Live from New York! – Millennium Development Goals Summit

Leaders of the Free World

Leaders of the Free World

So the Cubs have clinched back to back division championships for the first time since our nation’s last depression. Talk about a harbinger of the apocalypse… Obama’s own city is writing Palin’s script. And while we’re putting lipstick on pigs and buying 50cc scooters, our government spends hundreds of billions of dollars to revitalize bad business practices. Didn’t AIG’s ousted CEO get $8 million in severance pay as a thanks for killing our economy? America, America… so full of grace.

Well at least we’re not French. Freedom Fries for everyone! Those lefty fruitcakes are talking about re-colonizing Africa! Who would pour capital into a continent so devastated by famine and disease? Quite possibly the French.

Oh, and over a million Chinese.

“It’s a rich continent: zinc, copper, oil, gas, silver, gold, diamonds… Just for its resources Africa will play a critical role in how the 21st century is shaped.” (Bono: MDG Blog) This is all sounding so familiar. A weakened populace looking only to make a living. Endless resources available to anyone willing to do the work to extract them, and with that endless opportunity for advancement, even riches.

Lost in war, politics, and subprime lending, I wonder how many of us knew that the Millennium Development Goals summit was going on right now? I wonder how many of us actually believe that capitalists would rather invest in American labor and resources than the untapped, exploitable resources and labor in Africa.

I’m excited that Bono and are having success influencing so many world leaders to take action in Africa. I’m equally excited that he’s found a way to demonstrate a symbiotic relationship between social amelioration and profit that the capitalists and leaders of state can buy into. Wait…


I realize that the best hope for the people of Africa is massive foreign investment in infrastructure and production. I realize that the people of Africa should benefit immensely from this program. And yet…

Bono also said “All kill their inspirations and sing about their grief.” I hope we’re not grieving too hard for imperial conquest. That’s an inspiration that needs to stay out of the historiography of resurrection narratives. So I’m guardedly optimistic, though with the move to history this fall, a lot of this is looking familiar. And not in a fun, “Hey remember when we egged that cop car!” kind of way.

Jeffrey Sachs

I’m linking Bono’s blog today from the MDG  just below, and I’ve also set up an RSS feed for it in the sidebar to the right. Bono and Columbia University Economist Jeffrey Sachs will be posting updates for the duration of the summit in New York City.



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