International complacency is the final nail in the coffin. It was hoped that intervention of rich countries with surplus food would save Sahel from upcoming crisis, which now seem very imminent. Millions of lives are at stake. "The damage control mechanism of WFP needs $789m and still in short of #361m to reach all crying destitutes," writes Zafar Haider Jappa in today's Business Recorder.
I seek these voice with such a perspective grounded not in mere sentimentality but scholarship. I want to him but can't do it in a year or two, as he's in US... So want to thank him; here's the conversation which I'm only sharing because it has a simple, harmless message for Pakistani students:
Thanks for getting in touch. I am glad that you have benefited from some of my writings. Encourage your friends to read books. We have many people with college degrees, but very few of them own or read books.
M. Shahid Alam
Professor of Economics
Boston, MA 02115
Ahmed javed, "Paistan me Nifaz-e-Shariyat Kese" (How to Enforce Shariyet in Pakitan?): (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bxahEi5O_4
I am surprised by the shocking lack of creativity and unpredictability of US Imperial Mind when it comes to enslaving people - it's just too much predictable. They're very consistent in their policies because only tested methods attract investment and approvals. Be it Haiti, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Iraq, etc., US imperialism works on a given pattern. This is also true, as Chomsky shows in detail, of the method and treatment of America's spiritual and actual fathers, namely, Britishers; how they destroyed the wealth of Dacca and unlimited other "good works" that it's pointless and useless for me to discuss (who's on the receiving end) because it serves no good purpose than one important utility: Knowing this history is crucial to protect oneself from mind control by Western and westernized intellectuals who do not get tired reminding us of the infinite blessings white man has conferred on whole humanity and how much we need to learn from them formulas of eternal success. This is like seeking a Messiah in a Dajjal (or Anti-Christ); perhaps this is why he is called so, "One who deceives."
Chomsky does well to expose the true nature, objective and mechanism of "good work" carried out world's "last best hope". He focuses on Haiti as a case study in the first chapter of his book, Hopes and Prospects. (I couldn't see hope with Americans or for its people, as one of their presidents feared great reprimand from God for the "good works" of his people.) Neoliberal policies become the new enslaving system with lots of appeal and good publicity prospects in home and abroad. Today the main problem is that of illusions which victims are fed with. We are lured with prospects of heavens on earth by our own politicians and every other public intellectual or else, so much so that sovereignty is seen worthy of being traded for it, at least in Pakistan (not true for Latin Americans who're always ablaze with spirits of liberation). The essay can be seen as testifying the perspective presented by John Perkins in his Confessions of an Economic Hitman, which exposed imperialist, expansionist policies of America and how it enslaves countries around the world with debt burdens, regime changes, murders, and what not.
In the end of the essay or speech, Chomsky presents two categories of definition for the term globalization: literal and technical. Literal meaning of the term is that of global integration, peace, harmony and cooperation. The technical meaning, albeit how America sees it, is implementation of neoliberal economic policies with use of all kind of violence to preserve and advance all kinds of interests of US global empire.
* A must read: Shahid Alam, "World's Greatest Country: Do the facts lie?" http://pakpatriot.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/worlds-greatest-country-do-the-facts-lie/
Prisoner dilemma is a game (serious one) where two prisoners are separately given two choices: confess or remain silent. If A confesses, while the other remains silent, A goes free. However, if A remains silent, trusting that his partner won't betray him by confessing, and his partner confesses, he'd 4 years sentence. On the top of that, if both confess, both are sentenced for 8 years! But, if they trust each other, without ever communicating, they get 1 year sentence.
Game Theory assumes that humans are selfish, hence the dominant incentive for both prisoners, who're locked in separate cells with informational asymmetry, is to confess, because none of them would risk trusting a betrayer. The dilemma is: executing the incentive or dominant strategy leads to worse pay offs!
This game is well-known and has various versions. I happened to know a similar game my friend used to play unconsciously.
On a rainy or unusual day, school teachers expect a very low turnout. My friend sees this as an opportunity to stand out from the rest by coming to class to impress his teachers. When he turns up in class, he's always doomed to see more than enough students turning up with the same intention (at least a considerable size of the students). Had he communicated with all and assured them that he won't come, lest others don't come, what would have been the outcome? I presume others would come too, unless the group bonding is very strong. In fact, when i was in 11th class, my seniors were united as a wall. And every other Saturday, literally none would come: girls and boys - without co-education and least outward interaction. Only 2 or 3 students out of 500+ would attend the class. After all, cooperation may be a dominant strategy (perhaps weakly) which requires development and cohesion.