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Part I: African reality is a product of pseudo democracy


Niccolo Machiavelli (above) made the observation of the exploitation and manipulation of others by those in authority in the name of self-interest.


by Joseph Earnest May 12, 2014  


Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—The beginning of May has brought with it several challenges and developments in the developing world, warranting this Treatise On The African Reality to be written in order to address several aspects of what is happening in Africa, and how to meet the challenges faced by the native indigenous Africans in their homeland. *(At the end of the article is a PDF of the entire series that you may download and read at your leisure without logging on to the Web).


When African nations gained independence, there was hope that since rulership was back in the hands of Africans, all areas of the Continent that utilized their resources and raw materials prudently would prosper, just like Europe and the rest of the developed world.  When the colonialists left, they had helped build schools, hospitals, bridges, government institutions, roads and had also preserved areas of wildlife that were converted into game parks, game reserves, bird sanctuaries and wetlands.


Little did they know was that after independence, there would emerge a crop of leaders that were poorly educated in managing Africa's resources and were more interested in enriching themselves, while allowing their nations to become heavily indebted to international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Most of the regimes in sub-Saharan Africa operate on a Machiavellian principle and use fear to rule over others, because they do not have the tact nor necessary diplomatic skills to handle interpersonal relationships.  In addition, most are untrained in business and commerce, since they come from poor and obscure backgrounds, so they end up hijacking their nations' resources for their own personal gain, while the natives wallow in poverty.


Nicollo Machiavelli (1469-1527) who was a diplomat and writer, believed that a shortcoming even more serious than ignorance was a nation's ignorance of the true motivations of people's actions. In his play The Mandrake Root, he demonstrates the tricks used to seduce a young woman.  In the truth, however, none of the characters is fooled.  All of them from the young woman being seduced, to her husband, realize what is happening but use the seduction to their own advantage.  In the play Machiavelli challenges the humanistic assumption that knowledgeable individuals will naturally choose virtue over vice.  Machiavelli believed that individuals are more likely to respond to fear, and that power, makes for good government.


The "rule through fear" line of thought was held during the renaissance, yet it contradicts our very own human nature, because you will always hate someone you are afraid of.


Of what good, therefore, is it to rule over people using fear, yet one always has to sleep with one eye open, knowing how much hatred the people harbor toward him?


Cicero, one of the greatest minds of classical antiquity observed: "There is no man upon the whole earth who would want to live surrounded by unlimited wealth and affluence if the price he had to pay was to renounce both loving and being loved. That is how a tyrant lives--without mutual trust, without affection, without any assurance of enduring goodwill.  In such a life, suspicion and anxiety reign everywhere, and friendship has no place. For no one can love the person he fears, or the person he believes himself to be feared by."  (Cicero: On The Good Life, pp. 201).


There was also a vulgar statement that was uttered during classical antiquity that: "We ought to love as if one day we are going to hate."  This utterance was attributed to Bias, one of the seven wise men (sages).  The seven wise men of Greece were: Pittacus of Mytilene, Perinander of Corinth, Cleobulus of Lindos, Chilon of Sparta, Solon of Athens, Bias of Priene and Thales of Miletus.


Yet Scipio, a contemporary of Cicero, refused to attribute the utterance to Bias, but instead attributed it to some degraded character. Scipio reasoned, "For how can you form a friendship with a man whom you foresaw all the time as a future enemy?  If that were your approach, you would inevitably find yourself hoping and praying that your friend would do wrong on every possible occasion.  And, if on the contrary, he acted creditably and fared well, you would be obliged to feel pain, distress and envy."    (Laelius: On Friendship, pp. 207).


The African experience is made up of the few at the very top with the wealth, and the masses at the bottom that have been reduced to poverty, due to the hunger of African leaders for power, their blatant disregard for the well-being of future generations and their outright selfishness.


When new resources are discovered in the ground, these leaders make public speeches in which they claim the profits will be used to develop their countries, when in reality, the poor person never gets to enjoy the benefits of the country in which his or her taxes puts food on these politicians' tables, and clothes on their backs.


As he spoke to a group of African leaders in 2013, Dr. Myles Munroe said, "Africa has many politicians who are not leaders. Politicians are concerned about the next election, but true leaders are concerned about the next generation. Leaders relinquish leadership positions for others."


In reference to Nelson Mandela Africa's greatest leader, Dr. Munroe said, "Mandela spent in prison more than 24 years but ruled for only one term. He did not use power to protect himself from people, but used power to empower people."


Munroe concluded that Africa is underdeveloped due to the poor quality of its leaders. "Leadership determines everything in life. Nothing happens without leadership. Whether you are talking about an organization, church or nation, everything depends on leadership for success. Leaders determine the quality and attitude of their followers. If your country is not effective, it is the fault of its leaders not its people," said Munroe.


Most African nations do not have true democracies, but pseudo-democracies. To have a truly democratic government, means all people have an active stake in their nation's well-being and that power is not controlled by one individual.           Continue to Part II: Why pseudo-democracies in the end always fail>>



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Related stories:

Part I: African reality is a product of pseudo democracy

Part II: African reality is a product of pseudo democracy

Part III: African reality is a product of pseudo democracy

Part IV: African reality is a product of pseudo democracy

Part V: African reality is a product of pseudo democracy











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