Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by Professor James C. Scott (some reading notes)

described by their would-be civilizers as “not yet arranged” or “not yet ordered” (belum di-ator), as “not yet brought to religion” (belum berugama), and their cultivation practices were described as “disorderly agriculture” (pertanian yang tidak ter- atur)

State plans of sedentarization and planned settlement have rarely gone as anticipated-in Malaysia or elsewhere. Like the scientific forest or the grid city, the targets of development have habitually escaped the fine-tuned control aspired to by their inventors. But we must never overlook the fact that the effect of these schemes, however inflected by local practice, lies as much in what they replace as in the degree to which they live up to their own rhetoric.

“where incentives, emulation and propaganda are ineffective, enforcement or coercive measures of an appropriate sort will be considered.”

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