Thought Archive

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Can you really help

Revisiting the theme of White Man's Burden, I am showing this picture from 1923 newspaper, which shows characteristic relationship towards developing world of the era. This particular cartoon depicts an Ameircan solider (notice US on the flask) dragging a Phillipino savage towards a place of learning - a school. Nice.

The West has now recognized that direct submission of other civilizations is beyond its capabilities. There are no benefits whasoever for ruling over foreign peoples or teaching those other foreign peoples what they need to be doing. This second point has not yet been understood by today's Samaritans. The countries and people in them are better left to their own devices as world practice has shown time and time again. But the charitable never learn.

Only when a country really wants to learn, asks for advice and sends her children forth to study, because this advice is beneficial to her; only then there will be some good that can come out of the initiatives like foreign aid and democracy building. Certain degree of fatalism is a pre-requisite for a donor program by a rich country to a poor one – this fatalism has to recognize that results of this program will lead to nothing but continuation of poverty. The aid has to be given to poor because of charity and not because of the result. It seems to me that any other goal is either dangerous idealism or thinly veiled racism.

Islam - for example - recognizes that there will always be wretched and poor people amongst ourselves and it is impossible to get rid of them, in which case unconditional charity is a mechanism to alleviate a social tension.


Riri said...

But some view the Islamic view as pure fatalism too! I think that Islam is simply saying that fatalism must not be confused with realism. I think that Islam is very pragmatic on the social side but idealistic on the individual side. Islam seeks to strike a balance between pragmatism and idealism by allocating pragmatism to the socio-political sphere and idealism to the individual level.

Hazar Nesimi said...

You caught my blog half-baked, incompleto - finished today. u should make a laughing stock of this ridiculous picture. But i like your observation about Islamic pragmatism in societal matters. It understands necessity of evil and suffering and does not try to exterminate it in this life, like communism or liberalism does.