Pope warns of 'new colonialism'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by firestarter, Oct 4, 2009.

?

Is Africa more damaged by

  1. Capitalism and materialism

    50.0%
  2. The Catholic church

    50.0%
  1. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8289188.stm

    "Opening a three-week synod of African bishops, he said political colonialism was over.
    But he said the developed world continued to export materialism - which he called "toxic spiritual rubbish" - to the continent."


    So...

    I wonder if poor Africans are damaged more by:

    1/ The West exporting capitalism and materialism to Africa

    or

    2/ The Catholic Church exporting a ridiculous medieval religion to Africa, banning the use of condoms and causing many hundreds of thousands to die of HIV/AIDS.

    Discuss...
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    I'm not going to come out and support the Catholic church or what European / American religious movements have done in Africa, but I think this basic argument (against) neo-colonialism, which has been preached by voices in the non-aligned movement, for instance, for years, has merit. If you look at the Western aid effort in Africa, what is the long term track-record? Where is there any evidence of progress? I think it's a valid question as to whether we haven't been going through a cycle over the past 50+ years of kids wearing Peace-in-Darfur t-shirts, buying product(red), and going to Band Aid concerts, giving money in ways that ultimately encourages the growth of strongmen and the diversion of resources to them, brief periods of seeming economic progress, and then new atrocities.

    I'm not saying I don't want economic progress in Africa, and I'm certainly not saying I don't want peace in Darfur. But I think it's a valid point that, if we look at the post-colonial era, there is very little reason to believe this approach is working.
     
  3. firestarter thread starter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #3
    I think we beat ourselves up way too much over the African situation - and we should expect more from African leaders. It's refreshing that in Obama, there's finally a US president who can say this (and he has been) - since white western leaders find it difficult to deliver a negative message without appearing condescending and/or racist.

    Africa has a highly educated leadership (many government ministers and leaders have attended the best universities). It also has money (look at the vast Oil wealth in Nigeria, and contrast the poverty on the country's streets).
     
  4. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    Just to be clear I voted Capitalism straight off without seeing materialism tagged on the end, I am of course not against materialism unless in the recent use as a synonym for consumption for consumptions sake.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    I would say that helping prevent sensible policy on AIDs has done quite a lot of damage to Africa and I don't think capitalism/materialism have done great damage to any other part of the world.

    I think probably a lot of Africa's problems are caused by the arbitrary borders us Europeans drew up across the continent - in the rest of the world that has held true too, Israel/Palestine and India/Pakistan being the two notable examples (and both of them are at least partially our fault :eek:.)

    I think this is also true.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    I think the problems are that we (1) say, instantly, that people will die (although many, many people are dying now) and (2) we perceive a great risk of regional instability. They both make us disinclined to try something radically different and so instead we beat ourselves up, start another aid campaign that doesn't solve anything, and we feel better having stoked our sense of guilt.
     
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #7
    Personally I think the church has done more to help Africa than harm it. The church tends to run a lot of the aid programs and like it or not the missionaries they send tend to help set up schools, build homes, and bring medical, and food supplies. They will pass on the world but do not require acceptance of it nor listening to gain access to the aid.

    As for Capitalism it has done a huge amount of damage. First you got the slave trade, then when the Continent was broken up it was not done based on natural borders or ethnic lines so that forces a lot of civil wars with in the countries. God know what else the west as done
     
  8. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    #8
    but would Africa be in this mess if it was not for the white man and the church?
    if the church had it's way Africa would end up breeding it's self into total war and wipe out.
     
  9. firestarter thread starter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #9
    Do you have a source which states % of aid managed by or provided through the church?

    I suspect that a large proportion of US aid is channeled through church bodies, but I would think that the proportion of church aid in Europe and Asia would be tiny.
     
  10. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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  11. firestarter thread starter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #11
    Why, thank you!

    Care. To. Elaborate. ?
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #12
    I think it yes it is a bad poll and more we are going to see a line of people who hate the church bashing it (heavy handed here) with little true understand were some of the mess comes from.

    There are countless example of the west screwing things up.

    The church people are getting hung up on the condom part. Sorry if that is the best you got then it is weak to nothing at best. Take away that issue you are looking at next to nothing and more aid. Take away a random others and you still have a huge mess of crap being done that screwed things up.
     
  13. firestarter thread starter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #13
    Good. My point was to draw attention to the pope's hypocrisy.

    This paragraph isn't even in English. What are you talking about?
     
  14. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #14
    2.1 million people dying every year is weak to nothing at best?

    …

    On the original topic; I don't know if one is "worse" than the other. They are both born out the same concept of expanding some sort of power — be it religious, political, or economic — both contribute lopsided and largely ineffective aid, and both fail to take any responsibility for the situation and it's genesis. Since the pope is neither proposing new solutions nor taking responsibility here, then yes it's disgustingly hypocritical, unethical, disingenuous and counter-productive, but I don't think the Africans really care what he thinks.
     

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