Introduction

Editor’s Note

Author
  • Brij Mohan (Louisiana State University)

How to Cite:

Mohan, B., (2023) “Editor’s Note”, Social Development Issues 46(1): 1. doi: https://doi.org/10.3998/sdi.5291

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Published on
06 Dec 2023

Social Development may be seen as a Western neurosis to overcome the guilt of post-war ruins. As a social movement, it emerged as an inherently flawed mega-project to eradicate poverty, inequality, and racism from the face of a tortured world. The Guardian explores a hideous episode of brutal war and apartheid. “Kissinger at 100: How the ‘sordid’ diplomacy in Africa fueled was in Angola and prolonged apartheid.”1 Guilt is a stronger motivation than creed. The emergence of the Global South is an important wrinkle in the Social Development arena. USAID never was an altruistic endeavor. Social Development, as we know, is the post-war thrust of the Kennedy administration that sought expansion of American influence, if not power. Republican conservatives tried to minimize foreign aid but ideological regression, institutional atavism, natural disasters, and wars have resuscitated foreign aid to developing nations. Regime change, nation-building, and state-building have not yielded any enduring answers to global calamities. Shia “militias are undermining democracy” in Iraq (The Economist, July 10th, 2023, pp. 41–42). The war in Ukraine is a reincarnation of the Cold War fever and hubris. The pandemic threatened human extinction, but common survivalism gave us a reprieve. There is no winner in a nuclear war, however.

In the wake of the digital revolution, super-modern information systems are evolving in multilinear algorithms of change, the only constant in cosmic complexity. Work as we know it, will disappear as AI begins to play god. As a lifelong teacher, writer, and editor, I always found the incompleteness of the human-animal somewhat puzzling. Our primordial creatureliness, I tend to believe, has an innate proclivity that can be mitigated by progressive education and a wholesome culture that is built on three pillars of democracy: social and economic equality, opportunity, and reward; politico-existential freedom; and civically designed structure of human-institutional symbiosis.

We are adding a new section to this volume, Commentary: Voice. It seeks to unravel certain post-empirical issues illuminating the societal landscape’s contours of change. Habermas was wrong when he contradicted the Freudian dictum: “Where Id was there, Ego shall be.”2 Homo Sapiens’ incompleteness ought to be the target of all techno-scientific projects to achieve a new civilization.

SDI offers interesting studies in this Issue. Dr. Manohar Pawar’s Presidential Address to the 23rd ICSD Biennial International Conference, Gavle, Sweden, 23–25 August 2023, signifies how ICSD is moving forward to a progressive future.

The next two issues, 2nd, and 3rd, of vol. 46, 2024, are celebratory in design and content. It’s SDI’s humble tribute to both Shanti Khinduka and ICSD.

Brij Mohan

Editor, SDI

Notes

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/may/25/henry-kissinger-100-strategic-genius-or-damaging-diplomacy-held-back-africa (May 25, 2023).
  2. Quoted by Keat, R. (1981). The Politics of Social Theory: Habermas, Freud, and the Critique of Positivism (p. 107). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.