Africa: Whats wrong? Whats right?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Ike, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Ike
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    Fifty years ago, Asia was like much of Africa: poor.

    Something changed. Something that hasnt yet happened on the African continent.

    In terms of natural resources, there is not place on earth, not even the middle east, that rivals the continent in terms of wealth.
    I speak of more than Oil here, I speak of gold, natural gas, diamonds ect.

    I'm of the opinion, civil war and bad government are the main reason the people of this continent have in general, (there are some exceptions.. South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria (to a degree), Kenya ) are still wallowing in poverty.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Big D
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    What is amazing is that Africa is clearly where life began for human kind, humans lived in Africa for hundreds of thousands of years before venturing to other parts of the world.

    With knowing that you would think that the Africans would be the most advanced socity in the world.
     
  3. Big D
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  4. nbdysfu
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    Ike,

    I think I have a more palatable understanding, which is this.


    Part I: Europe imposed colonial borders regardless of ethnicity in Africa, as they spent centuries vying with each other for territories, plundering and attempting to plunder it, treating it as there own game preserve. Though much of northern, africa already had muslim, christian and jewish populations, Europe thought of it as the 'dark continent' and sent goldigging missionaries to bring the 'ignorant savages into the light.' They allowed Americans to gather slaves in spite of their own prohibitions, and rival factions did the same to each other, furthering their internal hatred. When these colonies became countries in the recession of the European empires after the german-italian, and great wars, the old deeply rivalrous peoples were still there. The countries were formed with bits and pieces of the ancient rivals and this ignorant partitioning resulted in internal conflicts in every african country, that made it difficult for reform.

    Part II:The Cold War. The Middle East, South asia, southern america, were the trenches, upon which the modern super powers, the soviet union and russia, vied a war of both culture and economy. Also India and China and much of the middle east had never been greatly colonized with any great degree of success in the past few centuries. Africa was not a clear strategic center of focus for the war.

    Part III: Effective militarist controll in china killed millions of people before it achieved any kind of peace within its borders.

    Part IV: Hong Kong annexation and Clinton era out-sourcing.

    I also think you might look at the successive assimilative ancient empires which defined china, india, europe and the middle east as key in forming large complex civilizations. There just was not the right kind of environment for that in Africa.
     
  5. Big D
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    nbdysfu,

    Sure why did'nt I think of that, It's the White mans fault.

    I'm just wondering, what were the many sucessfull achivements that Africans had before the White man came and ruined everything?
     
  6. eric
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    Look I am no historian and will be the first to admit it, my strengths lie in Business, Science, and Economics, but to me, at the risk of sounding like a racist, I do have to agree with Big D. Africa as far as I was taught was the cradle of human civilization, well before Europe. How is it then that the Europeans progressed so much faster than the Africans, to the point where they could colonize africa ? This is a serious question that I would like a thoughtful answer to, like I said I am no historian, so please enlighten me.

    It is funny that poverty and crime do seem to flourish where there are large populations of blacks, again, I am not trying to be racist, just an observation. I personally do not think the answer is found by just blaming other races for this.

    Any thoughts ?
     
  7. nbdysfu
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    Big D I'm not saying it's the 'white man'. It's the Mongols for all I care.


    Africa proper, as far as we know, was the birthplace of humanity, but Mesopotamia was supposedly the birthplace of civilization, of complex society. Letters and codified law were developed in Egypt, the mediterranean, India and China. Europe was the starting point of secularity and magna carta. The country which created the first vessel capable of crossing the atlantic was the tiny threatened nation of portugal. In each of these places there was less and less and less to live on, and yet more advancements came.

    Africa was a cradle for human life in its more vegetated regions, but Egypt developed quickly and the northern part of africa was part of early Mediterranean civilization. Why not ask why the natives of Australia have not altered their lives in thousands of years.

    My thought is simply that the 'cradle' of africa allowed africans to exist without complexity of life.

    Struggle and interdependency furthers civilization by forcing people to improve. Wealth stagnates it.

    Of course the thing to refute this would probably be the Aztecs, who lived in thick jungles, but created a more advanced civilization than Egypt.

    Japan for instance remained primitive until 1000 bc or somewhere around there, when monks and merchants began forcing advancement from the korean peninsula. Japanese civilization reacted by developing advanced steel prodution for swords and assimilation and editing of asian culture. Achieving a level of equality, they were able to once agaain shut their eyes to the outside world. Then in the 19th century forcibly demand entry into one of japan's harbors. Another surge of development ensues as a result of xenophobia, and on and on...
     
  8. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Bang on! I agree wholeheartedly. The most common misconception in societal evolution is the technological prowess equates an improved society. If a society is properly adapted to its surroundings such as the african, aborginee and native american tribes, it has no need for technological development. Technological development occurs much more quickly when a society is thrust into an environment which it is not currently adapted to. Our adaptation is a human strength which spurs technological growth.
     
  9. rtwngAvngr
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    Isaac, this post seems to contradict itself.

    This:"The most common misconception in societal evolution is the technological prowess equates an improved society. "

    seems to contradict this:"Technological development occurs much more quickly when a society is thrust into an environment which it is not currently adapted to. Our adaptation is a human strength which spurs technological growth."

    Technological advancements allow the society to adapt to it's surroundings, so wouldn't you say that technological prowess DOES improve society?
     
  10. Isaac Brock
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    what I was referring to was the fact that technology allows societies not currently adapted to their surroundings to be able to do that adaptation. If a culture is already adapted to its environment it does not need to promote technology in order as it is already well suited for its environment. My thesis is that I don't put a value judgment on whether or not adaptation by technology or by location alone is superior to one another. Ecologically, they are identical. With respect to an evolutionary example one could compare algae to a tree, algae is happy just in its acquatic niche has hasn't evolved significantly for many years, however the arrival of life on land allowed a new habitat. Hence algae and other photosynthesizers built a complex structure able to soak up water from "dry" land, ie the tree. Which species is more advanced, which is more resiliant? Can you really say?
     

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