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4665Re: [ujeni] Call Bush Today to Cancel African Debt

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  • vyrle
    Jun 10, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      10 June 2005

      Dear Elizabeth and all,

      I truly appreciate the depth and breadth of this discussion so far, even if we tend to deal in quite broad generalities. I am a bit afraid of more details because as we get more specific we can get adversarially argumentative instead of cooperatively searching for truth.

      Anyway, Elizabeth, you (and all other parents dealing with the excretions of the very young) are performing the most important task in human development, nurture. Keep up the good work.

      Dolly and I are visiting our youngest grandson, who you may recall this time last year was in the Yale University neonatal ICU having entered the world at 26 weeks (or so) and not expected to live very long or very well. He has now celebrated the 1 year anniversary of that traumatic experience and is off the machines, weighs 19 pounds, stands on his own, and acts just like a normal baby of his size, weight, gender, and age. I am so very pleased by his progress and apparent arrival at "normality." But I must give much credit to his mother, our daughter, career woman, fashion model, who has spent the last year pretty much confined to daily trips to New Haven or staying at home (when he came home last January) to ensure his survival and success. Would we all be so blessed with selflessness.

      Eric, I also am not aware that any society has truly implemented the "jubilee". Whether this is a myth, part of an allegory, or parable I know not. But the laws and philosophies of the Old Testament inform a great deal of the christian world today, for good or bad. It would be nice if we rejected that which is/was obviously not so good and seriously consider that which is/was better and workable. During the nineteenth century (and probably other times) small isolated groups tried to live by some of these more positive principles. None of them exist in there idealized forms today. In the USA there was the Oneida community in Ohio, the United Order of the Mormon church, the Shakers in Kentucky, and others. It would be better to develop a more broad based and generally relevant form of idealized society.

      One of our problems is that we want to accomplish all of this in one generation. We are probably dealing with several millenia of ongoing effort. I hope we can do what is right.

      Vyrle


      ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
      From: "Elizabeth Bell" <elizabeth_bell@...>
      Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 21:49:43 -0400

      >---------- Original Message ----------------------------------

      >Hello Gentle Ujenites,
      >
      >Not weighing in on the discussion per se, just thought I'd step outside it for a moment to say how good it is to have a forum for these discussions. I am, of course, fairly undecided and so have agreed in turn, with a hearty "yes, yes, that is so true!" to every comment and angle presented thus far.
      >
      >It is so nice to exercise that side of my brain in thinking about larger, fairly sticky global issues when so much of my energy these days is take up by spit up, poop and boogers (yes, boogers - I knew about the spit up and poop but NO ONE warned me about the boogers!).
      >
      >And now back to Jubilee and Debt Forgiveness. We apologize for interrupting your regular programming....
      >
      >: )
      >Liz
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Eric Bone
      > To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:02 PM
      > Subject: Re: [ujeni] Call Bush Today to Cancel African Debt
      >
      >
      > One thing about our ujeni discussion so far, and the international discussion for that matter, is the level of generality, the sweeping generalizations that we employ. To me it is a much more interesting issue, and perhaps a more important one, to discuss the circumstances under which debt forgiveness can be effective and appropriate. What objectives would we expect to accomplish by canceling the debt? Under what circumstances would it be possible to accomplish those objectives? Do we have a way of measuring the ability of a country to reap the benefits of debt cancellation? Does this involve some set of criteria that the country must meet? (I suppose these would be the "hoops" Kristen referred to.)
      >
      >
      >
      > The trend of the Bush administration's international development assistance strategy is to "reward good governance" with more assistance. This is the basis of the Millenium Challenge Corporation. Whether or not you believe that this is a good model for assistance (I am as yet undecided), for the sake of consistency it would make sense for the administration also to "reward" countries with debt cancellation. So which African countries have the capacity to benefit now, and which ones would not? I don't have the answer, but I believe it would be a more fruitful line of discussion to pursue than the sweeping (neo-)colonialism vs. corruption argument.
      >
      >
      >
      > -Eric
      >
      >
      >
      > p.s. Vyrle (or anyone), has there ever been a time when the idea of the "Jubilee" redistribution of wealth every 50 years has actually been put into practice? I have never heard of any evidence of this taking place, and so when I read Leviticus I suspect that it describes a mythical view of history, just as I consider the creation stories of Genesis to be mythical. It seems to me they tell us something about a people's values, but are not to be taken literally.
      >
      >
      >
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