21 comments on “Bit racist for a progressive isn’t it?

  1. I think its rather a false comparison Descartes and Mbiti. They are answering different questions.

    I think – what is involved in thinking? answer: the self, therefore the self, I exist.
    Seems reasonable

    ‘I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am.’

    “”We are” Q What is involved in we? A: me. therefor I must exist. It seems to beg the question somewhat if you are trying to prove something basic. On the otherhand it could be saying the self is lesser than or reliant on the group which would be statement with a different purpose entirely.

  2. ‘It is often said that the majority of Africans find capitalism particularly emotionally and conceptually difficult.’

    Really? I’ve never heard it. Got some documentation, Peter?

    ‘Abeba Birhane, a PhD student in Dublin’

    Credential inflation.

    ‘Meanwhile sociopathy appears to be as advantageous now as it was in the eighteenth century – as the current salaries of chief executives of large companies so obviously testify.’


    ‘Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?’

    Soviet distribution of goods. No one gets anything, so ALL are sad . . . uh . . . happy (Big Brother is watching).

    The progressive message is to be happy with nothing. Ignore the commissar’s dacha.

  3. I’d never heard of Peter May so I googled him and found this absolute corker. It is Ritchie-esque in its pomposity and naked desire for recognition (which *obviously* at the moment is not forthcoming due to the system being rigged by nasty neoliberal etc etc etc)

    “Peter May, Clóvis Cavalcanti and I are working on having the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in a way that materially benefits Ecological Economics and related initiative”

    They want a NOBEL PRIZE for their empty-headed buffoonery? Un-sodding-believable


  4. ‘The ecology of Earth is ‘tanking’’

    Ecology is the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment. The study is tanking HOW?

    “They want a NOBEL PRIZE for their empty-headed buffoonery?”

    It’s the perfect plan! (See Barack Hussein Obama, Albert Gore, Jr.).

  5. Having spent several months traveling overland from Kenya to Cape Town, I’d say that Africans are more than happy with capitalism. It was more or less impossible to go to a market & buy only what we initially intended to buy!

  6. Said by whom? I have never heard anyone say that African people do not understand capitalism. Mobutu certainly understood it. The officials who demand bribes understand it. The slave traders understand it….

  7. Heckythump! Not only is the comments policy moderated, but I have been pre-blocked! This didn’t even get to first base.

    Firstly, does one have to be a contributor here to add comments?

    Secondly, are the comments on here moderated, and if so by whom?

    Thirdly, who wrote the comments policy? The writing style bears the hallmarks of Professor Richard J “Spud” Murphy.

    Fourthly, is one likely to see the phrase “Candidly, you are wasting my time. This is the last time you will be posting your neoliberal nonsense here”? in response to comments?

  8. “Africans find capitalism particularly emotionally and conceptually difficult.”

    I sincerely doubt that. Capitalism is pretty easy to understand, simply being a way to organize capital and labor.

    But, you know what? Even if that’s true, it doesn’t matter. Under a Free Market system Africans are free to organize their capital and labor in any number of non-Capitalist forms.

    You want a worker-owned collective – go ahead, no one is stopping you.

    Then you simply compete and cooperate in the free-market with other groups as you see fit.

    Of course, there’s no room for ‘give me all your shit, comrade’ in that system.

  9. One R Murphy finds capitalism and indeed many other subjects particularly difficult to understand. I have known a few Africans – cannot recall meeting any who have the same problems in understanding things that he does.

  10. Gamecock said:
    “Ecology is the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment. The study is tanking HOW?”

    Too much policy-led Green “research” has devalued it?

  11. It is often said that the majority of Africans find capitalism particularly emotionally and conceptually difficult. And I think it’s not always limited to Africans.

    I agree. Africa is full of people with an IQ of 60. But then there are such people in every country. Just not as many.

    When the anthropologist said ‘now’, all of the children took each other by the hand and ran together toward the tree. They all arrived at the same time, divided up the sweets, sat down and began to happily munch away. The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together when any one of them could have had the sweets all to themselves. The children responded: ‘Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?’

    What a sweet little story. The Luminous Negro comes to Africa. I often wondered how people to reconcile the actual, real, lived experience of Africa with these little fairy stories. I mean, you might think that no one is cutting anyone else’s arm off in Africa. Or raiding villages for child slave soldiers. Or stealing half the GDP to salt away in their own Swiss bank accounts. Still, what should we believe – these patronising little fables or our own lying eyes?

    Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as, ‘I am what I am because of who we all are.’

    Otherwise known as keeping your place if you’re female, young or poor. Personally I am all for the younger women of my family serving me on their knees. I just wouldn’t call it a moral system.

  12. SMFS, seems like that Ubuntu story was written by someone who has never set foot in Africa.

  13. I often wondered how people to reconcile the actual, real, lived experience of Africa with these little fairy stories.

    My reaction was a long and loud belly-laugh. I don’t know about everyone else.

  14. I have this wierd idea that the fact the African economies are mainly growing at a notable rate, the African middle class is growing and African companies are actually beginning to engage beyond Africa other than as partners of companies extracting minerals might indicate that Africans can figure out capitalism without much difficulty.

    But it’s the fall in global poverty all over again – why acknowledge a success story if it doesn’t match your prejudices?

    As for the children story, as a religious watcher of any television programme that shows small children being the subject of expirements by academics (OK, that sounds worse than it is), it is worth noting that girls especially are good at cooperating for mutual benefit, and policing other children to do so as well. That small children naturally cooperate most of the time is in fact common knowledge – and that boys are most likely to not do so is hardly a shock to any parent.

  15. There was an illuminating story about Bob Geldof cadging a rise with Dubya on Air Force One – Bush said “What’s Africa’s biggest problem? Lack of economic development. They don’t trade. They need free trade” and Geldof slightly unexpectedly became a huge fan.

    The colonial legacy of damn stupid borders drawn with a ruler combined with decades of proxy war between US and Russian funded troops means the economy’s starting from a low base. But all the evidence is that if we keep our noses out and let the African’s start trade themselves, the economy will develop quite nicely thank you. And once you have a nice, wealthy, restive middle-class the dictators get deposed, the rule of law gets imposed and life can rapidly become better for everyone

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