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Failed States
Posted: 29 September 2012 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Just watched a Documentary about Liberia
Why are there so many failed states in Africa?
Did all these problems originate from colonialism, or is it because of, as some people think, tribal structures?

What do you think?

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Posted: 29 September 2012 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thats a good question. Im not sure how you answer it. I have also wondered at times what role corruption plays in all of this. Does a culture that accepts corruption as “the way of the world” lead to a society with a failed government or does the failed government lead to a greater acceptance of corruption as the only way to survive.

It a bit difficult to study these things because you it’s nearly impossible to isolate the variable you want to study.

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Posted: 29 September 2012 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s a big combination of things.

Colonialism and tribalism sort of go together in this case, because the current borders of many African states were created by colonial powers. The tribal alliances of the people are stronger than the sovereignty of the states; this can be exploited in every which way.

The concept of modern nation states is basically a European thing anyway, so it’s probably not realistic to expect non -  Europeans to operate the same way.

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Posted: 30 September 2012 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Alexander80 - 29 September 2012 05:53 AM

Just watched a Documentary about Liberia
Why are there so many failed states in Africa?
Did all these problems originate from colonialism, or is it because of, as some people think, tribal structures?

What do you think?

In all probability its some of both but we should also probably consider who was the colonial power they lived under.  Its apparent that the most successful African states that evolved from colonialism were under British rule.

Another thing for certain, you can see from history that all states fail or should I say fall.  No matter how powerful or weak the days in the sun for all states is limited.

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Posted: 30 September 2012 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I wrote a whole long ‘dissertation’ on Liberia, only to have it eaten by the forum….sigh. Liberia isdifferent from the other African nations in that it was ‘founded’ by manumitted slaves dumped on Africa’s shores in the early 1800s, to steal it from the people who had lived there for eons. Which is why the leaders have British names. They are very proud of their American roots, even if they were rooted in slavery. They treat the locals like peons….or slaves, a trick they learned from the American slaveowners. The name Liberia, is from ‘liberty’ and the capital Monrovia is named for President Monroe. Sierra Leone has a similar history except it was settled by ex Brit slaves.
Haiti has a similar problem in that their rulers were descendants of the French and their slave mistresses or slaves who worked in the large mansions (as opposed to the fields), many of them learned to read and write. They stepped into the shoes of the fleeing French and were equally as brutal.
That is the short short story.

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Posted: 30 September 2012 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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asanta - 30 September 2012 09:00 AM

I wrote a whole long ‘dissertation’ on Liberia, only to have it eaten by the forum….sigh.

If you haven’t deleted your recent memory, you can probably go back and retrieve it.

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Posted: 02 October 2012 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Creating nation is neither an easy or simple process.  Individual greed, interference from outside powers, and human egos are tough to overcome.

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Posted: 02 October 2012 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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garythehuman - 02 October 2012 12:53 PM

Creating nation is neither an easy or simple process.  Individual greed, interference from outside powers, and human egos are tough to overcome.

It didn’t look all that dificult for Germany after it got destroyed in WWII.

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Posted: 02 October 2012 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It didn’t look all that dificult for Germany after it got destroyed in WWII.

 

Yeah George, but they had the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift. Without those they would have starved out. Then NATO kept them out of the evil clutches of the vile damned commies. Well, half of them anyway.

 

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Posted: 02 October 2012 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Really, Jack?

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Posted: 02 October 2012 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yeah, George. You always said you’re curious. Just thought I’d satisfy it.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 09 October 2012 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Tribalism plays a role, as does the colonial borders.

But Aftica is poorly governed mostly because it is poor. And it is poor for historical and geographical reasons.

The slave trade seriously hurt development by depriving local economies of a young labor force. But Africa throughout history has also had to bear the burden of climate and disease.

Malaria and sleeping sickness have been epidemic in Africa for centuries, again starving the continent of the human resources needed to develop.

One of the main reasons why Europe developed first was because it had the competitive advantage of Winter - which kills disease.

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Posted: 09 October 2012 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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JackRyan - 09 October 2012 06:31 AM

Tribalism plays a role, as does the colonial borders.

But Aftica is poorly governed mostly because it is poor. And it is poor for historical and geographical reasons.

The slave trade seriously hurt development by depriving local economies of a young labor force. But Africa throughout history has also had to bear the burden of climate and disease.

Malaria and sleeping sickness have been epidemic in Africa for centuries, again starving the continent of the human resources needed to develop.

One of the main reasons why Europe developed first was because it had the competitive advantage of Winter - which kills disease.

Actually, western Europe has a relatively mild winter, and some deadly pathogens can survive cold - cholera for example.  It’s not unrealistic to claim that climate has a lot to to with development, however.

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Posted: 10 October 2012 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Of course climate has a lot to do with it. And by a lot I mean A LOT. Just like with Lysenko’s crops, the African people are who they are because they have evolved that way due to their climate, and re-educating them (just like Lysenko’s crops) is simply a waste of time.

Not that we really care that much about re-educating them to begin with. They were given Liberia because Lincoln wanted to get a rid of not only slavery, but also the blacks themselves. If anything, chaotic Africa is in our interest: it would be a lot more difficult to exploit them if they ever got organized.

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Posted: 10 October 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Of course climate has a lot to do with it. And by a lot I mean A LOT. Just like with Lysenko’s crops, the African people are who they are because they have evolved that way due to their climate, and re-educating them (just like Lysenko’s crops) is simply a waste of time.

Not that we really care that much about re-educating them to begin with. They were given Liberia because Lincoln wanted to get a rid of not only slavery, but also the blacks themselves. If anything, chaotic Africa is in our interest: it would be a lot more difficult to exploit them if they ever got organized.


The irony is the “Great Emancipator” had ideas of exporting the ex-slaves to Haiti or Panama as well and he didn’t believe in race mixing or that the two races could exist side by side. This part of Lincoln’s administration isn’t even taught in the secondary schools so his legend lives on. He took his cue BTW from Henry Clay whom he admired as leader of the Whigs. Clay proposed to allocate funds to the ACS to relocate freed slaves.

As to educating Africans it depends on the motive. Teaching more efficient farming methods based on the soil and climate conditions would be most beneficial but as most of those west coast countries are Islamic, followed by animism and many remain tribal and rely on a monarchical system of government, Introducing democracy without instead of from within could create more trouble that solve it. This could lead to civil wars in the area and we all know the potential outcome of these conflicts. Liberia has seen it’s share as have it’s neighbors. Best to let them solve their political problems without outside interference. We saw those results during the cold war where we fought the Soviets by proxy there.

 

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Posted: 10 October 2012 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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One of the bigger problems in Africa is, along with a severe shortage of potable water,the encroaching desertification of much of the previously arable land.

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