In his article Marian makes the point that all opponents of aid find themselves making sooner or later: it has a strong racist element.He compares attitudes to Africa with attitudes to post-Communist Eastern Europe:
Following the collapse of communism, virtually everyone assumed that the key to future prosperity in CEB lay in economic reforms, not in foreign aid. Implicitly, almost everyone understood that the people in the region would simply have to respond to market incentives, and produce goods and services that domestic and foreign customers would want to buy. Inability to compete with the west was inconceivable. Failure was not an option.Mind you, that was before the East Europeans were forced to readjust to EU rules but that is another story.
Such a mindset is demonstrably lacking when it comes to Africa. Globalization tends to be seen as a threat and seldom as an opportunity. Local politicians fret about competition from China and Bangladesh. Non-governmental organisations caution against liberalisation lest Africans be taken advantage of by unscrupulous westerners. Musicians and movie stars urge aid, not reform, as a solution to poverty.
I find the idea of using the epithet "racist" against fervent proponents of aid rather an attractive one.