mikehearn: You mention
a) High level programming languages are a good thing.
b) C is *the* language for sharing code on linux/OSX/cygwin/solaris/etc.
In the case of Python a lot of time is put into wrapping C libraries. Indeed I believe this is the wrong way to do it. I also believe the other way around is possible, but very hard perhaps, and expensive. Instead of wrapping C libraries: translate Python to C and use the C compilers.