This ebola outbreak is gripping to read about in news reports. It is not the fear of contagion on Western shores but the written and unwritten realities of sub-Saharan Africa. Classic progressive signaling and approved mentionables fill reports. People need to know the horror that is the third world but know who the appropriate villains are for the suffering, poverty and filth. There is much to note and sadly much to discuss about modernity's, as well as decolonization's, adverse effects on Africa.
Start with pictures. I notice an overwhelming presence of white American and European medical professionals. This muat be that white privilege the Tumblr kids mention. Get MD, volunteer in Africa, get ebola. Privilege. What happens without those doctors? Shamans going to cure ebola? No. Haven't we been told of the rapid growth in Africa's population since 1950? Where are the home grown doctors? This can be seen but never discussed in detail because it is the physical manifestation of Western support of sub-Sahara Africa through aid programs.
There are articles trying to pin this on development, but really ebola outbreaks have occurred randomly for decades now. Development and raping the planet is a safe bad thing. An unmentionable is the massive urbanization that involves the filthiest of cities. If these are third world countries, how did a gigantic city like Lagos form and sustain millions? Why did the world foster the rapid urbanization on a society possibly not ready for it? Europeans got there, built cities out of nothing, left, and the society that had not dreamt those cities up was then asked to administer them. The West then helped them blow those cities up ten or thirty times in size and population. Watch if ebola makes it to Lagos. Lagos is 17 million people large compared to 290,000 in 1950. Might massive urban megalopolises act like horrible cauldrons of death with a disease like ebola? Oh yes, but do not question too much or the media would have to explain why those cities boomed yet live in squalor compared to Hong Kong, Tokyo, et cetera.
If they have megacities, how can they be so dysfunctional? The colonial legacy will get the blame but that legacy did not prevent skyscrapers and some urban niceties from being built. What could ever be the problem in Africa. Maybe the inverse correlation of Zimbabwe agricultural production and white population is a clue. Where are the proper medical resources to contain a bodily fluids transmitted disease in a nation of multimillions that has received millions or billions in medical aid for these very diseases? The concept of a quarantine seems to be beyond the grasp of the government or the mindset of the population. Do not just blame the government. These citizens see the disease kill their loved one and do not think of the wider circle or themselves and break quarantine or just leave bodies out for collection like a Monty Python movie. This outbreak has a kill ratio of roughly 50%, which is low for ebola. Usually ebola kills so effectively that it burns out and limits the spread. Not this time, and African dysfunction plays into ebola's strengths.
An honest media and academia would critique decolonization as much as colonialism. The opportunity for grandstanding is there since preventable deaths will occur, and these nations cannot put into effect a quarantine. What made incentives so maddeningly perverse to create cities like Lagos full of corruption, violence and disease yet still sucking in millions more? How is this allowed to stand and become worse each year? No one will dig into this because the answers will hurt too many people and reveal the rotten fruit of US global leadership. Democracy, self determination, HIV, rape and murder. It is a package under Harvard leadership. Diseases with kill ratios over 50% and higher spreading like wildfire are just a special part of the deal.