Furthest Right

Uganda Calls Out the First World Dependency Loop

They donate this crap, get a tax write-off, and basically dump their trash on Africa because Africa has minimally functional government. That’s a paragraph; “they are from dead people” is five words and easy to understand. He is smart to phrase it thus.

Colonialism strikes me as the classic mixed bag: some good, some bad, but most importantly, a whole lot of things left unresolved for the future. The West, after numerous invasions, decided to invade the world rather than wait for it to arrive on our doorsteps.

It then established colonies in the less-governed areas of the third world and started applying its own standards and methods in order to bring those governments into the first world system. Like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, what was once conquest became a police action.

Police actions require punishing those who do not fit into the system as a means of maintaining control. As a result, some brutal punishments are called atrocities, sometimes correctly. In addition, the system of slavery came about after progressives ended feudalism in the West.

This contributed to the mixed bag of colonialism. It contributed a great deal, but also brought things like slavery and killings that none of us would have condoned even back in the day. On top of that, it set up a legacy of codependency that exists to this day.

The first world uses the third world for cheap labor because unions, regulations, and taxes raised the cost of our own labor beyond what the markets would bear. In turn, we sell our products at high cost to the third world and use it as a dumping ground for what we cannot sell.

Some of the more competent leaders in Africa have noticed this process and objected to one example of this, the dumping of used clothes:

President Museveni has warned Ugandans against buying and using imported second-hand clothes termed mivumba. According to President Museveni, such clothes are gathered from Europeans who have died.

“They are for dead people. When a white person dies, their clothes are dumped. I do not know which person gathers their clothes and sends them to Africa. We should stop wearing them,” Museveni said.

“We have people here who produce new clothes but they cannot infiltrate the market because the second-hand clothes are already all over.”

In the loop of post-colonialism, we get labor and raw materials from the third world, and in exchange pay them foreign aid, NGO aid, and cash supplements any time there is a crisis. In theory, this keeps them from signing up with Russia-China, although that seems to be eroding.

It also keeps them from developing a system that works for them and instead keeps them within the loop of the postmodern Western system, namely republican democracy, mixed economies, civil rights, and participation in global markets.

For many of these nations, the overhead of Western-style institutions and bureaucracy subtracts wealth that is needed for other functions, including infrastructure. Assuming that there is a one-size-fits-all best government ignores how much variation occurs in cultures and populations.

Post-colonialism holds these societies back with the high cost of maintaining a first-world government in third-world societies, without any evidence that this is the best system for those populations or is improving things beyond an initial burst that took them out of pure subsistence living and warlord rule.

Uganda is not the only one to notice how they are being used as a dumping ground for dated Western fashion, a de facto price monopoly that undercuts local business and prevents Uganda fashion businesses from developing.

The East African Community tried in the past to ban Western dumping of fast fashion castoffs, but found itself rebuked by the WEF-UN-WHO cabal:

In 2015, member states of the East African Community (EAC), which comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, announced they would ban second-hand imports from 2019 to protect their own clothing manufacturers.

East African countries, which account for 13% of the global market in second-hand textiles (worth a total of $274m (£208m) in 2015), began imposing tariffs.

African countries, under pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund over many years, have undertaken structural adjustment programmes that have effectively reduced subsidies designed to protect their home-grown industry and therefore opened up their markets to foreign trade.

Despite claiming to represent the world, these international organizations in fact represent the globalist system, much as American politicians represent the bureaucracy rather than the best interests of their constituents.

Ruinous competition in Western fashion, brought about by cheaper labor from abroad, has led to a need to out-compete others through novelty, which requires producing vast amounts of clothing, some of which is sold secondhand as overstock; on top of that, old fashions get passed along by consumers.

The old fashions getting passed along by consumers are taken like our electronic waste to the third world where they are recycled, providing a price floor that makes it unprofitable for domestic industry to enter the market:

In the 1950s, the average American family spent about 10% of its income on clothing, and that money bought them just a few sturdy garments a year.

Now, thanks largely to the outsourcing of garment production to the developing world — where labor costs are far lower than in the West — the cost of an article of clothing has dramatically decreased.

Westerners now consume clothing at such a ferocious pace that our own secondhand shops cannot begin to absorb our discards. Today, although we donate only about 15% of our used clothing to charity, domestic thrift stores are still overwhelmed. They can only sell a sliver — about 10% to 20% — of what they receive. The rest is sold to textile recyclers, who turn the lowest-quality items into rags and insulation and press everything else into bales, which are sold to traders across Asia and Africa.

We are told that colonialism was a great evil; this is partially true. The third world before colonialism was more evil as a result of civilization collapse there long ago. However, colonialism put too much of a burden on the colonizers to enforce first world society in places that did not want it.

This in turn created unstable power, and all manner of horrors tend to come out of that, so it is not surprising that in addition to the fake reports of atrocities, there were real atrocities as chronicled in the work of Joseph Conrad, which took a nuanced view of colonialism:

It appears the Company had received news that one of their captains had been killed in a scuffle with the natives. This was my chance, and it made me the more anxious to go. It was only months and months afterwards, when I made the attempt to recover what was left of the body, that I heard the original quarrel arose from a misunderstanding about some hens. Yes, two black hens. Fresleven—that was the fellow’s name, a Dane—thought himself wronged somehow in the bargain, so he went ashore and started to hammer the chief of the village with a stick. Oh, it didn’t surprise me in the least to hear this, and at the same time to be told that Fresleven was the gentlest, quietest creature that ever walked on two legs. No doubt he was; but he had been a couple of years already out there engaged in the noble cause, you know, and he probably felt the need at last of asserting his self-respect in some way. Therefore he whacked the old [Black person] mercilessly, while a big crowd of his people watched him, thunderstruck, till some man—I was told the chief’s son—in desperation at hearing the old chap yell, made a tentative jab with a spear at the white man—and of course it went quite easy between the shoulder-blades. Then the whole population cleared into the forest, expecting all kinds of calamities to happen, while, on the other hand, the steamer Fresleven commanded left also in a bad panic, in charge of the engineer, I believe. Afterwards nobody seemed to trouble much about Fresleven’s remains, till I got out and stepped into his shoes. I couldn’t let it rest, though; but when an opportunity offered at last to meet my predecessor, the grass growing through his ribs was tall enough to hide his bones. They were all there. The supernatural being had not been touched after he fell. And the village was deserted, the huts gaped black, rotting, all askew within the fallen enclosures. A calamity had come to it, sure enough. The people had vanished. Mad terror had scattered them, men, women, and children, through the bush, and they had never returned. What became of the hens I don’t know either. I should think the cause of progress got them, anyhow. However, through this glorious affair I got my appointment, before I had fairly begun to hope for it.

Conrad had a controversial dual view of colonialism: he viewed the third world as primitive and unable to rule itself, and Europeans as driving themselves crazy trying to police people who were unable to recognize incentives and instead fell back on subsistence ways.

In his view, colonialism by the nature of its futility and depressing circumstances brought out the cruelty in the European, which in turn made the process even worse and more horrifying. At the end, his clearest thinkers conclude that colonialism is simply doomed.

Even more, they try for another duality: escaping from a paternalistic desire to help others at the same time they leave behind the desire to punish, manipulate, and control. His story of colonialism is someone escaping from a doomed and miserable institution ruling dooming and miserable people.

He looks for a renewal of the soul of the European based not in methods of forcing others to do what you want, but in aspiring toward a positive goal that has nothing to do with the individual, like a pursuit of beauty, wisdom, and goodness.

Museveni correctly identifies the dumping of European castoffs in the third world as a continuation of the cruelty and manipulation of colonialism, even though now we have put it into a rainbow-spangled pink sparkling furry bunny where we claim altruism and tolerance as we treat people like machines.

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