Saturday, 16 July 2011

Is PAN-ARICANISM surviving in the Web of Globalization? By Oduwale Kehinde

Oduwale Kehinde
Amongst Africans at home and Diaspora, there exists a consciousness, which grew out of Africans’ Socio-economic and political conditions. This mood fully assumed ideological status when it forcefully gained global prominence in the mid 20th century. This collective consciousness is called PAN-AFRICANISM.
What is PAN-AFRICANISM? Although Pan-Africanism’s origin cannot be linked to any specific date in history, but its evolution can be traced to an epoch in the history of Africans’ struggle against slavery and quest for restoration of Africans’ socio-cultural and political prides. Solidarity/Revolutionary slogans like “AFRICA FOR AFRICANS”, “DISINTEGRATION”, “RETURN TO AFRICA”, “REPARATION”, “CONSCIENCISM”, “UJAMA” and many others arose from written works of many prominent Pan-Africanists in Diaspora and Africa, like Marcus Garvey, El-hadj Malik Shabbaz (Malcolm x), Martin Lurther king Jr, Walter Rodney, Emperor Haile Sellasi, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrick Lumumba, Frantz Fanon, Amilca Cabral, Sekou Toure etc. The voluminous written works and practical works of these listed Pan-Africanists above stimulated collective consciousness against colonialism in Africa and Racial Discrimination in Diaspora. There is no gainsaying that Pan-Africanism achieved considerable results both at home and Diaspora vis-à-vis “Political Independence” for many African States and the passing into law the “Civil rights bill” in America respectively.
However, as “Economic realities” unfold the so called independence became a “Suspect” given the general perception that the Pains/Wounds/Ties of colonialism still live with Africans as regards current Africa’s socio-economic political arrangements. This is what scholars generally coined as “Neo-colonialism”. One of the most vibrant and very brilliant Pan-Africanists to question this post-colonial experience of Africans was WALTER RODNEY in his famous book “HOW EUROPE UNDER DEVELOPED AFRICA”. Just like many dogged Pan-Africanists in Diaspora and Africa, Walter Rodney’s life was cut-short (by some Suspected Imperialists’ Assassins) on the journey of Re-fashioning a “Political Economy” that would brighten Africans’ future via his works.

Patrice LUMUBA
Furthermore, as Pan-Africanism struggles to quash this quagmire, it became constrained by a growing force of the new age. In other words, Pan-Africanism is threatened by the growing trend of Universal Cultural Homogeneity from late 20th century till date (21st century). This force is known as Globalization.

WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION? Globalization is a trend that evolved from long past, but with short history. It first evolved from the idea of COSMOPOLITANISM of the antiquity during the Greco-Roman Imperialism, when powerful emperors tried to fuse the entire world under one supreme government. This permeated into ENLIGHTENMENT era when Europe witnessed a Dramatic knowledge transfer in Areas of Arts, Philosophy and Science. However, this form of Globalization was limited in scope and practice by Eurocentric Historiography (a term coined by Chandra Mohanty) in which many European individuals arrogantly define and write the history of the world along history of Caucasians’ Traditions/Culture by neglecting taking into cognizance other races. Globalization has a short history in that its nature assumed a realistic status at the Dawn of the Digital age when transfer of information and improvement in Tele-Communications’ industries over the world reached a considerable speedy proportion from late 20th century till date.

In addition to this, Globalization however transcends a mere considerable improvement in Computerization/Digitalization of social relations across the world (leading to World Wide Web’s social networking and dramatic improvement in inter-racial/cross-cultural ties), Globalization (in a broader sense) is a New wave of “POLITICAL ECONOMY” that deepens capitalism to the nooks and crannies of the world via trans-national trade liberalization and allowance of the invisible hands (of Demand and Supply) to govern the international market and balance of payment. This trend is fostered by Big-players and multi-national corporate bodies around the Globe. The Big Question is … WHAT RACE/BLOCK/CLASS controls/dominate this Global village in spheres of Politics, Economics, Science, Law, Sports, Education etc? Many seasoned Pan-Africanists reading this note might quickly answer this question by holding that the Dominant Race/Block/Class in this Global village is the Caucasian race, while some Globalists might hold that the Western Block (i.e. America, Britain and France) dominate this global village given the big influx of many people (especially in Africa) all over the globe into this Block.

 However, when we critically look inwards into economic conditions of common people all over the globe, especially the labour force, we would no doubt come to the reality that JUST 2 RACES/CLASSES exist in this Global village. These two classes are the RICH (BIG ECONOMIC PLAYER/BIG POLITICAL PREDATORS) which form the dominant class and the dominated class comprising the POOR (i.e workers, peasants and artisans). In other words, the recent Global ECONOMIC MELT DOWN of the world vis-à-vis the unprecedented Credit Crunch in America’s Wall street, Britain, France, Spain, Japan etc. which immediately permeated into unprecedented recession in stock/credit markets of all third world nations lends credence to the fact that only 2 races exist in the world. The unemployment problem/set-backs in job conditions of common masses/workers all over the globe show that only the races of the rich (oppressive class) and the poor (oppressed class) exist in the socio-economic and political spectrum of the world. A present situation whereby workers/students/unemployed youths all over the globe protest against Government cut in subsides on social services and increment in Education’ fees and growing unemployment is a CALL for ideological review/restructuring and repositioning of PAN-AFRICANISM. In other words, while noting the Survival of the fittest syndrome/unhealthy competitiveness created all over the world by Globalization at the economic sphere via its ideological instrument of Neo-liberalism, it is also a challenge for Pan-Africanists to read between the lines by leaving above the realm of AFRO-CENTRIC CONSCIOUSNESS and strategize for a new wave of consciousness along cross-continental/inter-racial lines if we are really sincere about the need to successfully struggle for Africans’ bright Economic future. Let us realize the task of joining forces with workers union in America, Europe, Asia and Oceania to pave way for Global Economic Egalitarianism. The practice of making “Pan-Africanism” revolve strictly around the racial bulb of Afrocentrism only places us on the same pedestal with those misguided Eurocentrists (Aristotle, David Hume, Hegel etc.) who devoted considerable part of their written-works philosophically instigating and fueling the psycho-social vice of Caucasians’ superiority complex to the detriment of other Races. In other words, while re-positioning Pan-Africanism’s along this universal line, Pan-Africanism can then significantly play the role of strengthening socio-moral re-awakening in the Global village by making Africans Golden Moral styles becloud the western dominant moral iniquities. Pan-Africanism can therefore with this be useful in areas of Moralizing upon the Monumental Moral decadence of this Global village vis-à-vis somersault in Marriage Institutions (i.e. Homo Sexual/Gays/Lesbians’ marriages), high rate of the pornography bedeviling the psyche of the youths of this new age orchestrated by Imperialists’ culture of liberalism.
A practice of using Pan-Africanism to revolutionarily design a separate political economy for Africa (by neglecting the need of joining forces with workers of all nations to overthrow the monster of capitalism) is nothing but a utopian exercise; as it would only confer on us inglorious status of MASTER-RACISTS within the web of Globalization.

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

1 comment:

  1. A strong insight into a situation that has always divided the intellect of the continent called Africa. (I will make a reflection just on an aspect among all you said here). Pan-Africanism as you rightly said it, came in as a sort of revend...ication of autonomy of the black race. It created many schools of thought. The partisants of "if you cannot beat them, then join them". A good representative of this group is one of the greatest african thinkers, known as Sengor, who, maybe out of fraustration or desir to please his masters made an unpardonable mistake by indirectly affirming by his statement, "Emotion is Negro as Reason is Hellenic.”, what Hume has earlier said.
    And the group of those who wished to tell the world we are not what you thought of us. This group created many branches, starting from those who out what only them can justify made the greatest error error that even Aristote at his time could not make. The apostle of this group was Placide TEMPELS, though, not an African, one cannot talk of Pan-Africanism, or African philosophy, if one think he was one, without mentioning his name. This great man, though, he has the merit of awaking many other thinkers on african mode of beeing, succeeded in pleasing his fellow compatriot who were wondering on what keeps him among the primitives.
    The problem that has always been the outcome of these ways of thinking Panafricanism is that, it is either one move towards unnecesary revendication or one join the chorus and forget the identity of a people is in question. Without, doubting the positiveness and veracity of its content, I am tempted to think that it might force one to adopt a contre-attack method. That's, a system which want to show we have something that you lack. We are morally, well inculturated and you, deculturated. in another words, your morality, or your culture is not the best one. You tolerate gays, homosexuals, lesbians, your youths no longer respect the elders and the likes, whereas, in our society, the family is secred, sexual matters are respected and the the stuff of this type.
    But then, what can one do in face of these dilema? I think, among the mothern african intellects, the cameroonian philosopher, Marcel TOWA, makes a point closer to what I deem the right attitude towards this type of situation. According to this great philospher, (from the way I understood his thought) there is no need seeking for revendication. No need trying to propose our own way to the world. All we need is to embrace the society, join the great intellects and strong economics and learn their technics first, after that, then use it to transform our society. For him, the secret is just to make use of our reasons and pass everything under the test of reason, including the existent of God.