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POLS 3000 October 17 2013 Politics of Africa.docx

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 3000
Ian Spears

October 17 2013 POLS 3000 POLS 3000 October 17 2013 Politics of Africa Mobutu’s Ostentatious Life Style Mobutu said to have had billions of dollars when he was in power but after he died only a few million were found Goldsmith indicates that because being a leader in Africa is dangerous it invokes corruption because it leads to hording money If you are a leader the risk involved is 16 times greater than the most dangerous job in the United States If you think your life is dangerous you are more likely to steal money while you still can So political instability becomes self-fulfilling And then everyone perceives that the leader is corrupt and thus want to over throw him or her Only advances the date of the next rebellion Goldsmith= liberal perspective Predictable election: soft landing won’t die when losing an election Why is Arthur Goldsmith ultimately wrong? The alleged four billion dollars could not be found He did have the money once Mobutu’s wealth was instrumental in keeping the country (large, diverse, colonial made country) together Zaire, now Congo Cannot afford to stash huge amounts of money Money always has a political purpose He was corrupt (3.4 million) For all of the dysfunction that seemed to characterize Zaire’s politics at the time in light of the way the Congo has descendant since his departure one might say it was preferable then, than it is now He did not have to result to violence in the same way other African leaders did and do People have long been interested in the idea of civil society as a concept Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (p. 513) “Americans of all ages, all station in life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations. There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but other of a thousand different types _ religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited immensely large and very minute….” “In every case, at the head o any new undertaking where in France you would find the government or in England some territorial magnate,
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