The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Sunday, August 20, 2006
        Where there is demand, there is supply – at least in capitalism
        The New York Times had two completely unrelated articles which made me think about the subject of this post. The first is about the plummeting mosque attendance in Baghdad “because more and more Iraqis associate the neighborhood mosque…with the Kalashnikov rather than the Koran”. Businesses are jumping right in to capitalize on this disaster and are providing an alternative. CD’s with religious lectures “have boomed”. How clever!

        The second article is about Colombia’s coca production and the fruitless US plan to uproot it. Six years and $4.7 billion later, American streets still see the same “price, quality and availability of cocaine….” Coca farmers and dealers are changing their strategies constantly to beat a US policy, and they are succeeding. The production has been reduced into smaller bits and redistributed throughout Colombia making it harder to be reached.

        It is amazing how supplying demand for profit manages to survive the harshest conditions and restrictions. Then I seriously wonder, how come the same – even a lesser degree will do – type of resilience, innovativeness and zeal is lacking from development policies and projects. Could it be because we (human beings) are at our best for maximum production and innovation when we are greedy and self-centered? Could the same reason be a factor why capitalism, despite its many evils, easily flourishes while socialism, although it is supposed to be based on "equality for all", fails drastically?

        Perhaps it’s time that we try a bit of capitalism for development. Somebody somewhere is making profit out of it anyway. Therefore, we should stop labeling development as ‘non-profit’. Legally make development for profit and get on with it. This, by the way, is a serious suggestion.


        An interesting history of capitalism
        posted by Fikirte @ 5:06 PM   Digg!
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