The anti-politics machine” by James Ferguson, a political and economic anthropologist, is an analysis on the failure of financial aids by more than 26 countries of Lesotho, a small landlocked nation of 1.8 million population surrounded by South Africa. The author positions two major critics; first, Lesotho is not of great economic or strategic importance, second, the history of development projects in Lesotho indicates that Lesotho cannot stand its economy and political stability through foreign development programs.
The author refers to the development agencies. He claims that such agencies are persuaded form of standardized improvement packages in order to discharge the money that they have to spend. Therefore, they target developing countries like Lesotho whose profile bears little or no relation to economic and social realities for such development packages. The author explains this with an example of the World Bank which targets Lesotho for issuing loans and shows an unrealistic image of this country to justify its loans. The World Bank introduces Lesotho as a subsistence farmer society and isolated from the market. Also, notes that the decline in agricultural surplus is due to migration of many of Basotho to South Africa to find job.
The declarations by the World Bank prove to be wrong as scholars say. First, Lesotho has not been a subsistence country but a producer in the twentieth country for the South African market. What’s additional, the Basotho were familiar with how to sell their products when they faced a surplus. Second, the decline in the agricultural spare has little to do with isolation and migration according to H.Ashton, the most famous and respected western ethnographer of the Basuto, who distinguished that labor migration in Basuto is as old as the Basuto interaction with Europeans. He further notes that Lesotho has served as a labor reservoir exporting labor force to South Africa. Thus, it’s obvious that the migration preceded the decline in agricultural surplus.
The World Bank has wrongly indicated that 85 percent of people income comes from agriculture and they are formers. However, the reality is that 70 percent of people income comes from the wages labor in South Africa and only 6 percent is related to agriculture. Lesotho lacks natural resources and this is mainly because many of good Sotho’s lands were taken by South Africa. More ever, the development agencies point out that the...