Waylaid Dialectic

July 19, 2010

Re-colonisation?

Filed under: Random Musings — terence @ 10:06 am
Tags: ,

Quick thought blogging…

In the wake of post-colonial problems in Africa and much else of the world, the response of some thinkers, such as Niall Ferguson (IIRC), has been to suggest re-colonisation of a form in which developing countries surrender some element of their sovereignty and institutions of government in exchange for better governance which would be provided by the “re-colonisers”.

Typically there have been two responses to this:

1. Yes, that sounds nice but it could never happen. Elites won’t surrender sovereignty and populations won’t tolerate it. Alas!

2. Why do you think colonialism would be benign this time round when it wasn’t the last time? Developed countries would inevitably exploit their developing ‘charges’.

Both points  are probably true. i.e. it won’t happen, and if it did it would quite likely be marred by exploitation.

I think a third objection is also worth noting:

3. Even if it could happen and even if it was benign, would developed countries really have the know-how or will-power to really improve conditions in developing countries? As it stands, almost every developed country has a developing country buried in it’s heart – think indigenous communities in Australia, urban ghettos in the US etc – and despite decades of opportunity to address the problems faced by these “developing countries” within their own borders, either through lack of will power or lack of ability developed countries haven’t been solve their issues. Would we do any better overseas?

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