Terrorism and The Pain of Underdevelopment
There is a war of ideas that is ongoing but is unstated by either side. It is between the promise of the Western economic model, on the one hand, and disillusion from the permanent and humiliating inability to attain it, on the other hand. This inability includes the historical failure of remedies that seem to have worked as expected in the developed countries, such as education, capital investment, loans, and privatization. For numerous persistently underdeveloped countries (PUCs), decades of revenues from the export of oil, gas, and other raw materials belong on the list of failed remedies. Globalization can now be added to the list. (chapter 7)
This disillusion is rampant and widespread. It is expressed sometimes as belligerence for the West. Fortunately, much of that is vented harmlessly in response to polling questions, not with terrorism. But the source of disillusion is never mentioned in any situation. It is frustration with the permanent inability to realize the promises of the Western economic model that is in place, and from which there is no escape. It is frustration with the failure of all attempts to remedy the inability, and the consequences of this impotence. This is the pain that all the PUCs have in common. This is the unspoken grievance. (chapter 7)
However, the “war of ideas” contains no remedy. Instead, it wants to “change hearts and minds.” But by failing to address this grievance with a remedy, the “war of ideas” denies the helplessness, humiliation, frustration and entrapment of persistent underdevelopment. The “war of ideas,” in effect, is telling the PUCS to ignore all this and keep trying the same failed attempts to develop. It is telling the PUCs to keep the faith and continue to get more useless education. (chapter 7)
Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr.