[Marxism] Re: Models for the Latin American left

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 10 11:05:09 MDT 2006

Marla wrote:
>Communists concentrate on land reforms and labour laws when they are in
>power in a state as it is these that directly affect the lives of a
>majority of the poor.

Except if they are Chinese "Communists" in which case they favor big 
capital against the interests of the small land-owner and the worker. 
Kerala might be part of capitalist India, but at least the Communists know 
which side they are on.

Kerala model of development

It is an enigma in so far as the development is concerned. The research of 
the model is an intellectual adventure. It is a bizarre anomaly among the 
developing nations. People around the world talk of developing human 
resource and compare it with the levels of money. The more money one has 
the more development it could achieve. Therefore money was the general 
criteria that connected a society with development. All the developed 
countries of the world were very rich.

Now consider this: Kerala's birth rate is 14 per 1000 females and falling 
faster, India's 25 and the US' 16; Kerala's infant mortality rate is 10 per 
1000 births versus 70 for India's and 7 for the US. Its adult literacy rate 
is 91 percent while India's 65 and the US 96. Life expectancy at birth in 
Kerala is 73 years compare to 61 in India and 76 in the US. And the female 
life expectancy in Kerala exceeds that of the male, just as it does in the 
developed world.[2]It is arguably the only region in the entire developing 
world with a favorable sex ratio [1058 females to every 1000 males; India 
has only 933 females per 1000 males] which clearly speaks the fact that 
there has not been selective abortion of female fetus in Kerala. Also it is 
the only place in the world to be declared 'baby friendly' by the WHO and 

Now comes the reason why the state of Kerala has gained a real distinction. 
It is poor even by the standards of India. The per capita income of Kerala 
is around Rs.13500 compared with India's Rs.108000 and that of US a distant 
Rs.1575000. Yet the indicators of material well being in Kerala are far 
closer to US than those of the rest of India and the developing world. It 
is example which raises the view that money is not the only criteria for 
development. People being highly educated the region also represents one of 
the highest newspaper readerships in the world. This makes an average 
Malayalee highly aware of the entire environment around him. Just 
considering the shining numbers this highlights the stunning success of 
development. This is a model considered worth emulating in any developing 
country: the so called third world. Quite often, these demographic 
characteristics and the achievements on the socio-economic front are 
highlighted as the Kerala model of development

In the words of famous anthropologist Bill McKibben: "Though Kerala is 
mostly a land of paddy-covered plains, statistically Kerala stands out as 
the Mount Everest of social development; there's truly no place like it." [2]



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