Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Necessities / Claudia Cadelo

Necessities / Claudia Cadelo
Claudia Cadelo, Translator: Unstated

Since that time on one of the campuses of the University of Havana when
I raised my hand to express a doubt about the Marxist categories of
necessity versus chance, the concept surrounds me. I have come to the
conclusion that human needs are complex enough that the specialists must
abrogate the right to "suppress" some of them in our lives.

We have Elaine, Cuban blogger, who assumes her grandfather doesn't need
the Internet. Sadly, she's not alone. The other day someone assured me
that for a Cuban farmer the Internet is not a priority. What is the
priority? Undoubtedly in the Middle Ages electricity was not one, and
for Cro-Magnon man what we now call "staple products" were in short
supply. Why do we insist on establishing boundaries to human welfare? I
wonder why it's a problem to assume access to the Internet as a 21st
Century human right. Whether the farmer is connected so he can study the
market for new fertilizers for the earth, or so he can chat on a
boy-meets-girl site is immaterial; what matters is his right to access
the World Wide Web and what it represents for his personal life. Any
"supposition" about what a farmer should do on Google, or in the furrow,
is called control over the free actions of another, personal choice and
individual freedom.

Of course reducing world poverty is an imperative, but I honestly don't
see the connection between that and the right of Cubans to have private
accounts for Internet access. Social inequality in the world does not
justify Raul Castro getting to decide that I can't open my Facebook
whenever I want. Isn't it obvious? Or am I going crazy?

26 April 2011

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