Africa: Corruption

I’ve been posting about Africa this week mostly because I find it interesting. My guess is most of my readers find the topic a bit dull. Never let it be said you are not getting your money’s worth here at The Z Blog. My interest is mostly anthropological. Africa has been populated by humans longer than anywhere on earth. More important, Africa has not changed a whole lot since modern man debuted on this planet.

Of course, there’s the fact that a billion Africans are sitting around their hut dreaming of life in your neighborhood. My guess is ten percent of them will make their way to Europe and the US over the next 25 years. I’m probably being conservative. The US political class would gladly take 100 million Africans tomorrow. Either way, it’s probably a good idea to get learn a bit about our soon to be fellow “citizens.’

In prior posts, I’ve highlighted the fact that Africa is poor, disease ridden and full of stupid, violent people. That’s not a great recipe for building a competent modern society. One of the great measures of a society is the corruption index. It’s a measure of social trust. Low trust societies cannot engage in complex social investment. High trust societies can create large-scale social institutions.

Here are the numbers for Africa. The lower the number the higher the corruption. As a touchstone, the Anglosphere is in the high 70’s.

Country Name Corruption Country Name Corruption
Algeria 36 Malawi 33
Angola 19 Mali 32
Benin 39 Mauritania 30
Botswana 63 Mauritius 52
Burkina Faso 38 Morocco 39
Burundi 20 Mozambique 31
Cameroon 27 Namibia 49
Cape Verde 57 Niger 35
Central African Republic 24 Nigeria 27
Chad 22 Republic of Sudan 11
Comoros 26 Republic of the Congo 23
DR of the Congo 22 Rwanda 49
Djibouti 34 São Tomé 42
Egypt 37 Senegal 43
Equatorial Guinea 19 Seychelles 55
Eritrea 18 Sierra Leone 31
Ethiopia 33 Somalia 8
Gabon 37 South Africa 44
Ghana 48 Sudan 11
Guinea 25 Swaziland 43
Guinea-Bissau 19 Tanzania 31
Ivory Coast 32 The Gambia 29
Kenya 25 Togo 29
Lesotho 49 Tunisia 40
Liberia 37 Uganda 26
Libya 18 Zambia 38
Madagascar 28 Zimbabwe 21

If you take a simple average, the typical African country is about as corrupt as Mexico. The difference is that Mexico is right next door to a giant economic power with a very high level of social trust. The typical African country is surrounded by countries that are bordering on anarchy. Place like Sudan and Somalia are in the state of nature.

If you are living in one of these countries, you cannot trust anyone from the state. Call the police and they will want a bribe or they will rob you. Go to court and the judge will demand a bribe from you and your opponent. Even if you pay, he may still rob you. The only thing you can really count on are your blood relations and even there the wise man is cautious.

Now, you talk to your cousin Tongo who is back visiting from France and you are going to think that maybe he has it great. The cops don’t ask for bribes. The government gives him free stuff. If someone steals his free stuff he can go to the authorities and they will try to get his stuff back. Even better, there are all sorts of “public” things that are magically maintained and they even work!

The problem is your new neighbors will most likely bring those old habits with them. Africa is a low-trust world because it is full of Africans. Transplant them to Sweden and they are not going to take up curling and start investing themselves in traditional Swedish social life. Europe and probably America is going to become much more African over the next 25 years.

Anarchy in the UK

Anarcho-Tyranny is when the managerial state either loses the will or the capacity to control real criminals so they harass the citizenry. The best example I can conjure is your car. In most American communities, the cops don’t even bother to look for stolen cars. They take a report and put the car in the system. The car could be on fire in front of the station and they don’t bother to notice. Car theft is simply not their concern. That’s the anarchy.

On the other hand, every street corner and intersection now has a camera for spotting violations. In my two mile commute to the office, I pass through a dozen cameras. Then there are the cops looking for broken taillights, drivers not wearing seat belts and any of an endless list of potential violations that have nothing to do with safety. That’s the tyranny.

In Britain, the process is far more advanced than in the US. There, the authorities truly are game keepers, policing every little thing about the public. If I were located in Britain, this blog would have me rotting in prison because I’m obviously a threat to the progress of mankind.

If that sounds farfetched, consider this from yesterday.

A former Monty Python cameraman has been arrested for harassment over a series of homemade satirical posters mocking local councillors.

John Wellard, 71, said the episode was “completely pythonesque” and told the six police officers who arrived at his home on Friday night: “I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition.”

The pensioner was questioned by police for two hours after the police received complaints that a series of light-hearted posters appearing in Faversham, Kent, amounted to harassment of members of the town council.

Residents have been locked in an on-going dispute with councillors over fears the town’s historic creek area will be developed into expensive flats.

In the last few months, posters have been handed around local pubs and posted through doors, along with brown envelopes stuffed with copies of old Venezuelan banknotes bearing the note: “If you find this message please return it to your councillor.”

One poster depicts a Tory councillor on a donkey riding through the town, while another describes the town’s mayor and other local figures as “a growing problem in the heart of Kent”.

Mr Wellard, who refuses to confirm or deny any involvement in the posters, believes his name had been given to Kent Police because one of the posters involved a joke from the 1979 Monty Python film Life of Brian.

He told The Mail: “It was completely Pythonesque. Lampoonery and satire have been part of British public life for centuries.

“Why have six policemen threatened to go through my belongings just because a few feathers have been ruffled? Freedom of speech is being whittled away.”

Mr Wellard, who was interviewed under caution at the local police station, chose to give a ‘no comment’ answer to every question.

“It’s irrelevant who’s done what because I do not believe any offence has been committed,” he said.

“I refused to make any comment, not as a measure of my guilt but I don’t believe that I, or anyone else concerned, have done anything wrong.

“In politics people make criticisms and say all kinds of insulting things – if they can’t take the joke they shouldn’t join.

“When the six police were about to search the house I joked that “I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition”, but it fell a bit flat.

Of course it fell flat. Authoritarianism is humorless and that’s the heart of managerialism. From top to bottom the system is staffed with the narrowest of narrow minded bureaucrats, who live for the chance to fill out forms about the plenary session of the third department’s planning session for the annual meeting to discuss the last annual meeting.

Managerialism is rule by toll booth operator. Every soulless automaton in the system has one job and they are charged to do it with a ruthless efficiency. That’s how they are measured and that’s how they think. Humor, by its nature, is coloring outside the lines and that becomes a high crime in the managerial state

In Britain, Pakistani pimps are permitted to rape little English girls because that is easier for the custodians than the alternatives. That’s the anarchy. The people in the bureaucracy can never look up from their screens long enough to consider the wider implications of their actions. That risks stepping out of line and being noticed for something other than ruthlessly adhering to the rules.

On the other hand, local cut-ups make sport of the mandarins threaten order and that cannot be tolerated so they send out the cops, probably walking right past some Pakistani pimps, to harass an old man over posters. That’s the tyranny and it is coming to the US like a tsunami of sewage.

The Hate That Dare Not Speak Its Name

The riots in Baltimore the other day were pretty mild by the standards of these things. The riots in the late sixties burned out big chunks of major cities, including Baltimore. This riot broke a few windows, mostly in neighborhoods that can’t get much worse. A few broken windows is not going to change much. The big damage was to the tourist trade as the news made it appear that the city was just sacked by the Goths. As a result conventions have been cancelled and who knows how many holiday plans have been altered in order to avoid the city.

The funny thing about these things is we have three narratives. There’s the one from the Cult of Modern Liberalism we get from just about everywhere in the media. That’s the one where the poor, dispossessed blacks have been brutalized by the Pale Penis People to the point where they revolt. Their peaceful protest against the PPP is turned into a riot by overzealous cops, the same cops who killed the poor innocent black body, this time named Freddy Gray.

The trouble with this narrative is it is never supported by the facts. In most of these cases, the truth makes the liberal narrative appear insultingly stupid. Michael Brown was a giant thug. The guy in New York was a career criminal. Freddy Gray appears to have died by accident. Of course, Baltimore is a black city run by blacks and it has a black police force. Whatever problems they have are not the fault of the blue-eyed devil.

Conservative Inc. swings into action with its own spin on things. This piece by Kevin Williamson is fairly typical of their role in the public drama. They point out that the people in charge are all members of the CML and have been following all of the favored policies of the Cult for generations. Their argument is that the riots and the squalor are the logical result of liberal policy making. Kevin’s article makes that case in the specific as well as the general, referencing other dilapidated cities.

The problem here is other cities have extremely liberal governments yet they manage to avoid the mayhem we see in Baltimore or Detroit. Kevin briefly mentions San Francisco, but prefers to focus on the black arrests rates, as if they are somehow unwarranted or out of line with black arrest rates nationwide. He’s ham-handedly trying to argue that the pasty-faced lefties running these cities are bigots. The fact that the Hispanics and Asians seem to be doing just fine in these places is conveniently avoided.

Then there’s the other narrative, the one no one dares say for fear of being labeled a monster. On the television you see young black males mugging for the cameras as they commit pointless acts of mayhem. You see blacks running from burning stores with arms full of goods. Of course, the liquor store is robbed and you see blacks carrying away the liquor and beer. These scenes are narrated by the same old voices saying the same old things. To spice it up, they interview a local, who mumbles through the interview, confirming everything you see on TV.

This, of course, is the simple reality of places like Baltimore, Detroit, East St. Louis and so on. When the government banned private discrimination in in the 1960’s, whites fled the cities to avoid having to send their kids to school with blacks. Responsible and intelligent blacks tried to keep it together, but they threw in the towel in the 80’s and 90’s when crack turned American cities into war zones. They headed for the suburbs to live with the whites. What’s left in these urban reservations are low-IQ violent nitwits.

Of course, no one is allowed to say any of this in public. Racial solidarity requires blacks, who know better, to defend their dimwitted brothers rioting in the streets. Liberal whites think there’s profit in the riots so they cast about for a black hat on whom to pin the blame. Crime thinkers like John Derbyshire believe that the truth of things will eventually will out. I think John is right that reality will always win eventually, but I know I’ll never live to see it. Everyone alive today is too deeply invested in the myth that if we just turn the right knobs and push the right buttons, biology will be overcome. Fantasy is powerful stuff.

The fantasists may be onto something though. Baltimore has about 200,000 people that are useless. The males just want to commit crimes, get high and screw. The females just want to get high and screw. The city would love to ship them off somewhere, but somewhere does not want them either. John Derbyshire’s dream of race realism is not going to change the fact we have a lot of useless people and nowhere to send them.

Maybe we’re better off leaving reality as the hate that dare not speaks its name. The fantasy keeps everyone committed to papering over reality and doubling down after each failure. Ferguson will fade away and those people will go back to doing what they were doing before they got famous. Baltimore will go back to being Baltimore. The dogs will bark and the caravan will move on.

Africa: IQ

This has been Africa week at the blog. The Dark Continent is an endlessly fascinating place for some of us in the Occident, primarily because it is such a baffling place. That and the greatest degree of human genetic diversity exists in sub-Saharan Africa. As much as it pains many white people, the cradle of humanity is Africa.

I see Steve Sailer has gotten in on the act this week. His angle of entry is, as always, immigration. There are a billion Africans in their huts right now thinking about how life would be much better in a country not run by Africans so it is a good place to start. African migration is driven by sky high fertility rates and that’s a unique feature of Africa. Everywhere else has figured out how to stabilize fertility.

That brings me to another metric to consider and that’s national IQ. I used the list here from Richard Lynn, Tatu Vanhanen and Jelte Wicherts. I spot checked some figures against other sources and that list seems to square with others so I’m using it here. Raw numbers are not important. Relative IQ is what we’re after.

Here’s the consolidated version for Africa:

Country Name IQ Country Name IQ
Libya 83.00 Mali 74.00
Mauritius 76.00 Cameroon 64.00
Egypt 81.00 Equatorial Guinea 59.00
Sierra Leone 91.00 Algeria 83.00
Morocco 84.00 Nigeria 84.00
Tunisia 83.00 Chad 68.00
Cape Verde 76.00 Liberia 67.00
Comoros 77.00 Burundi 69.00
Madagascar 82.00 Angola 68.00
Eritrea 85.00 Namibia 74.00
Senegal 76.00 Niger 69.00
Tanzania 72.00 Rwanda 70.00
Mauritania 76.00 São Tomé 67.00
Seychelles 86.00 Mozambique 64.00
Sudan 71.00 CAR 71.00
Republic of the Congo 78.00 Kenya 80.00
Djibouti 68.00 Somalia 68.00
Benin 70.00 Ivory Coast 69.00
Guinea-Bissau 67.00 Uganda 84.00
Ghana 73.00 Republic of Sudan 71.00
Gabon 64.00 Malawi 69.00
Togo 70.00 Botswana 70.00
South Africa 77.00 Lesotho 67.00
Ethiopia 69.00 The Gambia 66.00
DR of the Congo 78.00 Swaziland 68.00
Guinea 67.00 Zambia 79.00
Burkina Faso 68.00 Zimbabwe 82.00

What jumps out here is you have scads of people in many of these countries with the cognitive skills of the retarded bag boy at your local grocery market. Africa has a very small smart fraction and a very large not so smart fraction. In order to conduct any large scale public projects, you need people smart enough to think of them, but also a large cohort that is bright enough to implement them.

Africa is, in many respects, the exact opposite of what is required for a modern complex society. Steve Sailer seems to think Africans can be trained to used condoms and birth control to reduce fertility rates, but that may not be possible. There’s a reason that white trash girls from the trailer parks get knocked up as teenagers. They are simply not smart enough to think beyond the moment.

Putting that aside, the issue for Europe is how many of these low-IQ people can they reasonably absorb into their societies? Modern, automated societies require far fewer people who can only provide labor. Europe, on its own, can supply all of the low end labor it needs. Bringing in 75-IQ Africans may help bolster the local soccer team, but at what cost?

Of course, part of why these numbers are what they are is that every African with something on the ball left a long time ago. Africa has been boiling off its high-IQ population for generations. If you are someone in Ghana, for example, who speaks English and has a 105 IQ, you are getting out of Ghana at the first opportunity. Those left behind breeding like rabbits are the low-IQ nitwits.

In this regard, the best thing Europeans countries could do is send the high-IQ Africans they have now back home. Skimming off the smart fraction is part of why Africa is such a mess. The world has plenty of funky sounding guys at the UN and World Bank. What the world lacks are native Africans with the wherewithal to run a sane country in Africa.

Lunch as a Religious Statement

This post the other day on NRO is a good reminder about how religions work, how they have to work. That is, every choice and every action is set against the tenets of the faith to be judged. Born Again Christians used to wear WWJD bracelets as a reminder that their faith commands them to live as Jesus would live. Muslims pray five times a day in order to remain in communication with god and, presumably, obedient to god.

That’s the way it has to be with religions. They are either all consuming or nothing. After all, if you can be a part-time Catholic, for example, what’s the point of Catholicism? Similarly, if you can pick and choose what parts of the faith to follow and which to reject, you cannot plausibly be of the faith. You can’t be on the team unless you follow the rules, all of the rules, exactly as described.

It’s why faithful Christians worry about watching Game of Thrones (apparently). The Bible makes no mention of the show so it is not clear if God condemns it or supports it. That leaves the faithful to puzzle through it looking for the correct answer. It strikes the secular ear as weird and silly, but when everything is experienced through the lens of a religion, religion is everything.

It is why I argue liberalism is a religion. It demands the adherents immerse themselves in the faith and judge everything through the lens of the faith. When you talk with a moonbat, it does not take long before they are hectoring you about some outrage or another. Even discussions of the weather will eventually turn into a debate about global warming. They may not sport crucifixes, but they are going to signal their commitment to the one true faith and proselytize if the chance arises.

A good example is this innocuous story about McDonald’s. The burger chain is the quintessential symbol of core America. it is the place where suburban moms have been taking their kids for fifty years. People around the world know the golden arches better than any other symbol of America. But, tastes change  and, like America, McDonald’s is on the decline. The article contains some “solutions” to their decline.

People are increasingly seeking out vegetarian options, even if they’re not converting into strict vegetarians, said Paul Shapiro, a spokesman for The Humane Society of the United States. He said that means it’s time McDonald’s offers a vegetarian option.

Shapiro noted that many other chains already court people who feel like skipping meat. Chipotle introduced a vegan topping called Sofritas. Denny’s and Johnny Rockets have veggie burgers, and White Castle recently said it would make veggie sliders a permanent part of its menu after their popularity as a limited time offer.

“So many of McDonald’s competitors are serving plant-based entrees, and McDonald’s is lagging behind,” Shapiro said.

Despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, faithful Progressives still believe vegetables please the gods in some magical way.

In a column in The Chicago Tribune, Easterbrook said he wants to transform McDonald’s into “modern, progressive burger company on many fronts,” focusing on perceptions about its food and workers.

It came right after McDonald’s said it would raise the starting wage for workers to $1 above the local minimum wage. But labor organizers — who are calling for $15 an hour and union — said the move falls far short especially since it only applies to company-owned stores, which account for a tenth of U.S. locations.

Robert Reich, former labor secretary and a supporter of the Fight for $15 campaign, said raising wages across the chain would not only mend the chain’s image as an employer, but lower its worker turnover and help business.

Here’s you see the lunacy of the progressive faith. Fast food is for working class people, for the most part. Jacking up wages means jacking up food prices. But, that’s a big part of the liberal faith. Deep down, they hate poor people. Therefore, their preferred solution for McDonald’s is to transform it into something not McDonald’s.

Ronald McDonald has been a source of tension among some who say the chain uses its mascot to market unhealthy food to children. By retiring the red-headed clown, McDonald’s could start rebuilding its trust with many moms, said Jesse Bragg, spokesman for Corporate Accountability International, which has criticized the company’s marketing practices.

“It’s clear this brand has lost the trust of people,” he said.

Those who make a career of impersonating Ronald shouldn’t worry, though. Although he had faded to the background for a couple years, McDonald’s has defended its spokesclown as a “force of good.” Last year, it even gave him a new outfit and said he would be appearing on its social media sites more.

One of the more bizarre aspects of modern liberalism is the duality. On the one hand they give lip service to the old commie themes of anti-capitalism like marketing and sales. On the other, they really love money, as we see with liberal lions like Elizabeth Warren and the Clintons. The disdain for overt money chasing works best when the adherent has money. That way they can pretend their riches are due to their goodness, not their greed. McDonald’s using a clown to sell burgers is gauche.

Africa: Disease Rates

The Ebola outbreak in Africa brought a few things about Africa to the public’s attention. One is the fact that people eat bats in Africa. First world people don’t think much about Africa, but the image of people eating bats is a jarring reminder that Africa is nothing like the rest of the world.

Of course, lot of Africans are moving out of Africa into the rest of the world. This summer we are sure to have the suicidal Western media moaning about the millions of Africans trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. If you are willing to cross the desert and the Mediterranean in order to live in a European ghetto, it is safe to assume you’re fleeing someplace much worse.

The question is just how awful are these countries?

Yesterday I posted about the murder rates. Getting murdered is the worst thing that can happened to you in any country. The next worst thing, I think, is getting some horrible disease like Ebola or AIDS. Worse yet, dying from curable things like cholera or measles that are beyond the individual’s ability to avoid. One can avoid sex and bat eating, but you have to drink water.

Disease rates are one of those things that drive migrants to and from countries. It’s a natural instinct. Anthropologists think Sub-Saharan Africans did not advance beyond simple village systems because of disease. Large population centers would be disease magnets. The better response is small isolated villages with a natural hostility to outsiders.

Given the communications revolution, even the most backward in Africa know that Brits and Franks don’t regularly die from the runs. They get their broken bones mended and no one rots to death in their hut for want of medical care.

Here’s the disease rates from WHO for Africa:

Country Name Disease
Country Name Disease
Libya 974.18 Mali 16123.99
Mauritius 1027.27 Cameroon 16696.47
Egypt 1208.84 Equatorial Guinea 17396.06
Sierra Leone 1295.18 Algeria 17785.00
Morocco 1336.15 Nigeria 17976.10
Tunisia 1425.32 Chad 18199.74
Cape Verde 3558.65 Liberia 18575.71
Comoros 5218.65 Burundi 18706.93
Madagascar 7071.54 Angola 19078.39
Eritrea 7081.69 Namibia 19094.46
Senegal 7931.82 Niger 19113.87
Tanzania 8692.63 Rwanda 19857.85
Mauritania 8766.12 São Tomé 20028.42
Seychelles 9251.88 Mozambique 20148.13
Sudan 9923.59 C. African Republic 20453.29
Republic of the Congo 9923.59 Kenya 20742.34
Djibouti 10816.33 Somalia 21162.37
Benin 10870.93 Ivory Coast 21244.21
Guinea-Bissau 11303.92 Uganda 22335.54
Ghana 11517.62 Republic of Sudan 22646.43
Gabon 12506.99 Malawi 28720.38
Togo 14131.60 Botswana 32483.12
South Africa 14369.42 Lesotho 32692.74
Ethiopia 14752.42 The Gambia 32765.00
DR of the Congo 15033.42 Swaziland 33428.76
Guinea 15144.15 Zambia 34593.00
Burkina Faso 15706.29 Zimbabwe 57454.07

These numbers are for all infectious, parasitic diseases per 100,000. Not all disease is deadly, but without proper health care, even the flu can be deadly. That’s the utility of disease rates as a metric. High disease rates suggest not only something about the ecology and culture; they tells us how the population is organizing to address public health.

As expected, the countries in the Maghreb have the lowest disease rates in Africa. As with the homicide numbers, the accuracy of the data is a problem. In the West we track this stuff closely. No one has the slightest idea of how many drop dead from the runs in places like Eritrea.

For the sake of comparison, Iceland is 157 per 100,000. Most of Europe is around 175, even tropical places like Greece. Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Eurasia is 1545, similar to Arab North Africa. The US is at 330 and that’s with absorbing 30 million people from tropical fever swamps.

Some of these numbers are mind boggling. If you are an African in a place like Mali, why would you not take your chances on that leaky boat over the Mediterranean. The odds of being killed at sea are lower than dying from tuberculosis back home, if you are not murdered by a local thug.

The Democrats

The recent revelations about the Clinton slush fund has reminded everyone that the very worst said about the Clintons is the tip of the iceberg. There’s always more slime under the next stone. They are the Snopes family of the Ozarks. Their vermin-like rapacity is boundless, unimaginably boundless. Official Washington is not exactly the genteel Sartoris clan, but the old order of Washington simply lacks the capacity to deal with a moral nullity like Bill or Hillary.

That’s why I’m a little skeptical of the tut-tutting over the latest shenanigans. The American political class no longer has the will to police itself. The name of the game these days is to sell/steal everything that is not nailed down and that’s how dirt-bags like the Clintons have flourished. It was not that long ago when their kind would not have been welcome in the halls of power. They would have had to feed off the mountain folk in Arkansas.

Still, the chattering skulls are going on about how this opens the door for Fake Indian to run. I guess they have to talk about something, but anyone who knows anything knows she is not running. Even if Hillary quits the field and leaves a wide open race, Fake Indian will not run because she knows how things work in the Cult of Modern Liberalism.

One big reason the Cult hates Hillary is she is a loser. In 1992 she was given the job of ushering in a national health care system to replace the semi-private arrangements we have now. She bungled it badly and killed the issue for two decades. Worse yet, the resulting political fallout led her husband to throw the Left overboard to save his skin.

Fake Indian knows that the Cult is intolerant of losers. Lose an election and you’re done. If she were to run for president and lose the primary, she would be a loser and the vultures would be circling. There’s a Kennedy warming up on Congress for her seat and you can be sure he would be running in 2018 if Fake Indian were to run for president and lose. It’s not like Fake Indian has the support of the local machine. She’s a carpetbagger who depends on the support of the Cult.

Her better play is to let a stooge like O’Malley run against Hillary. Meanwhile, she can rant and rave from the well of the Senate about how her billionaire friends don’t do their fair share. She can run in 2018 with the promise she will step aside to let the next Kennedy take the seat in 2024. That will take her into retirement and she will never fall afoul of her coreligionists.

O’Malley, on the other hand, is the perfect off-cycle stooge. He has nothing to lose and nothing to do right now. Maryland is a small state located next to the Imperial Capital. That means there’s few local shakedowns available for ex-pols. He could run for Senate, but running for president is a better deal right now. It let’s him make connections all over the country, which means a high paying job at a lobbying firm after he loses.

Alternatively, he could raise his profile and set himself up for a Senate run in a couple of years. Ben Cardin is old and ready for the home so that seat will be open in 2018. A famous liberal with lots of rich friends will have no trouble winning that seat. It’s a no-lose proposition for O’Malley so he may as well be the Cult’s champion against Hillary.

My bet is Butch ends up as the nominee.

Africa: Murder Rates

Africa is much in the news of late. The Europeans are learning that Muammar Gaddafi may have been a flamboyant nut, but he was pretty good at keeping the people to the south from heading north. Since his demise, sub-Saharan Africans have been heading north, hoping to get into Europe. The Moslem lunatics are promising to open the floodgates unless something magical happens. Hundreds are drowning in the Mediterranean and you can be sure that number will only rise.

So, just how bad is it in Africa?

I thought it would be useful to look at the key metrics for measuring the awfulness of a country. The wonder of our age is that this sort of data is at our fingertips. If you want to know something about Equatorial Guinea, for example, you don’t have to go there, which is probably a good thing given that their ruler is a cannibal. But, perhaps my good friend Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is getting a bad rap.

There’s a lot of data so I decided to think about it in personal terms. If I were to move to Africa, I would take stock of the things important to me. When you move to a new home, you think about the schools, the neighborhood, crime, the commute to work etc. That strikes me as a sensible way of looking at Africa. After all, a whole lot of Africans want to leave for some personal reason.

The first thing to consider is the murder rate, which is a good proxy for overall crime. I can tolerate most anything, except being murdered. In the US, the murder rate is 4.7 per 100,000, but we all know the truth of those numbers. Net out the black rate and the number drops in half. Look just at whites and the rate is within the norm for a European country, which is below 2.0.

Here’s a table of murder rates for Africa:

Country Name Murder Rate Country Name Murder Rate
Algeria 0.70 Angola 10.00
Libya 1.70 Comoros 10.00
Malawi 1.80 Djibouti 10.10
Sierra Leone 1.90 The Gambia 10.20
Tunisia 2.20 Cape Verde 10.30
Morocco 2.20 Togo 10.30
Mauritius 2.80 Zimbabwe 10.60
Senegal 2.80 Uganda 10.70
Liberia 3.20 Zambia 10.70
São Tomé 3.30 Madagascar 11.10
Egypt 3.40 Sudan 11.20
Niger 4.70 Central African Rep 11.80
Mauritania 5.00 Ethiopia 12.00
Ghana 6.10 Mozambique 12.40
Kenya 6.40 Republic of the Congo 12.50
Eritrea 7.10 Tanzania 12.70
Chad 7.30 Ivory Coast 13.60
Mali 7.50 Republic of Sudan 13.90
Cameroon 7.60 Namibia 17.20
Burkina Faso 8.00 Botswana 18.40
Burundi 8.00 Equatorial Guinea 19.30
Somalia 8.00 Nigeria 20.00
Benin 8.40 Rwanda 23.10
Guinea-Bissau 8.40 DR of the Congo 28.30
Guinea 8.90 South Africa 31.00
Gabon 9.10 Swaziland 33.80
Seychelles 9.50 Lesotho 38.00

The numbers are from the UN so we should assume some fudging to make these countries look a little better. They also exclude war so the violent death rates is surely much higher. To give some perspective, the hardest thumping ghettos in America have a homicide rate in the 30’s.

On the other hand, New York City has a homicide rate of 4.0, below the national average. London has a rate of 1.6. Berlin is at 1.8 and Paris is at 1.0. The worst city in Europe is Amsterdam (legal weed, obviously) with a murder rate of 4.4. If you’re an African in Eritrea or Mali, north looks like a good option. It’s safer crossing the Mediterranean than crossing your own village.

The other piece to this is that these murder rates exclude war and they rely on local reporting, which is never going to be very good. Lots of people disappear every day in these countries and they never end up on official reports. That’s why I included the counties of the Maghreb in the table. Libya is certainly not the low violence utopia imagined in these UN reports.

Just looking at the violence rates, it is easy to see why the Africans are heading north. They live in hyper-violent societies. Even though the trip north is wildly dangerous, it pales in comparison to daily life in most of these places.

The Ghetto Welcomes You

Baltimore calls itself “Charm City” because they used to have a sense of humor. The city is one of the least charming places on earth and it used to be a lot worse. At its peak, Baltimore was a gray, dumpy industrial town. Today, it’s Detroit on the Chesapeake with a better tourist area. Otherwise, Baltimore is an unrelenting shithole that should probably be given the Dresden treatment.

That tourist area is a big draw, particularly the ballpark. I’ve been to most of the ballparks in the US and Camden Yards is right up their near the top of the list. The park is a great place to watch a game and the surrounding blocks offer some great places to eat and drink. The Federal architecture is some of the best you will see.

Beyond that, and much closer than the tourists realize, are my people. Most Americans just don’t know what’s lurking in many of our cities. They stay off of streets named Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Everyone knows where to avoid, even if they don’t exactly know why. It’s as if their mental map has these places labeled “here be monsters.”

But, urban reservations are not a great way to keep the blacks under control unless you are willing to enforce the borders. If you let the wildlings break free of their areas and get into the tourist areas, you get scenes like last night. The hoodlums and corner boys will join in the fun and start doing what they do best, cause mayhem.

Baltimore is a good example of what happened when Progressives are allowed to rule unchecked. West Baltimore is a scary black ghetto and the main hub for narcotics trafficking in the region. If you ever want to understand why I think libertarians are fools, go to West Baltimore, but do it in the morning hours when the locals are asleep.

The rest of the city is a mix of gentrified hipsterville, old industrial and un-workingclass whites. The poor white areas are just poor white areas. Modest crime, mostly drugs, but otherwise no trouble to anyone. The hipster areas are the tax base and the future of the city, it is hoped, but they are bounded by the more rugged areas of the city.

Unlike New York or Washington, Baltimore can’t ship their problem blacks out to the suburbs. Whites fled Baltimore in the 60’s and 70’s and they are wise to this tactic. Some of it has been done Ferguson style by preying on the poorer white suburbs just outside the city, but it is hard to relocate 300,000 blacks without people noticing. The result is they remain in the urban reservation system built up fifty or more years ago.

In years past, Baltimore has tried to import Hispanics into the city hoping they would drive out the blacks. The last white Mayor and current presidential candidate spent years begging Hispanics to move to Baltimore. This worked in DC, but there was a close suburb able to take the refugees. Prince Georges County absorbed the blacks from DC on Section 8 vouchers. This mostly happened in the housing boom, which is why PG County was one of the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

But, Baltimore is not built for this type of ethnic cleansing. Hispanics prefer the safety of the surrounding counties where there are jobs and fewer black guys with guns. The result in Baltimore is sort of frozen in place. On the one hand you have the promise of the gentrified areas, but those areas are surrounded by a city run by the Black Guerrilla Family.

Drive around Baltimore and you can’t help but feel a little sad. There’s a lot of potential, but it is a city that seems to look for the wrong answer at every turn. Then again, the right answer, the one everyone sort of knows, can never be said, much less implemented. Frankly, shuffling these people from place to place like a bizarre game of Old Maid means someone gets stuck with the dysfunctional population. That’s Baltimore.