Posted by Brett Zamir (18.104.22.168) on February 14, 2002 at 22:57:48:
In Reply to: replies posted by Dawud on February 14, 2002 at 21:08:08:
I am puzzled, however, why you group Baha'i activists into "politicians" and am uncertain of your reference to "usual run of Baha'i political concerns". Surely, you are most aware of Baha'i abstention from involvement in partisan politics within or between countries, working only to encourage efforts in the direction which bring unity to the political realm (without becoming involved in its methods). I realize you may be using the term politics more broadly (as I did myself in the previous postings), but I just wanted to clarify that.
As to who will vote, "An international Congress should be formed, consisting of delegates from every nation in the world, Eastern as well as Western." (Paris Talks, p. 156) The Baha'i International Community states in "Turning Point for all Nations", "We propose the appointment of a high-level Commission, with members from various regions and drawn from relevant fields, including linguistics, economics, the social sciences, education and the media, to begin careful study on the matter of an international auxiliary language and the adoption of a common script." Although the latter recommendation is targeted to the United Nations, it might conceivably be ultimately done, I imagine, through the Parliaments of the world as I mentioned, through the Inter-Parliamentary Union?. The important thing is that it is both representative and enforceable. As to political manipulation, if the agreement were agreed by Parliaments throughout the world, this would seem to ensure a higher degree of autonomy in making the decision. In any case, I believe the peoples of the world, once they can articulate their desire for a world auxiliary language, by first being made aware of its possibility, will insist on some just and lasting decision being made. We're not to that point yet, so I say let's get to that stage first.
You are certainly right on the difficulty of learning Esperanto. I should learn it. Grass roots and example certainly can make a difference. But again, I don't believe that is sufficient to convince everybody, as would a global enforceable decision, of the immediate necessity of learning it. I'm just saying, let's not forget to work on that political angle. As to "usual run of Baha'i political concerns" being a "side issue", if you mean social principles such as world government, economic cooperation, etc., I would point out how wonderfully these do bring people together who wouldn't otherwise.
Although you may be right that technology can and even should help us overcome barriers for language, for practical reasons, for simplicity, and unity, I think it is preferable to have no need to use translators. As 'Abdu'l-Baha states, "To be able to talk with a member of any race and country without requiring an interpreter, how helpful and restful to all!" (Paris Talks, p. 156)
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