The West's un-development is closing the gap.
I enjoy reading their reports. But sometimes I miss the stories behind the stories. African leaders are not bad statesmen per se. In many cases, they just bow to pressure from influential states. I would therefore be happy if their articles contained less crypto-diplomacy & shed light on the game of nations as well.
Sadly, this is all very true. One of the most shocking features of the past few decades has been the wilful dismantling of systems that work very well, solely for ideological reasons. I'm reminded of this every time I walk down my street where there are piles of domestic rubbish. This is solely the result of a privatisation and deregulation policy pushed through by people too ignorant to know why a simple thing like waste collection became a municipal duty (these people are otherwise known as 'economists'). When a society can no longer perform what were once considered straightforward and simple tasks then you are beyond sclerosis and well into the final stages of absolute decline. I believe that the comfortable upper middle classes who were happy to see this happen in exchange for marginally lower taxes may feel they are immune, but will get one hell of a shock when they discover they are not, and that its too late to reverse course.
"On the other hand, the middle class regards the police as essentially their servants, so it likes pushing them around: just as in Africa you can get money for a police monitoring NGO, but not to pay the police properly, so increasingly in the West the liberal middle class has fun with fantasies of replacing the police with social workers."
When goodthink liberals say "Defund The Police!(R)" what they mean is "take money from the underserving (blue-collar cops, mostly less educated and famously unwoke) and give to the deserving (white collar degreed social workers who can be counted on if nothing else to uphold up-to-the-minute standards of Political Correctness."
I recall when Rhodesia was deemed "The Breadbasket Of Africa."
I believe fresh structures of intra-and inter-nation governance are under construction.
I believe their active core is spiritual and moral rather than financial, mutually-agreed legality rather than egocentrically imposed rulings backed by threats of violence.
GA MacArthur accurately announced in his speech to Congress, "It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."
Russia's SMO in Novorossiya and the Ukraine region flipped on the lights.
I lived many years in Ukraine, aka "white Africa".
I told any Ukrainian who would listen that what Ukraine is, the West is fast becoming.
Many thanks for this splendidly well-informed and thoughtful essay. Disturbing stuff: but we need to face up to hard truths.
Since I come from that area, I am curious where "south and east of Vienna" you encountered such conditions (provided you meant still inside Austria)?
>borrowing hypothetical money to sell hypothetical access to hypothetical profits from more hypothetical money.
more on this, please. malinvestment? fractional reserve banking? the fed? recommended reading?
Patronage is a bigger issue in the west (at least in the US than this article suggests). Politics in Chicago and other places has long been understood to function largely on a patronage system similar to the "big man" system in African countries described by this article. Conversely, systemic patronage also runs from the private to the public sphere, which is generally not the case in Africa. Hyper wealthy individuals serve as direct patrons to politicians they support with financial contributions and indirectly through the web of think--thanks and other institutions that they use to both incubate policies and as patronage systems for their pet "intellectual" leaders and politicians.
Clculations have been made, showing that, for example, if all nations had the same living standards as Western Europe, then we would need three and a half more planet Earths to support that standard. It is in fact then necessary for 'Western' standards of living to decrease as standards in Africa, South America and Asia increase. Similarly, physical exploitation of resources will have to decrease world wide, so in fact western standards will have to fall even further, while others standards will never reach anything like current western ones. In future we will have to live in a much smarter way than at present, using renewable resources and food industries which do not degrade the environment. The alternative is extinction, both for the rich (who currently seem to think they can be immune) and the poor alike.
"After decades of failure, the gap between Africa and the West is now closing: not because they are going forwards, but because we are going backwards."
Wrong; Africa is clearly going forwards. The West is going backwards in an institutional sense, but there's been a lot of progress in Africa due to the trickling down of imported technology. Uganda today doesn't really compare to Uganda in 1980 or 1990. Much the same goes for Senegal, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana, etc.
"In the 1970s and into the 80s, most western states were reasonably capable."
? U.S. was much more dangerous in the 1970s and 1980s.
"having offshored most of its previously productive economy"
Is there any actual evidence of this?
"The situation of un-development that the West finds itself in now is unprecedented in history"
Well, no, Latin America has seen worse.