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Why do you think Botswana has managed to have a consistent democracy all these years?

Compared to most of the rest of Africa with its coups, counter-coups and the like.
Abstraction · 56-60, M
Botswana's social history meant the Brits didn't screw it up. That's a major reason.

There are quite a number of successful states in Africa - but they don't get publicity.

Many of the problems in Africa were set up deliberately by the colonialists using tribal politics for divide and conquer, the way boundaries were drawn - tactic that goes back to ancient Persians and earlier. Some countries started well but had the leaders overthrown by western interference - like Lumumba.
Allelse · 31-35, M
[@608929,Abstraction] I've looked up a lot of African countries, and it seems that the lack of national identity which came from Europeans drawing and deciding who owned what countries were in Africa, led to a bunch of folk who never liked each other much being crammed into one country. And yep, that's the way to rule, pick the most agreeable locals and make em your civil servants. But I wouldn't give the colonials too much credit, the tribal and religious disagreements amongst the local populous has always been there, as has powerful chaps getting in charge and exploiting the land and people for their own benefit; just look at Shaka, him and Leopold would have gotten on like a house on fire. I looked up Botswana and they are largely of the same tribal people, 79% are of the same people, so I'm sure that has helped too. And while the colonials weren't always the best rulers, at least they ended slavery, and Africa has been Africa for a very long time. Kind of like Russia and China for that matter, regardless of their most recent revolutionary attempts to change. Not that anything excuses colonials coming in and carving Africa up, but at least the British went bananas against slavery, so it wasn't all bad. I remember talking to two chaps once at work, one was arguing for colonial rule and the other was against, and when I was asked with regards to different points of view, all I could answer with was "And that was good" And "And yep, that was bad" without ever ommitting a full gone conclusion, because you cant with places like Africa. Slavery is bad, well the British put an end to that which is good, they carved up and created their own dominions within Africa, normally based off of the natural resources and whatever natives were willing to work with them, well, that's bad, since it's not too nice to go into another person's land and start redrawing borders. They stopped the locals from killing each other, which was good, but at the same time, they were still meddling as always with local politics which was bad. See, the good and the bad. The Africans have been kicking the shit out of each other for a long time now, which is bad, the colonials stopped them from kicking the shit out of each other, which is good, but they did it by exploiting the land and its people for their own gains, which is bad. See what I'm getting at?
Abstraction · 56-60, M
[@415694,Allelse] Yes, I agree it's a complex history and you certainly can't blame all the violence or problems on colonialism. In terms of the way they set up modern states and exploited them, supporting corruption for access to mineral wealth, etc, this is well documented. Many of the worst practices, like hacking off hands and other brutal practices, were introduced by groups like the Belgians.
Africa had significant violence, although not all of Africa was violent. And it's difficult to suggest that Africa was more violent than Europe, with its frequent very bloody wars throughout history and was also party to the slavery for hundreds of years.

Increasingly the evidence is now showing that the rise of civilisations was when human beings became most violent. Prior to that there is little evidence that human beings were brutally savage. This is a really fascinating emerging field.
Allelse · 31-35, M
[@608929,Abstraction] The bloody Belgians, and more specifically King Leopold. Talk about giving imperialism a bad name. Bloody monstrous the things they did in the Congo! You know what is depressing, the countries that did well after the empires went out of fashion, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and so on, they did well because disease helped wipe the natives out. I mean imagine explaining that to the Aliens. "Oh yeas well, some rather large countries formed out of colonialism, but ah, well, that's because the ones we didn't shoot and oppress all died of disease and so we simply took the land that remained as our own. Oh but Africa and Asia, yes well, you see the problem was there were just too many Africans and Asians and not enough Europeans willing to settle there". Has a certain dark sense of humour to it.

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