculture respectively, populism was an uncalled for ideology.
Nanda Meera. Is Modern Science a Western, Patriarchal Myth? A Critique of the Populist Orthodoxy. South Asia Bulletin, 6(1-2), (1991) 32-61. Print.
Nanda Meera. Restoring the Real: Rethinking Social Constructivist Theories of Science. Socialist Register, (33), (1997) 302-344. Print.