Sunday, July 31, 2005

Socialism: The Road to Hell

My country gives more aid per capita to Africa and developing nations than almost any other nation on earth. But does it help, or do we simply do it because it makes us feel good? I asked the question recently about what foreign aid decreased poverty in 19th century Europe? The correct answer is of course: None. It was done by economic dynamism and capitalism. Some time ago, India decided it would no longer accept aid from Western countries, but rely on its own strength and resources. I think that's a smart decision, one indicating that India has the self-confidence necessary to compete in the global economy. If you rely on alms from others, it does something to your mentality. Some scientists have asked whether the numbers showing an African AIDS pandemic have been inflated. Has this been done to keep the aid flowing? Who benefits from that?

This raises a new set of questions about Islamic nations: We keep hearing for every terrorist attack that we need to help Islamic countries with aid to make the recruitment for terrorists for difficult. First of all: Islamic terrorism is Jihad against the infidels and has nothing to do with poverty. It actually gets worse with wealth, as the donors give support to Jihadist groups everywhere. Just look at the Saudis. Second of all: Money given from non-Muslims won't induce any gratitude from Muslims. They will view it as Jizya, the tribute non-Muslims are supposed to pay for the honor of being allowed to remain alive as second - or third-rate citizens in their own country. It will be seen as a sign of submission and thus actually increase Islamic arrogance and aggressiveness. On top of this, experience tells us that aid will frequently at best end up in the pockets of the powerful and corrupt, at worst in the hands of terrorists and extremists. This whole idea of "global redistribution of wealth" is nothing more than Socialism. It doesn't work on a local or national level. Why on earth should it work on a global level? China remained dirt poor as long as it was a Socialist country. As soon as it started experimenting with capitalism, it lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. India's boom has been facilitated by trying to reduce bureaucracy and static thinking. Europe reshaped the entire global economy during its dynamic heydays. Today's declining European welfare states make Europe increasingly look like the "sick man of the world". President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is thus wrong: Socialism, not capitalism, is the road to hell.

"For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor. Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice.

Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine

In Niger, a desert country twice the size of Texas, most of the 11 million people live on a dollar a day. Forty percent of children are underfed, and one out of four dies before turning 5. And that's when things are normal. Throw in a plague of locusts, and a familiar spectacle emerges: skeletal babies, distended bellies, people too famished to brush the flies from their faces. To the aid workers charged with saving the dying. "When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more," said the Kenya-based director of the Inter Region Economic Network, an African think tank. "They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change." Even African countries that have food to spare can't easily share it because tariffs on agricultural products within sub-Saharan Africa average as high as 33 percent, compared with 12 percent on similar products imported from Europe. "It doesn't make sense when they can't even allow their neighbors to feed them. They have to wait for others in Europe or Asia to help," he said. "We don't have any excuses in Africa. We can't blame nature. We have to tell our leadership to open up and get people producing food."


At July 31, 2005 10:22 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Fjordman, I think you've really hit the nail on the head again, but I think your facts are wrong about Norwegians giving more "per capita". I believe the US has that honor, but you must add in charity giving along with government aid. Americans prefer to have the joy that comes from giving personally rather than creating a huge government to do it for us. Similarly, if one can become "hands on" helping people, a greater sense of satisfaction is gained than just mailing in a check. I guess the closer one is to helping others, the more rewarding the experience. In a sense your government is robbing you of one of the greatest joys in life. That's actually quite sad.

By the way I agree with the English guy who said the muslims should leave (born, naturatized, etc). They will never "fit in" unless they reform their religion.

At August 01, 2005 8:31 AM, Blogger ik said...

I can confirm for you that for 50 years in India the Congress party pursued Socialist policies and the best brains in the country just ran away.
In 5 years the Hindu Nationalists pushed capitalism and in 5 years more work got done than had been done in the last 50 years.

Also it was the Hindu Nationalists who decided that we should not take any foreign aid and we should stand up on our own feet. Once they lost the elections and the Congress/Commie alliance came to power one of the first things they did was to reinstate the demand for foreign aid. I guess beggary is programmed into the DNA of socialists/leftists

At August 01, 2005 10:13 AM, Blogger Geir said...

An article related to sissyblue's comment:

US donations to Africa outstrip Europe by 15 to 1.

European give higher percentages of their income to aid, but since Europeans aren't that rich compared to Americans, their aid is far less in amounts of dollars.

At August 01, 2005 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares whether Europe or America gives more? The question is how the aid is given, and whether it should be given at all.

If you want to help poor countries, probably the best thing you can do is go to and order a bunch of the crafts/clothing items made by people from Third and Fourth World nations. The profits will help them accumulate capital to invest in more production capacity and create more jobs.

Aid destroys local industries; buy things and help build up local industries.

At August 01, 2005 9:38 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Irene Adler is absolutely right. Another good one is I've bought some REALLY cool stuff there and it is top notch quality. A neclace I bought from Afghanistan is GORGEOUS and some cool hand embroidered cards from Bosnia are totally awesome. I think in a way we were saying the same thing. The closer you get the help to the people who need it, the better. For example, I send my money directly to local shelters rather to the national headquarters. That way I know it's being used to help the helpless. God bless you all, and especially Fjordman for his awesome website and insight!

At October 02, 2005 2:56 AM, Blogger no-nuthin said...

I read an article recently on the BBC site that told about a sub-Saharan African country (Rwanda?) that is going out of its way to invest in its technology infrastructure as a way to lure business. This seems to follow the Indian model. It will be exciting to find out if it works. If it does, it will give fuel to your idea.

At October 28, 2005 11:18 AM, Blogger gaslucas said...

I am brazilian going mad with all the damages you nordics do to the third-world!!! Your money finances the campaign against gun-ownership, the culture of racial hate (racial quotas, preferences,) in a country where almost everybody is of mixed race, you finance the creation of aboriginal states in the Amazon where brazilians don't enter and drug-dealers (good socialists from the FARCs of Colombia and the MST, the brazilian version) rules. You finance social-engineering (look at who finances the homossexual marriage campaign and you'll find europeans and americans). Can't you fulfill your desires of financing evil by allowing more muslims into your countries and financing the Palestinian Authority?

At October 29, 2005 1:40 AM, Blogger Enza Ferreri said...

Another reason to be careful about the aid to give Third World countries is that they often pursue a factory farming policy.

One of the first things they do as soon as they have some more money to spend seems to be creating intensive farms, which are concentration-camp-style and morally wrong.

China is a good example of this, but also any African country relatively more developed than the others.

Check my
on this.


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