Response to the Export Boom as Modernity

At the beginning of the “The Export Boom as Modernity” reading, I found the comment that the export boom can be explained or told in many different lights. It shows that even in history, it is possible to spin a story one way or another and it’s important to look at every part of the story, not just the convenient version. Bright and Geyer, maybe not explicitly, do a good job of this. They did not like or believe in the “catch-up” model for the rest of the world compared to Western Europe. While it is a popular belief that Western Europe innovated and the rest of the world had to catch-up, Bright and Geyer believed it was more exploitation and survival strategies. They are taking one version of the story and saying another. Just as in the export boom of Latin America, the statistics can be spun in any number of ways.

The first section after the intro discusses the wide-spread belief in Latin America that order must be attained before progress and modernity can be made. That no progress could be made without order. This goes slightly against what David Christian wrote about in The Fleeting World. Christian says that the “diagnostic feature of the modern era seems to be the sharp increase in rates of innovation” (58). While those in Latin America may not disagree with Christian, they also believe that order must come first, at least for Latin American nations. I do not necessarily agree with the belief of order before progress but I understand the thought process behind it. They believed there had to be order in their countries before they could make progress to modernity.

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