A recent response to the post ‘Fossil-fuelled transport’ includes the reflection: “I do find the opposition between bad western technology and good eastern technology to be a bit wide of the mark . . . Surely the distinction is between clean and dirty technologies, not eastern and western ones.”
The phrase used was ‘Western industrial paradigm’ – which is surely an accurate term for the theory behind the industrial practices introduced by the British and later the Americans [in the case of the Green Revolution and now GM].
The ‘opposition’ is between these and the low carbon Indian practice displaced.
Some years ago I expressed discomfort at Winin Pereira’s use of the term Western, and from that time onwards he qualified it as follows:
The term ”West” it must be clearly understood, is not used in a limited geographical sense. In our global society a formidable, entrenched, well organised elite promotes or substantially benefits from installed, imposed Western political, economic, industrial and military systems.
This bloc is referred to throughout this book as the “West”. It includes the essential collaborators in the Two Thirds World who promote and willingly depend on the Western cultural system with its particular aims, objects and the means used to achieve them.
Excluded from the term “West” are the powerless in all countries ruthlessly impoverished by these unholy alliances, those living in the geographical West who reject its values and practices and individuals working outside these systems who fight against such exploitation.