Essay About Bllod Diamonds In Africa

2537 words - 10 pages

The Diamond Wars:The Political Economy of ViolenceThe captivating shimmer of a new diamond is enchanting enough to mesmerize almost any individual. The sparkle can melt ones heart or weaken ones knees. Indeed, it is more often than not the diamond ring presented as a symbol of marriage when an individual bends the knee to propose a shared life of unity. However, this symbol of harmony is frequently a key player in global imbalance and conflict. The diamond, seen by most North Americans as an object of desire, also contributes to the world's economy and the image of Africa and thusly, is not only symbolic of love but also of economic power and prosperity. Unfortunately, or rather sorrowfully, Africa, a continent with a relatively recent discovery of a mass quantity of diamonds, has endured hardship beyond just concede, owed to the unearthing of this unique gem. A sequential exam regarding the history of the diamond and its discovery in Africa must first be summarized in order to grasp the severity of contemporary malice distressing much of the continents populace.This crystal, like Africa, has a history. So does its value, which is not intrinsic but culturally prescribed and subscribed to. This is a history continuing to be told, but perhaps told badly, without the legacy of influences and intents that have generated the current moment. Recounting this history shows how Africa and one of its most marketable resources have become entangled in the values of a cultural polyglot of political economies, and the image of the African suffers in its wake; a diminished ability to claim political representation for many African peoples, and a reduced place of participation in the world economies for African nations and Africa, as a global entity is the result. As the image of a "chaotic" Africa persists in the historical moment to de-legitimize it as viable agent in international political economies, divorced of its historical circumstances and left to the whim of market forces and subordinating cultural practices, more and more African peoples come to utilizing force and violence in an effort to attain their participation, perpetuating this tragic image. Diamonds, as a product of Western aesthetic values, through the circumstances of history and geology, becomes an ideal medium for this perpetuation.Africa, being the most matured landmass on earth, has two-thirds of its continent composed of diamond wielding cratons. Via channels of kimberlite, a hard, clay-like material, these diamonds are pushed to the surface. Although diamonds are not exclusive to Africa, they occur with such geological abundance and moderately uncomplicated access, it is difficult to deny Africa's supremacy of the diamond market. Only Australia shares a similar hospitable environment for mining, as compared to other major producers such as Russia and the Canadian arctic, where conditions are excessive. Consequently, geologic circumstance set the stage for historical processes.The...

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