Summary of Articles
In the first article, Why Can’t People Feed Themselves, it is evident that the reason for underdevelopment in most countries is colonialism. The colonial powers imposed oppression in their own land and outfaced their traditional food crops by insisting on cash crops for export. Moreover, the exported cash crops had their destination in the motherlands of the same colonial powers. Food crops such as millet, sorghum, yams and other indigenous crops were the mainly the source of food for the currently underdeveloped countries. Therefore, the colonialists destroyed their only means of food security when overlooked food crops and forced the peasant farmers to produce cash crops. In the end, peasant farmers turned out to be suppressed and denied a chance to cultivate what could benefit them and the misfortunes encroached to recent years where such food crops are rare to find. Their lands were initially impoverished by the colonialists, leading to current hunger in the underdeveloped country.
In the article The Arrow of Disease, we are able to find out that the root of most diseases lies in animals, which house microbes. Microbes are responsible for so many deaths in the Americas. They have managed to mutate n time and through natural selection, getting rid of them proves difficult without mastery of biological structures. At the same time, human species have evolved and continue to evolve leading to competition with deadly organisms. Each fights to live and outdo the other. As the human species evolves, its immunity becomes boosted. Therefore, it is able to get into conquest with the mutating microbes that bear changed antigens. The microbes were the genesis for old diseases that affected small and isolated populations and they can only survive in the body of humans. The journey of the Europeans to America further spread the microbes among particular communities in the region. Microbes were mostly spread through accumulation of their feces and urine as fertilizers giving the bacteria a gateway to the people working in the farms. The peasant farmers were therefore vulnerable to diseases. Europeans caused depopulation in the new world by carrying with them the germs that saw the death of many people in the colonies.
The article, The Price of Progress delves into the effect of modernization of the tribal societies where contrary to the developments it promotes, there is still devastation among such tribal societies. The barrier is the rate of adaptation to these changes and the compatibility they have with the cultural aspects of the tribal societies. They become vulnerable to advanced diseases social class pressures that grade them as the poor in the society. Malnutrition is depicted among them because the source of food production they were accustomed to is suddenly destroyed by the incoming technological and genetic productions by the developed countries or classes. The vast agricultural lands that provided pasture for their grazing animals have been turned into infertile portions. It is not easy for the tribal societies to adapt to the “new” dietary changes imposed on them by the modernized world. Therefore, the attempt to civilize such a people by developed countries has worked deprive them of the actual standards of living while alongside the belief the developed countries have of modernization.
All the three articles have related concepts whose focal point lies on the reason for the deprivation of underdeveloped countries or tribal societies. The Europeans were colonizing powers that set to impose new cultures to the colonies but in the process they generated a spree of diseases, destroyed their lands and food production cultures and these resulted to problems that have encroached in the lives of people in recent years. Malnutrition, disease and hunger are because of slow adaptation to western methods and originally spoilt land. As a result, many deaths have led to depopulation. All three articles lead me to believe that colonies of Europe paid the price while Europe continued expanding from what materially belonged to the colonies. My favorite passage is of the article, The Price of Progress since it has profoundly explored the dangers of progress to the underdeveloped world such as diseases, social class pressures and lack of productivity of land. The Europeans led to underdevelopment of various regions.