Some Considerations on Kony 2012
The short film Kony 2012 will pull at your heart strings. It evokes that most human emotion: empathy. The mistreatment of children saddens us, even angers us and so it should. But let us consider some of the issues not raised by the film.
In 2009 significant oil reserves were found in Uganda.
Two years later, October 2011, Barack Obama announces the deployment of 100 special forces to Uganda. The troops are there to "train" the Ugandan army.
Then we get the film; Kony 2012. The filmmakers are a "charity" called Invisible Children. The "charity" defines themselves as "A movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers."
Is it naive then to ask why are Invisible Children selling anti-Kony merchandise on the basis that it will show the world that you are "awesome"? Why would a charity even sell merchandise? To raise funds for the cause you might suggest. But why then are the charitable folks at Invisible Children earning a damn good wage? Is charity not meant to be about volunteering?
More important than all of this it has been widely reported that the actual proportion of Invisible Children donations that reaches Uganda is 32%. So if you spend the $30 on merchandising that they suggest, under 10 of those dollars will go to Uganda. How else would folks like Jason Russell manage to live a comfortable middle class life.
Being registered as a charity certainly has its perks. The tax breaks bestowed on "charities" like private schools means some sweet sweet profit for their shareholders. Or do I mean patrons?
Kony and the LRA
But also Kony and his followers are not in Uganda anymore. They are known to have fled to neighbouring countries. So any military incursion into Uganda will have nothing to do with Kony and the LRA. Remember the oil?
The film tells us about the guerrilla's, but for guerrilla's to exist, they have to have someone to fight. We heard nothing of those killed by the state forces, lead by dictator of 26 years; Yoweri Museveni.
Another Liberal Crusade
Around 10,million people have watched the video. A glance through the Youtube comments provides an array of condemnations on how evil and terrible Kony is and how something has to be done
This is to completely miss the point. You could capture him and put him on trial. Then what?
The conditions which breed conflict still remain; those being poverty, dictatorship, dependency and disease. So long as the conditions which breed such horror don't change then nothing will.
Thus, don't waste your time posting a video on Facebook or buying a t-shirt. That solves nothing. Remember the Make Poverty History wristbands? How did that work out?
Nothing less than structural change to the unfair economic system and patterns of geopolitical relations will make the plight of any African better, or proletarian anywhere for that matter.
Joseph Kony is nothing but another in the long line of smokescreens to divert attention from the moribund economic system which plagues the world and kills more people than Kony could ever dream of.
Jumping onto the latest bandwagon put forward by the petit-bourgeois elements of society never succeeds. People have to learn.. Obama's "change", Make Poverty History and now Kony 2012.
Let me make it simple. Obama; smokescreen, band aid; smokescreen, Live Earth; smokescreen, carbon emissions; smokescreen. Gaddafi; smokescreen, Kony; smokescreen. It goes on and it goes on.
Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over again while expecting different results. Thus political liberalism (and I don't mean as in the Democrats) verges on insanity.
The Liberal crusades simply cannot work. The economic system, the grinding poverty it forces on the world is what creates these problems. And Liberals are committed to maintaining the economic system, not revolutionizing it. Therefore, such campaigns can never work because they are inherently flawed as those carrying them out do not have the political will or class awareness required.