In the current political climate, you’ll be branded as a racist if you have the “wrong” opinion. The mainstream consensus is that taking in large numbers of refugees is a good thing, both for the receiving country and the migrant’s country of origin. It also goes without saying that sending large quantities of aid to impoverished Third World countries is the humane, decent and honorable thing to do. The West has now been sending such aid for such a long time that studies looking at the efficacy of such aid should be made and made public. That this is not the case is quite telling.
Many current leftist positions have transcended the common political realm of arguments over facts and figures. The classic divide between economic freedom with capitalism and having a strong state running the economy with socialism is a good example here. Now, many if not most of the “hot” political topics have transformed into moralistic almost quasi-religious issues. Opposing the proscribed policy is heresy if not outright evil. This is of course quite unfortunate as it precludes in-depth analyses of proposed and implemented policy solutions so the woes of society.
Just like Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” achieved the exact opposite of its stated goal by cementing poverty in the form of the welfare trap, I believe that the West’s aid to Africa in particular might be doing more harm than good. It is one thing to send food and medicine to a region struck by a natural disaster. Obviously, the locals aren’t in a position to help themselves when the infrastructure is down. It is quite another thing to send aid year after year, especially if the aid involved “training” and similar activities intended to help the local government in its day to day administration. Isn’t this a form of Western chauvinism? It reeks of arrogance. Aren’t we saying to the Africans that they’re incapable of ruling themselves without the White man to help? It smells of the colonial past, only dressed up in new clothing to suit the current politically correct framework.
If you question the current consensus on the issue of foreign aid, you’ll be called all kinds of unpleasant names. Your opponent will likely assume that you simply don’t like foreign people with darker skin. To me personally it seems quite horrible to live in the Middle East. To my values those societies are opposed to almost everything I stand for. But that only goes for my values, to those living there the societies are well suited for Islamic living. It would be both arrogant and presumptuous for me to try to impose my preferred way of life on them. That would in fact lower their life satisfaction. I call for an end to such arrogance and ethnocentrism. I hope Merkel and her ilk are listening.
It is also quite hypocritical to dump aid into these countries while maintaining tariffs and other trade barriers blocking these countries from selling their goods and building up a domestic export economy. Although unpleasant, so-called sweat shops are a step in the right direction on the ladder to economic prosperity. If outright slavery isn’t involved, the workers have freely chosen to be there due to the fact that alternate sources of employment are worse. The same goes for helping the Third World. Perhaps the best thing we could do was to cease imposing our own Western/White norms and standards of value on other cultures. Perhaps the most helpful action we could take would be to trade with them and maintain friendly relations.
We also have the problem of “brain drain”. Who leaves impoverished countries first? Those with the greatest wallet and brain. Those with the means can do so early on, while the prices for people smuggling remain high, and the smartest ones are the most capable of seeing the political and economic prospects for their country and deciding to try their luck elsewhere. By accepting large quantities of migrants, we in the West are robbing the poor countries of their engines of economic prosperity. Precisely those people most capable of engineering economic growth and wealth are those leaving first. Allowing them to stay here in our countries isn’t humanitarian at all. It is a short-term dopamine rush feel-good solution that is making things worse in the end. Those left behind are those most in need of improved conditions. “Stealing” those who would be able to deliver them from crappy conditions shouldn’t be seen as the moral option.