Recolonize Africa? Re-Christianize Africa?

Kidist, a Canadian of Ethiopian descent, writes:

I understand that incessant meddling and interfering in Africa’s affairs, from the Jolie-types to even foreign aid/trade, is not the way to “help” Africa, if that is what they’re really trying to do.

But, is there a moral obligation to assist these countries? If so, how should it be done?

I actually believe that it does boil down to a moral issue. For example, I really don’t see anything wrong with colonization, when in many instances it did serve a moral end. Although the original British (I don’t know that much about the other European ones) colonizers did go for trade and wealth, there was a point when “civilizing” became an issue. And I think that this can be understood at Christianizing.

I don’t want to sound off the doom of the end of times, but isn’t that what would be the ideal? And aren’t nations which have accepted Christianity as their predominant religion always better off?

Just some thoughts. Because Black Africa does need help. We just have to find the most genuine way of offering it.

LA replies:

You may well be right. That’s one of my two alternatives, the other being to leave Africa alone altogether. Of course the current, liberal/guilty West could not do this. It could only be a West that believed in itself again.

That’s the funny thing . White Westerners want so much to help the suffering Africans, but the way they do it, through liberal welfare type programs, only makes things worse. The help that would really help Africa would be a confident West actually taking a leadership role in Africa. So, paradoxically, in order for the West to help Africa, the West has to give up its liberalism.

Kidist replies:

I am not advocating colonization per se. But some kind of authoritative moral body which would be responsible for Christianizing these countries so that their form of Christianity wouldn’t revert to the infamous voodoo, black magic forms that is prevalent in Haiti, for example, providing a structure of laws and government that could form naturally from this.

I remember reading that the black Americans, prior to the this civil rights era, were generally a law-abiding, piously Christian, separate people. I think the key was that some authority (the American government) allowed them enough freedom (ironic, isn’t it) within a structure that also included moral (Christian) principles.

So, my approach is purely moral. In other words, Christianity, with the law and order that it brings.

I say this from the historical accounts that one African country with a modicum of structure and longevity (peaceful) is the Christian country of Ethiopia, which, in a way, provided this authoritative Christian moral body in the form of “colonization” to its Black African southern lands.

LA replies:

Unfortunately, it is not a matter of preventing their Christianity from reverting to voodoo and black magic. As we can see in the Times of London article I posted yesterday many African “Christians” are practitioners of black magic. But I agree with Kidist. The best thing for Africa, if it could be done, would be for the Africans to become Christians. We forget how much good the old colonialism did by introducing Christianity to the Continent and by so doing delivering millions of people from utter darkness. (And I was not aware that Christian Ethiopia had evangelized other parts of Africa.) The question is: Even assuming a re-vivivied and re-Christianized West that had the will to carry out such a project, could it be done successfully? And could it even be attempted without dragging the West into further liberal illusions, in which we keep fooling ourselves into believing that other peoples are essentially like us, when in fact they are not?

Also, it is to be doubted whether Ethiopia can serve as a model for the rest of Africa, as Ethiopians are racially and culturally different from African Negroes.

A clarification: though I’ve spoken of “colonization” or “neo-colonization” as a possible option to be discussed, my idea is not that the West literally return to colonization, but that it take a authoritative leadership role in the Continent on the explicit basis that the Continent is not capable of running its own affairs (because only if this is made explicit could we avoid a return to liberal guilt and liberal illusions).

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 30, 2006 08:51 AM | Send

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