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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Destroy or Build Families to Shrink the Gap

"The blurring of public and private = the military-market nexus," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 26 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001871.html.

"Democracy starts with women," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 26 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001874.html.

The region of failed states, death, murder, and mass rape, extending from Zimbabwe to Xinjiang, is called "the Gap." It is dominated by pre-modern cultures, and those pre-modern cultures are dominated by powerful pre-modern networks: families. Families are natural conduits of corruption and engines of insurgency. They are also sources of love, protection, and support. The Bible recognizes both aspects, and swings from radically pro-family

If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

to radically liberationist

For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.

So it is no surprise that Catholic geostrategist Thomas PM Barnett doesn't know if we should shrink the gap by reinforcing families, like in America

But there is also the spiritual dimension. If the "good life" is good for us, then we ought to be able to share it with others. That's not just good business, that's good faith, and so, as highlighted yet again in an op-ed (this time David Brooks), we see more and more Beltway experts begin to realize the growing power of the faith-based community in shrinking the Gap. Evangelicals, as Brooks says, "feel less represented by the culture war-centered parachurch organizations, and better represented by congregational pastors, who have a broader range of interests and more passion for mobilizing volunteers to perform service."

You have no idea how many audience members have come up to me after talks, saying that their church spent a Sunday morning debating the moral implications of PNM's call to shrink the Gap. People are looking for ways to connect to a Global War on Terrorism that involve the "everything else" other than war, and thank God for these people because—ultimately—this is how we all win in the end.

or by fundamentally undermining them, like in America

Another great article highlighting the utility of microfinance in empowering women in traditional societies. Notice how you never read stories about microloans empowering men in the Gap, just women?


Empowering women drives democracy because empowering women is how you set in motion broadband economic development. There was no "Asian miracle" that did not involve women entering the labor force, pure and simple. We set that example, and we can trigger that development, but only if we keep women at the forefront of our development aid.