Would You Like to Live with Me?
By A.H. Cemendtaur

Of all the injustices that prevail in our world there is one that is particularly disheartening. It is when a person gets punished for the crimes and misdeeds of someone else. Today, there are billions of people being punished for others' sins. These people live in countries that are either war-torn, or are ruled by stifling dictatorships, or are at the brink of economic disaster. The suffering masses get the short end of the stick for being born in a place where leaders have made bad choices for them.
A lot of well-meaning folks and organizations have worked and have been working to better the lot of all those billions of people, but the task is monumental, and no matter how big the effort to tackle the task, it is often dwarfed by the problem and just gets drowned in the sea of chaos. Is there a way to break down this monstrous problem into smaller manageable tasks?
Let’s look at two people of identical educational backgrounds and equal mental capacity; imagine one to be born in the Third World and the other born in the West. You can bet the two would have completely different destinies. People living in the West have all the opportunities to use their education and skills for the betterment of themselves and the society they live in, if they so choose. A person of equal credentials, but born in the Third World is doomed to constantly fight a failing system.
Imagine a situation in which we see two people drowning: one is a philosopher, the other unskilled and unlettered. If a community is given a chance to save one of them, most communities would save the first one because of a very selfish reason: in terms of its resources the society has invested more in the philosopher, and consequently the society has more chances of benefiting from him/her.
We can seriously curtail the scale of our problem — how to provide nurturing environment to all the people in the world (and especially to those living in the Third World) — if instead of trying to change the destiny of billions of people at the same time, in a first step we resolve to provide succor only to the educated and the skillful among them. One can argue that the educated people in the Third World are already rescued, that they already live in privileged environments, but those of us who grew up in mismanaged countries know that the argument is false. People who get to live in privileged enclaves in the Third World get there because of their power or wealth. We wish to change the criteria from power or money to education.
So this becomes our thesis. Let’s create education-based membership communities in chaotic environments to provide relief to people capable of doing good to the larger society. Every such community would have a physical existence, would have a definite boundary that would be guarded, and would only let people in who would meet the community’s membership criteria. Unlike other privileged places in the Third World the membership criteria for these communities would not be based on wealth, it would be based on education. A physicist with no money in his pocket would be welcomed; a millionaire who fails the membership criteria would be turned back.
In our education-based membership community we aim to provide the following:
A safe, secure environment, free of violence.
A reliable infrastructure of roads, communication, and utilities.
A society that is open and is tolerant of different point of views.
A society that makes decisions through dialog and consensus.
Imagine such communities existing near Bogota, near Lagos, near Bombay, near Karachi, near Ho Chi Minh City. Educated people living in those cities, enervated by the inefficient systems, and making the difficult decision to migrate to a Western country for a more promising future, would now have a much easier path to take. The country instead of losing all that brain would be able to retain it. These people living together in a functional setup would prove to be a potent force capable of changing the society outside their enclave of discipline. But before we go any further let’s answer a very basic question, a question that requires brainstorming and help from a lot of people. What should be the membership criteria of these communities of ours? How do you define education? How do you verify someone’s education? How would you pick up people who would work with you to preserve the characteristics of the society you would have created in that little island and would like to expand the experiment? Let’s hear from all reading this.
The above concept is being refined at:


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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