(Centennial Fellow) Why have diplomats from the underdeveloped nations of the world been clamoring in Copenhagen for something to be done about global warming? Why did the burned-out Marxists of the world protest in the streets of Copenhagen for an even greater redistribution of wealth worldwide?

Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe, in his speech at the conference, blamed that nation’s poverty not on his own Marxist tyranny and economic mismanagement, but on “the planet-unfriendly model of development pursued by…the so-called highly-industrialised developed world, all to our collective detriment.” He was followed by Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez, who praised “socialism [as] the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell….let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.”

This is not about Global Warming. It is about fleecing productive nations, draining them of the capital which could lift the world economy out of its pit. It’s about redistributing that capital to unproductive nations, where it will disappear down a rat hole. This is a reincarnation of the Marxism-Leninism that killed over a hundred million people in the last century.

In the nineteenth century Europeans poured millions into their colonies throughout the underdeveloped world in hopes of a return on their investment. After the devastation of two world wars, those European powers could no longer afford to prop up these failing regions, so they let them go to fend for themselves.

Franz Fanon, radical Marxist and guru of post-colonial studies, called for the “Wretched of the Earth” to violently rise up against their colonial masters, whom he claimed had exploited them and ruined their lands. Actually Europeans brought modern technology and economic development which began to lift the underdeveloped world out of their primitive desperation. They built railroads, hospitals and schools, and worked to make their land productive and prosperous.

But when independence came they became even more “wretched”, sinking back into poverty and desperation. When the British left Ghana, its GNP was equal to that of South Korea, the largest producer of cocoa in the world and with the finest harbor in Sub-Saharan Africa. A few decades later it was one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP 3% of South Korea’s.

In the twentieth century two superpowers, the US and the USSR, poured billions into their client states throughout the underdeveloped world in hopes of either encouraging or discouraging the growth of world-wide communism. As the Cold War ended, foreign aid dried up and unproductive nations of the world sunk once again into poverty and desperation, with only paltry sums from cash-strapped NGOs to support them.

All foreign aid has produced has been economic dependence, perpetuation of poverty, and bitterness toward the very people who help them. Now the underdeveloped world clamors again for funds to prop up their corrupt regimes, funds that hardly filter down below the government officials whose incomes are hundreds of times greater than their general population. They now demand that productive nations pay trillions to perpetuate inefficiency, poverty and dependence, and all in the name of saving the earth from a danger that fewer and fewer people even believe is a danger, and if so, whether we can do anything about it anyway. More likely it is another way for politicians (from both the underdeveloped and developed worlds) to scam the productive of the earth.

William Watson is a history professor at Colorado Christian University. Amont the courses he will be teaching next semester are: Colonialism, the Cold War, and Africa.