By Graham Crow
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Additional resources for Comparative Sociology and Social Theory: Beyond the Three Worlds
According to Latouche, the growth in attention paid to measurements of 'development' reflects the broader 'degeneration from a concern with issues of quality to the preoccupation with quantity alone that has come to dominate the Western perspective' (1993, p. 191). In short, the concern with qualitative 'differences in modes of living' has been reduced to quantitative 'differences in levels of living' (1993, p. 190, emphases in original). Concomitant with this shift is a narrowing of the agenda of debate and the growing 'danger of theoretical myopia' (1993, p.
He is also sceptical of the idea that a necessary link exists between capitalism and democracy, arguing that the fascist route to the modern world was also a capitalist one, but one which in countries such as Germany and Japan dispensed with the political framework of liberal democracy. For Moore, there is nothing inevitable about the emergence of democracy; indeed, the balance of social forces which allows the development of democratic institutions is in many ways precarious and historically unusual.
In Russia and China, the power of 'great agrarian bureaucracies' tended to stifle progressive commercialization in the countryside and industrialization, with the result that 'in the absence of more than the most feeble steps towards modernization a huge peasantry remained' (1967, p. xiii). Moore argues that the weak bonds which existed between lord and peasant in systems dominated by these agrarian bureaucracies heightened the potential for peasant opposition, in contrast to other rural social arrangements which were more likely to produce political passivity among peasants.