Waylaid Dialectic

June 14, 2013

Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit and Ayn

Filed under: Aid — terence @ 10:09 am

Following from my previous effort I now have a more substantial review of Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit up at Devpolicy. This time more LRB than Game of Thrones.

There have been a couple of other reviews too: at Why Dev, and at Humansophere. Both take issue with Jonathan’s sermons in the book, Tom at Humanosphere going as far as to call them Ayn Randesque. They’re not. But it is fun to try and re-imagine sections of the book as if Rand had written them (ridiculing Rand is a pass-time of mine; she needs it).

The first thing that struck Mary-Anne was how different he looked. The bar was the same – dreary, sandy, shabby – but Jonathan was turned out in crisp, tailored clothes. A collar. Shoes of distinction. He was drinking single malt. He looked animated, fervent even. Alive!

“The goat is dead. I shot it. Tonight you call me John.”

She went to speak but he waved her into silence.

“You know what’s wrong with development…[insert 4 hour speech in here]…so you might say Easterly’s correct, but not correct enough! He’s soft…[two
more hours and now we’re well past curfew; the Australian guy from the Red Cross has passed out in a pool of his own vomit]…A is A! And M and E is for sissies!”

At first she’d wanted to object (what about Robert Chambers? Gender Mainstreaming? Jeff Sachs?) but now all she could think about was growth models: endogenous; the big push; binding constraints – you name it. His truth was so savage. So objective. So true!

She looked at the other men in the bar. Weary, worn, weak. Mediocre! She winced…she looked back into his eyes.

‘John, I’m yours!’


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