Monday, June 19, 2006

Bloggers Without Borders

Hie thee hither and chalk up a contributary comment towards a donation to one of the worthiest causes around.

MSF homepage here.


Dean said...

This is all very nice but I really think that it's a drop in the bucket. These countries are riddled with corruption, education is horrifically low, jobs are scarce and civil society almost non-existent. Without cultural and political infrastructure, donating to 'worthy causes' such as this won't achieve much. What these countries need more than anything is a break. If we can pull down the agricultural subsidies that are pervasive in the West (Europe, Japan, U.S.A.), then we're doing much more for these people than we could by donating to MSF.

Putting pressure on our governments to put pressure on theirs is also something we can do that will provide large benefits. To crack the cycle of malnourishment and poverty needs much more creative responses than just giving to charity.

In any case, we have enough problems at home without having to worry about problems abroad. What about the many psychotic youths who are channelled into prisons. What about gay civil unions. Surely these are more important than propping up the crumbling despots of Asia and Africa by giving aid.

Pavlov's Cat said...

(1) A bucket full of drops is a full bucket, I always say.

(2) The whole point of MSF is that they are there to provide assistance to sick, wounded and dying human beings, regardless of political machinations -- that's what 'without borders' means.

(3) I don't automatically put Australians first; that way Hansonism lies. Me for internationalist secular humanism.

(4) What on earth makes you think that a person can't support more than one cause at a time?

Dean said...

"The whole point of MSF is that they are there to provide assistance to sick, wounded and dying human beings, regardless of political machinations"

So you say. The problem, however, is that everything's political. Governments in developing countries must learn to look after their own sick, wounded and dying. The foundation of modern society is the nation state, and modernity is what these nations are crying out for. The political process that we enjoy in Australia was developed over centuries, and we can't expect these small, brittle nations to get their act together overnight. But they must be shamed into action. How to do that should be our concern. How to shame them. How to get under their skin.

The best way to do that, I would have thought, would be to accelerate the progress of liberalism in our own nations. Civil unions for homosexuals is critical here. This is a very important issue for developed societies. It ranks alongside the abolishion of slavery in the nineteenth century as a matter of urgent concern. Until we treat our own people right, how can we expect those countries to treat theirs any better?

We must loosen censorship rules in Australia, to ensure that adults can watch whatever films they want. This will shame nations such as Malaysia to change their laws. And then potentially cause China to be more open.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Well, Dean, the post wasn't about that. The post was about MSF, which I think is a good cause, among many others.