March 19, 2015 Dr. Michael N. Wundah, London UK (email@example.com)
New Age Politics will facilitate the comprehensive success of the post Ebola preparedness. A recent report by the United Nations Economic Commission entitled: ‘‘SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE ON AFRICA’’ painted a gloomy picture of an alarming proportion.
It is for the same reasons that this new brand of politics is imminent. The values of its philosophy might just do the trick. The new politics requires all hands on deck, involving the entire African continent backed by the world community of nations.
Since colonial era, Africa has been yoked to a civilisation, I have dubbed the “Satellite Civilisation”. Since the inception of independence, to this civilisation, Africa’s destiny has been religiously tied. The civilisation has ever been underpinned by massive resource extractions and social inequality. Above all, the Golden Age that this civilisation promised has not been realised and it is in gradual retreat. It is in this context that I am constrained to rename it the failed “Satellite Civilisation”.
Ironically, the very civilisation in question is the perfect metaphor for the logic of Francis Fukuyama’s popular Book – “The End of History and the Last Man”.
It is an educative piece of reference point that consolidates my solid arguments in favour of the values of the New Age Politics. The comparison and contrast I’ve made of the two values (Fukuyama and New Age Politics), will validate a key point. All the big themes, including the Ebola epidemic discussed in this article can be dealt with comprehensively by fulfilling to the core, the values that inform the philosophy of the New Age Politics.
The logic of Fukuyama’s book springs from the metanarrative of the end of the cold war and the fall of the Berlin wall. In that context, this genius of a writer reckons that the period marked the defeat of communism by western democracy and capitalism.
Thus, it was a big triumph for the west and the values for which it stands. Perhaps considering where the “Satellite Civilisation” has landed mankind, a sequel might embrace a new perspective of this nuanced metanarrative of a book.
Even prior to the fall of the Berlin wall and the End of the Cold War, the west had prided itself on the superlative capability of the “Satellite Civilisation” as the panacea for man’s dilemmas. Unfortunately, down the line, it has recorded catalogue of catastrophic failures.
After all, we are only human beings, and so, to whatever extent we might be manipulative of nature and the divine, which act we often claim as enlightenment in the name of this “Satellite Civilisation” we shall always be found wanton. Man is characterised by frailties and limitations!
Hence the world is dogged by insecurity, confidence crisis, underpinned by mistrust, inadequacy, economic stagnation and widening inequality. The major cities of this “Satellite Civilisation” are littered with homeless people, who pitifully brave the freezing cold winter months, whilst the social planners and their elites bask in massive wealth.
On the streets of Paris, Washington DC, New York, Frankfurt, Berlin, Madrid, Rome Moscow and London, there are homeless beggars seeking shelters at bus halts and in subways. We are that “Advanced” to the extent that we are boastful of being disease proof. Yet, our best scientists and medics in the epic centres of our Golden Age have shown serious flaws that have cost lives. They have not found the cure for viruses such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola. To date, they are at the experimental stage(s) of finding vaccines in order to cure Ebola. Oh Lord, how we pray they succeed this time!
The good news is that instead of the persistent denials and sumptuous promises of silver and gold, rather the “Satellite Civilisation” is in gradual retreat on many fronts. In relation to the security reservoirs of the home of this civilisation, take the grand issue of Trident and Nuclear Weapons. In the UK there are persistent clamours for the dismantling of her Trident and Nuclear Weapons as well as the scaling down of its armed forces in the name of efficiency savings?
Even though the rationale(s) is blatantly obvious, the politicians are trying very hard to make the policy look as if it is meant to modernise the British Armed Forces, so that it could be fit for purpose and meet the security challenges of the 21st century. You might argue that the custodians of this grandiloquent civilisation are trying to completely “demilitarise” the current state of world, in the name of a “peaceful” and “prosperous world” Shout hallelujah for this naked hypocrisy!
It is a stunt. If the west favours a “demilitarised world”, why can’t they closedown all their arms manufacturing factories that fetch them trillions of dollars in annual arms deals, revenues? It comes as no surprise that some opposition parties are having none of the hypocrisy!
The “Satellite World” sits on tenterhooks as the quests for territorial ambitions gradually reaches fever pitch in the Balkans. First, it was the annexation of the Crimea and now it is Eastern Ukraine, which territorial integrity the west and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and allies claim, President Putin’s Russia has violated. There are even fears in the western corridors of power that he might contemplate another Crimea Peninsular style by annexing Eastern Ukraine or the entire territory.
President Putin might argue otherwise. These states in the Balkans which broke away from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) still have fraternal ties with Mother Russia. It is only proper that Russia-backed rebels in arms who share such feelings deserve the support he is rendering them. They are in his backyard and therefore have to be protected against annexation by NATO and her western allies. Could the unfolding events in the Balkans be perceived as the metaphor for the renewal of the cold war?
Britain and her NATO allies don’t have the appetite for any direct military confrontation with Russia. However, it is apparent that some of the key players are preparing to arm the Pro-Western Ukrainian government to the teeth. The British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has warned that NATO should be prepared for any kind of aggression from Russia.
Of course the west and her NATO allies are beginning to smell the coffee. Russia’s aggression might affect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the Baltics. Russia is playing several, multilayer games premised on kinetic warfare that perverts the soft power that NATO members have used to call Russia to order through sanctions. Another cold war on the cards!
Like the previous civil conflicts in West Africa, Ebola has become the newest scourge. It has to be eliminated completely and that requires a concrete package of post Ebola preparedness. Importantly, it depends largely on a comprehensive economic recovery plan, and sustained growth in the western capitalist world.
Make no mistake, a successful globalisation is crucial for world economic recovery and growth. It is absolutely the case, because we are all yoked to the compelling logic of globalisation in many complex ways than one. Literally, if one sneezes in the west, China and Russia, there will be casualties in the East, West, North, South and Central Africa.
Therefore, as the ideal prerequisites, the philosophy of New Age Politics espouses a collective national will supported by the inputs of Africa’s international partners. Having said that, African leaders must manifest the willingness to reinvent history. Africa is extremely rich in natural resources and social capital, yet it suffers under the weight of impoverishment, which is why their leaders and subjects have to reinvent the history of the continent.
Reinventing history means making the proper choices and electing patriotic and efficient leaders. Reinventing history also requires of Africa, to say farewell to the foreign aid dependency culture for which it is notorious. The onus is upon African leaders to leave a legacy for which history will treat and remember them kindly. The ball is in their court!
Whether Africans live abroad or at home in Africa, it is high time they redefined their roles and commitments to the goodwill of their continent. They must be proactive participants in search of the new history that will lead their continent to the promising destination under discussion.
There are strong indications that the willing givers in the west are apparently becoming less willing to give generously for evermore. Africa must mend its roofs, and make them fit for purpose, before the heavy downpours!
It was revealed recently that out of the total amount raised in the west, aid of combating the Ebola epidemic, only 22% has reached the affected countries. This revelation was made when the bad news emerged in the early weeks of February that new Ebola cases have emerged in some areas of the affected countries. Does that not ring a bell? Fend for thyself Africa!!The infinite goodwill of thy western benevolent donors is under serious threat at home.
The so-called ring fencing that has created excitement in recipient countries ran into difficulties during this parliamentary session. Only 40% of the package reached the countries they were meant for, since the Conservative led coalition government was formed. The Department for International Development (DFID) is under enormous pressure to fast-track the payments of the balance 60%to the recipient countries.
These things are happening despite the ruling by the UN Charter in 1970 that all rich, developed countries should donate 0.7% of GNP? Yes don’t you ever scream, strange things are happening beyond imagination in the real world!
Just few days ago, the Noble Lords in the House of Lords, including Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Conservative) and the Noble Baroness, Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton of the Labour Party, and some Crossbenchers argued fiercely about the management of the foreign aid budget at home and abroad.
A note of caution! I am not defending the chronic aid dependency culture that has degraded our continent. But how often have we not heard disparaging utterances in donor countries by the right wing press and some citizens: “How long can we continue to donate our hard-earned taxes to these countries?” “How long are we should we continue to offer sponsorships in order that their officers will come and study in our prestigious military and police institutions?”
African leaders can’t afford to be ambivalent about these painful questions and the inherent realities which define them. It goes without saying that you can’t afford to feed your neighbours forever. The ideal thing to do is to create the necessary conditions that would ensure their autonomy in order to fend themselves, then they will cease the pestering.
The narratives that define the historic relationship between the west and Africa must change. We need fresh perspectives, backed by moral vision, capable of generating big ideas and stimulating concrete debates and injecting ethics into our national character and behaviours.
The causal analysis of Africa’s underdevelopment and poverty must be part and parcel of the perspectives. Stop wallowing in self-pity and self-destruct Africa! Gone are the days when the west was perceived as the “glorious kingdom” free of bribery and corruption. Arguably, the west has lost moral authority.
I say this honestly. More often than not corrupt agents have a field day in the west which invokes the African proverb: like beautiful feathers, externally beautiful but internally rotten. Hence, this week, the Church of England Bishops wrote to politicians and asked them to show fresh moral vision. Does that not ring a bell?
Fresh story has made newspaper headlines in the UK this week. The consistent and fearless Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge (Labour MP), accused the Chief Executive of the HM Customs of complacency and not standing up for ordinary taxpayers in the aggressive tax avoidance scam.
This happened against the shocking revelations that senior political figures and big donors of political parties in the UK hold Swiss Bank accounts with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). These customers have amassed huge profits. Thanks to the century old tax loopholes!
The former HSBC Chairman, Lord Stephen Green, combined his job with preaching as an Anglican Minister. Under him, reported Ben Laurance and Aimee Donnellan in the SUNDAY TIMES broadsheet, “HSBC promoted itself as an ethical bank. Yet all the while it provided services to drug dealers, fraudsters and tax evaders. Jesus wept, what a saintly and ethical society we live in!
The same subject came up at this week’s Prime Minister Questions (PMQ’s) in the Commons. In an unprecedented manner, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, Ed Miliband called Prime Minister, David Cameron a dodgy Prime Minister surrounded by dodgy wealthy business friends. HSBC is not the only culprit, Barclays and RSB Banks are to pay close to £3billions in bonuses and fines for market manipulations, including misselling products to customers.
The new revelations and many other hidden ones from the public glare have produced disillusioned voters, widened inequality, and undermined the fabrics of society. Whilst the big business sharks and their political godfathers continue to evade taxes, youth unemployment continues to fluctuate. This month alone it has risen to ¾ of a million.
It is unbelievable that tax evasion is not illegal, and therefore not a criminal offence in the UK. Well what do you expect, when the book that prescribes the tax system and its codes runs into 20, 000 boring pages?
Unashamedly one of the people named in the papers, Lord Finks (Conservative Treasurer) stated in a radio and television interview this week that everyone is a potential tax evader. Obviously, he made this point in the spirit of the legality of the tax loopholes.
A serious note of caution is required because none of the main political parties is clean. They are not saints when it comes to tax avoidance. Both Labour and Conservatives rely heavily on big donors and the gentries for the survival of their political parties.
One political analysts warned. ‘These are grey areas which the leaders of the Conservative and labour have to thread with trepidations. In other words, don’t throw stones if you live in glass houses!’
These revelations should serve as food for thought for Africa. They should encourage the continent to stop moaning about the indictment that its institutions bask in chronic corruption. And that this vice is an anathema in the West.
Read the wealth creation history of the British Empire carefully, and you will be well placed to determine why the tax loopholes have not been closed by the establishment. Think fast my dear, partners in crime don’t stab colleagues in their backs. Rather, they watch each other’s back!
Cynicism or sounds pretty much exciting? How about donating a hefty £3 million to a political party of your choice? Of course, they will give you a Peerage to sit in the House of Lords for good measure. So why not pay up! Hurray folks, we live in a dodgy world, so stop moaning Africa!
In fairness to social planners, for decades they have taken measures to cleanse society. Laws have been legislated in order to empower official ombudsmen to regulate state institutions properly. Unfortunately these measures have failed to register the maximum success required of them. So, why should Africa continue to take grandiose lessons of ethics, morality, good governance and finesse from the west anymore?
Society strives only when the virtues to promote goodwill for all are articulated by those in authority backed by good citizens. If the less developed countries have the natural urge to become benevolent agents and enhance public good, then the opportunity has availed itself this century to prove their mettle. If they would like to be remembered by posterity as fair and just to society at large, then a change of attitude is imminent.
Undoubtedly, the evidence is glaring. All hands were on deck in Sierra Leone during the desperate bid to eliminate Ebola. Even in the most miserable, dangerous, risky conditions, Sierra Leoneans put their lives on the line. Some in the Diasporas raised funds and donated generously. These actions signified the humanitarian instincts of Sierra Leoneans to sacrifice for one another.
In one of the classic sound bites of the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, ‘we are at our best when we face worse situations’.
Sierra Leoneans have the zeal and sincerity of heart, to generate the values that enhance the public good and the finest of humanity.
Davos and the African Union summits may not have succeeded in the past, but it is prudent to say that the recent ones should be given a chance for the authorities to fulfil the promises they have made.
The nuances of the bloated underbellies of realpolitik continue to excruciatingly exercise the minds of the great thinkers of our troubled world. However, these nuances must lead to the lasting solutions man seeks because a coveted place awaits victors, in the history books.
Africa and the rest of the world should recognise that there are still men and women out there, who seek for higher values for the greater good. They do believe that it is the ultimate truth and goal beyond seeking material benefits and comforts.
So, the countdown for a coordinated approach and sincere partnership in search of higher values beyond material benefits is upon us all. I honestly believe that together, the continent of Africa and its international partners can make a difference for the good of posterity.