Ibrahim Anoba of Nigeria has some words of tough love for Somalia and supporters of sending foreign aide. STOP! He wrote about this in FEE this week. Ibrahim joins the Young Voices podcast to explain why well intentioned foreign aide is doing more harm than good.
This plea for aid recurs whenever the drought-prone country experiences famine.Unfortunately, donors have not helped Somalia prepare for long-term infrastructural sustainability. Rather donations have fueled corruption and further weakened Somalia’s economy.
With rallying cries to continue funding scientific research and pursue eco-friendly policies, environmentalists are leading the charge against President Donald Trump and his perceived anti-science agenda. Mottos like “Science not Silence” and “#NoSidesInScience” are echoed on the March for Science website, and the activists are advocating for increased public funding and urging lawmakers to adhere to scientific evidence.
While the March for Science movement does claim to be non-partisan, it’s hard not to connect its emergence with the advent of the Trump administration and its plans to cut the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, and other science and environmental programs.
Globalization is often accused of many evils. One of them, particularly put forward by conservatives, is that it weakens the specificity of cultures in favor of global standardization. The market is thus blamed for destroying values and regional cultures in favor of a superficial mass culture based on profit.
In his 1998 book False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism, author Jeremy Tunstall argues that “authentic, traditional, and local culture in many parts of the world is being battered out of existence by the indiscriminate dumping of large quantities of slick commercial and media products, mainly from the United States.” Sadly, it’s not only a claim from anti-capitalist writers but also an opinion shared by many people.
Sitting in his favorite Irish bar, the French citizen, dressed in his Chinese cotton clothes, sips his Spanish wine from a Polish wine glass while he complains about American pop music broadcast by Japanese loudspeakers. Because he is “tired of this cultural invader,” he intends to vote for subsidies to “protect” local culture, meaning the government would force the media to disseminate local bands. But ask him what his favorite bands and singers are and he will look away.
Early this week, the South Africa Daily Maverickpublished an op-ed titled, “It’s not Zuma that we need protection from, it’s the market.” While the author rightly calls out the role of cronyism in destroying ordinary South Africans’ economic mobility, she doesn’t seem to make a distinction between economic freedom and crony capitalism.
This spotlights a crucial misunderstanding in the ongoing battle against capitalism in South Africa, and across Africa.The values of freedom will continue to take a back seat as anti-market forces demand more state control of the economy against “corporate” interests.
The Benefits Seem Unattainable
How is it that perceptions of the market are so negative on a continent with such a rich tradition of economic freedom?
It can be alleged that the arguments for capitalism have become too utilitarian to appeal to a continent that has been ravaged by the effects of slavery, colonialism, kleptocracy, ethnic genocide, crony capitalism, and extreme poverty. Indeed, in his 1999 book “Development as Freedom,” Harvard Professor Amartya Sen argued,
The discipline of economics has tended to move away from focusing on the value of freedoms to that of utilities, incomes, and wealth. This narrowing of focus leads to an under appreciation of the full role of the market mechanism, even though economics as a profession can hardly be accused of not praising markets enough.”