Thebastidge: Some thoughts on Africa
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    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Some thoughts on Africa

    I've been thinking about the problem thatAfrica presents for some time, and I haven't come up with a lot of concrete ideas, but I'm sort of leaning towards two paths: "Sink or Swim" and "Imposing Some Order". Helping out without requiring any sort of guarantees, or imposing any conditions on aid, don't seem to be working too well.

    Like some some others:
    And, excuse me, but surely the last thing that Africa needs is more sodding environment? They have got environment up the ying-yang. In fact, they have got bugger all except bloody environment and most of it is wild, dangerous, parasitical and extremely detrimental to human life. What Africa needs is machine tools and lathes and tarmac roads and heavy trucks and great, big smokestack factories turning the sky black with their belched-out fumes. Given her commitment to maintaining the untamed savagery of that continent, I would judge that the most suitable award for Mrs. Maathai is a Serious Pain in the Arse Prize. People who build tarmac roads and heavy trucks no longer qualify for prizes. They only qualify for taxes, regulations and internationally-recognised opprobrium.

    ...I'm concerned that the aid we do give rarely helps, and often harms because it's geared toward helping out a disaster. Africa is not a natural disaster; all the problems there are basically caused by people, and since I don't buy into genetic reasons for incompetence (for example, all black people being of inferior intelligence because they are an inferior race), then that leaves only the possibility that their cultural practices are screwing themslves.


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