[eDebate] Hunger just is

john foy glueboy1
Wed Apr 15 13:49:03 CDT 2009

I think that part of Jackie's point is that these offers to help farmers involve an implicit claim about the poverty of the cultures and lifeways of the people helped as well as a literal judgement about their poverty.  Definitions of poverty do change over time and in relation to production.  This whole discussion reminds me of a documentary about microlending I watched last summer.  In it there was an interview with a UN official who said "Everyone has the right to human dignity under the UN Charter and dignity means not being poor."  I felt really fucked up by that comment.  The dignity of the human person isn't something guaranteed by any charter and poor people don't lack it.  No material circumstance can rob a person of their indwelling dignity except the belief that someone can grant or revoke it, or that their material circumstances signal something about their dignity.  I'm kind of tired so this may seem disjointed, but yes, that is a reason not to diagnose and name other people as impoverished and victimised.


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