The First World’s Whore

“The CAP(1) is estimated to cause the developing countries a welfare loss in the region of US$20 billion annually, which is twice Kenya’s entire GDP. This is according to a report by international monitoring organisation, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), which released a new report on illegal capital flight this week. The report tracks illegal outflows from 2003 to 2012.”


“South Africa is losing roughly R147-billion per year to the illegal movement of money out of the country.”

“WASHINGTON, DC – A record US$991.2 billion in illicit capital flowed out of developing and emerging economies in
2012—facilitating crime, corruption, and tax evasion—according to the latest study released today by Global
Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advisory organization.”

Comment by Benjámin Vándorgyűlés:

“Frankly it’s easier for the “First World” to send us it’s UN celebrity-“ambassadors”, well-meaning NGO’s, outraged rockstars and concerned Royal family members to play soccer with barefoot kids in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, than it is to meaninfully introspect and interrogate it’s complicity in policies which serve to keep the “Developing World” poor. This is not to say that the humanitarian gestures represented above are insincere or without value, or to lay all the blame for Africa’s woes on the First World. But to ignore the policies which maintain the imbalances – that entrench disadvantage – is simply to avoid engaging with the real issues. Take a look at the statistics quoted above: clearly there are those with a vested interest in keeping Africa poor. John Pilger’s “Freedom next time” is worth reading if only to remind us to be wary – even cynical – when it comes to the global north’s declared philanthropy.

As long as deals are struck under the table between wealthy, neo-liberal capitalist elites and Africa’s complicit kleptocrats, Africa will continue to be pimped out as the First World’s street-whore. Africa has too long been a destination for imperialist adventurers hell-bent on dominion – the rape and pillage of empire which continues today in neo-liberal economics. 

(1)The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the agricultural policy of the European Union.


To fall

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

St. Paul



(A meditation)

 by Benjámin Vándorgyűlés 

I fall time and again I fall But what is it to fall into the hands of the living God Will He catch this child of rebellion Will he quietly watch me fall like a falling star into the abyss like that other star that fell into an abyss before the beginning of the world Christ have mercy O Son of Man prince of peace where is thy peace Thou knowest our need of peace Christ Jesus he’s your father too after all Is he merciful and kind You have held his hands in yours Are the hands of your father gnarled like an ancient tree The Tree of Life a tree cut and sawn hacked and shaped for crucifixion Do these ancient hands knot a scourge to scourge a man What manner of man or God would do such a thing even to the worst of men Are they cruel abuser’s hands clenched in an angry fist Are they worn as the leather of a judge’s desk Tell me Christ Jesus about your father’s hands Are they raised like a wall of dismissal Hands which say depart from me I never knew you Or hands limp with impotence Perhaps the hands of a noble warrior clenching the mighty sword of truth Do they tremble from holding too long a weight A burden heavy as the world Does the living God stare introspectively seeing each soul he’s ever held Saints sinners kings slaves the old the young still-born babies lepers cancer patients flood victims earthquake victims the lost the found the insane the brave the fearful Are his fingers thin and angry Are his fingers cruel and twisted Will I slip from cold wraithlike hands Will I fall through unkind fingers like dust Will I fall into hands of salvific compassion and grace or will hands of disavowal cast me like a stone into the deep God Oh God! The fool I am I fumble in my futile fog I long for the rough but gentle hands of a healer a worker of wood a worker of wonders a carpenter Hands pierced by nails as thick as God’s finger hands stained red by the suffering of a broken world Where are the Carpenter’s hands I stumble like a drunkard through Bethlehem’s empty streets Dear God where is he where is he the one they call the king of the Jews Enough dead children here to fill God’s eyes with tears Eyes that smart blinded by Topf-smoke Dear God will I fall into the hands of the God of the Chankiri tree-children Where was he then and where is he now Where, where is God? the streets of Bethlehem grown quiet now the soldiers have gone Only the sound of keening God where is your son Here there everywhere He’s gone away they say on a donkey Yes how strange for a king Clinging to his young mother’s breast She holds him close She fears the soldiers will come again (they will come again at the appointed hour) The warm touch of Mary’s hands How the stable smells of animals steaming straw dung frankincense and myrrh Left Bethlehem just in time they say Saved from this slaughter for another slaughter the final sacrifice Where is the Child? He went to Egypt or to Nazareth He’s gone to where exactly where To District Six or Khayelitsha To the Banlieues or to Rwanda to Dachau Auschwitz Birkenau Buchenwald Mauthausen Gusen To Vorkutlag and the camps – so many camps! – at Bethulie Brandfort Middelburg and Bloemfontein and all the others forgotten by all but a few historians and folk who won’t let go of unhealed wounds The angels of Heaven and those that wonder the earth do not forget they do not forget Srebrenica Sudan and Syria and all the elsewhere’s A list as long as forever It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God I long to fall into the hands of the living God I shall fear no evil even in this valley of the shadow of death Fear not he said To touch his hands to rest my body and soul in his hands his arms strong enough to carry the bottle that holds all the tears ever shed by man or beast To feel his hands to rest in him Catch me God O Fearful God O God of Love catch the world in your hands It is a blessed thing to fall into the hands of the living God 

Mystical Communion with an Unforgiving God

Depressive-masochists see clearly the tragic existential realities of life. Their way of being in the world bears this sensibility forward, witnesses to it, and
invites others into their sense of the ethos required to survive in the face of it. Our concern about the way this gets articulated, however, is usually that this sensibility is set within a particular emotional, ethical, and aesthetic framework which establishes a self- and other-punishing cycle which impoverishes their life and the lives of those with whom they are in relation.
But, then, of course, we are always confronted with the possibility that this is in fact simply the way the world is. Perhaps the depressive-masochist sees something of which we all ought to be convinced: that, in the final analysis, the depths of life really are punishing and unforgiving, that the particular kinds of interpersonal ethics that mark the depressive-masochist’s life really are the best accommodation to a world so characterized, and that the emotional dynamics, while harsh, are nonetheless appropriate and, perhaps even, unavoidable for such a world.
In other words, the witness borne through our parishioners and clients to us calls up from us, and calls into question for us, the witness of our own communities, the witness borne through us to them. As pastoral caregivers, our offering care at all to depressive-masochists, care that is something more than attempting to assuage their discontent in the face of a self-other-Other relation they correctly
perceive as exhausting their life possibilities, rests on our intuition that the above conclusions need not be drawn and that, indeed, the depths of life are not adequately portrayed in such a way. Yet, to take the witness of the other seriously here is to take our own witness seriously again as well: to be called into a mutually critical conversation between the witness of self and other.”

From: Mystical Communion with an Unforgiving God

by K. Brynolf Lyon
Associate Professor of Practical Theology & Pastoral Care, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana

SOURCE: › Staff-Assets › Articles

Encounter 59.1-2 (1998)

Weltschmerz (II)

“Our society runs off of unbelievable and unattainable ideals, powered by endless desires. It is, to be tart, a useless rat race, and oftentimes a malignant one at that.

It is the realization that this is what life is which leads to Weltschmerz. I’m not claiming that everyone experiences Weltschmerz, though. Weltschmerz is a meta-emotion, a reaction to the observation of all the other emotions we experience. So it is not surprising that not everyone experiences Weltschmerz because not everyone has taken the time to objectively look at life in all its colors, pretty and ugly alike.”

darthbarracuda, a blogger at

(Thanksdarthbarracuda, I hope you don’t object to my quoting you here.)

“I’ve always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can’t shut myself out from His mercy. … Or it may be a private bargain between me and God, that if I give up this one thing I want so much, however bad I am, He won’t quite despair of me in the end.”

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited