Miriam Leitao at PostGlobal

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. She is also a commentator on Globo TV Network and runs her own blog, www.miriamleitao.com, hosted at Globo online at www.oglobo.com.br. She was awarded Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2005. Close.

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. more »

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A Farewell to Isolation

There is no longer such thing as an isolated community. Even uncontacted Amazon tribes will feel the fallout from global decisions.

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All Comments (8)

Nylson Brazil:

I was walking around here and stopped a little. For the first time I agree with you, although you are a PIG's writer. Why don't you write something like this in Brazilian media. Your bosses in Brazil constrain you?

Have a nice weekend.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

Está realmente faltando ao mundo, lideranças que se preocupem com a vida de mais de 6,5 bilhões de seres humanos que habitam o nosso planeta.
Está havendo muito individualismo, demagogia e pouca credibilidade na competencia das pessoas que nos governam. A corrupção está se alastrando imediatamente e os país que formam o G-15 poderiam se unir para planejar e eleger prioridades para o Mundo.
O capital especulativo internacional está cada vez mais cartelizado e os governos cada vez mais individualizados e enfraquecidos.
Os países do BRIC poderiam e podem muito bem, se unirem em uma pauta de interesse da Humanidade. Está faltando isso e urgentemente. O mundo tem que conservar as conquistas e corrigir os erros.
FMI e ONU não podem deixar que a especulação perversa, continue concentrando riquezas e criando mais pobreza.

Anonymous:

There is no longer such thing as an isolated community. Even uncontacted Amazon tribes will feel the fallout from global decisions.

gosh.. i just quest myself how long you was conservated in a time capsule. i think its around 60 years. from a late 60'ens the world was starting to became a "global village". and you start to talk about after the world became a "global room" back in the 90'ens.

José Farenzena:

I totally agree with Mrs. Leitão in her commentary when she pointed that Amazon rainforest´s destruction can not be tolerad even though some countries are suffering with food shortages and mainly with high prices..

As a Brazilian, and a conscious citizen, I would like to emphasize Brazilian grain harvest area has been growing substantially in comparison with cultivated area growth.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

It is always soul-elevating to read Miriam Leitao on Post Global.

She cites, among so many other heart-warming facts that: "[The tribes whose presence on Btazilian soil has recently come to the notice of modern observers for the first time ever] have never had a contact with what we call modern civilization. However, our destiny is part of their destiny... the Amazon is so vast and 80% of its rainforest area is still preserved"

Indeed, our destiny is part of their destiny just like our past IS (not WAS) like their present. There is something infinitely valuable to cherish in their mode of life although the choice of whether they would prefer integration in modern society of the preservation of their qay of life will, eventually, be theirs to make.

I feel extremely depressed when I read, in Asia Times' otherwise highly-illuminating analyses of global events, the narrative of an analyst using the pseudonym Spengler, who argues (often in flagrant contradictions that he himself fails to see) about the inevitability of most of the trends of 'war-by-excessive-pro-creation' being countered by 'advanced civilizations' through 'war-without-end' being inflicted on these dark 'fundamentalist/fascist' forces through superior and infinitely destructive modern technological means. Spengler draws a parallel with the mendacious brutality of the Crusades (which Gibbon described as 'the uprooting of Europe and its being flung in the face of Islam, in return for which favour, Islam gave Western Europe the translated Latin and Greek works of erudition of History's past masters of science, along with the science of Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and Al Khwarizmi as well as the Hindu zero with the decimal number systemdeveloped by the Arab and Muslim scholars). Spengler justifies the barbarity we are wirnessing today with the argument that, in History, many peoples and languages and cultures have been wiped off the surface of our planet earth in an inexorable fatalism of voilence that is the inescapable lot of humanity.

"Not so fast, not so fast!" seems to be saying Miriam Leitao, with infinite confidence in man's wisdom.

Yes, Miriam, humanity has learnt and will continue to learn from their experience and from, the wisdom acquired, construct a more fulfilling future without thoughtlessly throwing away what is valuable in our past, even if, on the surface, it appears to make make us vulnerable. Nowhere is this more pertinent than in the area of 'religion' or, more accurately, 'spiritualism' or 'a sense of wonder and respect (not shock and awe) at the transcendental'.

Miriam speaks of Brazil and makes reference to the global food crisis and biofuels: she could have reminded readers how Argentina used to be among the richest countries of the world when it was producing a very substantial proportion of the world's total wheat demand and how it became pauperised by the debt trap of the international financial institutions for which Claudio Loser and his team, rather than the Executive Directors of the IMF/WB/IADB, had to pay the consequences. In Africa, despite the past erratic ways of Malawi's President Mutharika, one is compelled to admit that his country had now become self-sufficient in food production thanks to the fact that, as did another nemesis of the international financial institutions (IFIs) in his time, Mahathir Mohamad, Mutharika had had the courage to defy the policies of the IFIs.

I read, yesterday, maybe in an opinion column published in WAPO itself, a line that is worth repeating here whose argument was approxiamtely expressed as follows but was phrased in much more refined terms: " We have always believed in the wisdom of the crowd. But the book 'The Wisdom of the Crowd' was writen by one man, not a team"

To conclude this piece that, in good proportion has been an elegy of the Latin American and kindred Developing Country aspirations ans values, let me add this thought. I bristled recently at Eboo Patel's enthusiasmic endorsement, in WAPO's On Faith forum, of the proposition that Tony Balir should lead the nascent Interfaith Dialogue iamed at 'uniting all the world's great religions'. Why could not the Latin American Paulo Coelho (or the Asians Mahathir Mohamad or A.J.P. Abdul Kalam), instead, lead that endeavour?

Wang Chengde:

We do not have the right bring"original inhabitants" to the so-called "modern", as they have no right to let us return to the "original." This is the "life choice."China BeiJing

bala srini:

GLOBALISATION IS MISUNDERSTOOD AS AMERICANISATION OF THE WORLD.I AM IN TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE UNIVERSALITY YET UNIQUNESS OF INDIVIDUAL NATIONALITY UNDER ONE UMBRELLA.POST 9/11 THE WORLD HAS WOKEN UP TO ITS INSTANT INTERCONNECTIVITY AND ITS INTER-DEPENDENCY IN DEALING WITH THE GLOBAL ISSUES OF ECOLOGY,ENERGY AND HEALTH AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE HUMANITY.BUT WHAT REALLY DIAPPOINTS ME IS THAT THE UNITED NATION A GLOBAL BODY TO ASSESS,AKNOWLEDGE AND ACT ON ALL THESE PROBLEMS EFFECTIVELY,PRODUCTIVELY AND ABOVE ALL TRANSPARENTLY IMPARTIALLY IS ENDIND PATHETICALLY DEFECTIVE.IS IT BECAUSE IT HAS IRREVOCABLY BECOME THE STOOGE OF EXCLUSIVE WESTERN INTEREST LIKE THE OTHER TWO INSTITUTIONS;WORLD BANK AND I.M.F.

Whitney:

Globalism is America's way of exporting freedom and wealth. That is surely a good thing. But just like any change in policy there are risks. If too many jobs are shipped out of America or any other modern nation too fast the economy will suffer creating an even larger ripple affect. I read this in Freimans new book Current Events, Conservative Outcomes so I cannot take all the credit. If old world jobs are shipped off at a faster rate than new world jobs are created its a big problem. The willingness of countries to follow the capitalistic model is telling of the success it has had. This free economy and the success it brings also makes it harder for the socialist and autocrats of the world to keep there foothold. This is how you spread freedom without having any warfare. I just pray that we are not changing things too much too fast.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.