Modernization and development in Brazilian Amazon: giving voice to those who have no voice as basis of an alternative political, cultural, and economic project

Leno Francisco Danner, Neuro José Zambam


In this paper, we will argue that Brazilian political projects of cultural-economic development concerning Amazon can be defined as a form of conservative modernization which imposes the logic of capitalist modernization in an intrinsic double sense: first, modernization represents an inclusive universalist culture, contrarily to traditionalism, which is attached to its own context and, then, non-reflexive, on the other hand, modernity is self-reflexive and guarantor of an embracing social integration, contrarily again to traditionalism; second, economic development is the only possibility to satisfaction of human needs and social welfare, which means that traditionalism cannot serve as alternative to social-economic modernization. Therefore, cultural-economic modernization is conceived as a natural evolutionary process, which depoliticizes it, transforming it in the normative-political societal basis par excellence to ground any project of development, so that there are no alternatives to modernity: it is only the great alternative we have to continue. From this self-comprehension of modernity, both traditional peoples and ecology have not voice or centrality, but just the economy’s systemic imperatives. Our final argument consist that any kind of epistemological-political question and social-economic project concerning Amazon must have the consideration and the participation of traditional peoples, as well as the ecology must be their basis, and it means and requires the politicization of modernity’s ideology and contradictions.  


Amazon; Modernization; Traditionalism; Epistemological-Political Conservatism; Future.

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