Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 3a - Here Begins a New World.
page 247

      In order to proof my point, that is, to prove the urgency and the profundity of the challenge, I talked about my experiences in Africa again.
      I suggested, that since AIDS has became a major crisis, it is not important anymore to haggle over how it was developed. I told the audience that it is more import to focus on how the crisis can be resolved, and the urgency of getting on with that.
      Then I told the audience about a conversation that I had with a woman in Sub-Saharan Africa, who was dying of AIDS. She had been a university teacher in a small university in Zimbawe. I related her story to the audience.
      She had asked us why the world was so callously closing its eyes to the tragedy in Africa. She had said "in America and other countries people have access to medication that helps extend their life by twenty or thirty years. This means, that medical help is possible, but why won't we be allowed to have access to the life-saving medicines? We have nearly thirty million people dying of the disease. Are we not human beings, too? Why won't we be allowed to create the medicines for ourselves? Aren't we human beings with the same human needs like everybody else?"
      I told them that Tony had begun to talk to the woman about patents and intellectual property rights.
      She had waved him off. "We know all this," she had said. "Still, we are human beings. Why won't the world treat us like human beings? The intelligence that has created these drugs is the intelligence of humanity, the humanity that we all share. It cannot be bought as property, and the fruits thereof be withheld. Sure, an inventor needs to be rewarded, but not with the power to strangle humanity and commit countless millions of people to death. That's worse than murder. That's worse even than war crimes. That's commercial genocide. But why is the whole world supporting this genocide? Is there no shred of humanity left in people?"
      I told them that the woman began to cry at this point. "We are human beings," she had said with tears flowing from her. "We should have the right to benefit from the intelligence of the human species, and from what its development can accomplish. The products of this intelligence belong to the whole world, not just to a few people in a few countries, who can pay the blackmail prices that these inhuman monsters demand."
      I told the assembly the I had agreed with the woman.
      "So, why can't we get access to what is needed to save our lives, or at least prolong them for a few decades, so that we can help our children to grow up?"
      She had told us that there were three million children in Africa that have been orphaned by AIDS. I told the audience that there had been no need for her to tell us about the orphans. We had seen them.
      "How can you expect our children survive on their own in a world in which adults can barely survive?" she had asked us. "They struggle, but many don't survive long."
      I told the audience that I was ashamed to reveal to the woman that it was the fondi's policy for the depopulation of Africa that her death agony was a part of. It also told the audience that I did tell the woman about my mission to find a way to convince the world to commit itself to nurse Africa as a whole, back to life, and to turn it into a healthy continent, and to develop that continent into the beautiful human place that it has the potential to be. I related to audience that I had told the woman about my plan to get the entire world to contribute one percent of its annual product, a mere four-hundred billion dollars annually, for the rebuilding, and the further development, of Africa.
      I told the audience that this personal commitment to this vital goal was a commitment that the woman from Africa could understand perfectly well, and that she was glad to hear about it. I told the audience that this commitment gave her hope that she might succeed in starting a new sea change in the attitude of people around the world, towards AIDS in Africa. It even gave her more than just a little pride in that she, by the weight of her tragedy, might be able make a difference in that larger effort, which came out of her confronting me with her story of an unnecessary, great, human tragedy.
      I also told the audience what I didn't tell the woman, that Asia, India, and Russia were on the fast track of superceding Africa as the AIDS center of the world, which becomes an even greater threat to humanity than the disease creating caldron than Africa has already become, which humanity has no intention at the present time of shutting down by reversing the process that caused it.

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
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