Saturday, January 19, 2008


One of the craziest aspects of capitalism is its "everything has a price" mentality. Thus an industrial court decides how much the loss of a limb or of an eye is worth in pounds and shillings. Even the loss of a partner in a divorce case is evaluated in money. This news item shows that in Kenya there is even a price put on a murder.
"The price for burning down a home: 500 shillings, or about $8. Double that to have someone hacked to death. The price list comes from a leading Kenyan human rights group that says some of the worst violence in the country's deadly disputed presidential election is the work of militias paid and directed by politicians. The government of President Mwai Kibaki and the opposition have traded blame for the killing and arson that followed Kibaki's victory in the Dec. 27 election that international observers say was followed by a rigged count. Some of the attacks took on an ugly ethnic twist, with other tribes turning on Kibaki's Kikuyu people. But the respected and independent Kenyan Human Rights Commission says there is more to it, and that it appears to involve politicians from both sides." (Yahoo News, 12 January) RD

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