Friday, February 11, 2011

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

The BBC on the visit of China's foreign minister to Zimbabwe and four other African countries:
The Chinese use of its veto in 2008 was "a landmark diplomatic decision where it basically saved Zimbabwe from punitive sanctions instigated by an irate and sulky former colonial power", the Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Mr Mumbengegwi as saying.
"So, now this visit will give an opportunity for Zimbabweans to finally thank China for this act," he said.
Schiller on Adam Smith on self-interestedness (HT: Thought du Jour)
Smith also talks about a selfish passion, which is a desire for praise. He argues that people instinctively desire praise, but that, as they mature, this feeling develops into a desire for praiseworthiness. …. He uses that to show that what people really want is to be deservedly praised. And that turn of mind, which develops as people mature, is what makes us into people with integrity. ….
I think this underlies how the economy works. We start out with selfish feelings, which are intermixed with feelings of empathy for others, and then we develop this mature desire to be praiseworthy. I think it is central to our civilisation that people do that.
The Economist on the West's hypocracy: (Aid Watch on the same: one entry, another)
If the West cannot back Egypt’s people in their quest to determine their own destiny, then its arguments for democracy and human rights elsewhere in the world stand for nothing.

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