We Live in Interesting Times

Post colonialism saw in the main, the colonial country withdraw, but leave the very systems in place that had allowed, such places not only to function but to grow. The simple fact is now these countries, had the systems in place to give them an opportunity to trade in more advantageous circumstance, for themselves the very resources that once had just been taken. Although EU tariffs it must be said have not helped Africa, which for the moment is for another thread.

Despite the advantages of colonial systems infrastructure and systems of governance being left behind, sustaining both seems to be a consistently failing issue across much of today’s Africa.

While independence was undertaken during what you describe as “very early adolescence”. That it affected many children of that eras it can be said then, thus their future society. But it must be acknowledged that the speed of withdrawal from colonial countries was undertaken at haste, in part by the demands from the populace within such countries. The increasing financial costs of sustaining fully functioning colonies post World War Two, for western societies themselves struggling to maintain themselves, and perhaps most damaging for post-colonial Africa changing societal expectations and norms within western society, despite the majority having any substantive level of knowledge of the continent.

Thus once again proving the old saying right in that, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’


So it is little wonder then sadly then as these systems failed to be maintained and expanded on as this required hard work and effort or were deliberately discarded, that a "Lord of the Flies" environment across large areas seems to be the default result, for many post-colonial countries. Regardless of the wests organisational withdrawal many links continued to be maintained and various degrees of Aid offered.


Of course no group of people likes to have be exploited by outsiders and then once unshackled can be overly bitter about past injustices, but a successful groups push forward in adopting and or adapting some of the very systems that had been imposed on them, for the sustainability and advancement of its wider society.


One only has to look at the results of South Africa now seemingly intent on driving the white farmers, out of the country by measure of financial penalty at best and murderous barbarity at worst. Although one is hard pressed to find much criticism or condemnation of a developed African country choosing to adopt the Mugabe method of murderously ‘destroying’ a resource rich country in the media.


It is a sad fact that a continent that is still resource rich in many parts without, but without western aid be it food, money or resource management, the recipient country will inevitably collapse. And thus lose any vestiges of functioning systems, which can maintain a country and enabling it to function in today’s modern world. Thus also the worst aspects of simple tribal function and identity, come to the fore in every case violently, ensuring such societies remains simplistic and unsustainable.


We are talking decades of aid being pumped in to the continent and, while it is true that we have at times backed the wrong leader for political gain, and also turned a blind eye to some corrupt practices from western companies again mostly for political gain. This has not been the overarching design, intent or desire of most post-colonial western countries, despite the rantings of avowed Marxists and unknowledgeable 6th form debating societies.


So despite the continent being resource rich, with the addition of much developed world giving aid, the question is of course why, has and is the continent of Africa failing, and more so having a population growth rate that it cannot sustain alone.





As long as African society predominantly chooses to continue to cling to such “societal structure and allegiances”, they will never sadly evolve past being a feudal subsistence society.

The continent has not been denied access to the knowledge of the western world, not to its technology, yet it seemingly fails to absorb or more importantly value advancement from individual subsistence to collective economy of scale production, amongst the wider general populace, despite some pockets within each country doing so.


I believe it is without doubt that the ‘Cold War’ and aggressive proliferation of Marxist ideology across the continent, during that period in part has deeply encouraged populations to mistrust colonial systems that had been left to them, as alien to their own deep rooted cultural norms and thus to be actively discarded. I believe it has also played a part in subvert the delivery and embracement of education. Twisting it from a method of societal advancement to instead fostering a victim narrative, that leaves many of them un-educated and with no wish to advance other than for individual gain.

The tribal structure that runs through many of systems of governance and hierarchy. Predominantly is blood rather ability based, and thus inflexible, archaic and absolute regardless of negative outcome. Let alone fostering an understanding of responsibility.


Lastly the post-colonial western world and with no sense of irony, has and continues to strip the brightest, and best with immigration, and to some degree asylum policies that is leaving the continent without its own potential forward thinkers, and to use a dreadfully ‘right on’ description those who will be the ‘Agents of change’, and lastly the low skilled workforce required to effect change.

The exodus from Africa, from the over populated, badly lead and poorly resourced subsistence society areas, who ‘like this description or not’, are fundamentally both under developed educationally and societally stunted, and likely to remain so despite being allowed to enter and stay in the west, is not improving the nations they are fleeing from nor will it enhance the nations they are fleeing too.

The societal gap is too great. Yet the soft bigotry of low expectation, and overly emotional feelings seems to demand we rescue them from their own land… regardless of fact
Add in the effects of poor diet & malnutrition on a child's developing brain & you get what we see arriving on the shores of southern Europe in their tens & hundreds of thousands.
These people are not & very unlikely ever will be productive members of society & that's a burden we cannot & should not have to bear.
Unless there is a sea-change in the way most of Africa is governed, it'll be the place that spawns the next real global crisis & by crisis I don't mean the minor hiccup we've seen over the last decade or so.
 
I'm not an Africa expert, although I have worked in quite a few of its countries, the following is just my thoughts based on observation, experience and trying to work out why many things seem so wrong across Africa.

I recognise what you are stating, but it is not objective to lump people and societies together like this and categorise them. First and foremost we are all one race, the human race, with very minor differences between us. We all bleed red when cut, we all have the same needs that Maslow so succcinctly put together in a pyramid, we all have the same emotions. That is nature - human nature. In the Foreign Legion I trained and served alongside men of all races and all are able to compete equally in a meritocracy.

Much of the behavioural differences are down to history, culture and societal organisation. One could say that this is nurture on the national scale. I have come around to the theory that there are two major factors at play concerning sub-Saharan Africa.

The first is that of developmental inconsistency. The various African nations had relatively minimal interference from outside powers unless it was at the fringes of the continent for most of known history. Much of it did not geographically favour human organisation higher than the tribal level. Where economic and natural conditions favoured it, more highly organised societies arose. These societies were prevented from further self-development at their own pace by colonialism.

Disregarding the economic exploitation, the developmental analogy would be social services taking children away from their parents and trying to raise them in a different way, straitjacketing them into what they saw as artifical structures and modes of behaviour. Some of these were better and some were worse (Leopoldian Congo as a brutal Sisters of Mercy orphanage springs to mind). However, the system was generally working towards a goal of bringing these children up to partake in the worldwide adult community. However the progress was broken in the children's very early adolescence, when suddenly the structures that they were growing up in were broken down and the young people were left adrift to their own devices. The "Lord of the Flies" on a continental level.

The second is deep-grained cultural norms and senses of allegiance. In much of sub-Saharan Africa before colonialism the highest form of allegiance was to one's tribe. Even where various tribes were unified under a central power, rule was carried out through the tribe. When looking at societal structure and allegiances, the individual and his immediate family comes first, then the expanded family or clan, then the tribe. There is innate distrust of anything beyond that. Due to the experiences of the above paragraph, if an individual is fortunate enough to gain a position of authority at any level of any organisation, his first duty is to see what he can get out of it to benefit himself, then his family, followed by his clan and finally his tribe. The upshot of this is that there is no sense of allegiance or responsibility to a higher societal entity which governs for the benefit of all.

I'm sure there will be much disagreement about what I've written above, I am no expert, but having thought about all the crap I've seen in sub-Saharan Africa, this is the latest iteration of what I think the reasons for the problem are. As for a solution - that needs a better man than me.
A good post. I think what you have to say about tribalism rings true.

And as you say, we're all basically human and I can see the same thing happens in the USA, although its manifestations are different. Which is why you can envisage a possible break-up/down of their society.

And all of which goes against your argument for a European superstate. Human nature, its inherent tribalism, precludes it.

It's an idea for the 'elites', who are of course, a tribe.

And we can see examples of tribalism in this discussion - the taxpayer tribe, the non-old tribe, the non-disabled tribe etc, some of whom don't even realise their own tribalism (who needs to be culled from this over-populated world, in order that my idea of society can survive)

Once you take notice of tribalism, you can see it in virtually every human interaction.
 
If we immediately distinguish the term "Liberal" which historically stands for free markets and small government from the current "Liberal" party then we can plot the main fault lines of society:
politics.png

Both the Tories and Labour are globalist parties who both hold socially liberal views; they mainly differ as to the amount of control that is required to manage the markets.

Both UKIP and "Blue" Labour would mirror their parent parties but with a tenancy towards the nationalist axis. UKIP may tend to be more socially conservative.

Historically the big threat was if a party had coalesced in nationalist, managed markets and socially centrist territory. That is the big threat neither main party has an answer to.
 
A good post. I think what you have to say about tribalism rings true.

And as you say, we're all basically human and I can see the same thing happens in the USA, although its manifestations are different. Which is why you can envisage a possible break-up/down of their society.

And all of which goes against your argument for a European superstate. Human nature, its inherent tribalism, precludes it.

It's an idea for the 'elites', who are of course, a tribe.

And we can see examples of tribalism in this discussion - the taxpayer tribe, the non-old tribe, the non-disabled tribe etc, some of whom don't even realise their own tribalism (who needs to be culled from this over-populated world, in order that my idea of society can survive)

Once you take notice of tribalism, you can see it in virtually every human interaction.
Would you agree then, that because there is a tribal consideration, and thus identity driven element, in virtually every human interaction. Tribalism therefore should not be casually dismissed as either a inconsequential part or, some outdated primitive aspect of evolution that is not needed in maintaining a modern functioning society.

To my mind defining identity and thus tribal loyalties, as with so many aspects of life today and in the past is neither inherently good or bad, but the context of a situation, will govern its place, in the order of reasoning and decision making.

Also that for every negative aspect when considering identity, there is an equal and opposite positive consideration. Even with immutable characteristics, size, hair color, race etc.

Identity can bind or divide, so functioning and advancing societies have to balance the positive and negative aspects of identity and tribalism, as much as they have to to balance the individual against the collective. There is no stable constant state and the function of societal systems is to try to maintain smooth and small transitions between polar opposites.

That as societies develop and advance, for any system of governance that attempts to enforcing and maintain a singular rigid identity over a multi layered sophisticated society, is as doomed to failure, as expecting a simple society without any firm core ideological tenant, and that is so fluid that it constantly 'changes with the wind', thus cannot unify when required.

We may not like as reasonably stable and advanced society, to accept that identity is powerful ju-ju. History both good and bad shows this to be true and, the future if it chooses ignores its consideration, as a part of reasoning too problem solve will do so at its peril. As with everything its balance.
 
Would you agree then, that because there is a tribal consideration, and thus identity driven element, in virtually every human interaction. Tribalism therefore should not be casually dismissed as either a inconsequential part or, some outdated primitive aspect of evolution that is not needed in maintaining a modern functioning society.

To my mind defining identity and thus tribal loyalties, as with so many aspects of life today and in the past is neither inherently good or bad, but the context of a situation, will govern its place, in the order of reasoning and decision making.

Also that for every negative aspect when considering identity, there is an equal and opposite positive consideration. Even with immutable characteristics, size, hair color, race etc.

Identity can bind or divide, so functioning and advancing societies have to balance the positive and negative aspects of identity and tribalism, as much as they have to to balance the individual against the collective. There is no stable constant state and the function of societal systems is to try to maintain smooth and small transitions between polar opposites.

That as societies develop and advance, for any system of governance that attempts to enforcing and maintain a singular rigid identity over a multi layered sophisticated society, is as doomed to failure, as expecting a simple society without any firm core ideological tenant, and that is so fluid that it constantly 'changes with the wind', thus cannot unify when required.

We may not like as reasonably stable and advanced society, to accept that identity is powerful ju-ju. History both good and bad shows this to be true and, the future if it chooses ignores its consideration, as a part of reasoning too problem solve will do so at its peril. As with everything its balance.
Okay...who called in the bloody airstrike?!,

Keep going Halo, good stuff :)

Edit: I don’t feel I personally can add anymore to this thread but- am finding it quite intriguing and...educational.
 
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Everything will change and nothing will change. Look at the sentiments expressed in the first century (AD) graffiti on the walls of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
We did two tours in Italy and when in Naples we visited Pompeii or the superlative Herculaneum every month or so with visitors - official and social. What struck me was that a 21st Century Westerner could have been parachuted back 2000 years to those pre-eruption streets and picked up life straight away. It was a rules-based mercantile society. You worked for money - you didn't forage for berries.You were a fisherman who fished to make money - not to eat fish.

But visiting the ruins, along with Helenic-Romano sites around the Mediterranean - does illustrate how very advanced and sophisticated societies are also very vulnerable.
 
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Tribalism therefore should not be casually dismissed as either a inconsequential part or, some outdated primitive aspect of evolution that is not needed in maintaining a modern functioning society.
And Tribalism is the enemy of globalisation hence the nationalist (or tribal) hue of the new Populist parties.
 
Without US & British Empire aid, Russia would have struggled to turn the tide on Germany....
Without the Wehrmacht bleeding itself dry in Russia, the western allies would have struggled to defeat Germany.

If you think the US has abused it's power, what do you call Russia's actions, or China's claim to huge areas of the South China Sea?
So the actions of Russia and China justify America's?

I don't see this "dearly held wish" being in any way expressed by those I would have thought most likely to feel that way. Mostly it's a regret that the EU has gone in a direction they feel is not one which would be of benefit to the UK as a whole in the long term...
And the UK has decided to leave the EU so how the EU runs its affairs will no longer be Britain's business in 9 months.

I very much doubt the EU will hold together in its current form, let alone Federalise & there's no indication it would be welcome in many states.
Maybe, maybe not. The EU has evolved from the original trading bloc. I see the UK as having been a brake on increasing integration. With the UK gone, I think integration will continue. Those countries that don't want to integrate can always leave as well. If they can afford it. Basically it comes down to what Germany wants, Germany gets.
 

BuggerAll

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The OP could be writing about me although I don’t agree about BREXIT or China. I think China is on a path to democracy.

The increasing middle class are demanding more. Whilst the party leadership can satisfy their needs they maintain their legitimacy. As soon as things become more difficult the only legitimacy will come from democracy.
 
China is still subject to those normal rules and they include political pressures growing from the growth of middle classes, disaffection from the disenfranchised and a yearn for democracy. Declaring yourself president for life isn't a good sign is it?
Is there any, though? Certainly not from the much-vaunted middle class vanguard of democracy. They don't want the Party's rule overthrown for the simple reason that they are the Party - and the Party's mates, it's backers and it's major beneficiaries.

Expecting them to lead a demand for universal suffrage and multiparty elections is like expecting same from the owners of Rotten Boroughs.
 
... and it's major beneficiaries.
Would it be fair to say that China has to expand or die ? Unless the CPC can keep the population of the Middle Kingdom in steadily increasing affluence via such strategies as the Silk Path(?) and break the American stranglehold on the Pacific then they, and we, could be moving into interesting times.
 
Would it be fair to say that China has to expand or die ?
In terms of raw economics, not really. A key plank of the population control policies has been to stabilise the PRC population at 800 million, down from the current 1.3-1.5bn official. Raising the standard of living is doable with current energy and food supply.

Technological advances will help but they've bet on population reduction as the main plank of their survival strategy.
 
In terms of raw economics, not really. A key plank of the population control policies has been to stabilise the PRC population at 800 million, down from the current 1.3-1.5bn official. Raising the standard of living is doable with current energy and food supply.

Technological advances will help but they've bet on population reduction as the main plank of their survival strategy.
It's a strategy the rest of the world should have adopted some time ago.
 
It's a strategy the rest of the world should have adopted some time ago.
The rest of the world seemed quite adamant that it was inhuman and undemocratic to restrict the individual's right to reproduce to prevent future suffering to the whole.

A different outlook on what governance is for, I guess.
 
Proportionally the threat from vandals and goths (ostro, visi, emo etc) was as sizeable.

Britannia and Rome had been slowly declining for years, under attacks from all sorts of North European tribes and the withdrawal of troops / administration was only a couple of years before Rome itself was sacked.
The western half of the empire collapsed only a few decades later

My bold. indeed, just look at the fortifications built in Britain by the Romans to counter them...
"The Saxon Shore Forts were built by the Romans in the late 3rd century AD along the southeast coast of Britain to guard against increasing invasion and piracy by Germanic tribes including the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes."

The one in Portchester is an interesting example used later by the Normans and as a Napoleonic PoW camp and in WW2 as an anti aircraft battery.

portchester castle - Bing video
 
well, it''s been a good while since we had a proper war on a global scale. If history is to be learned from then we are due one soon.

The world is in always on the edge of chaos and the real threats appear to be unchecked at the moment as we all focus on the unimportant.
 
Proportionally the threat from vandals and goths (ostro, visi, emo etc) was as sizeable.

Britannia and Rome had been slowly declining for years, under attacks from all sorts of North European tribes and the withdrawal of troops / administration was only a couple of years before Rome itself was sacked.
The western half of the empire collapsed only a few decades later
Oi! @.@
 
Is there any, though? Certainly not from the much-vaunted middle class vanguard of democracy. They don't want the Party's rule overthrown for the simple reason that they are the Party - and the Party's mates, it's backers and it's major beneficiaries.

Expecting them to lead a demand for universal suffrage and multiparty elections is like expecting same from the owners of Rotten Boroughs.
I suspect that if democracy of some sort were to come about in China at any time in the foreseeable future it would be as a result of the Party losing its prestige and aura of legitimacy by visibly failing to handle a major crisis, particularly a financial crisis.

I'm not going to assign any sort of probability to this scenario actually taking place, as that sort of thing just isn't predictable..

However, if it were to occur I don't think it would result in China suddenly falling into line and taking orders from Washington. The Chinese view of the world and their place in it would still be the same, and that view is based on long held cultural perceptions of China being the centre of the world (hence the name "the Middle Kingdom") but only having briefly and temporarily run into a spot of trouble.

This view conflicts directly with that of Washington, who are very much in the grip of an expanded form of the ideology of "Manifest Destiny" - the belief that God has destined the USA to be the leader amongst nations. Originally Manifest Destiny referred to a belief that that US was ordained by God to rule from the North Pole to the Equator. That was later revised to having hegemony over the entire western hemisphere, and later still revised to being "leader of the free world (TM)". That in turn.somehow implies having license to decide on what goes anywhere.

You could argue about whether the above is a good thing or a bad thing, but the point is that this US ideology is as dogmatically and unquestioningly held by its adherents as the works of Karl Marx are by the most committed of communists. It is something that very few in the political class would ever seek to question. Trump's not caring a whit about this is as much as anything what makes him a political anomaly in US politics. There is no sign however that he will upset the political orthodoxy of the political class in any lasting manner, and they are the ones who set the agenda in terms of foreign policy in the US.

Where this is leading to is that if we assume that the existing political establishment in China were to fall and be replaced by a democratically elected government, there is no reason to believe that political rivalry between Beijing and Washington would abate. Each would see themselves as historically destined to be the one that others pay homage to. No matter how democratic China were to become in practice though, I don't think the US would recognise them as being a "real" democracy because in the American view "real" democracies are those who accept the US as "leader of the free world".

I will briefly mention India as by the end of the century having become yet another independent power in the world, and yielding first place to no one when it comes to arrogance and a sense of self importance. They would be a third pole of power with a self generated sense of destiny.

And now we get to the point of all of this. The end result of this would likely be a complete breakdown in the 20th century view of global conflict being a battle between democracy and dictatorship, or good versus evil. I'm not entirely sure we would from a philosophical perspective be back to the 19th century view of a balance of power with no country having the ability to claim the moral high ground, although that's where we may be from a practical perspective.

However, the world has become used to the idea that national self interest must be cloaked in the pretence of morality before aggressive action can take place. I don't expect countries to give up on the idea of using force to exercise that self interest. That however implies the necessity of coming up with some new philosophical justification for it and then imposing that view upon the population as the new orthodoxy.

What that would be is a good question.
 
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Well I have to say this is a very interesting discussion to date. A lot of interesting topics, and many points that I agreed with and those I didn't agree with but understood and accepted.

My congratulations to you Condotierre on the birth of your child, I wish your son health wealth and happiness.

As to the topic in general, I'll add a couple of my personal opinions but restrict my attention to the US, UK, and to a small extent Australia. It has struck me over the last few years that the US (if you watch the media) is ripe for not so much a civil war as civil unrest. A civil war implies two sides fighting in a structured fashion, giving and taking ground in an attempt to overthrow the other but what I think may well happen in the US is spontaneous outbreaks of violence across certain parts of the country drawn along racial or religous lines. Again, if you watch the media, there is the impression that the police forces in certain areas appear to have a rather blase approach to engaging coloured suspects and will almost without provocation shoot first and ask questions later. There have been a number of instances over the last couple of years where minor riots (and in at least one case major riots) have erupted. It hasn't quite led to running gun battles yet, but as tensions rise I have a concern that at some point the police response will not be enough and the ground swell of anger will boil over.

Of course, and again it's "according to the media", there are other groups who would respond almost in a "well they're doing it, I feel threatened so I'm going to defend myself" mood as if they just wanted an excuse to take up arms. The fundamental christians are one group I suspect would respond, but there are probably others in more local scenarios so you end up with a general civil unrest with no-go areas and armed gangs. Of course the police forces and national guard now find themselves with more than one target to deal with, so where do they direct their resources without annoying someone or other by making it look as if they are "giving one group priority over others". A no win situation.

While I don't suspect that a similar armed conflict would happen in the UK or Aus, the concept of multiple groups of pi$$ed off citizens, each clinging to their own banner and demanding they get their "rights" is prevalent in both countries.

I've watched the rise of Feminists, LGBTQ and other groups with interest recently, and the one thing they all share is a visceral anger and loud demand that they get what they want. Between Jordan Petterson being harrassed for quite correctly protesting that the Canadian government should not pass laws directing the speech that peole should use, to the protests this week over the advice to "take responsibility for your own safety" from an Australian police force after a woman was raped and killed on her way home through an unlit park, the underlying message from them all is "I want something and the rest of the world must change so I can get it".

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment someone made about feelings over facts, the way to win an argument now would appear to be go onto some form of media, make a case based on "if we do this someone or something will suffer" and wait for the bandwagon of angry finger pointers to come along. The ability for someone with a grudge or perceived complaint to instantly find others world wide who feel the same is staggering, and has raised so many groups that 20 years ago would not have existed beyond you and your local mates. What is that one that cropped up recently, "Incel" or "involuntary celibate"? When I was growing up meant you couldn't get a girlfriend so you had to amuse yourself other ways, you didn't form a dark net group that planned to commit mass murder.

The media (and in that I include the self published media) has I think a lot to answer for. The drive to get the sensational story first has missed reporting the truth, the urge to get responses from readers has forgotten that the facts may be misrepresented or ommitted. The desire to be seen protesting about something that will gain you followers or give you kudos has carefully ignored the fact that some people will believe what you say without checking the veracity of the argument. How many Hollywood celebs have jumped on the MeToo bandwagon, or stood up at lavish ceremonies and shouted vulgarities at the President and been rewarded handsomely with praise and "likes"?

Back in the late 70's early 80's they did a TV six-parter with John Mills as Professor Quatermass. It started in a somewhat distopian London where street gangs roamed around and society in the UK was reduced to squalor with armed police, petrol rationing and power cuts a daily occurence. We all looked at it and went "I hope that doesn't happen", but the question now could be "when will it"?

As a white, middle aged heterosexual male, I keep getting told that it's "all" my fault. But I think what I'll do is stock up on been and popcorn and let the rest of the shouty brigades fight it out between themselves until they have exhausted their powder. By that point they will probably need someone to make the trains run, or empty the bins, or stock the shelves. You know the sort of jobs that they won't do because it's their right not to.

I must dig out my copy of animal farm, it seems particularly relevant at the moment.....
 

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