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Old 05-22-2012, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
263 posts, read 333,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
So has the fact that during Europe's Dark Ages, Europe's elite sent their kids to Timbuktu for higher education,
This I've never heard. I find it hard to believe that Europe's medieval (presumably Christian) elite would send their kids to a Muslim city for education. A source for this, please?

 
Old 05-22-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
33,466 posts, read 19,345,485 times
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This is what I learned in African History class in university. You can probably Google it. Timbuktu was famous for its universities. It's the Arab world that preserved mathematical and scientific knowledge during Christianity's war on science and the later purges of the Inquisition. That's why some of our mathematical terms are of Arabic origin: algebra, algorithm, to name two.

Remember, Christianity cannibalized its own society for hundreds of years during the Inquisition and its aftermath. That's one thing that caused the Dark Ages in the first place. That, and the Church's conservatism in general, for which scientific knowledge was anathema.
 
Old 05-23-2012, 02:47 AM
 
2,788 posts, read 2,689,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKBLACKGUY View Post
Well White people are not today the biggest investors of Africa it is the Chinese.

With the slave trade even though most of the slaves went to the Americas, the slaves were largely captured by fellow blacks and in addition the Arabs also played an big part in the slave trade so the slave trade was not entirely the Europeans fault even though they also played an major part in it.

Last edited by Vichel; 05-25-2012 at 09:22 PM..
 
Old 05-23-2012, 05:43 AM
 
310 posts, read 444,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
This is what I learned in African History class in university. You can probably Google it. Timbuktu was famous for its universities. It's the Arab world that preserved mathematical and scientific knowledge during Christianity's war on science and the later purges of the Inquisition. That's why some of our mathematical terms are of Arabic origin: algebra, algorithm, to name two.

Remember, Christianity cannibalized its own society for hundreds of years during the Inquisition and its aftermath. That's one thing that caused the Dark Ages in the first place. That, and the Church's conservatism in general, for which scientific knowledge was anathema.
Timbuktu was really important and a comercial and cultural center, but inside the islamic world, not for the euroeans.
The entrance to the city was forbidden for non-Muslims.
The first european who was there was a spanish muslim, Leo Africanus, and it was in the XVI century. The first non-muslim was Alexander Gordon in 1826.
It was not allowed to non-Muslims to study in their universities until the French colonial rule, in the XIX century, so European elites could not study there during the Dark Ages.
 
Old 05-25-2012, 06:35 AM
 
53 posts, read 12,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OK, thanks for clarifying the OP (I assume that was a clarification). This gives me something to chew on.

International trade rules have always favored northern countries (the developed world, except for Russia et al) over southern. Tariffs were levied on finished products from southern countries (cotton clothing, or cotton cloth from Africa and India, for ex.) to prevent developing countries from competing with developed nations' products. Colonialism was followed by neo-colonialism. Whether or not the trade issues have been resolved since the formation of the WTO, I don't know, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Corruption is an issue. Look at Nigeria, potentially a wealthy country, but where does the oil money go? It doesn't reach the people. Clinton did a good thing when he travelled to Africa to highlight countries like Botswana that are doing things right. Unfortunately, I don't think hardly anyone remembers, if they even got the message at all at the time he made the trip.

Let's not forget the role the CIA has played in removing democratically-elected leaders from office. Who knows what strides Zaire would have made if Patrice Lumumba had been able to serve his Presidency? Instead, Mobutu was installed, and corruption and neglect ran amok. And I don't know what role the IMF and World Bank are playing in Africa, but judging by their effect in Russia and elsewhere, I'd say it's probably a destructive one. Those institutions favor austerity programs, which tend to make economic problems worse, rather than better. More neo-Colonialism, if you ask me.

Tropical diseases and parasites may play a role (health is an important component for a nation's economic development), though that can be mitigated with good governance and health programs.

I'd be interested to know what the OAS has to say about what needs to be done to foster development. Does our OP know? But IMF/World Bank policies need to be changed. Corruption needs to be dealt with. Trade rules need to change.

What about you guys, what do you have to say to answer the questions in post #10?

Don't underestimate Mulhall. I'm sure he has a dissertation ready to post on these questions.
OK. I will jump on your chessboard just to make a few points. Reading your posts it's seems to that you are like the ref who catches the end of play, then calls the foul based on what he saw. I have seen the play develop and know who threw the first punch. You suffer in the area of perception, as your intelligence is limited only to what the people who your respect have told you.

Thus you describe the causes of the problems in certain parts of Africa, then discount the effects. Instead you do exactly what I describe in the OP and and shift the blame on to Africa and the so called corruption in certain African countries.

The poverty in Africa is shown with a purpose. It is used to show that Africans are inherently screwed up. They can’t govern themselves and hence they need American and European [conditional] aid, foreign soldiers on their ground, foreign control on their resources. To back this theory up they show the ‘benevolent whitey’ side by side.

No mention is made of the way the British and the Belgian colonial governments arbitrarily carved up, scrambled and partitioned land to form artificial divisions, or pitted one ethnicity against the other. The devastating effect of Aids/Hiv somehow also has an African face. Another African Problem. This problem is always tied to poverty, but, the lack of access to proper medical interventions is never the obvious connection reported. No – the future is grim: extinction is around the corner.

Another image that has always stayed me with is that when people are suffering drought and starvation, the focus is sometimes – curiously – on the wild life, the rhinos, elephants and others. As if ,THIS is the worrying priority. Africa, after all, is meant for Safari! As if ‘Africans’ are actually lions or cheetahs.

The media corporations that report on the continent are driven by profit, and that is bound by law that says shareholders require profits. No profit mean lawsuits will follow.

Bad news and crisis sells, and Africa is easy pickings for doom-peddling. ‘Context’ isn’t. The drama and tragedy of Africa makes money.
It seems these ‘needy’ and ‘grim’ stereotypes are the very thing that feeds Western foreign policy and its public, and its the same thing that makes Western governments and aid agency intervene. Africa is the place for ‘intervention’.
 
Old 05-25-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
33,466 posts, read 19,345,485 times
Reputation: 23349
I mentioned colonialism. I didn't go into historical detail, because this is something everyone already knows, it's old news. You also didn't notice that I blamed the CIA for some of the corruption. Have you ever discussed these issues with Africans? Those from countries with corruption problems admit to corruption. The obstacles facing Africa are complex and multi-faceted. Corruption plays a role in some countries. Somehow you missed the fact that all but one of the reasons I gave for underdevelopment cited the developed world and its institutions (IMF, World Bank) as the causes of the problems facing Africa. But it's good to see you back and active on your own thread.

BTW, it was the UN's "intervention" in the 1960's that brought about decolonization of Africa, with the notable exceptions of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Those two were tougher nuts to crack, but the settler regimes were eventually thrown out.

Media coverage of Africa is offensive, no argument there. That's why Clinton's visit there was so important--it produced positive images of Africa. Too bad that didn't last.
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