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AFRO-NETS> Food for civil society's thought


  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Food for civil society's thought
  • From: Claudio Schuftan <aviva@netnam.vn>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 13:38:47 -0400 (EDT)




Food for civil society's thought
--------------------------------

Something interesting I found and with which civil society organiza-
tions have to reckon with:

An adult civil society organization (CSO) has to use its (new) power
with intelligence and not exaggerate the theory of a 'universal re-
sponsibility' based on the false idea that it is absolutely them (and
no other) who have to bring order to a world in disarray --no matter
at what cost-- or they won't be able to live in peace with them-
selves. This theory does not only lead to potentially infinite uncon-
nected interventions: it intoxicates our minds with the illusion that
we are protagonizing the ultimate crusade in favor of what is just,
making us believe that each campaign we embark on is like the final
and ultimate campaign that will end all miseries of the world.

True global CSOs have to learn to move from being a potential to be-
ing a real power in world affairs; they have to liberate themselves
from simply general global objectives (a general globalism) lacking a
clear sense of direction and purpose lest they get tangled up every-
where: there are concrete things to do to get us to such a position
of real power...and the actions of every member --not just the lead-
ership-- count.

Based on and modified from a paragraph by Walter Lippman (1889-1974),
former NY Times Editor.

Claudio Schuftan
Hanoi, Vietnam
mailto:aviva@netnam.vn

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