the Road to Serfdom by lindahy


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									A recommended solution is that,
in this first great war between net-
works and nations, it behooves the
latter to form their own net-
                                                      The Road to Serfdom
works—for it is growing ever
clearer that it takes a network to
fight a network. If the terrorists are
                                                              How Africa is Sliding
operating in over 60 nations, then
our own counter-terror network
must span 60 nations—and more.
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‘Networking’, in this instance, con-
sists of the widespread sharing of                                                 JAMES S. SHIKWATI
information and co-operation in
the field between intelligence,
military, and law enforcement or-                                S AFRICA trudging the         disaster unpreparedness due to donor
ganizations in all countries in-
volved. It means pre-emptive
attacks will result from shared in-
                                                         I       road back to serfdom?
                                                                 Friedrich A. Hayek, the
                                                                 1974 Nobel Laureate in
                                                                                                   At independence, the African
                                                                                               leadership was faced with the task of
telligence and will feature multi-                    Economics, wrote in his book, The        building nations and economic de-
national assault forces. It means                     Road to Serfdom, that central plan-      velopment. Given that the colonial-
that nobody leads, but rather that                    ning systems are the surest way of en-   ists were mostly capitalists, the
all strive together toward a com-                     slaving people. Asked Hayek, ‘Is         African elite sought to embrace so-
mon goal.                                             there a greater tragedy imaginable       cialistic strategies as a way of iden-
    In many respects, Australia and                   than that in our endeavour con-          tifying with the masses. For the past
its neighbours are well poised to                     sciously to shape our future in accor-   40 years, African countries have got
build a co-operative regional                         dance with high ideals we should in      stuck on the inherited economic sys-
counter-terror network. There is                      fact unwittingly produce the very        tems that rely on production and
ample precedent for regional net-                     opposite of what we have been striv-     export of primary resources. Sub-
working in the experiences all have                   ing for?’                                Sahara’s share of world trade has de-
gained in fighting high-seas piracy                       With over 50 million Africans        clined over this period from 3.1 per
over the past decade—a struggle in                    living on less than $1 a day, African    cent of world merchandise exports
which the many successes have al-                     policymakers have focused on poli-       in 1955 to just 1.2 per cent in 1990.
most all been due to swift informa-                   cies that encourage external donor       The entire continent of Africa ac-
tion-sharing and joint operations.                    funding to their governments. Ac-        counted for a lesser share of the
Regional networking was also cru-                     cording to the World Bank, aid in-       world’s exports than Belgium, 2.3 per
cial in response to the crisis in East                flows to sub-Saharan Africa rose         cent against 3 per cent. Agricultural
Timor. Most recently, the success                     from 3.4 per cent of GNP in 1980 to      goods and raw extracted minerals
in pre-empting a truck bombing                        16.3 per cent in 1995. These official    form the bulk of the exports.
campaign in Singapore—planned                         inflows typically funded basic gov-          Most of the agricultural activities
by an al-Qaeda affiliate—was an-                      ernment programmes, together with        in Africa take place on patches of im-
other shining example of the power                    all or most of government develop-       poverished soil tilled by smallholder
of sharing even very sensitive data                   ment expenditures. Dependence on         farmers. Seventy per cent of the Af-
about terrorists with each other.                     aid has led to African governments       rican population is in the rural areas
    If pre-emption is to prove an ef-                 virtually ceding the shaping of their    and depends mainly on agriculture.
fective tool against terror in the                    economic and social policies to ex-      Sixty per cent of Africans are in ab-
months and years to come, it must                     ternal agencies. Wealthy nations and     solute poverty, with 80 per cent of
be empowered by networking. And                       international institutions such as the   Africa’s expenditure going on food.
the beauty of the concept is that,                    World Bank and International Mon-        Repeated attacks by pests and dis-
even as it makes us more efficient,                   etary Fund have become the central       eases, and expensive farm inputs
it also helps to master the politi-                   economic planners for Africa. The        coupled with natural disasters have
cal, legal and social objections to                   end result is sporadic project imple-    put this industry in jeopardy. Food
taking the initiative against terror.                 mentation, corruption, and poor eco-     crises have exposed Africa to ma-
                                                      nomic performance attributable to        nipulation by wealthy nations that
  John Arquilla is Professor of Defense Analysis at   inept policies, political tensions as    use food aid to further their agendas.
               the US Naval Postgraduate School.
                                                      each ethnic community jostles to         Without analyzing the long-term im-
                                          I P A       partake of the ‘national cake’, and      pact of their decisions, African

SEPTEMBER 2003                                                                                                                     17
policymakers have accepted food aid     ship is frowned upon by political
that further disorients their farming
communities, making the continent
                                        elites who fear potential rivals. Many
                                        people are made to focus on salaried                          Musing…
even more vulnerable.                   employment because commercial en-
    Extraction of mineral wealth, in-   terprise is viewed as immoral and ex-                      Burning Issues
stead of making Africa wealthy, has     ploitative. In Africa, anyone who
                                                                                                      by Mike Nahan
turned into a curse. Gold, copper,      employs a hundred people will be
uranium and oil wars in the Congo,      seen as an exploiter, but if he is put
oil and water wars in Sudan, dia-       in command of the same number of                       There is no doubt that demo-
mond wars in Sierra Leone, clan land    people he will be viewed as a respect-                 cracy works in Australia. Take
wars in Somalia, to mention but a       able member of society.                                the recent forest fires that burnt
few, have devastated a big section of       Unless Africa wakes up to the re-                  1.5 million hectares in the
the continent. It has also led to thou- ality that international relations are                 Eastern States last summer.
sands of innocent people being dis-     driven mostly by commercial gains, it                      Governments have for
placed as refugees, family lives being  will be difficult for her to fit into the              decades responded to the de-
disrupted and government systems        global economy. In market economies,                   mands of ‘deep’ Greens and
destroyed. The conflict situation in    the consumer is king; this was well il-                tried to protect an increasing
Africa has made it                                               lustrated when                proportion of state forests from
difficult for strong                                             Kenya’s tourism               the impact of Man and fire. Of
institutions to be      Sub Sahara’s share of industry ended on                                course, the real political pressure
put in place that                                                its knees due its             came not directly from the deep
support predict-             world trade has                     inability to honour           Greens but rather from the
able and enforce-                                                the demands of                millions of urbanites duped by
able laws. This has         declined from 3.1                    the consumer.                 the Greens’ apparently simple
not only made it                                                      In essence, Af-          and costless message.
difficult for Afri-         per cent of world                    rican govern-                     Well, the fires have brought
can entrepreneurs                                                                              home to the urbanites the
to prosper, but also     merchandise exports ments respondthe    the wishes of
                                                                                               stupidity of the deep Green
for African coun-                                                donor community               mantra. A parade of experts
tries to attract ex- in 1955 to just 1.2 per rather than to the                                before various investigations into
ternal investment.                                                                             the fires has made it clear that
    Due to con-
                       cent in 1990 … a lesser views of their owncitizens. Rather              the Greens’ policy of reducing
stant political in-                                                                            controlled burning was a major
stability and lack
                          share of the world’s thanproductivity  the
                                                                                               factor in the severity of the fires.
of security in of-                                                                                 While officially in denial, the
fice, African rul-
                        exports than Belgium of the agricultural sector, they pro-             NSW National Park Department
ing elites tend to                                               vide food aid to              currently has 32 separate con-
concentrate on looting, banking the     farmers. Rather than strengthen                        trolled burns under way and has
proceeds outside of Africa. This        their economies to enable Africans                     advertised these heavily in the
breeds short-term policies meant to     to afford drugs, they ask for free medi-               media. The Victorian and ACT
satisfy the regime in power without     cines for the sick. Rather than focus                  Governments have been more
ever focusing on establishing condi-    on increasing the volume of trade                      forthright and admitted that the
tions that will benefit future genera-  with the developed world, they fo-                     previous policy was a bad
tions. Lack of proper institutional     cus on asking for donor funding. In-                   mistake and promised to reverse
systems in Africa makes it difficult    stead of allowing communities to                       it.
for individuals to explore new knowl-   manage and benefit from wildlife re-                       Mind you, democracy is not
edge and utilize their potential to the sources, they protect the wildlife ac-                 the only motivating factor, as
full. Hayek observed, ‘Only since in-   cording to western environmental                       there are numerous groups of
dustrial freedom opened the path to     practices. If Africans are not already                 aggrieved landholders pursuing
the free use of new knowledge, only     enslaved, they are steadily and surely                 legal action against govern-
since everything could be tried—if      trudging the road back to serfdom.                     ments.
somebody could be found to back it                                                                 The real question is: will
at his own risk—has science made              James S. Shikwati is the Director of the Inter   support for the Greens wane as
the greatest strides which in the last              Regional Economic Network (IREN)           people realise the stupidity of
                                                                           based in Kenya.
150 years have changed the face of                                                             their ways? I doubt it.
the world’. In Africa, entrepreneur-                                               I P A

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18                                                                                                                  SEPTEMBER 2003

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