I just finished watching the movie, The Constant Gardener, in which a British diplomat’s wife is murdered while they are stationed in Kenya as she uncovers a pharmaceutical company’s use of AIDS patients as live guinea pigs to test a tuberculosis drug. He picks up where she left off, only to be murdered himself, but not before sending the critical evidence away that will reveal the involvement of government officials. The movie is set in both Kenya and the Sudan and displays a very grim reality that is faced by Africans. Movies like this, Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, Black Hawk Down, and the Last King of Scotland show a continent of death and no hope. These movies portray a continent in which you face three fates, death by starvation, death by disease, or death through war. An Africans life prior to this end is lived out in some sort of direct or indirect service to a white person as a diamond miner, aide worker, or in tourism. All of these vocations boil down to a kind of situational slavery. Your only other option is to join one of the lawless gangs of AK-47 wielding bandits that terrorize the other people. From Hollywood, Africa looks to be a hell on earth.
I’m not going to dispute that any of this may be the reality in Africa. I rarely hear reports to the contrary. I’m also not going to dispute the effect of European colonization on creating this climate of chaos in Africa. I will say that it is the welfare state that has been created by the west that facilitates this existence, (if one group of people, the woman and children, are recipients of aide, the other group of people, the men, spend their time stealing the aide instead of producing something) but that is not my point. My point is that if this really is the dominant reality, how can the population of Africa increase or maintain its level. It would stand to reason that if you starve, are shot, or die of disease, then your life expectancy is diminished. Somehow kids are born, grow up, and have kids themselves in ways that increase the population. I have a general curiosity on how the rest of non-hollywood Africa does it. What is their story. If this really is the reality in Africa, why would we not recognize that a continent on welfare is what keeps this going. Why would we also not recognize that a similar welfare state in our own country will produce similar results.