There is not one honest person in Africa who is not overcome by Righteous Indignation in the spirit of the African Prophetic Tradition about the state of the African Union and the deplorable economic conditions our various Economic Communities continue to steadfastly abhor but still adhere to. When would the snare be broken? When will we escape?
The International Monetary Fund (the IMF) and the World Bank, and Western Civilization have brought together two forms of capitalism into a hitherto Virgin world of beautiful and ugly consequences, nevertheless sustainable – Predatory Capitalism and Financial Capitalism – which altogether have culminated in the Destructive Capitalism we have seen in the world, creating the most expansive form of inequality the world has ever known.
Ghana, West Africa and Africa have inherited this colonial imperialism and implemented its tenets to devastating effect still without a deep comprehension of its fangs and claws. African students seem neither capable of divulging themselves from the stench of the Socratic Ideal – and it is said that Socrates laughed only once, and cried none – which stands in contradistinction from the spirit of the African or Black Prophetic Tradition.
Our Prophetic Tradition dates back 7,000 years at the least. And even after being kidnapped, enslaved, shipped, whipped, and decimated for more than 400 years, it is embodied still in that wonderful song by Brother Willie King and The Liberators. If the Blues, after time and distance had separated it from its African roots, can still be defined as a personal narrative of Catastrophe lyrically expressed, or Rap, as a political narrative of Suffering rhythmically chanted, or Reggae, as a communal Transcendence linguistically played, then the Catastrophe of White Insecurity, Slavery, Colonialism and Imperialism, can be fully understood.
Hence, the African Prophetic Tradition is simply one that says in the face of these Catastrophes; we’ve got to analytically understand it; we’ve got to prophetically bear witness; and we’ve got to generate forms of fightback that organize and mobilize, beginning with Africa – the original people – but also embracing all freedom fighters of all colors.
So a Kwame Nkrumah, or a Patrice Lumumba, or a Thomas Sankara, or a Frederick Douglass working with William Lloyd Garrison and Ida B. Wells, and working for anti-Colonial, anti-Imperialist, anti-Terrorist, anti-Lynching groups, not just in Africa and the Americas but in Europe as well, all the way back to Pharaoh Tahaka of Kemet, who liberated Judea and the Canaanites from Persian hands, and all the way up to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Marley and Ella Baker; these towering figures who exemplify Integrity, Honesty, and Decency, should remind us of the fight for Liberty within the confines of our traditions; traditions that influenced the world, gave it civilization even, but which, nonetheless have been terrorized, traumatized, and stigmatized for more than 400 years.
Rich men across the terrain are cropping up in the huge cities of our African States. They have become Africa’s Talented Tenth, satisfying a harrowing prophecy of W. E. B. Dubois. Yet, others more are elated about this Emergence, because to them, the Rich, or shall we call it the Reich, represent a Symbolic Rise of Africa. That rise, no matter how much the Socratic Ideal may be quoted or called upon to endorse it, only rests its Humanity (as in Human – from the Latin, Humanus, i.e. Corpse or Death) within the iron arms of Materialism. Material Capitalism hence is what we now practice in Africa, imposed upon us by Africa’s One Percent and supported and cheered on by their ‘Friends’ in the West.
Instant Success and Superficial Gratification mark the boundaries of the reaches of this capitalism. Like large Babies, the Reich is more concerned with the size of their Cribs more so than learning to Crawl, and looking forward to eventually Walking, Jogging, and Running for Liberty. They are not occupied with the Issues of our times. Rather they are preoccupied with Crying less, Laughing more, to make Mama and Papa happy [the West happy] so they can be moved from their small cribs to the much larger Cribs, while their Brothers and Sisters whine and whimper at the behest of these so-called Dope-Feeding Monsters.
Unlike the astronomical cycles that defined and even confined the Industrial Capitalism of our forebears in Kemet, Nubia, Aksum, Ghana, Mali and Songhai, the Mathematics of Compound Interest, enacted exclusively by the new Banking System, to extract as much wealth as it can from the populace, and learned and supported by the Reich in Africa, leads our Economic Communities inevitably into a Debt Crash. The Financial Capitalists eventually expand their Oppressive Systems faster than the underlying Industrial Economy upon which they are built. Thus, a resultant overburdening occurs and with it, a Debt Crisis that grows increasingly severe.
Then, our Industrial Economies, based off on our Economic Communities, are torn asunder by breaks in the chain of payments to the overly-demanding Viper that is the Banking System.
Of course, we must fight back. But how?
My grandfather used to say: The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living. I add to that: The Examined Life Is Painful. My life is painful. And so should yours. We occupy a space and time where the African Prophetic Tradition that melts the Imhotepic Moment with the Vodu Tradition have been trampled upon to the extent that they no longer can be Rationalized to stop Africa’s Subjugation nor its Victimization.
We, in Africa, have become the 2-Legged Linguistically Conscious Erect-Walking animals born between feces and urine that my grandfather feared, who are whimsically converted by the lures of the Market, which is a Human invention capable alone of what its wielders (the West) bend it to do. We might be growing old and we might be growing big, but we are not growing Up!
Hopefully we can grow past our Credentials and obtain some much needed Education to put to a stop this Western Materialism and Resurrect the African Prophetic Tradition once more. Or we can become Human – Corpses or Death. It is our choice; ours alone! We must find a way and allow those who have the WILL to take up overthrowing the System. The System must be defeated, at any and at all costs! This is the African Prophetic Tradition.
If you would like to read an enumeration of the meaning of the African Prophetic Tradition and how it explains away a paradigm for economic policy making in Africa, in a Philosophical sense, you are invited to read this and partake in its conclusions. I for one found this piece inspiring since Narmer Amenuti first mentioned it earlier on a post about Davison Budhoo’s resignation from the IMF. It is concise and straight to point. The implications for this kind of philosophy can be debated. But the core value remains the same, seamlessly tailoring the Black Prophetic Traditions of the Americas with that of Africa makes for a more inclusive philosophy and one that should shape the African Union and her Foreign Policy initiatives. Any honest politician who is committed to leaving a mark on posterity can count this one a must read document to be kept in the pocket. Thanks Narmer Amenuti for sharing within such short notice.
Beautiful prose Narmer. This is very touching. I hope we are able to revive the African Prophetic Tradition in a way that maintains the coordinates of our future with a GPS molded in the Traditions of our past. Thanks for sharing.