Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
The G-8 vs. the Immoral Bandwagon for African Aid
June 6, 2007
Irvine, CA--Two years ago the G-8 pledged $50 billion more in aid for Africa, but that promise, aid advocates charge, has been broken. They claim that several countries failed to ramp up aid, that last year donations from some countries actually declined--and that the world's richest countries must give far more.
Nations accused of giving too little say that they wrote-off millions in African debts, which they say should be counted as aid. And, perhaps to preempt criticism, President Bush last week announced plans to spend $30 billion to fight AIDS in Africa--doubling America's current commitment.
"But instead of disputing how aid is measured or guiltily promising billions more, the G-8 should repudiate the alleged moral duty to selflessly serve the world's poor," said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.
"We have no moral duty to sacrifice for the poor. Those who earn their prosperity by production and trade have a moral right to every penny of their riches. The notion that the richest nations must serve the 'needy' is based on the vicious moral code of altruism.
"Altruism holds that one's highest moral duty is to selflessly serve others--and thus that the world's 'haves' must sacrifice for the sake of its 'have-nots.' The productive, on this abhorrent view, have no moral right to pursue their own interests and keep their wealth; their only justification for existing is to serve the needy. Thus the world's richest nations must atone for their prosperity by sacrificing for the sake of those who lack, or don't care to earn, values.
"Africa is poor because it is rife with bloody tribalism and superstition--ideas that in the Dark Ages kept the Western world as poor, if not poorer, than today's Africa. If aid advocates were genuinely concerned with helping Africans, they would campaign for political and economic freedom, for individualism, reason and capitalism, for the ideas necessary to achieve prosperity.
"Instead, advocates barrage wealthy nations with reproaches and accusations of stinginess. Such abuse is necessary to induce the unearned guilt which impels Western leaders to do penance by sacrificing billions more in aid. While posturing as humanitarians, aid advocates are unmoved by the financial burdens imposed on productive individuals in donor countries who are bled dry to pay for foreign aid.
"It is past time that we repudiated the perverse bandwagon for aid to Africa. We should reject the corrupt moral principle that demands self-sacrifice--and proudly assert our unconditional right to our lives and to our wealth."
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