Why Africa is Forgotten

As I catch up on current events another story came across Al-Jazeera that underscores the need for global rule of law. When decisions about aid, assistance, and, more generally, the assignment of value in society, make in a multi-polar legal environment the inevitable result is injustice. And this happens because decisions are made based on the selfish State principle: National Actors make decisions about foreign policy on the basis of their own national interests and not the collective interests of humanity. And Africa is the best expositor of this phenomenon. Little interest is directed toward African (especially sub-Saharan) nations precisely because those nations have so little impact on the immediate national interests of other nations. And this asymmetric situation drives the injustice.
Had a drought like that which occcured in Somalia occured, say, in my home State (a U.S. Province) of Georgia, there would have been massive federal aid and assistance provided. And this assistance would be justified on the basis that it is good for the entire nation. Ironically, most people fail to see this same reality on a global scale due to the pardigm tinted lenses through which they see the world.

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2 comments
  1. Didn’t you notice that the area of the famine coincides almost exactly with the territory held by Al-Shabaab militia, who are refusing to allow the World Food Programme and other NGOs access? Seems like the real problem is the absence of local rule of law rather than global rule of law.

    • I disagree. The resources to address the famine do not exist locally, so it has nothing to do with local rule of law by itself. Global rule of law allows the application of assistance where it is needed most from the collective resources of the entire political union, which was the point I was making.

      In my country federal assistance for Hurrican Katrina is an excellent example. Using your advocated model New Orleans would have received far less assistance and there would be far more loss and suffering.

      But, to your initial point, you are ironically arguing for global rule of law and don’t realize it. The very fact that you have a local militia exerting that kind of control is due to the power vacuum created by a lack of gloabl rule of law. Notice that no such militias and power struggles exist between, say, Montana and Wyoming. That is because there is a federal authority that precludes it.

      The type and form of the argument you are making is no different than the type and form put forth by the colonies who opposed the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

      – kk

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