First, I'd like to say that this isn't an argument against providing AIDS drugs. Personally, I think that the bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan some years ago was a crime against humanity.
But wer're talking South Africa, right? The country with cities that have skyscrapers? The country with orbital launch capability? The one with recording studios and very good jazz? The one that got democratic rule in 1988 to end the British/Dutch horror of Apartheid and so make things better?
If people in South Africa have elected a complete stupid, it isn't because they lack knowledge; it's because they have made a decision to be brain-dead, superstitious idiots. This happens a lot in Africa. For example, the recent Ebola outbreaks happened around hospitals, because they didn't believe in cleaning needles between patients. Yes, they're poor, but there always seems to be plenty of money for guns.
The same goes for the Bible Belt. I live there, and while it is horrible, it isn't as bad as you think. One can get condoms, easily. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be much of an AIDS pandemic compared to, say, the non-Bible Belt.
I'm sad about people in Africa too, but I can guarantee you that a bunch of pills isn't going to make people stop raping virgins. It isn't going to cause the president of South Africa to grow a brain. It isn't going to make governments buy fewer guns or relocate people out of deserts. For the past 20 years people have done as much as they can to end European colonial rule in Africa. Part of self-rule is that, yes, you can make decisions that will kill a whole lot of your people, slowly and painfully. As Gandhi said, freedom means nothing if it does not include the freedom to harm yourself.
It certainly isn't magically going to solve complex problems like the one the U.S. faced when the emergence of effective treatments resulted in new infections going up instead of down.
I support letting pharmaceutical companies in Africa make AIDS drugs cheaply. However, I think that those who talk about how U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies aren't doing enough, if they are honest, should be able to admit many parallels between what they are saying and The White Man's Burden. You want to go educate Africans and give them your knowledge, fine. I agree, but I don't want to hear any crap about Western Imperialist Interference when it happens.
I didn't make the world; I just live here. The world is a dangerous place, and stupidity kills. Mostly it kills people nearby the people being stupid. This is the big problem that humanity faces. A lot of people have tried a lot of solutions which haven't worked. Nowadays, people laugh at all those old solutions, but they don't have any better ones. Any fool can knock down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]