Why is Liberia poor if it was never colonized?

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,870
Lisbon, Portugal
#61
LOL China is nowehere near as poor as those countries you listed.

Out of the 5 alpha++ cities, 3 are from China.
Shanghai, Beijing and HongKong.

China has dozens of modern 21at century megacities whereas Liberia barely has any civilization.
We are analysing the country in its entirety, not only its biggest cities...

In fact China has a standard of living comparable to a Latin American country.
 
Jun 2016
195
Hungary
#62
We are analysing the country in its entirety, not only its biggest cities...

In fact China has a standard of living comparable to a Latin American country.
Even if you want to judge on its entirety,
China`s GDP percapita is $ 14 200 already, which is listed as Upper-middle income by the world bank.

In fact, If you take a look at China's coastal megacities, it is even more economically advanced than some OECD countries.

Lets 1 take an example
The city of Shenzhen have a population of 15Million
With GDP percapita of $ 44 ,000 which is even higher than France or UK.

So to be fair, comparing China to Liberia is rather stupid.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,870
Lisbon, Portugal
#63
Even if you want to judge on its entirety,
China`s GDP percapita is $ 14 200 already, which is listed as Upper-middle income by the world bank.

In fact, If you take a look at China's coastal megacities, it is even more economically advanced than some OECD countries.

Lets 1 take an example
The city of Shenzhen have a population of 15Million
With GDP percapita of $ 44 ,000 which is even higher than France or UK.

So to be fair, comparing China to Liberia is rather stupid.
Nice strawman. No one has really compared China to Liberia. And yes, an upper-middle income country is still not a fully developed country either.

Btw, the World Bank uses GNI per capita, not GDP per capita, on their statistics of measuring living standards.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#65
Because I want to discuss the topic and see other people's opinions. My opinion of the topic comes mostly from conjectures and I wanted to see if anyone has a better funded theory.

I could write very extensively about this. IMO Liberia is not different from any other Sub-Saharan country. They are in the same state of decay as most Western African countries. Some might be a bit better, but none of them is a developed country, and none is even close to become one in the near future.

What I think about this, is that colonialism is not to blame. First of all, Sub-Saharan Africa has always been backwards when compared to Europe(or at least in the last 2,000 years). Europeans conquered a technologically inferior people, it's not like they destroyed anything the Africans had built because there was absolutely no development there. Most Sub-Saharan people were still in the neolithic, with some exceptions such as Ethiopians(which coincidentally survived colonialism without being subjugated).

For some thousand of years, Western societies lived sedentary lives based in agriculture. Agriculture is what allowed the nomadic people to create towns, because it allowed for a sedentary life. It's been said that there are different stages of development in societies, and that most societies go through the same stages. Sub-Saharan Africa was stuck in the first stage. They developed agriculture, but a very primitive agriculture that didn't leave excess production. Excess production means that some part of the population can dedicate themselves to different activities other than agriculture, and develop technology, work as civil servants, and all the activities that are usually associated with a developed society. Most Sub-Saharan agriculture was still nomadic and productivity was very low. And there was a big amount of population that still lived as hunters and gatherers.

The lack of adequate crops, fertile lands and domestic animals that could be used for work power can be attributed to this. That's why African population never developed and remained small, while in other areas of the world big cities started to appear. Now, Africa cannot just become developed without going through all the stages of development. That is why they are still backwards. Most people in Sub-Saharan Africa don't know how to read and are not accostumed to living in modern societies. The African culture and way of living can't adjust to the new ways of an agricultural society. Europeans can't just impose their customs on people who are so backwards, because they will not adapt. And that's what has happened in Sub-Saharan Africa.





North Africa is a totally different thing because first of all, it's separated from the rest of Africa by the Sahara, so demographically they are very different. Also North Africa has been connected to Asia and Europe from very ancient times. They had access to large domestic animals such as camels, donkeys and horses from much earlier than in Sub-Saharan Africa. North Africa has had written language for a very long time too, while Sub-Saharan Africa did not develop that. Written language is probably what defines if a group of people are a civilization or not. North Africans had this, they had an advanced agriculture and developed cities, trade, real economies, had a highly cultivated class that developed technology and culture. They were advanced enough to set a foot in Europe. While Sub-Saharans were conquered by Europeans, North Africans managed to conquer the Europeans. That's why we are talking about two absolutely different situations. Today North Africa is much more developed than Sub-Saharan African, and culturally it has closer ties with Western Asia than with the rest of Africa.


The only case of advanced civilizations that were conquered by the Europeans and to this day are undeveloped and poor can be seen in South East Asia. India was relatively advanced by the time it was conquered by the British, and yet now it's a very poor place. In this situation, it could be argued that it was because of colonialism. But some others question the real extent of India's technological prowess before it was conquered. That is something I'd like to debate in a different thread.
Sub-saharan Africa was way more than neolithic.
For quite a while, I read about Sub-Saharan kingdoms and empires.
Kingdom of Kongo, Kilwa Sultanate, Shona Kingdoms, Benin Empire, Ashanti Empire, and more, were known for sophisticated state administration, iron works, stone structures, and trade networks.
They were mostly about the size of a Chinese province, but this is another issue.
Notice: during the height of the Kingdom of Kongo, it probably had the equivalent (if not better) standard of living in comparison with its contemporary Europe.
 
Sep 2012
930
Spring, Texas
#66
Sub Saharan peoples definitely had stable food crops and they had Cattle, Goats and Sheep. Plots were worked by hand (foot actually!). Tribes in the Sahel had horses and donkeys. They did change crops after contact with Europeans. Maize provided more calories than crops like Millet.

The Kingdom of Kongo was overthrown by Portuguese Slavers who hired a neighboring tribe to take them out. The Kongos had converted to Christianity and were claiming they could not sell themselves to the Slavers. All it took was some firearms and liquor to convnce the neighbors.

Pruitt
 
Dec 2018
2
Brasil
#67
The fact is: before colonization, africans had good enough to sustain their people, agriculture provided enough for everyone and crime rate was low, as described by arabs, berbers and europeans travellers. The only problema was some diseases, but it was more like forest kingdoms. About Kilwa Sultanate, it was founded by Shizari *as a Sultanate*, but Kilwa existed before. In fact, Kilwa was bought by the Shirazi in 10th century, if they were dominated so it wouldn't be bought, but taken. But it was still a very Black african city even in 14th century, as described by Ibn Battuta. The other Swahili city-states were mostly controled by africans, as Sofala (which the king was called Mfalme, a bantu name) the coinage was totally different from those of Persia, Arabia, Spain and North Africa, that followed Ummayd Caliphate patterns, though it had Arab inscriptions, it was tottaly different and one If the reasons they realized Swahili wasnt colonized by arabs. They didn't even speak arab or persian languages, but swahili (a niger-congo language with a lot of asian influences). It's already accepted that this trade coast was developed by indigenous people. Maybe even before indian ocean contact, search for the world used by greeks and romans to describe Tanzania and other East African countries: Azania, Menouthias and Rhapta.

The Indian Ocean and Swahili Coast coins, international networks an...

And Subsaharan Africans were not hunter-gatheres and stone-age people, not at all. Most of Bantus, Nilotes and West Africans were farming and blacksmiths, sorgho, rice, bean, watermelon and many others, all of this was cultivated. Except for pygmies and most of khoisan, the average african were neither in Stone age nor hunter-gatherers. They were cattle herders, West Africa had horses and camels (i recognize that camels were jntelduced by semitic people, and horses were already domesticated since Nok culture, that weren't influenced by North Africa, maybe some trade but I don't know). If nok evolved to Yoruba and others, so the horses died, due to tse-tse fly. It seems that Southern and Central Africa dos not have native horses, only zebras, that hardly could be domesticated, maybe with New technologies today, I don't know.
 
Dec 2018
2
Brasil
#68
Maybe the answer is iq?
That's why Qatar have average IQ of 78 and it's prosperous? Or Mongólia, that have an average of 105, and it's not exactly a successful country. Same can be aplied to africans: Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have and IQ average of 82, 84 and 91 respectively, while Namibia, Rwanda, Botswana are far more better than those quoted. The guy is right, i'd rather leave in Botswana that. Lybia or Mauritania, caucasian countries (or ruled by caucasians).
 
Jan 2015
5,220
Ontario, Canada
#69
While I don't think that IQ is a good measure of determining a people's success or the success of a nation, no one seems to be answering any questions. Mostly just poking holes, deconstructing the concept and begging the question.

Qatar only became prosperous when they discovered oil on their land using the expertise of American and European experts. Even today most people in Qatar are poor and uneducated. Most of their technocrats are imported from abroad, likewise in Saudi Arabia. The average has little to do with Qatar's success.

As for Africa well I can't speak on Liberia. However it is impossible for a civilization to succeed within Africa if it does not fit within a specific niche. Africa is a massive continent which stretches vertically, but most of the rivers flow horizontally and there are large gaps in between of desert and wasteland. All the major civilizations grew out of these river areas. The few tribes which succeeded in the wastes only adapted to a tribal lifestyle and not a densely populated sedentary life the way Africa became after European colonization. It isn't a huge surprise why modern Africans are struggling to adapt to a Western lifestyle and state system which is not their own.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,620
Portugal
#70
The Kingdom of Kongo was overthrown by Portuguese Slavers who hired a neighboring tribe to take them out. The Kongos had converted to Christianity and were claiming they could not sell themselves to the Slavers. All it took was some firearms and liquor to convnce the neighbors.

Pruitt
I know that this post was written some time ago, but just saw it now, sorry for that and for being out of topic.

The Portuguese had wars with the Kindgom of Kongo, but the kingdom existed until the 19th century and at least nominally until the 20th century.

As for neighbouring tribe you mean the “Jagas”?