05 July 2011

Liberalism's destructiveness.

The desire to help others is an admirable trait and liberals, not entirely to their discredit, elevate "Help they neighbor (and everyone else on the planet)" to the top position on any "to do" list.

In the U.S., in particular, this goal of help is only lower in priority than "Subvert and completely trash every decent and workable thing in U.S." since the mere existence in the U.S. of any "problem" needing liberal help is proof of fundamental rottenness. Insufficient mortgage lending in black slums? Racism, racism.

In foreign lands, liberals don't see this rottenness or even that the society playing host to The Problem has any endemic problems at all, certainly none that can be traced to local culture, religion, and level of education in the analytic arts. Problems can enthusiastically be found in the operations of blind fate or weather. Even more heavenly is to be able to find some casual, peripheral, or purposeful word, deed, or negative thought of some log-dead white man, or one in Las Vegas or Lapland, if need be. Bliss, oh rapturous joy to the max!

The destructive nature of liberal efforts is the same in either case, i.e., whether it is intentional or unintentional.

Liberals refuse to recognize that while short-term aid can be a Godsend to someone, aid that continues past the moment of the initial crisis is only a slightly lesser threat to the recipient than the initial crisis. Help me for three months after my wife and double wide are sucked into the Gulf of Mexico and I'll eventually get my life back together in some fashion that involves my personal autonomy and maybe a Cuban pole dancer. Help me on an open-ended basis and my skills disappear from the labor market, I become dependent on charity, and resources are tied up that could be used to alleviate other crises.

With respect to Western development aid to Africa, Kenyan economist, James Shikwati, implores " . . . for God's sake, please just stop" and describes the essential dynamic:
Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.[1]
Thus, the basic impulse to do good is uncritically transformed and amplified to do extended harm. "Unfortunately," he says, "the Europeans' devastating urge to do good can no longer be countered with reason."[2]

For the liberal, only extended permanent help ends up as the gold standard. More complicated aspects of human nature and economics are irrelevant. In fact, for liberals reality is irrelevant. Just the merest chance to "do good" matters. Who cares if the country ends up a kleptocracy or a greasy socialist joke?

[1] "For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid! " Interview of James Shikwati by Thilo Thielke, Spiegel Online International, 7/4/11. (Mr. Thielke fights Mr. Shikwati every step of the way.)
[2] Id.

H/t: Uncle Remus, Yer Ol' Woodpile Report, 7/4/11.


Anonymous said...

I thought these two articles by Kevin Myers in the Irish Independent newspaper explained it quite well:

Africa is giving nothing to anyone - apart from AIDS.

Writing what I should have written so many years ago.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Those are great articles. Thanks. They illustrate well the coming collision of the tragic view of life and the noodlehead view of life. The 20th century handed man incredible tools to do great works and to alleviate suffering. The spluttering of the Western economies plus the incredible population increases described by Mr. Myers are pretty strong evidence that aid will stall or be insufficient. Third-world populations will possibly increase yet more. The tolerances are too thin.

There's the element of enabling as well. Short-term aid coupled with changes in the culture might have been worth it but, as Myers makes clear, prolonging lives or enabling population increases where the lives are lived in the same ghastly Islamic barbarism and ignorance isn't a real option either.

It can fairly be objected that it's easy for me to say and how would I like to be, etc., etc. But there's still no getting around the fact that more and longer life is by no means life that is livable.

At what point does the West start kicking at the fingers of those who are clinging to the skids of the helicopter?