General Question

neonez's avatar

Would African countries' governments be more stable had europe not colonized many of them?

Asked by neonez (389points) February 25th, 2008

From what I gather, European countries left corrupt governments in their wake in Africa.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

kevbo's avatar

I’m talking strictly out of a non-mandibular orifice, but it seems that the colonizing powers also took trouble to give minority African factions power over majority factions, which has contributed significantly to the genocidal fallout we’ve seen over the years. I would also guess that many African national boundaries did not evolve organically but were imposed by other means again adding to factional tensions. So, yes, probably.

aaronblohowiak's avatar

In my uninformed view, continuous low-level tribal feuds were replaced with large scale centralized corruption. Some people got more powerful from the transition, many suffered. As for stability, you’d need to operationalize that definition with some metrics in order to get a more specific answer.

Zaku's avatar

Barring other imperial invaders, I imagine so. They might even be fortunate enough to still not have “governments” per se.

susanc's avatar

I am told by African friends that national boundaries are a bother and don’t reflect
on-the-ground reality for native people, including native people who have advanced
Western-style university education. Because kevbo is, as so often, correct about the
national boundaries being inorganic and arbitrarily imposed from Europe. As were many
boundaries in the Middle East.
Large-scale representative government doesn’t seem to be necessary to all cultures,
or even bearable…..

Charlie's avatar

The United States Of Americas People in OFFICE are the biggest terrorist on this planet. If it wasn’t for them, there would be harmony. Africa did fine until OUR government stepped in.

Spargett's avatar

Africans need education. That’s why they doing same dumb stuff over and over.

They’d stop voting for idiots, stop having children when they can’t support them/spread STD’s, and stop killing each other over nothing.

The past is over, its up to Africa and Africains to change today.

aaronblohowiak's avatar

@Spargett: I’d love to talk about strategies for the redevelopment of Africa with you, but perhaps you should start a new discussion thread in which to do it?

susanc's avatar

@ Charlie: “harmony”? Where have you seen that anywhere in the world? I think you
should read some more before you make this assertion. People quarrel everywhere – even on Fluther – in fact I’m quarrelling with you right now. The question about African national boundaries imposed by Europeans is a useful one, I think – but you aren’t exactly addressing it. Also, the United States had nothing at all to do with setting these boundaries. Wish I could recommend a wonderful book about this stuff, but Google could get you going… it’s worth figuring out.

Zaku's avatar

@susanc: Not what Charlie was suggesting, but speaking for myself, I see harmony where “civilized” governments aren’t involved. Between plants and animals and pre-“civilized” human cultures, which have been living with nature rather than against it, for longer than “civilization” has been around trying to conquer everything.

susanc's avatar

@Spargett: The thing about
people being invaded by diseases, about continuing to grow the family labor force even when the family is no longer farming, and even the educated can’t predict some outcomes.
Who knew George Bush was going to be quite as harmful as he has been? Or, sadly,
Bill Clinton? (Only my opinion, I know, but those are ready examples.)
Who knew Harry S Truman would be any good?
Who knew AIDS existed? Who immediately stopped having unprotected sex as soon as they understood this? Not everyone, believe me.
Change takes time.

susanc's avatar

@ Zaku: True, Charlie didn’t suggest the US drew the national boundaries -
I stand gratefully corrected.
@Charlie: what exactly HAS the US government done to interrupt the “doing fine” you attribute to a whole continent’s worth of disparate cultures over the course of history? So sweeping!
Somalia? And?

aaronblohowiak's avatar

@zaku: precivilized cultures are almost continually at low-grade war with one another over food supplies, mates, and territory. your romanticized views of indigenous peoples’ politics are naive at best.

Zaku's avatar

@aaronblohowiak: “War” and “precivilized” and “romanticized” and “naive at best” are hostile expressions invented by “civilized” people desperate to justify their destructive patterns, to invalidate other ways of thinking besides insisting on the superiority of their conceptions and their “right” to “conquer” other ways of life. “Uncivilized” people have lived their way of life without destroying their environments for longer than civilization itself has existed.

Charlie's avatar

Basically, the whole of Africa was colonized by the Europeans thus imposseing their ways upon the governments of the people of Africa just as BUSH and others in our government is trying to impose our way of life onto other nations. In other words, government is crossing culture boundries and you cannot have a war if you are trying to change a culture. Look at Australia even or the American Indian. Zaku is right and it is US ignorant “civilized” people that can’t understand when to leave well enough alone.

neonez's avatar

@Charlie: Africa is a rich continent in terms of resources and thus the interest in instating corrupt governments who will sell diamonds, gold and oil to western countries. That’s all terrible but its also irrelevant. The question is whether the undeveloped African countries we actually be in a better state at this point had they not been colonized.

@Zaku: I think its safe to say with the evidence in history to say that humans are innately hostile regardless of social advances and just because some portion of uncivilized peoples have lived with their environment successfully doesn’t mean that we can’t at this point. At any rate there is absolutely no going back now without some pretty powerful nukes and a few thousand millennia.

I know there are people who are wrong on the internet (Im not pointing any fingers) and its irritating but stay on topic people.

Zaku's avatar

@neonez: Yes, humans and practically all animals have a capacity for hostility, and I hope “civilized” humans will learn to shift thinking so they stop destroying the planet before it is even farther too late. “Uncivilized” people show it is theoretically possible and not rocket science… but “civilized” people can be so very closed-minded . . . after all, what could the “conquerors” and “owners” of the world have to learn from “savages”, hmm?

aaronblohowiak's avatar

@neonez: well said, great answer!

@zaku: While there is indeed a language of oppression, you will find my post lacking in it. I notice that you did not refute the assertions I made, nor did you state how I was in any way suggesting that civilization is superior to pre-civilization, nor did you provide any evidence that I was “desperate to justify… destructive patterns.” If you had integrity and believe the things you say, then why haven’t you chosen to forgo the fruits of civilization and join one of the cultures you exalt? I believe you may be interested in learning more about others who seem to share your views at:

Zaku's avatar

@aaronblohowiak: Ok, your assertions:
“precivilized cultures are almost continually at low-grade war with one another over food supplies, mates, and territory.”
– The term “precivilized cultures” implies that these cultures are the ones who just haven’t gotten around yet to civilizing, as if it were inevitable and a matter of time (hence the prefix “pre”). It appears to me that this attitude tends to lead “civilized” people to overlook the possibility of learning what these other cultures might teach them. Like, that it is possible to live with nature, not against it.
– How do you define “low-grade war” and what judgments are you passing about it? Although some of these cultures might have fairly regular fights over some things, they don’t do it anything like we civilized countries who cause massive damage to noncombatants and aim to conquer and dominate completely. Their fights are limited, personal, and of limited purpose and effect – in no way do they even conceive of conquering the world. Only with civilization did war get invented as exterminating other people, enslaving them, sowing “the enemy’s land” with salt, or claiming the
“Intellectual Property Rights” to the DNA in their seeds in exchange for selling the genetically sabotaged grain that can’t be used to grow future crops, in order to increase the paper profits and stock value of some megacorporation.

“your romanticized views of indigenous peoples’ politics are naive at best.”
– It’s unfortunate I was so unclear to you. I didn’t mean to romanticize “uncivilized” cultures, but to point out the cold fact that they and the animals have been entirely successful at preserving a way of life for longer than civilization has existed, while civilized people assume superiority yet find it challenging to stop their own ever-accelerating damage (potentially fatal damage to the planet itself).

“If you had integrity and believe the things you say, then why haven’t you chosen to forgo the fruits of civilization and join one of the cultures you exalt?”
– You misunderstand my observations. As I mentioned to neonez, I hope “civilized” humans will see the effect of their “entitled conquerors” attitude and learn to live in harmony with other species as soon as possible, rather than continuing to destroy other species and environments. Grass skirts are not required, but a shift of thinking is.

Charlie's avatar

Africa is a land of many resources but the people that live there are not the most liturate and the European Nations capitalized on that ignorance. A case of the mighty ruleing the weak. It is happening here in America where the younger generation has little or no back bone to see further then a nintindo game or a PC game. Ignorance breeds dominance and the lose of Freedom. Goes back to the days of the Slave trader that stold and sold negroes to the GREAT white man in America. This country should be ashamed of that period of time but then LOOK what this same GREAT man did to the American Indians and HE still trys to talk about FREEDOM. Ha! Keep your guns handy because You’r going to need them

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther