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Is there a trade-off between prosperity and violence? If so, what is it? If not why not?

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Introduction

Is there a trade-off between prosperity and violence? If so, what is it? If not why not? The best examples of the trade off between prosperity and violence are attributed in Bates to the early developers, whose' success story stands in contrast to the prospect of the late developers who's situation is fundamentally related to their historical relationship with the developed nations. In order to come to an understanding of the trade off between prosperity and violence it is therefore necessary to establish the terms of distinction between developed and underdeveloped countries. This paper will therefore establish the cause of the trade of between prosperity and violence in order to highlight its impediments. In doing so this paper will argue that the history of early developers is characterised in Bates by the interplay between prosperity and violence and their respective roles in inspiring the great transformation. It will be argued that the trade off between prosperity and violence passes through distinct stages which has implications for the prospects of late developers. From agrarian beginnings in which a fragile peace was established via the threat of privately wielded violence to the feudal period which sees monarchs engage in wars, the trade off between prosperity and violence is the outcome or solution of the exigencies of the time. There is then a stark contrast between the histories of the developed nations and the modern histories of the late developers. Following Bates, it will be argued that the trade off between prosperity and violence has not yet effectively taken place within the developing world. The impact of global economic forces coupled with the impact of the cold war has negatively impacted the late developers. According to Bates (2001), "development refers to the growth of per capita incomes and to the transformation of social and political systems" (pg. 20). Bates argues that development occurs when the trade-off between prosperity and violence is successful and underdevelopment persists so long and the trade-off is not made. ...read more.

Middle

54). But perhaps the more far-reaching implication of the growth of feudalism from the commercialisation of agriculture is the concentration of political power upon the dominant economic force (Bates, R, 2001, pg. 56). The unity of economic dominance and brute force privileges select kinship groups who contest the sources of wealth: "those that prevailed formed ruling lineages and provided kings" (Bates, R, 2001, pg.56). The success of the newly establishing monarchies was reliant on their ability to finance conquest. Methods used by ruling lineages to secure monies to fight wars amounted to a trade of some power for some more wealth. The genesis of what could properly be considered a state arises from what Bates considers to be mercantilist policies of the dominant ruling lineages (2001, pg. 56). On one hand wealth was ceased by force and blunt manipulation-the exploitation of the agrarian workforce, and the "confiscation of the wealth of their bankers, the estates of the church, and the possessions of their aristocrats" was played out and led to and accompanied the enforcing of economic dependency of subjects (Bates, R, 2001, pg. 56-57). But more importantly, the encroachment of monarchies into towns gave rise to the emergence of less coercive means of gaining wealth-from a wealth-redistributing tendency to a wealth-creating tendency. Because of the logistical difficulty in seizing and holding an urban centre, coupled with the mobility of capital monarchs sought to assist in wealth creation in towns. Monarchs sought to elicit growth in urban manufacturing by primitive import substitution-the establishment of tariffs on imported goods-and by cheapening the availability of raw materials and food stuffs by restricting their export and subjecting the domestic market to competition form abroad. But perhaps the most striking aspect of the transition to wealth promotion is the disjunction of the power from the hands of the monarch to the hands of private hands of the citizen. This 'trade-off' entails the exchange of direct control wealth producers in return for greater efficiency in organising local economies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Regimes were therefore unable to meet the conditions of their position-as the regimes could not pay off elites their positions were place under threat. According to Bates, "the end of the century was therefore marked not only by the spread of democracy in the developing world but by the spread of violence" (Bates, R, 2001, pg. 96). To conclude, it is interesting to note that neo-liberal development theory has been criticized for adopting a set of prescriptions which "are nothing less than the prerequisites for a capitalist economy" (Minogue, M, and Kuthari, U, 2002, pg. 180). This criticism is valid in the context of this paper insofar as after the 'trade-off' between prosperity and violence (the sacrifice of political power for economic prosperity and security) a prosperous and secure state find it rational to curb expenditure by 'rolling back'. Prior to the 'great transformation' however we see a situation in which it has proved necessary for the state to direct the economic fortunes of a country. This paper has argued then that the trade-off between prosperity and violence has been a characteristic feature present in the histories of all successful developers. The generation of wealth, if it is successful necessarily leads to circumstances in which it is prudent to adopt protective measures. Developed nations have a history in which the holders of wealth have protected their wealth, first privately then through political institutions which make up the state. The sometimes cruel trade-off means that the greater the prosperity the greater the potential peace but also the more requirement there is for the threat of force to be real. Thus the threat of war with ones competitors has been a powerful factor contributing to the development of western nation states. However, there is no doubt that the late developer's ability to undergo the 'great transformation' has been perverted by the post war political and economic environment. Insofar as the course of the late developers direction has diverted from the norm established by the early developers, the trade-off between prosperity and violence has not been accomplished. ...read more.

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