08 March 2012

Resource Curse?

Resource curse is a naive concept that ignores the facts of deep wounds caused by colonialism by European countries over the nations in Asia, Africa,Pacific, South America and Central America. This concept also ignores the reality of a sophisticated transformation from colonialism to global governance mode that is merely a tool to maintain the power of rich industrial countries over the countries natural wealth owners

Arief Wicaksono | BoilingSpot | 8 March 2012

According to Wikipedia:

The resource curse or Paradox of Plenty refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. This is hypothesized to happen for many different reasons, including a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors (caused by appreciation of the real exchange rate as resource revenues enter an economy), volatility of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings, government mismanagement of resources, or weak, ineffectual, unstable or corrupt institutions (possibly due to the easily diverted actual or anticipated revenue stream from extractive activities).

Even economic researchers like Richard Auty, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner encourage the curse of natural resources as an academic thesis to describe the ex-colonial countries who struggled to keep pace of economic compared to other former colonies that successfully mimic the pattern of growth-based development economy. Even those opposed to the thesis of that scholars, such as Stephen Haber and Victor Menaldo in their paper, also did not use the facts about the profound impact of colonialism. These two scholars do not go beyond economics, as suggest that increases in resource reliance are not associated with authoritarianism. And in fact, may in many specifications, “generate results that suggest a resource blessing.” Sophisticated transformation of the forms of pre-20th century colonialism to become modern political-economics instrument controlling the flow of goods and services from areas of abundant natural wealth regions to industrial axes rarely debated because it must be associated with the presence of world bodies like the United Nations, World Bank, IMF and so on.

These global political-economic instruments will not be able operate without cultural intervention through the standardization of teaching and education in the countries which own the natural wealth. Production and consumption models that can boost economic growth is introduced and disseminated through modes of education and teaching as well as through agressive pop culture media. Resistance to this approach appeared in the form of indigenous peoples movements and post-colonial studies. However, the resistance movement is not easy to replace everything that had grown deep into the minds of those who think than the modern life dream is of what they watch on television soap-opera, advertisement and Holywood movies, which rely so much on industrial products and services based on exploitation of natural resources.

In my opinion, this is not the curse of natural resources, but the curse of the former colonial countries. Curse that perpetuated by endless efforts by rich industrialized countries tocontinue to control the flow of goods and services to sustain their economicgrowth.

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