Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Dark Continent

Once again Billy finds the most wonderful column...Kevin Myers has a thing or two to say about Africa and our futile attempts to save it.

Whilst Billy uses the following quote to illustrate the matter...
"The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a priapic,
Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him."


...I had a different quote in mind.
"How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today,
for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence
and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with
comparably jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel
better, which is a prime reason for so much charity. But that is not good
enough."


The root of philanthropy...I am not certain that such kindness is always a good idea. Look at what welfare has done to an entire generation of Americans. I cannot help but compare post-war Japan and its absolutely devastated population and its recovery to that of Africa and its constant begging for more-more-more.

It will never be enough.

That single concept seems to not quite get through to most "givers". They don't intend to stop taking - not ever. They're smarter than that. The only thing that brings a society up from its knees is work. Has India the same caste system of old? Or is it fading as the work and the income it brings edits hearts and minds?

My own employer is looking to Africa as the new India - a place to get cheap labor for a time. But the entry fees are staggering. Have you any idea of the grift in place there? I can hardly imagine it, myself. Every move, every purchase comes with an unwritten tax. Still, I have to hope that earned income will edit their hearts and minds, too.

But I doubt it. I sincerely do. Because all it will take is a machete and a man with a bit more ambition showing up at an investor's residence. It'll be an interesting time, I think. And I suspect a profitable time for folks like these. At least someone is profiting from investments there. The rest of us are merely spinning our wheels.

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