There are also positive news in developing countries

The media in the developed countries never offer positive news of the developing countries. They only talk about Africa, Latin America or Southeast Asia when there are hurricanes, terrible diseases, wars or famine, but without mentioning that they are caused by the war lords that have converted hunger into the weapon against their enemies.
I want to highlight two positive news in Africa and Asia, which can help us change our attitude in front of the existing lack of motivation.
During half a century, South Africa suffered a gruesome apartheid in which the white minority, 13 percent of the population, subjugated the black majority and exploited the resources in its own benefit. But that regime failed and, since 1994, gave way to the Republic presided by Nelson Mandela and by a chosen group of excellent black collaborators that won the struggle against the apartheid.
Starting twelve years ago, yesterday’s excluded people are in power and have moved away those who enslaved them, but letting them live peacefully in the country. Something not very usual in such a revolution because it is an authentic revolution without blood or paybacks. When the regime change took place, some prophets of doom declared on newspapers, “Those blacks are incapable of making the economy of a developed country work. South Africa will crumble like Zaire did.”
But we have seen the success in Nelson Mandela’s management in the first place and in Thabo Mbeki  and his cabinet afterwards until it received a public acknowledgement from the IMF: an annual economic growth of 4 percent, a controlled inflation, order in the financial system, a solid currency, enough monetary reserves and an excellent reputation in front of investors. Let’s not forget that during the apartheid, economic growth never surpassed a 1 percent and always lived under the shadow of red numbers.
True is that poverty has not disappeared and that unemployment, as well as inequalities, continue to be scandalous, but in a couple of decades, with this economic model and without making experiments with imposed wars, the economic miracle will become a reality because they have chosen the right path.
Therefore, we go from the ideological domain to the political one: when black leaders have access to power, they are not worse than the white European ones if they count on honest and prepared guides as it has been the case in South Africa. It was not a matter of the skin, but rather of adequate training, about responsibility and of knowing they are backed by a democratically elected majority whereas, during the apartheid, leaders obeyed to an oligarchy.
Another admirable case refers to the most populated giants of the planet: China and India.
The former has an autocratic regime directed by a party that still denominates itself as Communist; it controls the political and the economic powers. The latter refers to a surprising democracy that works since sixty years ago and is the largest democracy in what democracy concerns: more than one billion people.
China launched itself in 1978 to an unstoppable economic growth, reaching an annual 9 percent, based on exports and on foreign investment. A less centralized India and with more democratic institutions and controls has a slight delay in comparison to China, but it glides more cautiously.
The different attitude in front of two monumental challenges lies there: in the fight against poverty, China has rid 30 percent of its people (400 million people), while India has been able to do the same with 70 million people, around 7 percent of the total population.
In the struggle against hunger, India comes first. They have eradicated the famine that diminished the population during the colonial period and has not experienced a single one in the last fifty years. In the meantime, Mao’s China came across with a terrible one that killed 30 million people from 1959 to 1961 due to the communist planning error.
In the beginning of this century, one-party China maintains a faster development than the one in democratic India, and the average annual income of the Chinese reaches 1,300 dollars, compared to 650 dollars in India.
Could we say that an oligarchic dictatorship is more efficient than democracy when a fast economic development to pull out a country from poverty is at stake? It is not proved that the stagnant Chinese system is not going to burst in some way due to its incoherent model of “one country, two systems.” While in India, with a less rushed system where the control of democratic institutions allow the power alternation.
The good news is that polls have been done, asking the population of it would prefer a faster growth (8 or 9 percent instead of 6 or 7 percent) with the risk of losing their democratic conquests in which they live since sixty years ago. The majority said no: in India, people prefer to become developed at their own rhythm while they preserve their democratic conquests.
We are overtaken by hope when not everything is disaster and corruption in developing countries But this does not seem to catch the media’s attention, or that of the people who control them.

* Professor of Political Thought (UCM) and CCS Director
   Translated by Carlos Miguélez