First World Happiness Report Launched at the United Nations
Before Talking Happiness!
That such „scholars“ with such highly acclaimed Names talk such a nonsense on such a person, like Melese, who was apparently not showing, leave alone give political space, the slightest human empathy to his political opponents during his whole life.
Is “power” such a parameter of the mind that enforces a total eclipse of the “conscience-module”? Are such minds also “buried in the onto-historical imperative-nature of state-power (in its ugliest mod-us) and have lost their capacity for reflection?“ (cf. What is wrong with us?)
Is that simply the subtle collective interaction of the “left hemisphere minds”/cf. McGilchrist, Iain/ of the globe which is still dominating the world in the interest of the global portemonaie?
Mubarak was for the world leaders, also the “wisest man in the Arab world” until a fortnight before he left office!
Wait and See:
All minds will join the coming new chorus without a wink of the eyes!
These scholars, among others are the minds behind the UN newly launched “Global Happiness Index”. I am afraid the world would be happier without them if they resume propagating such opinions on dictators of nations and states, the world is suffering from.
Nonetheless it is worthwhile to look at the “Global Happiness Report” of the UN to deliberate on the future of our world!
First World Happiness Report Launched at the United Nations
The happiest countries in the world are all in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands). Their average life evaluation score is 7.6 on a 0-to-10 scale. The least happy countries are all poor countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Togo, Benin, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone) with average life evaluation scores of 3.4. But it is not just wealth that makes people happy: Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries. At the individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial.
These are among the findings of the first ever World Happiness Report (download PDF), commissioned for the April 2nd United Nations Conference on Happiness (mandated by the UN General Assembly)…..MORE
September 17th, 2010 | | 26 Comments
It may be hard for those who are as yet not aware of the relationship between Meles on the one hand, and Professors Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz on the other hand, to imagine that two renowned scholars from a prestigious university could create a strong bond to a cold-blooded dictator-turning-totalitarian. For those who are still incredulous and are looking for hard evidence, we have compiled this body of evidence, letting Sachs’ and Stiglitz’s own words speak for themselves:
Jeffrey Sachs on the Ethiopian dictator
1. A Sachs speech
Some excerpts from this speech: “Your Excellencies: our wonderful host Prime Minister Meles”… and: “When I meet with Prime Minister Meles and President Museveni I feel like I am attending a development seminar. They are ingenious, deeply knowledgeable, and bold.” [full text]
2. An article Sachs wrote in the Economist
Here, Sachs measures Meles up against the lowest possible bar: “Meles Zenawi, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has the most insightful, indeed ingenious, ideas about rural development of any leader in that country’s modern history.” [full text]
This is what Sachs says in the midst of the 2005 killings: “Prime Minister, you have distinguished yourself as a one of our World’s most brilliant leaders. I have often said that our many hours of discussion together are among the most scintillating that I have spent on the topics of economic development. I invariably leave our meetings enriched, informed, and encouraged about Ethiopia’s prospects. Moreover, I know fully that you are deeply committed to peace, development, and the success of your country.” And: “Third, I am here to pay my respects to those who have lost their lives in the struggle for democracy, both the fighters for freedom who toppled a despicable regime 14 years ago, and also the dozens of students and innocent bystanders who tragically and unnecessarily lost their lives several weeks ago when they were shot by security forces during protests in the nation’s capital. There is no excuse for such loss of life; security forces must be equipped with non-lethal means for riot and crowd control. And our students anywhere are our future. ” And further: “I especially admire, Mr. Prime Minister, your deep commitment to Ethiopia’s rural communities and to Ethiopia’s Green Revolution, the very commitment that we recognize today with this award.” And: “Ethiopia is a much divided society, as shown by the recent contested elections and the controversies that swirl around them. Political divisions are natural, indeed healthy. They are part and parcel of democracy. But the hate and distrust that are on view in Ethiopia’s multi-ethnic society are beyond normal. They are social ills that need mending. Few countries in the world have been able to make multi-ethnic societies work peacefully for all. Grievances and distrust in Ethiopia are deep and have deep historic roots. Many of the attacks on the current government reflect revanchist sentiments from an earlier era of Imperial domination of a former elite. But others reflect real and deep grievances about the present day. Still others are simply a byproduct of the suffering of extreme poverty.”
In communications after the speech, Sachs further elaborates: “The fact that security forces have shot again into the crowds is not acceptable. Aside from the heated charges and counter-charges of who has done what to whom and who has or has not provoked the violence, the government and its security forces should have been much better prepared with non-lethal means to control unhappy crowds.” And “The opposition leaders too should have been speaking out much more to keep their own followers peaceful and unarmed. There are many reports that people in the crowds fired upon the police. I do not know whether those reports are accurate, and as far as I know there has been no independent assessment to date. […] Undoubtedly, though, there is responsibility required on all sides in a tense confrontation such as this, and more that both government and opposition can and should be doing much more to secure the peace.”
Sachs continues: “I will also note for you that I receive many heartfelt assertions that accuse some of the opposition leaders of stoking violence and ethnic hatred. It appears that some of the spiraling unrest is partly, and dangerously, ethnically motivated on both sides. It is also widely believed that there are revanchists from the Mengistu era stoking some of the unrest.”
5. Sachs’ book, “The End of Poverty” [full text]
In this book, Sachs remarks: “My ardent hopes for Africa are fueled by the powerful and visionary leadership that I have seen in abundance throughout the continent, in contrast to the typical uninformed American view about Africa’s governance. In particular, I would like to thank Africa’s new generation of democratic leaders who are pointing the way, including […] Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.” , and: “I visited and worked in many places with good governments that were struggling mightily against the odds. Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi […] all have better governance than might have been expected given the burdens of extreme poverty, illiteracy, lack of financial resources […]” And: “The prime minister made a powerful and insightful presentation about Ethiopia’s potential to expand food production, and thereby to overcome pervasive hunger. …”
Joseph Stiglitz on the Ethiopian dictator
6. An op-ed Stiglitz wrote for the New York Times [full text]
Excerpt from this article: “Ethiopia also receives a lot of aid from Western countries, partly because they feel the government uses it in ways that benefit the vast majority of the citizens.“, and: “Meles’ overthrow of Mengistu not only ended the Red Terror, but also centuries of domination by the Amharas. Power was devolved toward the regions, and a most unusual constitutional provision, giving regions rights to withdraw, ensured that the center would not abuse its powers.”
7. Stiglitz’s book, “Globalisation and its Discontents”
(See longer excerpts here; a a summary version also written for the Atlantic )
In his book, Stiglitz dedicates a many pages long segment to Meles and Ethiopia. Among other things, he states: “A doctor by training, Meles had formally studied economics because he knew that to bring his country out of centuries of poverty would require nothing less than economic transformation, and he demonstrated a knowledge of economics—and indeed a creativity—that would have put him at the head of any of my university classes. He showed a deeper understanding of economic principles—and certainly greater knowledge of the circumstances in this country—than many of the international economic bureaucrats that I had to deal with in the succeeding three years. Meles combined these intellectual attributes with personal integrity: no one doubted his honesty and there were few accusations of corruption within his government. His political opponents came mostly from the long-dominant groups around the capital who had lost political power with his accession, and they raised questions about his commitment to democratic principles. However, he was not an old-fashioned autocrat. Both he and the government were generally committed to a process of decentralisation, bringing government closer to the people and ensuring that the centre did not lose touch with the separate regions. The new constitution even gave each region the right to vote democratically to secede, ensuring that the political elites in the capital city, whoever they might be, could not risk ignoring the concerns of ordinary citizens in every part of the country, or that one part of the country could not impose its views on the rest.”
8. Peter Gill on the Stiglitz-Meles relationship in the book “Famine and Foreigners
(See longer excerpts here). Anintriguing account which illustrates the deep backing Meles had from Stiglitz, strongly influencing Meles hand in policy negotiations, and an illustration of their tight bond, based on a common “enemy”, the IMF, and based on Stiglitz’s intellectual delight and titillation with Meles’ way of thinking and articulating himself.