Your Opinions Please…

15 Jun

“What freedom has our subsistence farmer? He scratches a bare living from the soil provided the rains do not fail; his children work at his side without schooling, medical care, or even good feeding. Certainly he has freedom to vote and to speak as he wishes. But these freedoms are much less real to him than his freedom to be exploited. Only as his poverty is reduced will his existing political freedom become properly meaningful and his right to human dignity become a fact of human dignity.”

– Julius K. Nyerere, President of Tanzania (1964-1985)

This question has probably been up for debate for as long as “development” has been on the international agenda: Should economic development take priority over civil/political rights? Or are the two inextricably linked, and therefore need to be built up simultaneously?

What do you think?

2 Responses to “Your Opinions Please…”

  1. ladybirdathome June 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Nyerere is spot on – and for many farmers, not much has changed since these words were spoken.

  2. Marilyn James June 16, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    Subsistance farmers in Canada have been strong drivers of political change. As Maslow stated, a human cannot be political until they are fed and secure.

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