In my taxi into work this morning, the radio was playing that dreadful dirge, 'We Are The World'. It put me in mind of the wonderful piece by P. J. O'Rourke, 'Fiddling While Africa Burns' from Give War a Chance, in which he analyses the song and its 'intellectual' underpinnings with devastating results. It's the same old lie: if only the affluent West would stop being so selfish and start sharing its bounty with the rest of the World, all would be sweetness and light. I'm not sure how this sophomoric analysis differs in any meaningful way from the oh-so-nuanced versions Michael Moore, Oxfam, Robert Fisk, and the whole silly United Nations profess.
If flinging money at the problem would cure it, then I'd be all for it. But which organisation has done more to liberate the people of Afghanistan from tyranny and oppression: UNICEF or the USAF?
The real bounty we have to share with the poor, benighted 'Part Of The World That Is Totally Screwed' (as P. J. puts it) is our legacy of free markets, the rule of law, emancipation of women, tolerance, mutual respect and self-reliance. Put that in place, keep it there, and all else follows.
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