LUCIAN PYE, ASPECTS OF POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT: THE CONCEPT OF POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT, 1966
The scholar’s world is always closer to the world of newspaper headlines than either scholars or laymen realize. The increasing academic interest in the problems of the new states in the process of political development has been inspired more by events in world politics than by any indigenous advances in political science theory. Thus, in large measure, the concept of political development was defined first by statesmen and policy-makers and not by scholars. The state of our current knowledge reflects this fact and so do the very words we use to discuss the problems of development.
The language of public policy is always in flux, for new concerns produce new terminologies. Yet in the language of politics, in which sloganeering is the common currency of presumed dialogues, fluency in the innovation of expressions rarely signals advancement in thought. At times fresh terms herald the awareness of novel problems, but more often they indicate merely frustration with intractable circumstances. When the language of politics seeks to define in broadest terms the contemporary human condition, it tends to be sensitive mainly to the emotions of hope, anxiety, or frustration that are inherent in the mind's erratic ability to either race ahead or fall far behind the tempo of substantive change. The political analyst in seeking the neutral ground of the observer inevitably faces the dilemma of being able neither to ignore popularterminology nor to use it effectively as the hand currency of disciplined intellectual exchange. And even if the analyst recognized that the qualities of ambiguity and imprecision which are virtues for the politician's art may be pitfalls for himself, he may still find himself the victim of a form of Gresham's law in political communication.
All this is of great relevance in trying to find meaning in current discussion of what is or should be...