Tuesday, August 05, 2014

If you study sociology, you're a communist

From Barack Obama's really quite good interview with The Economist --

Mr Obama: Well, this is why I say there may be some generational shifts that need to take place. I mean, if you think about a Brazil, an India, a South Africa, much of the leadership in those governments came of age when those countries had very different attitudes towards the global economic system. To their credit, they have made incredible adjustments. If you think about somebody like former Prime Minister Singh of India really dragging this massive, incredibly complicated but incredibly innovative society kicking and screaming into the world marketplace, and below him, though, you’ve got an entire bureaucracy that was trained in thinking that—

The Economist: By the British? (Laughter.)

Mr Obama:—well, but also that may have been schooled by economists who were experts on dependency theory but not necessarily on how are we going to unleash innovation.

From Radical-in-Chief, Stanley Kurtz's book-length thesis that Barack Obama has been always hiding his ultra-leftism in plain sight, there's a discussion of Obama's years in New York City immediately after graduation --

[quoting Obama] I instructed my mother on the various ways that foreign donors and international development organizations like the one she was working for bred dependence in the Third World [end Obama quote] .... Knowledgeable leftists, however, will identify Obama's swipe at his mother as a reference to the dependency theory popular among Marxist students of the Third World at the time.

There's nothing especially Marxist about the view that development aid breeds dependence, in fact it's a view found among conservative critics of foreign aid. And it's definitely not a unique element of dependency theory, which is much more about the structural constraints facing peripheral developing countries, a story in which aid agencies are bit players. Kurtz just needed a leap from his Obama quote containing the word dependence to another piece of evidence for secret Marxism, and he found it.

As the Obama quote to The Economist shows, he knows full well what dependency theory is and how it related to India's flawed development model. To Kurtz, just the fact of him studying those issues was grist for the mill.