Africa and the Myths of the Free Market

Emergent promises a great return on their African funds. The Oakland Institute would like you to know that, yes, the great returns exist, but that you might not like the way in which the returns are attained.

Basically, the people of Africa targeted by Emergent’s investors are stripped of their lands and left to starve as their subsistence farms are plowed under to make way for plantation economies. Lands that supported 50,000 people are bulldozed to “create over 2000 jobs” that support no-one. To throw a wrench into the minds of ultra-conservative Christian free-market boosters, the bulldozing included the largest Christian church in East Africa. Seriously, people… Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said between God and money, you can serve only one. You either have unfettered free marked capitalism OR you have Christianity (or any other religion, for that matter), but you can’t have both. But I digress, even if it is with a purpose.

The “job creation” is a mask for paying basement-level wages that are just enough to avoid laws against chattel slavery. It was the same in Juarez when the maquiladoras went up there. Should workers ask for more money, the labor organizers are fired or murdered and the rest are told that the factory jobs will go elsewhere if wages go up, so shut up and get back to work if you want to earn enough so 75% of your family can have enough to eat. Maybe.

It’s outright plundering disguised as a solid, sane retirement plan. Free market cheerleaders will say that the people are better off with those jobs: that’s an outright lie. What they had was subsistence, which I admit is a harsh existence. What they get is unemployment, starvation, marginalization, wage slavery, and a industry-government partnership we used to call “fascism.”

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