Drivel, drivel

The most viable pathway would be for Africa’s elite to look within the vast political and ideological resources on which successful civilisations (the Zulu, the Igbo, the Malian dynasties of Timbuktu, the Oyo empire, etc) were built. In most Igbo states, for instance, there was an egalitarian system where an older member of a clan represented his people in the elders’ council. There were no kings or presidents. Perhaps there could be a way to adapt this unique political structure to replace the western one which has so far failed.

We need to look into these systems and extract coherent policies that can help form workable and uniquely African social and political systems. This is the only viable path to preventing the continent from fully becoming western Africa – and the only way to ending the continent’s long-term political decay.

Political, social organisation? Hey, run with whatever you want. That is rather the point of democracy, no?

Celebrations of Africa on the international scene mostly involve dancing, music, traditional fashion and other cultural artefacts – hardly ever showcasing African-originated economic ideas, social ideologies or intellectual theories.

And part of that is drivel. Economics is, just as are physics or chemistry. Things like comparative advantage, division and specialisation of labour, rising productivity etc, they just are. There’s no new to be had.

Sure, much of macroeconomics is bunkum but micro ……

22 comments on “Drivel, drivel

  1. Well, the Zulu empire seems to have been based on rape, genocide, and perpetual warfare. But let’s give that a go. I mean what could go wrong? Should have supported Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the Inkatha Freedom Party then. Instead of Mandela and the South African Communist Party thinly disguised as the ANC. The Igbo? Had a chance at that. It was called Biafra.

    In most Igbo states, for instance, there was an egalitarian system where an older member of a clan represented his people in the elders’ council.

    That sounds a great idea. Let’s get rid of the democracy nonsense and replace it with government by the clan elders. Men, by and large, needless to say. I mean they could not do a worse job.

    The Guardian seems to be standing against the progress of history. Good for them.

  2. The Oba of Benin used to have folk executed by dislocating their necks via a club and then sawing their head off with a grass rope.

    An African originated “social ideology” indeed.

  3. >successful civilisations
    >Africa

    Pick one. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    According to racist anthropologists, Sub-Sahara never produced a written language, never domesticated an animal, and the even wheel was unknown in large parts of Africa until the 19th century. Huts made of poop do not a civilisation make.

    Africa is like a man playing Sid Mier’s Civilization by picking the best possible tile and then clicking “End Turn” 20,000 times.

  4. Celebrations of Africa on the international scene mostly involve dancing, music, traditional fashion and other cultural artefacts – hardly ever showcasing African-originated economic ideas, social ideologies or intellectual theories.

    Doesn’t feature African-built and designed airplanes either.

    I blame White racism.

  5. I think the Bantu were geniuses compared to Australian Aboriginals. 50,000 years and they came up with a bent stick.

  6. Incredibly short time horizons; subterranean IQs; women doing all the work while the men laze about; loyalty to clan above everything; theft as a way of life; mediaeval superstition; shitting in your water supply: it’s amazing Africa’s space programme never got very far. Apparently the most effective way to disabuse starry-eyed do-gooders of the notion that Africa will ever be anything other than a shithole is to have them spend some time there. Of course once two billion of them have moved to Europe and fucked it into a cocked hat, you won’t even have to go to the trouble of moving.

  7. In most Igbo states, for instance, there was an egalitarian system where an older member of a clan represented his people in the elders’ council.

    Oh, that still exists. Having seen it up close, I’m surprised any non-African wants to replicate it elsewhere.

    For example, do we really want the tribal chief commandeering the air ambulances, generously provided by dimwitted Norwegian taxpayers, for his own personal use? Or taking ownership of the school built by an international oil company and charging locals hefty fees for attending class?

  8. African discoveries –
    Wadley loop
    Tellurometer
    Speed gun
    Pratley puttey
    Kreepy kraulie pool cleaners
    Firsth heart transplant

    Sadly I don’t think any of these will be celebrated Mr Obioma

  9. Gunker

    Wadley loop – designed by Dr. Trevor Wadley
    Tellurometer – also invented by Dr. Trevor Wadley
    Speed gun – according to Wikipedia it’s an American invention. The one you are referring to is the one used in cricked and tennis developed by Henri Johnson
    Pratley Putty – Developed by George Pratley
    Kreepy Krauly – invented by Ferdinand Chauvier although the earlier swimming pool cleaners were invented in the US. First Heart Transplant – Dr. Christian Barnard

    I doubt any of Shaka’s offspring or Mandela’s relatives were instrumental in any of those.

  10. In the Southern African context I’m pretty sure that Shaka, Dingane, Moshoeshoe, Sekhukhune, Mzilikazi, Mswati, Letsie, Cetshwayo, Lobengula, Khama and many many others occupied the status of kings. Councils of elders had quite a lot of say at local level, but definitely not at national.

    From where I now sit I can see the Northcliff Mountain. If any of Mzilikazi’s subordinate chiefs looked like getting too ambitious, the genial old king would take them to the top of the mountain and invite them to learn to fly. The kind of innocent egalitarianism that Chigozie Obioma recalls, existed mainly in fable.

  11. ‘Africa has been failed by westernisation. It must cast off its subservience’

    ‘Chigozie Obioma is the author of The Fishermen, and is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’

    NEBRASKA ?!?!

    So ‘Africa’ (sic) just hasn’t followed the right Westerner.

    Notice ‘Africa’ is a singularity, in spite of being a continent with many different countries and cultures. Mr Chigger is stereotyping, though ignorance is a good explanation.

  12. ‘Perhaps there could be a way to adapt this unique political structure to replace the western one which has so far failed.’

    Tribal anarchy as a ‘political structure.’

    It is self evident that Obioma is a neocolonialist. Like all colonialists before him, he thinks he has a better idea, and it’s okay to be a colonialist if you have a better idea.

  13. In most Igbo states, for instance, there was an egalitarian system where an older member of a clan represented his people in the elders’ council

    Hey, aren’t oldies evil and conservative and liable to support Brexit and other horrors? The Guardian wants to be represented by them? Ok.

    Anyway, what’s specifically egalitarian about one elderly person representing everyone else? If the system is egalitarian why do they have to be ‘elder’? Is the writer here just using the word ‘egalitarian’ here as a virtue signalling synonym for ‘good’, or does he genuinely have no clue what the word means?

  14. The most viable pathway would be for Africa’s elite to look within the vast political and ideological resources on which successful civilisations (the Zulu, the Igbo, the Malian dynasties of Timbuktu, the Oyo empire, etc) were built

    No. The most viable pathway would be if Africa’s elite stopped looting their countries and instead applied mundane things like property rights and the rule of law.

  15. Clearly, Mr. Obioma hasn’t read Keith B. Richburg’s Out of America.

    “In this powerful book, Keith B. Richburg takes the reader on an extraordinary journey that sweeps from Somalia to Rwanda to Zaire and finally to South Africa. He shows how he came to terms with the divide within himself: between his African racial heritage and his American cultural identity. Keith B. Richburg was an experienced and respected reporter who had paid his dues covering urban neighborhoods in Washington D.C., and won praise for his coverage of Southeast Asia. But nothing prepared him for the personal odyssey that he would embark upon when he was assigned to cover Africa. In this powerful book, Richburg takes the reader on an extraordinary journey that sweeps from Somalia to Rwanda to Zaire and finally to South Africa. He shows how he came to terms with the divide within himself: between his African racial heritage and his American cultural identity. Are these really my people? Am I truly an African-American? The answer, Richburg finds, after much soul-searching, is that no, he is not an African, but an American first and foremost. To those who romanticize Mother Africa as a black Valhalla, where blacks can walk with dignity and pride, he regrets that this is not the reality. He has been there and witnessed the killings, the repression, the false promises, and the horror. Thank God my nameless ancestor, brought across the ocean in chains and leg irons, made it out alive, he concludes. Thank God I am an American.”

  16. “Anyway, what’s specifically egalitarian about one elderly person representing everyone else?”

    Ignorance is a good explanation.

  17. BiCR:

    Apparently the most effective way to disabuse starry-eyed do-gooders of the notion that Africa will ever be anything other than a shithole is to have them spend some time there.

    This may be relevant (via SDA – maybe something in the air about shitholes?)

  18. Why is anyone suggesting looking at ‘successful’
    societies while ignoring the structure of the even more successful societies that destroyed them?

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