Sunday, 2 September 2018

Angela Merkel thinks Europe owes Africa 'a great debt'

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I just discovered that Angela Merkel said in January of this year at the Davos conference that co-operation with Africa was 
“very very important first because we Europeans owe a great debt to the continent of Africa from colonial times and secondly because we have a profound interest in positive development in Africa.”
It is true that there were very shameful moments in the brief history of German colonisation of Africa, as well as terrible things that happened in French Africa and in the Congo Free State while it was the private property of King Leopold II of the Belgians, but it is obvious that Africans have on balance benefited vastly from their interaction with white people. Apart from such boons as Christianity, order, literacy, Western literature, art and music, the rule of law, roads and railways and planes and cars, they benefit from all the improvements in science and medicine of the last few hundred years. 

We Europeans do not have a debt to Africa. 

We do have a moral duty to help Africa become richer and the best way to achieve this is by free trade. The EU by dumping  has helped keep Africa poor. 

But research shows that the more prosperous Africans become the more they try to enter Europe and share the much better state of things in Europe. They have more money to make the journey and know more about living standards in Europe.

If by a 
'profound interest in positive development in Africa'
Mrs. Merkel means that economic growth is in Europe's interest to prevent pressure on Europe's southern border she could not be more mistaken.

29 comments:

  1. Her moment of reckoning will surely come. No one can cause so much trouble and never face the music. Christopher

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    1. She is the worst German Chancellor since Hitler including Ulbricht and Honecker.

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    2. She is the worst German Chancellor since Hitler including Ulbricbht and Honecker.

      That's what you get when you have women as political leaders. You get disasters like Angela Merkel and Theresa May.

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    3. Unlike Mrs May, Frau Merkel is a very astute politician. It is her values that are the problem, though I think many Mrs May's values are pretty repellent.

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    4. I liked the idea of sending Egon Krenz to prison, although it would have been better to hang him. As Merkel is worse than Krenz, it may be a good precedent for giving her twenty years with hard labour.

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    5. How can Merkel ever be said to be worse than Ulbricht or Honecker? You really should be ashamed at expressing such ideas in the first place. She has not instituted a Stalinist dictatorship with all its attendant trappings as did Ulbricht. She has not given border guards the order to shoot on site those wishing to escape from a quasi-prison camp.

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    6. Unlike Mrs May, Frau Merkel is a very astute politician. It is her values that are the problem, though I think many Mrs May's values are pretty repellent.

      Having a woman PM is like being governed by Nanny.

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  2. We do have a moral duty to help Africa become richer

    Do we? Why?

    and the best way to achieve this is by free trade.

    Free trade benefits transnational corporations. It doesn't benefit anyone else. Free trade is one for the chief evils of liberalism.

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    1. Yes and yes, obviously - why? from charity mostly and also from self-interest - to build markets for our goods and services.

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    2. Free trade means freedom and I like freedom, as a conservative.

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    3. Free trade means freedom and I like freedom, as a conservative.

      Fortunately I'm not a conservative so I'm allowed to be sceptical about freedom!

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    4. Your political standpoint is mysterious to me.

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    5. You only like your freedoms Paul, not those of others, Freedom to say and do as you please, Freedom to distort. Not Freedom of movement, of choice , Freedom from hierarchy or freedom of expression in religion. You are conservative with a big C as in anaChronism

      Mike

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  3. As a Romanian I feel I have no debt towards Africa and no post-colonial guilt whatsover.

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  4. Free trade 101:

    We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.
    Cecil Rhodes

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    1. A pretty obviously fake quote.

      https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Cecil_Rhodes

      We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.
      I doubt the existence of any quotation in which Rhodes talks of the prospects for exploiting slave labour. Direct British involvement in the slave trade ended before Rhodes was born, and by the time of his birth they were vehemently opposed to it. Furthermore, the text is misspelt- it uses the dialect of the USA, not English. --Grant McKenna 09:28, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
      "cheap slave labour" quote is also disputed at Wikipedia talk page. ~ Ningauble 16:33, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
      The earliest use of this quote that I have been able to find is 1976: Michael Little & ‎Brian Noone, Australian economic ties with South Africa. Fitzroy, Vic.: International Development Action, 1976. Page 5. Next is: Bhattacharya, Debesh. The Indian Journal of Economics, 1978. Page 181. Perhaps these sources could be checked.

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    2. Too good to be true, I guess... Shame on me for trusting these guys: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/cecil_rhodes

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  5. How about this for...
    Free trade 102:

    This war with China . . . really seems to me so wicked as to be a national sin of the greatest possible magnitude, and it distresses me very deeply. Cannot any thing be done by petition or otherwise to awaken men's minds to the dreadful guilt we are incurring? I really do not remember, in any history, of a war undertaken with such combined injustice and baseness. Ordinary wars of conquest are to me far less wicked, than to go to war in order to maintain smuggling, and that smuggling consisting in the introduction of a demoralizing drug, which the government of China wishes to keep out, and which we, for the lucre of gain, want to introduce by force; and in this quarrel are going to burn and slay in the pride of our supposed superiority.

    — Thomas Arnold to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840
    http://www.victorianweb.org/history/empire/opiumwars/opiumwars1.html

    '...national sin of the greatest possible magnitude...'

    Does anybody believes in 'national sin' anymore?

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  6. His most famous remark, often misquoted, is

    'You are an Englishman, and have subsequently drawn the greatest prize in the lottery of life'

    said by Rhodes to Lord Grey and still true today. 'The Life and Times of the Right Honourable Cecil John Rhodes 1853-1902', Volume 2. New York and London: Mitchell Kennerly. p. 178.

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    1. Quotes about Cecil Rhodes

      I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake.

      Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897), end of chapter LXIX (The Most Imposing Man in British Provinces).

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  7. Anglicans used to believe in a national soul, I believe.

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  8. Ms Merkel for better or worse is trying to be charitable. Mr Honecker jailed and executed a lot of people -- white people. He was a far worse despot than Ms Merkel.

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    1. Of course he was a terrible tyrant. Of course she is a good Christian trying to do the right thing but he was a devout Marxist equally trying to do good. His guards killed people. Their colour is besides the point. Perhaps I exaggerate for effect. Or perhaps not. Ask me again in fifty years .

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    2. On second thoughts I went too far. Let's say she may leave a legacy at least as bad as Ulbricht and Honecker. They after all betrayed their country to a foreign power and were Bolsheviks. She was brought up a Christian Marxist but is no longer one, though her left wing nomenclature background still leaves many traces.

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    3. Predictive text rearranged nomenklatura when I wasn't looking.

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  9. For all her foibles and mistakes people still keep electing Ms Merkel with pretty high turnouts. Of course her political luck will eventually run out, but she has retained steady popularity with the German people. It's an achievement.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. This no-one doubts. She is a consummate politician but no conservative. AfD seem to me not only the real conservative party but the real Christian Democrats. Paul Gottfried - he is Jewish - argues that denazification went too far in the 1950s and made real conservatism in West Germany almost impossible. However Franz Josef Strauss seemed a true conservative. I miss him now.
      It was a tragic mistake that Bavaria did not become an independent country in 1919. This would have been Hitler's worst nightmare. I still hope it will happen.

      The unification of Germany and Italy have both been disasters (no need to discuss Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia) and yet people want to unite Europe.

      At the moment the Germans are turning on the nationalists and AfD when Muslim refugees commit murder and then this is followed by Muslims being attacked. This reaction will continue for a long time but feelings will change in Germany and the AfD or something like them will in the end do very well indeed. They will probably come to power eventually though not soon.

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  10. "If by a
    'profound interest in positive development in Africa'
    Mrs. Merkel means that economic growth is in Europe's interest to prevent pressure on Europe's southern border she could not be more mistaken."
    ...because:
    The cause of the present wave of trans-Mediterranean migration is not poverty or anything that is within the power of the EU to correct. It is, ultimately, population growth. The population of Africa has almost tripled since 1980, and it is going to double again between now and 2050. While Europe’s population shrivels and shrinks over the next generation, the continent to its south is going to add — add, not have — 1.25 billion young people. Already there are millions of potential migrants stacked up in the dosshouses of Tripoli and Tunis and Istanbul and on the roads behind them, ready to converge on the first country that offers a hint of the welcome that European leaders gave in 2015.
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/09/macron-vs-salvini-the-ideological-battle-for-europes-future/

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