Monday, September 22, 2008

Darwin's Nightmare



I had to wait years to see this film--it came out in 2004. Netflix is not always so quick to sort out distribution rights and such. The title alone magnifies the intrigue: what could make Darwin have nightmares? It could be a film about the rise of Creationism, for instance, or the vast spawning of evangelical anti-science conservatives.

Such a film wouldn't have to be about natural evolution at all. After all, 'survival of the fittest' and its application to the social and economic realm was not Darwin's idea; apparently he rejected such extrapolations.

This film is a slow and grim portrayal of the effects of a single-track economy in a country incapable of diversifying its revenue sources, or of creating jobs for a largely unskilled population. This could be any number of African countries, unfortunately, but Tanzania sets the scene for this particular portrayal.

In the end it was a disappointment. Why so many African economies fail to get off the ground deserves serious study, but using the Western liberal anti-globalization bias to frame a documentary does not adequately capture the problem. Instead it turns local poverty into a platform for liberal ideologies; anti-globalization in this case. Africans need jobs and better working conditions. Government regulation of extractive industries has failed, and 'survival of the fittest' rules. In that sense the film is correct, but western demand for African goods is not the true cause of Darwin's nightmare.

2 comments:

gadfly said...

I have yet to see that film but I do think that any critique of the western system should include a look at Africa's informal economy ala Hernado de Soto http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hernando_de_Soto_(economist)

It is a very interesting concept, but more it can serve as a valuable tool for analysis.

Faiza said...

I finally watched the movie

Well, as these words say! African leaders have no love for Africa. They are self centered to care about anything outside of their villas. More aid is all they need for their benefit.

Tanzania, Tanzania
Nakupenda kwa moyo
Nchi yangu Tanzania
Jina lako ni tamu sana
Nilalapo nakuota wewe
Niamkapo ni heri mama wee Tanzania, Tanzania
Jina lako ni tamu sana

It is not about globalizations; African leaders failed to understand it, and failed to deliver what is necessary for their nations. For example; look at how many young boys/men hangout around down town Dar-as Salaam everyday from sun rise to sun set with no jobs, schools or even training schools, I guess President Jakaya Kikwete is not aware of this problem as he just stays at his beautiful home, And when he wants to go out for his enjoyments he does not need to go far! Because Dar’ has beautiful places owned by Europeans and Middle Eastern’s like moevenpick-hotel or the beautiful kalimanjaro kempinski who would think one of the best luxury hotels in Europe is in Dar es Salaam, were most of the populations have no jobs or access to basic needs.

See the link for the Kiliminjaro Hotel in Dar!
http://www.kempinski.com/en/hotel/details.htm?id=170
Therefore, it is great idea to have an org like PRISM partnerships to help and monitor real and honest organizations that can implement programs that can teach young people; work ethics, skills set training, using idle resources if any and programs for youth. “PRISM understands the concern that donations are lost in administrative overheads, and may never reach beneficiaries”. And I am sure that has been ongoing case/problem for aid giving to Africa.
The UN General Assembly “Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world's rich nations to spend $72 billion a year to help Africa achieve U.N. goals to fight poverty, improve health and ensure universal primary education”
There should be an audit system in place for all aid organizations to monitor for cash inflows and out flows. With all that money and no improvements unacceptable!!! Or even system of Supply/Demand, where a country gets money and aid organizations demand results. No result no money.

Faiza