By Artwell Nhemachena
ONE of the biggest problems in the 21st Century is ideological contradiction.
Whereas Marxism teaches us that we can only become genuinely free once we adopt the dictatorship of the proletariat, global capitalism teaches us to have a morbid fear of ‘dictatorships’ in Africa.
We are taught, in Western ideologies, to fear power, even as Marxism teaches us that workers must assume power if humanity is to be really free from capitalist exploitation and dispossession.
Global capitalism also teaches us to be afraid of majorities, particularly majorities that seek majority ownership of resources, even as Marxism teaches us that we can only become genuinely free when the majority among the oppressed and dispossessed become conscious of their plight.
To neutralise majorities, Western ideologies have taken a turn toward minorities such that even where the majority of Africans demand the return of their land which was stolen during the colonial era, global capitalists tend to support minority homosexual rights as if the majority of Africans do not deserve rights to own and control their land.
Global capital’s minority turn is in fact an inversion and subversion of the majority turn which would enhance Marxist revolutions in the world.
Global capitalists’ turn to minorities in Africa is a negation of African liberation struggle demands for majority rule.
Put in other words, global capitalists’ turn to minorities, including homosexual minority rights, has to be understood as a diversionary tactic to turn attention away from demands for majority rule and interests in Africa.
The idea is to upend African majorities’ demands for reparations and restitution of resources that were stolen during the colonial era.
It is not for the love of homosexuals in Africa that global capitalists readily and heavily sponsor such minority interests; rather, it is because of the usefulness of homosexuals as a diversionary sideshow in Africa which accounts for Western support for them.
In other words, homosexuality can be understood as a special sexual operation in Africa.
To subvert Marxism and African demands for the restitution of their resources, global capital needed to overturn the African majority turn and replace it with a minority turn which would appear to be assisting minority groups in the world when, in fact, it is assisting global capital itself evade Marxist revolutions.
Similarly, I argue, liberal democracy serves not necessarily to empower citizens of the world, but is meant to serve global capital by preventing victims of capitalism from dictating their positions in the world.
In this regard, liberal democracy deconstructs not only the power of ‘dictators’ in Africa and elsewhere in the global south, but liberal democracy also deconstructs the citizens of the world and prevents them from becoming dictators in the Marxist sense of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In any case, Karl Marx (pictured) knew that capitalism itself is the real dictator which uses the State as its enforcer.
Capitalist ideologies have fooled humanity to fight ‘dictators’ because capitalism wants to prevent dictatorship of the proletariat which jeopardises global capital.
It is not that global capital seeks to free or liberate humanity from dictators, but liberal democracy is actually intended to free and liberate global capital from possibilities of Marxist revolutions wherein the proletariat would assume power and become the dictators in the sense of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
If global capital really wanted to free or liberate humanity, it would have extended democracy of ownership and control over resources rather than liberal democracy wherein humanity is expected to simply prattle about the need to oppose political ‘dictators’ and political power.
The problem in Africa and the rest of the global south is not about political ‘dictators’ and political power.
The problem is about the resilience of Western economic dictatorship and economic power on the continent of Africa.
It then boggles the mind why, in the 21st Century, Africans and other peoples of the global south are made to focus only on political aspects of dictatorship and power.
The main reason, for instance, there is massive impoverishment in Africa is not merely because of the presence of political ‘dictatorships’ and people who are politically powerful but the presence of Western economic dictatorships and economic powers which are not favourable to African economic freedom.
When Western institutions and organisations dictate global economic policies, environmental policies, health policies, security, climate change policies, development policies and governance policies, their dictatorship is depicted by global media as benevolent and beneficial.
Yet, often African leaders are demonised as ‘dictators’ supposedly good for nothing. Noting how the G7 acts as an unelected global government, Fioramonti (2015) writes thus: “The G7 is a very outdated club of countries. Established in the mid-1970s as an informal grouping of the largest economies in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), it has since become a ‘government’ for the world. In this capacity it dictates the global agenda in areas as diverse as economic policy, development co-operation, security, climate change and good governance.”
Politically, Africa has majority rule but, sadly, without majority ownership of resources on the continent.
This is where the real problem lies and, so, if the future generations of indigenous Africans are to be genuinely liberated, solutions to this issue have to be found.
If Marxists considered dictatorship of the proletariat to be good for the oppressed, dispossessed and exploited, who says all dictatorships are bad?
In any case why must there be monolithic definitions of dictatorships and democracy in the world that professes liberalism?
Dictatorship begins with those who prescribe monolithic definitions of dictatorship and democracy.
Similarly, authoritarianism begins with those who monopolistically hold the power to monolithically define authoritarianism.
Like the term ‘dictatorship’, the term ‘authoritarian’ is weaponised in such a way that it is applied only to those who hold political office in some regions of the world, but it is, ironically, never applied to those who are economically authoritarian in the world.
In the same way, the term ‘autocracy’ is weaponised to only apply to those in positions of political leadership in some regions of the world but it is, ironically, never applied to those who are economically autocratic in the world.
Besides, the term ‘corruption’ is weaponised to only apply to those who hold political positions in some regions of the world but it is, ironically, never applied to those who are economically so corrupt that they still retain what was stolen from other people during centuries of colonisation.
Corruption need not be only by commission, but it is also by omission, such as when someone omits to return what one stole from African publics.
If the term corruption was not weaponised, it would apply to all those who have done, and are doing, harm to the African publics, including those who have caused harm by commission and by omission. After all, humanity is made to believe that the 21st Century is an inclusive world, and humanity is informed that liberal democracy itself is inclusive.
I argue herein that liberal democracy is designed to liberate global capital from Marxist encumbrances; it is not necessarily designed to liberate Africans and other people in the global south who are suffering the mortifications of global capital.
The problem is that Africans were too quick to think that liberal democracy was designed to help them even in the absence of majority ownership and control of African resources.
Of course, global capital was smart to dangle liberal democracy at a time when African liberation movements had fought hard to liberate the continent.
Africans may have been fooled by claims that liberal democracy is inclusive and so they may have believed that liberal democracy includes the Marxist versions of liberation in material senses of Africans owning and controlling the means of production.
Genuine inclusivity would ensure that capitalist economic dictators are condemned as much as political ‘dictators’ are condemned and those who are economically authoritarian are condemned as much as political authoritarians are condemned.
Real inclusivity would ensure that economic autocrats are condemned as much as political autocrats are condemned, and inclusivity would ensure that those who wield economic power are condemned as much as those who have political power are condemned.
And of course, real inclusivity would ensure that those who are corrupt by omission are condemned as much as those who are corrupt by commission in Africa.
Without such inclusivity, liberal democracy itself becomes a special operation designed and executed in order to subvert African polities.
If political power needs checks and balances, who says economic power does not also need checks and balances to ensure fairness in Africa?
If politics need transparency and accountability, who says there must not be transparency and accountability in the economic realms in Africa?
If it is in the economic realms that Africans have been historically dispossessed and exploited during centuries of colonisation, the question is why, even in the 21st Century, efforts are hardly made to ensure accountability, openness and transparency in the economic realms.
Accountability, transparency, openness as well as checks and balances in the political realm are not adequate in Africa. It is not only politicians or those in positions of political power who are capable of harming African publics but also those who are powerful in the economic realm.
I am implying here that there is need to theorise African societies, polities, economies and jurisprudence such that Africans cease to be constrained by Western theories that do not speak to
And the biggest problem has been that African thinkers and scholars have tended to operate like zealous disciples of Western theories, unaware of the encumbrances that such theories place in the liberation of Africans.