These days you hear a lot about underdeveloped nations turning away from the supposedly corrupt influence of Western civilization. There was a time in the not too distant past when such nations were eager to learn the formula for success in the West. Many still do, and try to emulate their democratic ways and learn how to use modern technology to improve the lives of their nation’s citizens. The ones who have turned away from the West generally have ideology-driven governments that an open society would make impossible to maintain. Usually that has to do with religion, one of the oldest an surest ways to maintain strict control over an isolated population. Other nations take the dictatorship route, a model at odds with any competing ideas but one fairly effective in maintaining strict control. Until the next dictator murders you, that is.

Of course this strict control comes at a steep price. Not to the leaders, of course, who generally live lives of decadent luxury, but to the populations, whose lives are marked by hunger, illiteracy, disease and misery. The theocrats and dictators naturally blame their people’s misery on the West, even though many of these places at one time had advanced, flourishing civilzations for centuries before the ascendence of the West. The fact that those societies stagnated and disappeared and were replaced by today’s shit holes that pass for countries calls for a scapeoat. Who better to blame than the successful? Hell, they don’t care, they’re rich! Who knows if they even notice? That’s the beauty of the deal for the oppressors of those who have nothing; your ideology doesn’t have to make a lick of sense. The uneducated and isolated have no frame of reference with which to compare ideas.

Usually their populations are so isolated from outside news sources, so hungry, downtrodden and illiterate that they will believe anything they are told to believe. It is by this simple manipulative method that their leaders’ fear of losing their cushy jobs becomes an entire nation’s ingrained fears and hatreds. Starve them, isolate them, crush their spirits and replace their inborn sane reasoning with knee-jerk responses based on completely false and unreasonable assumptions and Bingo!, you’re on easy street. The Third World does have many legitimate grievances against the West: the centuries of colonialism and paternalism, the human tendency of the strong to exploit the weak, the fact that on a regular basis Western powers used these people’s nations as battlefields in their wars, and many other past sins.

The West is not a Utopia nor is it populated and led by a bunch of sainted grannies. What western nations are, however, are places where the average citizen enjoys a well-fed, healthy, educated, free, productive and generally rewarding life. And they do so for a far longer average life span than their counterparts in Third World countries. So, all the “Death To The Great Satan” chanting in the world isn’t going to change the fact that you live in a shit hole and the citizens of the Great Satan do not. You need not love Western civilization to find out why that is and what you can do about making your country less of a shit hole, maybe take a quick tutorial on the things that make these places prosperous and apply them back home. Maybe the leaders of some of these nations could learn stuff like this:

WORK YOUR ASS OFF: It’s no secret that people in successful societies work hard. Those skyscrapers, dams, bridges, airports and highways didn’t build themselves, nor did the computers spring to life unbidden. Pay people well for their labors and stand back, they’ll be like an army of beavers. (See China after old Murdering Mao dropped dead.)

TEACH EVERYONE TO READ: While this step runs the danger of your people finding out you’re full of shit, a literate work force is less likely to electrocute themselves when you’re trying to industrialize your country. Those big red WARNING – HIGH VOLTAGE signs don’t mean a damned thing to illiterates. And you just might want to start a few world-class universities so that the better-paying and more complex jobs don’t have to be filled by foreigners that you will wind up depending upon. That just leads to resentment and your native people becoming a permanent underclass. (See Argentina, circa 1950’s and the influx of Fascist refugees and the subsequent unceremonious ouster of Juan Peron.)

CLEAN THE DAMNED WATER SUPPLY ALREADY: Okay, now you have hard working citizens who can read and write. That’s not much good when they’re dropping like flies by sharing their drinking water supply with cows and people who shit in it. This sort of thing kills 5 or 6 million people every year. It’s very counter-productive.

LEARN TO FARM: Just because your nation has been farming for thousands of years doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. What was okay in Biblical times is just a tad outmoded on a planet with six and a half billion mouths to feed. Hand-planting the same crop in the same fields for centuries and plowing the land with a beast of burden might look quaint but it sort of wears out the soil and the backs of the farmers. There’s tractors now, by the way, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture that will be happy to share their knowledge of modern agricultural methods so that your farm yields will improve around a hundredfold, probably more. Then maybe a whole lot of your children won’t die of starvation every single year. Your newly motivated, literate and sanitized workers tend to slack off when their kids die of starvation all the time.

SEPARATE THE CHURCH AND STATE: Now this is a tall order for a lot of these backwaters. When everyone of a different religion has for centuries been considered a subhuman worthy only of being murdered in their beds with their entire families, it’s kind of hard to tell your citizens you were only kidding, but history shows us with example after example that there has never been a religion capable of running a decent nation and never a nation capable of running a decent religion. When you mix the two they both suffer and what you have is a lousy excuse for a country and a worse excuse for a religion. What makes you guys different? It sure isn’t your stellar record of achievement. A brutally honest assessment of the shit hole status of your own nation as opposed to the clean, prosperous and orderly status of nations who tolerate freedom of worship must just might get you thinking of rendering unto Caesar for a change.

HOLD HONEST ELECTIONS: If your ideas are all that stupendous, people will keep voting for you and you’ll have no worries, mate. And the beauty of honest elections is that you don’t get removed from office by being murdered, and more often than not enjoy a hefty pension for your service and get to be considered some kind of revered elder statesman as you get older, even if you were a complete boob. (See Ronald Reagan, USA, Charles DeGaulle, France.)

DON’T CENSOR ANYBODY, ESPECIALLY THE IDIOTS: Take a cue from America’s Democratic Party, who can’t get enough of listening to the incoherent drivel pouring out of the mouths of the opposition party courtesy of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Shotgun Dick Cheney. And so what if they have followers? In a free election system, it’s a rare thing for them to gain enough support to get elected. (See America under Cheney & Bush The Younger, 2001 to 2008. Hey, these things happen from time to time and stable nations survive their idiots intact.). By and large, however, they’re so frighteningly stupid they serve as a vivid reminder to the majority of Americans to never again vote for dunces like them. Of course, when you allow the opposition to run their mouths publicly you run the risk of sensible people proposing far better ideas than your own, but if you truly love your country, you allow that sort of thing for the benefit of your people. And if you’re real smart, you claim them as your own brainstorms and get reelected as some sort of genius.

NOW ROCK OUT!: So, now you’re are a relatively prosperous, educated, free, clean, open and tolerant society that’s not starving your children or burning out your farmland. Now what? Hell, that’s the easy part. Now you want to be cool. Rock out! Let your artists and musicians do their thing. Let them play whatever kind of music they want, paint what they want and film whatever they like. Don’t worry, trust your people to pick what’s the best and the most fun of the bunch. Now you’ll be a cool country too, and that’s a good feeling. Of course there’s a price to be paid for all this prosperity and freedom, things like Reality TV and Barry Manilow, but that’s life and you can always turn the channel. You’ll also have to give up your barbaric oppression and being feared and obeyed by a browbeaten, ignorant populace. No more joyful torture sessions, murdering people just for the hell of it and sharing your victims’ wives with your posse. Hey, it was fun while it lasted, but if you want all the cool toys and to stay alive longer than your time in power, learn from the big boys. Let the good times roll!

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