Development has resulted
in the destruction of traditional rights to land almost everywhere
and, as a consequence, created a landless or near-landless peasantry.
Marginal cultivators and landless workers are growing in ever increasing
numbers throughout the rural regions of the Third World, so that
they now form the bulk of the rural poor (Esman 1978). The members
of this dispossessed peasantry must sell their labor, and often
the labor of their children, at very low rates to survive (Esman
1978:ii). Hopkins, Wallerstein, et al. (1982b:69) argue that this
“movement towards part-life-time proletarian household status
has entailed, overall, a broadly lower level of living. ... fully
subsistence households are, in general, materially better off than
partly proletarianized households [those that obtain part of their
income from selling their labor power]; and partly proletarianized
households are, in general, less well off materially than fully
Hopkins, Wallerstein, et al. (1982b:69) maintain that the economic
status of part-life-time proletarian households is because:
The labor of part-life-time proletarian households everywhere
costs capital less than the labor of life-time proletarian households
for exactly the same work not only because the costs of reproducing
the former are partly (usually largely) borne by others than the
‘employers’ (caught up in the concept of the ‘unlimited
supplies of labor’ and its effects on real wage-levels),
but also because full proletarianization carries with it political
conditions conducive to the growth of workers’ organizations,
with their upward pressures on wage-levels ... real wage-levels
... as a result tend always to be higher in the core than in the
Growing landlessness also contributes, if not leads directly, to
political instability (see Russett 1964).1 Therefore, the processes
that lead to landlessness should be of considerable interest not
only to those concerned with social justice, or those interested
in the processes of modernization, but to a wider audience that
is concerned with the political processes and future of the Third
World and the relationship of the developed world to it.
In this volume we will be examining the microprocesses occurring
at the village level that lead to landlessness. But these form only
part of a series of interconnected events that lead to the integration
of populations on the periphery into the economic web of local socioeconomic
centers and eventually into the whole world system. Thus, to understand
the problem of growing landlessness and its relation to this social
transformation, we will have to examine the whole range of social
forces that impact on local populations as the center gains control
of the raw materials, labor, wealth, and ideology of the regions
peripheral to it.
In delineating these processes, it is not germane to attempt a
clarification of the definitions of landlessness and near-landlessness
(see Esman 1978 for examples), although McCutcheon’s contribution
to this volume raises interesting and important questions in this
regard. We will instead be focusing on the processes involved in
the social transformation of peripheral populations which are as
old as the development of the first economic center after the advent
of the agricultural revolution some 10,000 or more years ago.
One of the most useful conceptual orientations in this regard is
the concept of center, or core, and periphery. There is a relationship
in this to central place theory in geography. But this concept has
found its most recent expression in dependency theory and in the
work of Wallerstein, Hopkins, and their associates in their study
of the world system and the impact that economic expansion of the
North Atlantic states has had on the peripheral, Third World countries.
But the structure of relationships that they are analyzing are not
unique to the world system or to the metropolitan countries and
their colonies. Each small state, each region, has its own socioeconomic
center which attempts to exercise control over its peripheries and
integrate the resources of those peripheral regions into its own
political economy. Thus, what is needed in world system research
is more consideration of the secondary centers of economic and political
expansion that are located in each country and in each region, which
also have an impact on their peripheries.
But what is lacking in all theoretical orientations, including
world-system theory and dependency theory, is an examination of
the microprocesses that occur at the village level as the periphery
is integrated into the economic core (see Baker 1984 for a criticism
of this with regard to dependency theory). In looking at these microprocesses
at the village level, whether as a result of social forces which
have been termed “colonization,” “internal colonialism,”
“neocolonialism,” or “development,” it is
important to recognize that these represent continuing, universal
processes that are common to all situations wherever an economic
center begins to expand and bring into its orbit ever increasing
sections of the local populations on the peripheries. It is my contention,
as I will show by a contemporary example from the State of Maine,
U.S.A., that these processes are the same in the relationship of
all economic cores to their peripheries regardless of time or place
or level of development of the periphery.
Therefore, the goal of this monograph is not only to understand
the processes which lead to the growth of a landless peasantry and
the consequences in order to mitigate these deleterious processes;
but it is also to produce a more developed theory of core and periphery
relations with testable hypotheses by looking at the village-level
microprocesses. This is important as the economic, social, and political
processes at work at the centers of economic growth have been well
studied by economists, political scientists, and sociologists. But
the minute processes at the village level whereby the periphery
is linked with the center, the processes whereby relatively independent
communities are brought under the control of the center, are less
well known, less well studied. We believe that this book will make
a major contribution towards understanding these processes.
METHODS OF OBTAINING CONTROL OVER THE PERIPHERY
Physical and Psychological Coercion
The range of methods whereby the core develops control over the
resources of the periphery can vary from the use of overwhelming
force to more subtle methods. For example, many of the indigenous
occupants of the peripheries in the Amazon Basin have been simply
eliminated by the superior weaponry and technology of expanding
national interests. In parts of Indonesia the tribal minorities
occupying the peripheries are removed by military force to resettlement
centers to free up the natural and labor resources of the peripheries
for exploitation by the center (see Appell 1985b, 1985c; Appell-Warren
1985; and Appell on the Bulusu’ in this volume).
In nation states where the occupants of the peripheries have greater
access to the national legal system and to the political processes,
the integration of the peripheries is more subtle. Let us briefly
look at an example from a rural area in the State of Maine.
The region is dependent on small-scale, part-time farming, lumbering,
small-scale manufacturing, and small-scale outdoor recreation, such
as providing guides for hunters and fishermen. More recently there
has developed a large ski and golf resort along with associated
businesses that cater primarily to those from the various urban
centers who are looking for leisure recreation. Individuals from
the center have also been moving into the region to occupy skilled
jobs, such as carpentry, etc., supervisory jobs, such as superintendent
of schools, manager of wood products companies, or to live off of
income invested in the economic center. Institutions from the core
have also funded institutions in the periphery, frequently sending
their own personnel to run them, as in various rural Christian missions.
Recently a project was initiated, entitled “Project PRIDE,”
for purposes of economic improvement. It was funded from socioeconomic
centers such as the state Department of Education and foundations
located in urban areas of the state. And the project was able to
enlist the interest of the recreation industry and related businesses
to support its activities. Many of these were having a hard time
finding local labor. The ultimate source of this project was two
individuals in the local regional school system who were originally
from outside the region and apparently concerned about their own
It was argued by the initiators of the project that the traditional
sources of employment for the local population would not be available
in the future. The goals of Project PRIDE were thus explicitly to
prepare the young people for jobs in the service sector, which,
translated into the local economic situation, meant low paying jobs
servicing the out-of-state tourists at the local ski and golf resort.
In announcing this project the director wrote that the PRIDE Task
Force has also identified low self-esteem as a local and economic
problem. “Low self-esteem impedes achievement in school and
on the job. To be successful our students will require the abilities
to adapt to change and to learn new skills. The PRIDE Task Force
has identified the skills and attitudes necessary to be a successful
person, and a contributing, productive member of the community”
(Project PRIDE n.d.:1).
Yet no survey had been made of the actual level of self-esteem.
This was but one aspect of the application of stereotypes by those
who had moved in from economic centers to categorize the local people
and differentiate themselves as relatively sophisticated members
of the economic core. Thus, many of the representatives from urban
centers, such as clergy, teachers, part-time summer residents, and
others who have found jobs in the region, typically complain that
the local inhabitants have the highest incest rate in the country,
that they have major problems of alcoholism, that they are ill housed,
that they are sexually profligate producing far too many teenage
pregnancies, that they are uncultured and need to be taught about
good music, good theater, and good books.
The implication in the announcement of Project PRIDE was not only
were the local people low in self-esteem but that they were not
successful and were unable to contribute to their communities. This
created a lot of hostility among that sector of the population that
had been born and raised in the region. These local residents have
been under increasing social pressure from the center over the last
three or four decades. Individuals from the center with a surplus
of cash have been buying up the farms and houses of the local population
for summer retreats or for a place to live in retirement, while
more and more of the local population have been forced to find housing
in trailer parks.
This example illustrates one of the common threads in all attempts
at bringing the periphery under greater control of the center for
purposes of obtaining the resources there. It involves the use of
dehumanization and attacks on self-esteem to achieve these ends,
or what I have termed “psychosocial deprivation and devaluation.”
But also in those instances where force is used to deprive a population
of its resources, dehumanization provides the justification for
action. However, in this book we will not be considering in depth
the use of naked force to obtain integration, although the contribution
of Appell on the Bulusu’ is relevant. But whatever the methods
used, force or argument, attacks on self-esteem and dehumanization
of the rural population is a universal process.
PSYCHOSOCIAL DEPRIVATION AND DEVALUATION IN SOCIAL CHANGE
... labor is the technical term used for human beings, in so
far as they are not employers but employed; it follows that henceforth
the organization of labor would change concurrently with the organization
of the market system. But as the organization of labor is only
another word for the forms of life of the common people, this
means that the development of the market system would be accompanied
by a change in the organization of society itself. All along the
line, human society had become an accessory of the economic system
[Polanyi 1957:75 (orig. 1944)].
When members of the economic centers contact members of the periphery,
they commonly treat such populations in dehumanizing terms, attack
their personal worth and self-esteem, and either deny or ignore
their social identity by not accepting their cultural and ethnic
status. We will examine here the nature of the devaluation and deprivation
of self-worth, leaving to later the problems relating to recognition
of ethnic identities.
The Character of Dehumanization
One of the persistent but covert themes not only in the processes
of modernization but also in social science theory itself is that
of dehumanization. It is not a process solely characteristic of
the contact of indigenous societies with Western society, or its
derivatives. It appears to be a universal human process whenever
a society wants to take control of the labor or natural resources
of another society. (For example, see the chapters here on the Rungus
and the Bulusu’.) Thus, even today change agents from the
economic centers of various countries still denigrate and belittle
the members of a population and their sociocultural system to achieve
their goals of change. Usually the very act of development itself
is phrased in terms that implicitly, if not explicitly, devalue
the culture of the indigenous population and its members (see Appell
1975a, 1975b, 1975c, 1980). What is surprising is that dehumanization
still finds expression in the social sciences in various forms and
in the attitudes of Westernized indigenous elites. It is important
to define the nature of dehumanization before we proceed.
Bernard, Ottenberg, and Redl (1971:102) define “dehumanization”
as a defense against painful and overwhelming emotions that entails
a decrease in a person’s sense of his own individuality and
in his perception of the humanness of others. They view dehumanization
as “not a wholly new mental mechanism but rather a composite
psychological defense which draws selectively on other well known
defenses, including unconscious denial, repression, depersonalization,
isolation of affect, and compartmentalization ...” (1971:103).
There are both adaptive and maladaptive functions of dehumanization.
The surgeon uses a form of dehumanization so that he can perform
without emotional involvement. Bernard and colleagues divide maladaptive
dehumanization into two processes: self-directed dehumanization,
which relates to self-image and indicates a diminution of an individual’s
sense of his own humanness; and object-directed dehumanization which
refers to perceiving others as lacking in those attributes that
are considered to be most human. The important point is that these
two forms are mutually reinforcing.
Bernard and colleagues further divide object-directed dehumanization
into two forms, partial and complete (1971:105):
Partial dehumanization includes the misperceiving of members of
“out-groups,” en masse, as subhuman, bad human, or superhuman;
as such, it is related to the psychodynamics of group prejudice.
It protects the individual from the guilt and shame he would otherwise
feel from primitive or antisocial attitudes, impulses, and actions
that he directs--or allows others to direct--toward those he manages
to perceive in these categories: if they are subhumans they have
not yet reached full human status on the evolutionary ladder and,
therefore, do not merit being treated as human; if they are bad
humans, their maltreatment is justified since their defects in human
qualities are their own fault ... The main conscious emotional concomitants
... are hostility and fear.
The more complete form of object-directed dehumanization “entails
a perception of other people as nonhumans--as statistics, commodities,
or interchangeable pieces in a vast ‘numbers game.’
Its predominant emotional tone is that of indifference ... together
with a sense of noninvolvement in the actual or foreseeable vicissitudes
of others” (Bernard, Ottenberg, and Redl 1971:105-6).
Dehumanization has been a dominant theme in Western tradition with
the application of the metaphor of the machine to humans and human
activities and the use of natural science models in the social sciences
(Randall 1976, Rifkin 1980). And dehumanization has deep historical
roots in the response of modern societies to native peoples (Appell
The historical literature on the contact of modern, expanding societies,
both capitalist and socialist, is full of pejorative terms in describing
indigenous peoples. They are “savage,” “dirty,”
“primitive,” “backward,” “ignorant,”
and so on. “They live like animals,” is one popular
phrase. This labeling process is a clear warning that the potential
victims are being denied their individuality and their community
with other men (see Kelman 1973, Kuper 1981:85-92). And “all
members of the group are guilty solely by virtue of their membership
in it” (Kuper 1981:86). Such discourse in which a group is
talked about in non-human terms is essentially a danger signal that
justifications are being manufactured for treating others as one
would treat dangerous animals (Legum referred to in Kuper 1981:85).
While dehumanization is always deeply involved in the expansion
of economic and political centers, anthropologists, usually sensitive
to the stereotyping of indigenous peoples, have not generally followed
up the implications of such discourse. Such discourse is preparatory
to forcibly dispossessing an indigenous people of their material
and labor resources. This provides the justification for actions
which would not be sanctioned if the target population were really
“like us.” Dehumanization discourse puts the target
population beyond the normal moral restraints in dealing with others.
Dehumanizing discourse has many other psychological functions
as well. It has ego functions in supporting one’s claim to
superiority. Another function is to resolve the cognitive confusion
that arises in viewing the social behavior, culture, and cultural
ecology of another group. “Things” are out of place
to the outsider. Common symbol vehicles may be used to indicate
different meanings. As Douglas (1966) has pointed out, when matter
is out of place it is referred to as “dirty.” And this
is one of the paramount reasons that the members of indigenous societies
are almost universally referred to as “dirty.” The organization
of their material world is different from that of the outsider,
and cognitively threatening.
Dehumanizing discourse in putting the victims beyond one’s
moral community also serves deeper psychological functions for the
victimizer. First, it permits the victimizer to usurp resources
without guilt, as well as without conflicts from cognitive discontinuity.
It also involves the projection of deep psychological impulses.
Commonly, members of the center refer to the members of the peripheries
as “lazy,” “drunkards,” “immoral,”
“dirty,” “savages,” and the like (e.g. Alatas
1977). While this is an expression of the victimizers’ anxieties
in dealing with people who are not members of their moral community,
it also represents the projection on others of the victimizers’
deep impulses that are constrained by their cultural rules. Those
who are beyond the cultural rules of the victimizers’ society
must, in fact, be savages. They represent the more “savage”
unconscious desires and impulses of the members of the center. Only
by bringing these peripheral savages into the cultural rules of
the center can they be saved from the antisocial impulses attributed
to them, and thus the members of the center are saved from themselves.
Dehumanization processes may also include a cloud of officially
sanctioned semantics to clothe the use of immoral force and to hide
the true purposes of government action. Such terms as “re-education
centers,” “resettlement,” and the like may be
used (see Kelman 1973:48).
In addition to dehumanizing labeling and a sanctioned semantics
of manipulation, there is frequently a theory to rationalize destructive
actions, such as “progress,” or “evolution.”
Kuper writes (1981:88-89), “Colonization was linked to evolution,
the conquered peoples being conceived as lower in the scale of evolution
with rights and capacities by no means comparable to those of their
Dehumanization of the periphery is thus in the service of the economic
interests of the center and the resolution of the psychological
conflicts involved in dominating a peripheral population. These
processes of dehumanization are always present in every attempt
at modernization. In this monograph these processes are detailed
by Appell in his analysis of modernization among the Rungus and
Dehumanization and Self-Esteem
Another function of dehumanizing discourse is to erode the self-esteem
of the target population in order to make control of it easier.
These threats to self-esteem are part of the whole process of deprivation
of personal worth and the devaluation of social and ethnic identity
that occurs when a population is confronted with development or
modernization. And the acceptance of the dehumanizing stereotypes
of self-worth by the target population then makes it much easier
for the government and change agents to manipulate that population
and bend it to their will.
In situations where force is inappropriate and where explicit dehumanization
through negative stereotypes is discouraged, such as in relations
between centers and peripheries in the United States, attacks on
self-esteem are, nevertheless, an integral part of attempts at integration.
Thus, whether force is used or not, the processes whereby the center
or representatives of the center get control of the resources of
the peripheries, both labor and material, have a common theme, irrespective
of time or place, as the example from rural Maine illustrates.
Additional Functions of Psychosocial Deprivation and Devaluation
Psychosocial deprivation and devaluation serve many other functions.
They create jobs for those of the emerging elites in the center,
who are employed to go out and teach the new cultural traits and
administer the peripheral populations. But many of the new cultural
traits are of less value for survival in the rural environment than
those that the local population have already devised to deal with
their ecosystem (see Appell 1975a, n.d.c). Therefore, what other
reasons might there be for this structure of interaction between
the center and the periphery in which the peripheral population
is regarded as so degraded and so useless? Why are there not fewer
self-imposed culture bearers and more cultural preservers recording
what is of importance before it is lost?
Perhaps the answer lies now in a universal culture of development
and progress that predetermines these relations. But there may also
be deeper social functions of the peripherization process. The members
of the center live in situations of rapid social change. Their social
positions are frequently unclear because of this, under threat,
and constantly needing redefinition as social circumstances change.
By defining themselves vis-`a-vis the periphery as being superior,
the members of the center are able to justify their social positions,
creating a more stable and stronger social identity. Particularly
for those new to the center, dehumanizing the inhabitants in the
peripheries help establish their membership in the center.2
The Return of Dehumanization
Dehumanization of victims has the consequence of dehumanizing the
victimizer (see Kelman 1973:50-52). The victimizer loses his sense
of community and identity with others. He becomes increasingly brutalized
to “the extent that he is dehumanized, and loses the capacity
to act as a moral being” (Kelman 1973:51). This is one of
the unexpected and unpredicted consequences of modernization. And
it suggests that wise planning for development and modernization,
if the society is to function well, should include explicit policies
and efforts to prevent any attempts at the psychosocial deprivation
and devaluation of any segment of the country’s population.
DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESSES IN THE INTEGRATION OF THE PERIPHERY TO THE
The speed at which peripheries are integrated into the economic
sphere of sociopolitical centers depends on the amount of force
used. Thus, the various stages of integration listed below can be
short-circuited with force. This list of stages is not necessarily
in chronological order so much as in order of development and loss
1. Travelers and traders arrive in the periphery. Epidemics of
contagious diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, small pox, mumps,
etc., sweep through the indigenous population resulting in a major
population decline. Cohorts of children are particularly decimated.
But this does not mean that the indigenous group was previously
completely isolated. Epidemics may have periodically swept through
the group as a result of contact with a mediating indigenous group
who were in earlier contact with traders and travelers. And trade
goods may have reached the group previously through mediating indigenous
2. The government makes itself known and attempts to develop a
monopoly over the use of force in the region. This involves the
appointment of local level political leaders, such as chiefs or
headmen, to represent the government interests. Either existing
local leaders are selected for this, or the government picks its
representatives from outside the indigenous political hierarchy.
In the later case the indigenous leaders are undermined, and this
can create factions and conflict. In both cases it is likely that
the newly appointed government representatives will have greater
power than under the indigenous structure (see Glazier in this volume).
3. The government next attempts a census of the population and
imposes a tax, creating a demand for money in a situation where
there is only a small elasticity of money supply.
4. Dehumanizing labels are used to refer to the local populations
by members of government and members of the economic and sociopolitical
core. Terms such as “primitive,” “savage,”
“dirty,” “backward,” “lazy,”
“dumb,” “animals,” make their appearance.
A semantics of manipulation also develops in government circles
as policy is designed for economic development and obtaining control
over indigenous resources for the benefit of the core. Thus, government
policy is phrased in a sanitized semantics to disguise any authoritarian
or illegal procedures used in manipulating and gaining control over
the local populations. This semantics itself adds to the processes
of dehumanization (see Kelman 1973). For example, the European Jews
in World War II were told that they were going to “resettlement
centers,” and it is an interesting coincidence that many countries
refer to the centers where they put their tribal minorities as “resettlement
centers” or “re-education centers.”
5. For purposes of government and increasing commerce, transportation
and communication improvements are made, starting with improved
paths and trails to commercial centers. Eventually roads are built
into the peripheral areas, aircraft landing fields are constructed,
small ports are established, etc. This includes the installation
of radio communication or telephone connections with government
posts and the developing economic centers in the peripheries.
These improvements in communications and travel provide better
security for travelers and the movement of goods. It also facilitates
the movement of labor from the hinterland to plantations and other
centers of economic activities.
6. As the peripheral community is integrated into a national network
of communication and trade, epidemics every decade or so continue.
The loss of time and energy to these diseases may cause sufficient
biosocial incapacity so that the community is unable to maintain
its cultural ecology.
7. There is a development of small shops servicing the local population.
The goods available are, by and large, consumables such as sugar,
flour, candy, soft drinks, cloth, etc. Thus, excess cash or agricultural
products rather than being converted into assets as previously are
used to purchase consumables. New forms of property are also introduced
which depreciate, such as radios, clocks, etc. As a result there
is less surplus to invest into the traditional forms of property,
which may have been nondepreciable, and less motivation to do so.
As a consequence, the old forms of investment drop in value.
8. As the old forms of property drop in value, there is a loss
of mechanisms whereby agricultural surpluses may be saved and invested.
Each society has various methods of investing its surplus, which
serves as a buffer against times of trouble. However, as a cash
economy develops with alternative uses for cash and surpluses, there
is a lack of interest in investing in the old forms of property,
such as beads, gongs, headdresses, brassware, weaving, various forms
of primitive “money,” etc., particularly since these
forms of property are losing their value. In a real sense the community
becomes poorer through a deflation of property values. At the same
time the methods of savings used in the metropolitan community are
not in place. There are no banks at the village level (e.g. Ploeg
1985a:268). There are no postal savings, etc. In Canada to deal
with this problem at one point a flying bank was instituted to service
remote northern communities.
9. Members of the local population may become indebted to shopkeepers
in order to purchase consumer goods. Shopkeepers may in fact encourage
this indebtedness so that they may gain control over the land, the
labor, and sale of the produce of their debtors (see Appell 1978:144-45;
Baks in this volume).
10. Government development planning for the periphery increases.
The administration is frequently ambivalent on how to manage local
ethnicity, whether to recognize it or override it as a hinderance
to nation-building. But whatever the case the administration continues
to view the local populations in stereotypic and dehumanized terms.3
Goals of the planning include plans to make the members of the periphery
less group oriented and more individualistic. This refers to the
belief that tradition impedes development.4 The papers in this volume
of Dove, Eder, and Appell illustrate the falseness of this assumption.
Also prevalent is the belief that the members of the periphery
are not true economic maximizers, that they have to be taught to
be economic rationalizers. This is not in fact the case but only
the perception of the members of the center who are ill-informed
about the context of decision-making at the village level, including
the parameters of the ecosystem (see the various contributors to
Bartlett 1980 who discuss this issue).5
11. Government departments intrude into village life. Medical services
are instituted to deal with the health needs created by integration.
And this results in population increase, putting pressure on the
resources of the region.
12. At some point in the integration of the peripheries to the
core, missionaries appear on the scene. The ideology of the peripheral
group is a threat to the core, and the function of missionaries
is to help change this ideology to match that of the core. Their
work also results in creating a more commoditized and monetized
vision of the world. For example, at the simplest level they begin
to pass the collection plate at services. Like the representatives
of government, missionaries also view the inhabitants of the peripheries
as not fully optimizing, not realizing that subsistence farmers
and peasants are universally optimizing individuals but who are
basing their decisions on different values and different risks.
13. Psychosocial deprivation and devaluation increases in intensity.
Indigenous clothing and local handicrafts are ridiculed. In some
instances the local population is forbidden to wear their traditional
clothing (see Appell 1975a, 1985b, 1985c; Appell-Warren 1985). The
local language is disparaged and discouraged. For example, the speech
of hunting and gathering groups on the peripheries may be referred
to as sounding like birds. It may be forbidden to use the local
language in schools, and pupils may be punished for doing so (see
14. The increase in the cash economy and the conversion to Christianity,
or Islam, produce social differentiation within the village so that
interest groups and factions form opposed to each other in the maneuvering
for power, prestige, and property. Frequently, religion becomes
the focus of conflict between parent and child (e.g. Young 1987).
15. The meaning of work and life is slowly eroded by government
pressures on the peripheral population to change the basis of their
economizing decisions from their own values to the values of the
center; by the pressures of missionaries to have their symbolic
interpretation of the social order accepted; and by the denigration
of the traditional culture by both government personnel and missionaries.
Work in indigenous societies is supported by a complex web of ritual
and religious meanings which provide motivations for it. These also
provide meaning to life. With the breakdown of the traditional ways,
work no longer has meaning other than its cash value. Labor power
is exchanged for money rather than exchanged for more fundamental,
religious rewards in response to existential concerns (see Marglin
1984:43; Appell 1985d).
16. At some point in the continuum of integration of the periphery
into the core a revitalization movement (Wallace 1956) usually arises.
These movements represent “creative efforts to repair the
fabric of societies rent by forces over which the indigenous peoples
had little or no control” (Adas 1979:xxvii). Thus, in the
face of economic, military, or cultural domination they are “attempts
to create viable new ideologies, institutions, and social bonds
in situations where long-standing world views and customary relationships
were eroded ...” (Adas 1979:xix). The form and content of
these movements have differed greatly, some involving violence and
organized resistance to the forces from the center while others
have stressed peaceful reform or passive withdrawal (Adas 1979:xviii).
Such movements include types that have been called “nativistic,”
“millennial,” “messianic,” “revivalistic,”
17. The government administrative machinery develops and intrudes
further into indigenous life but without sufficient bureaucratic
controls or feedback. This fosters the development of predatory
traders, corrupt government personnel, and various schemes to defraud
local individuals of their rights and property (see Appell 1985a,
1985b; Appell-Warren 1985). Alliances between government personnel
and traders may develop to exploit opportunities for illegal gains
with respect to services provided the local population or to gain
control over local resources. The failure of administrative feedback
and controls fosters corruption (see Glazier in this volume) and
may result in anti-government activity (see Appell 1966).
18. The use of money increases and has a higher transaction value
than its face value due to its scarcity. More and more activities
become commoditized and monetized, particularly labor, land, and
wealth transactions. This represents further movement along the
continuum, which Wolf (1969:279) describes:
Where previously market behavior had been subsidiary to the existential
problems of subsistence, now existence and its problems became subsidiary
to marketing behavior.
19. The national legal system is imposed on the village for the
major crimes and for disputes unresolvable at the village level.
This results in a plural jural system composed of the indigenous
and the imposed, which permits greater differentiation and the development
of factions within the village through the use and manipulation
of the two jural systems for personal ends.
20. Inefficient markets develop with marked swings in prices of
commodities. For example, right after harvest the price obtained
for grain is unreasonably low. When there is a shortage just before
next harvest and individuals have to purchase grain to cover their
shortfall, the price of grain rises precipitously. The appearance
of inefficient markets can drain the peasant community of many of
its assets because of the vagaries of agricultural yields.
21. The substitution of goods manufactured at the center for local
manufactured products, many but not all of which were the product
of household labor, accelerates. For example, locally woven cloth
is replaced by cloth made at various economic centers. Under-employment
at the village level may develop as manufactured products substitute
for local products.
22. Wage labor begins. Cash is needed to meet tax payments and
for other goods that have become available through traders and shops.
The opportunities for wage labor may be at a considerable distance
from the home village, necessitating the migration of labor for
part of the year or for several years. This causes family instability
and various other social problems. Such wage labor is frequently
on plantations (see Crump in this volume). The government, in addition
to taxation, may stimulate the growth of a labor force for plantations
by discouraging agricultural entrepreneurship in the peripheral
populations (see Glazier in this volume).
Other forms of wage labor may also become available such as working
as laborers in expeditions searching for oil or minerals. The opening
up of mines may also provide an opportunity for employment.
23. The shift continues from subsistence agriculture with surplus
invested in material or social assets to a cash crop agriculture
with surplus invested in personal consumables. Cash cropping brings
with it a dependence on a distant market and on information. The
farmer needs information about that market and changes in it, as
well as agricultural information on managing new crops, on fertilizers,
the handling of new pests, etc. Yet one of the significant characteristics
of the periphery is that information is scarce and not readily available
(e.g. Ploeg 1984). As a result the members of the periphery are
at a disadvantage in responding to economic changes and opportunities
and are, therefore, more vulnerable to exploitation by representatives
from the center or by those who have clear channels of information
from the center.
24. The government ignores the indigenous system of land tenure,
or attempts to destroy it, and imposes its own system on the local
cultural ecology. One of the founding myths of the capitalistic
form of integration is that of “primitive communism.”
Local forms of land tenure and ownership are destroyed or ignored
and change is instituted on the unsupported charge that the population
is “communistic,” or “communal,” with the
goal being to introduce individualism and private ownership for
purposes of development (see Appell 1985d; Appell’s article
on the Rungus in this volume; Glazier in this volume; Dove 1985).
It is to the advantage of the government to ignore the indigenous
system of property ownership in order to gain control of the population’s
resources. And this process occurs even in those cases in which
private ownership and enterprise are a critical part of the indigenous
sociocultural system (see the chapter on the Rungus in this volume).
25. The government also imposes its own system of community settlement,
which is inefficient in terms of operating the indigenous cultural
ecology, adding to the costs of production (see the situation among
the Bulusu’ in this volume).
26. With the breakup of indigenous settlement patterns and the
destruction of the native system of land tenure, the opportunity
is created for capital to move from the core to the periphery to
purchase land or start plantations, taking advantage of the local
27. With growing individualization of economic activities and land
tenure, rural social stratification increases (see Glazier in this
volume). Furthermore, the government system of land tenure, in which
individuals rather than corporate groups hold title to land, facilitates
the land being used as security for loans. Loans are incurred to
cover tax assessments, the purchase of consumer goods, to cover
periods of bad harvest, and to purchase agricultural inputs to increase
productivity. If the environment is unpredictable, it may be impossible
to repay loans and local title to lands shifts to the moneylenders
(see Baks’s article in this volume).
28. The symbolic expression of the village social order is attacked
by both missionary and government personnel. The argument frequently
is that the symbolic activities and the indigenous system of redistribution
is economically wasteful (see Appell for an example of this among
the Bulusu’). This approach does not consider the latent functions
of such activities. Every social system develops its own symbolic
elaborations (see Homans 1950), which serve a variety of critical
functions other than meeting solely economic needs; and these other
functions are just as important to human life. On the other hand,
the symbolic activities of the members of the economic center are
not viewed as wasteful but necessary to be a fully functioning member
of society. They do not see that these are just as “irrational”
and have their own function for redistribution and symbolic expression
(e.g. Appell 1985a, 1985b; Appell-Warren 1985; Tibbles 1957).
29. The new political figures and power brokers that have been
arising to mediate between the local population and the outside
consolidate their control at the expense of traditional leaders.
They control and broker the services and resources offered by the
government and other representatives from the core to the local
population as well as the labor services of the local population
to the center. The local system of redistribution and protection
against risks begins to break down and starts to reorganize around
these new power figures (see Crump’s paper in this volume).
30. Plantation owners may oppose the further development of cash
cropping by the indigenous populations, which would enable them
to earn money in ways other than by working on expatriate-owned
plantations. As a result, there is a delay in developing local extension
support for cash crops, and marketing facilities are not created
(see Ploeg 1985a:225). The consequence is that there is little knowledge
among the local populations of the markets for their produce or
labor (see Ploeg 1985a:262-64).
31. Schooling is begun at some point. Its goal is usually to educate
the children for skilled work in government administration. There
is no effort to focus the education on an agricultural future. (e.g.
Ploeg 1985a:256). And the family’s labor pool is reduced.
32. The monetization of agricultural transactions rapidly expands.
33. The breakdown of traditional redistributive and maintenance
mechanisms within the community is almost complete. Under the traditional
form of organization there were redistributive mechanisms that provided
support to those in need and which protected the community against
health and agricultural risks. Also, under the traditional form
of social order, there were maintenance mechanisms that controlled
behavior by various sanctions. With the breakup of the traditional
settlement pattern, with new forms of property and systems of ownership
growing, with the loss of the traditional system of land tenure,
with the breakdown of traditional sanctions for behavior, all of
which is part of the whole pattern of growing individualism that
disarticulates the individual from the community, there is growing
anomie, family instability, and antisocial activities.
34. As the traditional support mechanisms break down, the government
develops new institutions such as cooperative societies and credit
agencies to help develop community integration so that the community
will be more responsive to development plans.
35. As the depersonalization of transactions and relationships
grows, contractual forms of relationships increase.
36. Production of cash crops increases at the expense of food production.
This brings about an increasing dependency on purchased foods (e.g.
Ploeg 1985b:314), which may leave the community open to starvation
if there is a drop in prices of cash crops (e.g Prentice 1969).
37. The commoditization of land transactions increases. Land is
first put up as security for loans to tide a family over a bad agricultural
year or for agricultural inputs. Eventually a market for the sale
and purchase of land develops. However, with excess cash in the
economy accumulating in the urban centers, this can then be invested
in the rural areas, with the growing loss of local control over
The individualization of land tenure and the creation of a market
for land sales are crucial steps in the processes whereby peripheral
populations are separated from their ownership of land. In many
cultural areas in the Insular Southeast Asian region, only those
residing in a village may use the land there under traditional law.
This suggests a useful model for governments concerned with a growing
landless peasantry. They can mitigate the loss of local ownership
of land by requiring that any sale of land be made only to those
resident in the village where the land lies. This can slow the flood
of excess capital from the centers to the peripheries for investment
in land under absentee ownership.
38. This whole period of change is characterized by the intrusion
of the predatory aspects of the larger economic system into the
local economic system and the disruption of it. And at the same
time the full structure of the economic system that helps create
wealth, such as savings, legitimate lending institutions, information
services, etc., are not introduced nor are support institutions
introduced. By support institutions I mean not only those that help
the individual weather difficulties, such as medical services, welfare
services, etc., but also those services that help the individual
compete more appropriately, such as in-depth agricultural services,
education, etc. When eventually these “modern” systems
of support and educational services are instituted in the peripheries,
they are of lower quality than those provided to the populations
in the economic center, which puts the peripheries at a further
39. Agrobusiness enterprises grow in size to take advantage of
the labor supply.
40. Throughout this period of change, policy formation is made
at the center with little knowledge of the needs or wants of the
local populations or little knowledge of the appropriateness of
plans to the local conditions (see Alam and Glazier in this volume).
As the local level is not integrated into the policy making mechanisms,
not only are the plans inappropriate, but those at the local level
also know very little about the processes that are at work to integrate
them into the center, and therefore they are unable to respond appropriately
(see Ploeg 1985a:260).
41. Landlessness grows, but the opportunities for wage labor are
restricted primarily to males. This results in the underemployment
of women and children who previously were contributing to the local
economy through work in the fields. This exacerbates the decline
of the viability of the local economy. And it is associated with
growing social stratification and the potentiality of class conflict.
As Torry writes (1986a:31): ”all things considered, the more
arable land a man is forced to mortgage or sell at a loss, the greater
the peril his wife and daughters face owing to a reduction in the
need for their labor ...”
42. Temporary and permanent emigration of population from the periphery
begins. Young people move to the center for education. More ecological
niches exist in the urban centers, and people move to the cities.
This is not only because of the employment opportunities there,
which no longer exist in the periphery, but also because by being
there they are closer to the pulse of change and opportunity. Others,
who lack opportunity and land in the periphery and do not migrate
to the cities, swell the landless peasantry that works as migrant
43. Government increases its efforts in welfare ventures to deal
with the economic and social deprivation in the periphery. This
becomes a form of redistribution of surplus from the core to the
44. Tourism and recreation industries develop in the periphery.
The periphery begins to attract the affluent from the economic centers
for purposes of recreation, retirement, and vacations. It also attracts
those who find that the social conditions of the center are not
congruent with their interests and need for quality of life.
The Return of the Repressed
With modern transportation, the technology and skills of the center
can be rapidly dispersed to the periphery. Thus, capital moves from
the center to establish manufacturing plants in third and fourth
order centers located out in the peripheries where the cost of labor
power is lower. Many products are now manufactured in the periphery
that were originally manufactured in the center and which provided
employment in the center. This raises unemployment in the center.
The original repressed, that is the populations in the peripheries,
have returned to cause disintegration in the center, and the center
starts to retaliate by setting import quotas.
ADAPTATION OVERLOAD AND THE DESTRUCTION OF CULTURAL DEFENSE MECHANISMS
As the center extends its economic and political control over the
population and resources in the peripheries, the population there
is faced with major changes in its settlement patterns, its economics,
its property systems, its organization of work, its ideology, and
even its family organization (see Appell n.d.a for examples of these).
This then creates demands for adaptation, and if the changes are
too rapid, it may create an adaptation overload. At the same time
the indigenous support systems are eroded and the cultural defense
mechanisms for protecting the population against disease in their
environment are destroyed. As a result, there is increasing psychological,
physiological, and behavioral impairment in the population in the
For example, changes in the cultural ecology of the population,
such as a shift from cultivating dry rice to wet rice, exposes the
population to a new set of pathogens and health risks for which
cultural defense mechanisms may not have yet been devised. And previous
cultural defense mechanisms against disease may be eroded by government
intervention. Thus, among the Rungus of Sabah, Malaysia, the government
decreed that pigs should be kept in pens. This removed a source
of excrement disposal from under and around the longhouse as well
as eliminated the process whereby coconut shells and anything that
might catch water were being turned over and disturbed so that malaria
carrying mosquitoes had fewer breeding opportunities near the settlements.
Impaired self-esteem has been associated with increased ill health.
Consequently, as the peripheral population is subjected to dehumanization
and attacks on its self-esteem, not only is its ability to cope
eroded but also its health status as well. Associated with these
threats to self-esteem, acts of dehumanization, and loss of a functioning
cultural system, as the population is being integrated into the
core, are disturbances of social identity, which again are found
associated with health impairments.
Social stress depresses the response of the immune system. Consequently,
the social stress that arises as a result of dehumanization and
the demands for socioeconomic change lowers the ability of the physiological
system to respond to disease, and we can expect the incidence of
disease among the peripheral population to rise on this account
alone during periods of rapid social change.
The capacity to manage social stress, to respond to demands for
adaptation, and to resist disease is related not only to a population’s
level of self-esteem but also to the vitality of its support systems.
These support systems are found in the various symbolic activities,
in the network of kin, in the structure of friendship, in the willingness
of neighbors to help. Yet integration to the center uniformly results
in the destruction of settlement patterns, the narrowing of kin
obligations, the breakup of neighbor and friend relations. As a
result, the community support mechanisms are eroded at a time when
they are most needed and before other support mechanisms always
found in the center are made available.
The integration of the periphery to the core also creates role
conflict and ambiguity as new roles are learned and old roles changed
and eroded. But role conflict and ambiguity have also been found
associated with various health impairments.
In addition to adding to the adaptation load of a population, change
contributes to a sense of psychological loss as old institutions
and beliefs change and disappear. This psychological loss has been
found to be analogous to the sense of psychological loss experienced
in the death of a significant other (see Appell 1980, n.d.a). Using
this analogy, one would expect to find, during stages of rapid change
and integration into the core, periods of hostility and aggression
interspersed with periods of apathy as well as various forms of
health impairment, until the trajectory of social bereavement is
These symptoms of social bereavement, along with psychosocial deprivation
and devaluation and role conflict and ambiguity, form a characteristic
set of phenomena that accompany rapid social change. I have termed
this the “social separation syndrome” (Appell 1980).
In certain cases, unless it is properly managed, the population
may never regain its psychosocial health and will either die out
or linger as a rural depressed population that cannot adapt to any
challenge, exhibiting various diseases of maladaptation.
Thus, the increased adaptation load on the population has a spiraling
effect. It creates health impairments, which cannot be successfully
coped with during the breakdown of local support and maintenance
institutions. This in turn adds to the adaptation load and precipitates
ever increasing maladaptation, which adversely affects psychobiologically
impaired as a result of the demand overload on the members of the
parental generation, who cannot adequately parent their children
at these times.
The association of health impairments, psychological, behavioral,
and physiological, with adaptation overload suggests a hypothesis
that explains many of the observations made about populations on
the periphery. These populations during the periods that they are
being integrated into the core will express greater apathy, alternating
at times with greater hostility, higher rates of antisocial acts,
greater family instability, higher rates of disease and disability,
greater impairment in the ability to work than at times of little
social change. And this hypothesis would also apply to populations
living in internal peripheries, which may be near the center but
which have been passed by in previous phases of expansion.
The more the conditions of integration are dictated by the members
of the core, the greater will be the social dislocations and symptoms
of maladaptation in the peripheral populations. The greater the
control over the processes of integration that the members of the
periphery have, on the other hand, and if given sufficient time
to adapt to change, the more appropriate will be the response of
the periphery to the challenge. Development will then be endogenously
driven rather than exogenously. And as a result it will be less
stressful, more successful, and permanent.7
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS VOLUME
McCutcheon analyzes the development of land scarcity on Palau as
a result of various factors, including a series of colonial administrations
that never understood the indigenous system of land tenure. There
are now a large number of individuals with no title to land. Yet
because of the institution in which usufruct is freely shared, the
Paluans are not land poor. However, this may not be so in the future.
Nowak in her study of the Btsisi’ of Peninsular Malaysia
first reviews the former British colonial policy on reservations
and then the present Malaysia government policy on resettling of
the Btsisi’ and other Orang Asli groups. As a result of economic
development, particularly plantations, land is scarce for these
peoples. They have been moved to reserves, where in the case of
the Btsisi’ there is both a health problem and a scarcity
of fresh water. One of the basic goals of the government is to convert
these people to Islam and teach them Malay culture. The future for
the Btsisi’ is not very bright as there is increasing land
scarcity, particularly for the next generation, and yet there is
some question as to what other forms of work will be available.
Appell in his article analyzes the consequences of development
and social change among Rungus of Sabah, Malaysia. He describes
how development policies, ignoring the Rungus land tenure system,
have set in motion changes that have produced land scarcity. And
development projects have been largely unsuccessful because they
were designed without understanding the complex human ecology of
the Rungus domestic family system. This is based on a complex agroecology
that provided many types of crops and many pathways for subsistence
and income so that the failure of any one part would not jeopardize
a family’s livelihood. Monocropping, on the other hand, is
vulnerable to ecological disaster and price fluctuations outside
Rungus control. However, the growing scarcity of land has not produced
major social dislocations because there have been opportunities
for wage labor in government jobs and in the private sector and
because there is an educational system which facilitates socioeconomic
mobility through preparing the students for positions of significance
and power in the government hierarchy or in private enterprise.
On the other hand, if there is an economic recession and these opportunities
contract, then the scarcity of land may become a critical issue.
Dove describes an important example of endogenous development in
his study of the historical modifications of Kantu’ Dayak
land tenure system. The Kantu’ are a people of West Kalimantan,
Indonesia. Dove shows how the traditional system of land tenure
was changed and modified by the Kantu’ themselves to respond
to social developments and growing scarcity of land. During the
time of interethnic warfare, the Kantu’ cut primary forest
for their swiddens. It was more economical given the contingencies
of warfare and provided greater safety. With peace, however, secondary
forest became preferred, as it produced a greater yield. Also the
planting of rubber tree groves on old swiddens began. As a result
of this, and contact with the nearby Iban, the land tenure system
of the Kantu’ changed from one where the cutting of primary
forest did not create any permanent usufruct rights to one in which
permanent usufruct rights were created and owned by the household
that cut the primary forest. When a household moved to another village,
the secondary forest over which it owned usufruct rights reverted
to the village reserve, and any resident could cut the forest and
establish permanent usufruct rights. But then with growing population
pressure, this customary law (adat), again changed. Now the land
in the village reserve became actively administered by the village
headman so that resident households were given turns in cultivating
the secondary forest abandoned by those leaving the village. As
the processes of integration continued, still further developments
arose. Dove’s contribution is an important one in that he
shows how a society can change on its own to challenges and respond
effectively when it has the time and is not being forced to react
to policies determined by the economic centers.
Appell describes the processes whereby the Bulusu’ of East
Kalimantan, Indonesia, have been removed from their traditional
village areas to resettlement sites. He presents a synopsis of traditional
Bulusu’ society and analyzes how it is being changed by the
resettlement process. This involves the loss of cultural identity,
and the use of authoritarian methods to create the change that the
Bulusu’ do not welcome. Not only are the Bulusu’ becoming
land poor, entering the national economic system at the lowest strata,
but the process of resettlement has disrupted the endogenous integration
of their economy with the regional economy that they had already
begun. This has resulted in a significant drop in the export of
Bulusu’ agricultural products to the nearby port city, and
as a result the region has become economically poorer. The Bulusu’
present another example of that endogenous development, has been
more economically sound than has development planned from above.
Eder asks the question whether tropical upland agriculture can
develop in a direction that does not lead to environmental degradation
and progressive socioeconomic inequality with an absolute increase
in poverty. He is concerned with how to avoid the pattern of upland
development that leads not simply to impoverishment but to eventual
landlessness. He examines three relatively successful communities
in the Philippines that are characterized by small-holder agricultural
economies based on shifting cultivation. He reaches three conclusions.
First, subsistence production should be viewed as something to coexist
with cash production, not as something to be phased out. This minimizes
the need for farmers going into debt. Second, diversity of crops
not simplification is associated with economically successful communities,
as this helps reduce risks and encourages entrepreneurial activities.
Furthermore, the mixture of cash-intensive activities with labor-intensive
activities within the same community enables the excess of capital
or labor in one economic activity to flow to other economic pursuits
within the local community rather than being attracted towards the
economic centers. Third, for the long-term viability of such communities
it is important to combine agriculture with tree crops and the use
of grasslands for domesticated animals. Eder points out the that
the great advantages of mixed farming regimes is that they promote
social stability and stimulate entrepreneurship. And he concludes
that critical to the development of economically sound upland farming
communities is security of land tenure. Thus, national governments
in their own self-interest must recognize this and act on it now
to protect the indigenous land tenure systems.
A further interesting aspect of Eder’s study is that all
three communities predominantly maintained control over their destinies.
Their futures were not being dictated from the core. The Ikalahan
case is particularly interesting, in that this ethnic group is not
only directing its own agricultural development but in addition
controls its own high school.
The Adivasi live in South Gujarat, India. Baks examines the history
of land reform to evaluate how it affected the Adivasi. The Adivasi
in the early stages of integration of the periphery to the economic
centers came under the control of moneylenders. And much of the
British colonial legislation was used by these moneylenders to continue
their control over Adivasi land. Even the land reforms after Independence
did not result in the betterment of the Adivasi position. The Adivasi
represents clearly a situation in which landlessness is a product
of administrative misperception and malfunctioning.
Alam shows that in Bangladesh landlessness, near-landlessness,
and rural impoverishment have increased significantly in recent
years. He analyzes the many factors that have contributed to this.
He concludes that a large segment of the rural population has been
impoverished and the problem of landlessness exacerbated as a result
of the unrealistic and inappropriate programs developed by planners,
bureaucrats, and politicians who lack an awareness and an understanding
of what the conditions are at the village level. Thus, the hope
that the new rice technology and the new forms of cooperatives would
alleviate rural landlessness and impoverishment has not worked out
because the larger landholders have had more access to sources of
credit and therefore have had a higher participation in the new
rice technology. On the whole these programs of rural development
have been of little help to the small landholder.
Glazier discusses the general policy of land reform in Kenya during
the colonial period and post-Independence. Originally, the colonial
administrators supported and reinforced the traditional land tenure
system to inhibit agricultural entrepreneurship among the Africans
so as to ensure a supply of labor. The post-colonial Kenya government
developed an agricultural policy with an emphasis on rural capitalism
and developing entrepreneurship among the small farmers. The assumption
is that customary modes of land tenure inhibit agricultural output.
The government has, therefore, introduced individualization of land
tenure in an attempt to terminate control over land by kinship groups.
This will enable farmers to pledge their titles to land as collateral
for agricultural loans, which, in the official view, will accelerate
rural development. Glazier examines the impact of this policy on
the Mbeere, a patrilineal, egalitarian people with a mixed economy
based on agriculture and livestock raising.
For the Mbeere to obtain individual title to land, first the rights
of the lineage to its land have to be established and then land
held by the lineage has to be distributed to its agnates. As a result,
disputes and conflict over land have risen precipitously, and the
courts are now clogged with land dispute cases. Chiefs and their
lineages are having greater success in these because of their position.
Chiefs were originally appointed under colonial rule, and this imposed
a political hierarchy upon an originally acephalous society. These
chiefs increased their economic position by their cash wages and
the acceptance of gifts of livestock for favors. The conflict over
land has resulted in growing self-seeking, the breakdown of community
solidarity, and an increased fear of strangers. Where before there
was no shortage of land, there is now the prospect of a marked disparity
in land distribution. Thus, land reform has resulted in the accelerated
formation of rural classes on a previously egalitarian society.
With a growing population and the increase in social stratification
based on access to land, it now appears that a class of landless,
or near-landless workers, will develop laboring for a better-off
class of landholders, or the landless and near-landless will have
to migrate to urban areas where already there are not enough opportunities
for job seekers.
Crump analyzes the social and economic transformations that have
occurred among the Chamula, an Indian community located in the highlands
of the Mexican state of Chiapas. The old agricultural system was
based on the swiddening cultivation of maize and the raising of
sheep for their wool on grassland converted from forest. The consumption
of alcohol for ceremonies increased the demand for cash, and one
source of cash was seasonal labor on coffee plantations. However,
until government reform, the Indian labor was in a highly disadvantaged
situation. By the time that the Pan American highway opened up the
area, much of the native land had been mortgaged for cash to carry
the farmers through the agricultural year. With the highway new
opportunities arose for truck farming, but these were primarily
available to those who had government connections. Such individuals
were able to obtain land through the foreclosure of mortgages, with
the previous owner now a laborer on the truck farms. However, this
and the reform of the conditions of plantation labor has increased
the prosperity of the whole community. Thus, Crump asks, given the
previous conditions, what could have been a more advantageous form
of integration of this region to the economic center, even though
there has been a growth of landlessness? The question posed by Eder
on how development can occur without creating a progressive socioeconomic
inequality, as individualization of the social organization grows,
remains to be answered in the future as the integration of this
Chiapas region to the larger economic centers expands.
Ploeg analyzes the economic position and prospects of small-scale
farmers in Papua New Guinea. Landlessness is not a problem, except
in a few areas. But the economic situation for these farmers is
not secure or satisfactory. As a result of colonialism, they have
become dependent on a mixed cash and subsistence economy. And most
Papua New Guineans want to expand their cash earnings. The government
also wants to increase the cash earnings of these producers to enlarge
their tax base. And if the economy of the small producers does not
allow the government to increase its tax income, there is the possibility
that the government will favor the establishment of a class of larger
scale farmers and neglect the small producer. Ploeg examines the
possibility that there will arise a class of indigenous large landholders,
resulting in scarcity of land for others, but he concludes that
traditional methods of estate transfer will militate against that.
He analyzes various other factors that might cause a scarcity of
land or the inability to produce sufficient cash income, including:
population increase, land suitability, the availability of labor,
prices, market fluctuations, and marketability of export crops.
Ploeg gives two examples where communities ended up with less income
rasing commercial crops than food crops. He finds that it is unlikely
that Papua New Guinean farmers will be able to achieve the level
of prosperity that they would like to attain. And he argues that
this represents a conception of life which is frustrating in itself
as it identifies enjoyment primarily with material possession. Thus,
he concludes that his argument calls for a reorientation of values
away from the materialistic values shared with our own society.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCLUSIONS TO THIS VOLUME
We have looked at the social conditions that arise in the integration
of peripheral populations with the economic and political systems
of the center. And certain fundamental conclusions can be drawn.
In the capitalistic mode of integration great emphasis is put on
“individualism” and freeing the individual of past constraints
so that he can become an entrepreneur and an economic maximizer
in the terms of the economic center. And this involves the breakdown
of the individual’s sense of community and participation in
it. This is a misreading of the ideas associated with individualism
that arose with the advent of classical liberalism in the West.
And it puts misplaced emphasis on economic rather than social goals
in a form of ideology I refer to as “economic fundamentalism”
(see Appell 1985d). Individualism is not just freeing the individual
of traditional constraints as it is simply conceived. It also involves
the imposition of other constraints to prevent the pernicious exploitation
of other members of society. Those who speak for individualism seldom
are aware of these constraints or the social costs that individualism
produces. A whole series of support mechanisms have grown up in
Western countries to mitigate the costs of individualism. Thus,
when the stripped-down version of individualism is introduced in
other societies without the supports and constraints, the consequences
can be extreme to the social fabric and to the social and mental
health of the population. It is this stripped-down version that
is the source of many of the social dislocations in Third World
countries. Even constrained individualism is under reconsideration
as having gone too far in the West and what is needed is a return
to what has been called “civic humanism.” “The
concern here is less with the rights and privileges of individuals
or their private needs and more with the responsibilities of enlightened
citizenship or notions of community” (Rothblatt 1986:1013).
Associated with the stripped-down version of individualism is a
disregard for the ecological costs for immediate economic gain.
But this issue is complex and has been treated elsewhere.
A second conclusion is that when administrative systems expand
from the center into the peripheries, irrespective of being capitalistic
or socialistic, they do so without the usual built-in controls and
feedback found in more mature administrative systems. This results
in the growth of graft, dehumanized treatment of those administered,
and the development of policies completely out of touch with local
conditions and local needs. This is because the administration is
overdetermined by the goals of the center and is undercontrolled
by those who are being subjected to it. Thus, when the integration
of the periphery to the core fails to occur under the terms that
the representatives of the center specify or expect, the blame is
put on the victims, the peripheral populations. They are accused
of defective human character, personality, or intelligence on the
one hand; and/or on the other, of having a “traditional,”
restrictive, or retrograde culture. The elites from the center are
never able to perceive the fundamental causes. These are, first,
social conditions produced by the interaction of the center with
the periphery creates the situation whereby the adaptive resources
of the population involved are so flooded that it is impossible
for it to respond effectively to the demands from the center;8 and,
second, the population may not want to or choose to integrate with
the center on the terms presented to them. The choice not to integrate
becomes unacceptable to the elites from the center, and this is
ironic since modernization is in fact learning to make intelligent
choices under conditions of rapid social change, not learning to
respond to the demands of others.
Moreover, it is quite clear from the materials in this volume
that peripheral populations, given enough time and relief from external
demands, do in fact develop their own responses to challenges presented
from the center so that they can maintain control over their own
economy and their own land while integrating with the center. Under
these conditions of endogenous development their adaptive resources
are not overwhelmed. These populations create their own social inventions
to deal with these challenges. And these responses are more organically
sound than an integration that is forced on them from above. However,
the center is never patient. It is always authoritarian in its approach
to the periphery.9 And so the development of such local level adaptations
and responses are usually short-circuited by the demands for speedy
transformations that are set by the policies of the center. As a
result the center creates the conditions for political instability
and the creation of social costs that are not perceived as the product
of the center’s actions. These costs are explained away by
putting the blame on the character of the population itself, as
when the disadvantaged are characterized as lazy, or stupid, etc.
And these costs are externalized from the development process itself
primarily to the population of the periphery (see Appell 1975a).
Organic, sound development must come from the periphery, from the
bottom, itself. And time, patience, and choice are the critical
characteristics of such successful development. The unilateral involvement
of the government to determine the futures of the periphery always
produces unnecessary social disorder. Instead the involvement of
the government should be that of becoming a voice for the peripheral
populations. Designs for the future that come from the elites are
almost never realistic to the conditions, social and environmental,
of the periphery. This is because they are the product of those
who are socially, intellectually, and physically removed from the
conditions of the periphery and the nature of choices and risks
faced by the peripheral population faces (e.g. Appell 1985d). The
government should thus facilitate the thrust of the periphery, and
not impose itself. In certain situations when the integration of
the periphery to the center gets out of hand and the peripheral
populations are becoming disadvantaged by market forces that are
beyond their control, and beyond their knowledge, then the government
must intervene, as it has in the rural sectors of Norway and other
nations, to prevent such economic and social distortions.10
Finally, what is desperately needed as a basis for action on the
part of the center is a model, a conception of what is a healthily
functioning society and not a rich society, as economic surplus
has never guaranteed happiness, contentedness, nor a moral society.
As Madan (1983:37-38) argues: “the issue of ‘life-styles’
is (or should be) the central issue in development effort: instead
we have pursued possessions and ended up with being pursued by possessions,
many of which have, far from being precious turned out to be costly,
not only in terms of the exhaustion of natural resources but also
in terms of ecological, cultural and human destruction. It is high
time we realized that ‘Every act of development involves,
of necessity, an act of destruction’ (Appell 1975, p.31)...”
Thus, any such model of a healthily functioning society will have
to incorporate the participation of the peripheral populations as
fundamental to it. They should have the decision as to what aspects
of their culture are to be lost, what they have to surrender in
the integration of the periphery to the center.
1. The argument whether peasant, landless or otherwise, are the
instigators of rebellion and revolution or are mobilized by outside
forces as the peripheries are impacted by the economic activities
of the center is well reviewed by Skocpol (1982). The point is that
the landless and peasants whose livelihood is threatened by becoming
landless or land impoverished form potential interest groups that
can contribute to political instability.
2. The hypotheses in this section are so phrased to be testable.
Populations in the center can be ranked according to the strength
of their social identity and status of their social position. It
is hypothesized that those who are in less secure positions will
exhibit greater prejudice against the members of the peripheries.
3. Government personnel are not the only ones who have difficulty
with the problem of ethnicity. Connor writes (1972:319): “Scholars
associated with theories of ‘nation-building’ have tended
either to ignore the question of ethnic diversity or to treat the
matter of ethnic identity superficially as merely one of a number
of minor impediments to effective state-integration.” Some
scholars have argued that ethnicity may be a product of the growth
of economic centers.
4. Thus, Hoben (1980:341) writes: ”Until recently, development
planners and a majority of scholars concerned with development assumed
that the agricultural practices of low-income rural people are governed
by tradition, change only slowly, and are often poorly adapted to
local conditions. Moreover, it was assumed that traditional rural
societies were more or less static, and that their institutions
must be broken down or greatly modified because they were constraints
on more rational development.”
5. Thus, Johnson argues (1980:41) economists or government officials
are mystified and frustrated “when confronted with the behavior
of particular farmers. In fact, what is actually surprising is that
anyone would think that an abstract theory, operationalized with
reference to an industrial firm or similar limited frame, could
prescribe behavior for farmers who have lived in an environment
their entire lives, observed countless details about its soils,
crops, weather, labor supply, market prices, and government intervention,
and have integrated these experiences with cultural ‘rules
of thumb’ into a total understanding that all our research
methods in combination can hardly fathom.”
6. The discussion in this section is an abbreviation of the data
and discussions presented in Appell (n.d.a).
7. Madan (1983), reviewing the literature on development, argues
that Third World countries must find other models for development
than that provided by Western economics and the Western experience,
since this has unacceptable social costs. He calls for endogenous
development and argues that it is the peripheries that hold the
key to alternative, better futures. See also Appell (1975a, 1975b,
8. Alatas (1977) nicely describes the manner in which the blame
for conditions actually created by the colonizer and the commercial
activities of the center are projected upon those who are the victims.
He calls this the principle of misplaced responsibility: “a
situation is created by colonial rule. This situation affected a
change in native society, and native society is then blamed for
the resultant situation” (1977:205).
9. An example of this authoritarian approach to development is
found in Hyden (1980:31), a consultant to the Ford Foundation: “Development
is inconceivable without a more effective subordination of the peasantry
to the demands of the ruling classes.” And (1980:32): “In
order to understand the political situation in Africa, then, it
is important to recognize that a large group of social actors [peasants]
are still to be drawn firmly into ties of dependence with the ruling
classes, a precondition for effective exercise of state power.”
This model of society is strangely the inverse of one of the most
critical statements of American democracy that appears in Lincoln’s
Gettysburg Address (1863). To turn that statement on its head we
might thus read that this form of government is not of the people,
not by the people, nor for the people.
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centers. “‘The real issue is (the) type of economy and
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