Anthropology 170 week 10
Anthropology 170 week 10 ANT 170
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Hewson on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT 170 at Central Michigan University taught by McLean, Athena in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology at Central Michigan University.
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Date Created: 09/27/16
UNIT III, Lecture 4 (wk 10a) This lecture will examine sugar as the first global commodity, looking at global trade triangle, and then move on to examine two case studies that illustrate how the Enclosure Movement worked in places beyond England, where it first occurred. I. Mintz, Sidney (Sweetness and Power, 1985): Sugar the first "world systems commodity" economically integrating the world A. Sugar eaters and the World system 1. Mintz asks, "why do people like sugar so much?" a. a natural universal sweet tooth? b. something else or combination of things? 2. History of the production of sugar in the New World a. Columbus first carried sugar to the New World in 1493 b. In 1516 sugar was first produced in the colonies by the Spanish in Santo Domingo (the Dominican Republic) and shipped back to Europe c. Portugal refined and dominated sugar production during the 1500s. d. Just prior to 1600, Britain decided to acquire colonies specifically to produce sugar for itself. e. But by the early 1600s the British, Dutch and French established Caribbean plantations. f. The British sugar industry zoomed beginning in the 1640s in Barbados. g. From 16501750 sugar became the single most important import from its colonies. 3. The trade triangle and the production/consumption of commodities at each location a. Shackles, cloth and tools, torture instruments were produced in Britain and sold to African slave traders for consumption by slaves and the slave trade b. Slaves were produced as a commodity in Africa and sold for as forced laborers on sugar plantationsin the British West Indies. The slaves "were themsleves consumed in the creation of wealth"(Mintz 1985:43). Mintz calls slaves a "false commodity" because a human being is not an object even when treated like one"(Mintz 1985:43) c. The sugar from the West Indies was transported to England for consumption there. 4. History of Patterns of consumption 1 a. Sugar was used in Medieval Europe by royalty and spun for used in elaborate decorations b. by 1500 it became important in upper class British ritual feasts c. By 1700 it became commonly available to middle class people as well. d. And by 1750, Mintz tells us(p. 45) that even the poorest English farm worker's wife used sugar in her tea. In short, England had become a nation of sugar eaters. e. From this point (1750) onward, sugar production became increasingly important to England's ruling class, but the reasons had changed. During this time, the upper classes were actually less interested in consuming it. Its importance to the upper classes rested in its economic significance in influencing important political and economic decisions. e.g., many members of Parliament were plantation owners, investors in sugar plantations, or otherwise involved in the sugar industry (e.g,, in shipping, refiing, or the slave trade) and influenced government policy concerning the pricing and supply of sugar f. The British working class had acquired a taste for sugar and couldn't get enough of it. The reason was that sugar, together with similar drug foods (such as coffee, chocolate and tea) offered "profound consolations to them in mines and the factories."(Mintz, p. 61) g. By 1850, the English working class consumed more sugar than the upper classes. Sugar (a simple, nonnutritious carbohydrate) replaced wheat ( a nutritious, comples carbohydrate) as a staple Meat was also consumed, but restricted to working men, who needed to be in decent physical condition to carry out hard, long labor Working class women and children were effectively undernourished and the infant mortality rate rose. D. Were plantations a "capitalist enterprise"? 1. Most scholars argue that captialism did not begin as a new economic system until the late 1700s. 2. Mintz, however, argues that the rise of capitalism demanded a system of trade of which the Caribbean plantations formed a crucial part a. They provided commodities for European consumption and b. Markets for European products (e.g., by the plantation owners and families) c. Thus they created considerable profit for Europe. 2 3. Now, formally, the"capitalist mode of production" is based on free labor (based on a labor contract, which guarantees payment for labor in which the laborer is free to engage). The plantation system was based on slave, or forced labor (Mintz 1985:59). a. Marx himself was aware of this oddity for capitalist labor. Marx wrote that the plantations were commercial enterprises within a capitalist mode of production and that the plantation owners "are capitalists" ..."as anomalies within a world market based on free labor." (in Mintz 1985:59) 4. Now the level of accumulation wrought from plantations was also low in comparison to that of factories (p.60) a. However, their products nourished both capitalist classes and sustained factory laborers who continued to contribute to the capitalist accumulation of wealth for capitalists (Mintz:55). b. And the importance of sugar was so clear to emerging capitalist classes in the early 1600s that they fought powerfully for the rights to invest capital in plantations (Mintz:61). 5. thus Mintz concludes that even if the plantations could not formally be called "capitalist", that they provided an important step toward the development of capitalism (MIntz:55). 6. Sugar was symbolically important in the capitalist transformation of the world system because its ability to stimulate continuous consumer demand ideologically supported the notion of continuous growth a. Thus sugar became the first major consumer product II. Global Poverty: Two Case Studies of Enclosure Overview: Loss of Indigenous control over means of production: Impact of colonialism and development (Read Bodely on BB and Robbins:4047) A. Before colonialism 1. Small Scale cultures could provide for own subsistence needs B. the Enclosure Movement in England as prototype for enclosure of lands globally C. Colonialism made people dependent (through enclosurelike practices) 1. forcing people off their land, taking it by force forcing them to sell land to pay taxes 2. forcing them to work (to sell labour power) to pay taxes in needed cash 3. they could no longer farm and had to purchase food using their wages D. Development after WWII: a "neocolonialism" 1. Intent: to increasing rural standards of living 2. Actual outcome of development (similar to colonialism) 3 a. Made small scale cultures dependent on others for subsistence by removal from their means of production (e.g., their land) enclosure by requiring wages to buy food loss of means of production left them vulnerable to exploitation b. Unemployment or low pay made it difficult to survive c. Development contributed to poverty by placing third world nations in debt CASE STUDIES: Consider the "Enclosure Movement" as a kind of prototype for the case studies that follow. I. Case Study 1: Nancy ScheperHughes, Death without Weeping (1992) Background: Brazil in the 1980s was seen as the "Brazilian Miracle" because, even though it was a poor/ developing 3rd word nation, its GNP (Gross National Product) was $8000/ person. (See Robbins pp. 4647). Nancy ScheperHughes found a different story. A. Plantation sugar workers in Bom Jesus, Brazil , 1980s 1. Growth of plantations pushed off farmers from land (Enclosure of land used to produce sugar for world market) 2. They could no longer grow even the most basic foods, such as beans 3. Forced to depend on wage labor in plantations B. Economic consequences 1. Workers were grossly underpaid a. $40/week required for family of 4 2. $5/week paid to women and $10/week to men 3. Inadequate protein foods were distributed mainly to feed working men a. Children sta*rved on cheaper foods b. Protein deficient diseases wasting away of body tissues and bain damage in infants 4.Consequences: Chronic malnutrition of children and high infant mortality C. Deceptive statistics 1. Brazil as “miracle”nation 2. National infant mortality rate about 1/20 D. Nancy ScheperHughes' in Death Without Weeping: the violence of Everyday Life in Brazil 1. ScheperHughes' observations did not correspond with this statistic 2. observations did not support this: found 1/5 infants died in 1997 a. Studied local cemetery b.examined handwritten birth and death records c. obtained reproductive histories from 100 women 3. Irony: Women blamed themselves for their own poor health (not recognizing 4 that it also resulted from malnutrition) a. Angel babies: learned to detach from them and even spot a child headed for death E. Conclusion: 1. loss of one's land (means of production) for subsistence can lead to dependency and poverty 2. aggregate statistics do not tell us the actual diversity of living conditions, and mask poverty II. Case Study 2: Bangladesh victim of colonialism A. Background: Bangladesh is a mostly Muslim nation in northeast corner of India by the opening of the Bay of Bengal 1. By 1990, it was listed by World Bank as one of the poorest countries 2. Statistics supported this a. 4/5 of the nation was undernourished/ b. over 1/2 impoverished & landless c. high infant mortality B. The Precolonial state under Mogul empire 1. Peasantry controlled land and were selfsufficient 2. Paid taxes to Zamindars, the local elites collecting tribute for the Muslim state 3. Maintained rich cotton industry that sustained everyone 4. Still, a hierarchical large scale society C. The British colonial period (1765) (See pp. 4042) 1. The British East India Company became its civil administrator D. The Strategy of the British East India Company 1.British East India Company Turned zamindars to tax collectors and landlords 2. Destroyed cotton industry a. Indian cottons (calicos) in great demand by English consumers b. English textiles poorer quality and more expensive c. British government forbid exporting Indian calicos into England d. Also required import of British textiles tax free from tariffs 3. transformed peasantry into laboreres of new agricultural industry: jute, an export crop for mills in England 4. This is an example of how preexisting inequalities in the social structure in this case the Mogul empire provided conditions for greater inequality under colonialism and into the 20th century 5 5. Result: greater inequality between rural elites and the former peasantry during development efforts in the 1970s a. The elites maintained control of the richest land in Bandladesh b. Elites gained profit at the expense of poorer villagers c. Shows how incorporating one state into the global system can intensify inequalities/ E. Impact of British policy on the US 1. England's pumped up textile industry running out of cotton 2. US supplied 1/2 of its cotton imports by 1807 2. American cotton was cheap because it depended on slave labor a. over 800,000 African slaves were forcibly moved to southern cotton producing states from late 1700s to mid1800s 3. the Cherokees were forced off their lands for use by slaves for growing cotton a. from 1802 w. Thomas Jefferson to 1828 w. Andrew Jackson's final order 4. Thus many nonwestern groups (Indians, Africans and Native Americans) were forced to change their ways of life Comment: So British textile policy adversely affected Indians, Africans and Native Americans. 6 Ant 170 Unit III, LECTURE 5 Week 10b Dr. McLean Global Development, Poverty, and alternative Solutions I. The History of Development summary A. By end of WW II came the end of Colonialism, 1. As the result of colonialism, much of the world had become poor B. Industrialized nations tried to alleviate poverty 1. for humanitarian reasons: to alleviate suffering 2. for economic reasons: Poor people are poor producers and consumers in a global economy 3. for political reasons: Poor people can create political instability, so it was in the interest of 1st world nations to try to diminish their poverty. C. Assumptions after WW II and during the 1950s about reasons for the poverty 1. Disease and ignorance of the people leading to underproduction 2. Presumed solution: import of technology and knowledge from rich to poor countries for greater economic expansion II. The Development Decades A. Development in the 1950s: Disease + ignorance = poverty 1. Health, education, food, housing and employment inadequate in 1/2 the world's people. 2. Economic and social issues viewed as separate, independent issues a. economic ills due to disease which leads to underproduction b. no association made between social differences (in terms of class) and poverty 3.Modernization approach: Millions of dollars were spent by U.N.on largescale development projects. 4. U.N. focussed on combatting diseases through modern Western technological interventions a. DDT to kill pests b. penicillin 5. Nutritional diseases, (beriberi, kwashiorkor) ignored as less easily combatted as due to poverty a. would need structural changes (more equitable distribution of income among people) to reverse b. wealthy would have . up some wealth so other would live better. 7. Consequence of development efforts: a. global population explosion due to reduction of death rates (particularly infant mortality) b. Because there was no accompanying income redistribution, the numbers of poor people in the world increased. c. Greater gap between developing and industrial nations 1 d. growth disproportionately went to elites in developing countries who controlled funds and received foreign aid B. the 1960s :the FIRST U.N. Development Decade 1. Goal: 5% growth in national incomes in developing countries by end of 1960s 2. Led to massive expenditures 3. By 1970 over $2 billion lent to develop infrastructure: dams, power plants, highways 4. Result: income disparities continue within 3rd world countries C. the 1970s: Second U.N. Development Decade 1. "holistic" or unified approach to inequality 2. Focus again on increased growth (3.5%) per person in GNP a. GNP (Gross National Product) total of a country's production of goods, services and profits 3. Still focus on conquering world hunger assumed a technological solution: scientific farming (the Green Revolution ) for greater yields (HYVs or High Yield Varieties) a.. Limitations of HYVs or "miracle grains" 1. Required optimum conditions a. Enough, but not too much, water b. large amounts of costly chemical fertilizers 2. Vulnerable to disease 3. Requires chemical pesticides as more vulnerable to pests also 4. Varieties are often short and so more vulnerable to flooding a. limits planting locations 5. Limits those who can take advantage of its high yields a. Largest farmers with best land and best government connections b. only elites who could afford the expensive inputs (like chemical fertilizers) 6. Seeds from miracle grains (e.g., from Monsanto) were often sterile, forcing the poor farmer to have to purchase new seeds every year b. Value of local domestic varieties 1. Grown over many generations a. suited local environmental conditions b. worked well with smallscale production technologies c. Provided variety in the local diet c. Consequences of Green Revolution for small farmers (See movie clip on water temple goddesses and problems from HYV rice) 1. linked them to global political economy 2. lost control over means of production a. Seeds, land, tools removed from village control 3. Fate is determined by remote heads of governments, banks, corporations 2 and development agencies 4. Agriculture production is linked to globallevel institutions by way of national ones through series of unequal exchanges with uneven benefits d. Those who gain 1. Elite of donor nations 2. elite of developing nations (govt. officials and those in private enterprises) a. land, cheap labor, profits, food surpluses, even bribes b. They control land and water as well as finances for technological inputs to produce HYVs e. Losses 1. the poor landless farmers who become impoverished a. occurred through increased debt and landlessness 2. increased debts of developing nations to international donors 3. reduced nutrition 4. People forced to sell land to pay off debs a. forced to seek low wages in urban areas f. Malnutrition under Green Revolution 1. monocrop HYV (e.g., wheat) replaced multiple varieties needed for good nutrition a. they forfeited their traditional well balanced diets b. less palatable than traditional diet g. Exploitation by local elites 1. Used political connections to gain technology for HYV 2. Controlled access to modern technology 3. sometimes appropriated land for villagers D. Result of efforts of 1st and 2nd Development Decades (1960s and 1970s) 1. no significant reduction of economic inequality found by mid1970s a. Development was actually helping to create wealthy national elites, while numbers of poor just increased 2. Macro growth policies did not correct income inequality in 3rd World countries. 3. Large scale development projects were degrading environment 4. Positive: Some efforts started to integrate populations at grass roots level in development efforts 5. Goals not reached despite $12 billion in development loans and assistance E. The 1980s: Third Development Decade 1. Reagan Administration Policies: a. Economic growth (increased GNP) remained key goal b. greater emphasis on free market forces through privatization in 3rd World c. Led to commercializing agriculture pressured poor farmers to produce crops for export, not for subsistence, pushing many off their land (as with Enclosure movement) 3 massiwe taekover of peasant lands, reason for peasant rebellions throughout South America and Central America 3. Results a. Levels of poverty continued to rise: 1 billion people by 1990: the most ever b. 3rd World nations accrued huge debts to pay for development initiatives Rich countries lent $927 billion to debtor nations Rich countries received $1,345 trillion back, gaining $418 billion in interest c. Debts led to austerity measures by Western lenders (Structural Adjustment Programs) that only worsened poverty in the Third World. F. Conclusions 1. Technology and knowledge are not enough to eliminate poverty. 2. Increasing per capital GNP is also not enough to eliminate poverty. 3. Instead of reducing proverty, development sometimes actually extended it. 4. Development increased inequality between the elites and the poor in Third World nations. III. Three Opposing views about the Causes of Poverty A. Overpopulation or "environmental stress" Argument 1. Argument: Too many people leads to too little food but there, the stress came from new villagers who were forced to leave their own lands 2. Facts: people do not suffer from lack of food but lack of access to food. a. Because they lack land to grow it. b. Because they lack money to buy it c. Because they do not have the social power that others in their culture (the elites have) to get it. elites never die of starvation in famines 3. Conclusion: The environmental stress argument ignores issues of inequitable social distribution B. The Technological Underdevelopment and Underproduction Argument 1. Argument: Poverty is caused by lack techological development, which prevents economic growth. 2. Facts: Technological development and increases in growth (GNP) from 1950s onward in Third World only worsened poverty and increased inequality. 3. Conclusion: Technological development and growth, in the absense of equitable distribution, can not alleviate poverty. 4 C. Development promotes poverty Argument 1. Argument: Development, when promoted by global capitalist principles of increased growth increases environmental stress and inequalities in the Third World. 2. Facts: a. Millions of people were pushed off land to support development b. Third World debt has increased through Development. c. Development strategies worsened poverty and increased inequality in the Third World. 3. Conclusion: Development, under global capitalist prescriptions, has contributed to the extension of poverty in the Third World. D. Is modernization and development necessarily deleterious? 1. No, not if used with a respect for local traditions 2. not if carefully implemented to allow for sustainability of local practices 3. not if control not placed in the hands of economic and technical experts who lack an understanding for local knowledge and who impose their own notions of growth (profit/ heightened GDP) as a measure of success. 4. No, not if control is placed in the hands of local people beyond local elites 5. not if it can be carefully implemented (e.g., antiretroviral medications) with efforts to allow sustainable food production IV. Alternative Development Strategies A. Conventional Position (technological development and growth (measured in GNP) have not been proven successful in reducing poverty. B. Major alternative: Redistribution of wealth and social justice 1. maximize social equaltiy 2. satisfy basic human needs 3. Problem: resistance from wealthy make it unlikely to implement C. Positive Case Study: Kerala, India, 1920s present 1. a politically driven success story a. In 1920s and 1930s anticaste movement combined with labor movements and peasant unions worked to restructure society and redistribute land and wealth. Staged series of eatins (higher caste Brahmins ate with untouchables in their homes openly violating ideas of pollution by lower classes) These were symbolic gestures challenging existing cultural practices b. land reform turned tenants into landowners and compensated former landowners limits were also placed on the size of landholdings to prevent inequitable acquisition of wealth again 5 Government bought land from rich landowners at fair market value and given in adequate amounts for subsistence growing to landless families c. food was distributed to poor families until farms were productive and health services made available d. School lunches made food available to children, encouraging them to attend 2. Consequences of these changes a. Increased life expectancy (68 years by the 1980s/ 71 yrs by 1991) just about the same as that in N.America 50 years ago [See p. 364] and 40 years greater than in Asia during that time b. Low infant mortality rate (27 out of 1000 in 1980s/ 17 of 1000 by 1991), actually lower than that in N. America 50 years ago c. 78% literacy rate by early 1980s/ 91% by 1991 d. Birth rates have declined. (20 out of 1000 by 1991, compared to 16 in US) 3. The redistribution of existing wealth occurred in the absence of additional economic growth. a. In fact, Kerala had less growth($298/person than the rest of India ($330) or poorincome nations ($350) or $22,240 in US by 1991. b. Provides evidence that development (including economic growth) is not needed to alleviate poverty c. Equitable redistribution of the social product must be done to eliminate poverty. (see article, Kerala State: a Social Justice Model, in the Multinational Monitor JULY/Aug 1995, Vol 16 (Nos 7 & 8, by Richard Frank and Barbara Chasin): http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/mm0795.08.html) See Power Point on Kerala, on BB, for Lecture 5, for more details. 6
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