User Tools

Site Tools


the_white_mans_burden

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

the_white_mans_burden [2010/01/25 05:15]
will
the_white_mans_burden [2015/05/14 14:34] (current)
Line 31: Line 31:
 It is worth noting that, generally speaking, it is only possible to get away with planning when the planner is answerable to a population that isn't being planned. ​ Thus Western voters select searchers to represent them, but elect planners to work on foreign economies, since planners can deliver broad, ambitious, superficial promises, which are much more attractive to Western voters than the piecemeal support of a hodgepodge of existing micro-schemes that essentially amount to no more than a continuation of existing processes. It is worth noting that, generally speaking, it is only possible to get away with planning when the planner is answerable to a population that isn't being planned. ​ Thus Western voters select searchers to represent them, but elect planners to work on foreign economies, since planners can deliver broad, ambitious, superficial promises, which are much more attractive to Western voters than the piecemeal support of a hodgepodge of existing micro-schemes that essentially amount to no more than a continuation of existing processes.
  
-====== Part I --- Why Planners Cannot Bring Prosperity ======+====== Part IWhy Planners Cannot Bring Prosperity ======
  
  
Line 142: Line 142:
 > The principle is //​non-intervention//​. ​ Don't reward bad governments by working through them, but don't try to boss them around or overthrow them either. ​ The status quo of both donors and gangsters badly needs some work. ---p137--8 > The principle is //​non-intervention//​. ​ Don't reward bad governments by working through them, but don't try to boss them around or overthrow them either. ​ The status quo of both donors and gangsters badly needs some work. ---p137--8
  
-====== Part II --- Acting Out the Burden ======+====== Part IIActing Out the Burden ======
  
 ===== The Rich Have Markets, the Poor Have Bureaucrats ===== ===== The Rich Have Markets, the Poor Have Bureaucrats =====
Line 185: Line 185:
 > brazenly states its objective is to further "the foreign policy goals of the United States."​ ---p176 > brazenly states its objective is to further "the foreign policy goals of the United States."​ ---p176
  
-DfID (the UK agency) is notably more committed to independent evaluation of its aid projects than most other aid agencies. ​ At the other extreme, the UN system contains much of the most absurd conference-,​ report- and meeting-driven time-wasting,​ and various examples of their nonsense are cited.((See a spoof of UN document generation at [[http://​www.unosdg.org/​]].))+DfID (the UK agency) is notably more committed to independent evaluation of its aid projects than most other aid agencies. ​ At the other extreme, the UN system contains much of the most absurd conference-,​ report- and meeting-driven time-wasting,​ and various ​[[http://​www.unosdg.org/​|examples of their nonsense]] are cited.((See a spoof of UN document generation at [[http://​www.unosdg.org/​|UNOSDG]].))
  
 > To be fair, there is incomprehensible language [like that generated by various UN agencies on a continual basis] also in private-sector documents, such as investment prospectuses or engineering designs. ​ The difference is that in private-sector documents, the jargon actually has some meaning to specialists. ​ In UN documents, the jargon has no substantive content for anyone. ---p176 > To be fair, there is incomprehensible language [like that generated by various UN agencies on a continual basis] also in private-sector documents, such as investment prospectuses or engineering designs. ​ The difference is that in private-sector documents, the jargon actually has some meaning to specialists. ​ In UN documents, the jargon has no substantive content for anyone. ---p176
Line 270: Line 270:
 It is the job of health economists to research the cost of intervening against different health threats and calculate the most cost-effective use of available funds, and in the context of the AIDS crisis they have entirely failed in this duty. It is the job of health economists to research the cost of intervening against different health threats and calculate the most cost-effective use of available funds, and in the context of the AIDS crisis they have entirely failed in this duty.
  
-====== Part III --- The White Man's Army ======+====== Part IIIThe White Man's Army ======
  
 ===== From Colonialism to Postmodern Imperialism ===== ===== From Colonialism to Postmodern Imperialism =====
Line 352: Line 352:
 Finally, Easterly may be trying to back down from this position partially, suggesting that "​rescuing innocent civilians from murderous attacks"​ is in some way an entirely different proposition to humanitarian intervention,​ implying that it may be both viable and beneficial. ​ He offers no clue how to distinguish the two different cases --- recall that he classes the Rwandan genocide as a situation in which intervention was inevitably doomed to failure and should not have been attempted. Finally, Easterly may be trying to back down from this position partially, suggesting that "​rescuing innocent civilians from murderous attacks"​ is in some way an entirely different proposition to humanitarian intervention,​ implying that it may be both viable and beneficial. ​ He offers no clue how to distinguish the two different cases --- recall that he classes the Rwandan genocide as a situation in which intervention was inevitably doomed to failure and should not have been attempted.
  
-====== Part IV --- The Future ======+====== Part IVThe Future ======
  
 ===== Home-grown Development ===== ===== Home-grown Development =====
Line 365: Line 365:
  
 Independence from Western interference clearly isn't a panacea in itself; development can easily be hampered by autocratic institutions and corruption, and many economies have not yet found their own particular path to development success. ​ And Western assistance can play a part in helping these countries to find that path, provided that it is "​suitably humbled and chastened by the experience of the past"​.((p318.)) Independence from Western interference clearly isn't a panacea in itself; development can easily be hampered by autocratic institutions and corruption, and many economies have not yet found their own particular path to development success. ​ And Western assistance can play a part in helping these countries to find that path, provided that it is "​suitably humbled and chastened by the experience of the past"​.((p318.))
 +
  
  
Line 394: Line 395:
 > This "​fungibility"​ of aid money is something that aid analysts worry about, but perhaps is less of a worry when there are so many things failing. ---p325 > This "​fungibility"​ of aid money is something that aid analysts worry about, but perhaps is less of a worry when there are so many things failing. ---p325
  
-Two examples of possible mechanisms to improve accountability and feedback are detailed, one existing and one postulated. ​ The first is the established website [[http://​www.globalgiving.com|GlobalGiving],​ a bulletin board for aid projects in which agencies, individuals or firms post project proposals and donors of all kinds select those they wish to support. ​ The second is a voucher scheme in which individuals and/or communities are given vouchers that they can spend with aid agencies operating in their area: people on individual interventions such as vaccinations or food supplements and communities on larger projects such as roads and wells. ​ Such a scheme would give a voice to the recipients of aid, enabling them to '​vote'​ for the interventions that they most want or need.  Agencies receiving vouchers could then exchange them for cash from donors, giving arms-length donors better information about which interventions the poor were really demanding. ​ This process also favours agencies that achieve the same outcomes as others but at lower unit cost.  Again, it's emphasised that possibilities such as these, no matter how good they sound, should be tested on a small scale and independently evaluated before being considered useful in any particular context. ​ Incremental improvement requires not only new ideas but proper evaluation of those ideas to determine if, when and where they work.+Two examples of possible mechanisms to improve accountability and feedback are detailed, one existing and one postulated. ​ The first is the established website [[http://​www.globalgiving.com|GlobalGiving]], a bulletin board for aid projects in which agencies, individuals or firms post project proposals and donors of all kinds select those they wish to support. ​ The second is a voucher scheme in which individuals and/or communities are given vouchers that they can spend with aid agencies operating in their area: people on individual interventions such as vaccinations or food supplements and communities on larger projects such as roads and wells. ​ Such a scheme would give a voice to the recipients of aid, enabling them to '​vote'​ for the interventions that they most want or need.  Agencies receiving vouchers could then exchange them for cash from donors, giving arms-length donors better information about which interventions the poor were really demanding. ​ This process also favours agencies that achieve the same outcomes as others but at lower unit cost.  Again, it's emphasised that possibilities such as these, no matter how good they sound, should be tested on a small scale and independently evaluated before being considered useful in any particular context. ​ Incremental improvement requires not only new ideas but proper evaluation of those ideas to determine if, when and where they work.
  
 > Discard your patronising confidence that you know how to solve other people'​s problems better than they do.  Don't try to fix governments or societies. ​ Don't invade other countries, or send arms to one of the brutal armies in a civil war.  End conditionality. ​ Stop wasting our time with summits and frameworks. ​ Give up on sweeping and naïve institutional reform schemes. ​ The aim should be to make individuals better off, not to transform governments or societies... > Discard your patronising confidence that you know how to solve other people'​s problems better than they do.  Don't try to fix governments or societies. ​ Don't invade other countries, or send arms to one of the brutal armies in a civil war.  End conditionality. ​ Stop wasting our time with summits and frameworks. ​ Give up on sweeping and naïve institutional reform schemes. ​ The aim should be to make individuals better off, not to transform governments or societies...
 > >
 > Remember, aid cannot achieve the end of poverty. ​ Only home-grown development based on the dynamism of individuals and firms in free markets can do that. ---p322 > Remember, aid cannot achieve the end of poverty. ​ Only home-grown development based on the dynamism of individuals and firms in free markets can do that. ---p322
the_white_mans_burden.1264396529.txt.gz · Last modified: 2010/01/25 12:00 (external edit)