Friday, 14 January 2011

Busy with other people's affairs

Imagined conversation: "..........and when you talk to the Chinese Prime Minister, don't forget to mention the Human Rights situation in his country".

To tell the truth, I hate this. Why not talk about the human rights situation right at home? There is certainly a lot to do!

These two YT's are not really unforgettable or outstanding; they just illustrate a bit this subject.

These days, it's those "presidential" elections in Ivory Coast (somewhere in Africa). Having finished these elections they landed with two presidents ready to cash in, one who did win but could not get in and one who got in but did not win. Now, in dozens of countries worldwide, they are being told what to do. "Be democratic", everybody is clamoring, respect this, respect that. Armies are made ready for a peaceful intervention, the UN votes something, etc, etc, etc. Why not leaving these countries alone and why not refrain from fostering on them our democratic procedures ?

Dear reader, if you managed to read down to this line, this is something you might appreciate:

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve (Bernard Shaw)

And here another one from Winston Churchill:
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter .

The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires a change of heart.
Mahatma Gandhi

I like especially the last one. So true.

Democracy is one of the few products that are absolutely homegrown, cannot be exported and should not be imported. Otherwise, we'll see those lousy copies like in Afghanistan, Irak, Kossovo and elsewhere.

However, we should try to improve our own democratic procedures. That would be a big job and would keep us busy for dozens of years. Especially our politicians - many of them - need some tuition and some improvements, not to speak of our institutions. Useless to go into details, every country has its own shortcomings.............

When a country is subject to a catastrophic event, like an earth quake, tsunami or heavy floodings we should help and everybody is honoured by doing so. Nevertheless, there are questions that come to my mind.

Take the case of Haiti: last years' quake killed about 250.000 people and flattened their capital Port-au-Prince. Now about one year has passed and I hear they have managed to clean about 5 (five) percent of the rubble. On television I see some of our gallant helpers from Europe or North America (the ever expanding NGO's) working with a shovel to help shifting the rubble from A to B.
Why can't the Haitians clear the rubble away themselves?
Yesterday I saw on the telly Haitian women complain of rape gangs operating inside those tent cities. And the Haitian police force? And the other people, living near-by?
Some months ago they had a cholera epidemy starting and Haitians got busy accusing rescue workers sent by the United Nations to be responsible by means of witchcraft. Some UN soldiers even got killed.

A few months ago, we graced the Haitians with one more election, financed by other countries through the United Nations. They elected a musician as president but it seems not everybody there is ready to dance according to his tune. So they are fighting in the rubble streets, do a little killing among themselves because not everybody is happy with the counting of the votes. Some ballots disappeared, others were counted twice.

Considering all this, my idea is that help - meaning our money - should go where the concerned nations are ready to work themselves towards the same goal and show it! That's not a new idea, the dicton "help yourself and God will help you" was not coined yesterday.

So let's stop giving lessons to other nations and to far away peoples. They don't like it as we don't appreciate to be told what to do. I remember the uproar when at the height of the second oil crisis, the OPEC boss and king of Saudi-Arabia told a reporter "if you feel cold at home because you have no heating, just put on a warmer sweater".


  1. Hi George,
    Can't be more agree with you..Take care

  2. I enjoyed the first YT, but the second one was somewhat outdated. One of the clips cited in it was the beating of Rodney King that happened some 5 years ago or even more , and justice has been done within the parameters set by the US judiciary. The other citation of the American Detention facility is also not relevant anymore since the facility was closed down earlier on in 2010. Like you rightly state 'democratic procedures' should 'be improved' by each country 'on their own'. Slow as it may seem, but the US is trying to 'clean house' under Obama though oftentimes declarations by political leaders appear hypocritical in the face of what's happening in that leader's home country; but then it is 'politics' after all so where's the surprise : )

  3. Bonjour George,

    Sometimes people and communities need help. Because when u ask why a nation cant help themselves, well how can a whole nation get into a single mindset, especially in the absence of institutions. It is intriguing though that despite my above argument Bernard Shaw's Quote is as much true. It is also intriguing why some cultures are more capable of helping themselves and seeing common sense.

  4. To Hiva
    Thank you for your statement. You are one of the few non-Westerners reading this thus your opinion is precious to me.

    To Id It Is
    Glad you told me. In fact, I didn't really understood this second video about the US politics. Though this is YT, it comes from the TV channel "Russia Today". I listen to it from time to time though, strange to say, they tell more about what happens in the USA and Western Europe than about what is going on in Russia.

    To Deep Blue Sea
    Thanks for commenting. As to Haiti, it should be stressed that this country is independent since 1802, meaning they had ample time to get their act together. They should built their own satellites today instead instead of begging for help as main activity.

  5. It's been 1 year since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti and things have yet to improve.

  6. Très bien dit Georg!!
    j'avais l'intention de faire un billet sur la démocratie (je n'y ai pas renoncé). Tu as très bien parlé du problème.
    Apprenons d'abord à lire à ces gens. Ensuite on verra.
    Embrasse Elisabeth.

  7. This is all very good and true and somewhat entertaining. It has been my observation, that most people go through phases in their lives, starting out as quite liberal and aging into conservatism. All of this Hypocrisy in government and human rights, takes me back to the readings of Ayn Rand and her concept that selfishness was a good thing. If we exclusively help ourselves (both personally and as a nation) we better ourselves and serve as an example. Offering aid to those we are told are unfortunate through no fault of their own, simply makes them dependent and entitled. It really does not help them at all in the long run.