: P.S. Didn't the Communists have similar achievements in China?
yes, but the Burkinabe did it without 1) massacring millions, 2) starving millions more, 3) absorbing at least two recalcitrant nations, 4) invading three of their neighbors, or 5) spawning a whole family of bizarre, sordid copycat tyrannies in Albania, Peru, Korea, Cambodia, etc. say what you will about Soviet Communism, it was far far better than the Maoist variety.
:Doesn't forming a railroad company, and paying for a workforce, beat depending on volunteers?
Not necessarily. In what way?
: Don't you think that the present top-down administration of all business in Burkina Faso, a legacy of 'socialism', have anything to do with the lack of more substantial development there?
Sir, here we have a hypothesis thatw e can test by teh scientific debate. This is good, because we can debate this rationally and come to a conclusion. If the low standard of living is in fact due to socialism, as you state, then at times when BF was relatively more socialist (i.e. 1983-1987) the state of development shoudl have reached its nadir.
But in fact, this prediction is not borne out. BF did best during thsi period, as measured by eceonomic growth relative to other countries in Africa, education and health statistics, and a plethora of other social indicators.