Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Shut Up, She Explained | Main | Condi Rice Not For President »

July 01, 2007

Comments

Paul

The explanation of the problems is convincing, but the solutions are not. Pinning hopes on international law? He's got to be kidding.

Great phrases, though:
"diamonds are a guerrilla’s best friend,"
and
"the survival of the fattest."

glasater

I believe it was Charles Murray who said something to the effect--If all the world's resources could be equitably divided amongst the world's population--everyone would be poor.

SMGalbraith

Didn't Lord P.T. Bauer point all this out about 30 years ago?

Doc Johnson once pointed out that men needed to be reminded more than they needed to be informed.

SMG

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Doc Johnson once pointed out that men needed to be reminded more than they needed to be informed.

There's that pesky hearing it as if for the first time.

SMGalbraith

Doc Johnson

Er, make that Dr. Johnson. As in Samuel Johnson.

The other one is involved in, umm, different activities.

Learn something new every day on the internet.

SMG

glasater

Samuel Johnson wrote this gem on poverty and to this thread's point:

"The truth is, that luxury produces much good. Take the luxury of building in London. Does it not produce real advantage in the conveniency and elegance of accommodation, and this all from the exertion of industry? People will tell you, with a melancholy face, how many builders are in gaol, not for building; for rents are not fallen. -- A man gives half a guinea for a dish of green peas. How much gardening does this occasion? how many labourers must the competition to have such things early in the market, keep in employment? You will hear it said, very gravely, 'Why was not the half-guinea, thus spent in luxury, given to the poor? To how many might it have afforded a good meal?' Alas! has it not gone to the industrious poor, whom it is better to support than the idle poor? You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompence of their labour, than when you give money merely in charity."
Boswell: Life

JM Hanes

Jeez, the almost total disconnect between penetrating analysis and the lameness of a leading-by-example strategy is astonishing. Talk about cognitive dissonance! Is the reviewer a weak link here? If it's true that Collier "pins more hope on the growth of international law than on global policing," could it be because he knows the gunboats aren't likely to be forthcoming? Given his clear eyed take on Africa, I'd have thought he'd be the first to point out inutility of global law without global enforcement. When you remove "global" from that equation, the fundamental absurdity is revealed -- but then, Collier did stay at the World Bank last night.

Resource-rich countries don’t need to levy taxes, so there is little pressure for government accountability, and hence fewer checks and balances.
Brilliant, and as true in the Middle East as Africa. His four traps don't really explain Zimbabwe though, for example, where the real question is how it slid into Trap 4, going from good governance to bad when, despite being landlocked, it was substantially self-sufficient and had a diversified, not resource dependent, economy.

Afghanistan also suggests that being landlocked can be less an economic than a geo-political handicap -- where being "dependent on their neighbors’ transportation systems" was more than offset by Afghanistan's position as the gateway through which neighborhood transportation had to pass. It strikes me that the three pronged African proscription for conflict would have to be expanded elsewhere to include both international and religious competition for control. One of the oft noted, yet poorly examined "legacies of colonialism," is the defining legacy of arbitrary "national" boundaries based on the effective reach of colonial powers and consequent extents of colonial dominance, not internal coherence.

It is easy to forget, amid the ruins of Operation Iraqi Freedom, that effective intervention ended Sierra Leone’s civil war, while nonintervention condemned Rwanda to genocide.
I guess it's just too hard to say that intervening in Iraq was, in fact, the right thing to do -- and that, per the Collier standard Ferguson has just finished outlining, our departure would be guaranteed to turn Iraq into Rwanda. This review is also fairly screaming for at least a reference to the Bush administration's controversial decision to start tying aid to governance issues. But then, this is the New York Times, I suppose.

Thanks for posting this, Tom! Collier sounds like a breath of fresh air. One of the reasons my daughter did her African studies in London is because the Brits have a much more reality-based understanding of that sphere than the Yanks. Our view has always been politicized, whether seen through the lens of American black history or of policy disputes over the nature of U.S. foreign engagement. It's also worth remembering that representative government is not, in fact, a natural end-state.

clarice

Always brilliant JMH!!!!

Rick Ballard

"His four traps don't really explain Zimbabwe though, for example, where the real question is how it slid into Trap 4, going from good governance to bad when, despite being landlocked, it was substantially self-sufficient and had a diversified, not resource dependent, economy."

That would involve trap 5, the ANC and application of the socialist/communist principles which have led to the cessation of suffering for over 100 million individuals in the past century. South Africa appears to be on the same road, albeit, moving at a slightly slower velocity.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

I'm afraid I've been spending entirely too much time at my computer lately! The incredibly mild temperatures we've have this summer, to date, are really beginning to multiply the guilt factor attached to working indoors instead of out.

JM Hanes

Rick:

Venezuela and Bolivia make that list too.

clarice

Stay inside,JMH,I love everything you write.

But I know what you mean--it is quite glorious here.
Unfortunately, I also have more things to do than I can keep track of and this place is my excuse for not doing them.

Other Tom

"ZIMBABWE'S leading cleric has called on Britain to invade the country and topple President Robert Mugabe.
Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, warned that millions were facing death from famine, unable to survive amid inflation believed to have soared to 15,000 per cent.

"Mr Mugabe, 83, had proved intransigent despite the 'massive risk to life', said Archbishop Ncube, the head of Zimbabwe's one million Catholics.

"'I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe,' he said.

"'We should do it ourselves but there's too much fear. I'm ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready.'"

Apparently the Archbishop has not sufficiently surveyed the ruins of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Ralph

I think the "40% of Africa's Wealth is outside the contient" line is indicative of one of the more significant problems that generally gets ignored. (I have read numbers higher than 40%, but I don't claim the expertise to know which is correct.)

The thing is that the bulk of that wealth represents stolen aid money. The amount of "capital flight" from Africa is huge.

Tragically, much of the west accepts this as "normal" --- the fact that many of the "elites" benefit from that flow of money is never discussed.

The paradox came home to me when I was watching "The Bourne Identity." For those of you not familiar with the movie, it's a "spy thriller" involving a CIA assassin who gets fished out of the Mediteranean with amnesia.

Anyway, in the story he had supposedly been assigned to assassinate the exiled president of an African Country. The exiled ruler was living on a 200' luxury yacht.

It struck me suddenly that most people, including myself until that point, would see nothing wrong with image of an exited leader from a dirt poor country being able to live on a multi-million dollar yacht.

A LOT of European "elites" make good money off of such types of people. I don't know if you noticed how little curiousity was expressed over had Arafat had accumulated his billions. It got mentioned in passing that he must have stolen it, but that didn't detract of the paens of homage to him as "great leader of the Palestinian People."

Until that major graft element gets addressed, I doubt that Africa will ever pull out of its hole.

clarice

A large part of African aid has gone from US pockets to Frech banks and Realtors. I was looking for but couldn't find a perfectly glorious restaurant in Province started by some mminor personal assistant to some minor African thug--it cost millions and was certainly just part of his tip money.

***French
***Provence

RichatUF

Ralph-

...The thing is that the bulk of that wealth represents stolen aid money....

Its both the aid money and the natural resource wealth-its a global racket really. The good "Global Citizens" get to feel good about doing something about poverty and doing good to "people of color" and the Third World's thugs and dictators provide the misery and suffering. The "Global Citizens" can then burnish their approved tranzi creditials at their gladhanding galas and the Third World dictators are always employed.

RichatUF

clarice

Here's the place I was thinking of.

http://www.capelongue.com/fr/galerie.htm

Ralph

RichUF,

You're absolutely correct that it includes the natural resource wealth, in spite of how long and disjointed my post was, I oversimplified. I don't know what the split out would be as to the sources. I suspect that the percentage to come from natural resources increased dramatically when South Africa changed to its present government.

I'm sure that you've noticed but a major characteristic of the good "Global Citizens" is that like to have access to large amounts of unaudited funds. That is, I believe, a major motivator behind the current "manmade global warming" crusade. They want to use the religious fervor to move money and power to non-transparent "transnational" organizations.

RichatUF

Ralph-

...is that like to have access to large amounts of unaudited funds. That is, I believe, a major motivator behind the current "manmade global warming" crusade. They want to use the religious fervor to move money and power to non-transparent "transnational" organizations...


also-

I would parse it further: it is the drive to organize into transnational organizations (OPEC, EU) and to have "save havens" for finances (Carribean Banks; erase the audit trail, launder money, and work around insider trading). By creating these "multi-national" institutions they have lots of rules, but no enforcement.

The "Environmentalist Movement" can be looked at as a rent mechanism for OPEC. By keeping supply at bay in the industrialized world, production is forced into unstable areas of the world, controlled in large measure by OPEC (Saudi Arabia).

Bad news for Libby, can the SC take up the issue or does it go to the whole DC Circuit if the defense appeals

RichatUF

clarice

He could appeal to SCOTUS. I don't know how efficacious that would be--the Court does seem to have taken a different position on the standard for bond that J Friedman of this District did in the Safavian case.

clarice

Oops--He also could seek an en banc hearing on this but time is running out..

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

One justice is all that's necessary on an appeal to SCOTUS, right? Just one who agrees on the "close issue" argument can do the trick.

Is there a rota for emergency appeal to SCOTUS when they're resting their mighty intellects for the summer or can Team Libby pick and choose?

clarice

My recollection is hazy but I believe justices are each assigned emergency appeals from specific states.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame