43 karmaJoined Jul 2022


Thanks @ DOTheMath for sharing your understanding of the history of revolutions and military coups. You mentioned "revolution" which is categorically different from " military coups". Since revolutions usually had the support of both the middle class and the lower class including some portions of the elites, definitely they produced systemic changes and improved governance. Remember, most of the revolutions you mentioned succeeded because they were no or little vested interested to thwart the outcome of such revolutions as we see with the subversive meddling of an international syndicates in African contexts. Burkina Faso under Sankara was on it way to development, but he was coldly assassinated because it would be a bad precedent and insult for pro-democrats in the West to have a military regime offer better alternative for development. In the history of coups in Africa, 60 % of them had been orchestrated by foreign powers ( France in Central African Republic, Chad, Togo, DRC , Gabon while the US seems to be discreet and diplomatic in its support for military takeover see the recent coup in Never Republic). The point about this failure is due to the fact that vested interests would start threatening to sanctions such regimes, thus not allowing them achieve their mission: offer viable alternative. Conclusion , military takeovers are not intrinsically bad as evidenced in the support their received in some cases where what is now called a palace coup is orchestrated to remove a democratically elected president by the support and approval of Western governments. What do you say of the ousting of Muhammad Morsi of Egypt? Overall, the last time I checked, I saw no real democracy anywhere in the world. Let's take the United States of America for instance. How many political parties exist there? How many of them determine the federal policies? How many democracies embrace multiparty system? Majorly, we are having weak coalitions hiding behind single party system draining democracy of its substance.

Finally, I would rather we have revolution in Africa, where African peoples rise up against bad governance and foreign interferences in the domestic affairs of various African countries. Recently, we saw how the United States institutions reacted to Russian meddling in their electoral process under Trump. This same scenario has not allowed development under military takeover or democratic governments in Africa. A question I would love to ask: do you objectively believe that democracy is a gateway to development, of course development is such a vague term with varying definitions? If yes, show me a developed and independent country practicing democracy in developing countries that attained such level as seen in the Global North.

Thank you @SebastianSchmidt for your reflections. Definitely there are some real big issues that can only be tackled on a global scale while adapting others to local context may significantly make a big difference. As to the primacy of core ideas over diversity , I find it as chicken or the egg dilemma.  Thanks for sharing the curricula. I would be glad to take a virtual coffee with you and chat about my panoramic views on LMIC.

Hi again @harfe thanks for your engaging and stimulating comments. I am by all means not supporting military take over because of the frailty of human nature and its tendency to abuse power absolutely. I believe in the rule of law and I still have some hope in democracy. But the main point here is the word "demo" in democracy is merely a smokescreen meant to hide the real few power holding people in any given country against the interests of the majority. Categorically, EAs putting resources in military takeover is suicidal. I just want to point out that we are currently experiencing democratic backsliding in the whole of Africa not because of military take over but because of some undue influence in our democratic processes.  The current bad democratic lock- I mean where the Executive  arm of the government is overbearingly wielding unrestrained power over other arms of government is worse than a military regime.

 On the other hand, we have seen military regimes in Africa under Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso and  Jerry Rawlings of Ghana who cared enough about their countries and the people gave hope to their countrymen.  Finally, I would like to quote STEVEN LEVITSKY & DANIEL ZIBLATT :

Democraices may die at the hands not of generals but of elected leaders - presidents or prime ministers who subvert the very process that brought them to power. Some of the leaders dismantle democracy quickly, as Hitler did in the wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire in Germany.

The above quote captures what I call "bad democratic lock-in" and it takes local military takeover in African context to restore decent democratic processes for the benefits of the people not the elites and their cronies within and without. 

 Support here means not distancing ourselves from discussing the merit or demerits of an usual phenomenon. 

Thank you @ElliotJDavies for the suggestion. I agree with you and I hope to figure it out.

Thanks @NickLaing  for sharing your perspectives. I agree with you all on counts. 

However, I see  we are missing the point where the "EA Bar for action" fail to rake in some highly neglected and promising causes but with low scale or scope. Also, aid and development initiatives  seem to have failed because of the top down approaches employed. For instance, when I was a translator and interpreter working on a JICA sponsored project for the construction and equipment of primary schools in the Republic of Benin, I noticed an innovation in Japanese approach to ODA . It consisted of assisting local people  based on what the communities needed and allowing them to take ownership of the project/assistance. It has a really worked then. Prior to this new approach, schools were built and equiped in remote place without consulting the beneficiaries or engaging local authorities

On possible fixes for root causes discussion, I would welcome the opportunity to have a chat with you some day and even make it a recurring activities if all interested parties find it worthwhile.

About the cost of law school in Nigeria, it depends on where one is running the program( I am having mine in Lagos) and some other factors such as being a special student or regular student. I am a special student given my civil law family background ( having studied law in a Francophone country: Republic of Benin) . And, most importantly to be a high impact lawyer, it is a huge investment.

Thanks you @harfe  for refuting my claim. I think what I meant  is quite ambiguous and debatable. The point is: given the number of people available in those countries willing to dedicate their time and energy to doing the most good and the number of people who would ultimately benefit from such community members, the percentage is higher than the number of people available( in the developed countries)  willing to dedicate the same amount of time and energy and the number of beneficiaries. 

I agree with @Gideon Futerman and others in principle.  But I am yet to figure out how it can translate into concrete actions for desirable outcomes.  I think the statement ought to be globalistic not just focusing on the existential risks studies by covering other cause areas. Also, pluralism might mean shifting attention to the Global South as most of us want to significantly contribute to the conversation but restricted for lack of support. Also , I think lack of pluralism results in redundant interventions and poorer use of money. Instead of spending $2200 on a coffee table or spending $50k on high schoolers , you could have funded one of my bar exams or  you could have funded me for 8 months to work on longtermist community-building in Nigeria.  You might want to chip in some dollars here https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-alimi-salifou-sit-bar-part-i-ii . I aspire to be the ombudsman of future generations in Africa. So help me :)