Return to Home Page

February 25, 2013

Michael Moynihan on the political contradictions of travel guidebooks

“There is an almost Orientalist presumption [on the part of travel guidebooks] that the citizens of places like Cuba or Afghanistan have made a choice in rejecting globalization and consumerism. From the perspective of the disaffected Westerner, poverty is seen as enviable, a pure existence unsullied by capitalism. [Lonely Planet: Cuba co-author Brendan] Sainsbury refers to Cuban food as “organic” and praises the Castro brothers’ “intellectual foresight [that] has prompted such eco-friendly practices as nutrient recycling, soil and water management and land-use planning.” Meager food rations and the 1950s cars that plod through Havana’s streets, however, don’t represent authenticity or some tropical version of the Western mania for “artisanal” products, but, rather, failed economic policy. It’s as much of a lifestyle choice as female circumcision is in Sudan.”
–Michael Moynihan, “Leftist Planet,” Foreign Policy, Sept/Oct 2012

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


One Response to “Michael Moynihan on the political contradictions of travel guidebooks”

  1. DEK Says:

    A traveler has the opportunity to see how societies work where things we take for granted are not the case: where private property is not secure, or private economic activity cannot proceed without government permission, or self-defense or the free expression of unpopular views is not allowed, even when this is done for high-minded reasons or with democratic consent. The freedom and prosperity of the West is the result of getting a number of things right and a traveler has the opportunity to see what happens in places where one or more of those things weren’t gotten right.

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Richard Silver: Very nice thought! It’s true that nowadays the world is changing...

JC: Couldn’t agree more… instead of worrying about facebooking or...

Roger: I love your attitude, Paul & Karen.

Stephen: A compelling argument for the importance of remembering to live in the moment...

katie houston: why don’t they sell their souls to God and get a bigger and better...

Anna Hall: Hi, I have recently found my mum’s journals from a couple of trips she...

HHC: Why should Canadians allow our flag to be used; considering that action is known...

Adam: Hey Hardcore, I like your style; I’m a fellow vagabond and dirtbag: if...

Chris Plough: Damien – thanks man! Where did you backpack through?

Margie: I couldn’t agree more. Ours is not really a happy society when work comes...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Just go!
When adversity strikes, two things are under your control…
Why change is a beautiful thing and why you should travel right now
Vagabonding Case Study: Paul Farrugia & Karen Sargent
Considering a career break? The time is now: Meet. Plan. Go.
Mike Spencer Bown on the dark side of travel and technology
A week in Nepal
The Worst Tourists in the World
Vagabonding Case Study: Johnny Isaak
7 paradises for 7 loves


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts