April 9, 2008

SPECIALIZATION AND INTERDEPENDENCE

Posted in Economics, Politics, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:02 am by randallbutisingh

Thought for Today:

SPECIALIZATION AND INTERDEPENDENCE

There can be no doubt, that the prosperity of the industrial nations since the Second World War has been due largely to global specialization and interdependence. No one country does all tasks today — products are designed in one country, produced in another and assembled in a third. The increased standard of living resulting from global specialization in turn has led to the growth of the modern welfare state, including an increased demand for economic security and social measures which guarantee politically-determined minimum consumption standards for citizens.

Mervyn Krauss – How Nations Grow Rich: The Case for Free Trade – Oxford University Press 1997

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The following article: “Specialization and Interdependence”, was written by Randall Butisingh and published in the Guiana Graphic newspaper in 1955.

Specialization is an important factor in the march of civilization. In primitive time man was wholly dependent on himself for his living. Whatever he enjoyed had been the fruits of his own efforts. He had been his own carpenter, tailor, cook, boat builder, soldier and the sole provider of all his daily needs and possessions which had been in the main, necessities. Naturally, the standard of his living had been low, as he depended solely on hunting and fishing and he ate when he could find game. But from so humble a beginning, when man’s concept of God was embryonic and narrow and his itineration constricted within a narrow periphery, emerged man the reflection of Divine Personality and the conqueror of time and space.

This progress of his achievement has been built up gradually throughout the ages by his indomitable an unconquerable spirit until it culminated in the highly advanced civilization that appears today.

In this process all his faculties came into play, and from scattered primitive huts appeared villages, and later towns. That was the beginning of specialization with opportunity for leisure and the advance of civilization.

Later as a wider concept of God developed and letters were invented, man’s thinking developed, his amenities multiplied, his standard of living rose and there became a greater need for specialization.

So a state of society evolved with its farmers, carpenters, tailors, brain workers and manual workers, spiritual preceptors, teachers, doctors, lawyers, musicians and the like; and where one occupation may have various branches of specialists; all for man’s cultural advancement – a high standard of living and a good standard of life. This state of affairs calls for a greater measure of interdependence and the refusal of one group to cooperate will cause serious inconvenience or harm to the whole social structure.

Because of this opportunity for specialization, man has been able to rise to great scientific and cultural heights. The specialist is a product of society and exists for the benefit of humanity.

This precarious interdependence in our highly evolved modern society posits the indivisibility of humanity and the unity of spirit. Man then cannot build barriers of racial or national prejudices against his fellow men. Every unit is necessary, however insignificant it may appear by itself, in the whole pattern of the mosaic structure of modern society.

Now that man has overcome time and space by the speed of his inventions, segregated nations have become neighbours, and natural and artificial barriers will now be ineffective against an invader. With increasing population, the need for modern conveniences to keep pace with life and the natural resources not evenly distributed, nations too have become interdependent, and there should not remain the invisible barriers of prejudice and isolationism which divide mankind and frustrate unity.

That spiritual development has not kept pace with scientific progress has been the bane of society through the centuries. All scientific progress in man points to a global unity, not geographic, national or political, but a spiritual and moral one, a recognition of Universal Brotherhood which according to Sir Patrick Renison is not only a general impulse, but a Divine command.

Man the animal is recalcitrant. Dick Sheppard, that bold cleric once remarked that long after the ape has been driven out of man, there remains the donkey. If man does not heed this longing of his higher self for unity, and continues to be led by his baser nature, his own tangible means of self-preservation will prove his undoing.

-Randall Butisingh

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