Non-governmental aid and development organisations have become a huge industry which is very closely intertwined with the establishment. Their source of income is made up of donors instead of customers.
The way in which they operate is not all that dissimilar to commercial profit based enterprises. They are auxiliaries to the forces of conflict much like the missionaries were in the imperialist days of old. Once the forces of conflict have moved to different area of operations the vultures fly in to clean up the mess.
The template of conflict in Africa
How the cycle of destruction operates may well be observed from this quote and further readings in the 2014 article from the independent Stability Journal:
The advent of intra-state conflicts or ‘new wars’ in West Africa has brought many of its economies to the brink of collapse, creating humanitarian casualties and concerns. For decades, countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea- Bissau were crippled by conflicts and civil strife in which violence and incessant killings were prevalent. While violent conflicts are declining in the sub-region, recent insurgencies in the Sahel region affecting the West African countries of Mali, Niger and Mauritania and low intensity conflicts surging within notably stable countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal sends alarming signals of the possible re-surfacing of internal and regional violent conflicts.
This article addresses the Western region of the African continent but the pattern that emerges from it is applicable to Africa as a whole.
In the first part of this series: the new scramble for Africa it was argued that we are about to enter a new period of imperialist exploitation.
History has a tendency to repeat itself, never in exactly the same manner, but similar enough in order to recognise overarching patterns, symptoms and…
This new round of exploitation, this new surge, entered a new cycle with the Arab spring of 2010 which toppled the regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunesia. All of them African countries. So far it seems that only the Tunisians have been able to reap some benefit from it.
Libya on the other hand was utterly destroyed. It has since then become a pirate’s nest for human trafficking, an arms dealers paradise and a haven for other illicit activities. Much like for instance Somalia and Eritrea were in the 90’s and still are to some extent.
People don’t become pirates, terrorists, freedom fighters, without proper cause, because for instance their way of living is taken away from them. For instance if their fishing grounds are being depleted, overfished by foreign mega trawlers, or their houses bombed out as collateral damage from drone strikes.
Wouldn’t you resist in some form if this would happen to you?
Extremism and other false flags
The gunmen attack in 2013 on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya resulted in at least 67 deaths, and more than 175 people were reportedly wounded in this mass shooting. The extremist Islamic group 'al-Shabaab' claimed responsibility for the incident, which it characterised as retribution for the Kenyan military's deployment in the group's home country of Somalia.
Who is 'al-Shabaab'? Who is funding them? Who are their proxies? All part of a global Islamist conspiracy?
It’s all too easy to blame Muslim extremism as the culprit. People don’t radicalise overnight. Ordinary people don’t kill other ordinary people as a matter of fact. It is against human nature, as any combat veteran could tell you. They all remember the first fellow human being they killed and this event has scarred them for the rest of their lives.
The times of Muslim expansionism are more than a millennium ago. What has happened in the meantime? Who has been at the steering wheel of most conflicts since then?
Motives can be obscured, evidence falsified, history can be rewritten, but patterns are emerging from the clouds of misinformation that guide us to the truth, as long as we are willing and able to see them.
I’m from Western Europe and I have come to the conclusion that most if not all of the misery of the world is caused by Western powers. For hundreds of years. Recurring events, patterns, modi of operandi that have been played out over the rest of the world. Never in the same manner but modified according to the circumstances.
‘your people’ one might argue. Well, they’re not. Their not ‘my people’ nor are they yours.
The nazis who murdered millions of Jews in the Holocaust are not ‘my people’, nor are the nazis who oppressed and exploited millions of South Africans under the ‘apartheid’ regime.
I cannot however continue to keep a grudge towards their descendants. They are citizens of our societies and have every right to be so. I cannot ship them off to some remote part of the world. There are no more remote parts left in this world that is getting smaller and more populated each and every day.
We have to come up with alternative solutions. We have to device plans for the future in order to prevent the past from happening again. We have to find and look at the root causes not being distracted by its symptoms.
Racism, nazism are real but they are also false flags that obscure the overarching ulterior motives: greed and power.
Greed and hunger for power know no colour, culture nor religion. They have no faith. They are the purest forms of evil. They can be typified by the total lack of morality and humanity towards others. They are devoid of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu. This African concept of ‘humanity towards others’ as explained by people like President Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu closely resembles the narrative of ‘humanism’ we can find in Europe, Arabia and Asia throughout various stages of history. It is an antidote against greed and struggle for power.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
One very basic principle and guideline of Christianity equals that of the Ubuntu expression of humanity towards others.
It seems that there is also an overarching ulterior pattern regardless of race, culture or religion where the forces of good are concerned.
So what can we do as individual citizens of this world? That is I believe to be a matter of choice. The choices we as individuals make as a part of the greater human collective. We can choose to do unto others because we want them to do unto us as we do to them.
Our choices have consequences. Our actions cause rippling effects that eventually bounce back to us in one shape or form.
- If we put our own self-interest at the heart of our affairs then don’t be surprised when others will do the same.
- If we fail to plan for the future then don’t be surprised when our future is overtaken by those who did prepare.
- If we disregard our culture, don't learn from our history and disrespect our heritage it is safe to argue that what has happened will happen again.
Western culture has become synonymous to conquest, exploitation and materialism.
This didn’t happen overnight. It evolved in this direction throughout the ages.
Ubuntu humanism is but one method to combat this. Short sightedness, short term self-interest and egotism must be counteracted by long term provisions that put humanity first. There is no ‘basket of deplorables’. All human life is of equal value. No one can be left out. It requires however active participation from all that are involved. That means all of us.
Europeans should stand up and change their societies from within, but so do Africans.
As much as Africa is under threat of conflict manufactured abroad, Western countries do not quite manage to get away unscaved from their own domestically manufactured dissent.
With the latest news in mind about the deplorable terror acts in Manchester, UK or when we remember the killings in Paris, France a couple of years ago, we should not only mourn the dead and condemn the perpetrators, but also at the same time realise that these barbaric acts are to a large extent caused by the policies inflicted upon others by Western governments over long periods of time. Again, the actions we initiate cause ripples that eventually bounce back to us in one shape or form. They may even return to us in the shape of tidal waves.
Over the last 50 years or so European countries have made good use of a migrant labour force domestically, whilst maintaining their secondary class citizenship, nullifying their religion and culture and meddling in the affairs of their home countries. It may therefore come as no surprise that the latest terror attacks are homegrown.
We should therefore not only condemn the acts of the terrorists but also of those that are at the root of the policies that caused them. All acts of terror, instilling fear in the heart of fellow human beings, are to be condemned.
Manufactured fear syndromes
The so-called global wars on drugs and terrorism, migration crises, religious extremism are but shallow catchphrases when compared to the real threats humanity faces in terms of the global environment, overpopulation, food and water shortages. Yet, these remain understated.
Why don’t we declare global wars on drought, hunger and poverty? Why is there so much lack of effort and in particular resolution where it concerns the real threats to humanity?
Where’s the profit?
The answer to many if not all of the problems we are facing may all boil down to one or more simple rhetorical questions:
- Where’s the profit?
- Who are the beneficiaries?
- What power is to be gained from empowering other people?
This aspect is however again covered in the Ubuntu reasonings:
Enabling the community around you, in order for you to improve yourself
To quote the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu:
"In our efforts to become completely self-sufficient, we in fact are becoming sub-human".
Which in part is an answer to the European Renaissance concept of ‘uomo universale’.
Yes, we may try to attain the status of 'uomo universale', but not boundless.
Yes, we may become the universal man, the polymath, by accumulating knowledge in various areas for as much as is possible. Yes, we may accumulate as much wealth as is possible but NEVER for the self serving interest, disrespecting the community that surrounds us and that we are a part of.
If we nevertheless do so we will enter an never-ending cycle of outer conflict and inner strife.
The root causes to the new scramble for Africa are clear, as well as the underlying mechanisms and methods.
It seems to me though that Africa already has the antidote, by practicing one of its oldest teachings: that of Ubuntu.