1. At a public talk someone asks you, "okay, I understand what
you reject, but I wonder what are you for? What institutions
do you favor that will be better than what we have for the economy,
polity, gender, race, ecology, or whatever you have vision for?
I support public-funded institutions that promote equity and justice.
2. Next, someone at the same event asks, "Why do you do what
you do? That is, you are speaking to us, and I know you
write, and maybe you organize, but why do you do it? What do
you think it accomplishes? What is your goal for your coming
year, or for your next ten years?
I write because it is the most potent tool available to me at the moment to make a change in people’s lives or to make them think differently. I am talented as a writer and have a forum to air my views. I do not have political power, and am not rich, but I do know that my writing can make a difference. My goal is to raise more critical debate on the bloated development business and to ask the uncomfortable questions about whether or not the development industry serves any purpose at all, apart from providing highly renumerative employment to incompetent professionals. My book, Missionaries, Mercenaries and Misfits (AuthorHouse, 2008) has already started this process. I intend to take it further.
3. You are at home and you get an email that says a new
organization is trying to form, internationally, federating
national chapters, etc. It asks you to join the effort. Can
you imagine plausible conditions under which you would say,
"yes, I will give my energies to making it happen along with
the rest of you who are already involved?" If so, what are
those conditions? Or – do you think instead that regardless
of the content of the agenda and make up of the
participants, the idea can’t be worthy, now, or perhaps ever.
If so, why?
To be honest, I am asked quite a lot to be part of efforts and am increasingly saying no, mainly because they are voluntary, do not pay, and take a lot of my time, without accomplishing much. I would rather do what I do best, which is write.
4. Do you think efforts to organize movements, projects, and
our own organizations should embody the seeds of the future
in the present? If not, why not? If yes, can you say what, very
roughly, you think some of the implications would be for an
organization you would favor?
Can I skip this question?
5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others
did not answer it?
People are suffering from information overload. I almost did not answer this, but since you used the word please, felt I had to