The economic model of the Industrial Revolution introduced machine manufacturing and modern industry to serve human needs. But the Industrial Revolution was a lot more than technology.
It was the introduction of a new language, driven by the same human capacity used for the spoken word and the written word.
Developed countries express this language fluently, even though they don’t see it that way. And there hasn’t been a way for others to acquire this language because it’s knowledge is passively acquired in culture.
But Human Rethink sees it that way, and has come up with a method for developing countries to learn this language.
With our solution, persistent underdevelopment in our world, and its symptoms of economic stagnation, instability and poverty can become a thing of the past. We need your help. Yes you the listener. We need your help to make this happen.
Welcome to the Human Rethink podcast, the podcast about how to address the most serious problem that’s confronting our world.
I’m Samuel Odunsi, Sr., the founder of Human Rethink and creator of the Implicit Curriculum and it’s philosophy.
I have with me Scott Swain, one of the people I’ve tormented with my conclusions and findings. For this podcast and the next three, Scott and I will explore the new paradigm that I believe can drastically improve the lives of millions and change our world for the better. Over to you, Scott.
Q1: Let’s start with a short overview of the ground we’re covering in this episode and what listeners should expect in the first 4 episodes?
Thank you, Scott.
As mentioned, the problem of persistent underdevelopment has been solved. The solution, the Implicit Curriculum of Higher Education is neatly packaged and presented on our website. All that needs to be done is implement it. Listeners can check out the solution any time on our site, HumanRethink.ORG.
In this episode, the practical definitions of development and underdevelopment will be covered as well as the ramifications of those definitions. That will be done in the context of the philosophy of the Implicit Curriculum.
The technical name for the philosophy is The Inclusive Theory of Change. Where inclusive literally stands for equality between the global north and the global south. Equality of opportunity, security, comfort, growth, and hope for the future. And this equality is to be achieved not by redistributing wealth but by growing the pie of development with the help of the graduates of the Implicit Curriculum.
To avoid the use of too many terms, I’ll henceforth refer to The Inclusive Theory of Change as the theory of the Implicit Curriculum.
Episode 2 will get into the details of the Implicit Curriculum, using conventional wisdom and concepts.
The third episode will introduce a new and unprecedented concept for describing the Implicit Curriculum. I believe the constraints of conventional wisdom are too narrow to explain the Implicit Curriculum in a way that people find most familiar. The new concept makes the Implicit Curriculum much more accessible than with conventional wisdom.
Episode 4 will examine the systemic and institutional reasons why something like the Implicit Curriculum has not been devised until now. It will be a presentation of how the trusted gatekeepers of knowledge in this area have systematically excluded the clues to solving the problem and restricted the use of human imagination.
I must emphasize that the Implicit Curriculum was a discovery aided by imagination. So, the curriculum stands alone to be judged on its own objective merits. It does not require a philosophy to work.The Implicit Curriculum does not care if there is a philosophy to explain it or not. The proof of the Implicit Curriculum is how effective it is in the real world. The proof is not its philosophy. The proof is to be measured by the performance of the graduates of the curriculum in the real world.
Q2: So what is the Implicit Curriculum?
Well, the next 2 episodes are devoted to answering that question in detail. But we can summarize the Implicit Curriculum as a program of study in higher education that equips the student with the ability to express the economic model for managerial, administrative and entrepreneurial success and ultimately the economic success of a nation. The success we’re talking about is the type of development enjoyed by developed countries. The student will be ready to achieve this outcome upon graduation. Not at some unknown future date.
Higher education already promises this outcome. But the persistence of underdevelopment in post-colonial countries, in the so-called global south, proves that higher education as it stands simply can’t do it, regardless of quality.
These countries have accumulated large numbers of higher education graduates with contemporary scientific and technological knowledge and they continue to educate their people as we speak. Yet they remain underdeveloped with the symptoms of poverty, corruption, bad governance and instability.
These symptoms are the result of ineffective managerial leadership at every level of the economy that training with contemporary higher education is unable to remedy.
The Implicit Curriculum takes the phrase “higher education for development” literally and the graduates of the curriculum will be the agents of development in their countries.
The word implicit in the name of the curriculum is used because there are aspects of their own development that are hidden to developed countries but which they learn passively, thanks to their culture.
But the implicit curriculum does not work by confronting these hidden aspects. Instead, the curriculum uses a proven method that is widely regarded in higher education to obtain at least the same results in the form of economic development at the level of developed countries.
The Implicit Curriculum addresses the singular cause of underdevelopment for one purpose only, which is to end underdevelopment in our world. That may sound like a tall order. But that’s because there’s never been anything like the Implicit Curriculum.
As we unfold the true definition of development and underdevelopment in this episode, the intention is to convince the listener that the Implicit Curriculum is not based on hope and that it should be measured by its result after it is implemented.
Q3: You say that the problem of underdevelopment is the most important problem in the world. Some will say climate change is the most important problem?
Well climate change is a serious problem, and developing countries are the least equipped to deal with the consequences. But with due respect to climate change, I believe underdevelopment is more serious and just as urgent, if not more urgent.
The majority of the human population has suffered persistent underdevelopment for a long time and climate change is an additional challenge.
But underdevelopment has meant material deprivation for most people in our world and that deprivation will be permanent without a solution.
Persistent underdevelopment means that poverty and the instability of conflict and war will never end. And the entire world is constantly dealing with these problems in one form or another. So, persistent underdevelopment diverts attention, resources and energy away from dealing with other big problems in our world and advancing the human condition in general.
Q4: If underdevelopment is such an important problem, how come it has remained unsolved?
There are several reasons for that. Past attempts to solve the problem on a grand scale have failed and that record of failure has discouraged new efforts. A grand scale solution or a big idea solution is a remedy that tries to address all the symptoms of underdevelopment at once.
Import substitution is one big idea solution. The idea is that If developing countries can manufacture their own consumer products and process the content used for making those products, the economy will grow rapidly and continuously. Because the population will be employed in well-paying jobs, they will be empowered to hold their leadership accountable. Poverty will be reduced, governance will be improved, and institutions will operate efficiently.
Back in the 1960s, when many colonial countries were securing political independence, development theory and efforts by the world bank and some newly-independent countries focused on big idea solutions like structural transformation, national economic reform, institutional development, and so on. But none of that worked. None of that made development happen.
So, big ideas were abandoned in favor of smaller interventions and sectoral programs, like healthcare, infrastructure, education, and so one.
But smaller interventions have not worked either. They have not caused underdevelopment to go away and Underdevelopment remains.
Another reason why underdevelopment has remained unsolved is that the problem is genuinely difficult. The problem has resisted all frontal assaults. A frontal assault means addressing the symptoms of the problem with solution strategies that are based on existing theories. So far, that approach has NOT led to a viable solution.
But the main reason why the problem has not been solved is because very few new theories are being proposed. New knowledge has not been created because the subject is Toxic and is actively avoided by authority organizations and their proxies.
By authority organizations, I mean academia in the West and its proxies AROUND THE WORLD including development agencies like the World Bank, the UN, governments, think tanks, foundations, NGOs, as well as institutions in developing countries. Academia is the wellspring of knowledge for all these organizations. All of these organizations are the proxies of Academia in the West.
Q5: But wait. Is it not the job of what you just called authority organizations to solve the problem?
Yes, that is their job. These organizations and many others like private research organizations, charitable foundations, and think tanks, along with their legions of personnel, spend a considerable amount of public and private resources every year to find solutions for persistent underdevelopment. In fact, there is an underlying expectation by people everywhere that one or more of these organizations are steadily working on the problem of persistent underdevelopment and that the solution will eventually be found. Success in finding solutions for problems we’re aware of like the AIDS disease and covid-19 for example, as well as solutions for things we didn’t know we needed like the internet and mobile phones have conditioned us to expect that some people somewhere are working on a serious problem like underdevelopment for the goal of solving it.
But for the problem of persistent underdevelopment, that assumption is wrong. No organization is working on the problem of persistent underdevelopment in a way that will solve it. In a way that will result in developing countries rising up to meet developed countries as equals. Believe it or not, there is no meaningful R&D (research and development) taking place anywhere among authority organizations. And we’ll show that here.
That’s because the authority organizations are not fully committed to solving the problem. When you look at what they’ve tried to do in recent decades, they’re no longer trying to solve underdevelopment. They’re just trying to manage it.
These days, what stands for big ideas or R&D are things like the SDGs, or Sustainable Development Goals advanced by the United Nations. The SDGs are described as quote “A blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and the world by the year 2030” unquote. Although that’s a lot of big talk, the SDGs are doomed to suffer the same fate as the Millennium development goals that preceded it because in practice, it’s nothing more than a poverty management program.
Q6: What do you mean by “they’re not fully committed”?
In contrast, HR takes development as a given in developed countries. For developed countries, development for them is simply doing more of what they’re already doing.
But for developing countries, for the global south, we define development as The rise of a nation to meet the West and other developed countries as an economic equal based on the MANAGERIAL and entrepreneurial leadership of their own indigenous people, as China is doing. Yes, indigenous people in large numbers are the primary “agents of development” in china. The Chinese are the agents of development in China. The explosive economic development we have witnessed in China couldn’t have happened without the managerial and entrepreneurial leadership of the Chinese people themselves. China couldn’t have grown to rival the west, as it does today, by relying mainly on imported managerial and entrepreneurial leadership from the west. So, development cannot happen when a country does not produce its own “agents of development” on a large scale and relies instead on outsiders to provide managerial leadership
Q7: Is that why you say persistent underdevelopment has the same cause in all developing countries regardless of their location, unique history, or their unique experience?
Correct! The location or unique history of developing countries are aspects in the study of development we always hear are important for finding a solution. But these considerations are just a distraction.
Expatriates consist of people from the West or from Japan or China who serve as managers or entrepreneurs in developing countries. Expatriates include transient individuals from developed countries who work for multinational and other foreign-operated enterprises like oil companies, manufacturing facilities, construction, and so-called globalization operations. They are transient because they do their business or serve their employer and leave the country.
Expatriates also include permanent immigrants who have lived in a developing country for generations, like European minority communities in Africa and in Latin America. Or minorities of Chinese descent in Asian countries.
Look closely at any large scale operation in a developing country that operates efficiently, even those owned by millionaire or billionaire locals, and you will find that expatriates provide the managerial leadership for their efficient operation. Oil production, mining of natural resources, large scale agriculture, building and maintaining the infrastructure of modernization, such as transportation, communication, electricity networks, the operation of ports and other globalization related operations. The effective operation of these enterprises and their maintenance cannot be sustained for long without expatriate managerial leadership, even though all other employees may be local.
Regardless of the country, and even in relatively small numbers, expatriates sit at the top of the economic food chain because of the economic leadership role they play in a developing country. The local constraints that allegedly hold back effective MANAGERIAL, administrative, supervisory, and entrepreneurial effectiveness among native graduates of higher education seem not to affect expatriates.
This is a fact that listeners may identify with but is hardly ever mentioned in the formal study of the problem by authority organizations and their proxies.
But what the casual observer may not have noticed is the indispensable nature of these expatriates. Their leadership role is so fundamental that, all other things being equal, the key difference in economic performance between one developing country and another is the extent and depth of expatriate MANAGERIAL and entrepreneurial leadership in the economy. The so-called middle-income countries are more successful than low-income countries because they have a greater penetration of expatriate MANAGERIAL leadership. And by the way, poverty may not be as grinding in middle income countries as say in Africa, but they still suffer the symptoms of persistent underdevelopment like corruption and political instability because the fundamental problem remains, which is the shortage of managerial leadership.
The second fact that is obvious to even a casual observer is the attainment of education. A casual observer may assume that all developing countries have facilities for formal education, including higher education and that many of these countries send their people overseas to obtain higher education. That would be a correct assumption. All developing countries engage in such activities presumably to supply effective agents of development for the country.
But persistent underdevelopment is proof that education is not doing that. That is why the Implicit Curriculum has been created. The measure of success for the Implicit Curriculum is the performance of its graduates in comparison with the performance of the global north and the diaspora of the global north who operate in developing countries. And that high performance is to be expected upon graduation, not at some unknown future date.
No developing country has the financial resources or, thankfully, the political will to import the sheer number of expatriates needed to make development happen. That is why middle-income countries become stuck in the so-called middle-income trap. The additional MANAGERIAL leadership needed to lift them beyond middle-income is simply not available in the numbers needed.
A truly developing economy, one that meets our definition of development, will add production capacity at a rate that quickly consumes available MANAGERIAL and entrepreneurial talent, expatriates included. So, instead of replacing expatriates, the Implicit Curriculum aims to expand the economic pie in a developing country to the size enjoyed in developed countries by providing many more people with the MANAGERIAL effectiveness of expatriates in more areas of the economy at an increasing rate. A truly developing country needs all the managerial leadership it can get.
Instead of contributing to development in their own right as effective managers, administrators and entrepreneurs, higher education graduates usually just seek employment ostensibly as technicians. And when there’s no employment opening in that capacity, their technical training goes begging because there is a shortage of expatriate-led industry to employ them at home. A lucky few do find suitable employment overseas, but the remittances they send back does nothing to address the shortage of MANAGERIAL and entrepreneurial leadership in their home countries.
Nevertheless, education, particularly higher education, continues to enjoy the reputation that it bestows on the graduate the ability for effective MANAGERIAL and entrepreneurial leadership: The ability to adapt available technical knowledge to local conditions for optimum output. The university continues to be seen as the place for training indigenous people to be the agents of development.
One related issue to what higher education for development actually does as opposed to what it should be doing is technology transfer. Nowadays, it’s fashionable to say that globalization helps to transfer technology from the global north to the global south.
But the idea that globalization facilitates technology-transfer is a myth. Whatever technology is presumed to be transferred by globalization did not require globalization to be transfered. The technologies for development have been documented in books and articles for generations. Such information has been available on the internet for decades, and it’s been embedded in the imported artifacts that’s always been in use in developing countries. The technologies of development have also been familiar to the thousands of people who travel abroad and return home after years of study. Local higher education institutions also teach the technologies of development.
Technology is transferred when it’s taken by people in the target country and applied effectively in not one area of the economy but vigorously ACROSS the economy. Instead, the technologies of development are largely confined to the q/u “modern sector” or to the businesses and industries of globalization and multinationals managed by expatriates. Moreover, the technologies of globalization can’t be properly maintained without expatriates or propagated in the economy without even more expatriates.
We don’t oppose the respect for higher education held by society. The Implicit Curriculum merely seeks to justify this respect by making higher education live up to expectations.
Also, I’m not saying that people who obtain higher education are more special than others or that people WITHOUT higher education cannot be the agents of development as well. After all, people WITHOUT higher education make up the majority of traders, artisans, technicians and entrepreneurs in a developing country.
What we’re saying is that we should not place the burden of development on the least educated. The burden belongs more to those who have benefited the most from a country’s collective investment in higher education.
Agrarian reform and micro loans are all good. But it’s unrealistic to expect more than short-lived improvement in subsistence from such efforts that place the burden of development on the least educated.
Finally, higher education consists of the infrastructure required to fulfill the goals of education for development but is being underutilized solely for education for employment. The Implicit Curriculum will change that.
The Implicit Curriculum exists to address the fundamental problem, which is that conventional higher education does not impart to the global south the capability for effective managerial leadership, no matter the level of education received.
Again, there is no doubt that higher education effectively imparts technical skills. And the level of that effectiveness depends on the quality of the education. That’s why people from developing countries with higher education often find employment in developed countries, whether they studied at home or overseas. They perform competently and sometimes with distinction in their positions in developed countries.
But that is generally not the case when they return home. This is not to say that developing countries are bereft of effective MANAGERIAL talent. I believe people with such talent can be found among indigenous populations everywhere. The problem is people like that are very few in number. In the aggregate, they don’t move the needle of development. And they never will impact development much without a lot more of them in every area of the economy.
Take Nigeria for example, my country of origin. Nigeria became independent from Britain in 1960. Despite the outbreak of a short civil war 7 years later, the decades of the1960s and the 1970s contain the most nostalgic economic memories held by Nigerians. Those are the decades that Nigerians refer to when talking about the good old days, the days when social institutions worked as expected, when economic mobility for the educated at all levels was assured.
But that economic paradise was a remnant of the effectiveness of expatriate managerial leadership under colonialism.
The attainment of higher education by Nigerians had been slowly increasing from the 1940s. By the 1960s, it had accelerated and there were already a few universities in the country pumping out graduates. Twenty years later, when oil wealth was at its highest, higher education attainment had proliferated even more.
Today, Nigeria, like many developing countries, annually graduates people from local universities by the thousands. The country now has a large number of higher education graduates who are unemployed or under-employed. By under-employed, we mean getting employment in a job that does not require higher education.
Anyway, In the early 1980s, about 20 years after independence from Britain, oil prices crashed and Nigeria was plunged into a recession it never recovered from. The Naira is the Nigerian currency. Back in 1982, the exchange rate for the US dollar, as I recall, was even. One naira could be exchanged on the street for 1 dollar. Even money. Today 1 dollar will fetch over 500 naira. That’s right, a single U.S. dollar is now worth over 500 naira. Only people from developing countries can truly empathize with the devastating effects of this massive reversal of fortune, as it is unthinkable for a developed country in modern times.
The point is that accumulating an army of university graduates up to and through the 2 decades that followed political independence, did nothing to stop the economic downfall of Nigeria. Higher education failed to provide the MANAGERIAL leadership needed to preserve the economy, much less grow it.
This history also shows that a high quality of conventional education makes little difference for development. It is currently popular in Nigeria to bemoan the perceived lower quality of education in higher education institutions relative to the past. Yes, again in comparison with the good old days of the 1960s and 70s, before the qualitative collapse of structures inherited from colonialism.
Persistent underdevelopment is proof that seeking a higher quality of conventional education will not make development happen because it did not make development happen in the past when education quality was supposedly at the highest level.
That’s why the lament of a “brain drain” is a distraction. The highest quality conventional education still needs the supervision of effective managerial leadership for efficient operation. Conventional higher education simply does not impart such managerial leadership capability to graduates.
Sure, capital is an issue, but only when there is effective managerial leadership to deploy the capital. Without that, the issue of capital accumulation for development is a distraction.
On a practical level, the main problem with blaming lack of capital or ideology for the problem of underdevelopment is that it diverts attention away from the failure of higher education for development. An excuse for that failure.
Also, such views hold both the highly educated and least educated responsible for development. That’s unfair. People with elementary or no education have benefited the least from the national investment in higher education.
When managerial competence is abundant, factors such as ideology and capital are revealed as secondary considerations.
For too long, the symptoms of underdevelopment, the symptoms of the failure of higher education for development, have been portrayed as the causes of underdevelopment. As a result, some will remain fixated on the symptoms and continue to mistake them as the causes of underdevelopment no matter what we say here. It may not sink-in that poverty, insecurity, political instability, administrative failure, low productivity, economic stagnation, the malfunction of institutions, and corruption in developing countries are all symptoms of underdevelopment, the symptoms of ineffective education, not the cause of underdevelopment.
Developing countries suffer high levels of corruption because they’re trapped in underdevelopment and can’t develop despite their best efforts. Colonialism tore apart the traditional socio-economic systems of developing countries. It restructured and reorganized their economies to operate in the likeness of western countries. So, a useful way to view the economy of a developing country is to consider it a mismanaged or malfunctioning version of a developed economy.
In such an economy, corruption is a permanent feature because the pressures of its Western structure on the individual citizen and community remains strong and unrelenting, while the means for addressing the pressures are weak, in decay, or nonexistent. These pressures include inflation, consumerism, rising expectations, financial needs, growing population, and so on. On top of that, the needs, desires and ambitions of individuals are mostly q/u “Westernized.” People want the basic comforts taken for granted in developed countries: affordable food, healthcare, electricity, pipe-borne water, shelter, job security, etc. People don’t like the deprivations of poverty. They want the basic comforts enjoyed by local elites.
On the other hand, the inadequate means for addressing the pressures of its Western economy define a developing country, and include, widespread under-employment, low and unstable wages, economic instability, extreme inequality, institutional decay, poor governance, political and social instability, etc.
The same pressures that led to “uprisings” in North Africa and the Middle-East a decade ago existed in every developing country before those uprisings began, whether or not it was a dictatorship. Today, the same potential exists in developing countries for the social and political framework to explode.
But regardless of the country, revolution will not bring about lasting change for the better, because the required condition doesn’t exist. That condition is effective managerial leadership in growing numbers.
In the meantime, and regardless of traditional cultural values, people have to survive and deal with hopelessness, a future that is insecure, financial desperation, the permanent threat of destitution, and so on.
Making a living to supply or afford at least basic needs or saving for a rainy day or for retirement are primary concerns for people in a Western-style economy, whether the economy is operating properly or not. When there is no alternative, when there is no hope for change or a way out, corruption becomes a requirement for survival.
I’m not condoning corruption, I’m just saying it’s unavoidable under the circumstances of persistent underdevelopment.
The situation is made worse when the perception exists that members of an ethnic group, religion, class, or race are getting more in the economy than others do. That perception intensifies ethnic rivalry, the erosion of loyalty to institutions and conscientious motivation, and the erosion of a sense of professional duty. That perception creates a sense of “every man for himself” and accountability at every level is negotiable.
So, in some countries corruption flourishes in the form of outright fraud, embezzlement, and bold faced theft of public funds, not to mention more subtle or less visible acts of lawlessness. In others, getting rich this way is almost a social badge of honor. A badge that YOU TOO finally got your share.
Consequently, corruption that involves the theft of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars is just waiting to happen, and regularly does.
Anti-corruption strategies sound good, but in the end, they’re just another losing battle with a symptom of the shortage of effective managerial leadership. However, they have served as a convincing excuse for the ineffectiveness of higher education for development.
Max Weber wrote a very influential book in 1905 with the title the “Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.” In that book, he speculated that the economic success of the Industrial Revolution was the result of moral values derived from the work ethic introduced by religious culture which had become part of the general culture of developed countries by 1905. So, Weber conceded that development is facilitated by implicit knowledge that was introduced by religion but which had become part of general culture.
My point is that higher education appears to work for developed countries not because of what is learned in higher education but because of what is passively learned in culture. And the knowledge gained from that cultural learning, the learning required to make higher education succeed for development, is not supplied by higher education. The knowledge is acquired implicitly in culture and not directly taught.
There were no business schools or MBA programs when the industrial revolution began or before the industrial revolution, when the west started to invade and colonize today’s developing countries for economic exploitation.
So, higher education is built on the foundation of cultural learning in the west. Without that cultural learning, without the implicit knowledge of development supplied by culture, no amount of conventional higher education, regardless of its quality, will make graduates the agents of development. It will teach them technical skills but it does not facilitate the managerial ability that will make them the agents of development.
This means that for developing countries, higher education is incomplete. Higher education is missing the component that puts technical knowledge to effective use as demonstrated in the global north and by expatriates who work and live in developing countries.
The Implicit Curriculum supplies that missing component systematically and consistently so that its graduates will perform as well as expatriates immediately upon graduation, not at some unknown future date, which is the best we can hope for with conventional education.
OK, I must emphasize this. The developed countries don’t view the vitality of their economies with the same lens that we’re using here. So, what I’m saying is not part of how the authority organizations view the success of the global north.
What I’m saying is that developed countries themselves do not know the q/u “secret” of their own success in the way I’m describing it here. They never did!
Max Weber’s writing was influential and still is. But it’s premise has never been proven. For example, half of Nigeria’s 200 million strong population is Christian. That hasn’t made development happen.
Apparently, all that needs to be known about development is already known to developed countries. After all, theories of growth and interpretations of empirical data by government, in academia and in business, seem to neatly account for ongoing development in developed countries and even accurately predict various aspects of it. Also, studies conducted in developed countries, like the AHELO project in Europe, evaluate higher education with the presumption that all the critical aspects of development are accounted for in it. Developed countries have not detected any omissions in the historical narrative of their own development or in the practical narrative of q/u ‘higher education for development’ as it applies to them.
So, the economies of developed countries are doing just fine without identifying any hidden knowledge or secret about development, and one does not usually go about searching for something that is not missed.
On top of all of that, developed countries don’t directly suffer the pain of underdevelopment or have the same frame of reference as developing countries. So, they’ve had little incentive to search beyond existing intellectual boundaries for the q/u “secret” of their economic success. And to cap it off, the definition of underdevelopment that we use here, the definition that shows a true commitment to the problem, is a taboo topic among authority organizations and their proxies.
And because the global south is dependent on developed countries for intellectual leadership, the global south has been restricted to the same boundaries.
Persistent underdevelopment continues to exist because developed countries cannot explain their own development without invoking dead-end explanations like culture or genetics or race. They can’t explain their development in a way that others can copy it.
That’s where the Implicit Curriculum comes in. Half of the measure of a viable solution for underdevelopment is that it MUST explain, yes, it MUST explain why developed countries are developed. The other half is to prove that explanation by using it to ACTUALLY make developing countries develop in the real world. Our solution does both. In addition to being a blue-print for how to make development happen in developing countries, the solution also explains why developed countries are developed at all.
That hasn’t happened before. Theories of development, and there are many of them. Theories of development only explain the status quo, why developed countries are developed and why others aren’t. But they all have fallen apart as a solution for underdevelopment. They’ve all failed to make development happen. They cannot be falsified, they can’t be proven true or false.
Q15: So are you saying that developing countries must abandon their culture and replace it with western culture?
No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. The Implicit Curriculum does not impose outside culture any more than conventional education does. What the curriculum does is familiarize the student with the western economic model that defines their existence in a way that conventional education does not know how to do because the west did not need such deliberate familiarization before development could begin.
In the same book he wrote in 1905, Max Weber noted that the economic model, the way of life introduced by the Industrial Revolution, is now the way of life for everyone, and that everyone is bound to it with q/u “irresistible force”. I agree with that. THERE IS NO GOING BACK.
The past domination of today’s developing countries by colonialism was a disruption of the traditional economic model of these countries. Colonialism replaced the traditional model with the western economic model. Every part of the economic aspects of these countries and the sense of well-being of these countries is now measured inside and outside these countries by their degree of success in the economic model.
But your question is part of the suggestion that development is the attempt by the west to impose its culture on developing countries. I consider that suggestion to be paternalistic, arrogant, inhumane and wrong. And I’d like to explain that in some detail.
It’s paternalistic and arrogant because It ignores the message that developing countries constantly scream out at the top of their lungs and fight wars over, and have uprisings and revolutions over. And the message is: WE WANT DEVELOPMENT.
That’s why those who can afford it educate their children. That’s why governments spend so much of their scant resources on maintaining the infrastructure of elementary, secondary, and higher education. That’s why developing countries regularly draw up development plans and engage in infrastructure projects and struggle to keep their economies afloat. They want industry to employ people so that poverty and constant material deprivation are reduced. That’s why many people from these countries migrate illegally to the global North.
The heads of state, prime ministers and official representatives of developing countries constantly point out that they want development. People in developing countries want the comfort and convenience of developed countries. They want the security, orderliness, and longevity of life and high hopes for the future enjoyed in the global north and enjoyed by the diaspora of the global north in developing countries..
So, the sentiment that developing countries want the opposite, or that development is being imposed on them by the advanced economies is a myth. Sure, humans anywhere will protest the government repurposing their land and resources for development projects, but that’s usually because of inadequate compensation. That’s a different matter entirely, not a sign of reluctance about development or rejecting development.
As for the alleged deterioration of culture due to development, national success in the economic model is the most powerful way to preserve culture. Japan is a developed country. But only 1% of its population is christian. China, a giant country by population, has less than 3% Christians.
The permanent, needy helplessness of persistent underdevelopment is what makes cultures in developing countries so fragile.
The inability to independently maintain, improve and propagate development in a world that demands it is the disruptive force in the cultures of developing countries. Development is not the disruptive force and the self-sustaining development offered by the Implicit Curriculum is the means for developing countries to preserve their culture.
After the Implicit Curriculum becomes the undergraduate degree, when these countries rise up as economic equals to developed countries, they too will then be able to make informed decisions about the direction of their culture. But it will be from a position of strength. Not from the position of dehumanizing poverty or desperate instability.
As demonstrated by Japan and China, development can occur without doing away with identity. Economic success does not require the abandonment of one’s cultural identity. In those countries, traditional religious beliefs are not demonized. They have not become a source of shame, to be practiced only under cover and in secret.
These countries have shown that the areas of culture that define a people do not erode simply because of the incursion of industry or the outside world. Incursion has undesirable effects only when poverty and economic desperation have rendered culture psychologically defenseless, when aspirations for a better life are a mental indulgence that can hardly ever be fulfilled, and when reversion to hunger and destitution is always a lurking threat. These are the real culprits for why communities are vulnerable to cultural erosion. The pressing needs for survival relegate considerations, such as cultural integrity, to a distant last place.
Likewise, Neo-Colonialism, the use of economic, political, cultural and other pressures by the global north to control and influence developing countries will become obsolete when developing countries provide enough managerial leadership that will develop their economies. Self-determination in any aspect of a society is not possible with dependency on the global north firmly in place.
Yes. Consider this rhetorical question: How can we ever hope to overcome the problem of persistent underdevelopment by failing to define underdevelopment as a shortage of effective managerial leadership?
As mentioned, development is the rise of a nation to meet developed countries as an equal based on the managerial leadership of its own people. This means that underdevelopment is the inability of developing countries to create the managerial leadership required for development and that the only known means for creating effective managerial leadership autonomously has proven ineffective over many decades and the accumulation of armies of college graduates in developing countries is the evidence of that redundancy.
Yet, this definition isn’t the driving challenge in the subject of underdevelopment as it should be. This definition should be the central problem that needs to be solved by the authority organizations and their proxies. If not, then how can any solution for underdevelopment work without large numbers of managerial leaders who perform as effectively as developed countries? The answer is any such solution will not be effective and will fail.
Another rhetorical question is how can the denial and total neglect of the central cause of a problem help with solving the problem? The obvious answer is NO, It can’t!
It’s one thing for education to not work for development. But it’s a totally different thing when that failure becomes the elephant in the room. Elephant in the room means a problem everyone knows is present but is never mentioned.
No matter the location, whether it’s the United Nations or the World Bank in America or the IMF or somewhere else in Europe, or at the Gates Foundation or a local NGO, or in the governments, bureaucracies and agencies in developing countries themselves, or in the halls of academia. Everywhere on our planet, whenever the symptoms of underdevelopment are being discussed without mention of the ineffectiveness of education for development, the ineffectiveness of education for development is exactly what’s being talked about.
On the other hand, the elephant is acknowledged when the IMF demands that expatriate-led outfits take over state-owned facilities in developing countries after a loan default.
In our world, the consequences of the failure of higher education for development are never openly traced back to the failure of higher education for development. Higher education is never held to account for the loud promises for development it fails to keep. Instead, it is generally assumed that more of the same type of education will somehow begin to work for development at some unknown future date.
That is what I mean by lack of commitment and lack of honesty. That is why the study of underdevelopment has been stagnant for generations with zero incremental progress. Incremental progress in the study of underdevelopment means achieving small but meaningful steps towards the goal of making graduates perform autonomously as well as expatriates in managerial leadership, directed by the agency of the individual graduate of higher education and not by expatriates.
I have to add that Any remedy for underdevelopment that does not address the dire and ongoing shortage of effective indigenouos MANAGERIAL leadership is not a remedy at all. Such a remedy is poverty management or shallow modernization without development.
Modernization without development is economic growth that grossly underutilized the capabilities of available technology and infrastructure. Such growth is limited and does not spread or deepen through the rest of the economy. And it does not endure due to poor maintenance. That’s because the severe shortage of MANAGERIAL leadership is not addressed by modernization. Such growth is a caricature of development in developed countries.
So, all the initiatives of economic growth for developing countries, whether they’re homegrown or from authority organizations and their proxies, amount only to efforts to manage poverty, efforts to make poverty and underdevelopment a little less painful. Alone or combined, such efforts do not and will not make locals perform as well as expatriates.
Q18: Why do you think the authority organizations don’t objectively address the root cause of persistent underdevelopment?
Oh, I would say it’s self preservation. Pointing out the root cause of underdevelopment by noting a difference between one group and another is now considered insensitive, offensive, and potentially racist by the authority organizations. And I say thank God for that.
For these reasons, the authority organizations and their proxies avoid anything that suggests a difference among people other than the mundane. So, it’s safe to say that people in developing countries need more education. After all, people everywhere need education to be productive citizens. It is safe to say lack of capital or brain drain or corruption or the other reasons we’ve talked about are responsible for underdevelopment. But it is not safe to go beyond that, because you may place your career and the reputation of your institution in jeopardy.
So I get it that the authority organizations and their proxies treat the ineffectiveness of education for development as a toxic taboo topic and treat it like the elephant in the room.
Unfortunately, this defensive stance does not help developing countries. Instead it has created intellectual stagnation and zero incremental progress for solving the problem because it’s not only the problem that’s out of bounds. The components of the ideas that might lead to a solution have also been out of bounds. And to a very large extent, the use of human imagination for solving underdevelopment has been restricted as well.
The way I see it is this: if the solution to persistent underdevelopment lies at the bottom of a well of knowledge, the ugly history of our world has poisoned that well of knowledge. On top of that, an extensive minefield also surrounds the poisoned well of knowledge.
So, the authority organizations and their proxies maintain a vigilant defensive posture about the topic. As we’ll discuss in a later episode, the methodologies of the authority organizations are rooted in these self-preservation habits, and woe betide anyone who violates it.
In contrast, the ideas of HR are focused on the solution to the problem. We get it that the ideas raise unpleasant historical facts, but the Implicit Curriculum, the solution, does not focus on that history. So there’s little to worry about. We don’t gratuitously point out the root cause of underdevelopment with zero to offer for the pain it may represent to some. In fact, the only reason we point out the ugly history is because I know it plays into the conceptions of people about the underdevelopment problem and our conceptions of what a viable solution should look like.
We also present a viable way to address the problem with the Implicit Curriculum. That means the issues that the authority organizations find uncomfortable are not the center of attention. The solution is the center of attention.
Finally, there’s also one more aspect about treating this issue as a taboo topic. That aspect is exhibited this time by some people from developing countries and among some of their diaspora in the global North. And it goes like this: Conceding any difference between the global north and the global south is indirectly suggesting that the ugly history of the past and their current remnants are justified. Conceding any difference is like giving ammunition to racists and bigots.
I can’t defend against this criticism other than to say that the dirty laundry of persistent underdevelopment is out there for all to see, and that underdevelopment is suffered by the majority of the human population. These considerations far outweigh any need to appease racists and bigots.
But I urge those with this view to learn the details of the Implicit Curriculum and give it a chance. We need your support too.
For the moment, though, they should find out what the Implicit Curriculum is for the purpose of evaluating it on it’s own OBJECTIVE merit as a learning system and on the merit of what it claims to represent.
I fully expect their acceptance and adoption of the Implicit Curriculum for developing countries not only because there’s nothing better out there, but for the sake of human well being and dignity, and because the curriculum meets all the criteria of what many in their ranks consider to be the most effective type of education.
But to hasten adoption, the general public in both developing and developed countries, the general public of the global south and the global north have to agitate for it because the resistance of authority organizations has had a lot of time to grow deep methodological, theoretical, investigative and institutional roots that’s hard to remove. So, pressure from the general public is required, and that’s the main reason why this podcast exists, to let people know that there is now an alternative and human suffering need not continue forever.
Now, If one were to disagree that higher education graduates are the agents of development in a developing country, then who is? A better question is: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF HIGHER EDUCATION in a developing country? Is higher education only for employment?
Unless someone who disagrees can point to an alternative source for a steady supply of MANAGERIAL and entrepreneurial leadership for a given society, higher education remains the default source of the agents of development in a developing country. And if higher education is not seen as such, then that perception must urgently be changed.
In any developing country, the investment in the sponsorship and infrastructure of higher education, the resources devoted to its upkeep, no matter how small or inadequate, is substantial, relative to the wealth and welfare of developing countries. The Implicit Curriculum, the solution for persistent underdevelopment, seeks to use the monopoly resources of higher education to systematically fulfill the expectation that higher education is the incubator and producer of development agents.
Q20: So that I’m on the same page with you, how do you define managerial leadership?
As you know, volumes of books exist about that question. So, when we use the term “MANAGERIAL leadership” or refer to the graduates of higher education as the agents of development, we’re talking about several things and can be specific about a few.
The first is that effective managers in a developing country, where many things don’t work right, are not people who sit in the office giving orders from a list of goals. By definition, they are problem solvers who will make their presence felt at whatever level and in whatever capacity they operate.
That means the manager will be able to roll up his or her sleeves to solve problems that underlings cannot solve in a timely manner. It does not mean the manager should be an expert in such matters. Instead, it means the manager will facilitate solving such problems either by acquiring information and developing his or her own skills, getting underlings to operate their specialty effectively for the desired outcome or getting outside expertise to do it. Either way the goal is to quickly overcome problems for the desired outcome.
Another meaning of managerial leadership is about CONTINGENTLY adopting and repurposing available technologies and protocols and organizing and deploying resources to solve problems and increase productivity.
Of course, these aspects don’t encompass the full range of what managerial leadership entails. Actually, there may never be any writing or statement that can fully contain the concept of managerial leadership. That’s why I use the analogy of the Crusoe Effect.
This is similar to acquiring, in higher education, the latest knowledge about what is possible, using the knowledge to combine foreign technology with local resources to make development happen, while innovating and inventing contingently or as necessary along the way.
According to the promises that are implicit in the promotion of higher education, the graduate will solve problems because he or she has become multi-functional and especially self-programming. That is the implicit promise, no matter the graduate’s area of specialization. That’s the promise which makes higher education superior to vocational education or technical training.
Furthermore, and like Robinson Crusoe, the presence of the individual graduate will immediately be seen and felt. Now! Not at some unknown future date.
If higher education begins to equip graduates to be the agents of development, instead of just promising to do so, the Crusoe Effect is what will begin to happen.
There is no q/u “gradual” when real development is taking place, when such development is led by the autonomous agency of indigenes who are as effective as expatriates. Where that is not the case, when graduates are equipped only with technical training and managerial effectiveness is in short supply, then we see so-called gradual development, another name for persistent underdevelopment and its symptoms.
Under gradual development, it is acceptable for a country to redundantly accumulate a large number of people with the latest university education, and still be perceived as “developing.” But real development is either on or off. There is no gradual development when higher education lives up to its promises.
The Crusoe Effect means that, no matter how meager the available resources, the maximum possible productivity will be derived from it, limited only by available knowledge. It means that incremental resource improvement, in quantity or quality will, AT THE VERY LEAST, increase output and productivity proportionately.
The Crusoe Effect means that—for the individual, community or nation—one will operate at the level of the technological state-of-the-art, limited only by available resources, because that is all you can do. It’s not a matter of will, or determination, or ambition. It is a matter of BEING. That is what takes place for expatriates, despite the obstacles in developing countries. BTW, I promise to elaborate on that in episode 3 of this podcast.
Anyway, the Crusoe effect means that one graduate of the solution we propose will be able to do what one expatriate can do. One hundred will be able to do what 100 expatriates can do, and so forth. Immediately upon graduation! Not at some unknown future date.
Higher education doesn’t do this for graduates. Not because something is wrong with people, but because higher education does not know how.
The Crusoe Effect was what we saw take place under the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan is the economic aid rendered by the U.S. to war-devastated Western Europe in the 1940s and 1950s. If managerial competence had been missing in Europe, the plan would have failed in the same way that development aid has failed to meet expectations in today’s underdeveloped countries. Europe would simply not have been able to rebuild its economy so quickly back then, or to the level where it stands today.
A plan with the same intention, called Alliance for Progress, was implemented for a different part of the world by the U.S. in the 1970s. It did not work.
So without effective indigenous managerial competence, the intermittent calls for a Marshall Plan for one developing country or another, or for a region, if enacted, will likely not work either.
Q22: Ok, as we wrap up this episode, do you have anything else to add?
Yes. Developing countries, here me! Persistent underdevelopment is not your fault. Underdevelopment is the fault of the education you’re receiving. If development is what you want, stop relying on higher education to provide the leadership for that. It did not provide that leadership in the past and it won’t provide it today or tomorrow. For that to happen, change must happen.
Most countries did not disintegrate, and some were able to replace old leadership. But the best that new leadership could accomplish was to recreate the status quo. The system that was overthrown, with its poverty, corruption, inequality and stagnation, recreated itself under new leadership.
The lesson is that violent or peaceful revolution does not suddenly make people perform like expatriates to run the economy and institutions efficiently. Revolution will serve only to re-create the status quo, but with new people.
So, regime change will not make development happen. The only thing that can do that is something like the Implicit Curriculum that we propose.
Furthermore, if higher education is supposed to provide the leadership needed for development, then every developing country should be developed by now because you have done everything you’re supposed to do to create the agents of development in abundant numbers.
You have made sacrifices and invested your limited resources to build the institutions of local higher education and the infrastructure to support them. Your country has maintained the institutions, and is paying salaries to armies of teachers and lecturers. And for generations, your countries have sponsored thousands of students to study in overseas institutions. In addition, your communities, individuals and parents have made huge sacrifices to pay for higher education.
Any country that has invested in higher education for decades, like your country has done, should have met the minimum requirement to ignite rapid development. In every country, higher education should have started to make a difference long ago, with the first set of graduates. That’s right, with the first set of graduates. If that had been the case, your country would be developed by now to the point that you will rival the West and deal with the West as equals, like China has accomplished.
Again, the ineffectiveness of higher education for development is not your fault. Don’t be ashamed that higher education has failed you. Instead, you should be outraged and stop blaming each other for something you have no control over.
So, invest your energy in demanding something that will actually make development happen. Demand for the Implicit Curriculum to be implemented.
Your role is to do everything in your power to ensure that decision-makers in government, academia, and institutions know that there is a solution for the poverty, despair, human degradation, and hopelessness of most people in Nigeria. You have more power to do this than you realize and you can start by doing the following: (1) Share our writings with as many people as you can. (2) Stand up and challenge experts, politicians, and others who talk about development yet never mention managerial deficiency. Don’t let them get away with that. (3) Challenge what you read on the internet, on social media, and what you hear on podcasts. (4) Call into radio shows. Challenge them with what you have learned here. Let them know that nothing will work well for long in your country until the graduates in charge begin to perform as well as expatriates.