Perspectives From a Vantage Point

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Opinion

Somalia, the libertarian “paradise”

Somalia was ruled by Marxists from 1976 until the civil war and collapse of the state –  run by the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party politburo. Since that time Somalia has been a stateless society.

The progressive left often relishes destroying strawman version of libertarianism by pointing to a country destroyed by a bunch of socialist “experts” who thought they knew how to run other people’s lives better than people themselves could – former communist country, Somalia. Somalia, to them, is an example of what it would be like to live in “libertopia”.

I am not an anarchist by any stretch of imagination. But I found this article quite interesting, especially, coming from BBC of all places.

The main markets of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, are busy places, giving the impression that business is brisk.

It is not just the daily needs of food and clothing that are available. The latest electronic gadgets can also be bought.

What would somali’s do without an FCC to allocate spectrum to their favorite cronies?

The business success story of the last 20 years has been the growth of the mobile telecommunications sector.

Somali telecoms expert Ahmed Farah says the first mobile telephone mast went up in Somalia in 1994, and now someone can make a mobile call from anywhere in the country.

Of course, there are always young men with large guns in many of these images of Somalia. I have never been to Somalia, so I don’t know how pervasive this phenomenon is. However, if this were a dictatorship, with young men in uniform carrying those guns, somehow people feel better than they would from seeing men without uniform carrying similar weaponry.

Somalia is no paradise, neither are most of the countries in the continent of Africa. It wouldn’t be fair to compare Somalia to those of the West, but compared to it neighbours, I would say Somalia is doing alright, and  may be much better than most.

Further Reference:

Stateless in Somalia – Ben Powell

Somalia after State Collapse: Chaos or Improvement ( working paper )