In the Footsteps of Zheng He

One link in Nick Land’s weekly “Chaos Patch” roundup: A dustup in Kenya involving a Chinese restauranteur accused of excluding natives.

“There’s a whole lore in China, where Africa has attained this image of this El Dorado: a place [that] with very little experience and little capital, you can start up your own companies, you can attain land, you can engage very profitably in trade, you can strike it rich quickly.”

El Dorado: Exactly what pops up in my cortex when someone says “Africa”!

Now I knew Africa is fantastically rich in mineral wealth. Close your eyes and pick a random element of the periodic table; it’s right likely mined in the Dark Continent. Vanadium? Check. Ruthenium? Yep. Platinum? Sure thing. Carbon? We have that in liquid and crystallized form, sir.

But the idea that an immigrant can make bank engaging in trade and service … Kenya’s nominal GDP per capita is $1100. And Kenya, Wikipedia tells us, “has a well-developed social and physical infrastructure [and] is considered the main alternative location to South Africa for major corporations seeking entry into the African continent.” Got to be some Chinese emigrating to poorer African nations.

For those of you who think all human races have uniform neurological traits:

Chinese people with “little experience” and “little capital”, who are immigrants, who probably don’t even know the language: They can “strike it rich” in Africa, while native Africans so obviously cannot.

How does that work?