Sunday, January 23, 2011

On Recognizing our Stupidity

I've been thinking about how very useless everything I'm learning is. Which is just great, considering I'm in my third year of my degree. Yep. Just lovely.

International Relations is this lovely little bubble of criticism and analysis. And as was so kindly iterated to me, it is the only subject where people "study places they've never been and people they've never met." And you know what?! HE'S RIGHT! I am just some stupid over-critical individual who is analyzing an entire country and an entire people without ever having visited the country myself or met the people face-to-face, let alone even through some illegitimate social networking site.

Who am I to say that such and such would be a good idea, or that so and so is a crazy baboon for having done this or that? WHO AM I? NO ONE. That's who. And I certainly hope that thought remains with me - only through humility and a realization of my stupidity can I possibly do anything. If I actually want to help those unknown people in that unknown place, I will most certainly not be doing it by writing an 80-page paper, nor will I do it by bringing my own ideas to a place I've never even been.

Anywho, this mind set - the one where the West is like "we're so much richer, we have no civil conflict, we're employed, blah-blibbity-blah-blah-blah" - is totally STUPID. And that's why the IMF, the World Bank, the aid agencies, the NGOs, etc., etc. are all screw-ups, and why all these IR criticism exist.

As good old Soloman said, Pride comes before a fall. Let's never forget to recognize our own stupidity.

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