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The development paradigm and gift-giving Research Paper

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Even though that there is much of a moralistically sounding vagueness to the description of what the partners for Global Community Kelowna do, it is still possible to identify the actual scope of these organizations’ activities:

Dare to Be

This organization consists of ‘soccer moms’, who due to being particularly ‘bright’, do believe that it is indeed possible to provide the community with ‘fair-trade products at a fair price’.

Despite the fact that the GCK’s web site does not mention the definition of what the notion of a ‘fair-trade product’ stands for, we can well assume that this notion has to do with the concerned women’s naïve belief that, for as long a particular product features a ‘sweatshop free’ logo, this is indeed being the case.

Fullstop

This particular organization is ‘dedicated to stopping injustice against women’ through education. In other words, its activities are concerned with raising money, in order to promote the self-evident idea that mistreating women is wrong.

The description of what this organization does, tactfully avoids mentioning whether the Lombrosian types of men, predetermined to abuse women on a genetic level, can be ‘educated’ to act otherwise.

Gifts to Grandmothers

The members of this organization, who are being obviously just as ‘bright’, as the members of Dare to Be, sew and sell handbags, in time free from bellyful idling. The obtained money they transfer to the elderly women in Nigeria and Ethiopia, while expecting that this will indeed help the latter to raise the swarms of their orphaned (due to the ongoing civil war ) grandchildren, and to consequently send them to the Harvard university.

Global Citizens for Change

This organization sends volunteers to the Third world countries, so that they can enlighten the impoverished locals on the benefits of ‘democracy’, take photographs of themselves in front of the slums (the so-called ‘extreme tourism’), come back to Canada and take pride in having made the world a ‘better place’.

Hope for the Nations

This organization is dedicated to ensuring the ‘reduction of poverty’ and promoting ‘gender equity’, across the world.

As the GCK’s description implies, this is being achieved by the mean of the organization’s members holding conferences, during the course of which they congratulate themselves on having made a ‘difference’, while taking advantage of the conveniently situated smorgasbords with food – the most important element of this type of conferences.

Despite the fact that the activities of earlier mentioned organizations imply the concerned individuals’ ‘selfishness’, this is far from being the actual case – at least in the psychological sense of this word. By affiliating themselves with the agenda of making the world a ‘better place’, the members of these organizations strive to attain the sensation of an emotional comfort with what they are, as their foremost priority – pure and simple.

There are a number of discursive parallels can be drawn between these people, on the one hand, and the self-righteous bible thumpers, on the other (Anniah 63). After all, it is specifically their subliminal realization of their personal guilt for the fact that there is much of an injustice in the world, which causes both: ‘development activists’ and bible thumpers to indulge in charitable activities, in the first place.

By doing it, they are able to reestablish themselves as thoroughly ‘moral’ individuals in their own eyes. What it means is that the activities of ‘gift giving’, on the part of the earlier mentioned organizations, are not being de facto concerned with helping people in the Third world.

Rather, these activities are concerned with helping ‘gift givers’ to suppress their deep-seated realization that the reason why they are able to lead a bellyful existence in Canada (the US), is that the Third world continues to suffer from poverty. This is exactly why, as time goes on, impoverished people in ‘developing’ countries grow increasingly angry about the sheer hypocrisy of their presumed ‘beneficiaries’.

As the Nigerian car washer David Kabala pointed out: “They (Western ‘development activists’) see us as puppets; they want to come and take pictures, have a little walk, tell their friends they’ve been to the worst slum in Africa. But nothing changes for us” (Warah 6).

This simply could not be otherwise – despite all of the well-meaning rhetoric, on the part of the UN bureaucrats, which continue to promote the idea that providing the Third world countries with ‘aid’ is the way to put them on the path of progress, people are becoming increasingly aware of this idea’s counterproductive essence.

The reason for this is quite apparent – this ‘aid’ reflects the Western countries’ intention to keep concealed the fact that, contrary to what it is being commonly assumed, their richness is nothing but the by-product of Westerners’ continual endowment with the colonial mentality.

After all, it does not represent any secret that, ever since 1971, the US currency had ceased to represent any objective value, whatsoever, while being turned into essentially the tons of a valueless green paper (nowadays, it is rather the bunch of digital zeroes in the FRS’s main computer).

Yet, it is specifically this currency (the US dollar), with which the Western world pays ‘developing’ countries, in exchange for their natural and human resources. In the similar manner, Spanish and later British colonists used to buy land from the American Natives, in exchange for glass-beads.

Therefore, the Western practice of providing the Third world countries with ‘aid’/’gifts’, while these countries are being robbed clean by the Western transnational corporations, is a hypocrisy of the worst kind. Being strongly hypocritical, this practice cannot possibly result in the improvement of living standards among the world’s most impoverished people.

Quite on the contrary – it results in the ‘aid’ recipients adopting the mentality of beggars, which are doomed to rely on others, while trying to meet the ends. In its turn, this causes the ‘poor and needy’ to become ever more resentful of their moralistically minded ‘beneficiaries’.

In this respect, it would prove quite impossible to disagree with Bindra, who suggested that: “Far from being productive or necessary, the donor-dependant relationship most often ends in mutual hatred. And amid the final acrimony, one crucial fact is forgotten: the longer the relationship has carried on, the less capable the dependant is of reducing his dependence” (149).

This explains the phenomenon of legal and illegal immigrants from the Third world continuing to arrive to the Westen shores in big numbers, despite remaining deeply resentful of the so-called ‘Western values’.

These people are perfectly aware that in their own countries, they do not have even a slight chance of a social advancement, by definition, which in turn is the direct consequence of the West’s ‘well-meaning’ geopolitical arrogance.

This, of course, once again exposes the sheer fallaciousness of the assumption that by throwing ‘crumbs’ to people that have to struggle with hunger on a daily basis from their richly served ‘smorgasbords’ (in the allegorical sense of this word), philanthropically-minded Canadians (Westerners) would be able to make a difference.

Instead of crying crocodile tears about the ‘poor and needy’ in Africa, they should spend more time ‘making a difference’ in their own countries. As Anniah pointed out in his another article: “Forget the starving children of Africa and Asia, if you can. Wherever you live in the West, there are children’s lives to be saved in your own country” (159).

Yet, this is highly unlikely to happen, because, as it was implied earlier, the officially proclaimed agenda of trying to ‘help the world’, on the part of the Canadian ‘ gift-givers’ from GCK, is nothing but the extrapolation of their subliminal desire to feel better about themselves – nothing else.

In light of what has been said earlier, the suggestion that the GCK’s agenda is being concerned with ‘reinforcing the development paradigm’ does not make any sense, whatsoever. After all, as we have already pointed out, the organization’s activities are essentially charitable.

Yet, the belief that charity is the key to development/prosperity can be defined as utterly arrogant, at best: “The entire aid industry is based on a demonstrable fallacy: that aid can stimulate economic growth. No country on earth has ever been developed solely by aid” (Mwangi 155).

What GCK actually does, is taking advantage of citizens’ gullibility, by making them to donate to a number of different ‘charitable causes’, such as the cause of ‘combating hunger in Africa’, for example. In this respect, GCK is being no different from the rest of the charity-scams, which allow pretentiously moralistic con artists, in charge of running them, to make good money.

The very fact that in Canada, the financial transactions concerned with charitable activities are deemed tax-deductible, creates objective preconditions for this to be the case. It is understood, of course, that the GCK’s functioning is not entirely pointless, as it does provide the affiliated individuals with the illusion that their involvement with the organization benefits the humanity, but this is about it.

What this organization’s active participants do not seem to understand is that, if any, it is namely the Canadian society, where the proportion of marijuana-smoking degenerates increases exponentially to the flow of time, which is being much more legitimate subject of a ‘humanitarian intervention’, as compared to the impoverished societies of the Third world.

After all, within the matter of the last twenty years, the population of Ethiopia has tripled – despite the fact that, throughout this time, Ethiopians continued to suffer from the never-ending civil war and famine. Perceptually ‘feminized’ Canadians, on the other hand, grow ever more incapable of addressing even the most basic life-challenges – despite the fact that their country features the world’s highest standards of living.

This is because, as compared to the Canadian society of self-indulgent whiners, which ceased evolving, the Ethiopian society is blessed with the Darwinian vitality, which in turn allows its members to successfully deal even with the most unimaginable hardships – without needing to be ‘helped’ by those who indirectly contribute to these hardships.

Thus, it will only be logical to conclude this paper by suggesting that the very existence of GCK proves the validity of an old saying that the road to hell is made out of good intentions.

Works Cited

Anniah, Kwame. “Moral Disagreement”

Anniah, Kwame. “Kindness to Strangers”

Bindra, Sunny. “Men Behaving Badly.” Missionaries, Mercenaries and Misfits: An Anthology. Ed. Rasna Warah. London: AuthorHouse, 2008. 147-155. Print.

Mwangi, Maina. “Why Aid has Failed Africa so Spectacularly.” Missionaries, Mercenaries and Misfits: An Anthology. Ed. Rasna Warah. London: AuthorHouse, 2008. 155-163. Print.

Warah, Rasna. “The Development Myth.” Missionaries, Mercenaries and Misfits: An Anthology. Ed. Rasna Warah. London: AuthorHouse, 2008. 3-23. Print.

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