Because Zambia is poor.
To become a strong country, find a number of smaller countries and start killing their populations until they let you extract their resources and ship them back to your country. Eventually, leave the responsibility for killing people to local representatives that you give a bunch of guns and a tiny cut of the resource profits to. If the locals rebel, and look like they will be successful, find the strongest rebel and offer him the same deal. If he refuses, kill him, and go to the next strongest rebel.
Leave $1 in the country for every $100 you take out of it, and since you're leaving it with the elites that you created, they're just going to spend it on imports anyway.
Isn't that what the global south is for?
Kicked out of their home country, yet they thrive.
At least, that's what I've been told.
Taiwan has very emphatically not declared independance.
Of course I fucking mean the former British empire trading post. Do you have a relevant point to make, or are you just desperate to show that you've heard of foreign countries?
Keep in mind that things don't have an intrinsic price. Copper is worth a lot because it can be used for electrical and electronic machinery. If the Europeans had never even visited Zambia, most of that copper would never have been extracted, and the rest might have been used for pots or daggers (hopefully they would also find tin to make bronze). I'd say that Zambia derives more utility from 0.6% of the revenue of copper sold to the developed world than it would from 100% of the copper used with bronze-age technology.
In other words, it's not a case of taking $100 and leaving $1, but of taking $0.1, turning it into $100, and giving back $1.
Is your comment a justification of this disparity?
Here's an interview with Emmanuel Jagari Chanda, the leader of Witch, which includes an overview of what else was happening musically in Zambia at the time, as well as some perspective on what's changed since:
"It’s easy to paint all of the problems in Zambia with this brush, to talk about kleptocrats wringing their privilege for as much income, as many perks, as they can squeeze. But even if Zambia was run by a coalition of charitable technocrats and Mormon philanthropists, that wouldn’t solve the most fundamental problem of all: There simply isn’t that much money to go around.
In 2011, Zambia spent a total of $4.3 billion running itself. Stretch that to cover every man, woman, and child, and it amounts to just $325 per person per year. That amount—less than a dollar per person per day—has to cover education, health care, infrastructure, law enforcement, foreign debt … everything."
"Many of the mining companies pay just 0.6 percent royalties to Zambia, far below the already-meager industry standard of three percent."
But what I think the writer is trying to say here the economy (value of the total goods produced which is reflected in money circulated) is too small to support the population of zambia.
Why is the economy small? Answers like, "because they are poor," are forbidden.
A more useful question would be: was the growth of Zambian economy slow historically? If yes, why?
The politics isn't perfect and economic diversification from mining is still only in it's infancy, but the trends are pointing in the right direction.
Maybe, the small amount of money spend per person indicates that the government doesn't have sufficient money to invest in development of the infrastructure and human resources required for creating a developed economy.
If you look at South Africa's public debt, it is 43.3% of their GDP. In contrast, Zambia's is 20%. Maybe, what Zambia needs is to secure more loans from organizations like World Bank and invest
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_South_Africa
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Zambia
Most Western economies grew larger by looting (the crusades, the Americas, Africa, Asia, black slaves, etc). Without this huge boost of stolen or acquired for pennies resources, slave labour, stolen land to build on, etc, they would not have funded their industrial revolutions and their subsequent prosperity.
Zambia, being poor and with little might, had nothing to loot. They got looted themselves, first by third party countries directly and then by their companies (and their pals they placed in power).
Corruption saps a country of it's wealth, enabling a small minority to enrich themselves. My wife comes from a country that has never had any sort of war, yet is about on par with most west-African countries who have seen decades of war. When there's systemic corruption, encouraging any sort of investment is impossible, and wealth doesn't stay in the country.
We have so many people in need here.
Is it just more glamourous to be Leonardo di Caprio in Africa on an zany adventure than help some poor homeless family on the streets of Tagg Flatts Oklahome?
So we're looking at a different problem here: helping out the Native Americans. If the Europeans hadn't come over and colonized this continent, America would've been yet another "Africa" - so to speak.
America just kinda wants that whole 'Native American holocaust' thing to kinda quietly slip under the rug.
The easiest thing to do (and the thing most charities do) is give money, but money put into a situation like this just ends up split between the extended family/friends of those in power and/or used for infrastructure that benefits foreign corporations. Beyond money, the answer to the problem becomes really tricky. And if we're going to spend time and resources fixing difficult government infrastructure issues, I would much rather they be those within the US government. It's not like there's a shortage to choose from.
To be genuine about helping people I think you have to do it yourself at a local level. It takes more time but it's actually geninune and sincere. That's what community is all about.
The problems that are here should be discounted, mind you, but we're talking orders of magnitude here.
Second of all. If the people in Africa are so much poorer, it means that helping people in America is a much better investment because their opportunities to improve their lives and have a future (and help our economy) are so much better.
I seriously think at the end of the day it's a self centeredness that motivates people to go to other countries and help. They essentially want a cool story to tell their friends, not so much a genuine need to help others.
Or maybe you can't even blame the individual. Maybe in America we are so far from even knowing what a 'meaningful' life is, so we see people doing cool things on T.V. and say I'll buy that adventure and it will make my life meaningful.
Many countries, like Zambia, are really bad at economic growth. The reasons can be kleptocracy, bad legal systems, but also lack of investments in infrastructure.
You can't really grow forever, but you can still grow and they do. But this is sort of like the early oil rush in the midwest. Oh wow, holy crap, people will give us 25 cents a barrel for crude! And we don't even have to dig it up, they'll even come over and do it! How cool is that?!? Uhh, not that cool when you were sitting on top of oil reserves the size of saudi arabia that are now all but bone dry with some entrepreneurial farmers pumping up a few barrels for a slight short term profit.
The main law that seems to be missing everywhere is "X amount stays here. No really. Invest whatever you want, but a certain part of the gained value is stuck in the local economy and another chunk is paid to locals because OUR HOUSE".
Zambia has been growing at 6+ % for 6-7 years, raised a massively oversubscribed bond issuance to invest in infrastructure, and a Transparency International corruption perception index score just shy of Italy's.
All of the things you mention are relevant, but things are changing more quickly than you would expect.
1. They firmly believe IQ doesn't means anything.
2. They realize IQ means something but that it is mostly mutable (Flynn effect, etc).
3. They realize it's not especially mutable, but the tests in poor countries are unreliable.
4. They reject such possibilities because they actually believe their lifetime of propaganda that "All men are created equal" etc, etc, and so don't even give IQ much thought.
5. They don't even raise the question because it's politically or socially uncomfortable. For people in academia or in charities, this could extend to losing employment and gaining pariah status.
6. They realize demographics actually do matter but don't want to consider the fact because:
6a. Same reason as #5.
6b. It's hopeless. No one wants to just walk away from a problem.
6c. Sunk-cost fallacy.
6d. "Helping" people or even discussing "helping" people gives a sense of moral purpose, or even moral superiority. (This is Bill Gates' reason, almost assuredly.) By contrast, saying, "Well, forget Zambia, look at the whole damn world: Black people just sort-of breed poverty," is the exact opposite. To say that in polite company is very offensive.
By providing good nutrition to the young, and good education the IQ 'problem' mostly takes care of itself.
Academia is on the vanguard of suppressing uncomfortable truths, particularly when it comes to human biostatistics.
Well, it sure sounds like you're saying it anyway. Do you believe it (the claim in quotes) is true?
They all got rich and their (our) IQs went up. The question is why hasn't this happened in Sub-Saharan Africa.
And that is the key fact. Many of the comments in this thread are not specific to Zambia. There was a time when Zambia looked like a success story among African countries, as the first national leader after independence seemed more democratically minded and less corrupt than many leaders in Africa. The year Zambia became independent, I have read, it was wealthier than Taiwan--where my wife was living at the time. Zambia was neither unusually poor nor unusually badly governed among countries of the world when it gained independence.
So the key question in looking at international examples of national development is to slog through the process of John Stuart Mill's "method of agreement and difference" and figure out what commonalities help countries develop and prosper, and what commonalities drag down the fortunes of the inhabitants of a country. "Ninety-four percent of the land in Zambia is customary or traditional, no one has a title to it. It’s not just sitting there, people are living on it, farming, grazing animals, it’s just technically under the control of a chief." That jumps out at me as a huge difference between Zambia and many countries that have developed more successfully--clear land title that can be readily transferred for money. Taiwan makes better use of its land, and developed better, I hypothesis, in part because it is clear who owns what land and who has rights in land. (There was land reform for poor peasants, making them landowners, in Taiwan in the 1950s. Then the economic development began there.)
AFTER EDIT: I posted hurriedly at first, having an appointment to get to. One other point, which generalizes to more parts of Africa and more parts of east Asia, is that for a given level of educational spending, many east Asian countries invested mostly in good-quality primary education for the masses, while many African countries set up a national university available only to an elite minority of the population. (And often enough, the national university graduates from African countries became part of the "brain drain" to other countries.) Raising the skill level of the masses diversifies the economy and makes even countries with very limited natural resources--of which Japan and Taiwan are noteworthy examples--able to develop through trade and transition from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy and then to a postindustrial economy. Few African countries have pursued a national education policy of broad primary education, those that have are among the African countries that are faring best.
Why don't they do that? it's a matter of culture. They don't open up to the possibilities of the economy around and outside their country.
Throughout Africa and the Middle East we see countries with straight borders that used to be colonies of Western powers. These powers left and left behind democratic governments. These governments are plagued by the fact that the countries they rule over are not nations.
A country is a political entity - a set of borders enforced by an army. A nation is a psycho-social entity. It is a group that people identify with, normally composed based on ethnic, linguistic, or religious similarity. Nationhood marks an in-group. Americans have an anti-nationalist, universalist ideology, so their brains reject this reality to the detriment of the places their armies occupy.
In most post-colonial countries, there are many different nations within an arbitrary border. Democracy does not work because the citizens don't see themselves as the same people. When a person gets power in the government, of course he turns into a "kleptocrat" instead of working for the common good because he doesn't value the "common good". He values the good of his people.
These post-colonial countries are also prone to civil war. If one ethno-religious group gets the majority over another, the losing group doesn't see the government as legitimate. So there is war and genocide. The post-colonial idealists in the West have done more damage to the world than the colonialists ever did through the proxy of civil war.
Democracy in the Congo led to decades of Civil War and now we even see Bantus eating Pygmies - rape, disfigurement, and even cannibalism have become weapons in a brutal civil war. Likewise, if American troops leave Afghanistan, we will see a recap of the 90's civil war between the northern and southern ethnic groups.
There is no "Afghan" people - there are Pashtun and Tajik and Uzbek. And they were on the tail-end of a civil war before the USA invaded, and now the USA wants them to vote together. What insanity. In an ominous sign, no Pashtun will join the "national" Afghan army. Putting people within the same borders and putting a single army in control over them doesn't magically make them care about each other.
This is leaving behind the absurdity of trying to impose Western norms on an African continent lacking thousands of years of western history with literature, law, and democracy. You don't get to Tom Paine without Cato - and there was a 1700 year process connecting the two. Western thinking about the rest of the world is full of unicorns and pixie dust.
Also they are indoctrinated that 'tribalism' is a bad thing, and they learn a lot about Bismarck in school. There is also a bantu language that isn't really associated with one of the major tribes but is a kind of lingua franca beside english in the urban centres.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin%27s_wars_of_unification of China was more significant, I think, but via war.
But I guess Germany is the more aspiring role model.
Rwanda, Lesotho, Burundi and Swaziland are countries that actually fit precolonial states. You got civil wars and coups and a crazy monarch out of this but also some nice stories later.
The part that should be discussed more often is neither democracy nor nation part of the nation-state but the state part.
Post colonialism failed because it is colonialism with different rulers and may be more confusion.
The needs for a state, an army, a capitol and a bureaucracy was taken for granted and never actually discussed. So is the role of the traditional chiefs (in some places they're on goverment payroll).
At the same time, expectations have always been high for what the government is supposed to provide.
Places that never had an industrial revolution are trying to somehow do it with generous pension funds and environmental rules. That's way more nuts than the idea of having elections or whatever people think about when they say democracy.
While it makes sense NOW, nobody would have had predicted that outcome in 1964.
And those institutions dont exist in a vacum either.
The importance of clanic indentity has increased in Somalia because of the civil war and the statelessness.
It also may appear to some, that those people lacking a 5000 year old written history seem to be increasingly intolerant towards dictators...
-How many shrinks does it take to change a lightbulb?
-One. But the lightbulb must want to be changed.
If the Western powers wanted to make a difference in many of these countries, they could try to broker deals to decentralize the governments and give ethnic regions large amounts of autonomy, much like the Americans have done for the Kurds in Iraq. Afghanistan should be at least two states, not one, and Americans might have to recognize that the Taliban is the popular representative of the national will of the Pashtun people in the south. The problem with SS Africa vs. the Middle East is that the African countries, having no history of large-scale states before the Europeans came, have so many national divisions that it becomes impractical. So I don't have answers to everything. Perhaps city-states?
I would note that the popular revolutions in North Africa don't appear to be doing so good by the welfare of the people. I enjoyed this article in the Telegraph - "The Arab Spring has failed because constitutional democracy needs nation-states"
> "what should we be telling poor nations in Africa or the Middle East to be striving towards, if not economic growth, democracy and respect for human rights?"
Yes you are a good American that believes in the American ideals. So much destruction is done trying to impose them on others, though. At some point we need to make peace with the fact that not every country can become an America within a decade. And what happens when the people we are trying to bring to the American way of life don't want to be American?
Which is bullshit, looking at almost any country that is not currently embroiled in a civil war. Many of them combine tons of ethnicities... USA, Canada, Australia, India, even countries like Germany just aren't that "ethnically pure" as they are sometimes stylized...
And what also shines through, is that from an ivory tower of ignorance some people advocate forcing people to "live peacefully together" through their social engineering, enforced borders and when that doesn't work violence.
Because, those outsiders know what is proper for those "savages" that "can't live peacefully together" better than they do themselves, right?
>Which is bullshit, looking at almost any country that is not currently embroiled in a civil war. Many of them combine tons of ethnicities... USA, Canada, Australia, India, even countries like Germany just aren't that "ethnically pure" as they are sometimes stylized...
USA decimated and confined the natives into "reservations", then had the blacks as slaves or second rate citizens up until the sixties. Oh, and they had a big nasty civil war, because two groups had different views on such issues. Blacks still have a huge over-representation in prison sentenses and poverty and still live pretty much seggregated. As for the rest: Australia killed the natives and closed them in concentration camps and has had rampant racism against non-anglosaxon immigrants. In Canada there is the francophone and anglophone divide and tension, which is even worse for Belgium and it's two national cultures. The same goes for Catalonia and Basque country in Spain. USSR and Yugoslavia, examples of getting "different nations to live peacefully" all blew up in consisting nations after 1989, with civil wars and tension. Same for Chechoslovakia. Heck, even Italy has tension between the North and South parts.
As for Germany, it might not be ethnically pure, but it's not all fun and games either. Germans are still quite racist with immigrants, even those that live there for many decades (tons of hate crimes, neo-nazi groups, casual racism and such). Oh, and they have eliminated some million jews back in the 40s.
But it's putting up India as an example that really shows up the total lack of understanding of the issues and a bad command of history. India, if anything is the perfect counter-example: national, ethnic and religious tensions there broke the country into Bagladesh and Pakistan, and they still ran rampant in each of the new countries between sub-groups.
On the one hand, you say 'Americans have an anti-nationalist, universalist ideology, so their brains reject this reality to the detriment of the places their armies occupy' (an opinion) and on the other hand 'USA decimated and confined the natives into "reservations", then had the blacks as slaves or second rate citizens up until the sixties' (a fact). How do you reconcile these two?
Apart from that, you have the "buy American" movement, and you have this situation where US Americans identify themselves with (often fictitious) ethnic identities: Irish American, Italian American, African American, etc. Why call them "fictitious"? People say Barack Obama is African American!
> Germans are still quite racist with immigrants
Though I have come across cases where Arab immigrants were given nasty stares by old people when they moved to villages, I'd say that Germany is not at all racist with immigrants. I have many colleagues who have Slavic-sounding surnames, whose parents moved to Germany before my colleagues were born. Socially, they're treated as proper Germans. After WW2, Germans were largely disillusioned by nationalism, and now look upon it with disdain. Now, Spaniards and Greeks are moving into Germany by the thousands. Have you come across news reports of any ethnic clashes? It's all fun and games. The Neo-Nazis are a problem, but they are a small minority. When they break the law, they are dealt with properly.
> India, if anything is the perfect counter-example: national ... still ran rampant in each of the new countries between sub-groups.
India has a law and order problem. The constitution was written by a man who probably understood human rights, but this concept has not sunk into the heads of either the masses or the well-educated. There are separatist movements in Kashmir, and the Northeast, and there was one in Punjab. If you think the people in the rest of India have doubts about the integrity of the concept of India, you're dead wrong. Yes, I include SIMI sympathizers too.
At the same time, America did used to enslave people and confine the natives.
But those were two different time periods... Then and now, so they don't contradict.
As for USA, "buy american" movements come up every once in a while. Apple and Motorola's new ads display "Made in USA" as if it's a feature. "Freedom fries", happened recently, though it seems to be dead now. You have Fox News that's always clamouring about American this or American that. I don't believe that Fox News represents general American beliefs (though I don't rule it out), but the chunk of Americans that Fox News represents is too huge to sweep under the rug.
Regarding India, my understanding is that Indian states have a great deal of autonomy, but I'm certainly no expert.
So by and large Indian states have lesser autonomy than US states. Central govt. controls large chunk of Income Tax and redistributes it. Unlike US, State govts can't enact their own laws and all of India is ruled by one law.
Mmmm... what? States may have less powers in India than in the US but they do have their own legislature and do have their own legal system. Here's an example (state of Maharashtra):
The US went through some real nasty war to live together. Regarding India, check out Pakistan. Australia has some really dark history. For Germany, check out the holocaust.
Segregation makes problems worse, not better.
My point is simply the issue ethnicity is a complex one. There are societies where largely mono culture works quite well and it is not a deficiency. My country, Indonesia, is pretty diverse (300 ethnics plus) but it had to go to some fire as well to get some resemblance of harmony.
So I think it is easy to say that western nations have been able to work and experience peace, but in most cases there is either one ethnic group that is a clear majority and all other groups bend to its will, or there actually is a bunch of friction and conflict when those minorities become sizable enough. Obviously not to the point of civil war, but I don't think we can say that things are just "working" elsewhere.
Some can, some can't. I do think that Democracy is more sensitive to national separatism than other forms of government. The great multiethnic empires of history weren't democratic. The Chinese have held together a multiethnic society for 3,000 years without holding a vote.
The Northern coalition in the Afghanistan civil war was composed of many ethnic groups fighting together against the Pashtun south. There is enough common ground between the groups of the north that a two state solution may suffice.
Nationalism is a powerful force that has great appeal to human psychology. Every successful multi-ethnic, multi-religious, or multi-lingual empire has to address it. Even the Canadians have struck an uneasy balance between the French speaking Quebecois and the rest of the country. Separation was a close thing.
And nationalism doesn't skip Europe. Try to find Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia on a map. And soon Spain might be joining them in the historical deadpool if the Catalan independence movement gets its way.
Nationalism is also an interesting phenomenon, in that over time it tends to transcend ethnic groups, but only once the thread of common identity has established itself. Take a look, for instance, at the post WWI Middle East, where the imposition of arbitrary zones of influence (the origins of many modern states) disrupted a budding pan-Arab nationalism in favor of keeping a balance of influence between the colonial powers.
The United States is a completely different case in that the nationalism that took root here was based on a shared identity among immigrants of (relatively speaking) diverse ethnic groups-- but even so, our early history had no shortage of atrocities committed agains native populations, as well as conflict among the constituent religious and ethnic groups that comprised the nation.
That being said, nation states seem to be a very stable and agreeable governance paradigm once they become established, but a shared identity amongst diverse groups (ethnic or otherwise) takes time to develop, and as history has demonstrated, it certainly can't be imposed from the outside.
>The problem with SS Africa vs. the Middle East is that the African countries, having no history of large-scale states before the Europeans came, have so many national divisions that it becomes impractical
Large scale political entities have existed in SS Africa.
And in large scale states are quite recent in the Middle East.
At this point, I'm pretty certain you've confused Afghanistan with Iraq, which also has a pretty important Kurdish minority.
- "We don't have money... It's not because we embezzled it, it is the Other nation, we must expel them from the country.",
- "Our roads are bad, it's not because we did something wrong, those pesky foreigners are destroying them with their cars"
Nationalism is like opium for the masses, it's very effective, but highly addictive, so I'd be careful to recommend it. Asking for nationalism in time of crisis is akin to waving the Black Sun flag (not the Nazi one, but mirror one). Nationalism + crisis often leads to horrific solutions. See Greece for example of such problems.
E.g. my ex is from Nigera, and her dad was from the Igbo tribe. One of the thing she saw all around was her family, and her Igbo friends families, who were fairly successful and many of whom worked well paid jobs in Abuja (the capital) or Lagos, who would opt to rent in Abuja and Lagos while funnelling all their money into building houses in their birth villages that they rarely used.
It took her a while to understand why: Her parents generation all remember the Biafra war all to well, either from direct experience, or from growing up in the aftermath with parents who instilled the ghost of Biafra in them very effectively. Biafra was largely Igbo, and the war saw large amounts of Igbo have properties elsewhere in Nigeria confiscated, and many Igbos were deported from places like Lagos.
Many Igbo as a result to this day consider themselves outsiders, or see it as unsafe to put down ties elsewhere in Nigeria. This includes even people like my ex's dad, who was a high ranking lawyer, who e.g. counted the previous president - Obasanjo - (who was one of the military commanders on the Nigerian side against the secessionist Biafra) as a friend, and the then Vice President as his lawyer, and who split most of his time between Abuja, Lagos and London and certainly had all the connections to be in a position where he should be able to feel safe outside of the Igbo core areas.
You will find other groups who similarly see their primary identity as separate from the country of Nigeria. And that is a story that is repeated in a large number of the African countries.
I agree with you that nationalism can be a terrifying force. But in many cases it will fester even more when it divides countries into groups that see themselves as competing for power of a single country.
You'll never be able to divide on nationalistic lines because they aren't real lines, people can always fall into either a no true Scotsman fallacy, and even if that is settled you'll probably have outliers that might have a mother of nationality A and father of nationality B. Which nation does the child go? Not to mention two nations will probably want to contest same resources, so that leads to further strife.
The issue facing this society is lack of social cohesion, not the issue of nation.
American isn't ethno-nationalist, but is strongly nationalist. And it certainly isn't universalist:
Communism was also a universalist faith, one that believed it was right for everyone. We note that both creeds are recklessly imperial.
South Ossetia or Kashmir or the Basque region might claim independence, then small pockets within those might want independence in turn.
You can't draw a border distinctly around every unified group of people, certainly not to demand it permanently reflect those people forever. Both the natural movement of people and the tendency of groups towards cultural change (both fracturing and collusion) over time slowly erode our best efforts to put everyone in separate pens and label them as distinct groups.
Pan-nationalism doesn't magically solve these issues, but a rigid adherence to self-determination isn't the panacea it's sometimes made out to be either.
The balance of these forces is tricky to get right. I believe the Western democratic model may turn out to be the creed of a short-lived, highly chaotic period of history.
ISI is literally anti-economics. Rather than maximizing differential value (the production possibility frontier), ISI discourages trade and in doing so discourages exploiting the production possibility frontier. The standard example in economics of import substitution is Latin America from 1930 to 1980. The standard example in economics of failed policy is Latin America from 1930 to 1980.
The IMF's response was the horrible despotic policy of structural adjustment. Structural adjustment only ever works if the country itself is already fed up with protectionism and wants to abandon it:
This is why, after the end of the Cold War, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America have been growing, becoming more developed and less poor, and the past 20 years have been less tumultuous than the previous 40. Here's Hans Rosling with the data:
Look at Zambia. From 1950 to 1999 it wanders around in the left-bottom of the chart like a drunk fly. In 1999, the blue dot zooms up and to the right. When does this happen? Just eight years after Zambia's first free and fair presidential election:
The Western model works. It worked in East Asia, it's working in Latin America, and humanity willing it will work in sub-Saharan Africa. And it doesn't follow copper prices:
From 2002 to 2005, copper prices quadrupled, but there is no corresponding jump in Zambian fortunes. Rather, the Zambian economy developed at a steady pace, beginning before the rise in copper prices, influenced mainly by an improving political climate at home. Before that, Zambia hit a high-water mark in the 1960s, during the presidency of Kaunda, who began to implement socialism. It stagnated during the beginning of one-party rule and declined during (because of) the oil crisis. But mostly it was an inefficient planned economy and exhibited typical communist failure to thrive. Liberal and democratic reforms in the 90s were met with growth.
So democracy in Africa is just fine, thanks. Communism, however, sucks.
To make this point clear, I want to give more context on the price of copper and the effect it has on the Zambian economy. Zambia's economy does not move to the right any more after 1965. But copper prices increased for eleven years after 1965, until 1976, and Zambia was unable to exploit this in a way that led to national progress. The crash around 1976-1981 clearly hurt, but not taking advantage of favorable situations hurt more.
Come on. You're just trolling.
They don't believe in nations, they believe strongly in their own country as a "nation", but not in the common meaning of a nation which is ethinically based.
If they believed in nations (in the way other countries believe), irish-americans would identify more with being irish than with being americans for example (and the same for other ethnicities).
So, can the Afghan issue be resolved by splitting the country ? And if yes, do the people of Afghanistan want that.
Who are you actually referring to ?
In fact we take pride in having so many cultures. The situation else where is different.
> The only thing I’m able to conclude after my trip here is that it’s incredibly difficult for a poor country to go about getting un-poor. Just when you think you’ve got the right narrative, another one comes bursting out of the footnotes. It’s the informality. No, it’s the taxes. No, it’s the mining companies. No, it’s the regulators.
> And that’s what makes fixing it so difficult. Does Zambia need better schools? Debt relief? Microfinance? Nicer mining companies? Better laws? Stronger enforcement? Yes. All of them. And all at the same time.
> You can’t fix the land issues without tackling the corruption. You can’t fix the corruption without tackling the politics. You can’t fix the politics without addressing the culture. Thomas’ family told him his nephews didn’t need to be in school. From their perspective, that’s not totally irrational. In a country with so few formal jobs and so much competition for getting them, I can see how spending hundreds of hours, thousands of kwachas, on education would seem superfluous. Thomas’ daughter wants to become a lawyer. You could almost forgive Thomas if he told her that the bar exam failure rate is more than 90 percent, so what’s the use?
> A week after I leave Lusaka, I meet a Zambian expat in Zimbabwe. She left Lusaka four years ago, and she says every time she returns, there are more cars, more roads, more restaurants, bars, gyms, decent cappuccinos.
> I tell her that in Lusaka I saw construction cranes on the horizon in every direction.
> “It’s all malls,” she says. “Zambians love to go to the goddamn mall.”
> That’s not the only reason for optimism. Inflation is down to seven percent from 20 percent last decade. International investors pledged $750 million last year to build infrastructure. The new draft of the constitution limits presidential powers and confronts the MP-hopping problem. Fundamentally, Zambia is a stable country sitting on top of an El Dorado of fertile land and lucrative minerals. In the long run, things will probably get better.
Besides Botswana they are actually doing really well for a sub-saharan African country. The politics have been a mess for a long time, basically two parties have dominated politics for the past forty years(one after the other) so you had a quasi single party state but a reasonable rule of law to keep things from getting out of hand and a fair electoral system for the past twenty years or so.
I'm not sure I buy the claim that the government doesn't do anything. Basically, it was explained to me that no one wants to upset the factions with political influence. Paradoxically, Botswana has a much more closed political system yet doesn't seem to have the problems with corruption Zambia has.
AKA the USA model.
If you swap/replace "auto companies" with "copper" its basically Detroit with a slightly healthier economy and political system.
The British created the place to exploit copper mines, but the Belgians were able to get control of the copper.
It's not more than about 50 years since Africa was left to fend for itself after the European powers left. Considering that it took hundreds of years with more wars than anyone care to count before Europe became the peaceful and prosperous place it is today I don't think Africa is doing that badly.
Poland lost 17% of its population in WWII. Local elites and leaders who didn't end in mass graves or concentration camps during the war, were imprisoned or murdered by post-war collaborators. The Red Army left in '93 and 20 years later it's a perfectly fine place to live.
I don't buy colonialism as the explanation.
The difference between the colonial powers leaving Africa and the Soviet Union leaving Eastern Europe was that the Soviet Union didn't take with them everyone that worked in any kind of administration and most people who could read when they left. In Poland the guys that was in charge of the central mail administration didn't flee the country. The Department of Transportation didn't burn all their archives and jumped on the first ship out of the country. That was what happened in most of Africa. Almost all the people who had been in charge and had any knowledge fled. That didn't happen in Eastern Europe in nearly the same degree.
In other words, the first sin was to colonize the continent in the first place, destroy existing civil structures, and exploit the land and the population as they did. The second sin was to very abruptly abandon them and leave them without even the structures that had replace the original ones.
In current Iraq and Afghanistan the US at least try to make sure that there is some kind of stable regime before they leave. Of course it might have been better to not invade in the first place, but since they did, it is their responsibility to try to make sure that some kind of civilian society have a chance when they leave.
It could be a matter of degree. It might sound radical but what if I told you that Soviet occupation wasn't as brutal as British occupation. Soviets didn't tolerate political dissent. But they did give everyone an apartment, free (including higher) education, healthcare.
Did the British empire have those programs. Free healthcare, education, and minimum living space? I kind of doubt it.
I think over and over there are examples (China, ex Soviet Union, various other dictatorships) where people would accept a warm bed, safety, being able to work, get healthcare with sever restrictions to speech and travel vs having the freedom for speech, travel, but not having the minimum basic necessities.
There aren't too many recent cases were people oppressed politically were able to win the majority and overthrow the government and turn it into a democracy when there is otherwise enough stability economic, social to start with.
Americans I feel (and I would know, I live here too now) have swallowed quite a bit of propaganda and they will tell you long stories about how Democracy is just the best, capitalism is the best etc etc. I used to think that too, but I am not so sure anymore. Maybe that is why a lot of wars are sold to the American people "we are bringing Democracy" and "Freedom". That has a good local appeal. Internationally maybe others read that in the same category as North Korea telling its people they live on Paradise on Earth.
1. I don't disagree about the Maslow's heirachy thing. If i was near starvation i wouldn't turn away bread from a dictator.
2. Two examples of countries who have recently won democracy: South Korea and Taiwan. Both made the trnasition with minimal violence.
3. I talk to older friends who came from Eastern Block countries and they describe their respective systems (before democracy) as completely and utterly demoralizing. You have no hope of anything better. Your lot in life will also be at the will of someone else.
3. You also have to keep in mind that people you talk to here from EB countries are probably well above average. They probably had enough smarts and drive to get out. They are also more likely to not like their old countries. (Well I don't like it either but I am trying to take a more objective approach). Notice how we also carefully transitioned to comparing Soviet occupation to living in US probably working in the tech sector (and I am certainly guilty of it as well). Remember we should have been comparing the post Soviet period in EB countries to African post-colonial countries.
If you're thinking about the period when Africa was ruled by European power, I'd say it didnt help (mostly because of the deeply authoritarian aspect of that rule) but there wasnt much to destroy at that point.
Then there is the period Right before which has some deeper effect on trust, corruption, institutions, stability, trade, population movements: the transatlantic slave trade.
Edit: and the eastern one too.
The soil is so volatile that wheels end up being dragged in the dirt, hence camels. It would have been cool if they had invented primitive AT STs though!
That is a myth that the colonizers were very happy to bolster, for obvious reasons.
"Don't even bother with the user "newnewnew"" - Ignore and ostracise those with opposing views. How open minded of you.
They had perhaps some authority structures, some nation and ethnicity based borders, perhaps less civil war type conflicts. At least that was taken away. Whether it would have been better for British and others to stay away is hard to say.