Monday, August 08, 2005

Who is to blame??

In one of my last postings "Make-up and Hunger" (July 20th, 2005) I got a comment from Blewyn. Part of this comment was:

"what has the western economy got to do with governments whose people starve ? Apart from the cash-crop issue, whose place is it to feed these people but themselves, ie their own governments ? "

I found this question very interesting and I thought the answer is important enough for a new posting.

What has this got to do with western governments... well isn't it obvious??? My answer to you, my friend, is colonialism and neo-colionialism. You may ask why I say this, to answer that question I would like to quote:

"Even when the developing countries work harder it is of little use; the structure of the international economy is biased against them and keeps them in a subordinate position as suppliers of cheap raw materials for the rich Western states and as consumers of their finished products. The developing world seems condemned to poverty and to continuing political weakness. (...) They remain chained economically to the Western industrialized economies, unable to grow in their own rights. Indeed their status ramains neocolonial because their economies are geared not to the needs of their own markets but to those of the developed countries markets"

These are not my words, but the words of Steven W. Hook and John Spanier, in their book "American Foreign Policy Since World War II". So you see the suffering of many poor countries is the result of either direct colonialism or todays neo-colonialism, or most of the times... both.

11 Comments:

Blogger Blewyn said...

You can't blame an 'ism', Dreamer ! People's actions are what affect their lives, and if a third world country gears its economy to raw material supply to the developed world with no effort to diversify, develop or protect their economy from overdependence on too few sectors...then who is to blame ? What would you have the developed world do - refuse to buy the raw materials ?

I agree that there is no doubt that developed countries have proactively destabilised and rigged third world economies to their advantage - but only because the people of those third world countries have let them.....My point is, people have to run their own countries for their own people, and develop a sense of national unity and cooperation. This is what sustains western European civilisation (not sure about the Yanks) - but it was only achieved after centuries of bloodshed and feudalism. There are no quick solutions to this issue, and simply ceasing to trade with badly-run countries will achieve little.

4:22 AM  
Blogger Lamya said...

The fact that these people do not rule themselvesis the big issue. I know i agree with what Zainab is saying..and I also agree with some of what u said the poeple should do. and this is actually what we are trying to do, rule ourselves. If you think that we love having dictators who run the country by selling our raw materials then ur wromg. I do not blame the west for the fact that they buy raw materials, i blame them for claiming they are all about democracy but at the same time have puppit governments that violate the very morals and virtues the west claim they have and forget about the people. yes we are wrong for not fighting this back..but we are not to blame for having a government that sells us out for power. governments who have military sid from the US and no development funds to help the people. no.. the people don't "let" developed countried buy our raw materails..our corrupt governments that the west hails do..not the "people"..and soon that will change.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

I agree with you totally. We as peoples of the developing world should unite. I would even go as far as to say that our divisions made the job much easier for others to prey on us. And yes I agree with you again that there are no quick solutions.

However, I am not blaming the -ism itself but the list that comes under it. WHen I say Imperialism, well you would know that the number one name on that list is the United States of America.

You can say that the victims should be able to defend themselves, but they are still victims. You cannot excuse the agressors. Especially that you mentioned that these countries have been "proactive" (to say the least).

Look at the British, they colonized, stole and killed and divided people, many countries are still suffering from that. Yes imperialism is the number one reason for their suffering.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Lito said...

Guys, about the material trading between third world and developed countries, just take a look at www.maketradefair.com
You can't say that the people from third world countrie are to blame about this position. This is an historical issue that cannot be answered this quick.
As a third world countrie man, I can tell you we don't like the way things happen, but to get in the power over here is not an easy thing, you probably would have to sell yourself and not be able to changing much of the government.

1:36 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

What's your view of European countries banning slavery in the Muslim countries they colonised? Is this another example of the West's imperialism?

8:43 AM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

Hey Hedgehog

Great observation.

You remind me of the celebration they have in India, where they thank Britain for building them railroads. You know if Imperialism was over maybe I would like to relax and just think about how great imperialist countries are and all the “good things they did”.

I mean after all isn’t it wonderful, this white mans burden, I mean they go to all that trouble and for what…. For our best interests.

It’s a great world we live in.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Blewyn said...

What you call Imperialism, some might call 'peacekeeping'...

2:15 PM  
Blogger Lamya said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Zainab Alkhawaja said...

hmmmm, peacekeeping. Who are these people who would call it that?? The imperialists themselves?
Ofcourse they would.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Blewyn said...

It's a catch-22 isn't it ? Peace is great for those who are living comfortably, but not so good for those sweating 16 hours a day in factories just to buy bread (or worse, not getting any bread at all). Every western country went through hundreds of years of war, including class revolution and regicides, before democracy brought stability. The question should not be "how can we rid the world of commercial neocolonialism in the shortest possible time ?" but "how can we bring stability and prosperity to ALL the world's people, with the minimum of conflict and war" ?

1:05 AM  
Blogger Lamya said...

"how can we bring stability and prosperity to ALL the world's people, with the minimum of conflict and war" ?

I cannot agree more..but the minimum seems to be two wars in two years..hmmm... i wonder how is that bringing stability to ALL the people of the world. It is actually disturbing the stability of all nations.
The decision makers and war wagers should answer your question blewyn.

It's good to hear you say something like that, if only more people believed in the exact same thing and tried to make it possible the world might actually be a better place.

9:05 PM  

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