Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bamako - The Movie


Bamako Mali has the reputation of being one of the most 'african' places in Africa, eg, authentic environs, kind people, mostly from the same ethnic group - the European governments didnt divide the indigenous peoples apart, desert climate, the long-and-wide River Niger running right through the middle of town, thriving markets, post-Soviet-supported government, with the colonials making less of dent in the local culture than they did in other places because, well, it is in the middle of the desert, not a nice coastal-beach metropolis like so many other colonial cities.

The new film called Bamako is out in NYC today. One of the first things you learn in economics school is that journalists and the mainstream media know nothing about economics (this could be snobbism or predictable public choice behaviour but 90% of the time it seems true except in the business sections of newspapers).

Anyway in the NY Times today they review Bamako and said the film is a about a trial, "On trial is not a person but the World Bank - which is to say, global capitalism - itself." I wish. The World Bank is not capitalism, it is 1) crony capitalsim, 2) state-capitalism, and 3) monopoly capitalism, but it is not free-market capitalism. "The Bank", as insiders call it, gives subsidized monies to inefficient governments that don't deserve, waste it, then stick their peoples with the debt. That is not capitalism. In the Austrian Economics version of capitalism, people interact with each other freely, the state enforces contracts and keeps the peace, and civil society takes care of their own.

The movie's probably pretty good though as Bamako is a wonderful place, despite the presence of neo-imperalists like "The Bank".