IMPERIALISM AND THE AFRICAN DESIRE FOR IBUANYINDANDA AND ECONOMIC GROWTH BY EPHRAIM AHAMAFULA IKEGBU, PATRICK A. MBUM, FRANCIS CHIGOZIE OFOEGBU

Abstract

Imperialism (old imperialism) was facilitated by the emerging nationalism, which was interested in trade, commerce and technological advancement in Europe. Due to imperialist recession, there was industrial revolution, which led to new imperialism. In new imperialism, the capitalist discovered that they had reached a point where the production of goods was so great that domestic markets were no longer adequate. They brought political forces into play in order to achieve the subordination of foreign nations so that these might be used as controlled markets for surplus products and surplus investment capital. Hence, one may say that capitalism is the cause of imperialism. This paper is geared towards exposing the thematic imprints of imperialism, its effect on Africa.  It also borders on the clarion call for the re-awakening of the African consciousness towards the reality of appreciating the African system and method of the ‘Ibuanyindanda’ philosophy, to re-integrating the African mindset in pursing a collective African goal of economic prosperity, political stability and linguistic/cultural balancing. It seeks to re-ethnicize the Africans to wake up from their various slumbering postures and embrace the challenges of overcoming their distant past by forging ahead in this same philosophy of collectivism, communalism, and africanism. Having realized the beginning of her present situation and its cause, it would be proper to see its balkanized beginning as a signpost for effective reconstruction, restoration, re-acquisition and tighter unity.

 

Introduction

                It is pertinent to observe that capitalists turned to foreign lands, attacked and subjugated them and integrated their economics to those of Western Europe. And the instrument of capitalism is imperialism and colonization. Thus, one opines that capitalism is a manifestation of imperialism as colonization. But imperialism and colonization may be used interchangeably and they refer to a superior-inferior relationship (the colonizers and the colonized).

                Imperialism (modern) may be divided into the old imperialism dating from 1492 to 1763 and the new imperialism extending from about 1870 to the present or at least until World War II. The transplanting of capitalism from Western Europe to Africa was accomplished through colonizing imperialism. Thus, the imperialist incursion into Africa by western capitalism had the most profound influence on the economic and political history of Africa. This western imperialism in Africa took many forms at different stages, which include the pillage of Africa’s natural resources, trade and colonization.

                Thus, in this paper, we shall examine the philosophical bases of imperialism, the concept of imperialism, brief history of imperialism, theories of imperialism, and motives of imperialism, the effect of imperialism on Africa. The paper also seeks to propose Ibuanyidanda as a pragmatic and result-oriented philosophy suitable in this century to harmonize all competing interests and rival paradigms into a corporate unit for the purpose of pursuing African development and unity in the face of alienation, conflict and socio-linguistic and cultural diversities.

 

Philosophical bases of imperialism

                One can say that the notion of imperialism was inspired by some philosophers who justified slavery and inequality; they include Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Jean Jacques Rosseau. Plato in his tale “noble lie” rationalized inequality as a natural phenomenon and he encouraged the classes in the ideal state to co-exist in harmony (Ucheaga, 31).

                According to Aristotle, “some men are by nature free, and others slaves and these slavery is both expedient and right” (Stumpf, 104). Thus, Aristotle justified slavery because for him, some people are by nature slave (they are born slave). This is because they (slave) cannot conceive the master plan with the intellect but they can prosecute the master plan through their physical energy.

                For Thomas Aquinas, “in nature some persons are born superior and others inferior and consequently, some are chosen by nature to be leaders, others to be followers” (Sahakian, 111). But Aquinas did not admit this sense of slavery with inequality in Aristotle. This is because his own sense of slavery deals with inequality and complementarity. Hence, the weak has right Aquinas see inequality (the less intelligent and the intelligent) as proper and natural. This is because the more intelligent should rule the less intelligent for the good of both. Here, there is complementary of the less intelligent and more intelligent, because the idea o f authority is for common good.

                Jean Jacques Rousseau distinguished natural inequality from artificial inequality in his work “origin of inequality”. He explained natural inequality in terms of differences in intelligence, strength and agility. While artificial inequalities are conventions which human beings introduced into society, especially direct privileges arising from wealth and power. According to Ucheaga, Rosseau did not tell us whether natural differences form the basis for social inequalities such as the master-slave relationship and other types of unequal relationship (31).

                Accordingly, from the aforesaid conceptions of philosophers, one can deduce directly or indirectly, its aspiration and influence on imperialism and colonialism. From this idea of slavery and inequality arose the problem of imperialism which ravaged the world especially Africa and Asia. Now comes a question, if one nation is subjected by force, do one have the right to liberate onself, play dead, revolt or say no to the occupying force?

 

Concept of imperialism and colonization

                Etymologically, the word imperialism is derived from the Latin verb “imperare” meaning to command. Imperialism commonly refers to a political or geographical domainj such as the “Ottoman empire”, “the Russian empire”, “the Chinese empire” or “the British empire” etc. But the term can equally be applied to domains of knowledge, beliefs, values and expertise, such as the empires of Christianity or Islam. Imperialism is usually autocratic and also sometimes monolithic in character.

                For Brewer, the term imperialism is generally taken to refer to the dominance of more developed over less developed countries. According to him, the classical Marxists see imperialism as rivalry expressed in conflict over territory, taking political and military as well as economic forms, and tending ultimately to inter-imperialist war (80). According to Moon, “imperialism means domination of non-European native races by totally dissimilar European nations” (33).

                Furthermore, Bonn sees imperialism as a policy, which aims at creating, organizing and maintaining an empire that is a state of vast size composed of various more or less distinct national units and subject to a simple centralized will (605). For Beard, imperialism is employment of the engines of government and diplomacy to acquire territories, protectorates or sphere of influence occupied usually by other races or peoples and to promote industrial trade, and investment opportunities (113).

                More so, Barratt Brown has a broader conception of imperialism as the outward drive of certain peoples to build empires both formal colonies and privilege positions in markets, protected sources of materials and extended opportunities for profitable employment of labour. The concept has thus been associated with an unequal economic relationship between states not simply the inequality of political and economic dependence of the latter on the former (Ake, 20).

                The term imperialism as one can easily observe cannot be defined in any generally acceptable way. It means different things to different people. Thus, in this paper, our operative definition of imperialism will be according to Hodges who sees it as:

A projection externally directly or indirectly of the alien political, economic, or cultural power of one nation into the internal life of another people…it involves the imposition of control open or overt. Direct or indirect of one people by another (421).

 

Thus, for Hodges, the object of imperialism is to affect the destinies of the backward people in the interest of the more advanced, from the stand point of world power.

                On the other hand, colonialism according to Hobson, is a natural overflow of nationality, its test is the power of colonists to transplant the civilization they represent to the new natural and social environment in which they find themselves (7). For Hobson, colonialism is like parents and offsprings relationship. Winslow spoke of colonialism as the;

Occupation of virgin territory in which conflict was incidental, or even unnecessary, and subordinate to the desire of Europeans to find a new place to use (4),

               

In comparison to colonialism, Winslow opines that imperialism quite suggests something more organized, more military more self, consciously aggressive, bent on objectives above and beyond those of colonialism. But obviously, imperialism and colonialism refer to a superior-inferior relationship” (colonizer and colonized relationship). Thus, in current practice the two terms are used almost interchangeably. Hobson recognized this inaccuracy of terms when he said that “the colonial party in Germany and France is identical in general aim and method with the “imperialist” party in England” (Norman and Perkins, 161).

 

Brief History of Imperialism

                Imperialism (modern) may be divided into the “old imperialism” dating from 1492 to 1763 and the “New Imperialism” extending from about 1870 to the present or at least until World War II.

                What facilitated the “Old Imperialism” was the emerging nationalist, its philosophy was the mercantilism (trade and commerce) and its tools were the innovations of more advanced technological societies that gave Europeans almost complete assurance of victory over non European peoples. These technologies include gun powder, printing, banking, and building of ships and roads fortifications and in the science of navigation.

                Later, the imperialist recession, which began in 1763 until about 1870, brought some expansion to counterbalance immense losses. France conquered Algeria; England took possession of the southern tip of Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. The reverses included the colonies lost to England by the American Revolution and the vast areas lost to Spain and Portugal in the Latin American Wars of independence. More so, industrial revolution turned the attention of the more progressive states and their spectators to the prospect of juicy profits from the sale to home consumers of the products of the newly invented machinery. (Norman and Perkins, 167).

                What led to the New Imperialism according to Moon, was in 1870s and 1880s, when England began to feel the competition of other industrial rivals, when manufacturing nations began to raise protective tariff walls around their foreign markets, when steamships and railways provided facilities for world commerce and conquest, when greedy factories and hunger factory towns called out for raw materials and foodstuffs, when surplus capital, rapidly accommodating sought investments in backward countries, when the doctrine of economic nationalism triumphed over the old individualistic liberalism (46-57). Bonn collaborated this:

Protectionism as combination of national sentiment, lust for power and individual greed again became rampant and the new imperialism was launched (606).

 

                This imperialist control was established in many ways. At times, it was asserted through complete military conquest and at other times it took the form of negotiations between representatives of two supposedly equal but actually unequal states, wherein “empire builders” through the use of gold, gimcracks, or gunpower induced native leaders to make their marks on or otherwise signify their assent to a treaty, of which they may not have had the remotest understanding. In addition to these techniques of military conquest and fraud, imperialists devised others, the mere threat of force, demoralization through economic penetration, and the undermining of the established regime by friends of an outside state, as in Hawaii (Norman and Perkins, 167).

 

 

 

 

      Theories of Imperialism

 

Schumpeters theory:

                His views on imperialism are found in his essay, “Zur soziologie der imperialismus” which was published in 1919. He explains imperialism mainly as an activism. Imperialism is characterized as an aggressive expansionism which has no objective beyond itself. For him, imperialism cannot be explained in terms of concrete interests, economic or otherwise. He is also of the opinion that imperialism is never satisfied by any interest. Thus, it implies that imperialism is non-rational.

                Here the non-rational impulse of imperialism comes from the habits and instincts that moulded peoples and classes into warriors under pressure of the struggle for survival and supremacy. The psychological characteristics and social structures which are developed in the course of such situations of threat survive even when the danger is gone and manifest themselves as imperialism (Ake, 22). Schumpeter’s definition of imperialism as expansionism pursued specifically with military force is seen as too narrow. This is because imperialism is often accomplished by means other than military, for instance by economic power. Thus, he fails to define imperialism well.

 

Hobson’s theory:

                Hobson’s account of imperialism is seen in his work “imperialism: A study” published in 1902. He considers some psychological motives like national pride, quest for glory, and bellicosity as a minor explanation of imperialism. He opines that the dominant motives for imperialism were the quest for markets as well as opportunities for higher returns on investments.

                For him, the need for this quest rises partly because as a result of the development of capitalism in the west, industry was more productive and needed greater imports of raw materials more food for the urban population growing in response to industrialization, and products to meet the rising demand, for luxury goods created by a rising standard of living. He maintained that a more important cause of imperialism was the tendency for production to outgrow consumption, a tendency towards over saving and over investment and under-consumption. Associated with the tendency for investment, consumption is the distribution of income which gives too much money to employers and too little to employees.

                Hobson posits that the attempts to deal with the dilemma of over saving and under consumption fall into three categories. First is an attempt by organized labour and the state to ensure that workers obtain a larger share of the surplus. This would increase the purchasing power of the workers and also increase effective demand. The second is the restriction of output. Such restriction can be achieved by financial control of enterprise by sharing the market or otherwise regulating it, and by imposing production quotas and tariff barriers.

                The third option is for those who own capital to persuade the state to aid them in securing new markets by the establishment of protectorates, colonies and spheres of influence. This was the option which lead to imperialism. Hobson argues that British Imperialism with all its militant aggression did not bring economic benefits to a broad spectrum of the British. It meant heavy taxes for the British manufacturer and trader. He considers that when account is taken of all the expenditure on arms, Wars, etc. Imperialism was too costly in investment for a “small, bad, unsafe increase of markets” (Ake, 21).

                For Hobson, imperialism is really, the vehicle of the growing cosmopolitanism of capitalism. He rejects the explanation of imperialism as an inevitable and integral aspect of industrial progress.

 

Marx Theory:

                According to Karl Marx, Imperialism is a necessary outcome of capitalism. Marx throws light on imperialism in his analysis of the process by which surplus value is converted into capital, a process called accumulation. For Marx, surplus value is value of the product of the workers less what the capitalist pays him. In pursuit of profit this part of the gross product, surplus value has to be converted into a means of creating more wealth. It is rather like using profit to make more profit.

                The process of using surplus value to engineer more surplus value is the capitalization of surplus value. If surplus value is to be used to generate more wealth, it has to be converted into means of production as well as means of subsistence for workers. But it is easier if cruder to think of capitalization of surplus value as their ultimate use in commodity production. For him, the progressive use of surplus value to produce more and more commodities entails the more intensive use of existing labour or the employment of more labour usually the latter unless one makes highly limiting assumptions. Thus, one inescapable consequence of capitalist accumulation is the production of more or bigger capitalists and more workers. In other words, it reproduces and expands capitalist relations of production. Capitalism is inherently expansionary. Thus, the capitalist cannot survive and remain competitive without progressive accumulation or the continuous reproduction  of his capital on a continuously expanding scale. This in itself suggests a relationship between capitalism and imperialism (Ake, 24). So without being very explicit about the phenomenon, Marx sheds a lot of light on imperialism and its relation to capitalism. He shows that capitalism is inherently expansionary and that the contradictions of capitalist accumulation will tend to transport capitalism to economically backward countries.

 

Lenin theory:

                Both Marx and Lenin hold that imperialism grows out of the logic of the capitalist system. Lenin goes beyond Marx by asserting that imperialism symbolizes a particular stage in the development of capitalism. It reflects a transitional stage characterized by the displacement of capitalist free competition by monopoly. For Lenin, imperialism is capital in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself, in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance in which the division of the world among the international trusts has began, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.

                Although, the economic foundation of imperialism is monopoly , this monopoly which has grown out of capitalism exists in the general environment of capitalism, commodity production and competition in permanent and insoluble contradiction to this general environment”. For Lenin, as long as capitalism remains what it is, surplus capital will be utilized not for the purpose of raising the standard of living of the masses in a given country, for this would mean a decline in profits for the capitalist, but for the purpose of increasing profits by exporting capital abroad to the backward countries. That is one aspect of the relation between capitalism and imperialism.

                Another aspect emerges from the tendency of monopoly to engender stagnation and decay or loss of dynamism. Because the monopolist can up to a point, fix prices at least temporarily, his incentive continuously reduced. Indeed he may well stand in the way of technical progress. Lenin cites the example of a machine invented by a certain Owens which revolutionized the manufacture of bottles. A cartel of German bottle manufacturers bought the patent in order to ensure that the machine would not be put to use. Lenin sees all this as being indicative of the fact that capital has become overripe and cannot find avenues of profitable investment a situation which compels the export of capital (Ake, 25-26).

                Following the aforementioned, the major classical writers of imperialism, namely Hobsons, Lenin and Schumpeter, appear to agree that the impetus for imperialism is related to the process of capitalist accumulation. But they differ in their accounts of the precise nature of the character and manifestations of these interests and the precise nature of the relationship between capitalist accumulation and imperialism.

 

Motives of Imperialism

                Motives and techniques of modern imperialism were varied and complex. Norman and Perkins in the “International Relation” identified the motives of imperialism (163-166). The leading motives are Economic Gain, national Pride, White man’s Burden National Defence, Surplus Population and the Marxist Leninist view. Let us examine each of them:

Economic Gain:  This includes conquest for the sake of loot, the quest for competition free markets and sources of raw materials, the search for virgin fields of investment for the capitalists of imperial powers and the urge to secure certain strategic raw materials.

National Prestige (Nationalism):  European nations wanted to demonstrate their power and prestige to the world. Hans Kohn captured this well when he said, besides the economic urge, psychological motives played a great role in imperialism, the lust for adventure, and for power, the added prestige and glory which seemed to accrue from a vast colonial empire not only to the governing class but even to the masses of the colonizing nations, the new sentiment of pride and superiority which animated even the lowest members of the white races in their dealings with the “backward” race (80).

The white Man’s burden: The European’s sense of superiority made them feel obligated to “civilize the heaten savages” they encountered. Thus Joseph Chamberlain, Britain’s leading exponent of imperialism declared in 1893 that “it is our duty to take out share in the wake of civilization in Africa.

In reaction to this, Raymond Buel declared years ago that “it would be a gross perversion of fact to say that European and American imperialism was originally inspired by a desire to better the lives of the people whom it forcibly subjugated… there have been a number of instances where governments have established political control for humanitarian purposes (Norman and Perkins, 165).

 

National Defence: European nations were forced to acquire new colonies to achieve a balance with their neighbours and competitors. So, imperialism may serve national defense in a number of ways: by providing areas and bases for the defense of the state or its lines of communication, by providing much needed markets and sources of essential raw materials and by providing populations from which troops and laborers maybe drawn. For instance, during World War I France drew nearly 500.000 troops and more than 200,000 labourers from her colonies while England drew nearly 400,000 troops from India (Norman and Perkins, 16).

Surplus population: Statesmen have at times supported imperialism because they saw in colonies an outlet for population growing with embarrassing rapidity. Economic interest may profit, too, for emigrating nationals promise to be good customers. However, over populated states have found little relief in emigration to their colonies (Norman and Perkins, 166).

The Marxist-Leninist view: They apply the term to a phase in the expansion of capitalism, but not their own expansionism. Leninist theory of imperialism vests upon the assumption that all political action springs from economic motives. Thus, capitalism is the cause of imperialist. While some Marxists believed that capitalist states turned to imperialism more or less as a matter of choice, Lenin held that capitalism led inevitably to imperialism.

 

The effect of imperialism on Africa

                The Arusha declaration powerfully and simply expressed one of the deepest truths of the colonial experience in Africa when it stated that:

We have been oppressed a great deal, we have been exploited a great deal, and we have been disregarded a great deal (Rodney, 251).

 

This can be illustrated by the pattern of the economic infrastructure of African colonies, especially roads and railways, where exports were not available, roads and railways were built to move troops and make conquest and oppression easier.

                Means of communication were not constructed in the colonial period so that Africans could visit their friends. They were not laid down to facilitate internal trade in African commodities; there is no road to connect different parts of the same colony, in order to facilitate Africa’s need and development. Rather, they were built to extract gold, manganese, coffee and cotton. They were built to make business possible for the timber companies, trading companies and agricultural concession firms and for white settlers. Any catering to African interests was purely coincidental (Rodney, 251-252).

                This is a paradox, because these colonies were the generators of the capital rather than the countries into which foreign capital; was ploughed. Most of the social services went to whites and the government committed itself to pursuing the odious policy of apartheid, which meant separation of the races in order to exploit the African people.

                Colonialism created conditions which led not just to periodic famine, but to chronic under nourishment, malnutrition and deterioration in the physique of the African people. According to Rodney, “if the above statement sound wildly extravagant, it is only because bourgeoise propaganda has conditioned even Africans to believe that malnutrition and starvation were natural lots of Africans from time immemorial” (287).

                Furthermore, it is pertinent to note that the colonizers did not introduce education into Africa because it existed before their advent. Rather, they introduced a new set of formal educational institutions which partly supplemented and replaced the existing ones. The main purpose of the colonial school system was to train Africans to help manage the local administration at the lowest ranks and the private capitalist firms owned by Europeans. According to Rodney, “colonial schooling was education for subordination, exploration, and the creation of mental confusion and the development of underdevelopment” (293).

                More so, other effects of colonialism on the colonies especially Africa include the imperialist use of their hard driven powers to find ways of forcing natives to till the soil, dig for gold, gather rubber, hunt for ivory, or collect coconuts. They achieved all these, through slavery, forced labour, heavy taxation, and the confiscation of the land. For Norman and Perkins, sometimes the natives were forced to give a share of their crops or their time to the government, sometimes troops directed forced labour, sometimes a hut tax or poll tax was imposed, payable only in labour or in certain products (174).

                The imperialists sometimes rewarded the native chieftains according to their success in mobilizing their tribes men for labour. Also, punishment on the colonies varied from lashing, mutilation, death, separation from wife and family, confiscation of land, or exclusion from hunting grounds. The imperialist powers have also debauched their colonials in order to obtain revenue. This is absolutely man’s inhumanity to man.

                At present, to maintain the existing structural imbalance and inequality among the Europe, America and Africa, it does not require slave trade or colonization as it used to be, but a more hidden and neutral mechanism of exploitation is employed. This is the process of neo-colonialism or neo-imperialism. With this, colonial imbalance continues to function to the benefits of the industrialized nations (American, Europe) at the expense of their brothers and sisters living in the developing, undeveloping and underdeveloping world (Africa). Under this present system are three methods by which rich western countries maintain their advantage over the poor nations in Africa. First is the mechanism of international trade, the second, the whole international finance system (IMF, World Bank, London and Paris Clubs Bretton Wood etc) and the third, multinational or transactional companies (Ugorgji, 14-15).

                The theory of free trade championed by Adam Smith and David Ricardo, employed an unfair mechanism to maintain and increase the structural imbalance between the industrial and developing nations. Thus, the “invisible hand” of the market forces would direct every member of society and every nation using the engine of self interest of each, to the best possible situation for the global economy. This free market economy maintains a protectionist barrier through trade regulation and this raise some tariffs high and block the access of poor African countries to the western market.

                Furthermore, international monetary fund (IMF) promotes international monetary cooperation and growth of world trade. IMF gives loan to member states that are in difficulties, these countries are mainly African (who are uncertain of export market). But these African countries end up servicing their debts, even new loans are given to them by IMF to pay off old debts to become once more debtors (Ugorji, 21). Also loans from IMF and World Banks to developing countries (Nigeria) are not without condition. Conditions such as privatization, removal of subsidy, cutting down on employment and hike in tariffs are given by these economic predators, who are agents of neo-colonialism, imperialism exploitation and the rest.

                Multinational business corporations are principal agents of the West’s post war economic expansion, They are attracted to establish their firms in the developing world because of its abundant resources, cheap labour, weak or non existent trade unions, lack of environmental laws, as well as tax concessions from desperate or corrupt political elites. The claim to aid the developing countries by bringing sources of technology, capital, research management and marketing skills which would otherwise be unavailable to developing countries (Ugorji, 23). The western powers achieve these selfish projects with the aid of the corrupt African political elites who lack vision, wisdom and African-developing consciousness of complementary homogeneity.

                It is also necessary to highlight the advantages of colonization which include western education, better health care, connection with the outside world and the integration of Africa into the global economy. But its negative effect enshrouded the positive effects.

 

 

Imperialism: The African Desire for Ibuanyidanda

                It is duly accepted though, arguable that the place of Africa today in world history is far below where it ought to be as one of the foremost continents of the world, and indeed, a cradle of civilization. Its missing place in the world of science and technology, industrialization, political stability, economic growth and high level development pedigree is obviously the consequence of an unholy romance with the Europe and other parts of the world. This ugly fraternity exploited and exported the African values and products and raw materials for the speedy transformation and economic re-engineering of the west while shipping into the shores of African land, all forms of discordant, individualism, bribery and corruption, looting, trafficking in persons, armed banditry and other like negatives. Prior to this unsolicited colonial incursion and its episodic-rough regime, Africa was a commonalistic, communalistic, socialistic and welfare-based complementary union that understood what it meant to feel and experience the pain of one another. It understood the exigency of co-operation which constantly reflects in her ideology and philosophy of existence. The pain of an African is immediately felt by another African which is synonymous with the legal concept of neighbourhood. An African is indeed that fellow that appreciates his fellow who is in lack, in pain, in sorrow, and also in plenty. Inflicting injury for whatever purpose does not conform with the status of existence of an African man. The spirit of Africanness stands as an innermost judge to the affairs of an African, what he does, how he does it, and for what purpose.

                A tour of the African clan reviews to us the essence of appreciating one’s brother and realizing the benefit of brotherhood and/or familyhood as expressed by Leopold Senghor and Nyerere in their different philosophies. For example, when an African person dies, the death of the person is not the responsibility of the immediate family. But the death as a pain, is a collective responsibility of the people within and around the clan. In most cases, the immediate bereaved family is released of responsibilities, while helps and arrangements are sought and made by the kinsmen.

                It is not to be debated that the worth of a man is measured and determined by the strength and ability of his people crowding around him in the time of misfortune and also, celebration. This informs the essence of the Igbo wise saying that: Gidi Gidi bu Ugwu eze” meaning the strength of man lies with his people.

                In an unbiased analysis, Africans have value and regard for their people and they demonstrate this quality unconsciously at any given time occasion arises. The choice of “unconsciousness” of the practice is based on the fact that the practice is universal commonly carried out by Africans. It is not a pretentious act so that an African person would know when to carry it out, and how to do it, so as to either limit the degree of participation or increase it depending on his relationship. But in this case, it is a morally-collective will and practice of the people which has become part of their existence.

                The above expressed African adage is significantly related with the saying that: a nokuu nyoo mamiri, ogbaa ofufu. This could be translated as the collective passage of urine produce fume. In the African cosmology, the above is carefully and seriously put into consideration in the understanding of that concept of Ibuanyi ndanda. An individual who decides to operate alone, or isolate himself from his community and people, will certainly find himself in a situation where even his influence and wealth put together cannot bail him. But a collective spirit and action produce result and solve: any challenging situation that could confront a man or a community. This is the African spirit that was lost in the theatre of European colonialistic bedlam. An insane uproar that has completely eroded the African value system and concept of Egbe bere ugo bere – live and let live. It is time therefore, to re-awaken the consciousness of Africans of the need to go back to the golden days of understanding the essence of Africanness. The period and time that the spirit of togetherness was akin to African existence. This is what Asouzu in this 21st century has exposed the ignorant minds of Africans the fluidity of wisdom inherent in the lifestyle of Danda – an insignificant ant in the community of ants that reasoned carefully that their unity has the capacity of overcoming any challenges and bring to them peace, development and progress. Asouzu argues thus:

Where actors have acquired such a comprehensive mindset, chances are that the way they view human relativity is likely to change for better, such that no condition, no matter how challenging can be considered hopeless. Likewise, they would come to understand that no amount of achievement could be considered as something fulfilling, unless the input of all stakeholders is adequately taken into account. It is in view of such a transformation that all human condition shall come to be seen as opportunities towards a higher form of self actualization and one where the contributions of all missing links, no matter how insignificant, are seen as necessary and useful, where this type of understanding and good will are present, task can never appear insurmountable bearing in mind the future referential dimension of the possibilities enshrined in the world in its relative constitution. This is when  all stakeholders have the capacity to say Ibu anyindanda or in complementarity we endure… (64-65).

 

                Asouzu from the above sees wisdom in the collective efforts of the people as the engine for development and progress. It is equally a philosophy that tries to do away with all forms of individualism, imperialism, colonialism and capital flight. A communalistic African spirit sets aside ethnic Chauvinism and considerations. This is why Asouzu in opposition to ethnicity argues:

Where ethnicity is seen merely from the optic of a social construct devised for the attainment of selfishness, these intricate of selfish ends, these intricate and often more important dimensions easily elude us. There is more to ethnicity than the constructivists make us understand… due to human fundamental instinct for self preservation, the mind reacts to perceived similarities and differences, in multiethnic contexts, after the maxim the nearer the better and the safer (181).

 

This paper shares with the belief that “the nearer the better and the safer” fallacy is incredibly inconformity with the colonial practice of dealing with only those that share sameness of culture, political aspirations and economic interests. Bearing in mind that their relationship with them would further promote their intentions and advance the exploitative and explorative interests.

The Africans with their hospitable spirit had a different view when it comes to human relationship and promotion of ideas. This perhaps, could be seen as the African bane. The African cultural values today are eroded and sacrificed in the alter of colonial infraction, personal ego and self defeat, the raw materials and personnel were lost to the credit of the Europeans, and what is today as the European development was the tactical exploitation of the African substructures by the colonial kingpins in collaboration with the African saboteurs.

However, cognizance of the above prevailing circumstantial posture of the African existence, Ibuanyidanda advocates for a re-direction of the African mindset towards appreciating the need to be together, fraternize together in order to forge ahead and overcomes the seeming African challenge whether in politics, economy, religion, culture and/or language.

Closely related to this call of togetherness expressed in the unequivocal language of Ibuanyidanda as a pragmatic result-oriented philosophy for Africa is the clarion call made by Ozumba and Ikegbu in “The Insufficiency of Humans and the Logic of complemtarity in the 21st century”. Both argue that:

Relationships of humans have aptly degenerated owing to the fact that humans have appreciated isolationist posture with the near conviction that truth and solution can be attained through this process. This method of thinking and/or reasoning by humans has actually led to utmost deception.

 

No matter how anyone may access the above, and whatever convincing analysis that it may yield, the need to appreciate one’s efforts and talents cannot be compromised. In this wise, no one goes without a talent, as everyone remains a reservoir of talents. These can be properly harnessed in an atmosphere of togetherness.

 

Evaluation and conclusion

                This paper sets out to expose imperialism and its effects on Africa. It also highlighted the philosophical bases of imperialism which brought about the question: if one is subjected by force, does one have the right to liberate oneself, play dead, revolt or say no to the occupying force? Buying these ideas will not give an adequate solution to the problem. Rather let us listen to what John Paul II has to say in the need to review the relationship between the industrialized nations and the developing countries, thus he opines:

To carry out this mission adequately will demand rethinking international cooperation in terms of a new culture of solidarity. When seen as a sowing of peace, cooperation cannot be reduced to aid to assistance….

Rather it must express a concrete and tangible commitment to solidarity which makes the poor the agents of their own development (111).

 

                This solidarity entails, social justice that will restore to the participants a certain equality of opportunity. Trade relations can no longer be based on the principle of free trade rather fair trade, this is because free trade brings unchecked competition and creates an economic dictatorship. Loans and grants should not be tied to the commercial, political and military interest because it maintains the unjust status quo of superior-inferior relationship.

                More so, multinationals should be regulated by codes of law enforced by multinational juristic bodies. This is to check multinational business operations with respect to depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, labour relations and taxation. Finally, the western powers should recognize and respect Africans as a person, created in the image and likeness of God, one with equal dignity and rights as the rest of humanity. With these, there will be peace, unity and progress in our world.

 

 

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