The usual collection of fabulously rich but economically illiterate show biz twits are going to assemble for Bob Geldof’s Live 8 event timed to coincide with the impending G8 conference in Scotland on 6-8 July. Now God knows lampooning rock ‘n’ roll’s A-list ‘idiocracy’ is fun and easy sport, but I must confess that I have always regarded Geldof as an intellectual cut above your typical gormless entertainer, so perhaps a closer look at what is going on is in order.
Live8 is going to be a freak show, that is for sure, surrounded by pro-poverty activists (by which I mean people who argue for a world structured in a way in which more people will be a great deal poorer) such as identity obsessed feminists, pro-Saddam communists, eco-luddites and all manner of other folks with very strange ideas about the nature of reality.
Yet unlike Live Aid, the objective of which was to raise money to mitigate a clear and present humanitarian disaster in Africa, Live 8 aims to raise political awareness on African poverty. Well that sounds like a splendid idea to me. Clearly the overwhelmingly largest cause of the destitution of large areas of sub-Saharan Africa is cause directly by corrupt African governments. So it would be fair to say that as the main obstacle to African prosperity and liberty is political, then the solution too will need to be political.
To his credit, Tony Blair has often said that it makes little sense to send aid money to corrupt regimes (which makes his infatuation with the UN all the more bizarre, given that it is an institution whose job it is to disburse money which mitigates the political cost of tyranny the world over) and so perhaps if the aim of Live8 is to work up support for the disintermediation of African government from the process of solving African problems, well, that is an idea I could certainly get behind, at least in principle.
Likewise I am all in favour of gathering political support for an end to all trade barriers that keep African products out of First World markets, empowering people at both ends of the trade relationship. Now this is something calculated to split the left in an interesting way as lefties who actually do care about doing something effective for the Third World inevitably succumb to the logic of Free Trade as opposed to the current system of subsidized Western agriculture and discriminated against Third World agriculture.
So it seems to me that although the din of idiotarian drum banging will be deafening, there is actually a fairly laudable message that might, just might, come out of this whole process. Perhaps it is time for some anti-idiotarian meme hacks? I certainly hope Bureaucrash are going to put in an appearance or two in Scotland…