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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 607)...

    In two previous questions you have hinted at a dissatisfaction with the goals (or execution thereof) of the Peace Corps. Could you expand on this topic a little more, specifically what is it about the Peace Corps that promotes a Taker society? could the Peace Corps be redesigned to better adhere to the Leaver societies described in your work? I am not in the Peace Corps myself; my friend is considering joining soon. I believe her personal goals are well-intentioned but I've always had a vague sense that the PC has an underlying agenda without any facts to back that claim up -- perhaps you could shed some light on my own intuitions?

    ...and the response:

    The point of my comments is not to express "dissatisfaction" with the Peace Corps. I've merely tried to point out that it serves as a sort of peaceful and even well-intentioned advance army of invasion. It brings aid intended to enhance "development," to bring its recipients up to our standards--to bring them blessings that will make them just a little bit more like us. Naturally this involves helping them see things the way we do. No one specifically crafted this "underlying agenda." It is rather the underlying agenda of our culture itself: there is one right way for people to live (our way) and everyone must be made (or helped) to live the way we do. This naturally (and by happy accident) serves to provide us with expanded markets for the products we make. The Peace Corps wasn't specifically created to pave the way for the arrival of McDonalds and Coca-Cola, but it does serve this purpose nonetheless.

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