January 04, 2005

Ship Of Fools

I have seldom seen such a collection of jaw-droppingly arrogant stupidity as I did perusing this article in the UK Independent which asked "politicians and commentators" if the tsunami disaster might trigger a united global effort to tackle the problems of poverty. Here are a few of the choicer responses:


Western capitalism demands that people must be impoverished. I cannot think that anything will change this year, because we are the ones who have made the world the way it is. I don't believe in altruism.

J G BALLARD, Novelist

It would be one of the biggest breakthroughs mankind has ever experienced if we pooled our wealth in order to look after the poorer people of the world. Sadly, I don't think it will happen.

TONY BENN, Former cabinet minister

It may make people realise that the UN needs to be well-equipped and funded. If people diverted money from weapons and war, we have the technology and money to be able to help - if we decide to do that.

THE RIGHT REV TIM STEVENS, Bishop of Leicester

I am hopeful, but we must see a real commitment to changing the economic relationships between the West and the poorer countries. As well as charitable giving, we need to tackle these fundamental issues.

It strikes me as damn near scandalous that after all these years of abysmal failure of their theory that all we need to do to solve the problem of world poverty is to tax the West back to the Stone Age, it has not yet sunk in on the Left that wealth is created, not distributed. Furthermore, the creation of wealth has nothing to do with the U.N. or international charity or whining over the fair allocation of resources. Instead, it is built on three fundamental principles:

1) Rule of Law

2) Security of Property

3) Education

I absolutely refuse to be hustled by guilt-mongers. When these yo-yo's start thinking seriously about efforts to establish those institutions necessary for the creation of wealth in the Third World, then they can come back and talk to me. (And, BTW, isn't this exactly what Dubya is trying to do in Afghanistan and Iraq?) In the meantime, they can take their "gimme a dollar" rhetoric, stuff it up their backsides and set it alight.

UPDATE: Glenn links to a couple of pieces about the relative merits of trade and aid as means to help developing nations that are well worth reading. But of course, trade with a given country is largely useless unless that country has the mechanisms (hint: see above) in place to take advantage of it. Also, don't misunderstand me - aid in the case of a disaster like the tsunami is absolutely necessary. But what the crown of armchair Marxists above is yammering about is a systemic issue, not an acute emergency.

UPDATE DEUX: Greetings, loyal minions of the Maximum Leader! I should have pointed out earlier that I believe their are, in fact, three possible explanations of this behavior: 1) that these people simply don't get it, 2) that they understand perfectly well but would prefer to live high off the hog on the present system, or 3) some combination thereof. My money is somewhere between 2 and 3.

UPDATE TROIS: Go read Steyn's take. I particularly like his rip on Clare Short because I met her when I worked as a research assistant in Parliament years ago and developed an immediate detestation of her. Heh, indeed.

Posted by Robert at January 4, 2005 09:32 AM

Private charity is much more effective at getting relief to those who need it. Government-to-government handouts get mired in official corruption, bureacratic snags, and the like. While the U.S. military provides the airlift and sealift capabilities, the bulk of America's efforts will come from, and flow through,non-governmental channels.

Posted by: LMC at January 4, 2005 09:41 AM

So who's Glenn, and is he cute?

Posted by: Sadie at January 4, 2005 10:03 AM

I think it's time for the US media to bring to the forefront the oil for food scandal. So far the UN has gotten a huge pass by our own media, with the exception of Fox News. If the rest of the world knew how corrupt the UN was, then maybe they'd rethink that organization.


OK, that's my dream, though.

Posted by: jen at January 4, 2005 10:19 AM

Sadie - I'd have said Glenn looked like a bit of a nerd. But the Insta-wife is awfully hot so he must be doing something right.

Posted by: Robert the LB at January 4, 2005 02:55 PM

Its time to tell the who damn UN to be gone and just move the whole damn bunch to moscow or bejing or havanna rather then keep this wretched nest of vipers in our country anymore

Posted by: mad heron at January 4, 2005 03:40 PM

Munuvian Tuning Spork did a piece on this as well over at Blather Review.

Posted by: Ted at January 5, 2005 09:35 AM

I love this phrase: "if we pooled our wealth ..."

In other words, what's yours is ours. Or, what you think is "yours" really isn't.

Sure, pal. You first. What? You're penniless, you say? Quelle surprise.

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