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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Has WAIS Become Too Philosophical?
Created by John Eipper on 09/03/18 6:19 AM

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Has WAIS Become Too Philosophical? (Henry Levin, USA, 09/03/18 6:19 am)

The WAIS discussions have gotten somewhat narrow and strangely philosophical. I noticed this in the exchange on the disposition of Franco's remains. That discussion turned into whether one of the authors supported Hugo Chávez and why. But given the magnitude of the crisis in Venezuela, shouldn't we be discussing the plight of a nation and how we as "international scholars" would try to address it politically and economically?  Shouldn't we be confronting the death of a nation and the threats to the lives of its population?

A similar argument can be made for what has been happening in Syria, Yemen, and among the huge numbers of refugees from these countries and from Africa who are seeking to live elsewhere out of desperation or necessity. How about the Palestinians and the cut in support by Trump for UNRWA?

My impression is that among a group of international experts we have put so little discussion into these subjects while delving into religion, philosophy, where a monster should be interred, and so on. (And I am as guilty as others.) We have ignored or treated lightly some of the extant threats to civilization (even climate change) and waxed eloquently on those with no great concern to the planet outside of our seminar discussions. How do we show that we have something productive to say about the real crises confronting our world?

Perhaps we can get started in educating all of us on Venezuela, its present situation, and alternative futures, and what must be done to reconstruct what was once a vibrant society. Isn't this more central than to understand who was Chávez and who is Maduro?  Are we only interested in history, or are we truly concerned with a positive role in addressing and bettering international, world affairs.

JE comments:  it's healthy to reflect on the WAIS mission.  Henry Levin asks, why we don't use our expertise to address and (ideally) solve the grave crises facing the world?  Henry's appeal reminds me of Boris Volodarsky's repeated calls for WAIS to become less reflective and more proactive.  Are we fiddling while Rome (Caracas, Damascus, the entire planet) burns?

Let's return to Venezuela, and look at that nation's alternative futures.  We are blessed with a colleague on the front lines, Hank Levin's cuñado (brother-in-law) Nacho Soler.  Perhaps we could begin by reviewing Nacho's "four scenarios" post from June 2017.  As far as I can tell, things have gotten only worse in the last 14 months.

http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=114760&objectTypeId=85548&topicId=91


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