Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Africa's Big Brother versus the "Masters of Light"

Two recent events struck me as representing something of a contrast - the contrast between life and death.

First, according to this
article, "African bishops attending a Vatican meeting are speaking about the election of Barack Obama in divine terms" and "Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra, Ghana said Wednesday that there was 'a divine plan behind' Obama's election." "The archbishop of Kinshas, Congo, Monsignor Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, told the formal synod itself that it would be wise to not ignore what he called a 'primordial event' in recent times." Finally, "Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria gave more tangible reasons for praise in meeting with reporters" saying:

"Obama has the authority to talk straight to our bad leaders and tell them they are messing up our countries," he said. Besides, he added, "In Africa we are always happy when our brother is big." [emphasis added]
Meanwhile, about 1200 miles north, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the 2009 winners of the Nobel Prize in physics were three Americans, Charles K. Kao, 75, Willard S. Boyle, 85, and George E. Smith, 79.

They helped develop fiber-optic cable and invented the "eye" in digital cameras — technology that has given rise to film-free photography and high-speed Internet service, revolutionized communications and science, and utterly transformed the way we live, work and amuse ourselves.

...These three Americans, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences declared, are "the masters of light" whose work "helped to shape the foundations of today's networked societies."

The African bishops represent all of those who have abandoned reason, who rely on mystic revelations from authority, and yearn to be subjugated and dictated by a Big Brother. The bishops and their masters in the Vatican are a stark reminder of the fact that faith and force are corollaries - that when reason no longer provides the framework for human discourse - only a gun or a burning stake remains.

The physicists represent all of those who embrace the life giving power of the independent, reasoning mind. They represent those who pay heed to Bacon's admonition that "nature to be commanded, must be obeyed." They represent those who have the courage to follow their own convictions born from ruthless objectivity and years of relentless, painstaking effort.

Isn't it ironic that men who suspend reason, zealously performing cultish rituals while dogmatically adhering to the dictates of ancient scriptures, claim the mantle of the enlightened spirit? Isn't it ironic that it is supposedly through faith, not reason, that man attains a state of grace and fulfillment, yet, it is religion that brought man into the Dark Ages, substituting superstition for knowledge, self-sacrifice for happiness, and subjugation for freedom?

As we witness the left turning more (HT: Rabiera, OActivists) and more and more to religion to justify the morality of altruism upon which welfare statism and despotism depend - as conservatives on the right vainly attempt to justify freedom on religious grounds (HT: Ari Armstrong, OActivists) - as we observe the daily barbarism of the Middle Eastern theocracies and the wholesale poverty and slaughter in an African continent mired in primitivism - as you read these words on your computer screen or on your cell phone's web browser, say a silent thank you to the real "masters of light."

3 comments:

Kevin said...

It's also interesting to observe how paternalism is self-perpetuating. For decades the US and others have been systematically destroying the African economy in the name of "helping" others.

When I lived in Gambia I watched a U.S.A.I.D. "school lunch" program generate graft and corruption while undermining the agricultural economy. No children were fed, corrupt government officials were made wealthier, and the naturally resulting low food prices led to farmers reducing acreage since working harder wouldn't improve their lives. I literally listened to people in villages tell me this.

All this and they STILL look to Obama for more paternal "support". The drug of dependency is truly hard to break.

Doug Reich said...

Kevin,

Excellent comment based on first hand experience. Thanks!

Of course, you are absolutely right and we can see this effect in America by observing the consequences of welfare and housing projects. These programs create a cycle of poverty as so many have noted.

Given that Obama and his ilk do not even understand the unintended consequences of this kind of paternalism as it is applied in this country (or they do and enjoy being at the top of the power food chain) , I can not imagine they or the Africans could extrapolate their knowledge elsewhere.

Yet another example of the belief in altruism. Rather than urging them to take responsibility for their own well-being, we treat the Africans and the poor in this country as infants.

Has anyone ever had an experience where simply giving something to someone without any effort on their part has ever resulted in anything other than a cry for more? Why would anyone think this is a good idea?

garret seinen said...

Yes, to your question in comment. Rather than a 'cry', its mostly a 'demand' for more.

Rather than gratitude the recipients of charity often give back abuse. I think this may be due to a realization that they often don't deserve to be bailed out as they created their own miserable circumstances and could have done any number of things to help themselves but did not.

The aspect of 'becoming needy' often is within a individual's control. Recklessly spending more money than is coming in will guarantee placing oneself in a situation of poverty and desperately in need. Income level has little to do with being broke.