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Thread: How Much of a Part Does "Aid" Play in Promoting the Myth of Western Benevolence?

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    How Much of a Part Does "Aid" Play in Promoting the Myth of Western Benevolence?

    A current debate in a different thread led to much discussion on the pros and cons of Western Aid to third world nations. It is such a sensitive issue I thought it might benefit from a thread of its own.

    Here is my basic stance as regards the aid debate ( pinched from another post to save time )

    First off should be what the definition of " aid ." we are using.
    I mean aid can be military , civil , humanitarian and so on.

    Military aid might be cut price F 16's ( still not cheap ) to some despotic third world client state dictator, who has been given the money to buy them by the West ( Odious Debt remember ) so he can crush any popular nationalists movements. Which in most cases are the people who we end up giving "humanitarian aid " to. It's a farce. Africa itself is a continental example of it as is Latin America

    Civil " aid " might take the form of supplying money for say a water system to a poor third world town ( Iraq/afghanistan ) The fact that we , or rather our Corporate masters , are the ones responsible for destroying the water supply in the first place puts a whole different slant on it. Again a total embarrassment to any claim that it could be classed as " aid "

    Humanitarian........ the most contentious ?...maybe

    Most humanitarian aid , if not all , is given to third world nations torn apart by civil war/imperialist war , or the effect of the displacement caused by them. That's just the way " they are " many people who are miffed by aid payments conclude. But at the risk of repeating myself again , who funds and then benefits financially from these wars ? ( arms sales and continued/increased western control over resources and any wealth to be made from them )

    After considering the above , the impression of benevolence seems to me to somewhat out of place , misrepresented. It's similar to a Fireman we all regard as our Hero turning out to also be the arsonist who we have all lived in fear of. That's not going to be easy to take in for many people and surely would be met with personal resistance to such a notion at first.

    But that is the situation within the world today , imo.

    The first step to abolishing aid to third world nations everywhere is to bring about a situation where they don't need it. This should involve the following

    Attempts at enforcing a worldwide arms sales ban to third world nations.

    Protection of their fledgling economic recovery from foreign "investor" exploitation.

    The NGO's/charities ( Oxfam , Unicef , Save the Children etc etc) of the world with experience in these fields should be the ones to oversee/administrate any aid given and all projects intended to relieve the situation by Western governments to third world nations. Until such a time that they do not need it. Our initial goal.

    There many more but I don't want to waffle on. It would send a glass eye to sleep.

    Any thoughts.................. anyone ?

    PS I know some/most of the above is highly unlikely to happen in the current climate. I don't do utopia I assure you

    But the dilemma is that we need to balance out the trade deficits and surpluses or be prepared to see wretched conditions continue there ,followed by aid payments . Same old same old.
    By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

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    Only a few countries such as Egypt and Israel get significant amounts of aid. Much of what the US gives out is contingent upon its being spent on US-made goods, so is in effect an indirect subsidy to American industries.

    What the aid also accomplishes is strengthening the hands of a few predatory rulers. If we stop giving aid, those rulers would fall, and the Africans would carry on with their lives with less interference. They would not "wither on the vine."

    Such charities as Save the Children are scams that rake off most of their contributions for overhead. Sally Struthers is the ultimate racist as her pitiful (in several senses of the words) ads give the impression that Africans are completely helpless without the assistance of benevolent Whites.

    News from Africa is selective: we mostly only hear about the wars and the famines, but much of Africa manages to get by; they plow their fields and harvest their crops over and over again.

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    The first step to abolishing aid to third world nations everywhere is to bring about a situation where they don't need it.

    They will always need "us"

    Personally I think there is only so much you can aid a black hole until you accept your urinating into the wind.

    Leave them to it. Trade with what is left over from their assured self destruction.

    The problem with the Third World countries is they expect our help.
    You can't help those who won't do it for themselves.
    "The only way to get smarter is to play a smarter opponent."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeornWulfWer View Post
    They will always need "us"
    Well it is equally true that we need them too . I mean the dependency of nations on other nations is what underpins world trade. It's the distribution of the wealth from that trade that seems to be the problem . As long as we allow the wealth that should go to these States to instead dissappear into the bank accounts of Multinationals the imbalance seems set to continue and indeed deepen


    The problem with the Third World countries is they expect our help.
    You can't help those who won't do it for themselves.
    If they expect our help it is because any logical analysis of it will reveal the fact without our help there is no chance of progress

    Equally you cannot criticize them if you do not give them the means with which to help themselves. Aid is not the means. National control of and protection of their own resources/economy is the means . This is the exact opposite of the Neoliberal package currently being forced upon the rest of the world.

    But I do understand your frustration on the subject , it is a mess but not something that is really that difficult to resolve theoretically. But is a real mountain to climb in practical terms
    By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Only a few countries such as Egypt and Israel get significant amounts of aid. Much of what the US gives out is contingent upon its being spent on US-made goods, so is in effect an indirect subsidy to American industries.

    What the aid also accomplishes is strengthening the hands of a few predatory rulers. If we stop giving aid, those rulers would fall, and the Africans would carry on with their lives with less interference. They would not "wither on the vine."

    Such charities as Save the Children are scams that rake off most of their contributions for overhead. Sally Struthers is the ultimate racist as her pitiful (in several senses of the words) ads give the impression that Africans are completely helpless without the assistance of benevolent Whites.

    News from Africa is selective: we mostly only hear about the wars and the famines, but much of Africa manages to get by; they plow their fields and harvest their crops over and over again.
    Well Columbia is a recipient of large amounts of aid fom the US government. The place is effectively split between a corrupt central government controlled area and an area controlled by a peasant geurilla movement.
    I'm sure western and others arms dealers are making a killing there at the moment. There is an obvious strategic advantage to the US to have much influence there.

    So Columbia looks set to continue to fulfill the stereotype third world scenario. It's so predictable , there might be slight differences in details but all the usual suspects are in place to oversee conflict should it arise.

    I also agree on the selectiveness of the media with regards to the problems in poorer nations. and would ask when was the last time you heared a story about how a western corporate owned factory has polluted a river so badly that the locals are forced to move elsewhere or suffer the consequences of the pollution. Hardly ever , should we be surprised by this ? certainly not, who owns the media? The billionaires club may be the strongest solidarity movement on the planet at present

    That needs to change if we are to see less need for aid around the world
    By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

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