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Old June 3rd, 2018, 08:29 PM   #1

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What led to the current African poverty?


Except a few spots of prosperity, much of Africa is behind the rest in Human Development Index other socioeconomic indicators.
"Blame the colonizers" sounds simplistic; if history is as simple as typical alternative history, we would not have that much debate about history.
Ethiopia is never colonized; it is nonetheless one of the most backwards country in Africa.
Liberia is another counter example of "colonization".
Was Africa always a centre of famines, diseases, and human sufferings in general?
How was the standard of living during the pre-colonial eras?
Why do people have negative impressions about Africans or people of African descents?
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 09:21 PM   #2

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Some people think the School Of Life is overly simplistic but I enjoy most of their videos. Here is one they made about the topic of why are some countries poor. From what I remember it is largely a combination of a few factors:

1- Landlocked countries
2- A history of political corruption (internally)
3- Lack of natural resources
4- Lack of good/strong police/courts/hospitals, etc

And then of course:

A history of abusive or exploitative colonial powers



more details:

1- Landlocked - it is hard to get commercial goods in and out of a landlocked country but it is also hard to distribute charitable goods in such a country as well. (see the post below for hot/landlocked countries)

2- Political Corruption - even if/wen charity is provided it often is stolen by corrupt government officials. Also is tribalism, hiring people and giving promotions along family and clan or tribe instead of upon ability.

3- Lack of Natural resources - seems self explanatory, the only note to add is that developing the infrastructure to get the resources and transfer them out usually involves First World countries setting up logistics and infrastructure and taking unfair economic advantage.



How to make a country rich - is another good video from School of Life
The Rules for Rulers is a bit longer, 20 mins, from GCP Grey, but it is a very good video which explains why small poor countries are often corrupt.

Last edited by Robert165; June 3rd, 2018 at 09:52 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 09:40 PM   #3

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In addition to being Landlocked, is heat, the problem it causes for growing crops was well as pestilence. Countries that are both landlocked and hot have a particular problem.

hottest countries in the world
Click the image to open in full size.

poorest countries in the world
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 10:45 PM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VHS View Post
Except a few spots of prosperity, much of Africa is behind the rest in Human Development Index other socioeconomic indicators.
"Blame the colonizers" sounds simplistic; if history is as simple as typical alternative history, we would not have that much debate about history.
Ethiopia is never colonized; it is nonetheless one of the most backwards country in Africa.
Liberia is another counter example of "colonization".
Was Africa always a centre of famines, diseases, and human sufferings in general?
How was the standard of living during the pre-colonial eras?
Why do people have negative impressions about Africans or people of African descents?
I think that this general topic has been discussed before in some other threads. It might be better to look at specific cases and maybe start a thread on a particular country, and then maybe people who are particularly knowledgeable about that country can contribute what they know about that country. Or people can look for information about that particular country.

Looking at one particular country in west Africa, the modern Republic of Ghana, the best explanation does lie mostly with colonization. I would recommend reading chapter 16 of the book Travels and Life in Ashanti and Jaman (1898) by Richard Austin Freeman, which is titled "England and Ashanti: Part II. Results of British Policy":

https://archive.org/stream/travelsan.../n500/mode/1up

Freeman was a British writer and physician with politically conservative views (not at all a "leftist", but very much the opposite) who worked in the Gold Coast area of west Africa for a time. While Freeman did have a bit of racial bias against black Africans (which was not unusual for a British person of that time, but his bias was not really of the extreme sort), even he was struck by the wrongheadedness and folly of British policy with regard to the Gold Coast area (later the Republic of Ghana). He basically realized (though he wasn't the only one), many decades before some modern researchers on African history did, that by engaging in state destruction (of the Asante empire) and the elimination of regional trade, the British had, in certain ways, actually retarded the development of the area.

It probably could hardly be imagined by some people today that the Europeans who visited Asante before its conquest found a thriving, impressive, and well organized state that was on course to unify the Akan peoples of west Africa under a single government, but this is in fact how things were. This is simply what the sources reveal.

The reversal - the deterioration of the Gold Coast region from a region dominated by a great state (Asante) to an unimpressive colony and then a (relatively) mediocre country - does have quite a bit to do with colonialism, as people figured out even over a century ago, well before the emergence of any sort of 20th century political correctness or any "leftist" interpretation of the history of the area.

As for quality of life, the book by Rönnbäck that is briefly reviewed in the site linked to below only deals with the coastal part of what is now the Republic of Ghana, and not the hinterland (where Asante was). The book does suggest that the coastal part of Ghana was not actually worse off than many other places around the world.

https://eh.net/book_reviews/labour-a...he-gold-coast/


My own belief, based on what I have read about Asante, is that quality of life in Asante, in the hinterland of Ghana, would have been higher than in anywhere on the coastal part of what is now Ghana. But I doubt that the necessary data, of the sort that Rönnbäck collected for the coastal area, exists to show that outright, even if the descriptions of Asante are suggestive of this really being the case.


That is just one country (Ghana), of course. For other some other places, such as the Republic of Niger, it might be more instructive to look at some environmental challenges (over 80% of Niger is desert), rather than simply looking at any possible wrongheaded colonial policies.
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Old June 4th, 2018, 12:31 AM   #5

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This is going to be controversial but I'm going to be honest here.

It is two fold: low human potential and colonization. Many places in Africa used to have a caste structure where the people with the highest potential would usually intermarry each other, excluding those with lower potential. For example the blacksmith would be part of a higher caste. The higher caste usually controlled the lower caste and managed their breeding through taboos. Colonialism basically threw a wrench into that system and disrupted a very ancient and beautiful order with perfect evolutionary balance.

Education can't help you if the average has very limited human potential. All the resources in the soil can't either. What can help is reinstating a modern version of this ancient order (which is the antithesis of democracy).

You can make a system where the average person is of lower human potential behaves like a system with high human potential by letting the elite control and manage the system. This is the horse and the horseman system. The horseman reins in the stronger beast and gives it purpose and aim.


Restriction must also be placed on the breeding of the lower caste else you'll end up with a bunch of total idiots massively outnumbering the intellectuals of that society. This is what happened with Ethiopia (which was a civilization full of wonders and achievements). This is where the West is heading too with its decadence and uncontrolled breeding.

This is the ONLY explanation as to why Africa is so poor. There is no other explanation, try as you may. It's just politically correct nonsense.

Last edited by Eryl Enki; June 4th, 2018 at 12:34 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2018, 12:50 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by Eryl Enki View Post
This is the ONLY explanation as to why Africa is so poor. There is no other explanation, try as you may. It's just politically correct nonsense.
Your claim is interesting, but do you have data to support your statement about Ethiopia declining because of "uncontrolled breeding"?

Also, did you read that chapter by Freeman that I cited above? Do you have any rebuttal to his arguments about Britain? Note that he was not "politically correct" at all (he even repeats stereotypes about Africans when comparing them to northern Europeans), and that concept did not really exist in his time. In fact, not only was he not politically correct, he was also a eugenicist (so he might have agreed with the spirit or sentiment of your argument, if he were around). Yet he placed the vast majority of the blame for the decline of the Gold Coast squarely on the disruptions caused by British policy, and gave specific reasons for why their policy was to blame, but his argument was not really about "uncontrolled breeding".

I also see some limitations/obstacles with the popular insistence on democracy alone for the development of modern states, but I am not sure that this "uncontrolled breeding of the lower social strata" issue is one of the real problems.
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Old June 4th, 2018, 12:53 AM   #7

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Corruption, incompetence, tribalism, nepotism and unwillingness to recognise any of this and blaming others for their current problems. A continent with vast natural resources now being exploited by the new colonial masters from China.
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Old June 4th, 2018, 01:05 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ighayere View Post
Your claim is interesting, but do you have data to support your statement about Ethiopia declining because of "uncontrolled breeding"?

Also, did you read that chapter by Freeman that I cited above? Do you have any rebuttal to his arguments about Britain? Note that he was not "politically correct" at all (he even repeats stereotypes about Africans when comparing them to northern Europeans), and that concept did not really exist in his time. In fact, not only was he not politically correct, he was also a eugenicist (so he might have agreed with the spirit or sentiment of your argument, if he were around). Yet he placed the vast majority of the blame for the decline of the Gold Coast squarely on the disruptions caused by British policy, and gave specific reasons for why their policy was to blame, but his argument was not really about "uncontrolled breeding".

I also see some limitations/obstacles with the popular insistence on democracy alone for the development of modern states, but I am not sure that this "uncontrolled breeding of the lower social strata" issue is one of the real problems.

And how exactly did Freeman contradict my position? I clearly specified above that low human potential and colonialism have both been responsible for the current state of Africa. I clearly stated that Africa had order and structure before European interference.

Now, if you destroy the "horse and horseman" model, you are left with a chaotic system. Democracy will not work and cannot work in places like Africa and India. It just can't. The popular cannot rule in the place of the competent. Rwanda proves this. Kigame is a high potential leader and hence his nation mirrors his vision. In a system that doesn't harness/harvest the talent of its intellectual elites and restrict their interaction with commoners, they are lost through a process called dilution. It's a scientific fact.

Last edited by Eryl Enki; June 4th, 2018 at 01:11 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2018, 01:26 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Belgarion View Post
Corruption, incompetence, tribalism, nepotism and unwillingness to recognise any of this and blaming others for their current problems. A continent with vast natural resources now being exploited by the new colonial masters from China.
Some parts of Africa were poor, or even poorer and less developed when they were being governed by Europeans during the colonial period. I guess when incompetent postcolonial African leaders also have to try to sort out the legacy of incompetent colonial rulers, there is a double burden of incompetence to deal with.

Tribalism has quite a bit to do with colonization as well. Fake countries, arbitrary borders without any cultural synthesis or unity. No surprise that tribalism thrives.

As for corruption, it is difficult to create an environment where it would be acceptable to execute criminals and huge thieves (especially those masquerading as "politicians" and "military officers") with the pressure of the international human rights movement hanging over these states to try to get them to conform. I came across this article a while back:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8300726.html

These people were (and still are) basically criticizing China for doing the right thing (executing people who commit serious crimes, including for serious corruption crimes such as taking massive bribes) while praising sub-Saharan Africans for doing the wrong thing and executing very few people. Really surreal.

Hopefully African nations will wake up, eventually ignore the narrative/distortion being peddled about the execution of criminals, start to do the right thing, and execute such criminals as was done in centuries past.

Last edited by Ighayere; June 4th, 2018 at 01:49 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2018, 10:23 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eryl Enki View Post
This is going to be controversial but I'm going to be honest here.

It is two fold: low human potential and colonization. Many places in Africa used to have a caste structure where the people with the highest potential would usually intermarry each other, excluding those with lower potential. For example the blacksmith would be part of a higher caste. The higher caste usually controlled the lower caste and managed their breeding through taboos. Colonialism basically threw a wrench into that system and disrupted a very ancient and beautiful order with perfect evolutionary balance.

Education can't help you if the average has very limited human potential. All the resources in the soil can't either. What can help is reinstating a modern version of this ancient order (which is the antithesis of democracy).

You can make a system where the average person is of lower human potential behaves like a system with high human potential by letting the elite control and manage the system. This is the horse and the horseman system. The horseman reins in the stronger beast and gives it purpose and aim.


Restriction must also be placed on the breeding of the lower caste else you'll end up with a bunch of total idiots massively outnumbering the intellectuals of that society. This is what happened with Ethiopia (which was a civilization full of wonders and achievements). This is where the West is heading too with its decadence and uncontrolled breeding.

This is the ONLY explanation as to why Africa is so poor. There is no other explanation, try as you may. It's just politically correct nonsense.
Interesting point, but to prove that your conclusion is correct, you need to prove that caste systems are widespread in Africa. From my own research, the hereditary transmission of a class is widespread all through Africa, but not necessarily endogamy.
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