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Old April 1st, 2008, 06:50 AM   #81
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machiavel View Post
The money meant to build modern public infrastructure, to maintain the roads, to build expressways that will link all major cities is almost always embezzeled by corrupted African leaders. Most of that money stolen is hidden in either Switzerland or off-shore accounts. Abacha of Nigeria alone had several billion $ in Swiss banks according to several sources. Part of the money was given back to the Nigeria government, but what about the rest of the money.

The question is why do Western powers give African corrupted leader diplomatic recognition? Why do they support them? Why do they keep giving millions of $ in "aid" if they know very well that the money would be embezzeled? What can you really execpt from a corrupted government. Go to any African metropolitan cities, you will see the staggering amount of bran new Mercedes benzes driven by government officials. All these Mercedes are paid in cash! From 1965 to 1997, the Zairian government spent an allege $600 million in Mercedes-Benzes alone for government officials. If I tell you that there are 18% more asphalted roads and freeways in Poland than in all of the 47 sub-saharan African countries(South Africa excluded), now you will understand why. Poland is roughly the size of Zimbabwe. Zaire has no freeways what so ever. Where do the money go? You have part of the answer: It is wasted. Wasted by people the West have placed and support using any means necessary...



Thus, the poor state of infrastructure is because the funds meant for those infrastructure are stolen. The African continent has spend more to buy weapons from Europe than it has to rebuild the public infrastructure.
This is not surprising, but from a Western point of view, giving the money away gives them the feeling that they've done their part, although where the money goes and how much the people actually benefit from them is clearly questionable. That being said, if the West withdraws its aid support, then nothing will trickle down altogether rather than a little bit of a huge aid pile.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:34 PM   #82
Dinivan
 
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I don't have much time, so I'll answer briefly...

Quote:
Could you define “civilize” here please? How can the Europeans go civilize the Africans if they weren’t “civilized” themselves? During the entire time colonialism lasted, didn’t the European tried to “civilize” themselves? If your idea of civilization is the conquest by killing millions and enslaving the indigenous people, then we should all praise Hitler to try to “civilize” most of Europe.
Okay, civilizing might not be the correct word. What I meant with that is building a state, infrastructures, bringing economic development, introducing technologies... And I think you exaggerate a bit all this talk about deaths and slaves. Yes there were slaves, and yes there were deaths, but before Europe arrived there were already slaves and there were already deaths, actually it was the africans that enslaved other africans to sell them to Europeans (that was well before the establishment of the colonies there, as slavery had been officialy abolished by then, what did some particulars, such in the case of the mines of Nigeria that caused a great uproar in GB, cannot be attributed to a state). And BTW, what now is Belgium was very rich before it colonized the Congo, you made an absurd statement there, to start with it was the second country (or area) in the world to be industrialized, and that happened because it was already rich before.

Quote:
Okay, fine, I would concede, just to please you, that the Europeans build an administration and infrastructures, but do you really think it was to help the Africans? And did the Africans asked them or called for help? What makes you think that the Africans needed all of those things for their living? Are you aware that colonialism came after slavery and there isn’t much difference between the two? And if they were really trying to civilize the Africans as you think or as you were taught in school, newspapers and books, how come so many Africans were brutally killed, whipped, raped, tortured? Apparently, you don’t seem to care that first, they conquered by force, killed millions, raped women, then establish force labor and then build the administration and infrastructure.
You mean that we should have left them killing each other, enslaving each other, suffering starvation, without medicines, without schools, without anything? I'm sorry but I disagree with you. Europe was not asked to help that people, but for one reason or another (who cares about the purpose? who cares about the reason for which roads and schools where built? maybe they were built only to appease population and better exploit the resources, so what? is that important? isn't it more important the fact that there were investments?) we went there and surely when we left they were much better than when we arrived (and some are clearly worse than when Europe left)

Quote:
Let’s get serious here, where did you read that Shell was paying 99% of taxes to Nigeria for exploiting its oil? That’s impossible. Again, you will have to cite your source of information because it is another dubious claim from you.
Impossible? I think officialy the rate is 85%, the 99% tax I read was in the WSJ, I'm not sure if it was this article or this one. I will try to look for the printed edition and scan it just for you so that you solve your doubts. As for the other dubious claims, can you name them? I already gave you the name of some authors that have published studies on European profits from colonization of Africa.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 07:03 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinivan View Post
And I think you exaggerate a bit all this talk about deaths and slaves. Yes there were slaves, and yes there were deaths
I exaggerate? You see, I am not the one who write or report about death and slaves, Europeans and African historians do. Here's a stat coming from L'Atlas de l'Afrique published by Stephen Smith, the French journalist and specialist about the African continent

Because of colonialism, Africa lost nearly 1/3 of its population and in the case of Congo, it lost half its population because King's Leopold reign of terror. Page 31

Now do the math yourself and see if I am exaggerating.

http://www.cafe-geo.net/article.php3?id_article=635

http://www.bibliomonde.com/auteur/stephen-smith-25.html


Quote:
but before Europe arrived there were already slaves and there were already deaths
There were already slaves? Where? Tell me exactly where in Africa there were slaves before the Europeans arrived. I want the name of the Kingdom in Africa that practiced slavery in the western sense of the word, and I want the names of the African ethnic group that were reduced into slavery. I hope you're not confusing prisoners of war and slaves. First of all, Scholars believe that the modern word, "slave" originates from "Slav," due to the fact that serfdom was prevalent throughout Eastern European regions, effectively rendering common people slaves to their landowners. How can you apply a word that has its origin in Europe to the African context?

The condition of servitude has existed in all civilizations. The feodal domain had serfs, Russia had moujiks, the Gauls were brought to Rome as slaves etc

http://www.answers.com/topic/slave


Quote:
actually it was the africans that enslaved other africans to sell them to Europeans
Again, simple questions: Which Africans enslaved other Africans to sell them to the Europeans? Which ethnic group sold another? Which kingdom? Why were the European in need to buy slaves in the first place? What kind of people buy other human beings as if they were furnitures or commodities? Was Le Code noir, The Black Code written by Africans?

http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/335/

I know that this is what you're taught in schools, in history books written by Europeans, through movies, televisions and magazines articles, but do you really think slavery could be reduced to a simple commercial transaction between Europe and Africa?

Let's be serious here: In order for slavery to be possible and to facilitate the captures of slaves in the West Coast of Africa, the Europeans furnished 100% of the weapons of mass destructions such as rifles, canons, gun and canon powder , iron bar, knives, swords, etc. ..). They supplied 100% of logistical equipment (whips, rigidities, chains, handcuffs, etc. ..), 100% of infrastructure (forts, counters, boats, etc. ..), 100% of the financing (through the corporations and other companies of actionnariat) and 100% of the salaries.

Now here comes more questions: Why was it necessary to bring canons, weapons of mass destruction of the time, to the West Coast of Africa against defensless natives Africans? Why were there so many resistance from the Africans if it was a simple commercial transaction? Were are the contracts signed by African kings authorizing the selling of slaves? When slavery was abolished, were African kings or tribal chiefs invited so they could be informed that all businesses activities will cease? When the European gathered in Berlin for the conference when they decided that they were going to "share" Africa, did they invite African leaders to ask them what they thought about the plans?

During the German occupation of France, it was the French who were chasing other French and denouncing them to the Nazis, SS officers. There were as many French than collaborated(les collabos) with the Germans than French who fought for la resistance And the price some Africans had to pay for their freedom was the capture of another Africans belonging to different ethnic group.That happens when people are dominated by belligerents. The most important question are, what were the Germans doing in France and what were the European doing in African in the first place?

Face it, that notion that it was Africans that sold Africans into slavery is a myth created by Europeans who find it unbearable being responsible for such a crime against humanity. There's no proof whatsoever that Africans sold Africans at their own free will. They were subjugated, dominated, terrorized and some of the selling occured in that context. I mean, who in his right mind would be quick to point out that there were jewish kapos and some jewish made money during the holocaust. That some may have collaborated or have profited from the Shoah could be used as excuse to justify the holocaust?



Quote:
You mean that we should have left them killing each other, enslaving each other, suffering starvation, without medicines, without schools, without anything? I'm sorry but I disagree with you. Europe was not asked to help that people, but for one reason or another (who cares about the purpose? who cares about the reason for which roads and schools where built? maybe they were built only to appease population and better exploit the resources, so what? is that important? isn't it more important the fact that there were investments?) we went there and surely when we left they were much better than when we arrived (and some are clearly worse than when Europe left)
Once again, you're not specific. When you're talking about Africa, I hope you realize that you're talking about the second largest continent in the world. If you can't say precisely what African country was starving, was without medicines, without school, where there they were killing each other, it's an indirect admission that you have no idea what you're taling about.

It seems like you have preconceived ideas about Africa, that you think that it was a place of chaos before the European came. It is simply not true. So I am going to give you links that talks about African societies before the European arrived, and you're going to give me proof of starvation, that they were killing each other at such an alarming rate that they needed the European intervention. Deal? You have to support your claim with facts and sources. We're not in a bar gossiping.


http://endingstereotypesforamerica.o...nd_europe.html

Wealth: Africa and Europe

The wealth of many ancient and medieval African kingdoms far surpassed anything in Europe. One 10th century Arab writer, Ibn Hawkal, described the ruler of Ghana as the, "wealthiest sovereign on Earth."1 The empire of Mali, Ghana's successor in the region, was likely the wealthiest nation in the world in the 14th century. Regarding the Middle Ages, Basil Davidson writes, "Compared to the poverty of Europe…the wealth of the Indies (Known from The Adventures of Marco Polo) did seem infinite and wonderful; and if the Indies, then why not Africa as well."2

Arabs and Europeans were consistently impressed and sometimes amazed with the wealth of the black African cities and kingdoms. Mahmud Ka'ti, a medieval Arab scholar, wrote that Mali, "has some 400 towns and its soil is most fertile. Among the kingdoms of the rulers of the world, only Syria is more beautiful. Its inhabitants are rich and live comfortably."3 An Italian merchant, Ramusio, wrote that Mali, "being…so much civilized and so desirous of the merchandise of Europe."4

Idrisi recorded that the Uangara, a West African people, have "flourishing cities and renowned fortresses, its inhabitants are wealthy; they possess gold in abundance, and receive the products brought to them from the other remotest portions of the earth….they are altogether black."5 Ibn Battuta, an Arab world traveler, recorded that, "Kilwa is one of the most beautiful and well-constructed towns in the world. The whole of it is elegantly built."6 Heinrich Barth, a 19th century German traveler wrote that the Nigerian town of Kano: "How great this national wealth is," he proclaimed. "…a whole family may live in that country with ease, including every expense, even that of clothing."7 All too familiar with the terrible conditions of the Victorian sweatshops in Europe, Barth continued: "If we consider that this industry (textile manufacturing) is not carried on here as in Europe, in immense establishment degrading man to the meanest condition of life, but that it gives employment and support to families without compelling them to sacrifice their domestic habits, we must presume that Kano ought to be one of the happiest countries in the world; and so it is so long as its governor, too often lazy and indolent, is able to defend its inhabitants from the cupidity of their neighbors, which of course is certainly stimulated by the very wealth of this country."8

Concerning the East African coast, V.V Matveiev wrote: "The Portuguese were impressed by the towns, the appearance and architecture of which did not fall short of anything they had at home, and by the wealth of the inhabitants who came to meet them and were elegantly dressed in rich, gold-adorned clothes and in silk and cotton cloth. The woman wore chains and bangles of gold and silver on their arms and legs, and earrings set with precious stones."8 Davidson reasoned, "In the matter of wealth and knowledge of a wider world it must have seemed a great deal more civilized."9 De Gama, regarding the East African Coastal city Quilimane, recorded how the East Africans looked down upon the Portuguese and their inferior material wealth: "When we had been two or three days at this place two senhores of the country came to see us. They were very haughty; and valued nothing which we gave them…A young man in their company--so we understood from their signs--had come from a distant country, and had already seen big ships like ours." The East Africans had actually seen much greater ships used to sail the Indian Ocean.11 The Chinese ships, for instance, dwarfed Portugal's. The Chinese were actually using ship technology that wouldn't be duplicated until the infamous Titanic.

Some cities were also more populous than those in Western Europe. The cities in Mali and Songhay, such as Niani and Gao had around 100,000 people, Timbuktu had around 80,000, Jenne had 40,000, and the Azanians in Keyna had a city population, estimated by Leakey, as, "between thirty and forty thousand." Medieval Florence, in comparison, had around 60,000 inhabitants.

The wealth didn't just happen either; if that were the case Africans would still be wealthy. There needed to be complex systems of trade, industry, and agriculture. The wealthiest nations in medieval and ancient Africa had complex markets, often directly or indirectly encouraged, regulated, and/or organized by the government. Government involvement included taxes, tariffs, quotas, controlling the output of currency, banks, the establishment of stock markets, and other common government interaction.

Cambridge historian John Iliffe gave this example of a West African market: "Western Africa had highly organized market systems, where within towns and villages, as in Igbo country, or on neutral ground between them, as in the Kongo Kingdom. Often they rotated among neighboring villages on successive days, forming complex 'market weeks'…Most market-sellers appear to have been women although the itinerant professional traders attending markets were men. Many political authorities levied tolls on traders and supervised markets."13

Most wealthy African kingdoms had a complex system of taxation, currency--which they allocated to control inflation14 --some had banks, and we know of at least one West African stock market. J. Devisse and S. Labib for example, record that, "Mali and Songhay organized a careful system of controlling exports and taxing imports."16 Compared to Western, Northern, and Eastern Europe, the African economy was considerably more complex and efficient. For instance, as Henri Pirenne pointed out, "from every point of view, Western Europe, from the ninth century onwards, appears in the light of an essentially rural society, in which exchange and the movement of goods had sunk to the lowest possible ebb…"17

The efficient African economy resulted in new agricultural technology and methods. Subsequently there was a surplus that left room for people to specialize in certain areas, such as an artisan, metalworker, leather maker, clothes maker, glassmaker, doctor, and so on. Life in the wealthy regions of ancient and medieval Africa would have been the envy of the average European.

The wealth of the black African kingdoms in ancient times dwarfed the white clans of Europe. Nubia, Kush, Meroe, and Axum all enjoyed prominent economic status in the Mediterranean world. "The position held by the Aksum kingdom in world commerce," wrote University of Pennsylvania State historian Y.M. Kobishanov, "was that of a first-rate trading power."

Meroe's "royal city" had buildings with "palaces, audience chambers, stores, and domestic quarters for the palace staff." They also had a bath, which, "consisted of a large brick-lined tank with water channels leading into it from a nearby well."19

According to Yale and Harvard historians, "Kush appears to be a wealthy and prosperous kingdom by any standards."20

Compared to the pre-Romanized Germans, who did not even practice agriculture,21 or pre-Christian Ireland in the 5th century that was a completely illiterate, and semi nomadic,22 where crimes, even murder, were frequent and of no consequence,23 which had no towns, just isolated farms and scattered huts,24 and where clan feuds made inter clan trade impossible, the ancient Africans were abundantly more wealthy than the ancient white Europeans.

Last edited by Machiavel; April 2nd, 2008 at 07:15 AM.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:35 AM   #84
DanteXavier
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I just want to address a couple of points here from both sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinivan View Post
Okay, civilizing might not be the correct word. What I meant with that is building a state, infrastructures, bringing economic development, introducing technologies...
States, infrastructures, economic development: Africa did have that prior to European involvement. You've got to be a fair broker if you're going to start talking about history-Machiavel has presented some decent info regarding the early state of pre colonial Africa. You'd do well to take a quick look.

Quote:
And I think you exaggerate a bit all this talk about deaths and slaves. Yes there were slaves, and yes there were deaths, but before Europe arrived there were already slaves and there were already deaths,
In all fairness, yes, machiavel did exaggerate somewhat. It is true, however, that the mass death we had seen in the Congo wasn't exactly known prior to Belgian arrival. Those types of massacres(tens of millions killed, dying of exhaustion) weren't really seen there prior to that time.

This isn't to try and put a guilt trip on belgium. I'm simply pointing out a historical fact. A massacre of that scale simply wasn't known before that time.

Quote:

You mean that we should have left them killing each other, enslaving each other, suffering starvation, without medicines, without schools, without anything? I'm sorry but I disagree with you.
Like I said, you're not properly grasping history here.

1. Africans were still killing each other after Europeans arrived. If anything, colonialism helped to create many new conflicts thanks to the arbitrary border drawing and whatnot. It certainly didn't alleviate the death through violence.

2. Africans ate before European arrival. They had food. They did not need Europe for that.

3. They had medicines(brought over through Arabian traders).

4. They had schools. Timbuktu in particular was known for that.

http://www.timbuktufoundation.org/university.html

5. "Without anything?" Africans did have something before colonialism-it is only fair to admit that.

Quote:
Europe was not asked to help that people, but for one reason or another (who cares about the purpose? who cares about the reason for which roads and schools where built? maybe they were built only to appease population and better exploit the resources, so what? is that important? isn't it more important the fact that there were investments?) we went there and surely when we left they were much better than when we arrived (and some are clearly worse than when Europe left)
It is true that when, for example, the belgians colonized the Congo, they brought new technolgies-railways, foundries, etc, etc. That's great and all, but it should also be noted that they made very little attempt to educate the populace. They saw the natives as sources of labor(the whole point of possessing these colonies was to gain resources for the mother country, after all). As a result of this mentality, when the Congo gained independence back in 1960, there were only three major colleges(2 of which were religious schools). On top of that, prior to independence, most of the students at these colleges were Belgians-only about a third of all these college student bodies were ever native congolese. This in a country of about 40 million congolese(at the time).

This was reflective of the intent not to really educate the natives. So, whole the Belgian colonists brought things like the airplane, the railroad, the car, etc, etc, it all was moot in the end since the native congolese had no education on how to actual use(much less actually build) these things. The airplanes were in the Congo, for example, but native Congolese weren't exactly encouraged to attend the schools in order to gain the education necessary to build or fly the planes. If they can't use it then what's the point? The same goes for other technologies in other colonies. Blacks were limited in their ability to use/build/maintain these technologies.

In other words, the motive does matter, and is more important than the simple fact that the investments were there. In this case, the motive was negative, resulted in a lack of education for the general populace. This same thing occurred in many parts of Africa, and can also explain the serious lack of intellectuallism seen in many of those nations today.
If you can't fly the plane, then does the fact that it is in the country matter?

The investments were only there to better facilitate the interests of the mother country/minority european population. That's an important fctor to consider-they weren't really intended to benefit natives.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:00 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Machiavel View Post

There were already slaves? Where? Tell me exactly where in Africa there were slaves before the Europeans arrived. I want the name of the Kingdom in Africa that practiced slavery in the western sense of the word, and I want the names of the African ethnic group that were reduced into slavery.
I'll do it for him, Machiavel, because he's right-Africans did keep slaves before European arrival.

Here is a specific account from a slave trader himself who dealth regularly with African kingdoms and wrote of it. In this account he is speaking of the Akanian state of Benin, one of the largest suppliers of slaves on the west coast.

"They did not deign to trade directly, but left this, and all forms of agriculture, to their wives and slaves. The dress of the Bini Noblemen struck Bosman as magnificent. When they left their houses, they would fling richly fringed scarves over their robes of the finest white cotton, which was ample and pleated.

Their wives wore long, full skirts of brilliant-coloured check, with bodices of delicate stuffs. Round their necks were strings of coral, on their arms iron or copper armlets(some wore leg ornaments as well) and their fingers were heavy with rings. Even the plebs of Beni were well dressed, according to their means.
They were a kind and civil race and would give away almost anything for which they were asked, even if they would have prefered to keep it.

They were also prompt business men, interested in cloths of all descriptions, brass armlets, iron bars beads and perfumes. In exchange, the exported slaves, local cloths, pepper, and ivory. In the palmy days of the slave trade, the Binis supplied some 4000 slaves a year.

One of Bosman's favorite trading partners was the king of the Kingdom of Acron. He calls him a 'an extraordinarily goodnatured man, with whom I have often been merry.'

Bosman, Willem: A New and Accurate Description of the Coast of Guinea (London, 1705;reprinted in 1721.)

Clark, Rufus Wheelright: The African Slave Trade (Boston, 1860)

These slaves were captured from enemy ethnic groups.

The difference between African slavery and Trans-Atlantic slavery was in it's nature of enslavement. A slave in most parts of Africa could almost have been considered more of an indentured servant. Slaves were normally prisoners of war or just former criminals. They served as slaves as a punishment, but could hope to be freed later on. Often, they gained freedom after several years and integrated into the society in which they had been enslaved-such an occurence was common.

The thing is, though, that slavery did exist in Africa prior to European arrival. It was, however, more benevolent in nature when compared with western slavery, and this is porbably why historians tend not to refer to them with the same level of negativity, focusing primarily on western slavery.

Quote:
I hope you're not confusing prisoners of war and slaves. First of all, Scholars believe that the modern word, "slave" originates from "Slav," due to the fact that serfdom was prevalent throughout Eastern European regions, effectively rendering common people slaves to their landowners. How can you apply a word that has its origin in Europe to the African context?
Becuase by definition the two groups were in the same situation. The word origin isn't what's important-the actual meaning is what matters.
Eastern Europeans were slaves given their situation. Many Africans were in a similar situation even prior to European arrival, and hence the term is applicable.

Quote:
Again, simple questions: Which Africans enslaved other Africans to sell them to the Europeans? Which ethnic group sold another? Which kingdom?
The Beni of the Kingdom of Benin-Beni sold their neighboring tribal groups(many much smaller than they), including the Ga and the people from Owo, Akure and neighboring Idah(all states that came under beni control).

Quote:
Why were the European in need to buy slaves in the first place?
They needed a cheap source of labor for their colonies, and Africans fit the bill.

Quote:

Let's be serious here: In order for slavery to be possible and to facilitate the captures of slaves in the West Coast of Africa, the Europeans furnished 100% of the weapons of mass destructions such as rifles, canons, gun and canon powder , iron bar, knives, swords, etc. ..).
Not 100% true. African slave raiders from kingdoms such as Beni did utilize their own iron bars, knives, and swords.

Quote:
They supplied 100% of logistical equipment (whips, rigidities, chains, handcuffs, etc. ..)
Also untrue. The African traders did sometimes utilize their own chains, whips and rigidities-those were not European inventions.

Quote:
100% of infrastructure (forts, counters, boats, etc. ..),
Equally untrue. Kingdoms such as beni utilized their own boats.

Quote:
100% of the financing (through the corporations and other companies of actionnariat) and 100% of the salaries.
Slave raiders, like those from beni, were often paid hansomely by Beni's rulers, who in turn were paid hansomely for the slaves they captured.

Quote:
Now here comes more questions: Why was it necessary to bring canons, weapons of mass destruction of the time, to the West Coast of Africa against defensless natives Africans?
Because they were not defenseless. You have to give Africans a little more credit than that-the Asante held out for decades against the British, as did the Mossi. Other examples fo resistance abound.

Quote:
Were are the contracts signed by African kings authorizing the selling of slaves?
Possibly, though many of these contracts were faulty.

Quote:
When slavery was abolished, were African kings or tribal chiefs invited so they could be informed that all businesses activities will cease?
No-the illegal slave trade continued long after the trade was offocially abolished. In brazil and some other parts of South America, for example, slaves continued to arrive and slavery wasn't ended until the late 1880's. Traders weren't willing to simply give up on such a lucrative activity, and some Africans were still very wiling to go along with it if it meant that they would continue to receive weapons and a lot of money in return.

Quote:
When the European gathered in Berlin for the conference when they decided that they were going to "share" Africa, did they invite African leaders to ask them what they thought about the plans?
Nope.

Quote:
Face it, that notion that it was Africans that sold Africans into slavery is a myth created by Europeans who find it unbearable being responsible for such a crime against humanity. There's no proof whatsoever that Africans sold Africans at their own free will. They were subjugated, dominated, terrorized and some of the selling occured in that context. I mean, who in his right mind would be quick to point out that there were jewish kapos and some jewish made money during the holocaust. That some may have collaborated or have profited from the Shoah could be used as excuse to justify the holocaust?
It's not a myth-you'd do well to understand that. You greatly underestimate the credibility and capability of pre-colonial Africans. They weren't naive enough to ignore the fact that they stood to profit greatly from the trade as well. They weren't weak enough to be universally dominated, subjugated and terrified by European traders-Africans had ambition and cunning as well. That is why some of them participated as partners in the slave trade.

Nobody is guilt free in this situation.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:06 PM   #86
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From infastructure to slavery.

lol some people think too much.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:03 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by 02tonyl View Post
From infastructure to slavery.

lol some people think too much.


Well, slave labor was used to build infrastructure. There's a correlation between labor and infrastructure. Some country use cheap labor, and workers experienced conditions that is similar to slavery. Just ask some of the workers who were brought in Dubai to build the infrastructures.

To DanteXavier:

At least, you put things in a more acceptable context. I will came later on to answer you.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #88
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Here’s his original quote that I strongly disagreed with…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinivan View Post
but before Europe arrived there were already slaves and there were already deaths, actually it was the africans that enslaved other africans to sell them to Europeans
…this is a common and inaccurate argument used. History is sometimes falsified to fit one's or people's perception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanteXavier View Post
Becuase by definition the two groups were in the same situation. The word origin isn't what's important-the actual meaning is what matters.
Eastern Europeans were slaves given their situation. Many Africans were in a similar situation even prior to European arrival, and hence the term is applicable.
Africa practiced serfdom, but not slavery. There’s a difference between the two. By slave in the European sense, I meant people who were considered as “personal property” (Black Code), as “animated object” (Aristotle), as“cursed being” (curse of Cham, Bible, Génèse), as “instrument of production” (Ernest Renan), as“beast of burden” or a “object of distraction” (Rome), it is appropriate to say, that this type of individual or institution didn’t exist in Africa before the Europeans arrived.

You gave examples of Benin, it was known at the time as Dahomey, which is rougly 112,000 km2 in West Africa, an area that is more than 6 million km2, or 1/5 of Africa and it contains 15 nations today. The time period your example is referring is the 18th century, right ? By that time the transantlic slave trade was already two and half century old, no ?
Didn’t Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas on 18 June, 1452? It authorized Alfonso V of Portugal to reduce any “Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and any other unbelievers” to perpetual slavery. This facilitated the Portuguese slave trade from West Africa.
http://www.romancatholicism.org/popes-slavery.htm

But of course, before that, in 1441 the Portuguese had already started to make armed robberies on the coasts of Africa. That is 51 years before the arrival of Christophe Colomb in America.
The fort of Arguin was built in 1455 by the Portuguese
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arguin

Portuguese initiated the Transantlic Slave Trade in sub-Saharan Africa in the year 1441, as told by the stories of the Portuguese sailors of the time (De Zurara, Diego Gomez, Cadamosto, P. Peirera etc). It was well a holy war which they carried out against the inhabitants of this continent in the prolongation of the conquest of Ceuta [4]. It is thus by military raids against peaceful populations, expeditions whose instigator was Henri the Navigator, that Portuguese were going directly to capture of “pagan” African on the continent for to bring them back to God.
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The Beni of the Kingdom of Benin-Beni sold their neighboring tribal groups(many much smaller than they), including the Ga and the people from Owo, Akure and neighboring Idah(all states that came under beni control).
I wasn’t really disputing that. I wanted him to put things into their historical and situational context and precise under which circumstances and conditions the selling occured.
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They needed a cheap source of labor for their colonies, and Africans fit the bill.
yeah, they needed free labor because the indigenous people of the Americas were nearly wiped out and African slaves became the foundation of their economies. How much they invested for slavery to be possible is an indication that they were the one in urgent need of slaves, no? Look at what free slave labor did for the United States.

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Not 100% true. African slave raiders from kingdoms such as Beni did utilize their own iron bars, knives, and swords…. Equally untrue. Kingdoms such as beni utilized their own boats…. Slave raiders, like those from beni, were often paid hansomely by Beni's rulers, who in turn were paid hansomely for the slaves they captured
Okay, what is the margin of error here? 10, 25%? The point I was trying to make was the the transatlantic slave trade was a traffic of humans engineered and masterminded by the Europeans: the Portuguese, English, French, Dutch, Spaniards. And Europe was the principal beneficiaryThe Vatican and some Popes were involved. Europeans need to show us how slavery benefited the Africans.

And it was also a way of letting Dinivan realize that the overwhelming majority of Africans didn’t participate in the slave trade as raiders or traders. On the other hand, millions were victim themselves right there in Africa, having lost their relatives, and had their livelihood and entire villages and communities were destroyed or wiped out, forcing them to live in a chronic state of terror for decades and even for centuries. Most of the Africans that were sold were war captives or members of enemy tribes.

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Because they were not defenseless. You have to give Africans a little more credit than that-the Asante held out for decades against the British, as did the Mossi. Other examples fo resistance abound.
I wasn’t belittleling the Africans. I know the Zulus defeated the British Army on two occasions. I asked the question to give a hint that the Europeans came with the intent to capture, kidnap and annihilate any kind of resistance. They were expecting resistance and the weapons of mass destruction they brought disprove the character of a simple “commercial transaction”

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Possibly, though many of these contracts were faulty.
There are contracts that prove that Europeans sold Africans and even used them as collateral at times. But where the contracts, acte d’echange, bordereau, billet a ordre etc that shows Africans selling other African?

Africamaat.com

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Nope.
To your answer to my question, again, I was just trying to remind him that the Europeans never sought Africans agreement or approval before building the ships, the chains, the forts and all the instrument needed to effectuate the slave trade. They had the military might and were technically much more advanced than the Africans. It was the same for the for the Berlin Conference, they never sought African views or asked them their opinions when colonization was planned.

I omitted more evidence merely because the post would have been too long otherwise. But if you visit Africamaat.com, you find a rebuttal against every single argument the European historians use to make it seem that the slave trade was initiated by the Africans themselves, and they “invited” Europeans to come and buy their “commodities”





.

Last edited by Machiavel; April 4th, 2008 at 10:14 AM.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #89
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I'm starting to think that Dinivan dude is mentally challenged. and since when Spain gave money to Africa? the country is as poor and as backward as it is. it's not even a civilized 1st world country, so I don't really understand where the superiority complex this dumbass is suffering just come from.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 02:11 AM   #90
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I'm starting to think that Dinivan dude is mentally challenged. and since when Spain gave money to Africa? the country is as poor and as backward as it is. it's not even a civilized 1st world country, so I don't really understand where the superiority complex this dumbass is suffering just come from.
hmm spain is poor and backward ? never heard of such thing.

sorry I know this argument is none of my business but I just want to get something clear here. ok ignore me maybe
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:54 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Machiavel View Post
Africa practiced serfdom, but not slavery. There’s a difference between the two. By slave in the European sense, I meant people who were considered as “personal property” (Black Code), as “animated object” (Aristotle), as“cursed being” (curse of Cham, Bible, Génèse), as “instrument of production” (Ernest Renan), as“beast of burden” or a “object of distraction” (Rome), it is appropriate to say, that this type of individual or institution didn’t exist in Africa before the Europeans arrived.
Well, i suppose that this depends on one's personal opinion. I consider Africa's form of slavery to have been more akin to Indentured servitude(essentially subservience for a set period of time followed by freedom) than to serfdom.

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You gave examples of Benin, it was known at the time as Dahomey, which is rougly 112,000 km2 in West Africa, an area that is more than 6 million km2, or 1/5 of Africa and it contains 15 nations today. The time period your example is referring is the 18th century, right ?
No. Bosman's notes come from the early 1600's.

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But of course, before that, in 1441 the Portuguese had already started to make armed robberies on the coasts of Africa. That is 51 years before the arrival of Christophe Colomb in America.
And that whole armed robbery strategy failed, btw, for a couple of reasons.

1. Africans were formidable enough to fight off or avoid roving bands of spread out European raiders.

2. Europeans didn't have the technology or the numbers necessary to capture the number of slaves they needed in this manner.

This is why they turned to trading instead largely after the early stages of the slave trade ended(mid 16th century thereabouts).

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yeah, they needed free labor because the indigenous people of the Americas were nearly wiped out and African slaves became the foundation of their economies. How much they invested for slavery to be possible is an indication that they were the one in urgent need of slaves, no? Look at what free slave labor did for the United States.
Yes, quite obviously they were required. The early colonies could not have grown as profitable as they did without the slave trade.

Quote:
Okay, what is the margin of error here? 10, 25%? The point I was trying to make was the the transatlantic slave trade was a traffic of humans engineered and masterminded by the Europeans: the Portuguese, English, French, Dutch, Spaniards. And Europe was the principal beneficiaryThe Vatican and some Popes were involved. Europeans need to show us how slavery benefited the Africans.
I'm not trying to say that Africans as a whole should thank slavery or anything like that, since on the whole it didn't benefit them. I am saying that there were, for a time, several African leaders, and several entired African states(Dahomey being a notable one) that did benefit from the slave trade. It is not as if there were not some driving forces on the African side as well.

Your argument seems to almost ignore any historical african involvement in the slave trade(from a trading/beneficiary perspective), and I just think that is historically inaccurate.

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And it was also a way of letting Dinivan realize that the overwhelming majority of Africans didn’t participate in the slave trade as raiders or traders.
That is fair enough. All I'm saying is that a significant portion of them did-we cannot ignore that.

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I wasn’t belittleling the Africans.
Not intentionally. Your question, given the context in which it was written, gave that impression.

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They were expecting resistance and the weapons of mass destruction they brought disprove the character of a simple “commercial transaction”
Fair enough.

Quote:
There are contracts that prove that Europeans sold Africans and even used them as collateral at times. But where the contracts, acte d’echange, bordereau, billet a ordre etc that shows Africans selling other African?
I've seen writings indicating the existence of such exchanges, but no written contracts. Such documents from those time periods are somewhat rare.
The documentation we do have indicates that the phenomenon took place.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 07:10 AM   #92
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Can we please keep this political crap out of this thread!
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Old April 5th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #93
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DanteXavier,

I like your style of presenting your arguments because it is done elegantly and full of good faith, so out of respect, I would answer you point by point. But I will do it in private out of respect for others posters and visitors who might be irritated by this political talk. It's just that the volume of information is mind boggling, so I had to try to be as concise as I could when I answered you.

Sorry for the other guys if you felf I flooded this board with out of topic replies. But like I said, there's a correlation between infrastructure, permanent structure, monuments etc and labor.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #94
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DanteXavier,

I like your style of presenting your arguments because it is done elegantly and full of good faith, so out of respect, I would answer you point by point. But I will do it in private out of respect for others posters and visitors who might be irritated by this political talk. It's just that the volume of information is mind boggling, so I had to try to be as concise as I could when I answered you.

Sorry for the other guys if you felf I flooded this board with out of topic replies. But like I said, there's a correlation between infrastructure, permanent structure, monuments etc and labor.
Your debate with DanteXavier has been very informative.
My position on this would be that slavery or serfdom is bad no matter who practice it and African present woes results of century of exploitation by the European power during colonial and slave trader times. However, African have some responsibilities for their own issue after achieving independence since the '60, they could have achieve some positive result after independence.
Anyway, my last response on this subject.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by mike7743 View Post
I'm starting to think that Dinivan dude is mentally challenged. and since when Spain gave money to Africa? the country is as poor and as backward as it is. it's not even a civilized 1st world country, so I don't really understand where the superiority complex this dumbass is suffering just come from.
Bloody hell, what the hell is going on here? Spain is not a 1st world country? Since when was that fact established? To me, you the one who's mentally challenged. It's hard to believe anything you say because of your appalling grammar and sentence construction.

My god, its hard to find any intelligent Americans these days. You can't simply "make up" history, get your facts straight!
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Old April 6th, 2008, 12:28 AM   #96
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awwww, European losers sticking up for each other, how cute and pathetic.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #97
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However, African have some responsibilities for their own issue after achieving independence since the '60, they could have achieve some positive result after independence.
Anyway, my last response on this subject.
Oh, I will be the first one to totally agree with you on that one. I lived in Kinshasa, in the DROC, till I was 19. Almost all of the public infrastructures of that country are the same the Belgian left and built during colonialism. That include N'djili International Aiport in Kinshasa. An airport that was build in 1953 and originally conceived to accomodate no more than 200 passanger and smal planes. I am not even going to share stories about that Airport, you can use your own imagination if you want to picture the anarchy and lack of modern facilities, equipment, immigration and security services etc

Ghana and Malaysia both got their independance from the British crown in 1957. Ghana in March, and Malaysia in August. But just try to compare both countries economically and try to look at the public infrastructure of Malaysia compared to Ghana. Malaysian airport is constantly rank among the top 5 of the best airport in the world. What about Ghana?

Despite having the monopoly on routes in the African continent, Air Afrique went bankrupt and ceased operation in 2001. Meanwhile, Air France, using the same routes and having now the monopoly, became the most profitable Airlines in Europe(Government subsidies helped too, but still)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Afrique
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Old April 6th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #98
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Senegal plans "African Renaissance" monument

DAKAR, April 4 (Reuters) - Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade launched construction of an "African Renaissance" monument on the continent's westernmost tip late on Thursday, which he said would stand taller than the Statue of Liberty in the United States.

The 50-metre (164 ft) bronze statue which will stand atop a 100-metre hill looking out over the Atlantic Ocean on the edge of the capital Dakar, is meant to symbolise Africa's liberation from "centuries of ignorance, intolerance and racism".

"There is a Statue of Liberty in the United States, an Arc de Triomphe and an Eiffel Tower in Paris," Wade said at a ground-breaking ceremony as North Korean construction workers laid the foundations behind him.

"I wanted to give flesh to the African Renaissance so that people know that we came through nearly six centuries of darkness and we are going towards the light," he said on the eve of the former French colony's April 4 independence day celebrations.

The octogenarian leader, who began his second and final five-year term last year, wants infrastructure and cultural landmarks to remain as his legacy after he leaves office.

His administration has transformed parts of Dakar over the past few years with four-lane highways and five-star hotels, and Wade is also planning West Africa's largest theatre and a huge Museum of Black Civilisations for the city.

But some Dakar residents complain he has focused on glamorous building projects while neglecting more basic needs, such as ending regular power cuts or dealing with a sharp rise in food prices and in the cost of living.

The Monument of the African Renaissance shows a muscular man with a cloth wrapped around his waist rising from a volcano, a baby in his left hand and a woman in his right.

He said replicas of the monument, due to be finished by December 2009, would be given to other African nations.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #99
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Rich, emerging nations discuss poverty reduction in Africa
AFP
Sun Apr 6, 3:00 AM ET

Ministers from the richest nations and the fastest growing economies started talks Sunday on bolstering aid measures to reduce poverty in Africa and other areas under a 2000 UN agreement.

The talks are the second day of meetings between development ministers from the Group of Eight industrialised nations and emerging donor nations -- Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa.

The ministers late Saturday pledged to further work together to meet the Millennium Development Goals which include halving extreme poverty and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS in impoverished areas by 2015.

"The ministers discussed development and Africa as one topic," said a Japanese foreign ministry official.

"In terms of development in Africa, many countries pointed to the importance of building infrastructure" and using private sector investment as a tool for development, he said.

The ministers hunkered down on Sunday to attempt to develop measures to meet the goals, which also include providing primary education in the poorest countries, and were agreed by countries in the United Nations in 2000.

This year marks the halfway point of the 2015 target year.

But the latest progress reports show poverty has not reduced in areas of Africa and in some cases the situation has deteriorated, in a stark contrast with Asia where some countries have already achieved some of the goals.

The head of the G8 nations is expected to issue a summary later Sunday on the talks on development aid to Africa, an issue expected to be high on the agenda at the next G8 summit in July in northern Japan.

The ministers also agreed late Saturday on "increasing the credibility and transparency of aid policy," officials said.

Officials have privately admitted that G8 nations hope to coax China and other emerging donors to place greater emphasis on human rights when awarding aid.

Cashed-up China has recently made major diplomatic and economic inroads in mostly resource-rich nations in Africa and Latin America by giving aid without imposing any conditions.

This strategy contrasts with that of the United States, European Union and Japan as well as the World Bank and the IMF, which usually use aid as leverage to improve human rights and implement other reforms in recipient nations.

The Tokyo talks come as aid to developing countries fell last year and most donors are falling behind on their stated commitments to increase the amount of money they give, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report last week.

The meeting on Saturday also discussed the growing threat of climate change, particularly to developing countries.

Humanitarian activists said that rich nations should deliver more financial aid to help poorer nations fight against rising greenhouse gases.

"The aid money which has been pledged is to be used for traditional fields of aid such as education and health care systems," said Takumo Yamada, an advocacy manager of Britain-based charity Oxfam.

"Paying for damage from climate change is rich nations' responsibility," he said.
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Old April 14th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #100
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Infrastructure hampering U.S. trade with Africa

CAPE TOWN, April 14 (Reuters) - Africa's lack of transport infrastructure is denying the world's poorest continent the full economic benefits of a preferential trade agreement with the United States, a top U.S. trade official said on Monday.

Passed in 2000 and expected to end in 2015, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is designed to give 39 sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access on more than 1,500 selected items in the $14 trillion U.S. market.

But decades of underdevelopment and investment in Africa's road, shipping and aviation sectors is impeding the continent's competitiveness and hampering a diverse flow of trade with its largest single market. "Transportation has a direct effect on our efforts to strengthen the US-African trade relationship," Florizelle Liser, assistant U.S Trade Representative for Africa told delegates attending the first U.S.-African transport and trade forum in Cape Town.

"One challenge in particular that all African products seem to have in common are higher transportation costs to the United States than competing products from other countries and regions," Liser said.

She said another challenge was the scarce availability and frequency of air and maritime services, as well as inadequate rail and road links which constrained products from farms to markets and ports.

Using the example of Ghana exporting cotton socks to the U.S. to illustrate her point, Liser said early successes were being undone by increased transit times.

"Where it used to take 21 days to ship from west African ports to the U.S. east coast, producers of apparel and other products are currently facing 38 to 46 days for shipping," said Liser.

Critics of the AGOA law argue that Washington's subsidies to American farmers keep African growers of agricultural products for export to the U.S. mired in poverty, outweighing any real benefits the trade initiative offers.
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