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All You Need Is Ubuntu (Says Bill Clinton)
BBC ^ | 9-28-2006 | Sean Coughlan

Posted on 09/28/2006 1:44:07 PM PDT by blam

All you need is ubuntu

You and me, me and you, lots and lots, for us to do

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News Magazine

Bill Clinton told the Labour conference to get into ubuntu. Eh? Ubuntu. That was what Bill Clinton told the Labour party conference it needed to remember this week. "Society is important because of Ubuntu."

But what is it? Left-leaning sudoku? U2's latest album? Fish-friendly sushi?

No, it's a word describing an African worldview, which translates as "I am because you are," and which means that individuals need other people to be fulfilled.

The former president, husky-voiced and down-home with the delegates, gave it a folksy flavour, describing it in terms of needing to be around others to enjoy being ourselves.

"If we were the most beautiful, the most intelligent, the most wealthy, the most powerful person - and then found all of a sudden that we were alone on the planet, it wouldn't amount to a hill of beans," said Mr Clinton.

The word comes from the Bantu languages spoken in southern Africa - and is related to a Zulu concept - "umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" - which means that a person is only a person through their relationship to others.

And it's entered the political lexicon through the political changes in South Africa.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in his book No Future Without Forgiveness, says: "Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language... It is to say, 'My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.'"

Decline

In his definition, it means that there is a common bond between people - and when one person's circumstances improve, everyone gains and if one person is tortured or oppressed, everyone is diminished.

Ubuntu chic - thong name-checking Ubuntu open-source software

Mr Tutu's identification with ubuntu has given rise to the idea of "ubuntu theology" - where ethical responsibility comes with a shared identity. If someone is hungry, the ubuntu response is that we're all collectively responsible.

There is a spiritual as well as practical dimension to this - with ubuntu reflecting the idea that we're part of a long chain of human experience, connecting us to previous and future generations.

Ubuntu has also entered the language of development and fair trade - with campaigners using the word in aid projects for Africa in ways that suggest this will be an African solution for African problems.

Ironically, says Rob Cunningham, Christian Aid's programme manager for South Africa, just as the word is taking off in Western society the values it embodies are in decline in the land of its origin.

"In my conversations with partner organisations and the communities they work with, and among older people, there's a deep sense of loss of ubuntu," says Mr Cunningham. "To me, it means sitting down in a Zulu hut in KwaZulu-Natal sharing scarce food and a brew and a few stories."

There are ubuntu education funds, ubuntu tents at development conferences, ubuntu villages, an ubuntu university - and it's now the name of an open-source operating system.

Expect to hear more from ubuntu in the future.

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Add your comments on this story, using the form below.

Ubuntu is an excellent traditional as well as modern Africa worldview. The concept has a powerful meaning and potential to transform the world into one of better understanding and respect for every human being - it is about treating others as we would to be treated. It is about a sense of sharing, belong and togetherness including the fact that no human being is an island. Thanks Bill for the timely advice to Labour and the world. Dr. Kennedy Lweya, Haywards Heath

No man is an Island and a tree cannot make a forest so the saying goes in Bini, Edo state of Nigeria. I strongly agree with former President Clinton in the use of the word Ubuntu. Let us be our brothers' keeper. The fortunate should lend a helping hand to the unfortunate. Unity is strength. Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

The essence and depth of 'ubuntu' as a concept lies in the age-long African philosophy and practice of communalism and shared objectives. You are your neighbours' keeper. With the emergence of 'western civilization' we are increasingly becoming individualistic and competitive. Capitalism and the philosophy of every person for himself is a challenge for ubuntu. We are all extricably linked and if you buy into the philosophy of ubuntu then I have your back and you have mine. I am because you are - togetherness is it. Lawrence Mba, Toronto, Canada

"Umuntu" is a concept that the west struggles to grasp. People in the West are so individualistic, whereas in Africa its all about community.In Africa you cannot seperate yourself from your community. For example, I am from Highfield, Harare Zimbabwe, and I grew up knowing about 95% of my neighbors, all the way up to six streets down. I am now a student in the USA and I hardly know the people that stay next door. Muchengetwa Bgoni, Missouri, USA

Ubuntu is at the heart of the South African truth and reconciliation process. The term Ubuntu, according to Tutu, has perhaps its equivalent in Western world: ¿I think therefore I am.¿ The Ubuntu version of this same concept would be translated as ¿I am human because I belong. I participate, I share.¿ Ubuntu embraces the worst in the other with the awareness that I would have done the same evil if I were in their shoes. It comes from the grim realisation that in as much as people are capable of doing good, there is always a danger of an evil force that works at various levels possessing people and making them do things that they would not normally do. Dawit Yehualashet, Ethiopian in Goshen, IN, USA

Wasn't it his wife who said, also from an African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Maybe it all depends how you define Ubuntu! Anthony J. Ipie, La Paz

I prefer Thatcher's folksy speech. 'There is no such thing as society.' I wonder if Clinton referenced ubuntu to Hillary after his heavy dose of it whilst president. Dylan, London

Bill Clinton says get into Ubuntu, just a second I've CD with it on in my bag. Yup here it is "Ubuntu - linux for human beings". Bill Gates ain't going to like this. Simon Monday, Godalming


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: all; bill; bj; bjclinton; classwarfare; clinton; clintonistas; demogogue; impeachedrapist; linux; nationaldisgrace; need; perjury; slimewilly; socialist; staineddress; stainedovaloffice; staythere; suckmycigar; ubentone; ubuntu; upubuntu; upunku; whatdidbergersteal; whileclintonslept; you
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1 posted on 09/28/2006 1:44:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Wow - a master politician and a Linux Geek all in one.


2 posted on 09/28/2006 1:47:00 PM PDT by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: blam

Bill Clinton is a pathetic blowhard. Sorry.


3 posted on 09/28/2006 1:47:16 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: blam

Macaca!


4 posted on 09/28/2006 1:47:36 PM PDT by petercooper (It could be worse, it could be raining.)
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To: blam
which translates as "I am because you are,"

Old African term, or simply new age psychobabble?

5 posted on 09/28/2006 1:47:44 PM PDT by My2Cents (A pirate's life for me.)
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To: blam

I thought Ubuntu way a shade of Granite Countertops.


6 posted on 09/28/2006 1:47:47 PM PDT by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: blam

"Ubuntu" literally translats to "fat, foolish interns".


7 posted on 09/28/2006 1:48:05 PM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: blam

Not surprised that these anti-americans cannot find American values and sayings to live by.


8 posted on 09/28/2006 1:48:18 PM PDT by lormand (1 - 10,000,000 people read my posts everyday)
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To: My2Cents

No matter where you go, there you are.


9 posted on 09/28/2006 1:48:37 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: blam

My God...how I hate that guy!


10 posted on 09/28/2006 1:48:40 PM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
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To: blam
So here's a guy who questions what the meaning of "is, is,

and he trys to impress the world with "ubuntu".

What an unctuous smarmy asshole!
11 posted on 09/28/2006 1:48:44 PM PDT by aShepard (Maybe the UN should donate UNICEF proceeds to the Gates Foundation, and fold!)
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To: blam

Oh yes, all the world needs is an African view to create a world that economically, socially and politically resembles Africa today.

Yup. Wouldn't that be just loverly. Can this pandering fool be any more idiotic?

(All the world's a stage and Bill thinks it needs to be a third world trashbasket.)


12 posted on 09/28/2006 1:48:52 PM PDT by OpusatFR ( ALEA IACTA EST. We have just crossed the Rubicon.)
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To: blam
Does Clinton have that spelling right?

All you need is ubuntu
13 posted on 09/28/2006 1:49:07 PM PDT by maggief
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To: theDentist

I'm more impressed with David Gregory's french....)


14 posted on 09/28/2006 1:49:27 PM PDT by advertising guy
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To: trisham

Clinton is the biggest, fattest *nothing* passing himself off as "something" I've ever seen. The fact that the left actually thinks this guy is "significant" tells how bandrupt the left is.


15 posted on 09/28/2006 1:49:34 PM PDT by My2Cents (A pirate's life for me.)
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To: blam
Ubuntu is the variant of Linux that I use. If Clinton wants to advertise an operating system that his enemies use on a regular basis, fine.

I wonder how he feels about Ubuntu Christian Edition.

Regards, Ivan

16 posted on 09/28/2006 1:49:55 PM PDT by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: blam

Oh shove it up your ubuntu.


17 posted on 09/28/2006 1:50:04 PM PDT by Antoninus (I don't vote for liberals, regardless of party.)
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To: blam

boy he can sure load up the bs - he cannot not lie


18 posted on 09/28/2006 1:50:20 PM PDT by Republicus2001
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To: blam

Great.....another "new" word for the MSM. Let's see how long it takes to make the rounds.


19 posted on 09/28/2006 1:50:28 PM PDT by Magnolia
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To: blam

What a silly bastard.


20 posted on 09/28/2006 1:50:57 PM PDT by Constitution Day (Please do not emanate into the penumbra.)
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To: blam

I think I stepped in some once.


21 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:04 PM PDT by Octar
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To: petercooper

Acuna macaca!


22 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:41 PM PDT by true_blue_texican
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To: trisham

Clinton needed Monica to be fulfilled!


23 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:52 PM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: blam
A society based on codependency. Wow, Bill. Brilliant stuff. * gag *
24 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:53 PM PDT by TChris (The United Nations is suffering from delusions of relevance.)
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To: blam
No, it's a word describing an African worldview, which translates as "I am because you are,"...
---
Great, now Bill Clinton is blaming ME for his existence.

Sorry, Bill, if I had anything to say about it you would never have been born.

And the world would be a better place.
25 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:53 PM PDT by Cheburashka (World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: My2Cents

bandrupt = bankrupt


26 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:59 PM PDT by My2Cents (A pirate's life for me.)
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To: blam; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ShadowAce

Add Clintoon's just ruining a perfectly good OS for me to the List Of Things To Hate Clinton For List.


27 posted on 09/28/2006 1:51:59 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: blam
Ubuntu? ...Ubuntu? ....I thought he said "All You Need in UUNNNGH!


28 posted on 09/28/2006 1:52:11 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (Samsonite! I was WAAAYYY off!)
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To: blam

People.



People who need people.



Are the luckiest people in the world.


29 posted on 09/28/2006 1:52:32 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Once again, raw sewage has overflowed into the arab street)
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To: Octar

It was mistranslated. It means: "I know you are but what am I", one of Bart Simpson's favorite sayings.


30 posted on 09/28/2006 1:52:33 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: blam

What a bunch of meaningless feel good Mish Mash! The guy can say less in more words than any other man ever.

Pray for W and Our Freedom Fighters


31 posted on 09/28/2006 1:52:33 PM PDT by bray (Voting for the Rats is a Deathwish)
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To: petercooper
Ubuntu Macaca!
Klaatu Barada Nikto!

32 posted on 09/28/2006 1:52:40 PM PDT by Constitution Day (Please do not emanate into the penumbra.)
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To: TChris
A society based on codependency.

That's not Clinton's legacy; that's the sociological pathology that created his presidency.

33 posted on 09/28/2006 1:53:16 PM PDT by My2Cents (A pirate's life for me.)
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To: blam
"I am because you are,"

I am a better person than you because you are a crooked sleazebag

34 posted on 09/28/2006 1:53:46 PM PDT by lowbridge (I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming, like his passengers.)
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To: OpusatFR

Sounds like African-Clinton socialism to me...


35 posted on 09/28/2006 1:53:47 PM PDT by Txsleuth (,((((((((ISRAEL)))))) Pray for the release of the Israelis.)
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To: cripplecreek

I think this is "Be Here Now."


36 posted on 09/28/2006 1:54:03 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: blam
All You Need Is Ubuntu

Kumbaya.....

37 posted on 09/28/2006 1:54:21 PM PDT by lowbridge (I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming, like his passengers.)
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To: blam

More like "cockamaymee".


38 posted on 09/28/2006 1:54:22 PM PDT by BigFinn
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To: blam
Bill Clinton told the Labour conference to get into ubuntu.

LOL. Clinton probably thought it was some kind of "sex thing".

39 posted on 09/28/2006 1:54:54 PM PDT by opus86
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To: blam
"I am because you are,"

Manipulist bullshit. My problems are caused by you. My failures are caused by you. My needs are filled by you. Fix my teeth and buy me a beer.
40 posted on 09/28/2006 1:55:12 PM PDT by true_blue_texican
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To: blam

Is that was is is?


41 posted on 09/28/2006 1:55:30 PM PDT by Unicorn (Too many wimps around.)
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To: blam

42 posted on 09/28/2006 1:55:43 PM PDT by maggief
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To: blam
O rly?
43 posted on 09/28/2006 1:55:46 PM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: My2Cents
... which translates as "I am because you are," ...

Old African term, or simply new age psychobabble?

Invented in the U.S. in this election cycle ... let's now have another round of Kumbaya m'Lud, Kumbaya ... Gag!

44 posted on 09/28/2006 1:56:06 PM PDT by Song of the South (Uncle Remus: You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far.)
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To: blam
Wasn't Ubuntu the name of the black communications officer on the original Star Trek?
45 posted on 09/28/2006 1:56:09 PM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: blam
Download it FREE!
46 posted on 09/28/2006 1:56:20 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: blam
Ubuntu !!!

Flipped out on Fox Sunday Night...tried to revise facts that everyone else knows because he said he could have caught or killed bin Laden on several occasions...

Confirmation: Bill Clinton is a head case!!! Get out the straight jacket. Reel Bubba in... He's an embarrassment to the country.

47 posted on 09/28/2006 1:56:34 PM PDT by xtinct (I was the next door neighbor kid's imaginary friend.)
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To: blam

More evidence that Clintoon has snorted WAY too much cocaine...

BTW the Zulus were utterlu ruthless in killing and enslaving other non-Zulu Africans.

He. Must think people are really dumb.


48 posted on 09/28/2006 1:56:37 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: evets

Holy moly


49 posted on 09/28/2006 1:56:48 PM PDT by Constitution Day (Please do not emanate into the penumbra.)
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To: blam

Those Africans are wise. I'm glad they've developed Ubuntu. Otherwise, there might be things like torture and genocide and slavery and civil war in Africa.

/Sarcasm


50 posted on 09/28/2006 1:57:11 PM PDT by Our man in washington
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