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Old November 24th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #51

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Originally Posted by tomar View Post
No it does not matter... As I said people who hail from regions with plenty of wood tend to take it for granted....

I think wood still is quite important.. Its a contributing factor to the economy... Take IKEA for example who sell a lot of wood in the form of furniture and have a $30 billion business

Take the US home building industry which relies heavily on wood (yes you can build stone houses too, they are just more expensive to build and to refit, hence you lose productivity)

Granted wood is less important today.. BUT countries have accumulated wealth for centuries based among other things on wood... That wealth still gives them the ability to invest today

And in some countries wood is still a major contributor.. In the US its about 300 billion dollars, in Canada

The agency Canada Wood Council calculates that in the year 2005 in Canada, the forest sector employed 930,000 workers (1 job in every 17), making around $108 billion of value in goods and services. For many years products derived from trees in Canadian forests had been the most important export items of the country. In 2011, exports around the world totaled some $64.3 billion – the single largest contributor to Canadian trade balance




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_e...Canada_.26_USA



The Importance of Wood
We might be misunderstanding each other. I understand already that wood can be useful, and that it can contribute significantly to an economy just as any other commodity can, but I don't see it as essential to industrialization. Not when there are alternatives. By contrast, for most of those important uses that iron or water are used for, I don't know of any good alternatives.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 10:33 AM   #52
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We might be misunderstanding each other. I understand already that wood can be useful, and that it can contribute significantly to an economy just as any other commodity can, but I don't see it as essential to industrialization. Not when there are alternatives. By contrast, for most of those important uses that iron or water are used for, I don't know of any good alternatives.
OK.. well one would have to look at the building industry I guess..... that is probably where wood is most critical....

Also there is a cost component..... beyond certain cost level projects are not undertaken... I cant say for certain that absence of wood would drive costs up by such a factor that it would make industrial projects too expensive, but its worth looking into....

The empirical evidence is simply that large countries with little or no wood (say Egypt) do not seem to reach a high level of development (so far)... I cant say I have definite proof though that without wood you cant industrialize in our day and age
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Old November 24th, 2016, 10:51 AM   #53

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former western colonies were suppressed and there institution,technological and industrial growth were retarded by the governing colonialist. Its been about 50-60 yrs since the end of of colonialism , they are simply catching up. 200 yrs of suppression is really difficult to remove in 40 yrs
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Old November 24th, 2016, 10:51 AM   #54

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Also, keep in mind that I was referring to the economies stability of the country, which is actually very very good.
Point taken. Economically, they do appear to be doing well, especially compared to the rest of Africa.

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Nooooooo! I 100% disagree with you here! ...
Thus what you are referring to as a "civil war", was actually a war of independence against South African occupation.
Thanks for the clarification. Your up-close-and-personal perspective does give you special understanding, but it might also be creating participation bias.

There were battles between competing groups within Namibia. The involvement of outside forces ... South Africa in this case ... doesn't change the fact that violence between groups inside the country took place. Wikipedia, for example, states, "In 1999, the national government successfully quashed a secessionist attempt in the northeastern Caprivi Strip. The Caprivi conflict was initiated by the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA), a rebel group led by Mishake Muyongo. It wanted the Caprivi Strip to secede in order to form its own society." Violence from the neighboring Angola's civil war also evidently spilled over into Namibia.

If there were organized groups in the US killing each other, I would call it a civil war regardless of the source of the conflict or the outcome.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 10:53 AM   #55

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Enlarging the reasoning:

we've got two main types of former Western colonies.

1) as I was mentioning, the former colonies which have seen the settlement of Western populations who have become the great majority, putting in minority the native populations.

Generally these colonies have developed well [when not very well], in good substance because they have been and are Western countries.

2) former colonies where Western population haven't settled in so great numbers to substitute the native populations [or in some cases native and not native together: in Northern Africa, Islamic powers had already colonized and Arab populations had settled as well].

These colonies haven't acquired a Western model of development after the end of colonialism. I guess that also anti-colonial feelings have played a role in this, but overall it has been a matter of corruption, bad government and post-colonialism.

I know Senegalese migrants who work here in Italy. They claim that Senegal people doesn't enjoy the money coming from the exploitation of the natural resources of the country because of the way their government deals with international corporations [and now they have found oil and natural gas, I cannot imagine what will happen ...].

** A particular case
South Africa is a particular case: Westerns have settled in great numbers there, enough to impose their dominion and their model of development to the country. We all know how white South Africans did this. After the end of the Apartheid, the knew South Africa is trying and following that path of development and it promises well.
That's really not the case.

You are ignoring the fact that colonies that were settled by Western people functioned and had very different institutions than the colonies inhabited by subjugated natives.

Western settler colonies basically functioned as "little Englands" or "little Frances" - they were ruled under the same institutions of their colonial capitals plus with the amount of resources they had in their disposal. The colonial settlers had roughly the same rights and privileges as the people back in Europe.

Colonies that were already inhabited by massive native populations did function as places to be exploited. They didn't inherit the institutions of their colonial masters neither colonial administrators were practicularly interested in establishing those institutions or improve the lives and the socio-economic conditions of the native populations. Those colonial subjects - like the natural resources of those colonies - were just something to exploited to the benefit of a few number of powerful people involved in the colonial enterprise.
When those colonies got their independence, they just inherited the same exploitative institutions that once the European master had.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 10:59 AM   #56

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200 yrs of suppression is really difficult to remove in 40 yrs
Especially if you're going about it the wrong way. Some countries have made quite a bit of progress in 40 years.

The issue is not whether colonies were suppressed. (I think most reasonable people will agree that they were.) The issue is to what degree that PAST suppression is responsible for their present state of being.

From American criminals to international economies, blaming the past for present conduct is one of the most popular ways to avoid reform. But "popular" is not the same as "correct".
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Old November 24th, 2016, 11:05 AM   #57

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Depends on colonial authorities.. The French did genuily try to educate those they could (usually city dwellers) in the french way, giving them the same school programs they had in France
What I am really commenting on is the extent of their efforts, not denying that they made efforts. If they were making a real effort to turn their colonies into states that had education levels comparable to their own country, why was there so little evidence of that at independence?


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A second Britain or a second France on the other hand could not exist anywhere in Africa.. .The conditions are simply not there in terms of geography and resources...
Well, I think that there are some exceptions, but no need to do a point by point comparison of geography and resources between those two countries (or other colonizing powers) and all of Africa. We can just disagree about this.

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No one has really made a definitive calculation, but its highly likely that many colonies, on balance, were loss making... And that is why they were easily let go off.. The most promising ones, or those where investment was high, had to fight.. Most prominently this was the case for Algeria...
There is a different way to look at this, which you may have missed. European colonial powers benefited from having those colonies not merely because of the raw materials they were getting out of them cheaply such as diamonds, rubber, oil, etc. but from the market for their own finished products that they obtained by initiating a system of dependency of those peoples on European goods and services. A place in Africa that was said before colonization to be "independent of Manchester" in the production of its own local textiles, became dependent on at least some European goods (though still remaining self sufficient in some things) after British colonization to the point that people there would wear European suits in the blazing African heat even though it made no sense to do so simply because this now became the proper thing to do for certain occasions. I could say more about how the potential to increase one's export market can be a strong motivator to force a place to become dependent on one's goods and services, but this has been written about by other people at length before and I think you get the idea.

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I dont know about Jamaicans and Yemenis (though given the hell hole Yemen has become I would not be surprised if yemenis long for the days past) but north africans have voted with their feet with many millions moving to France... and many more wishing to do so.. Which would seem to indicate that, on second thought, after the initial elation of independence, many africans would not have minded to stay under France's rule IF they had been given the same rights as the French.. In fact you have a clear case with the Comoros and Mayotte. Mayotte is French,, The Comoros are independent... Comorans are moving en masse to Mayotte where they now constitute about 30% of the population
I've never seen any evidence that the majority of North Africans in North Africa are trying to live in France.

And I've seen no evidence that most Africans from countries that France colonized would not have minded staying under France's rule if they had been given the same rights as the French.

This would be more believable if you could provide some credible sources suggesting these things.

In any case, such a situation would not necessarily have been ideal for the French themselves, since such an equal union would have resulted in the French being just one of many groups of people in what was supposed to be their own empire. And even today, with only the so-called French neo-colonialism that is claimed to exist (rather than "full colonialism, but with equal rights for all"), there are frequent complaints about immigration to France from precisely those places that it colonized. Imagine the horror if France formed some sort of "equal rights confederation" with all those places.

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Old November 24th, 2016, 11:20 AM   #58

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OK.. well one would have to look at the building industry I guess..... that is probably where wood is most critical....

Also there is a cost component..... beyond certain cost level projects are not undertaken... I cant say for certain that absence of wood would drive costs up by such a factor that it would make industrial projects too expensive, but its worth looking into....

The empirical evidence is simply that large countries with little or no wood (say Egypt) do not seem to reach a high level of development (so far)... I cant say I have definite proof though that without wood you cant industrialize in our day and age

Well, Ethiopia is currently experiencing a construction boom, so I don't believe their shortage of forestry is as much of an obstacle as you might think it is.

I'm not sure I follow what you're saying about Egypt? Egypt might not be well developed in modern times, yes. But in the ancient past the Egyptian state developed pretty handily without having an abundance of wood. Or by development here do you only mean modern industrialization?

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Old November 24th, 2016, 09:01 PM   #59
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Well, Ethiopia is currently experiencing a construction boom, so I don't believe their shortage of forestry is as much of an obstacle as you might think it is.

I'm not sure I follow what you're saying about Egypt? Egypt might not be well developed in modern times, yes. But in the ancient past the Egyptian state developed pretty handily without having an abundance of wood. Or by development here do you only mean modern industrialization?
On Egypt... wood shortage was always a problem (in fact there is evidence they imported wood from Lebanon as far back as 2 500 BC or there abouts)

You'll find that Egypt was no longer a power after the 7th or 6th century BC, and was constantly invaded (persians, greeks, romans, arabs etc...).. It did not have the wood (and hence the metal as then for metal you needed lotsa wood to power the furnaces) to compete

As wood became more and more important in antiquity, so did Egypt's power wane
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Old November 24th, 2016, 09:06 PM   #60
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What I am really commenting on is the extent of their efforts, not denying that they made efforts. If they were making a real effort to turn their colonies into states that had education levels comparable to their own country, why was there so little evidence of that at independence?


.
The evidence is in the fact that the "elites" were all french speaking, french educated, had a french life style... Where possible they had homes in France, french wives and travelled there regularly

I would say France never had the means to extend the benefits of education to everyone, especially in countries where at the time most of the population was rural.. So they focused on city dwellers and the 'elites'
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