Strategy for the 60's

Strategy for the 60's

Strategy for the 60's

Strategy for the 60's

Excerpt

A massive revolt against poverty is currently under way in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. For the first time, there is a widespread belief that something can be done to lessen the hunger, disease, and illiteracy which accompany poverty. The new leaders and their newly emerging nations are nonetheless caught in a great paradox. At the very moment that they want to eliminate outside ties with industrial countries, which are reminiscent of political subordination, they must turn to these countries for economic and technical help.

Because these countries need and ask for help, they suddenly occupy a pivotal position in the struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States. In competing for the loyalties of peoples of Asia and Africa, the Russians have certain immediate advantages. They pose as liberators from Western colonialism. They malign the United States for its ties with colonial powers. They point to the discrimination against Negroes in the United States. Meanwhile they offer their own technical achievements as proof that Communism is the way to rapid economic growth. Consequently the United States must develop a program which permits self-respect to the peoples of the emerging nations and leads to economic growth without resort to Communism.

An integrated, effective American program for the underdeveloped areas must be based on an understanding of the process of development and growth. Of the 13 Senate reports, the study by the Center for International Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presents the most extensive discussion of the problems of economic growth. MIT's view of the growth process is briefly reviewed here as background to other Senate reports which deal with the role of outside aid in economic development.

"The evolution of societies," the MIT study states, "occurs through the interaction of a myriad of factors, conveniently summed up under such labels as economics, politics, sociology, psychology…The transition to modernity has occurred simultaneously in many countries, each with its own particular history, resource endowment, class structure, political system, and so to attempt to generalize about the process of economic, social and political change in the underdeveloped countries might appear as a risky exercise.

"And yet, generalization is essential if we wish to understand and to cope with the problems which the revolution of modernization presents."

In almost all underdeveloped countries, several factors make rapid evolution difficult. The MIT study emphasizes that economic development cannot proceed without accompanying social, political and psychological development.

Generally speaking, the major economic need is for capital investment . . .

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