Ross Coggins:

The Development Set

 

Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet
I'm off to join the Development Set;
My bags are packed, and I've had all my shots
I have travellers checks and pills for the trots!

 

The Development Set is bright and noble
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
Although we move with the better classes
Our thoughts are always with the masses.

 

In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations
We damn multi-national corporations;
injustice seems easy to protest
In such seething hotbeds of social rest.

 

We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African drought,
We face each issue with open mouth.

 

We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution
Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.

 

The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet;
We use swell words like "epigenetic"
"Micro", "macro", and "logarithmetic"

 

It pleasures us to be esoteric
Its so intellectually atmospheric!
And although establishments may be unmoved,
Our vocabularies are much improved.

 

When the talk gets deep and you're feeling numb,
You can keep your shame to a minimum:
To show that you, too, are intelligent
Smugly ask, "Is it really development?"

 

Or say, "Thats fine in practice, but dont you see:
It doesnt work out in theory!"
A few may find this incomprehensible,
But most will admire you as deep and sensible.

 

Development set homes are extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
Eye-level photographs subtly assure
That your host is at home with the great and the poor.

 

Enough of these verses - on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just pray god the biblical promise is true:
The poor ye shall always have with you.


 

Ross Coggins är en f d collegelärare i religionshistoria, f.d. missionär i Indonesien och tidigare knuten till USA:s utrikesdepartement som specialist på hungerepidemier. Coggins  skrev ovanstående dikt 1976, men mycket har inte förändrats sedan dess, utom att vi numera även har ännu ett "set" av kringflygande "experter på mänskliga rättigheter". De kommer från olika länder men tillhör I regel samma klass - den liberala vänsterns motsvarighet till det kapitalistiska jetsettet.

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