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Posted: 9/3/2010 5:28:54 PM EDT
I was watching River Monsters tonight, and the host was going up the Congo in search of some giant catfish of some sorts, and while he's walking into the village, the caption beneath says "We're walking on 25 years of trash, fish waste/carcasses, and the stench is awful'.

Further, watching these guys fish just made me .

I know that there are portions of Africa that are fairly well developed, but how in the hell did Europe and North America become civilized, advanced societies...yet Africa is still pretty much a shipload of AIDS and FAIL?

What the hell was different in Europe/North America than Africa? The natural resources in Africa are phenominal, the abundance of wild life, game animals, etc. is legendary...yet they still wallow in shit, can't produce clean water, suffer from food shortages, and pretty much the image I have of Africa is if a Cape Buffalo/Lion/Elephant/Rhino/Hippo doesn't kill you...some tribe will hack your arms off with a machete, and leave you for the hyenas.

Hax
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:30:45 PM EDT
bush's fault
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:31:13 PM EDT
gen...nevermind.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:33:06 PM EDT
In Before The Liberia Pics . . .

Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:33:15 PM EDT
I'm not even going to comment.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:33:54 PM EDT
That's a good question. I think the simplest answer is because the idiots there want it to be that way.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:34:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 5:36:05 PM EDT by ArmyInfantryVet]
The year round warm climate means they don't have to work their ass off to a harvest to survive the winter. So they have a lazy mentality and don't give a shit about anything.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:34:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By diehippy:
bush's fault


First post.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:34:15 PM EDT
That's racist.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:34:17 PM EDT
I heard Oprah opened up a school over there so things she be getting better soon.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:35:29 PM EDT
ibtl
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:35:51 PM EDT
Because in the end, Africa always wins.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:36:25 PM EDT
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:37:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By R2point0:
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.

False. See Haiti.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:37:31 PM EDT
I bet if we threw a bunch of money and aid and military support they would be doing great!
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:37:52 PM EDT

Edgar Burroughs was fond of using the phrase, "the thin veneer of civilization" to describe mankind's condition in relation to his more fundamental savage makeup. We are a lot closer to Africans than we think.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:37:55 PM EDT
Lack of education.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:38:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By burlysoldier:
I bet if we threw a bunch of money and aid and military support they would be doing great!

False. See Haiti.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:38:19 PM EDT
Colonialism sure did not help.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:38:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By burlysoldier:
I bet if we threw a bunch of money and aid and military support they would be doing great!

No kidding, just like those few trillion we spent over the past 30 years trying to combat homeless worked out so great too!
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:38:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 5:38:48 PM EDT by freewilly]
You want the real answer or the politically correct answer?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:39:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 5:40:20 PM EDT by Citadel-SC]
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By R2point0:
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.

False. See Haiti.


Haiti was a French colony.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:39:40 PM EDT
Let Africa Sink


by Kim du Toit
November 19, 2002


Africa has to heal itself. The West can't help it. Nor should we. The record speaks for itself...

When it comes to any analysis of the problems facing Africa, Western society, and particularly people from the United States, encounter a logical disconnect that makes clear analysis impossible. That disconnect is the way life is regarded in the West (it's precious, must be protected at all costs etc.), compared to the way life, and death, are regarded in Africa. Let me try to quantify this statement.

In Africa, life is cheap. There are so many ways to die in Africa that death is far more commonplace than in the West. You can die from so many things––snakebite, insect bite, wild animal attack, disease, starvation, food poisoning... the list goes on and on. At one time, crocodiles accounted for more deaths in sub-Saharan Africa than gunfire, for example. Now add the usual human tragedy (murder, assault, warfare and the rest), and you can begin to understand why the life expectancy for an African is low––in fact, horrifyingly low, if you remove White Africans from the statistics (they tend to be more urbanized, and more Western in behavior and outlook). Finally, if you add the horrifying spread of AIDS into the equation, anyone born in sub-Saharan Africa this century will be lucky to reach age forty.

I lived in Africa for over thirty years. Growing up there, I was infused with several African traits––traits which are not common in Western civilization. The almost-casual attitude towards death was one. (Another is a morbid fear of snakes.)

So because of my African background, I am seldom moved at the sight of death, unless it's accidental, or it affects someone close to me. (Death which strikes at strangers, of course, is mostly ignored.) Of my circle of about eighteen or so friends with whom I grew up, and whom I would consider "close", only about ten survive today––and not one of the survivors is over the age of fifty.

Two friends died from stepping on landmines while on Army duty in Namibia. Three died in horrific car accidents (and lest one thinks that this is not confined to Africa, one was caused by a kudu flying through a windshield and impaling the guy through the chest with its hoof––not your everyday traffic accident in, say, Florida). One was bitten by a snake, and died from heart failure. Another also died of heart failure, but he was a hopeless drunkard. Two were shot by muggers. The last went out on his surfboard one day and was never seen again (did I mention that sharks are plentiful off the African coasts and in the major rivers?). My situation is not uncommon in South Africa––and north of the Limpopo River (the border with Zimbabwe), I suspect that others would show worse statistics.

The death toll wasn't just confined to my friends. When I was still living in Johannesburg, the newspaper carried daily stories of people mauled by lions, or attacked by rival tribesmen, or dying from some unspeakable disease (and this was pre-AIDS Africa too) and in general, succumbing to some of Africa's many answers to the population explosion. Add to that the normal death toll from rampant crime, illness, poverty, flood, famine, traffic, and the police, and you'll begin to get the idea.

My favorite African story actually happened after I left the country. An American executive took a job over there, and on his very first day, the newspaper headlines read: "Three Headless Bodies Found".

The next day: "Three Heads Found".

The third day: "Heads Don't Match Bodies". You can't make this stuff up.

As a result, death is treated more casually by Africans than by Westerners. I, and I suspect most Africans, am completely inured to reports of African suffering, for whatever cause. Drought causes crops to fail, thousands face starvation? Yup, that happened many times while I was growing up. Inter-tribal rivalry and warfare causes wholesale slaughter? Yep, been happening there for millennia, long before Whitey got there. Governments becoming rich and corrupt while their populations starved? Not more than nine or ten of those. In my lifetime, the following tragedies have occurred, causing untold millions of deaths: famine in Biafra, genocide in Rwanda, civil war in Angola, floods in South Africa, famine in Somalia, civil war in Sudan, famine in Ethiopia, floods in Mozambique, wholesale slaughter in Uganda, and tribal warfare in every single country. There are others, but you get the point.

Yes, all this was also true in Europe––maybe a thousand years ago. But not any more. And Europe doesn't teem with crocodiles, ultra-venomous snakes and so on.

The Dutch controlled the floods. All of Europe controls famine––it's non-existent now. Apart from a couple of examples of massive, state-sponsored slaughter (Nazi Germany, Communist Russia), Europe since 1700 doesn't even begin to compare to Africa today. Casual slaughter is another thing altogether––rare in Europe, common in Africa.

More to the point, the West has evolved into a society with a stable system of government, which follows the rule of law, and has respect for the rights and life of the individual––none of which is true in Africa.

Among old Africa hands, we have a saying, usually accompanied by a shrug: "Africa wins again." This is usually said after an incident such as:

- a beloved missionary is butchered by his congregation, for no apparent reason

- a tribal chief prefers to let his tribe starve to death rather than accepting food from the Red Cross (would mean he wasn't all-powerful, you see)

- an entire nation starves to death, while its ruler accumulates wealth in foreign banks

- a new government comes into power, promising democracy, free elections etc., provided that the freedom doesn't extend to the other tribe

- the other tribe comes to power in a bloody coup, then promptly sets about slaughtering the first tribe

...etc, etc, etc, ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

The prognosis is bleak, because none of this mayhem shows any sign of ending. The conclusions are equally bleak, because, quite frankly, there is no answer to Africa's problems, no solution that hasn't been tried before, and failed.

Just go to the CIA World Fact Book, pick any of the African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi etc.), and compare the statistics to any Western country (eg. Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland). The disparities are appalling––and it's going to get worse, not better. It has certainly got worse since 1960, when most African countries achieved independence. We, and by this I mean the West, have tried many ways to help Africa. All such attempts have failed.

1. Charity is no answer. Money simply gets appropriated by the first, or second, or third person to touch it (17 countries saw a decline in real per capita GNP between 1970 and 1999, despite receiving well over $100 billion in World Bank assistance).

2. Food isn't distributed. This happens either because there is no transportation infrastructure (bad), or the local leader deliberately withholds the supplies to starve people into submission (worse).

3. Materiel is broken, stolen or sold off for a fraction of its worth. The result of decades of "foreign aid" has resulted in a continental infrastructure which, if one excludes South Africa, couldn't support Pittsburgh.

Add to this, as I mentioned above, the endless cycle of Nature's little bag of tricks––persistent drought followed by violent flooding, a plethora of animals, reptiles and insects so dangerous that life is already cheap before Man starts playing his little reindeer games with his fellow Man––and what you are left with is: catastrophe.

The inescapable conclusion is simply one of resignation. This goes against the grain of our humanity––we are accustomed to ridding the world of this or that problem (smallpox, polio, whatever), and accepting failure is anathema to us. But, to give a classic African scenario, a polio vaccine won't work if the kids are prevented from getting the vaccine by a venal overlord, or a frightened chieftain, or a lack of roads, or by criminals who steal the vaccine and sell it to someone else. If a cure for AIDS was found tomorrow, and offered to every African nation free of charge, the growth of the disease would scarcely be checked, let alone reversed. Basically, you'd have to try to inoculate as many two-year old children as possible, and write off the two older generations.

So that is the only one response, and it's a brutal one: accept that we are powerless to change Africa, and leave them to sink or swim, by themselves.

It sounds dreadful to say it, but if the entire African continent dissolves into a seething maelstrom of disease, famine and brutality, that's just too damn bad. We have better things to do––sometimes, you just have to say, "Can't do anything about it."

The viciousness, the cruelty, the corruption, the duplicity, the savagery, and the incompetence is endemic to the entire continent, and is so much of an anathema to any right-thinking person that the civilized imagination simply stalls when faced with its ubiquity, and with the enormity of trying to fix it. The Western media shouldn't even bother reporting on it. All that does is arouse our feelings of horror, and the instinctive need to do something, anything––but everything has been tried before, and failed. Everything, of course, except self-reliance.

All we should do is make sure that none of Africa gets transplanted over to the U.S., because the danger to our society is dire if it does. I note that several U.S. churches are attempting to bring groups of African refugees over to the United States, European churches the same for Europe. Mistake. Mark my words, this misplaced charity will turn around and bite us, big time.

Even worse would be to think that the simplicity of Africa holds some kind of answers for Western society: remember "It Takes A Village"? Trust me on this: there is not one thing that Africa can give the West which hasn't been tried before and failed, not one thing that isn't a step backwards, and not one thing which is worse than, or that contradicts, what we have already.

So here's my solution for the African fiasco: a high wall around the whole continent, all the guns and bombs in the world for everyone inside, and at the end, the last one alive should do us all a favor and kill himself.

Inevitably, some Kissingerian realpolitiker is going to argue in favor of intervention, because in the vacuum of Western aid, perhaps the Communist Chinese would step in and increase their influence in the area. There are two reasons why this isn't going to happen.

Firstly, the PRC doesn't have that kind of money to throw around; and secondly, the result of any communist assistance will be precisely the same as if it were Western assistance. For the record, Mozambique and Angola are both communist countries––and both are economic disaster areas. The prognosis for both countries is disastrous––and would be the same for any other African country.

Africa has to heal itself. The West can't help it. Nor should we. The record speaks for itself.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:39:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By R2point0:
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.

False. See Haiti.


How come most everyone in Hati speaks French?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:40:12 PM EDT
My opinion, as someone who has spent a significant amount on time in Africa is that the problem with Africa is Africans and their fondness for Tribal warfare.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:40:54 PM EDT
Guns, germs and steel.


I know all of you hate the author, but his theory on why some countries flourished while others stagnated is quite well outlined in his publishings.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:40:54 PM EDT
Does the term "terminally ate up with a case of the dumb ass' make any sense?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:42:14 PM EDT
IBTL
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:42:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By burlysoldier:
I bet if we threw a bunch of money and aid and military support they would be doing great!

False. See Haiti.

Originally Posted By ArmyInfantryVet:

Originally Posted By burlysoldier:
I bet if we threw a bunch of money and aid and military support they would be doing great!

No kidding, just like those few trillion we spent over the past 30 years trying to combat homeless worked out so great too!

Your guys' sarcasm meter is broken.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:43:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adi:
Guns, germs and steel.


I know all of you hate the author, but his theory on why some countries flourished while others stagnated is quite well outlined in his publishings.

I don't agree that the reason for success is ONLY to do with where you were born. I think culture plays a great deal into it as well.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:43:33 PM EDT
because they all have a case of the 'monday's...
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:44:17 PM EDT
I have worked in Africa for the last five years. Still do so I have a little insight.
If you can get past all the greed and corruption, it is not that bad. They do the
same thing all over the world, it is just more open and accepted in Africa
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:44:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SirHacksalot:

I know that there are portions of Africa that are fairly well developed, but how in the hell did Europe and North America become civilized, advanced societies...yet Africa is still pretty much a shipload of AIDS and FAIL?

Stop being judgmental of their culture! They want aids and fail and that's what they get.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:45:12 PM EDT
Subsistence agriculture kept people busy with survival. No time to rationalize. No time to question. No time to improve.

Could Enlightenment ever happen in Africa? Hard to say.

The rise of America happened through the mechanization of agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.

Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:47:45 PM EDT
I think they are waiting for a stimulus package from Obama...
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:47:46 PM EDT
because dey eat da poo poo.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:47:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Citadel-SC:
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By R2point0:
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.

False. See Haiti.


Haiti was a French colony.


I saw his post and my jaw dropped....

Wooooowwwwwwww....
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:47:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SirHacksalot:
I was watching River Monsters tonight, and the host was going up the Congo in search of some giant catfish of some sorts, and while he's walking into the village, the caption beneath says "We're walking on 25 years of trash, fish waste/carcasses, and the stench is awful'.

Further, watching these guys fish just made me .

I know that there are portions of Africa that are fairly well developed, but how in the hell did Europe and North America become civilized, advanced societies...yet Africa is still pretty much a shipload of AIDS and FAIL?

What the hell was different in Europe/North America than Africa? The natural resources in Africa are phenominal, the abundance of wild life, game animals, etc. is legendary...yet they still wallow in shit, can't produce clean water, suffer from food shortages, and pretty much the image I have of Africa is if a Cape Buffalo/Lion/Elephant/Rhino/Hippo doesn't kill you...some tribe will hack your arms off with a machete, and leave you for the hyenas.

Hax


Europeans have exploited the shit out the place. Lots of corporate entities still running the show there.
They are able stay, regardless of the political makeup. Money talks BS walks.

Take a hard look at the resourcs being pulled out of that place, then research the corporate entity doing the
pulling. Most likely, they have been there for decades. They do very little to promote community and education. Educated citizens might question their leadership and then question corporate profits.

Look up diamonds in Africa



Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:49:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 5:53:04 PM EDT by Hitower]
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By R2point0:
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.

False. See Haiti.


haiti was the french...

eta: damn, everyone is faster than me.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:49:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Subsistence agriculture kept people busy with survival. No time to rationalize. No time to question. No time to improve.

Could Enlightenment ever happen in Africa? Hard to say.

The rise of America happened through the mechanization of agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.



The Russians and French both brought modern farming to Africa. They taught the African to farm, supplied him with modern equipment and saw him through a few growing seasons. Then when they left the African "farmer" walked away from the farm and modern equipment and immediately returned to his tribal roots.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:50:01 PM EDT
COC prevents me from commenting
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:50:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Subsistence agriculture kept people busy with survival. No time to rationalize. No time to question. No time to improve.

Could Enlightenment ever happen in Africa? Hard to say.

The rise of America happened through the mechanization of agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.



With a litle bit of greed. A little bit, aint a bad thing.

Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:52:09 PM EDT
Africa started out OK. They were getting by.

Then, the Colonial powers came in. They wanted raw materials and markets. They tried, to an extent, to improve conditions, but were mainly there for their own reasons.

After WWII, the anti-colonial movement caused most to just leave. There was some advanced tech, but mostly just villagers in the bush.

The communists came along, and made it WORSE.

Next, the UN came along and REALLY fucked it up, along with all the libtards in the west trying to "help".

So, they have the legacy of all that shit to deal with.

Frankly, considering all that has happened, it's a wonder Africa is not in WORSE shape.

Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:52:46 PM EDT
because us evil Americans are using more than our fair share, UN global wealth redistribution for the good of the [African] children


Originally Posted By R2point0:
Because Africa was mostly settled by countries other than Great Britain. The only accurate indicator of a former colony's success is having been a British colony.


Never though about it, but its true

Colonial Maps (From Wiki):
French
Spanish
British

Of the countries that got their independence from their respective colonial rulers (rather than bought such as Spanish holdings in the current US), the British have a much better record
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:53:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By adi:
Guns, germs and steel.


I know all of you hate the author, but his theory on why some countries flourished while others stagnated is quite well outlined in his publishings.


He does make a pretty good case for why Africa (among other places) has not become civilized. One example (among many) is that although there are lots of animals, there are almost no animals that can be domesticated. Europeans were able to domesticate horses, but nobody, not even a European, has ever been able to domesticate zebras. A European ox will pull a cart, but don't try that with a Cape Buffalo. You can domesticate pigs and dogs, but not warthogs and hyenas. In South America, they domesticated the only animal they could –– the llama –– but they were limited by that animal's limited strength (can't pull a plow or carry a rider, for example) until the Spaniards brought horses. They are still catching up to Europe's head start.

Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:55:19 PM EDT
Gary, Indiana, Detroit, Washington D.C., Africa, lots of shit holes out there.

Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:56:05 PM EDT
Who's the guy who several years ago wrote a book about Africa and why it's still a shit hole?

This guy used to work for the U.N. at some point??
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:56:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmyInfantryVet:

Originally Posted By adi:
Guns, germs and steel.


I know all of you hate the author, but his theory on why some countries flourished while others stagnated is quite well outlined in his publishings.

I don't agree that the reason for success is ONLY to do with where you were born. I think culture plays a great deal into it as well.


Go read it, and you'll understand - it's not as simple as "people were born here, thus they're better off". There's a reason why cultures form the way they do, in the times and places that they do, and to believe that said cultures exist in a vacuum completely separate from their environment around them is foolish. Agriculture didn't develop by accident, it began in certain times and places for very specific reasons. "It's a nice area so people are lazy" is about the most shortsighted simplification imaginable.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:57:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 5:59:44 PM EDT by AR15fan]
Originally Posted By Milquetoast:
Originally Posted By adi:
Guns, germs and steel.


I know all of you hate the author, but his theory on why some countries flourished while others stagnated is quite well outlined in his publishings.


He does make a pretty good case for why Africa (among other places) has not become civilized. One example (among many) is that although there are lots of animals, there are almost no animals that can be domesticated. Europeans were able to domesticate horses, but nobody, not even a European, has ever been able to domesticate zebras. A European ox will pull a cart, but don't try that with a Cape Buffalo. You can domesticate pigs and dogs, but not warthogs and hyenas. In South America, they domesticated the only animal they could –– the llama –– but they were limited by that animal's limited strength (can't pull a plow or carry a rider, for example) until the Spaniards brought horses. They are still catching up to Europe's head start.



I don't know if they are donkys, mules or burrows. But there are lots of them in Africa. Plus Camels and the Elephant are both used in the role of horse/ox on other continants.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:58:22 PM EDT
Hmm, typed and erased several things. I'll just say IBTL.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:59:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adi:
Guns, germs and steel.


I know all of you hate the author, but his theory on why some countries flourished while others stagnated is quite well outlined in his publishings.


I didn't realize Jared Diamond was on the arfcom pitchfork justice squad's list. I liked the book as well and think most of what he theorizes is right on the mark.
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