Thursday, November 22, 2007

Which is better, living under independence or colonialism?

Things were better in Africa if compared to the current disappointment in the running governments. Many Africans are still subject to poverty despite the huge resources in their country. Others don’t feel secure as in DR Congo where there is a raging civil war. Many Africans feel that the wealth of their country is primarily plundered by their countrymen who make a small minority usurping the bulk of their country-s wealth.

Many feel that they’re living under neo-colonialism as their economy is run by foreign companies which make the greatest profits while profits go to the country’s elite. For some there is no difference between colonialism and independence as they aren’t tasting the fruits of their country. At worst colonialism is better than independence.

In North Africa, the fight against colonialism was in the hope of getting things better for all. Only a minority benefited from different services under colonialism. In the majority of cases, families with big names had their children have the best of education which allowed them to have key posts in the government. Through time they became an oligarchy that has the best of the country’s wealth.

The question if Morocco better under independence than under colonialism. On the face of it, Morocco has been transformed since its independence. There are more educated people than under colonial era. But there is also disillusionment with independence as the slogans of equality and prosperity are matched by the actual huge disparities between the rich and the poor.

Morocco still has very close ties with its former colonial power. 60% of its foreign exchanges are with it. The largest Moroccan immigrant community is in France, more than one million.
Many Moroccans still look to the European or French system of government as the model. They want real democracy. Currently there is an apparent rupture between the government and people. In the last general elections only 37% of the voters took part.

This doesn’t mean that the Moroccans want to be ruled again by France although they take it as reference in good management. Simply they want their leaders to be up to the challenge and make them feel that they have a country called in Morocco. Currently, patriotism is put into question by many as they see their country in the hands of the very few in terms of wealth and political influence.

Morocco is better than what it was under colonialism. But as an independent country it still needs to make things far better by restoring common people’s confidence in their government who should work jointly under democracy for the good of all. It’s sad that hopeless Moroccans still look to Europe as the saviour by trying to illegally migrate to it. They feel an independent Morocco makes no difference for them. They want a country where they can feel better and have a real home. Some laughs at independence by saying that French colonialism was replaced just by anew one through the grip on power and wealth of the country by the very few at the expense of the big majority.

Listen to part of the show.

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2 comments:

Margot said...

I listened to this program through your link, and it was very interesting. I heard you as a caller on the show.

I think the BBC has made a mistake posing the question of asking whether it's better to live under independence or colonialism. After hearing the show, and the commentary, what they should have asked is has life under independence met their expectations.

The problem here is that it's clear from the show that people were expecting independence to bring economic benefits down to the poor man in the street. This has not happened. There are still rich and poor. What people with recent colonial experience don't realize is that even in supposedly rich countries like America, there is this same wide chasm between rich and poor, with the elites benefiting most. It is NEITHER DEMOCRACY NOR INDEPENDENCE which brings benefits down to the lower man in the street. It's SOCIALISM. People are putting the wrong expectations on both democracy and independence.

Margot, the Marrakesh Mystic
margotmystic.wordpress.com

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Dear Margot,
As you know there is no perfect political system. Socialism looks as a perfect system. But it has failed to yield good results in many countries but of inefficiency and corruption. It's impossible to wipe out poverty altogether. However there success stories in some countries like Denmark rated as the first in the world in terms of welfare. It is not a question of being independent or colonized, but to what effect any political system can bring good results. People can accept material misfortunes but the most dangerous thing that can affect of society is widespread injustice that can lead to violent or "benign" lawlessness.