I’ve recently completed “Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own” written by Garett Jones. In the book, he talks about measured IQ on the aggregate level in the various nations of the world. He makes the case for raising IQ as the best means for improving life in poor countries. A nation with a low average IQ-score suffers from poor economic productivity and corrupt/incompetent governance. There exists little hope for the individual in terms of raising the standard of living. Sadly, many poor countries in Africa to name an example also have the misfortune of being plagued by nasty diseases. Ebola to name one disease has its home in the middle of the continent.
Western nations have up through the years spent considerable sums on aid to Africa and other poor nations across the world. Both governmental and private contributions have played a role. What has the money gone to? Food aid to help starving people and money to attempt to improve the structure of government are the two biggest posts. I have a philosophical and moral objection to government stealing money from the taxpayers and spending it, so I advocate for help being given through private hands. On the one hand, we could benefit the economically deprived Africans and other poor peoples of the world by stopping the arms sales they depend on. Various regimes of questionable ethical repute would have a much harder time oppressing people without the modern weaponry and police/surveillance gear supplied by the West.
Going further, we want the most bang for our buck. We want long term solutions to the systemic problems of Africa, not quick band-aids that will need to be changed shortly. Combating disease is a worthy goal, you can’t improve education or the economic conditions if people are dead. If diseases are allowed to run rampant, people will have similar problems of motivation that people had during the Cold War (Why study for the algebra test if we could all be dead tomorrow?). Next, raising IQ should be a high priority goal. Various research shows that much of IQ is hereditary, but it is known that several factors can improve IQ. Good nutrition obviously helps. I’ve heard it mentioned before that the most beneficial thing for Africans would be the cheap proliferation of multivitamin-pills. Peaceful parenting practices is another impactful factor in improving IQ.
Instead of using the current conditions in the West as the standard to measure conditions in Africa by, we should rather seek gradual improvement. In the West, we didn’t go from dirt farming to the conditions we enjoy today. It was incremental and slow change. Africa needs to go through the phases as it catches up with the rest of the modern world. So-called “sweat shops” are a rung on the ladder to economic prosperity. We need to go beyond the outcries from leftists regarding the working conditions. Obviously, they will not be ideal, but they will be better than subsistence farming.
To sum up, stop interfering militarily, direct aid to disease-fighting and IQ-raising.