Monday, August 25, 2008

Money is power and power corrupts; Even social funding

Some people wonder about my ambivalence towards public moneys. Then I read an article like this one:

"I remember sitting one day in a swanky Old Montreal boardroom with a dozen more established black community leaders, Quebec's public security minister, the chief of police, and maybe the mayor - I forget - and for a few minutes, I felt that our little upstart group had arrived.

Then came the eye-opener. Some of the same community leaders who talked the talk when the cameras were rolling didn?t quite walk the walk when the hors d'oeuvres were being passed around.

Some of the same people who, five minutes earlier, yammered on about the "racist" authorities, were exchanging cheek kisses with those very authorities as they politely chewed on smoked salmon.

Soon after that meeting, our group received a relatively lucrative grant to put on a conference on racism (which was a failure), and with the money purposely left over the then-homeless group rented an office in NDG, purchased a brand new colour TV (to monitor news reports, see) and fed office hangers-on with a seemingly endless supply of pizza.

Some of us were appalled, tensions grew, people began to quit and the group eventually consumed itself.

Money can seduce as well as it can corrupt.
-Anthony Bonaparte, The Suburban
I wish that NGO's and worse yet QUANGOs(quasi- Non-governmental Organisations) didn't so often turn into 'self-licking ice-cream cones'.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster