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Thursday, June 09, 2005 

Aid to African dictatorships

Apropos of the strident denunciations (by several prominent right-wing Irish bloggers) of Ireland giving aid to Africa, I have a few comments to make. I hope they will be taken as common-sense.

A good first step would be to stop giving aid (other than emergency relief) to oppressive, corrupt regimes - I agree. A second would be to stop banks and large corporations doing business with these self-same regimes - do the Freedom Institute and others agree? And a third to stop selling these people arms - still with me on this?

Further, the problem with installing "democracy" in Africa is that a lot of these states are just bits of various tribal areas, artificially shoved together by the rapacious European empires of years gone by. There is an answer to this tribal conundrum which should spring to mind - federation like the EU - but that's up to the Africans themselves to push towards, with some encouragement from outside.

Contrary to the thinly-veiled racist remarks of some, that's the problem in establishing Democracy in Africa and so many places around the world (some very close to home indeed). In too many cases, there's no reasonably functional, homogenous civic society (in the classical European sense) to buttress it. Even in Europe itself, we can see this in places like the former Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland.

We still continue to pay the price of the aftermath of the evils of colonialism and empire, long after they've crumbled to dust (and enough time has passed for the public memory to grow dim and revisionist efforts be born to rehabiliate them)

Postscript: Jim at Our word is our weapon has some thoughts on the Globalization Institute's part in this chorus-line.

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)

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