Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Pointlessness of "Liberation"

In a NY Times story about the the continuing legal problems of professional sleazeball Jacob Zuma, next El Presidente of the Republic of South Africa and unconvicted rapist there is this quote on "liberation" movements.

“In the African context, liberation movements have been very successful at bringing an end to colonialism, but their record in instituting a democratic political order and protecting and consolidating democracy has been abysmal,” said Achille Mbembe, a political scientist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. “South Africa has found itself in a state of uncertainty — radical uncertainty and extreme volatility.

I would point out that their [liberation movements] record in instituting any order is also dismal. Forget about making the trains run on time it is too difficult to make the trains run at all. Things rapidly go down hill fast as maintenance declines and trained engineers and specialists leave. Let us remember that liberation movements are primarily about taking power and dividing the spoils. Many things get broken in a revolution, glass, eggs, skulls, machinery, people. In the African context there is also crippling racism on the part of the new governments that mean human resources are dismissed if it is the wrong skin tone/religion/tribe. At the end of the spasm of liberation there is oftentimes less spoils to divide.

In time South Africa will decline. Natural resources and natural resource income is not enough to keep Nigeria and the Congo from being hell holes.

No comments: