Development or not?

I am from a nation, which for the duration of my life has been termed as ‘developing’. I live in a nation, which has had development as its core aspiration, a keyword that excites its citizens and is a conversation starter among the champagne bourgeoise. A reservoir for international sympathy towards the plight of my brothers and sisters. The favourite child for international development programs and charity. A nation without its subjectivity. Yearning for the approval of its Neo-colonial masters. Our needs are defined by those who have never experienced life as citizens of this nation. Our people polarised and divided by contradictions in life experiences. Our problems are discussed by the intellectual and political elites, most of whom have never been exposed to these predicaments. Yet we strive with an almost unanimous consent to achieve the goal of being a ‘developed nation’. We strive to sit at the same table as the Neo-imperialists and plunderers. We strive to live the same way the true bourgeoise lives in a hegemonic nation-state. We strive for an identity that is defined and approved by the power that dominates our culture and society. Like the junior associate striving to become as wealthy and successful as a managing partner in a firm. Like a bootstrap startup striving to become the next big unicorn. We as a nation strive for development. To become our national idea of development we simulate the culture and beliefs of those whom we wish to become. Like the slave wanting to imitate its master, like the colonial subjects wanting to imitate their colonisers, we imitate our oppressors. We adopt their definitions of our life, their opinions about our society and their responses to our problems. We strive for development albeit we seldom question what it means to us? who defines development? why should that definition apply universally? Who gains the most from this definition?

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