Saturday, May 22, 2004

Self-Appointed Voices

Samizdata's Perry de Havilland has an amusing piece up about the adventures of he and a couple of other Samizdatistas in Geneva, where they crashed the 57th WHO assembly. A detail mentioned in the piece that I found particularly telling was the following:

Crasher Niger Innes asks why, given that the panel was representing itself as the voice of the poor in Africa, there were no Africans on the panel? Ouch.
As a certain law professor likes to say, indeed. There's something outrageously presumptious of people, most of whom have never so much as stepped foot on African soil, deigning to speak on behalf of the rights of people whose desires they've never bothered to have articulated to them. To hear anti-globalizers go on about the harm done to Africans by capitalism and westernization, one would never know that in a recent worldwide poll, the most favorable attitudes towards these two bogeymen were to be found in ... Africa.