I’ve had an epiphany! All of those annoying organisations whom I despise, here’s looking at you PETA, should club together and form a giant umbrella organisation. In the title I have suggested a snappy little nom de charity for this proposed super group and it is People for Unrealistic, Silly, Shortsighted and Irrational Explorations of what is Seemly, or P.U.S.S.I.E.S if you are the acronym type.

Think about it, groups like Project RED and Live Aid can run around and shout at people; their ability to hinder and annoy would multiply exponentially. They can make light work of thrusting all of their different new age, western, pseudo scientific philosophies down peoples throats. In particular, they can go to all kinds of foreign places, in fact any place with brown or tan people will do, and tell those silly locals whats normal and right. Democracy! Capitalism! Vegetarianism! Liberalism! And all of the other “-ism’s” and “-cie’s” that they deem acceptable.

I’m not against non profit organisations or altruistic principles. I’m not, no sir. What I am against is Bono trying to determine the economic policy of the African continent or Westerners trying to solve non western problems. Besides, a lot of the aid is what former World Bank employee Dr. Dambisa Doyo so aptly called “dead aid”. It does nothing, and I can’t emphasise the word nothing enough, to alleviate third world poverty in the long term.

In fact, the benevolence that celebrities shower upon Africa, for example, is completely self defeating. An article by the Root (http://www.theroot.com/) on Dr. Doyo says it best:

When Western governments, aid organizations or rock stars flood African economies with donations of mosquito nets or food, she argues, local entrepreneurs are choked off from competition. The global focus on the poorest Africans does not help grow small business or grow the middle class. Unconditional aid creates welfare nation-states, fostering a culture of dependency. Whatever their motivations, non-Africans over the long haul have added to, not alleviated, indigence in Africa.

All of these misguided charitable actions are literally crushing African economies with kindness. It stifles local economies and it’s down to simple impatience. Yes, it’s shit that people are starving and poor and sickly. The reality is that there is no quick fix to deeply entrenched poverty. How do these people think the first world became the first world? Do they think that Europe has always had the wealth it has today?

The west has real, long term and widespread wealth because they were afforded the opportunity to grow their fortunes organically over an extended period of time and, God help me if I’m not quoting Ronald Reagan, “the wealth trickled down”. How’s about giving the third world some breathing room and why aren’t third world countries given the same chance? Why is Bono/ Bob Geldof/ George Clooney advising people on African affairs? Are there no well qualified Africans who can provide comment?

Africa has an extensive and well educated intelligentsia that could provide African solutions to African questions. They are, however, shoved out of the limelight by rich, white celebrities looking to get catch some lime light. Not only is it wrong but it will only exacerbate the suffering of the people they are trying to help.

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