Be the CHANGE you wish!By John Pam
It amuses me each time I hear someone claim we are now in a more civilized era than previous centuries,the reason is not so hard to see. To make my point I will use examples that have happened within the last half century hence the people who witnessed these events are probably still breathing in this our so called modern age. Not quite so far away in the 1960's U-s had its civil rights struggle which culminated in the violent repression of blacks who dared suggest they be treated with the dignity befitting a human being, some say it was eventually granted not due to magnanimity but due to the ideological tussle between the west and soviet union to portray the west as more humanitarian. In 1993 the south african whites finally agreed to end apartheid because they could not repress the blacks anymore. In Rwanda in the 90's hundreds of thousands of Tutsi's were massacred while the united nations looked on. These were acts of barbarity within the lifespan of people still walking today so what's that I hear about civilization?
Lest I bore you, I will just name various events that have occurred and not go into details, for those interested in the details can check them out.
The Kosovo crisis,U-s government duplicity in September 11 bombing,U-s involvement in creation of Isis, Liberian crisis,Drug cartels in Mexico sponsored by the c^i^a, the soviet gulags, the Cuban missile crisis, the British tussle with the IRA, Israel/Palestine conflict e.t.c
Now lest anyone think I am trying to bore you with trivial information I will just say the above in summary are events that have happened within the last 50 years that question that whole notion of a civilized advanced society.
Every day the media tells us a narrative to push an agenda that is favourable to a particular set of interest groups. The sad thing is because it is tainted with what we see as a righteous veneer we get behind it and label everyone who opposes us as the enemy. Hence we have been sold on so many defective ideologies when the true motive of all the stories I have listed above is either to keep power , change the dynamics of power or prevent a change in power and if that's not the case then inevitably its for profit. I can bet you to check all these events and its rare you will find someone fighting for a genuine cause when you subject them to this criteria.
What I am really getting at is that we should not become so hypnotized by someone telling us what we want to hear that we let them steal our home. Nowadays I hear people proclaim in Nigeria that if only everyone could get on board with Communism, Democracy, Feminism, Theocracy, Socialism, Traditionalism e.t.c then the world would be a better place. However, they fail to see that first of all , every form of interaction between people presupposes that we are going to benefit from such association but at the price of forgoing some level of personal autonomy but the price paid must always be less than the benefits incurred objectively. A good example is when my neighbor ensures that if I am not home then any burglar attempting to gain entry will be accosted however the reciprocal is that I must also do same at the risk of injury for property not mine but it balances itself out. Hence,this deluded attitude that if everybody would just act in one particular manner then the world would be paradise is at best myopic and at worst hazardous. Even goodness pushed to the extreme becomes pure evil,because some times we only see the good we intend while being blinded to the evil we may cause while trying to realize that good.
I will quickly point out the most glaring flaws in these ideologies at a later time I might delve deeper into each.
First, communism forces everyone to be of same status to ensure equality represses and stifles innovative spirit which is caused by the human desire to rise and yet places others outside the equality bracket,hence basically animal farm "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others" which about describes the party leaders relation to the masses.
Capitalism appeals to the element of greed in humanity hence if not tempered it results in a dog eat dog society where profit is the only morality.
Democracy assumes that a popularity contest is the best means of selecting the most competent to rule. Most people do not really care about the feasibility of their candidates promises so long as their emotions can be stirred.
Theocracy has been in some form existent within certain societies and it usually ensures that anyone who points out any disagreement with certain espoused views of the world is labeled a heretic and because the clergy is said to represent deity they can destroy anyone on a whim hence we go back to the days when witch doctors in local communities pointed out someone who they disliked as being the cause of famine or drought. If the human element could be removed and only the morals remain then it would be nice however that's impossible. Truth is people need room to be able to make errors and hence grow this is something that is seen as unworthy of compassion in this perspective.
Feminism views the sacrifices women made in the past to ensure a stable family and community as oppression hence they ignore the fact that men also had to make sacrifices which though inconvenient came with its own rewards so rather than map a strategy to free both from such expectations they tie down men to the notion that they made sacrifices in the past which somehow they interpret to mean they were oppressed. Truth is there is no free lunch in life, certain freedoms come with chains of expectations for both parties. A good example which you can observe is that a man living on the streets is not usually seen as someone to be protected but the reverse is the case for a woman but in that view of her as delicate that elicits compassion in one instance and indifference for the man ,turns to viewing the capability of females as inferior even when such might be a mistaken assumption.
Traditionalist perspective is flawed in that it holds on to certain guidelines that might have been useful at a time but which in the present merely become a nuisance. Basically trying to preserve the ruins of the past from being cleared to make way for a new edifice. Its evident some customs can still add tremendous value to present day life but they have to be sifted from those which have more cons than pros.
Socialisms greatest flaw is that it tries to be everything to everyone. Enforcing certain contributions towards the well being of other members of society is all well until the taxed start to grumble about the burden placed on them.
I hope by what I have shown here not to ridicule or demean any of these perspectives but merely to clarify that there is never any easy solution to the problems the world faces,they each have unique perspectives and truths that essentially cannot be ignored but to honestly say that they hold the whole truth is absurd. The truth is that to begin we each must be the change we wish to see as Gandhi said and then consequently we interface with our immediate community to magnify the light within; for the rainbow has not one but seven colors...
To be honest the ideology is not really the problem but rather the fact that being in a position of authority the leaders are by virtue of that beyond the confines of those laws and can flout them. The only reason they will not is if they values of that society are based on principles which promote harmony and self sacrifice but a society where greed,selfishness and power are considered as virtues then inevitably the person occupying the seat of leadership will simply magnify those traits. In conclusion I think any idea can be the core of a society so long as we do not lose sight of the fact that in the long run the collective values which we espouse consciously or subconsciously will determine the direction in which we advance as a collective . And let's stop deceiving ourselves about the magnanimity of strangers for they only do good for their own good,whoever still believes the british came to "civilize" us Africans and not because of our resources is probably deluded. They sell these ideas to separate us because it serves their interest,not because they are moral. Divide and Conquer has always been the game but we seem to be mentally slow to realize only the tactics have changed not the goals. Let's stop falling prey to petty sentiments and realize that except we decide to stand together or we shall be destroyed like individual broomsticks....