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Hearts and minds

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The basic assumption in the West is that the rest of the world is comprised of savages, barbarians and ignoramuses and that the West has the moral obligation to civilise them. Not least by bringing them to God, the West's God of the New Testament of course. Hence the missionaries of every shape and form. 

THREE CUPS OF TEA by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, 350 pp, 2007 Penguin paperback. Available at Asia Books leading bookshops, 495 baht

From the conquistadors to Mother Teresa, they spread throughout the planet, teaching the benighted peoples to read and write, the difference between right and wrong, to live the good life, to improve their minds, and in the process uplift the community about them.

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