Monday, April 27, 2009

World Poverty--the Fault of the West?

Interesting little item from Rome.

The radical causes of poverty are not colonization, or the multi-nationals or the egoism of rich countries. Although the rich of the world bear so much responsibility and culpability, they are not at the root of the poverty of poor peoples.

... the [common knowledge] is that, prior to the encounter with Western colonization, for example, the African peoples and the Amazonian Indians lived a natural, happy, peaceful and community life. However, [that] is an ideological vision altogether contrary to the historical reality

So Western civilization did not disrupt things. In fact, in the late 1800's,

...the missionaries wrote that the tribes were constantly at war among themselves, and described their life as inhumane, slightly above that of animals, in addition to being "impoverished." The tribal peoples of Burma developed precisely through the action of the missionaries, who brought peace, taught them how to work and cultivate rice-fields -- previously they were nomads -- opened roads and schools, brought in modern medicine, studied their languages and compiled dictionaries, gathered proverbs and narratives from them and so on.

This missionary priest has another explanation for the problem of poverty in the Third World.

In 2001, the "non-globalists" coined an effective slogan for the Group of Eight meeting in Genoa: "We are rich because they are poor and they are poor because we are rich." I always say that the poor are not helped by telling lies.

Akin to the other slogan: "Ten percent of the world population consumes 90% of the resources, and 90% of men consume only 10% of the available resources." This must be corrected to read: "Ten percent of men produce and consume 90% of the resources, and 90% of men produce and consume 10% of the resources."

If you missed it, the key word here is "produce."

The root of the problem is that first one must produce if one is to consume: One consumes if one produces, and in poor countries not enough is produced to maintain the rate of growth of the population

So what IS the solution?

Famine does not come from too many men and women, but from the fact that they are not taught how to produce more, beyond the level of pure sustenance. However, in the West this is not acknowledged because it calls into question our true responsibility, which is not just helping finance poor countries and paying a just price for their raw materials (this is also true, but it is not first and foremost). Our responsibility is to contribute to their education so they become self-sufficient, first of all in the production of food and then of all the rest.

Do not give the man a fish. Teach him HOW to fish...

For example, despite what appears to be a stable economy:

Cameroon produces little if anything in the industrial area. It has no real industry, only cement works, textile production and sugar, beer and cigarettes, ginning of cotton and little else. It imports almost all modern goods, including lamps and refrigerators, exporting natural riches (oil, various minerals, wood) and agricultural products. And economic growth without industry is not possible.

There's another factor, too.

The second cancer of Cameroon is state corruption at the political and administrative level. In the list of the most corrupt countries of the world drawn up by the United Nations, Cameroon always places at the top; in 2007, in fact, it placed first. It is not the specific fault of this or that head of state or administrator; it is a custom that stems from the mentality: When one has power one must think first of all of one's ethnic group, tribe, village and family

(Jack Murtha is no different, eh?)

We Westerners do very little for the education of poor peoples, and we never hear of the role of cultural and religious values that lead to development: It is a topic that is ignored by the mass media and the Western "experts" that favor economic and technical aid

--Father Piero Gheddo


GOR said...

The same could be applied to the Middle East in the 20th century prior to the establishment of the State of Israel – nomadic tribes ranging across the land, fighting among themselves, not putting down roots, developing natural resources or producing goods for the long term. And today, despite decades of aid to the Palestinians and others, conditions remain substantially the same – internecine fighting, corruption and mis-management.

Israel showed what could be done with hard work and sacrifice even in the face of tremendous odds. The others have not learned the lesson and continue to resent Israel’s success.

Billiam said...

Is it that they haven't learned the lesson, or that they'd rather take what they want, or feel they deserve, rather than do for themselves? This seems to be the tack we're taking in this country. Rather than force people to learn to make it on their own, the elect politicians and pass laws from those who earn what they have.

Al said...

Alert: These are facts that the liberal left doesn't want out there because it undermines their whole agenda. In fact, it shows how racist that agenda is.

It also shows how the left doesn't want any real solutions because then it would have to admit that capitalism works. They don't want that. In fact, their agenda would lower our standard, not raise theirs up.

Anonymous said...

We produce and consume 90% of our resources? What magical land do you live in? Next time you are in a Wal-mart, let me know where 95% of the items were produced...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should read a little more about King Leopold and his Congo exploits, or maybe the British in India, or the French in west Africa... Seems you left out some important historical details...

Anonymous said...

Sure the missionaries established hospitals and schools; for the white people who were now living there. Most Africans didn't have access to these public services that are so often touted as humanitarian.

Anonymous said...

You don't give sources to your quotations. Like this, your whole blog seems like a bold statement.

That's a shame, because you've got some intense messages. They lack academic support, at least the way you put it.

Dad29 said...

Hey, Anony:

On this Intertubularnet thingy, there are things called "links." Try clicking on the LINK in the post before you run off your mouth about "no citations."