Thursday, April 28, 2011

Africa and the Politics of Contradictions

Africa and politics of contradictions

Wednesday, 27 April 2011 22:33

THERE is an unexplained wonder of political history where the people with a track record of going to war, who are ready to go to war, and have gone to war and destroyed millions of lives, are the most vocal in talking about peace, human rights and the protection of civilians from military attacks.

The United States, France and the UK have a terrible history of murderous slavery, cruel colonisation of other peoples, and despicable modern day imperialistic tendencies.

This history is indelible and cannot be denied or wished away.

But Amos Wilson noted: "If accepting the truth about the situation of African peoples and other people in the world today means exposing the European to himself, of course he is going to ignore that expose."

When writers expose the real motives of Westerners for the unjust war they are currently launching on Libya, what Western powers can only do is ignore that expose, while pushing a propaganda line that says the war is about protecting Libyans from their monstrous leadership.

It is people without love who talk about love most often. It is people without grassroots participation in the decision making process of their own countries who preach about democracy the most. It is people with atomic bombs and earth shattering nuclear weapons who preach loudest about international peace.

It is people with lethal bombs and sophisticated military aircraft who preach most about the protection of Libyan civilians while spraying Libyan cities with deadly bombs - of course in the name of benefitting the very civilians whose lives and infrastructure they are destroying.

What we must always recognise is that Africans do have a huge stake in ensuring the continuation of the failure of large segments of our own population, and Libya is no exception.

There are numerous contradictions in the African society and these are issues of great importance in determining the problems bedevilling the continent.

Many of our people have an amazing excuse that says the circumstances determining our lives today are beyond our control. So there is a belief that other people are totally responsible for the state of Africa today and therefore we have neither say nor control over these issues.

There is an extent to which this might be true when one looks at colonial history and what slavery did to the people of Africa. But when post-colonial influences end up creating psychological problems for the African individual it becomes time for self-reflection.

One has to see the apathy Africa is expressing over the military aggression in Libya today. The African leadership is apathetic if and when not complicit. They have given up and most have resigned from the African life, leaving the fate of their countries to the dictates of Western aid and to the will of Western political elites and their NGO arms.

When a whole president of a country becomes a victim of psychological problems to the extent of giving up effort and acknowledging that Africa is powerless and cannot do without handholding from Westerners, then we have to be alive to the reality that our hope as a continent is right in the abyss.

It is the apathy and resignation on the part of our African leadership that helps a great deal in maintaining the post-colonial imperial system that subjugates Africa today.

There is a fear of uniting and trusting each other, the inexplicable fear of coming together and solving our problems together. This explains a lot the great deal of political polarisation within our body politic.

Political parties in Africa are like armies going to war against each other, as opposed to mental bodies competing in the battle of ideas. We threaten our political rivals with sloganeering, violence, financial muscle, and the eventuality is often intolerance and armed confrontation.

It is probably only in Africa where singing, shouting, dancing, eating and drinking are integral components of structuring a successful political party.

Not only are we convinced that it is just not in us to unite and solve our problems together as a people, but many of us are so much awed by the might of white imperialism that there is this belief that the dominance of imperial powers is in itself indomitable.

In fact, imperialism maintains itself largely on the effect of the apathy and hopelessness of its victims. It is purely the apathy and ignorance of Africans that is maintaining the Western aggression in Libya today.

It is quite unthinkable that a coalition of the willing from Africa could decide to go and bomb a European country, banking on the apathy and ignorance of Europeans.

As Libya is burning, Africa is busy fearing who could be next and our own people are heard bragging that Zimbabwe could be next, Uganda is next, Ethiopia is next and so on.

Cheering the monster in the house is quite understandable when it is coming from individuals with psychological problems emanating from the effects of slavery and colonisation. It is a socially constructed mental disorder.

We are witnessing a period when a section of our people is drowned in the fear of the white man, resigned from life and hope, incapable of self-initiative, and absolutely mesmerised by the glitter of Western civilisation.

There are those among us who try to deal with the discrepancy between what the imperial system dictates Africa can achieve, and our failure to achieve even that.

One easy way out has always been the lowering of the African aspiration, fitting the African story into a lesser place that will not tamper with Western interests within our own continent.

So, South Africa battles to lower the aspiration of blacks in repossessing their colonially stolen lands; to lower the aspiration of the black person in having control over the mineral resources of that country, and to lower the aspiration of the African to become an employer and not an employee, as is defined by colonial tradition.

The moment Julius Malema talks land redistribution or nationalisation of mines, there are always those among us who are quick to remind the rest of Africa that such aspirations must be lowered so that white investors are not scared. The irony of protecting one's own chains is exactly what perpetuated slavery and colonialism.

And, Africa is openly threatened that the West will do a Zimbabwe on anyone that dares threaten post-colonial imperial economic interests on the continent. Of course Zimbabwe embarked on an ambitious land redistribution programme that resulted in the strangulation of its economy through a murderous sanctions regime illegally imposed by the US, the EU and other Western outposts.

Then there are other African leaders who try to inflate their achievements, to inflate their personalities. They gloat and brag about economic growth that is based on over 70 percent Western donor aid. They gloat about rising to political power as puppets funded and directed by Western elites. They look around pompously as they show-case what they describe as "our friends from the international community".

We see the average African middle class citizen being very boastful, being so egocentric, bragging a great deal about personal achievements, pumping themselves up, and pumping even smallest of achievements up into gigantic exploits.

This is just a measure of the destruction that has occurred to the self-esteem of the African - the effect of colonial hegemony over the African life. A family car is to an average African middle class citizen what Virgin is to Richard Branson.

We have an entire country to build in Zimbabwe and the challenges in doing so are massive. Yet we have a nationalist community that buries itself in the great history of our liberation struggle. Yes I am speaking of the kind of historicism that has developed in this community as a means of avoiding reality.

I am talking of people who live their lives in history, and dig among the glory of fallen heroes, dig among the many lives so sadly lost for the cause of our liberty, and a people who build themselves a false pride, and pump themselves up about the achievements of our glorious history - of course without facing the perils of the current reality and preparing for the future.

We have some within the nationalist community whose definition of the future is limited to the future of their own political careers. These have no vision for posterity, no vision for a Zanu-PF after their own lives, no vision for a Zimbabwe inhabited by generations to follow in fifty years time.

President Robert Mugabe has been quite explicit with his vision for a Zimbabwe after him. He seeks the empowerment of the indigenous Zimbabwean so that control of the means of production is in local hands from now and forever more.

Some of our nationalists, for lack of a better term in most cases; pride themselves in making the youth feel good - pumping them up and making them gloat and glow about our great past. But they avoid dealing with the present, and they do not educate the youth in terms of coping with the future.

Who will adequately equip our youth to defeat imperial hegemony and to remove Eurocentric power from dominating African affairs? Who will help Africa to remove these insane people who are about to destroy Libya and its wonderful infrastructural developments? We have a leadership that function in the interest of the status quo.

Then we have those among us who holler about the devilishness of white imperialism, the evilness of the white elite, and they leave it at that.

Deriding Westerners and shouting against imperialism does not necessarily perform a full service for our people. There must be a lot of other things involved. For example there is really no point deriding the Westerner from the comfort of wealth acquired by corrupt means.

It is like the devil preaching against evil. We cannot have a leadership that fears to take risk and are only happy to be opportunistic and vulturistic. Africa cannot develop for as long as our political culture still accommodates such political boofheads.

In fact the biggest risk a country can ever take is never to take any risks. We see many of our African politicians blowing up their minor political achievements as a means of ignoring the real challenges facing the people they represent.

We have a system in Africa which, after teaching our youths the continent's political history, the only notable achievement we get is that the young people are left with a greater sense frustration and inferiority. In fact some of our elderly Africans have argued that teaching such history is not good for African youths - arguing that it is tantamount to brainwashing the young minds.

We did see a lot of political opposition to the Zimbabwe National Youth Service's national orientation programme a few years back. The argument was that teaching the youth about the country's liberation struggle was tantamount to brainwashing the same youths, that teaching them about the evils of pre-independence white domination was tantamount to hate speech.

Julius Malema is currently before the South African courts being charged with hate speech, simply for singing a liberation war song. Some black people actually believe that Malema has a case to answer - not because they fail to understand that there once was an armed struggle for independence in South Africa, but because they are awed by the colour supremacy of those who are sponsoring the prosecution of Julius Malema. They believe these superior people never take anyone to court unless that person has done something wrong.

We have Africans wailing against the exhumation of the bones at Chibondo in Mount Darwin because they argue that the site of the bones is traumatising and may upset some of our children.

It is like the white sponsored doctrine that says teaching slave history to black Americans will only make the taught a bunch of criminals. It is a very convenient way of running away from history - a history so full of evil that some would rather it were never mentioned. Now we have European writers leading in creating opinion over what is happening in Ivory Coast and in Libya.

Again this is like a white teacher teaching black history or slave history.

Teaching this history in its objective and correct form would be to condemn the very people who today are in control of the global society in which we live. While it has happened many times, and good on those whites that have done it in the past - what this means is that the white teacher will have to condemn his or her own people, in reality himself or herself.

So those who tell us about Libya cannot be expected to condemn themselves. But it really needs no explanation to figure out that the invasion of a sovereign state for the sake of removing its political leadership is illegal and unacceptable.

So what is discussed in the media today is the nature and conditions of the politics of Libya, not the nature and condition of the invading Western forces.

What is discussed in white written slave history is the nature and condition of slavery, not the nature and condition of the slave master.

The same goes for colonialism. White written colonialism discusses the nature and condition of colonialism itself, not the nature and condition of the colonial master.

And today we are made to discuss the nature and condition of democracy and human rights, not the nature and condition of the democratisation masters pushing all nationalities into compliance with the West's dictates.

The questions dealt with in the history that shapes our lives today are not questions about the mental stability and characteristics of those who enslaved and colonised us, those who continue to dominate us today, and we never get to ask if these same people should continue to be influential over our lives.

This is why some among us believe that the same people are fighting on behalf of civilian Libyans today - even by bombing the same civilians in whose name they fly their murderous planes over Libyan air space, of course with the full blessing of Ban Ki Moon's United Nations.

We have been made to see an imaginary genocide "averted" by real Western firepower and the world is being coerced to imagine that Gaddafi was about to commit genocide in Benghazi just before the messianic West came with the love and mercy of Arch-angel Michael.
Africa we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on reason@rwafawarova.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or

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