Afghanistan: The Economy of Subsidies and State Fragility
One of the reasons for the failure of governments in Afghanistan, at least in the last 150 years, has been the inability to finance government expenses by relying on domestic resources.
Governments and rulers, despite extravagant claims, have always begged from the so-called “infidels” and have survived by relying on donations and assistance from foreigners. This process of begging has become a part of its culture. Afghan politicians, as soon as they face foreigners, the first thing they say without any shame or embarrassment is to ask for help and assistance, and in this regard, there is no difference between an Islamist extremist and a well-educated intellectual.
Countries that want to live with independence and pride, not with mercenary and crooked necks, strive for their economic self-sufficiency in the first step. Of course, the way to do that is not to sell raw materials and auction mines, but to produce industrial goods, both heavy and non-heavy industrial supplies and products. The industrial revolution, which started from the middle of the 18th century in Western Europe and reached Japan, South Korea and finally China by the end of the 20th century with that unprecedented leap, is one of the important turning points in the history of the world, which paved the way for economic self-sufficiency in many countries. The system has opened the countries and turned them from charity receivers to donors.
Afghanistan has been stuck in the internal conflicts of the descendants of Ahmad Shah Abdali, and then the Barakzai brothers, exactly from the time the world was moving toward industrialization, and until today, it has not been able to stand on its feet economically. All the while, governments have kept their ailing economies alive through the foreign aid injection in the markets. These foreign powers have sometimes been England, Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America and its allies. Reliance on foreign aid has included both governments and opposition political groups that went to war with the central government. Also, cutting off this aid at every stage has caused the fall of governments or the failure of the opposition, and what we know as Jihad with England, Jihad with Russia, and then Jihad with America are chapters in the history of the aid economy. It has been the most important factor in political developments on both the government and opposition fronts, and both as mercenaries in other people’s wars.
Left and right ideological groups entered the political arena without any understanding of this deplorable situation, but when each of them seized the power and government, they realized that the treasury is empty and without foreign aid, it is not possible to feed the soldiers. Today, the Taliban group is on the same path and repeats and pleads day and night for the return of foreign aid to remove the risk of falling and collapse. But stability can not be achieved and sustained via aids and begging funds easily, because foreign aid has not brought lasting stability to any country. Sustainable stability is the result of economic self-sufficiency and financial independence, which requires an expert-oriented government, a government that designs and manages the country’s development process based on scientific data, and such a thing is never possible in the shadow of a government based on ideological beliefs, but through science and expertise can the economy be organized, and only through an organized economy the government can be freed from collapse and the country is being led to stability, development and prosperity.