BandAid Bollocks

Kim_Il-sung Grand modernising efforts – from Stalin’s collectivisation in the Soviet Union to Nyerere’s farms in Tanzania – are rarely just about modernising. Inevitably they are about mapping, centralising, bureaucratising and controlling people who don’t quite fit in the systems used by our betters.

You know, the sorts of things our professionally- and ostentatiously-rebellious pop singers would usually rail against.

Which brings me to Band Aid, started in 1984 by St Bob Geldof, an organisation best known for producing the execrable “Do They Know It’s Christmas” in the same year.

Reviewing the catalogue of the great catastrophes of high modernism reminded me of how a batch of well-monied pop fools got behind Marxist loon Mengistu Haile Mariam, one of the worst and most extreme social engineers in human history.

And of how, in 1984, just as Geldof and Midge Ure were producing pap for future generations, he ramped up an evil and death-dealing forced resettlement and agricultural change program that had been running for years. Ethiopia had been struggling under Marxist rule and civil war since 1977, so it was no surprise. To anyone but bleeding heart guitar players.

As Prof James Scott points out:

The policy anticipated the eventual resettlement of all 33 million rural Ethiopians…

A full appreciation of the toll of forced resettlement in Ethiopia extends far beyond the standard reports of starvation, executions, deforestation, and failed crops. The new settlements nearly always failed their inhabitants as human communities and as units of food production.

So why, now we have the benefit of 30 years of hindsight, hasn’t St Bob put together an anthem like ‘Don’t They Know Big Government Socialism Kills People?”, or “Free the World”?

We all know the answer. Because when it comes to sanctimonious singers, they don’t think, and they don’t care. They only want to seem to.

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