of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will
suddenly rain down on them - will rain down in buckets. But
good luck doesn't rain down yesterday, today, tomorrow, or
ever. Good luck doesn't even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter
how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is
tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right foot, or
start the new year with a change of brooms.
The nobodies: nobody's children, owners of nothing. The
nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits,
dying through life, screwed every which way.
Who are not, but could be.
Who don't speak languages, but dialects.
Who don't have religions, but superstitions.
Who don't create art, but handicrafts.
Who don't have culture, but folklore.
Who are not human beings, but human resources.
Who do not have faces, but arms.
Who do not have names, but numbers.
Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the
police blotter of the local paper.
The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them."
- Eduardo Galeano, "The Nobodies"
"The people in a number of the stories are of the kind that
many writers have recently got in the habit of referring to as
"the little people." I regard this phrase as patronizing and
repulsive. There are no little people in this book. They are as
big as you are, whoever you are."
- Joseph Mitchell, McSorley's Wonderful Saloon
Thus begins Paul Farmer's book, "Pathologies of Power; Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor." It's an angry and a hopeful book, written with passion and authority. Farmer challenges us to face the urgent theoretical and political challenges of the 21st century on behalf of some of the poorest and most excluded people on the planet. So far, this book is fascinating.