How Europe underdeveloped Africa

The last time I wrote about this, I referred to the work of Walter Rodney.

Albert Schweitzer, in his autobiography, writes and I am compelled to agree

Thus it becomes very difficult to pursue a program of colonization that would lead toward a real civilization. These people could achieve true wealth if they could develop their agriculture and trade to meet their own needs. Instead they are only interested in producing what the world market requires, and for which it pays well. With the money thus obtained they procure from it manufactured goods and processed food, thereby making home industry unnecessary, and often even endangering the stability of their own agriculture. This is the condition in which all primitive and semiprimitive peoples who can offer to world trade rice, cotton, coffee, cocoa, minerals, timber, and other products find themselves

and when he writes this

We should never force the African to work by demanding ever-increasing taxes. He will, of course, have to work in order to pay taxes, but hidden forced labor will no more change him from an idle into an industrious man than open demands. Injustice cannot produce a moral result.
In every colony in the world today the taxes are already so high that they can be paid by the population only with difficulty. Without much thought, colonies everywhere have been burdened with loans the interest on which can hardly be raised.

the hut tax, poll tax and many such taxes that were introduced here come to mind. These taxes were introduced not because the colonial government badly needed the revenue but it was to force Africans to work on white owned farms.

Their existence is threatened by alcohol, which commerce provides, by diseases we have taken to them, and by diseases that had already existed among them but which, like sleeping sickness, were first spread by the traffic that colonization brought with it. Today that disease is a peril to millions

which reminds me of this time some fellow came pontificating on this blog that the problem of Africa is too much disease forgetting that while some of the diseases that burden us have their origin in Europe and the Americas.

Some of the issues stated above, unfortunately haven’t changed much. We still grow tea, cotton and many others for export while our industries are either dead, dying or non existent. It will be many years before Africa is industrialized and with globalization, even much longer.


In unrelated news, Albert S felt we had lost reverence for life. And i think writing sometime before, during and after the war, he must have felt this so deeply. He writes in his autobiography that our material progress has not been matched by moral progress. Hermann Hesse echoes the same thought when he writes

the neuroses of the poets today may be a form of health, the only possible response of soulful people to an age which recognizes only money and numbers and has lost its soul

Hermann Hesse, The seasons of the soul

Why do poor people stay poor

You would think no money need to be wasted on research to answer such a question. But no. Researchers must make money. So here we have the results of such a study & we are told because they live on minimum wage, they can’t accumulate wealth. Wasn’t this obvious? But then if everyone were rich, how would our present economic system survive without exploitation?

Thoughts out of season

But are they really?

I try to not comment on the black lives matter protests around the world not because they don’t concern me but the simply because the African American is far removed from my immediate environment and while I have read a bit on the matter, I wouldn’t claim to know enough to speak authoritatively on it. But I can comment on my fellow countrymen and women staging a BLM protest.

Now, if you are a visitor to this blog, just know I live somewhere in Africa and for those whose education isn’t good enough, africa can as well be a country but that is not important. What bothers me about these protests done in solidarity with AAs is that we need them daily in almost all African countries. Most governments treat us like dirt. And I can mention the many ways this happens but I don’t want to bore you.

So then to what I keep asking myself, what do my brothers intend to achieve? Could we first protest our governments failure to treat us with dignity? I mean given that we are all black and all plus we are not trying to drown ourselves in the Mediterranean? I think it is only when our governments treat us do we have some space to demonstrate with dignity about the case of the AAs or any other oppressed group like NAs.

Or maybe i miss the whole point?

Is violence counterproductive?

The last 10 or is it 12 days have seen violent protests in most cities in the US of A and in some other cities around the world following the police killing or is it murder of George Floyd and there have been arguments about whether the violence is really useful?

I have seen a post that calls the violence immoral and ineffective. Immoral because the destruction of property of bystanders and ineffective because it will not earn the demonstrators any sympathies.

Should the demonstrators adopt only non violent means to achieve their ends?

I want to suggest here a unpopular opinion. That violence seems sometimes to work & its only downside is that it costs lives & property. Independence was warn in many places because of sustained violence against the colonial authorities. America has mastered the art of spreading violence all round ( cloaked in spreading democracy).

What do you think? I am not asking you to support violence but only to comment looking at history if there are situations where violence has led to progress? How can the same be achieved without resorting to violence?

Question for non theists

Since it appears this site is not theist friendly I have a question for non theists but theists are welcome to contribute if they so wish.

Can one believe there is a god and not be committed to that belief? The corollary is of course obvious, it seems to me likely that people can be committed to the belief in god even though the existence of gods is doubtful at the least and their non existence highly likely.

Question for believers

Do Christians, Muslims and those in Judaism believe in the same god?

Is it the wish of the same god that there exists different competing sects, each with absolute truth on its side?

If the gods are different, are they all omnibenevolent?

Many an African theologians have argued that the gods of African religion were also omnibenevolent, is it the case then that we have many omni gods?

And my favorite subject, is there a resolution of the problem of evil or does the Epicurean problem remain as unsolved problem for theism?

should da Vatican ordain women as priests and allow priests to marry?

I agree with Makau Mutua on the matter but find this

Let’s separate man-made religious law from holy text. In the Church, canonical law are rules made by ecclesiastical authority, or Church leadership, for the governance of the flock. It shouldn’t be confused with the Bible. In the same way that sharia or Islamic law shouldn’t be conflated with the Quran and the Hadith. Sharia is man-made law even if the religious authorities and scholars derive it from the Quran and Hadith. That’s why using canonical law or sharia law to deny penitents basic rights of equality can’t stand scrutiny.

indefensible. Is holy (sic) writ not equally work of men? And does this claim not weaken his argument? In the NT, women are told to keep quiet in church. How then would he justify having women priests when the bible forbids it? Paul says marry only if you can’t control your urges.

Anyone with some time in their hands should read William Cussel’s supernatural religion.

I think he would make a stronger argument if he argued that holy writ is work of men. The rules can be changed.

I don’t feel like braining today

But being the nice person I am, I will keep you engaged.

James D is telling us in this post that god allows evil and sickness to exist in the world because he gave us freewill and faith. Knowing some of you to be as lazy as your host and might not click on the links, David says

I think that the honest truth is that in order for God to show us his grace, we have to live in an environment that is inherently dangerous to us. Otherwise, what would be the point of faith? Without the bad things in the world, could we truly appreciate the good things?

and isn’t this ridiculous? There are times i have had continental breakfast where my choice is between all good and healthy stuff. Should I take oats instead of weetabix. Should I eat boiled egg or fried omelette, should I eat bread or a croissant? My point is we don’t have to live in a dangerous environment to appreciate being loved.

The author of this second post (I think I should have it first) is doing a very important job, clearing up the definition of freewill. I can’t say I now understand what it is more clearly than I did yesterday. Maybe I am slow.

Diana is trying her best to confuse us. She is telling us events are fated to happen but you still have a choice. You are fated to die but you can escape death. Someone tell me my due date, I want to bribe the angel of death to wait just a little while.

And finally, if you have a lot of time in your hands, a wall (to bang your head against) and popcorn, then read this gem. David Hart writes in one of his comments

[…]My advice to you–and to any believer–is stop presuming you have to defend the idea of hell’s eternity, allow yourself to think about it as if for the first time and with no sense of obligation, and I think you’ll see that the very premise has always already undermined arguments in its favor.

See you around everyone.