Africa is poor because it is rife with bloody tribalism and superstition--ideas that in the Dark Ages kept the Western world as poor, if not poorer, than today's Africa. If aid advocates were genuinely concerned with helping Africans, they would campaign for political and economic freedom; for individualism, reason and capitalism; for the ideas necessary to achieve prosperity.That this is emphatically not what "aid advocates" are out in the street yelling for suggests that helping Africans is not the chief motivation behind their yelling. [Hat tip Liberty Scott].
UPDATE: A colleague on the O-Blogger list sent me a link to an interview with James Shikwati, who I've mentioned here before. "For God's sake, please stop the aid," says Shikwati to G8 leaders.
I'd suggest that if there were more James Shikwatis in Africa, then Africa would be a much more self-reliant place, and undoubtedly a mihc wealthier and a much happier place. As my colleague says, they "might actually be able to eradicate poverty by creating more wealth instead of promoting legalized theft."
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* Correction: the west does have one thing about which it should feel guilty, and that is western Europe's and the US's closed borders to African trade. The irony here however is that those yelling loudest for a guilt-trip to help Africa are also the loudest in their opposition to free trade.