Re: Post-Saddam Iraq?

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Mon 11 Nov 2002 - 15:50:24 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
    > 3. That the US help for Europe proactively harmed Africa - not just
    > neglecting it, but that in some active way Africa was harmed by the
    > Plan...
    Kenneth, That comes close to what I feel Lawrence ! It seems I can 't remerber where I have put the original post with the comment about the why the US was more eager to help Europe than Africa. I will keep on searching though !

    But yes, Africa was harmed and in that way we could explain why societies are profoundly unable to develop themselves, or why Hutus and Tutsis killed eachother. I don 't claim that has to be the reason, but put in memetical terms, yes Africa was intellectual retarted by not receiving help from the US or from elsewhere. It is a vicious circle of economical growth, political stability, tradition, intellect,... The one clings on to other, the one helps the other to create and in the end you end up where we stand now.

    Of course, Africa wasn 't and still isn 't like the US or Europe, not even far from it, ( tribal clashes and some kinds of voo- doo like religions are still wandering the plains) but the fact remains that the Marshall- plan deliberate set Africa aside. If that was with the consensus of Marshall himself I don 't know, but I do understand that the US- government was favourable to help out Europe and not Africa. Maybe it had something to do with our historical relationships...

    In memetical terms, memes need to evolve, need a competitive vehicle to get propagated... without any socially, cultural, political, economical, philo- sophical bias, like we have in the Western/ Asian world memes stagnate and finally diseappear. The general development of Europe after WWII was boosted by the help of the US, we were giving the chance, like you said to rebuild the international trade economy, don 't you think there is a snag in this story somewhere !?

    Africa was and is rich on natural resources, don 't you even would consider that this could be the reason why the US helped us !? We got the intellect, they gave us the political stability, together we rebuild worlds economy, don 't you see that Africa was just there to provide us with the necessary minerals and natural goodies !? The world was maybe in peace and the kolonial period was maybe history, in Africa the clashes continued. One of the reasons why Congo/ Zaire exist is just to keep world powers out of eachothers thwart... I can understand that the American people just had enough economical/ psy- chological capacity left to help us, that choises had to be made, but why did the US give all of its 17 billion dollar help- plan to us, why not 50 %/ 50
    % !?

    I suppose, Lawrence that we should be grateful for what the US did in the ' 40, but that doesn 't have to mean that the US must spawn some psychological conscience/ deathlock on me or on Europe ! We paid our debts, we evolved, we have gone our seperate ways.... I don't critize that the US didn 't do everything or that I find it desirable that they did, it is just point that the US finds it " desirable ", wishful that Europe fights along its side the wars which we, Europeans have no connection with !

    What will the US do, if Europe stands on its two feet and says no !? Will the US find it still desirable that Europe helps it in fighting useless battles if Europe moves further up to the East !? Is the US providing new bounderies for itself now that it knows that Europe will economical expand further !?

    On a larger matter, did we give up on Africa !? Atleast my country is trying not to ! Is it a meme !? Yes it is ! Like I stated before, and Hountondji evocates, how can Africa free itself, mentally of the vision which other cultures have of the African one, if that picture is influenced by stories of explorers, of anthroplogy, by the Western philosophy, by art, by missonairies and by the African reaction to all of this !? Africa, writes Mudimbe, is a Western construct, Africa is the key to the European identity_ what we are is the West not ! Europe thinks, we are primitive/ they got ethics, we got voodoo/ they got God we still believe in ghosts and spirits.

    Is it a meme that reflects as on a ground reality, yes it is ! Africa never got the chance to develop its full cultural potential, still now they are trying to implement their cultural habits and traits and in the same time they are trying to justify these because most of the time the West critizes their way of living. If, Hountondji writes, if we had the chance to develop along our own cultural lineages we should certainly have challenged those, made them modern, moreover we realise that they are not the proper tools for this modern age. They try hard to implement democracy and all, but there is no cultural bias for it, we the West have taking the specific bias away.

    On the other hand, did we really give up on Africa !? No, writes W. Abraham in the Mind of Africa, Africa has to learn that the West don 't always looks over the African shoulder. Its a meme, an idea that Africa has to let go. Africa always dissociates itself against what other cultures might think, that is a wrong way ! But an understandable way !

    Hountondji and Mudimbe are African pfilosophers, although the latter is not that keen on the use of that word.


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