Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Is asylum seeker dumping usury?

This is an interesting article on the parallels between commercial usury and bribing poor countries to collaborate with human rights violations. I think the latter is worse because it is dressed up as aid, and worse, perpetrated by a government that preaches good governance to neighbouring countries as a mantra. Andrew Hamilton writes:

"The Australian dumping of asylum seekers on Nauru has always seemed abusive. But a recent interview given by the new Vatican Secretary of State provides grounds for believing that it might also amount to is interesting because it situates economic activity firmly within its broader human and cultural context, and is prepared to develop a moral language that criticises economic arrangements that fail to respect human dignity.

The examples he gives of usurious conditions are ones that most people would easily identify as 'Catholic' issues, in that they have to do with life and Catholic education. But if it is usurious to impose on penurious nations conditions that abuse human dignity, the patent connection between Australian economic assistance for Nauru and that nation's participation in Australian abuse of asylum seekers is also a prima facie case of usury."

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