I argue that there are cross-cultural grounds for making political and moral judgements, but that they depend on empirical analyses of the situations in which the people concerned live and of the possibilities within them. I argue this despite the possibility of incommensurable concepts and scales of comprehension. We depend on the eliciting of local concepts or we are not anthropologists. But every part of this argument is disturbed by disconnections, or time-lapses in which the situations have changed beyond the terms of the analysis. So this argument is a comedy of aspiration, a story of learning to catch up and changing my own conceptions while never keeping up
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