To Explain That Gabon Coup Attempt – Political Power Makes Money, So Why Not?


A rather pitiful coup attempt in Gabon, a few from the Army decide they’d like to be rich and famous so they announce they’re taking over the government. As to the why, well, in a system where by politics is the route to wealth those who seek wealth will try to gain political power, won’t they? And yes, it happens in our own systems too. There are MPs and Congresscritters out there who wouldn’t be half as well off – to be generous – as they are if it weren’t for their grasping of that brass ring. No other mode nor method of life would provide the rewards they’ve reaped from politics. But we do have a difference of degree here, even if not of type:

The political situation in Gabon is “under control” following an attempted military coup against President Ali Bongo, a spokesman for the government has said. Two soldiers who took part in Monday’s attempted coup in Gabon have been killed, the president’s office says. The junior officers claimed they seized power “to restore democracy” in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader’s family has ruled for 50 years.

Gabon has oil, even if in ever decreasing quantities. Other than that, plus a bit of manganese mining, there’s not much to the economy. The revenues from these commodity exports haven’t been well spent. And the economy just isn’t developing in those other and more enriching manners. So, what is there for an ambitious type on the make? Try to take over the government and thus control the oil revenues.

That’s the why of the coup, the only way to get rich is to be running the political system. Which is the way it always is if politics decides who gets to be rich of course.

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Matt Ryan

For example, Peter Mandelson and Tony Bliar.