By Waheed Nsubuga, South Africa
To understand capitalism better first we have to look at its origin, nature and its connection with brutal history such as slavery...
Africans, Africa and its economical, cultural and social values are all based on the African concept of “UBUNTU”. This has been the fundamental challenge to Africans and for Africa to adapt and progress under capitalism since Ubuntu and capitalism do not have a harmonious match.
Apart from a very marvelous picture painted about capitalism; the ugly side of it hence; Selfishness, heartlessness, discrimination, murder, racism, apartheid, segregation and all other crimes against humanity need to be brought to the fore.
When we look at African values; it’s just opposite of all those! Our values are based on unity among families, villages and beyond…Not forgetting welcoming visitors in our homes and helping those in a need.
Having said all that, capitalism has been very successful in Europe and America due to the nature of the people there (the Europeans). It is not a secret that capitalism has molded white people into becoming heartless, selfish and self-centered. This has enabled them to accumulate capital from all over the world, leaving many in abject poverty and killing millions.
In Africa; it’s a shame if not a crime not to know your neighbor’s name while very normal with the Europeans.
In Africa; all the village elderly are regarded as parents to all the village children which is not the case with Europeans where the notion “everybody for himself/herself” reigns. This is also further emphasized by the fact that in Africa extended families are highly valued, whilst the west looks at family as husband, wife, sons and children.
In Africa; it’s against cultural values to get rid of your parents just because they’re old since parents must pass away in our hands no matter the conditions whilst in the west elderly have to be pushed somewhere far away from their own homes to old age homes something which to Africans may be looked at as “burial before their actual death”.
In Africa; you cannot let anyone to go hungry for the reason we’re all responsible for one another as sharing is in our blood, whilst the west again embraces the everybody for himself or herself !!!
Capitalistic elements have had a good hand in destroying the continent, creating confusion, wars, poverty and diseases.
History has it that the selfishness, heartlessness, self-centeredness nature of capitalism have led to oppression, racism, apartheid to all races more so those that have always been at the bottom of the ladder; “the non whites”.
Even today in the 21 century, living in any territory/country which is control by the majority Europeans has always made non-whites second class citizens. As longer as you don’t look European, you shall always remain a half citizen in countries such as; America, Canada, Australia and European countries. On the other hand Europeans living in African controlled territories have always enjoyed the African receptive nature deeply rooted in the Ubuntu African spirit.
One of the main tools of capitalism is centralized system of governance which gives the capitalists or neo colonialist’s easy access to resources, a system that contradicts the African way of life and governance. The centralized system empowers the leadership with the right to sell without consulting the masses as history has it regarding Africa and the Middle East. This has led to discontent and eventually rebellion in many places in Africa and beyond.
Unfortunately neocolonialists have now been favored with a new term which is used for those who stand and expose their exploitative system; the term is “terrorists”.
Decentralized governance system, a potential replacement for centralization, had been the model used by the Africans for centuries before colonization which suited their way of life, economical, beliefs, culture and other social values. This system gives trusted people/individuals from different communities, positions of responsibilities to work hand in hand with their communities along with the Government to ensure fair distribution of resources.
Unlike decentralization, centralization has even failed in the place where it had started that is United Kingdom as the Scottish vote recently revealed the need to grant more autonomy to the four members of the union.
Decentralization can thus be a solution to many war torn countries in Africa and the Middle East such as Nigeria, Congo, Libya, Southern Sudan, Central African republic, Kenya, Libya and Uganda to mention a few. The same system can be used against capitalism and neocolonialism helping to give more powers back to the local populations….