Monday, 6 June 2011

Business: Of Charity

It may sound silly, but Oxfam seems dead set to keep Africa poor forever...

Elsewhere, I have (two times removed) borrowed a phrase of Karl Marx and said it (Oxfam) wants to condemn Africa to eternal "idiocy of rural life". Before you start throwing stones (or worse), do go read first the Oxfam Report 2011 (PDF) then this analysis. You should now be able to see it for yourself (even if the analysis helped you along a bit). How it was not obvious to Oxfam is anyone's guess. I mean, one does not have to be a rocket scientist or even a food production specialist to be able to realise that the standard of living of people on agricultural and farming smallholdings remains... guess what? Small! The only way for them to improve their lives (i.e. not live hand to mouth or thereabouts) is to increase their farms. And to work the large farms they need either a lot of people or a lot of machinery. Having a lot of people to work for you has been tried in feudal times, and worked up to a point. But you don't need a lesson in history, especially not from me (I come from where Winston Churchill once said more history is produced than can be consumed). And having a lot of machinery requires just what Oxfam would abolish - the big industry. Oh, and to be able to sell all the good stuff produced you'd also need a lot of infrastructure - and even more machinery. But all this is very BAD for Oxfam. We can't have any of that because big companies are BAD. So, Oxfam says to poor people everywhere, go to your small farm and stay there. Forever. No 21st century creature comforts for you. Apparently, the best way for things to change in the third world is for them to stay the same, bar a few donations here and there.

Oh, and don't forget the wise words of those "experts" at Oxfam! Where we'd be without those...