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Aisling means 'vision' or 'dream' in the Gaelic language. Three principles sum up the essence of the magazine: rooted in Celtic spirituality and culture, living in right relationship, working for transformation. These principles also underpin our lives on Inis Mór, Aran Islands, off Ireland. The vision or dream is of a transformed society and a transformed practice of spirituality based on right relationship – right relationship with the Divine, with nature and with each other. This is a unique magazine. It is produced by voluntary labour, contains no advertising and is produced on computers at our own home.

We, Tess and Dara, are a married couple and we co-edit the magazine with the help of a few volunteers. We have been producing the magazine since 1991. We have built up a wide network of friends worldwide who contribute articles and other materials. Some of the material in the AISLING will not be found elsewhere. We are open to contact and visits from our readers and can offer fairly basic guest accommodation. If you enjoy the back issues of this magazine, which are available free on this web site, please consider subscribing and receive up-to-date editions via the internet. See Subcriber Letter.

Celtic DRUID blessings,

Tess Harper and Dara Molloy
The AISLING Magazine, 'An Charraig', Mainistir, Inis Mór, Aran Islands, County Galway, Éire Phone: +353-(0)99-61245 - Fax: + 353-(0)99-61245 - E-mail:

Uimhir 14
Celtic Roots

Live Issues World World Bank
Enemy of the Poor
by Pierre Galand, former Secretary General of Oxfam Belgium, who has resigned, after failed working groups set up between NGOs and the World Bank broke down in collapse; Pierre resigned and submitted his open letter of resignation to LE SOIR newspaper, PARIS, France. We here at Aisling reprint the letter in full.

"New World Order"
by Bryan Adrian

by Bryan Adrian

by Bryan Adrian

Civilization stood up
but fell
to its knees
and radioactive
free agents
unruly fleas

Sewers and streams weep
spewing out
tears run in rapids
and pools
recombinant militia

Earthquakes and ozone
knock at the door
of the pretty
plate glass houses

Plagues and pollution
at the bodies
of the poor

A struggling champion
of an unlucky race
he asks no pity
as he lifts his face

to the walls
of the crystal city
(then dances madly
as his heart
swells and bursts)

Birds fly at random
in frenzied circles
heedless to the
muted songs
of the seasons

They summon
their Phoenix
while against air
their wings chop
and smash into bits
when their beaks

Finger deformed
mutant monkeys
unable to swing
from trees
now lie on their backs

and stare at the moon
their psyches crack

A woman covered
by miles of misfortune
curses the rulers
that bred
her untreatable cankers

A rib dislodges
from her sunken chest
and falls before her
in an ironic jest

She laughs at the lessons
packed into holy books
"woman be submissive,
and do what you're told to"
("and don't give me that look!")

"A very high price,"
she snickers
as she picks off a tendon
"wouldn't it be great
if justice arrived late"
(better late than never)

The cult of the consumer
makes religion a joke
as Trade Lords continue
to covet
their throne
"uber alles"

Nature has to die now
that's the toublesome thing
she doesn't give a damn now
of her favourite spots
to sing

Not as great liberator
do our industries progress
but as subjugator
and controller
a replicating pest

(what more
could we expect
when we dirty
our own nest?)

Sometimes bold prophets
women and men
drop into our pockets
the forces of Zen
unleashing the divine
through telepathic transfusions

the Old Order
much much more
than the
nuclear pensions
and immuno-suppressions
left selfishly
at our door

If badly outnumbered
these prophets are snapped
in two
eternal slumber
reaching a hand out
to each "me" and "you"
(bye bye Osis and Isiris)

Contagions and canisters
modern mushrooms
of death
within the Body
and without

Wise men say
with a tinge of doubt
that technology
is the loom
of our doom
weaving its way
through the tapestry
of misdirected inventions

Neither our
free market jockeys
nor the famed horsemen
of ancient lore
can stop
the Machine

It will defeat
he plays
his own team.

BRYAN ADRIAN, an American, is living in New York City. He is a freelance journalist, teacher and writer.


Inner World
Caught on your Sore Spots
by Kate Carter

"Irish Monks and the Papacy"
by Joseph F.T. Kelly

Tess Harper
Dara Molloy
"Archaeology of Ideas"

Commodification Gone Cuckoo
by Dara Molloy
Social Analysis

The Stench of Development
by Gustavo Esteva

Barbie and Bulimia
by Yvonne Burgess

Irish Issues
Raymond Crotty - an by Freda Rountree
appreciation 32

by Aaron Falbel

Alternative Genesis
by Gillies Macbain


The AlSLING Quarterly is edited, typeset, printed and published on the Aran Islands, by a group of people within the Aisling
Arann network, on the Celtic feasts Imboic, Bealtaine, Lghnasa,Samhain (in the months February, May, August,

The AISliNG Quarterly, lnism�r, Arainn, Co. na Gaillimhe, Eire.
Phone / Fax: 099-61245

The quarterly is non-profit making. Its sole income is from subscriptions, sales and the support of friends.
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Issue. World [ scanned article ]


Open letter to the Co-president of World Bank - NGO Working Group, from Pierre Galand, Secretary General of Oxfam Belgium, published by Le Soir 11 March 1994.

PIERRE GALAND, as Secretary General of Oxfam Belgium, spent three years dial with The World Bank in a working group setup between NGOs and the Bank. His hope was that the Bank could be influenced to change its Structural Administration policies. Now he has resigned. Below is his open letter of resignation.

"After having taken part in a dialogue with the Bank over three and a half years in the NGO Working Group, I now want to give my resignation to the Group as it appears clear to me that there is no space for manoeuvre in which to make the Bank more humane.

l am retiring before the end of my period in office because I refuse to be the Banks accomplice. I refuse to support this indispensable and regrettable inevitability preached by the Bank and I prefer to take part in the strengthening of organisations of landless peasants, of street children, of reception centres for the many women who refuse to become prostitutes in Asian cities, and trade unions who are fighting against the theft of their resources and the dismantling of their production capacity.

At just a few months from the 5Oth Anniversary of the UN and the BRETTON WOODS institutions, I wish to withdraw both from the Working Group which brings together NGOs, and the WORLD BANK, as well as from the steering group. I am forced to take this step because of concern for intellectual honesty and honesty towards the numerous friends with whom I work in countries of the so-called "Third World". I had hoped that, working together in the midst of this group, we might have moved some way towards co- development, taking account of the fate of the most deprived of peoples. This hope was founded on the fact that the Bank has learned to make excellent analyses, that it is able to speak about important issues - the priority of the struggle against poverty, the need to protect the environment. The Bank goes even further, defending the principle of human rights and the rights of minorities and exerts pressure on governments in this context. The Bank is even capable of putting forward very interesting proposals for what would be useful for the development of this or that group or people.

The question therefore is: why do such handsome speeches accompany such scandalous practices, because the practice of the Bank is to condition its interventions to the socially criminal policies of strict adjustment. The bank is very well informed on the state of poverty, of the many impoverished and of the abandonment of populations on our planet. That being the case, are we dealing with purely cynical and deceitful policies?

Now, I note the condition deepening every day, that hunger kills surely than the worst of wars, that the neglect of the sick without care, of illiterate people, of the homeless, of those out of work are increasing at an unprecedented rate and the remedies of the WORLD BANK are poisoned medicines which this process only deepens.

In my soul and my conscience I must say to you "Enough". You have stolen the legitimate reasoning of development NGOs on eco-development, on poverty, on popular participation. At the same time your structural adjustment policies and your activities hasten the "social dumping" of the South by forcing them to emerge without protection onto the global market. Thanks to you and your colleagues in the IMF, multinational enterprises are able to relocate because you are creating conditions of production at a reduced social cost.

The result of your joint IMF/ WORLD BANK intervention is translated into a consistent pressure on entire economies for more competitiveness, higher performance.

[...] In this "fin de siecle" period, growth and competition have become means by which minorities can become disproportionately richer faster and which no longer have a development effect either in co-operation or redistribution.

Inequalities are more and more glaring, the hungry are legion, they are dying without provoking revolt and indignation.

As long as the WORLD BANK maintains its senseless selection of structureal adjustment policies, I think we will all have to mobilise both ourselves and the greatest number of victims of this type of intervention so that we can do battle agianst it.

[...] My wishes for the WORLD BANK, on the eve of this anniversary, will be simple: 50 years --- that's enough. I consider you as one of the chief enemies of the poor and the rights that are defended in the heart of the United Nations.

You are today the most incredible and extraordinary public relations machine which imposes on the world a disastrous sense of inevitability as if development were necessarily reserved only to the few, and poverty inevitable for those no longer able to perform or compete.

The revival of a development economy, one which promotes social justice through the access by the greatest number to an income from work, imposes on us an urgent need to FIND ANOTHER INSTITUTION with which to replace you, so that people can take part in and benefit from actions which will give them back their dignity, food, self-sufficiency and the right to diversity in co-development.

[...] World Bank intervention is translated into a consistent pressure on entire economies for more competitiveness, higher performance. Such an objective is itself only reached by ever increasing pressure on governments to economise on and reduce social rights which are judged to be too expensive. This means that the only governments who are good students in your eyes are those who are prepared to prostitute their economies to the people holding the reins of multinationals and big international finance groups.

All this is happening as though the reasoning of the Bank, in favour of the sacrifices of structural reconversion put forward as necessary for economic and market globalisation, were in some way the indispensable "crossing of the desert" on the way to the Eden of development.

Now, what I see is that Africa is dying ... but that the Bank is growing richer; Asia and Eastern Europe see themselves plundered of their riches ... and the Bank supports the IMF and GATT initiatives which authorise this plunder both material and intellectual. Latin America, like other continents, sees its children used as a manpower reserve or worse still, as a reserve of human organs for the new transplant trade with North America. I deduce from all this that the Bank is, for most of us, simply the object of a very big misunderstanding because, whatever it might say, the Bank is the instrument, at the service of orthodoxy, of a model of growth based on competition, not on co-operation. Its task is to ensure that all, small and large, can participate in the great global market. Very rarely and, in any case not today, has growth meant "development"

After having taken part in a dialogue with the Bank over three and a half years in the NGO Working Group, I now want to give my resignation to the Group as it appears clear to me that there is no space for manoeuvre in which to make the Bank more humane.

I am retiring before the end of my period in office because i refuse to be the Bank's accomplice. I refuse to support this [...]

Open letter to the Co-president of World Bank - NGO Working Group, from Pierre Galand, Secretary General of Oxfam Belgium, published by Le Soir 11 March 1994.

1.Non-government organisations. 2.The World Bank and The International Fund, with GATT coming later.

In memory of Dolores Ann Adrian

‘Speak Truth to Power’ Poetry Series, AISLING

(featured writer, Bryan Adrian, below)

The Poet’s Role in a Technocratic Society with Gerald Stern

Gerald Stern, Poet and Author, discusses with Chris Hedges how poets and their poetry have lost their voice to “speak truth to power” in this digital society.