Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Seattle, Washington, USA.
Map showing the six traditional language families represented in Africa:
Nilo-Saharan (unity uncertain)
Niger-Congo B (Bantu, Niger-Congo's largest branch)
Khoi-San (unity unlikely)
African people can be subdivided into three main groups: the Niger-Congo group; the Nile- Saharan group and the Afro-Asiatic group (and minor groups, such as Koi and the Madagascan).
The Niger-Congo groups are found in West Africa, Central Africa and all the way down to South Africa.
The Nile-Saharan (Nilotic) groups are found in Sudan and East Africa.
The Afro-Asiatic (Semitic) groups are found in North Africa, Ethiopia and parts of the Sahel (Sahara Desert region).
When most Americans think African they generally think of the Niger-Congo groups (Negroes); this is because virtually all African Americans came from these groups. Trans-Atlantic slavery was between West Africa and the Americas.
The Nile-Saharan groups tend to be tall and lanky and not the stout pictures folks have of Negroes. The Negroes of West Africa tend to do well in short distance running, whereas the tall, lanky East Africans tend to do well in long distance running.
The Afro-Asiatic groups tend to be a mix of Africans and Semitic people (Arabs). Their body look tends to reflect this mixing. Think of North Africans and Ethiopians (light complexioned).
The religions of the Afro-Asiatic groups tend to be similar to the religion of the Semitic groups (Jews and Arabs). Indeed, Ethiopians and Egyptians have been Christians for over two thousand years; North Africans are of course mostly Muslims (Judaism, Christianity and Islam are Semitic religions).
The Nile-Saharan (Nilotic) groups have indigenous religions that are traced to ancient Egyptian religions.
When most Americans think of Africans they are thinking of the Niger-Congo groups; I will, therefore, restrict my talk to these groups’ religions and spirituality.
THERE IS SAMENESS AND CONTINUITY IN THE NIGER-CONGO-GROUPS RELIGIONS
The religious practices of people living in the West Coast of Africa, from Senegal to South West Africa are pretty much the same. There is continuity in these people’s religious beliefs; perhaps, this is because they are the same people.
These groups had a core place of origin before migrating to where they are found today. Some say that they migrated from what is now Nigeria to other parts of Africa. We know for certain that the Bantus of South Africa (Zulus, Xhosas etc.) migrated from the Niger-Benue region of Nigeria almost two thousand years ago.
For our present purposes, the religions of the Niger-Congo groups of Africans tend to be similar. If you understand one of these groups’ religions you have pretty much understood the essence of others religions; you just have to see that the different names they give to their gods are saying the same thing.
Given the one hour limit of this talk, I will limit my talk to Igbo religion, with the understanding that what is said about this group’s religion can be transposed to other Niger-Congo groups’ religions.
IGBOS CONCEPTION OF GOD
Igbos call God Chi. Chi has three aspects to him; all three aspects represent the same God. (This is akin to the Christian concept of Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; all three representing one God.)
Chi-Kudu (Supreme God this God is transcendental and unknowable to us on earth)
Chi-Nike (God the creator of the world)
Chi (the God in each person...in Christian categories, God the son or Christ or soul)
Manu (God, Chi in human form, the ego self, a false self)
IGBO FUNCTIONAL GODS
Ale (Each Igbo village and town has a functional god called Ale; it is a goddess)
Amadioha (Each Igbo town has a god of light, knowledge called Amadioha)
There are myriad other functional gods, such as the god of farming (Ahanjoku), god of war (Ikenga), god of truth (ogu) etc.; we do not need to concern ourselves with these gods here; for all intents and purposes understanding Chi and his three aspects is what characterizes Igbo spirituality.
PERSONS PERFORMING SPIRITUAL FUNCTIONS
Onye isi muo (the high priest of one of the functional gods)
Onye agwu isi (a child/person inordinately possessed by desire to understand spiritual matters)
Dibia ( when the person possessed by desire to understand spiritual matters undergoes certain initiation rituals he or she becomes a Shaman, in Igbo Dibia; called Duru in men, Lolo in women)
In sum: the Igbo name for God is Chi. God is said to have three states: the Supreme God who is unknowable is called Chi-Ukwu literally, big God; that same God is said to be a creator God, called Chi-Neke; that same God is said to be in each person, called Ch. Chi is the individual’s real self, his spirit self; the individual’s earthly self is called Manu, a false self or Chi disguised in flesh.
Chi is eternal, changeless and permanent; he is in each person and at the same time transcends our world and lives in Eligwe (heaven).
Chi manifests in body, in the world of space, time and matter and takes on a separated self-form called Manu (ego self).
Manu or ego is not the individual’s real- self, it is the form Chi takes to experience his existence in the universe of forms; in Oriental categories it is the separated self, the ego.
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES:
MUSIC, DANCING, HERBS AS MEANS OF TRANSCENDING THE EGO SELF
Igbos recognizing that their real self is not Manu, ego, engage in all sorts of religious practices to enable them transcend the ego state, Manu state, and attain their true self, Chi.
These activities generally entail inducing forgetting of the awareness of the ego self-concept, ignoring who we consciously believe that we are so as to attain the awareness of the non-form self, Chi.
Music, dancing, chewing certain herbs, and silence, meditation are employed in enabling the individual to forget his temporal self so as to remember his transcendental self.
The few persons who have attained the awareness of their real self, Chi, often speak from that perspective and folks listen to them for they are said to speak from a higher self that knows the past, present and future. These persons are called dibias.
Dibias or in Western categories, shamans, are persons who habitually are able to transcend their ego, Manu state and tune into their true self, Chi and from that state make pronouncements on what is happening in the world of space and time.
Folks go to Dibias to be told about whom they were in past lives, what they came to do in the present life, and what is going to happen in their future. Interestingly, these shamans’ predictions tend to turn out true!
Whereas dibiahood can occur in people in all walks of life, Igbo priesthood is hereditary. Only certain families produce the people’s high priests. Generally, when the current high priest dies a son of his or a son of his brother becomes the next high priest. The High Priests are called Onye Isi Muo (literally, the head of spirits).
Igbos have functional gods. The main functional gods are Ala (usually a goddess); each village and town has its Ala; each town also has Amadioha (God of light, Knowledge). There are gods for most of the activities Igbos, an agricultural people have, such as the god of farming, the god of war etc.; each of these gods has its high priest.
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century most of the Niger-Congo groups of Africans were converted to Christianity. Thus, today most of these Africans call themselves Christians.
The Afro-Asiatic groups were converted to Islam a long time ago; indeed, some from the inception of Mohammad’s ministry in 610 AD. Ethiopians and the original Egyptians are today Coptic Christians.
The Nile- Sudanese is either Muslim or Christian or pagan (Barak Obama’s father, a Luau, is part of the Nilotic- Sudanese group).
PENTECOSTALISM IN AFRICAN RELIGIONS
Considering the tendency for Africans to dance to music and chew on herbs to help them forget their temporal self-concepts (Manu) so as to attain their transcendent self (Chi) and speak from it we can safely say that African religions tend to be like what we see in Pentecostal Christianity in North America.
It should be remembered that the Pentecostal movement in Christianity was initiated in Los Angeles, California, in 1906 by an African American. Perhaps, the spirit of the ancestors came over him and he began dancing, singling and speaking in tongues (as Christians supposedly did on the day of the Pentecost, a few days after the ascendance of Jesus Christ to heaven)!
Igbos, like all Niger-Congo African groups believe that when their people die that they continue to exist in ancestors land called ALAMUO (literally the land of spirits).
Ancestors, called Ndichi are believed to be actively involved in the activities of those living on earth. Igbos literally talk to their ancestors as if they are talking to persons on earth; they ask them for help with their affairs on earth.
Igbos call their ancestors Ndichi (ndi means people; chi means God; thus, God’s people; those in God, or those with God, those in ancestors land).
Igbos believe that their ancestors, ndichi are guiding them and protecting them in the temporal world.
Igbos believe that one must abide by the law of the land, ofo/ogu, and that if one willfully disobeys the law that misfortune follows one.
When one does something that is considered a sacrilege, an offense to the land (ala) one is excommunicated from the village, banished; sometimes if the crime is egregious one makes amends by making certain sacrifices to the land (those who commit incest or rape are generally banished from the town and told never to return to it; to be cut off from ones people is considered a punishment worse than death itself).
OUT OF BODY TRAVELS
There are Igbos who claim to have out of body experiences and travel to other place in that out of body state (astral travels). They tell elaborate stories of where they went to during the night, such as attending meetings in distant lands.
Igbos believe in the existence of witches and wizards. Elaborate stories are told of persons who are witches and harm other people. Occasionally, such persons are identified by dibias and rounded up and forced to confess their sins and make amends for their crimes or are banished from the group.
When misfortune befalls an Igbo (African) he often attributes it to offense he committed against his ancestors and or functional gods and asks for forgiveness from them (and in certain situations he consults Dibias who may tell him to make amends by sacrificing this or that animal to the ancestors); or attributes it to witches.
Ancestors who have unfinished business on earth are said to reincarnate to life on earth. Generally, when a child is born Igbos consult a Dibia (psychic) to find out the ancestor that reincarnated to them and what he came to earth to do.
Igbos (Africans) do not associate rebirth on earth with Karma; reincarnation is not seen as a punishment for misdeeds done in past life times; instead, reincarnation is done by ancestors who are still interested in living on earth.
Some children are said to be mischievous and shortly upon birth die. Such children are said to come over and over and get born over and over and die in childhood; they give their parents enormous grief. Usually, Dibia’s intervene and perform certain rituals to prevent such a child from dying.
Some ancestors may decide that they have exhausted their interests in what life on earth has to offer and move on to other worlds and universes. It is believed that there are infinite worlds and universes that people go to. Indeed, in their sleep-dreams certain Igbos claim to visit other worlds, universes and even heaven; they claim to bring knowledge from those worlds.
The Individual’s spirit circles through the various worlds and universes and occasionally returns to his source, Eligwe, aka heaven.
Heaven is construed to be a formless place where all spirits are unified as one spirit. This state is said to be unknowable to our current human ego, separation based understanding. It is considered futile trying to understand it for our current minds are separated minds designed to understand and adapt to the exigencies of a separated world of multiplicity and, as such, cannot understand the world of perfect union called heaven. Heaven is perfect union hence perfect harmony and perfect peace and joy; our earthly minds cannot understand those absolutes.
Igbos talk to their Chi. Praying is talking to God. Praying is done at all times. At any time during the day, Igbos talk to their Chi.
(Those trained in Western psychiatry probably could mistake this talking to gods as some kind of auditory hallucination; one must be very careful transposing Western psychological categories to non-western persons; academic psychology is heavily colored by Western culture and is not yet a universal science of the human mind; psychology would become a science when it takes into consideration how all human beings minds work, not just Western minds).
Before he goes to sleep at night Igbos kneel by their beds and account how their day went to their Chi; where he feels that he made a mistake he asks for guidance in not making similar mistakes.
The Igbo literally talks to his Chi at all times. It is as if he is talking to a person standing next to him. You would hear him or her suddenly say: Emela Chi- ukwu nnam (thank you God, my father); Chukwu nnam merem ebere (God my father have mercy on me).
Igbos practice the art of silencing their ego thinking so as to become still and hear their Chi, God talk to them.
In prayer you talk to Chi, God and make requests; in Meditation you remain silent and listen to Chi, God talk to you.
Thus, prayer and meditation are alternated. You ask God a favor and then you quiet your mind to hear him talk to you (he may talk to you through what other people around you say to you; since God, Chi is in every person it follows that what other people say to you is said to you by God!).
Simply stated, Igbos are in constant communication with their creator; praying and meditating is not something set aside for certain times during the day but take place at all times.
Do you want to make a decision? You ask Chi how you should decide and then you listen to him tell you what to do, either directly or through what other persons around you say.
Most contemporary Africans have been exposed to Christianity and Islam and some to Oriental religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Clearly, Africans cannot entirely return to practicing their ancient religions for their new religions are now part of their psychological make-ups.
The only option now available to them is to synthesize their people’s religions and the foreign religions that they have been exposed to.
It seems to me that Africans must now transcend their particularistic religions and move towards a universal spirituality, an approach to spiritual matters that takes into recognition all mankind’s religious experience.
What Africans cannot do is deny their peoples religion. All mankind began in Africa; it follows that African religion is the fountainhead of all other people’s religions and, as such, cannot be ignored.
The least that Africans can do is study their religions and synthesize them with the imported religions they now practice.
This is actually already taking place for the Catholicism that this writer was exposed to in childhood is not the Catholicism now practiced in contemporary Africa; contemporary African Catholicism is taking into consideration Africans traditional religious practices and is more and more resembling the Pentecostalism seen in traditional African religions.
Ultimately, all religions of mankind will contribute to a universal spirituality, a spirituality that unifies all mankind, pretty much as science has unified scientists approach to phenomena. There is Particularism and universalism in religions; clearly, humanity is now searching for a universal religion, not Christianity or Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism etc. to unify all mankind.
It is very difficult to do justice to a whole continent’s religions and spirituality in one hour’s talk. Hopefully, some of the ideas I alluded to in this talk have stimulated your interest. If so, you can then go and seek out more information on African religions and spirituality (I am not a specialist on African religions, I am a social scientist; nevertheless, you can talk to me about it; I can be reached at the University).
Africa is the birth place of all human beings; in fact, all human beings are Africans. Therefore, to understand human beings religions we must understand Africans religions.
It is silly pretending that the West can understand human religion without paying attention to the place where human religions began, Africa. I am talking about the current tendency to talk about religion as if all there is to it is what is found in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Those who engage in this outrage have only one word that characterizes them: foolishness.
You understand something only when you go to its root. Africa and things African are at the root of all that human beings do and, therefore, to understand anything human beings do we must see how Africans do it.
Looked at from the framework of science most of the Igbo/African beliefs talked about today can be dismissed off hand as superstitious. One could tell one’s self that our ancestors believed in all sorts of irrational, magical concepts that were not rooted in reality.
If one is learned enough in Western philosophy one tells one’s self that mankind travelled a path before they got to where they are today, a path that began in primitive beliefs in the existence of many gods, polytheism, and thereafter belief in monotheism, then graduation to doubting the existence of gods and efforts made to use abstract thinking to make sense of living, metaphysics, and finally to what logical positivists called uncompromising empiricism (science).
Empiricists’ epistemology is that only that which can be observed and verified, can be experimented on and is falsifiable can lead to real knowledge.
John Locke, David Hume, Auguste Comte were radical empiricists. Folks like Thomas Hobbes, Herbert Spencer and Karl Marx etc. were radical materialists who rejected any notion of God and spirit and rooted all human behavior in the processes of matter.
There were pure rationalists who tried to use only rational auspices to prove or disprove the existence of God, such as Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Blasé Pascal, Ludwig Leibnitz, George Berkeley, Voltaire, Jean Jacque Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, George Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Frederick Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, William James and Henri Bergson. These folks would probably laugh at what seems to them primitive Africans attempts to understand their world and relate to it through superstitious means.
Perhaps, traditional African beliefs were primitive? However, the fact remains that we still do not understand our origin.
Have astrophysics and its big bang hypothesis and evolution biology (and its primordial soup hypothesis where atoms mixed to form molecules that formed biological organisms) explained the origin of life on earth? I do not think so.
For all its gyrations, neuroscience has not understood consciousness, how three pounds of grey matter in our brains (neurons) produce our thoughts.
Man remains a mystery to himself; we are an enigma to each other. In this sea of not knowing who we are, it seems to me that wisdom compels each of us to be honest and say: I do not know many things; especially, I do not know anything about human origin.
From the profession of not knowing one looks with open mind on how different groups of human beings tried to explain their origin and nature.
It seems to me that as long as Africans identify with either Christianity or Islam that they are denying their true religions; as long as they live in this state of denial, it seems to me that nothing is going to work out well for them.
The present social decay we find in much of Africa, I think, is largely attributable to Africans flight from their people’s religions and spirituality.
Adhering to other peoples religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam merely confuses Africans hence they currently behave like confused persons.
It is only when Africans reclaim their people’s spirituality that sanity would return to their lives. As I pointed out in many writings Igbos suffer from higher levels of delusion disorder. This, I think, is a result of denying their true selves while pretending to be false selves, westernized selves.
Igbos are probably the most Westernized African group; they tend to see all things Western as good; they place white folks on a pedestal and pretend to be like them, hence live as false selves hence deluded persons.
Delusion disorder occurs when one believes what is not true as true. A deluded person, for example, denies his real-self, which he sees as weak and inferior, posits a false ideal self, generally a grandiose self, and identifies with that false big self and try to behave from its stand point.
Since the individual is not his desired ideal, big self, to the extent that he pretends to be it he is deluded; he is partially psychotic; in full blown psychosis there is both delusion and hallucination; he is paranoid. Paranoia is Greek word meaning seeing one’s self as a different person that one is in fact not.
The paranoid person uses his imagination to invent an ideal, important and powerful self, identifies with it and defends it.
The unreal must be defended to seem real; thus the paranoid person is almost always defensive, defending a fictional self he wants to become. He scans his environment trying to ascertain that people treat him as the important person he wants to be seen as and when he feels not seen as such he quarrels with those he believes belittle him.
Paranoia, aka delusional disorder is healed when the individual gives up the quest for a false, important self; when the individual accepts his real self, a humble self that sees itself as the equal of all selves and a self that loves itself and loves all selves.
Mental and somatic peace returns to the deluded person when he jettisons his identification with a fictional grandiose self, finds out who he is in fact and behaves from its parameters.
I believe that when Africans and all people find out who their real self is, which I believe is Unified spirit self, in Igbo categories, Chi, and behave from its standpoint they regain sanity.
Chi is one yet is found in all people. As the one force in all people it loves all people to love its whole self. Chi therefore loves.
Our true self, Chi, is a loving self. A person who is living from his true self, Chi is always a loving self; he loves his self and loves all people, black and white, adult and child.
When a person sees all human beings as one with him, as the same and coequal and loves them all he is peaceful, happy and joyous; conversely, when the individual hates even one human being he lives in conflict, for hatred of seeming other persons is self-hatred.
A person who hates himself by hating other persons is at war with his whole self (holy self, Holy Spirit) hence lives in conflict and knows no peace and joy.
Igbos believe that Chi is their real self; they believe that he is eternal, permanent and changeless; what they believe is pretty much what all African religions believe.
However, whether Chi exists or not, whether there is God or not is a different matter; we know that science has no proof that God exists; scientists cannot prove the existence of God with the scientific method (that method applies mostly to physical phenomena).
Since we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, I leave it to you to decide what you believe is true or false in spiritual matters.
Whatever you do please strive to be truthful to your beliefs. If you do not believe in God be honest with that view and do not pretend to believe in God. Conversely, if you believe in God accept your belief as real to you regardless of what science says about the existence or non-existence of God. You do not have to obtain other persons approval to justify your beliefs.
Study science and technology to enable you adapt to the exigencies of the world of matter, space and time and then clarify your approach to the unseen aspects of life and stick to it without apologies to anyone else. Have the courage of your convictions; live what you believe is true.
What I know for sure is true is that all people are related and that I must love all of them to love my whole self. To the extent that I love all people I feel peaceful and happy; conversely, to the extent that I hate one human being, regardless of his race, I feel unhappy and have disturbed my peace. I am not so certain what my religion is!
However, if the essence of religion and spirituality is love for all humanity I have religion and spirituality; anything else is not for me. (Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology and radical logical positivism made love of humanity his religion; I am with him; I am not impressed by religion and metaphysics that is bereaved of love.)
Ozodi Osuji, PhD (University of California)
At universities we have departments called political science (some East Coast Ivy League universities, such as Harvard, are now calling them departments of government and redefining their functions to studying government and public policies). The question is: can politics be a science?
First, let us understand what science is. Science is a methodology for understanding phenomena; it is a means of looking at things to see them as they are, not necessarily as one wants them to be. A scientist suspends his desires and views and observes an aspect of phenomena and writes about what he sees. He presents description of what he sees and other observers following the scientific method, hopefully, would see what he sees.
Science is based on observation, experimentation, verification and falsification. Karl Popper added the falsification criterion; some propositions are not falsifiable hence amenable to scientific study. For example, the contention that God exists can neither be proved nor disproved and therefore cannot be studied by science and is better ignored by scientists. A hypothesis that science can study must either be demonstrable as true or not and when it is not proved must be discarded.
In light of the nature of science, can the study of politics be a science? In nature we observe animals struggling for dominance; we see stronger animals dominating weaker animals; for example, lions dominating sheep.
In human society we see strong men dominating weaker men. In this light we can observe political behavior and say that in nature strong animals dominate weaker ones.
Human politics, however, is complicated by the fact that people behave in accordance with their beliefs on how things ought to be.
Western politicians generally have political ideologies, beliefs on how society ought to be organized, and those influence their political behaviors. In America the two dominant political ideologies are conservatism and liberalism.
(There are, of course, many other political ideologies, such as fascism, socialism, communism, corporatism, mercantilism etc. Individuals’ political orientations fall somewhere in the political ideology continuum. Most people are centrists, in the center, neither too far on the left nor too far in the right of the political spectrum. In America the political system does not tolerate other political ideologies so those who call themselves liberals are often socialists whereas those who call themselves conservatives are fascists!)
The conservative says that he wants limited government, and that government should not do for the individual what he ought to be doing for himself; the liberal, on the other hand, wants governments to do certain things for the people (such as provide all people with publicly paid education, health insurance etc.).
Politicians belonging to these two ideologies behave differently. Therefore, when one observes their political behaviors one is not observing natural political behavior, such as is seen in animals where big fish eat small fish, but, instead, one is observing political ideologies at work.
Therefore, those who observe political actors in the Western world are really not observing natural political behavior but the clash of political ideologies for supremacy.
Political scientists are not telling us anything about natural politics but the socially circumscribed political phenomenon in their world. Those who call themselves political scientists are actually studying what political ideologies and their manifestations called politicians are doing but not studying natural political phenomenon.
Moreover, the so-called political scientists are doing their studies from their accepted ideologies frames of references and are not objective in what they say. In America, political scientists look at the world from the lenses of conservatism, or liberalism (or socialism); therefore, they are not seeing politics as it is in nature.
So, is there such a thing as political science or is politics always colored by social constructs hence not a natural phenomenon?
If there is no such thing as politics apart from the cultural parameters that shape it and the frame of reference of the observer, is it not better to call so-called political scientists political reporters, folks writing about what politicians do instead of calling them disinterested scientists observing a phenomenon as it occurs in nature?
THE EGO AND POLITICS
Political reporters, aka journalists and so-called political scientists are generally persons with normal egos who are satisfied observing the political activities of other egos (alpha males, stronger egos) and do not feel the urge to go in and do something in the political arena; they are passive observers (they are not political actors trying to implement certain political agenda; they are not motivated to change society).
There are political idealists; generally these sit around and wish for how politics ought to be, how politicians ought to behave, how political institutions ought to be and how the world in general ought to be; these people write political philosophy; they are passive and not active participants in politics (think Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx and other political thinkers who were not involved in actual politics).
Occasionally, political idealists become political actors (doers), aka militants and work to change society to suit their political ideals; these persons are generally physically vigorous and full of energy and can be dangerous when they persecute those who do not agree with their political ideals. Examples are Adolf Hitler killing those who disagreed with his fascism and Joseph Stalin killing those who disagreed with his socialism.
One has to ascertain ones political orientation: political reporter, political idealist or political militant and be honest with ones orientation for one cannot pretend to be who one is not.
I am a political idealist (with awareness of political realism) and obviously do well writing about how politics ought to be; that is, political philosophy, not how policies is my cup of tea.
Political realists concern themselves with the compromises made by actual political actors in reaching public policies.
In the real world politicians represent political ideologies battling each other for dominance (in third world countries like Nigeria there is no political ideology other than self-centered grab for power, fame and money).
I grudgingly conclude that some political reporters can be called political scientists in the sense that they put aside their egos and wishes and merely document what political actors are doing and desist from trying to tell them to do certain things.
Science is mostly descriptive of phenomena so to the extent that these people merely describe political activities they can be called political scientists.
Political scientists are obviously passive. The most admirable of them all is the political militant who strives to realize his political idealism (ideology) in the political arena. The political militant is active and full of self-confidence, as opposed to the timid political scientist and the mere introspective political idealist.
It is political militants that change political systems; political thinkers and idealists posit the political ideas that actuate the actions of political actors and in that sense are useful.
Each person lives as his nature disposes him to live. If ones nature disposes one to be a mere political idealist, a thinker, nevertheless, one ought to find a way to make ones ideas realistic in the political world; better still, one ought to find a way to do something in the political world that improves society.
Indulging in political idealism is a waste of time since no human being can actually change other human beings and their behaviors. Idealistic wishing that people change and become as one wants them to be, perfect, is grandiose and often delusional, for no human being has the power to change people and make them become as one wants them to become. Even what religionists’ call God does not change people; it leaves people to do as they please. If the imaginary all powerful God cannot make people perfect how can mere human beings do so?
Political realists who accept people as they are, imperfect and accept their flawed political behaviors accomplish more than mere idle wishing that people become angels and perfect or that political institutions become heavenly, whatever that is.
Pursuit of perfection is the enemy of the good.
June 7, 2013
In light of Nigerians, Africans and black folk’s tendency to easy corruptibility and criminality, their apparent lack of commitment to serving public good and their self-centered behaviors, this paper says that their countries are going to become failed states. To avert this looming catastrophe, the paper calls on African people to embark on efforts to become moral in their behaviors, take selfless public service seriously and stop blaming other persons for their self-induced woes.
Why I Expect Nigeria And African Countries To Fail
I expect Nigeria and most African countries to become failed states because I see most Africans as potential human beings but not actual human beings yet!
I say potential human beings and not real human beings because they do not behave like real human beings.
Real human beings, untold, understand the nature of social contract; they understand that their behaviors have consequences for other people and that to have a well ordered society they must strive to do the right things for other persons; they enact laws and obey them for they understand that without obedience to laws there is no society.
Many Africans somehow seem not to understand this basic requirement for social order to exist. I say so because the Africans that I see are prone to corruption and thievery. It would seem like they inherited criminal genes, but I do not think so; they are just childish persons who do not understand the consequences of massive corruption and stealing by most of the people.
If you are an adult you realize that for society to exist most people must agree to respect each other’s lives and properties and not take what does not belong to them. Adult and objective perception tells us that any human being who so wishes it could take what belongs to other people and could kill other persons.
Adult perception also tells us that society can only exist when most of the people voluntarily refrain from stealing and harming people even though they have the capacity to do so.
If every person does what the criminal does, steal from unsuspecting other persons or kill them there would be breakdown of society and the criminal would be harmed or even killed.
To be a criminal, therefore, is being a coward; on the other hand, behaving pro-socially is courageous, for pro-social behavior is rooted in self-restraint even though one has the capacity to do what the cowardly criminal does, take what belongs to other persons.
(If in nature everything belongs to all people how come some persons have more of what belongs to all than some? I will not wade into this debate here; I call the reader’s attention to John Locke and Karl Marx takes on the nature property, especially the views on labor theory of property.)
The criminal thinks that he has the right to take what belongs to other people and does not believe that other people should take what belongs to him. He assumes that other people should be proper in their behaviors and not take what belongs to him but that he is exempted and excused from that social obligation and is justified in taking what belongs to other people. He does not understand that the right he gave to him can be given to them by other people hence they take what belongs to him.
If most people do what criminals do, give their selves the permission to take what belongs to other people, law and order breaks down and what would exist is anarchy and chaos.
In Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) categories, people would revert to living in the state of nature where each of them does as he likes, including taking from other people, even killing people and life becomes nasty, brutish and short. In Hobbes hypothetical state of nature people are at war with each other, kill each other and live in general insecurity.
Since people need some security to be productive they would devote most of their energies and time to trying to protect themselves from each other’s attacks.
Governments, the Leviathan, came into being because of the need to have a powerful agency enact and enforce laws that protected all the people so that they have the time to go about earning their living. When governments and law and order breakdown people do what they have to do to survive, protect their selves and become economically less productive.
It is self-defeating to engage in anti-social behavior for it destroys the basis of society. But many Africans not recognizing this reality, like children think that it is funny to steal and engage in corruption. Nigerians easily steal, bribe and divert public funds to their private use and assume that this is no big deal.
As long as many Nigerians engage in antisocial behaviors there would be no substantial economic development in Nigeria.
Nigerians engage in anti-social behavior with such casualness that one often wonders if they are human beings at all. Are Nigerians mere predatory animals but not human beings? If they are human beings how come they do not grasp the need for lawful behavior?
Human beings pass and obey laws; animals do not have laws; animals only understand the law of the jungle whereby the strong take from the weak and all live in general insecurity.
Animals spend most of their time and energy trying to individually protect their selves. Animals have no time to think and become economically productive.
Human beings, unlike animals find a way to give themselves security; generally, they do so through religion, morality and governments and laws. With a measure of personal sense of security people then devote their energies and time to economically productive activities.
Generally, in normal society about five percent of the people engage in anti-social behavior and ninety- five percent are pro-social in their behavior; the reverse is the case in Nigeria and most of Africa.
In Nigeria over ninety five percent of the people engage in anti-social behaviors, are thieves and only about five percent can be said to desist from stealing and corruption.
No society can survive if many of its people are criminals; when criminality is the norm rather than the exception society breaks down.
And as they engage in criminal activities and their society fails Africans have the astonishing guts to blame white men for the lack of development in their countries; they quickly blame the West for the poverty of Africa. They even blame Europe for slavery.
They forget that it was Africans who roamed around their jungle environment capturing their people, marching them to the sea coast or across the Sahara desert and selling them to whoever wanted to buy them.
Africans are, at least, seventy-five percent responsible for slavery and white folks only twenty five percent responsible for slavery. Why?
Europeans never entered interior Africa to go capture African slaves; Africans were the ones who captured their people and marched them to the Atlantic coast and sold them to white men or marched them across the Sahara desert and sold them to Arabs.
The person who sold his brothers and sisters is more culpable than the person who bought them, for he ought to have a feeling of consanguinity with his siblings; non-Africans can easily see African slaves as not human, buy and use them to-do their work .
What reasons (other than economic) did Africans have for selling their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters?
Is economic reason enough justification for selling ones people? It would seem that only those persons who are lacking in conscience, sense of guilt and remorse would sell their people.
African slave sellers were anti-social personalities. Africans have carried that proclivity to antisocial lifestyle to the present.
(If truth is told, when I see an African I see a potential if not an actual criminal!)
Indeed, today if you removed the International laws enacted and enforced by white men prohibiting slavery, Africans would gladly resume capturing their people and selling them to Arabs and Europeans; that is how morally depraved many contemporary Africans are!
Africans easily sell their parents and siblings and live as if they did no wrong! They do not feel guilty for their evil behaviors.
At present African leaders could care less for their peoples suffering; the political class do not seek a way to industrialize their countries and create jobs for their people. Thus, over 50% of urban African youth are unemployed, are poor and suffer and the political class does not think that it is its duty to do something to help the people.
And since the rulers do not care for the youths, the youths correctly reach the conclusion that no one cares for them and engage in criminal activity. Thus, today Nigerian youth kidnap and hold people hostage for monetary ransom. Soon, the alienated and disenfranchised youth will be killing the rich for they see them as not caring for them.
And why should they not kill the well to do if they do not care for them?
The Nigerian seeks public office to seem a very important man, a big man in the eyes of his people (the rest of the world sees him as an unproductive garbage and do not even acknowledge his existence). The question that escapes his idiot’s mind is that the poor have no business seeing him as important if he does not serve their needs.
Why should you be important in people’s eyes if you do not care for their survival? If you do not care for the poor it makes perfect sense for them to kill you. If you do not care for other people you are not different from animals and just as we kill animals without guilt feeling folks can kill the useless rich and not feel remorse or guilt; only those who serve social utility are useful to people and as such their life and death matter to people.
Given the corruption and tendency to criminality seen in Nigerians and Africans, their lack of social caring I do not expect Nigerians and Africans to be able to run a modern state; I expect Nigeria and most African countries to fail; they will fail because they are criminal states, states composed of anti-social persons.
Anti-social personalities do not have a sense of guilt or remorse from doing the wrong thing by their fellow human beings; they have no sense of right or wrong; indeed, some of them are sadistic and derive pleasure from inflicting pain to other persons!
Anti-social personalities do not run modern nation states and since Nigeria is a haven of anti-social personalities she cannot run a modern nation state; this is my verdict on Nigeria.
The only way that Nigeria will not fail is if the people embark on changing their criminal behaviors; as long as most Nigerians are thieves and blame the consequent collapsed nature of their thieving country on other people I see no hope for the country.
At present Nigeria produces oil and the people are on a stealing jamboree, stealing money from oil revenue and that keeps the moribund nation somewhat afloat. Nigerians are not really producing anything that they sell to other nations to generate foreign exchange; Nigerians depend on what nature gave to them, oil, but not on what they produce.
Since oil is a non-renewal resource when it dries up and Nigeria has no money for the cabal of thieves that call themselves the country’s leaders to steal from the country would fall apart and become like Somalia in its lawlessness (and Nigerians would live in insecurity; the life span in Somalia is probably about thirty years and that is in Nigerians future!).
It is time that we stopped babying Nigerians and Africans by making excuses for them, telling them that the poverty in their lands is due to external others causation; no, Nigerians inability to do anything right has produced massive poverty in the country; these people are thieves and thieves cannot run a modern human polity.
Africans love to talk about white folks faults; they love to tell us about what white folks did to harm them; they especially love harping on white racism and white role in slavery.
Of course, white folks have done a lot of harm to black folks; no black man in his right senses would deny the role of white folks in black folk’s plight.
There is no doubt that if white racists could help it they would do whatever they could to hold black folks down if only to prove that black folks are unintelligent and cannot rule themselves. Racists are always looking for a way to justify white folks ruling black folks and oppressing them and not feeling guilty from doing so.
I am fully aware of white folk’s role in black folk’s problems but I choose not to focus on those. Even when I know that white folks are racists and discriminate against black folks I generally choose not to talk about it, for, as I see it, white folks do not owe me anything; I do not expect love from white folks.
What I do expect is right treatment from my fellow blacks; I could care less what white folks think of me and black folks; however, what they do to us in the fullness of time would be accounted for.
In the present, I am only interested in focusing on what black folks do to black folks not on what white folks do to black folks.
I am interested in black folks’ apparent character weakness. I believe that black folks have loads of character shortcomings, such as their tendency not to care for their people and instead sell them and deny responsibility for their negative actions and look for scapegoats to blame for them.
Africans sold their people into slavery; Africans really did not fight to stop slavery. Instead of feeling ashamed for selling their people they talk about their partners sin in that existential crime, white folks role in slavery; they play up the role played by white folks in slavery and blame them. They milk Christianity’s induced tendency for liberal white Christians to feel guilty for their crimes but ignore Arabs who bought African slaves much longer.
Islam does not encourage guilt feeling and Africans know this fact hence do not waste their time trying to blame Muslim Arabs for their role in slavery and the underdevelopment of Africa.
Africans were selling their people to Arabs as long ago as Mohammad’s time; indeed, the self-proclaimed seal of the prophets probably had African slaves! (Can a man of God have slaves?)
Arabs are as culprit as white folks on slavery and ought to be held accountable for their crime but I choose to concern myself only with what Africans did in slavery rather than talk about the roles of Arabs and white folks.
My goal is to help correct Africans character foibles rather than talk about white folks character issues. For what it is worth, let me state that I tend to see Europeans as sociopaths and leave it at that; I do not expect loving behavior from Neanderthals and that is the extent of my relationship with Europeans. I keep wary eyes on white people knowing that at the moment they have the preponderance of political and military power and can overwhelm Africans in a struggle. That problem will take care of its self when Africans learn to govern themselves well and produce powerful nation states that can challenge the sociopaths from the caves of Europe.
Let me reiterate: I choose to focus on what Africans do wrong and ignore what white folks do wrong; this is my choice and I am not apologetic for it.
Clearly, I have no confidence in Africans ability to govern them properly. This lack of trust in Africans capability for doing the right thing is based on their behavior.
One still can ask: to what extent is my total lack of confidence in Africans ability to do the right thing rooted in me?
Psychoanalysis teaches that people who lack confidence in their ability to do the right thing may deny and project it to other people hence see other people as lacking ability to do the right thing. In other words, I feel lack of confidence in my ability to do the right thing, deny and project it to Africans. This is a good thought. I am not perfect and we can shift focus unto me.
Africans love shifting focus to other persons and in the process not deal with their problems. Clearly, I have issues but that been acknowledged, I ask you: do you see Africans doing the right thing?
I have observed black folks in every which way is possible; what I see are people who find it easy to steal and engage in corruption.
I have read the usual rationalizations provided by liberal whites for Africans thieving behavior. I choose not to pay attention to those excuses.
Liberal whites (the left leaning professors at European and American universities) treat Africans as children who cannot be expected to do the right thing and make excuses for their bad behaviors.
Poorly educated Africans (so-called African professors) swallow liberal white condescending and patronizing behavior towards them and join their band wagon and blame white folks, blame those perceived as adults for the problems bedeviling those perceived as irresponsible children, Africans.
I choose to see Africans as adults and, as such responsible for their anti-social behaviors. Because they are responsible for their behaviors they ought to be arrested, tried in courts of law and punished for their criminal behaviors instead of been made excuses for.
If Africans do not learn pro-social behaviors I am afraid that their future is bleak; African countries will fail and as usual Africans will suffer and starve and ask for the world to give them economic handouts.
The world is tired of giving Africans handouts; there is now universal disinterest in helping those who cannot do the right thing for themselves.
Many people are reaching the conclusion that Africans ought to be left to starve and die if they cannot govern themselves properly.
The political philosophy that I am espousing here is social interest, caring for other persons. It is love based political theory.
I believe that ultimately all human beings emanate from one source and share one essence. As parts of one unified self I believe that people should love one another and care for one another’s welfare. In the Bible Caine asked: am I my brother’s keeper? My answer is yes. We are each other’s helpers.
I am a political idealist and also a political realist. I know that in the real world most people do not care for each other and that a few control the many. I know that in Europe and the Americas a few persons, criminal gangs, really, used force to appropriate the ruler-ship of the various countries and called themselves Kings, dukes, counts, barons, and so on. These so-called aristocrats then used force and violence to impose their will on the people.
What is called law in Europe and North America is the will of the few and force and violence is used to impose it on the masses.
In America folks do not have concepts of justice but law that serves white folks interests. If you are black too bad for you. Indeed, until a few decades ago American law defined black folks as slaves and more recently as persons that it is okay to be discriminated against by the white man.
Chief Justice Taney ruled in the Dred Scot case in 1857 that no black man has a right that a white man should respect; in the 1896 Ferguson case the Supreme Court legislated Jim crew into being.
I am fully aware that America is a system of injustice maintained by force and violence. I know that this system appears to be stable. However, I also know that sooner or later the masses would rise up and overthrow it for it is a system of oppression.
I do not want Africa to be organized with a few oppressing the many and certainly not with a few having all the wealth and the many left poor.
My economic ideology is mixed economy; I believe that whereas the capitalism seems the best economic system that society must provide all people with publicly paid education from kindergarten to university and technical schools and with health insurance.
If Africa chooses to go the route of Europe and North America and have a few rule the many then she must enact stringent laws that are imposed on the masses with brutal force and that way seem to maintain the Carthaginian peace we have in Europe and North America.
White folks use force to keep their people in line; and, by and large, their people are law abiding hence the seeming peace in their countries. If this is what Africa wants then she should mercilessly impose draconian laws on the people and punish lawbreakers; kill murderers and send criminals to long term prisons. For Christ’s sake there must be law and order in Africa; the present chaos is unacceptable.
I believe that with good leadership Africa can be turned around; that is why I have devoted my time to writing books and articles on leadership and on what constitutes moral behaviors.
Africans must learn and learn quickly to behave morally and stop being prone to amoral, criminal behaviors if African states are to survive.
* PURSUIT OF IDEAL SELF LEADS TO EXPRESSING UNREALISTIC AND INCESSANT OPINIONS ON SOCIAL ISSUES
The pursuit of ego ideals disposes one to have ideas on what society ought to be like, how people ought to behave and how social institutions ought to be like; one uses those mentally derived ideals to judge what actual people and institutions do.
This way idealists are always expressing opinions on social, political issues, opinions that are derived from ideals but that are mostly unrealistic for they are based on what should be but not what biology and society makes possible at any point in time.
Biology and social factors limit what people can do at any point in time, whereas ideals are ideational and based on mere wishes not facts.
As an idealist, I am always aware that my wishes color my social pronouncements and that wishes are not reality; in reality people are not angels.
The realistic part of me accepts people as flawed and imperfect creatures yet the idealistic part of me wishes that people did the right thing. In the nature of things, people’s actual behaviors fall somewhere between idealism and realism, and such is life!
June 5. 2013
Everywhere human beings are found they crave love from their fellow human beings. People should give to other persons what they want to get from them, love. In the adult world when you give love to other persons you in turn receive love from them, but if you do not give love to other persons, regardless of how much love other persons give to you, you would not feel loved. Love is a giving thing, so give love to receive love and in love feel unified with the persons you love and who love you.
Be The Love That You Are Looking For
Most people want to be loved; they want other persons to love them as they are, not as they should become. They know that as they are they are imperfect (perhaps they are physically not good looking, or are even fat) but they do not want you to ask them to become different before you love them; they want to be loved as they are now, not as they could become tomorrow.
In other words, people want you to love them in an unconditionally positive manner; they do not want you to posit conditions that they should live up to before you love them.
People intuitively understand that love based on conditions is really not love for even if the person lives up to your conditions now and you love him if in the future he no longer lives up to those conditions you would no longer love him. A love that can be withdrawn is not love but a bargain.
People are looking for unconditional love from other people. They evaluate those around them to see if they love them unconditionally. In many cases they conclude that other persons love them conditionally and they do not like that. They keep wishing for those who would love them as they are, not as they should become.
If you are aware that other people should love you as you are and you do not want to be loved on condition that you change, why don’t you do what you expect from other people? Why don’t you be the unconditionally loving person that you expect other people to be towards you? Instead of sitting around and wishing for other persons to love you, why don’t you love them?
Love is a giving thing. How do we know this to be the case? Watch parents and their children. Parents love their children. The children do not necessarily give the parents anything in return (except the opportunity for the parents to love them and derive a sense of satisfaction from doing so).
You love a child means that you give him or her emotional nurturing without expecting reciprocal nurturing from the child.
If a child is not loved, is not taken care of emotionally (and materially) he or she would die. No one who has survived to adulthood was unloved by someone. Many people may not have received perfect love but they did receive some love. Because they did not receive unconditional love many people survive but develop incapacity to love unconditionally.
People do unto other persons as was done to them. If you were loved in a conditional manner you tend to love people conditionally; if you were loved unconditionally you tend to love people unconditionally.
If you are asking for unconditional love from other people you know that you are asking them to give you something of value. You know that love is a giving thing (someone must give you love for you to receive love).
If love is a giving them then why not become the giver of love that you are looking for? Give love to the people around you. Give love to all human beings, regardless of their race and gender.
Giving love to all people means accepting all people as they are; it means not insisting that people change and become ideal before you love and accept them.
The idealist does not accept himself as he is now; he does not accept other people as they are now; he does not accept anything as they are now; he wants his self, other people and the world to change and become ideal (perfect) before he accepts them.
Since he, people and the world are not going to change and become perfect it follows that the idealist does not accept any one!
If you are going to accept any one, that is, if you are going to love anyone you simply have to accept him and love him as he is now, not as he could become tomorrow.
Idealism is the opposite of love; real love accepts people as they are not as they could become.
Accepting people as they are, loving people as they are does not mean that you do not have values, ideas of right and wrong. Of course you have personal values. There are people who seem to your values not good (such as criminals). You do not have to change them. You can stay away from them.
This is especially so in intimate relationships. You simply have to like a woman (if a woman, a man) physically, emotionally, intellectually and sexually to want to be close to him. You cannot force yourself to like people whose appearance you do not like.
If you struggle to stay in good shape and want people to be in good shape you are not going to like those who are obese.
No one is asking you to marry an obese person; what you are being told is to accept the obese person’s self as he or she is while not approving his obesity.
To love is to connect with the person you love; to love is to unify with the person you love; to love is to form fellowship and association with the person you love. You can do this physically (as in intimate relationships) or spiritually when you love all people regardless of where they are in the world.
Religious idealists say that people should love one another. It is well and nice to say so; what matters is not what other people should do but what you do.
If people should love one another then love people and show them what they should do by example. Idealists talking about what people should do often become dictators telling people what they should do.
Realistic persons give people what they ask for, what they demand, not what they think that they should want. People want love and realistic persons give them love.
God said that we should love another? It is nice to say that. However, one can ask you: where is God, have you seen God or are you merely projecting your views to what you call God.
We do not need external reference to do what is right. We do not need to say that God told us to do the right thing before we do it.
It is right to love one another and we ought to love one another. Love gives us joy, happiness and peace. Love is a good in itself and we do not need to relate it to non-human states to love. Virtue, Spinoza said, is its own reward.
I love because it is good to do so regardless of whether there is god or not telling me to love. My personal value is that love is the highest good in our lives. I want to be loved by other people and must therefore do to other people what I want them to do to me: I must love people.
I do not like throwing around abstract ideas like God, union, separation from union that I cannot prove is there; I live in the concrete world where I know that love is good for me and you and for all of us hence we should love one another
WITHOUT LOVE NO CHILD CAN SURVIVE
If a child received absolutely no love it would not be cared for materially and emotionally and would die. The fact that a child survived at all means that he received some love even if it is imperfect love.
It would be nice to receive perfect love but we live in an imperfect world and have imperfect people giving imperfect love to one another; perfect love exists only in unified spirit state.
Therefore, do not accuse people of not loving their children, for to do so is to compare them to perfect love (which is an abstraction, not earthly reality).
Harlow’s experiments with monkeys showed that with total absence of love the young monkeys died; with attenuated love (from wire gauze) the young monkeys lived but became neurotics (cannot love well).
Harlow implies that without love we die but with imperfect love we live as neurotics. He, however, forgot to factor into the equation medical issues.
Some children inherited medical issues and feel traumatized by them and that is absence of love that social love cannot make up for hence they develop neurosis despite love from their parents.
THERE IS NO REASON TO LOVE YOU AND OTHER PEOPLE
You do not need any kind of reason to love you or other people; the alternative to love is death and or emotional deprivation. The alternative to love is literally death of you and people.
Just love you and all people and do not require a reason to love; you do not need abstract concepts like God, union, oneness etc. to love.
Love and teach people to love one another and make sure that evil persons are taught to love.
To live in this world of hate and find happiness one must love one’s self and other people. Union is love, separation is absence of love but no one can live in total absence of love and survive so even in separation there is some love in it.
LIFE IS LOVE
Life is love for without love life will not survive in people. We live because of love. Every human being, if he chooses to, can kill you, so you live with the blessing of all human beings, as they live with your blessing.
There is an anti-life element in nature, death. Natural forces do destroy people, animals and trees; diseases do kill people. In effect, there is a force of love in life and also a force of anti-love, anti-life, and hate in nature.
Oriental religions, such as Hinduism, call this earthly reality duality; they say that the life on earth is composed of pairs of opposites (love and hate, light and darkness, man and woman, good and bad, life and death etc.).
A course in miracles says that this state of duality is so because we chose the opposite of love (love is union and we chose separation, union’s opposite), that our real self is only love, only life but we chose its opposite, separation, death.
I do not know if this causal analysis is true or not; what I do know to be true is that love keeps us alive and when we stop loving ourselves and other people we die.
Love is life; life is love; that much I know for certain.
Africans seldom talk about love; it is as if they do not need love; they fancy themselves macho and self-reliant and do not need other persons love. They seldom care for other persons.
In Nigeria self-centeredness has reached epidemic proportion; the rich care only for their selves and their immediate families. The result is that young people are roaming around feeling uncared for by their elders. Since they perceive the political class as not looking after their economic interests they (unemployed youth) justify kidnapping the rich for monetary ransom, or even killing them. This is what happens in a country where folks do not bother to love one another or even talk about the need to love. Nigerians only talk politics, and they do not even understand it, and talk rubbish about money and seldom care for each other. Now, look the consequences of the loveless country they have structured, a hell on earth where folks kidnap each other and do not feel guilt and remorse.
Without love we are predatory animals; without love we are nothing. Love gives us the only worth and value we have.
Nigerians must return to loving and caring for one another; refusal to do so means that the country is heading towards Somalia like chaos and anarchy; to Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) state of nature where each looks out only for himself and does not mind killing to procure the means for his survival and life is nasty, brutish and short.
May 30, 2013
This paper says that if what Muslims want is to attain parity with the West, or surpass it that not learning what the West knows is the worst way of going about it; it says that education in science and technology is the best way for Africans to catch up with the West and begin to compete with them amano amano, man to man.
A Question For Boko Haram: Is Opposing Western Education Good For Nigeria?
The media reports that the name Boko Haram means opposition to Western education. In effect, the Muslim group in Northeastern Nigeria called Boko Haram is fighting to prevent Western education in their part of the world.
One has not read a manifesto put out by this group to fully understand their intentions but one can infer that they are at war with things Western and would like to live what they construe to be Islamic life style. That is to say that they see the West and its culture as diluting their Islamic cultural ways and want to get rid of the West and return to pristine Islamic culture.
This paper asks: should Africans oppose Western education? And, if they do who loses and or gains?
A few years ago, an eminent Harvard University scholar, Professor Samuel Huntington wrote a book called the “Clash of Civilizations”. In it he carefully delineated the struggles between various ideological approaches to life, especially as they pertain to the Western world. He described the West’s past struggles with nascent and vigorous Islam, socialism and communism and now with radical Jihadist Islam. Mister Huntington did not hide the fact that he identifies with the West and was interested in having the West defeat the people she struggles with. His partisan book is really trying to call to the attention of Western policy makers what they need to do to defeat those ideologies they are fighting with for world domination.
The capitalist (democratic) West did what it had to do to defeat the Soviet Union (communism) and Mr. Huntington believes that it must also do what it has to do to defeat Islam. In his view, the Western lifestyle, which he felt is threatened by radical Islam, must be preserved at all costs.
I understand where Mr. Huntington is coming from. He had to make sure that those he identified with defeat those he perceives as a menace to their way of life.
I am assuming that Islam has a similar view? I am assuming that Islam also sees itself as at war with the Christian West and is doing what it believes it has to do to prevent the West from imposing Western life style on it? I said assuming for I am not a Muslim and cannot speak to what motivates the current spate of Muslim terroristic attacks on the West.
Let us briefly describe Christianity and Islam; the two religious ideologies that are at war with each other.
History tells us that Emperor Augustus of the Roman Empire called for a census to be held in his lands. That much is historical fact.
Fairy tale has it that a man, Joseph and his wife, Mary were on their way to be counted during Augustus census exercise when a child was born to them, a child they named Emmanuel. That would mean that the child, Emmanuel Ben Joseph was born in 4 BC.
Christian mythology says that the local Roman satrap, Harold believed that the child would replace him and embarked on killing all baby boys with the hope of killing Emmanuel in the process. To protect their son the parents were said to have, along with him, ran to Egypt.
We do not know much about the upbringing of Joseph and Mary’s son. The next time we heard about him he was supposed to be twelve years old; his parents had come to the Jewish temple at Jerusalem during the Jewish feast of Passover; he was said to have exhibited wisdom way beyond his age. Thereafter, he went back into obscurity until age thirty when he was supposed to have started preaching his new religion.
According to the four gospels in the Christian Bible, Jesus told his followers to love one another and to forgive their enemies. He called himself the son of God. He was said to have performed supernatural miracles. He was supposed to have been arrested, tried and crucified at age thirty three. He was supposed to have, on the third day after crucifixion, resurrected from death and forty days later ascended to heaven. His followers dispersed throughout the sprawling Roman Empire and spread his teaching; at Antioch, Syria his followers were called Christians and that name stuck with them to the present.
There is no historical evidence that the man in question ever existed. Josephus, a Jewish historian much later did talk about a man who claimed to be a messiah who was killed by Roman authorities in their province of Palestine. But Josephus did not make it clear that he was talking about the man whom the Greeks later called Jesus the Christ.
In 325 AD the Roman emperor, Constantine converted to Christianity and asked the various leaders of Christianity to put together their beliefs in one book. Thus, beginning with that first ecclesiastic council at Nicaea Christian leaders began putting together what is now called the Bible.
The Bible is divided into two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament talked about the history of the Jews and about their prophetic tradition; the New Testament talked about the life of the man called Jesus and what Saint Paul wrote about him in his various letters to the faithful scattered in Asia Minor and Rome itself.
Gradually, Christianity penetrated Western Europe and replaced the people’s traditional (pagan) religions. Today, we can safely say that Western Europeans are nominally Christian.
Around 450 AD the Germanic tribes of central Europe sacked the Roman Empire. What was the Roman Empire (Western Europe, North Africa, Middle East and the Balkans) experienced power vacuum. Nature abhors power vacuum, so, many groups jockeyed to replace the power that was Rome.
In the meantime, in the Arabian Peninsula in 570 AD Mohammed was born. He worked for a rich man and later married the wife of that man, Khadija. Thus, he became rich. It is said that he took to going into the hills to pray and meditate. It is said that in 610 AD, the forty year old Mohammed heard the voice of the angel Gabriel talking to him. He had what he heard written down on paper and those constitute the doctrine he taught. He called his religion Islam: total submission to the will of God. Mohammad taught that he is the seal of the prophets.
Apparently, the people of his home town, Mecca (many of whom were at that time Christians) did not take kindly to his new religion and he fled (hajira) to Medina. At Medina he formed a militia and with it returned and used the sward to conquer Mecca and forced the people to embrace his new religion.
Mohammad’s conquest of Mecca was the first jihad; thus, Islam, the “religion of peace” has always had a history of jihadism, using violence to force people to embrace its ideology.
Muslims are taught to pray five times a day and to always face Mecca while praying; they are told to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, at least, once in their life time if they have the means to do so; they are told to practice Islam in Mohammad’s original language, Arabic.
In 632 AD Mohammed died. Upon his death there was schism as to who would replace him as the leader of the Muslim Uma. Two persons emerged as possible leaders, Mohammed’s friend, Abu-Bakr, and his son. Apparently, Muhammad’s followers took sides and two groups emerged in Islam: Sunni (those who accepted Abu-Bakr as their leader) and Shia (those who accepted Mohammed’s son as their leader. These two groups to the present constitute the two main denominations of Islam (there are many other sects of Islam, such as Sufi).
Shortly after Mohammad’s death, Muslims conquered much of the Middle East and used force to convert the people to Islam (once converted apostates who tried to leave were killed by the religion of peace). They then swept into North Africa around 642 AD conquered Egypt, and converted that prior Christian and Greek enclave to Islam (some Egyptians did not convert to Islam and today live as Coptic Christians).
They proceeded until they got to the Maghreb, especially Morocco. In 711 AD they swept into the Iberian Peninsula and took it over from Christians.
Muslims went up north and reached Southern France where they fought with the Franks (Franks were a Germanic tribe, from their name we now have France, so French men are Germans, with admixture of Celtic Gaul).
Charles Martel, the hammer of God, the leader of the Franks apparently stopped the Muslims from progressing further north at the famous battle of Poitier in Southern France in 733 AD. Charles the hammer is celebrated by Christians as the man who stopped the total Islamization of Europe.
For the records, it is worthwhile to note that it was Muslims who first attacked Christians in their European home land. This information is necessary to put the Christian counter offensive, crusades, that irritated Osama Ben Laden, in proper perspective. If you attacked someone and he counter attacked you why see yourself as a victim?
Muslims struck East and reached India and China; they converted those they conquered to Islam; thus, today the Turkish world of Central Asia is Muslim; there are Muslims in parts of India, Western China and Indonesia.
Christians tried to protect Christendom and many wars were fought between them and Islamdom. These wars included the famous crusades called by Pope Urban in the tenth century to go reclaim what Christians call their Holy land, the birth place of Christianity. The crusades lasted several hundred years and Jerusalem changed hands between Muslims and Christians until finally Muslims became the dominant power in Palestine.
In the meantime, the Germans (Visigoths) who had settled in Spain and North Africa before the Muslims conquered the area kept on fighting their Muslim overlords.
Queen Isabella of Aragon and King Ferdinand in 1492, the year America was discovered by the Italian under the employ of Isabella and Ferdinand, Christopher Columbus, finally drove Muslims out of Spain. The resurgent Christian Spaniards expelled Muslims and Jews from Spain.
It came to pass that we have two primary religions in what Western folks call the old world (Europe, North Africa and Middle East), Christianity and Islam. In India is Hinduism and in much of Asia is Buddhism; in China is Taoism, in Japan Shinto and Zen Buddhism and in Africa African religions.
ISLAM AND THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE
The fall of the Roman Empire led to the loss of Greek learning in Europe. Classical Greek literature (Plato, Aristotle, Democritus etc.) was banned by the ascendant Christian church in the West. Thus, for a thousand years the West lived in darkness, with Christian superstitions as the only guide to living.
The Arabs who had conquered Egypt, especially Alexandria had access to the learning of the Greeks. Moreover, as Muslim soldiers went to central Asia they picked up Indian mathematics. Thus, at this time the Arab world possessed more knowledge than Europe.
Muslims took Greek, Indian and Chinese knowledge into the European lands they had conquered (such as Spain).
Muslims, in effect, returned Greek rationalism to Western Europe. That rationalism led to what is called Renaissance in southern Europe, especially in Italy. Europe recovered reason and gradually challenged the superstitions imposed on it by the Christian church.
In 1517, Martin Luther fired the shot that led to the reformation of the Catholic Church. The reformation of the church led to French enlightenment (rational thinking by such giants as Rene Descartes, Voltaire, Jean Jacque Rousseau, Denis Diderot etc.) and later to science.
In 1543 AD Nicolas Copernicus challenged the Catholic Church’s teaching that the earth is the center of the universe (geocentricism) by writing that the sun is (heliocentricism).
In 1610 AD Galileo used his telescope to demonstrate the fact that the sun is the center of its solar system. Kepler, Tyco Brahe and Eugene Huygens added to the growth of astronomical science.
In 1687 Isaac Newton, in his book Principia Mathematica, posited the three laws of motion and the theory of gravitation.
These trends gave birth to science in the Western world. The rise of Western science, in the mid-1700s led to the industrial revolution (James Watt and his steam engine played a critical role in the industrial revolution).
The Industrial revolution meant bringing folks to work at factories and thus around factories towns sprout up hence urbanization began in the Western world. Folks left their villages and migrated to urban centers.
Gradually, the scientific method became the West’s primary mode of explaining phenomena (epistemology). Today, the West dominates in the world of science and technology (the Asians, such as Japanese, Chinese and Indians are giving it a run for its money).
It is safe to say that the West dominated the world through its science and technology. Moreover, Western science and technology gave the West the ability to discover the new world of the Americas and in the nineteenth century to take over Africa and Asia.
After the West’s defeat of the last great Muslim Empire, the Turkish, and Ottoman Empire (the Turks had defeated and taken over Christian Constantinople in 1453) during the First World War (1914-1918) the West carved up Muslim lands in North Africa and the Middle East.
Political realism teaches that to victors goes the booty. When Muslim Arabs were at the apogee of history, they too, expropriated other people’s lands. They took what is today called Turkey, a former Christian land. They took North Africa (the term Africa is derived from Latin for black, so blacks must have lived in North Africa before Arabs took the place over).
The West is today the numero uno, the alpha males of the world (as things now stands, the Chinese are at the door waiting to replace Europeans as the dominant predators in the predatory animal kingdom).
Nobody likes to be dominated by other people. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for Muslims who were at one point at the zenith of human civilization to resent the West dominating them. Arabs look with nostalgia the glory that was Arabdom in the eight seventh century of our common era. The point is that Arab Muslims anger at the West is totally understandable.
Having said that, if I was from the Muslim world I would ask myself: what exactly led to our conquest and domination by the men of Europe? One should not stop at mere anger; one ought to understand what led to one’s humiliation.
So, what led to the West dominating the world? Was it Christian religion? Of course not. The leading light of the West jettisoned Christianity a long time ago; these days, Christianity is generally for the masses but not for the ruling elite of the Western world.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD ENABLED EUROPE TO HUMILIATE ARABS
Western academia, the producers of the knowledge that enables the West to rule the world is composed mostly of agnostics and atheists.
Europe and North America are where they are today because they embraced the scientific method. With the scientific method they are able to understand phenomena as it is and not as we want it to be. The West has used science to understand how the universe is put together and has done a damn good job of it. The entire world actually ought to be thankful to the West for enabling us to understand how nature works. Science and technology has improved our lives tremendously.
We now know a lot about the structure of the atom (the atom has a nucleus of protons and neutrons and circulating electrons) and the laws of nature (strong and weak nuclear forces; the law of electromagnetism, the law of gravitation. In short, the West has learned a lot about nature’s processes. With that knowledge it is able to devise technologies to adapt more effectively to the world.
The West knows how to do nuclear fission (splitting the atom’s nucleus by bombarding it with neutrons until chain reaction is obtained) and knows how to do the fusion of hydrogen into helium and in the process release tremendous power, power that can be used to electrify cities or to destroy cities.
The Americans alone have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire world! If you add Asiatic Russians you begin to appreciate the awesome power the European world possesses.
So, the Arab Muslim world resents the West for dominating it, eh? Good; they ought to feel so. The question is this: what is the rational approach to Western domination?
Is it using terrorism to attack Western cities, such as was done on September 11, 2001. Now, suppose for a minute that the West has a mind to evil what do you think that they could do with their mind numbing nuclear weapons?
The West could literally wipe off all Muslims from the surface of this earth if they so choose! So, what exactly are Muslims accomplishing by engaging in terrorists attacks on those who have what it takes to get rid of them from this world?
Was Osama Ben Laden a reasonable man or was he a man driven by death wish and American Special Forces helped him gratify his wishes? Think about that; chew on it for a while. Did this man wielding a riffle, AK 47 made by Russians, a rifle Arabs do not make really believe that he could defeat the Western world? If he did think so he was deluded, psychotic?
It seems to me that Muslim terrorist acts are foolish considering that if sufficiently provoked the Franks (Arabs still call Europeans Franks, their nemesis that defeated them at Poitier) will make mincemeat of them.
The Franks, the Germanic world includes Germans in Germany, French men, English men and a substantial part of white America; these people love war; they love to kill and get killed at war; they live to die in battle and go to Valhalla the Nordic heaven for great warriors. Western Europeans are magnificent warriors and if provoked enough would discard their foreign Semitic religion, Christianity and revert to the killing machines they are and deal Muslims a death blow.
Those of us who have dealt with Western Europeans up close know that they are sociopaths who have no conscience, no sense of guilt or remorse, folks who enjoy killing, enslaving, and pillaging. These people are predatory animals per excellence and when Arab childishness reaches a point Arabs would be given a dose of the Neanderthals capacity for committing raw mayhem!
Since Muslims resent been told what to do by Westerners it seems to me that their best bate is to embrace the scientific method and try to understand nature and devise technologies and use them to do what the West does.
Anger must be reasonably channeled or else it is childish. The Arab world can embark on transformation of their epistemology, from religious superstition to science and in a century become as developed as the West; they should embark on industrialization and learn to produce things that the rest of the world wants, as the Chinese are now doing.
(The Chinese will, sooner or later, probably surpass the US economy and since economic power goes with military power equal and perhaps surpass the USA militarily.)
The point is that if what the Muslim world desires is to attain parity with the West the way to get there is through science and technology, not attacking the West with terrorist’s means.
BOKO HARAM’S SELF DEFEATING GOALS
So far, I have talked globally on the clash between the West and Muslims; now, let me talk locally; let me talk about Boko Haram.
If my understanding is correct and Boko Haram wants to get rid of Western Education, the question that pops into my mind is: what good would that do them?
Is it not Western scientific education that led the West to conquer northern Nigeria and other Muslim lands?
Let us see. When the West was running around taking over the rest of the world they left Africa alone. It is said that mosquitos in Africa killed white men who tried to penetrate interior Africa (or as the Polish writer, Joseph Conrad called it, the Dark Continent). To avoid death and dying Westerners parked their ships at West African coasts and arranged for coastal Africans to bring their slaves to them. In the context of Nigeria, white men bought African slaves from Africans at Calaba and Bonny. With those Nigerian slaves they cut down the jungles of North and South America and developed the land.
In a manner of speaking, the humble mosquito prevented Africans from total domination by Europeans; Africans owe their present freedom thanks to mosquitos, not to their military valor!
The white man used African labor, for free, to develop the Americas. This ought to enrage every African!
Alas, in adulthood we learn that anger gets you nowhere in life. It is cool headed calculations of ends and means that enable folks to change their situation.
Anger will not dislodge Europe from its stranglehold on Africa; what would is Africans acquisition of science and technology, economic power and, of course, military power.
In the nineteenth century Western science and medical technology discovered quinine. With that medicine Europeans can now enter interior Africa and not die from mosquito bites (and the hitherto dreaded malaria disease). What did they do?
They entered Africa and carved it up. That is correct: England, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the recently unified Germany (the iron chancellor, the political realist, Otto Von Bismarck, in 1870 unified the little Germanic kingdoms into one mighty country under the Prussian Kaiser) literally sat at Berlin and divided Africa among themselves. How insulting for Africans!
As an aside, my African ego cannot wrap its mind around the humiliation we experienced in the hands of the predatory animals from Europe; but such is life; powerful animals control weak animals; such is life, cest la vie, one should not cry over spilled milk; instead, one should get even by becoming powerful. Alas, to become powerful takes time. Nevertheless, my ancestors’ warrior spirit yearns to deal a defeating blow to the men of Europe. Let us, however, move on. We do not want to talk about the anger in every humiliated black man’s soul here. Lazarus must one day resurrect from his present death.
Africans could not do anything to stop Europeans from expropriating their lands, for it takes military power to stop aggressors. Thus, by the early twentieth century European powers were ruling Africa.
Fredrick Lugard, a mere thirty-something year old, and his hastily put together West African Frontier Army easily defeated the horse based empire of Othman Dan Fodio and defeated Bornu and other Muslim states in Northern Nigeria. Maxim guns equipped Britons defeated bows and arrows wielding Hausa-Fulani soldiers.
Initially, Lugard set up a northern and a southern protectorate of Nigeria (he should have left it there) but to reduce administrative cost he unified the North and south in 1914 (thus giving us the massive headache called Nigeria!).
For our present purpose, Europeans used their scientific and technological abilities to conquer Africans.
I do not like the fact that white men rule Africans but I also live in the real world, in a world where those with power suck it to the powerless.
My sense of political and military realism tells me that the only way Africans can extricate themselves from Western control is for them to embrace science and technology and develop good governance.
If African countries can do what Asian countries are now doing, Western domination would soon become history in Africa.
The point is that as an African I understand the resentment of Boko Haramites of Western control. However, as a rational African I do not think that opposing Western education is the rational approach to the problem.
If Boko Haram manages to transform its part of Nigeria to Afghanistan-like place, a handful of American soldiers could walk in and take it over (as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq). Thus, Boko Haram would have given the West permission to come and take their lands over (as the French are now doing in Mali).
In fact, if Boko Haram succeeds in its efforts to throw away Western education, all they would do is enable Westerners to come back and recolonize Africa. I doubt that this is what the Muslim brothers want to see happen.
And while we are talking about Nigeria, why in the world would a Nigerian be Muslim or Christian? Islam and Christianity are Semitic religions. We do not need these foreign religions! What we need is science and technology (science is a universal phenomenon...its parameters are applicable to everywhere in the universe... whereas religion is particularistic to the culture that evolved it).
If African folks believe that they need religion, why not resurrect their ancient African religions?
Instead of fighting for Islam why don’t Northern Nigerians fight for their peoples traditional religions?
ASPECTS OF THE WEST ARE DREADFUL
Please do not get me wrong. I am not enthusiastic about all things Western. I believe that certain aspects of the West are degenerate. I consider homosexuality a degenerate life style that if allowed to proliferate, as it is now doing in the West, would destroy civilization, just as it destroyed Greece and Rome.
I believe that the West has transformed its women to prostitutes. That is correct; the Western man has lost control over his women. The discovery of contraceptive pills and other social forces has led white women to feel that they do not need marriage or men. These days’ two women can decide and live together and buy dildos and vibrators and use them to masturbate themselves to infinite orgasms and do not need men. If what they want is children they go to sperm banks and use donated sperms to become pregnant and one calls itself wife and the other is called husband and they proceed to raise children as man and wife! That is correct; a woman calls herself the husband of another woman and the other woman calls herself the wife of the other woman! This is an abomination, a desecration of morality.
In effect, white women no longer have need for men. Children are raised only by women (in Black America almost 75% of the children are raised by women, fathers unknown). If this absurdity proceeds unabated I have no doubt that the West would self-destroy.
Aspects of Western morality are moribund and if realistic men do not arrest it the West is spiraling out of control.
This does not mean taking power away from women. All girls must go to school for they are as intelligent as men. All women should compete for any job that they can do in the land. I look forward to seeing the first female president of the United States.
You cannot prevent fifty percent of the population (women) from learning and participating in the economy and expect to be able to compete with those who allow one hundred percent of their people to go to school and participate in their economy. Muslims are shooting themselves on their feet by preventing their women from going to school and competing for jobs; the West will always dominate the Arab world if Arabs keep their women away from economically productive activities.
What Arab Muslims do, prevent their women from going to school and working so as to keep them pure is not the best alternative to the absurd degeneration that is now taking place in the West. There got to be a middle ground whereby women are not transformed into sex machines that exist to lick each other into having gazillion orgasms. We can figure out a way for women to participate in the political economy while retaining their dignity.
It is not the place of this paper to deal with that issue; all I wanted to say is that I can understand how it makes Muslims angry at what the white man has allowed his women to become.
We do not need our women to become the nothing that white women have become. But the Muslim solution of relegating women to the backyard, covering their faces with hideous robes etc. is not the right solution. We do not need to do what the Ayatollahs and Mullahs of Iran did in 1979, return Iran to the dark ages. We can find a way to marry modernity with morality.
DICTATORS ARE IDEALISTS WHO JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS WITH THEIR WISH TO MAKE PEOPLE IDEAL
Idealists justify their undemocratic actions by saying that they are trying to make the people, social institutions and world perfect. They believe that their ideals are good for people and the world and that the people are not aware of what is good for them. As they see it, only they know what is good for the people. They feel justified in trying to actualize their ideals and that includes killing and enslaving people for them.
Socialism, fascism and religion are ideals with which their ideologues use to exercise dictatorship over people. Idealism, political or religious is thus bad for it makes life miserable for human beings.
Since human beings are prone to idealism, we must study our ideals and make sure that we do not use them to make life miserable for those around us.
Idealistic parents make life miserable for their families by always comparing them to ideal standards, to what they should be like; they make life miserable for their children by comparing them to imaginary perfect ideals of behavior that no human being can live up to.
Idealistic politicians make their society suffer by pursuing impossible ideals, be it on the right such as Hitler’s fascism or on the left such as Stalin’s socialism or religious idealism such as radical Jihadism.
It seems to me that the solution that Boko Haram folks have adopted to the issue of domination by the West is not the most rational approach to the problem. It seems to me that all that Boko Haram folks would achieve is return their lands to seventh century feudal state and make it easy for those with nuclear bombs and other forms of advanced technology to waltz in and take their lands over and rule them.
Human beings are territorial animals and when the current liberal razzmatazz abates men would return to realistic thinking. At that time white men would return to their warrior nature; they would look for lands to conquer and if Muslims in Africa make themselves weak prey, predatory Westerners would feed on them.
The right solution is for Muslims in Africa to acquire Western science and technology so that they can fend off western predators when the struggle for control of Africa begins (men always struggle for the control of territories...go watch lions chasing away other animals that encroach into their necks of the woods).
Regarding those aspects of Western culture that most Africans find disgusting we can figure out a way to rationally deal with them. We have to figure out a way to make our women dignified and not the sex toys white women have become; we have to keep civilization destroying homosexuality out of Africa.
It is said that Boko Haram folks want to convert all Nigerians to their brand of Islam. Really? What have they been drinking or smoking? Do they think that Christian Southern Nigerians would sit idly as Muslims waltz in and convert them to Islam? Do they really think that they have what it takes to convert the Christian world to Islam?
And why do they even have the dream of ruling Southern Nigeria after all it was white men, Lugard and his colonialists, that brought Southern Nigeria into the same political sphere with Northern Nigeria. The North did not conquer the south and has no business trying to impose its religious will on Southerners.
And do these idle dreamers really think that the white man would sit by as Muslims take over their crown Jewel in Africa, Southern Nigeria and convert it to Islam? These people live in fantasy land.
In a world where Christians and Muslims are struggling for supremacy, Christian Europe certainly want a foot hold in black Africa and would clubber Muslims who want to dislodge them from their African plantation (that produce the raw materials that feed their factories).
If Boko Haramites are in doubt they should go see what the French are currently doing in Mali or what NATO did to Libya.
As we talk, Westerners sit by as Arabs cut each other’s throats in Syria and when the murderous Arabs have weakened themselves, the West would ride in on a white horse as the saviors of the living Arab Syrians.
The mistake the West made in going to war in Iraq is now being correct by not going to war in Syria and instead allow Arabs to kill themselves; and while they are at it, the West gives them the weapons to do the job right, finish themselves; and when they are near comatose the West would come in and commence ruling the feckless Arabs. And Arabs would see them as their saviors; not as they now do, see them as conquerors in Iraq. This is called real politics.
Go read Henry Kissinger’s cynical books and while at it read books on Otto Von Bismarck, Metternich, Napoleon and other European political realists.
The age of political idealism where a naïve George Bush wanted to spread democracy to the Muslim world is over; we are now in the age of political realism where the West gives Muslim Arabs the weapons to finish themselves off.
In Nigeria the Christians are way ahead of the Muslims in science and technology so how exactly do the illiterate Boko Haramites plan to convert Christians.
The desire to convert the entire world to Islam is a delusion that Muslims had better cure themselves of before they sow the seed of their own destruction. They should adopt a live and let live approach to matters religious.
Many Africans, do not accept foreign religions and certainly do not want to have some misguided African who does not know that he is a stooge of Muslim Arabs in their war with the white man, a war that began when Arabs tried to conquer Europe in the eight century, to shove that foreign religion down their throats. Some Africans would sooner shoot you to death than have an Arab religion shoved down their throats.
If you ask my opinion, I would therefore advise Boko Haramites to give up their opposition to Western education and embrace scientific education.
I would tell these folks that terrorism is not the solution to our African problems.
Terrorism cuts both ways. Now that Arabs unleashed terrorist acts on an unsuspecting world, the world is ready to checkmate them with its own terrorism! The West has the military power to intimidate the Arab world if they so choose.
Public policy should not be based on intimidation, on arousing fear of harm and death in people and from it making them to do as one wants them to do.
In a civilized society citizens ought to be given the opportunity to examine proposed public policies and choose the ones that they like as their public policies.
English utilitarian thinkers, such as John Mill, his father, John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham tell us that each person is driven by desire for pleasure and avoidance of pain; that in seeking what gives them communal pleasure people choose the best public policies for their human polity.
Religious idealists who think that they know what is good for all mankind tend to resort to dictatorship; as we all know dictators are always discarded for evil does not last forever and ever.
Winston Churchill tells us that democracy may not be the best government but the alternatives to it are worse!
Using the sward to make people to do what they do not want to do is primitive. Terrorism is a primitive strategy for making folks do what one wants them to do that they do not want to do; and if terrorists insist on their crude political strategy they would get other persons to do to them what they did to them; Muslim terrorists would be terrorized!
We ought to liberate people from fear rather than control them with fear. Civilization lies in progressively helping people to overcome the fear that compels them to bow to nonexistent gods and the fear that makes them kowtow to their dictatorial leaders; we must get to a point where we make decisions on pure reason, not out of fear of gods or men’s punishment.
Africa will get to where the rest of the world is by embracing Western education, specifically, science and technology, not by eschewing it.
Terrorists know that people live in fear of harm and death and that if you randomly killed some of them that the rest of them would develop intense fear of been killed and out of fear would do as you asked them to do; terrorized people would embrace the public policy you want them to adopt.
Throughout human history there have been terrorists. We can therefore safely say that there would always be terrorists in the future or that some persons would try to become terrorists; terrorism will always be with us.
In that light it seems foolish hoping that terrorists would go away. It seems foolish wishing that Boko Haram would go away, for even if they went away some other terrorists would replace them.
Thus, social realists simply accept terrorism as part of the human phenomenon. They shrug their shoulders and say: soldier come and soldier go; terrorists come and terrorists go; they seldom last long, certainly they do not last forever. In that light Boko Haram will be a menace for a while and like all ideologies based on hatred and violence will soon exhaust its energy, dissipate and other terrorist groups replace them. Such is life.
On a more cynical tune one can ask: what are human beings living for, anyway? Observation shows that there is no intrinsic reason people are living for. People are animals with built-in desire to live and must live but why they must live they do not know.
Some of them give themselves an excuse for living, such as positing religious ideals that say that they should do God’s will. No one has seen God or knows that God exists or does not exist and certainly no one knows what God’s will is.
Boko Haram’s interpretation of what God wants them to do is exactly that, their interpretation, their ideas projected to what they call God. God is our idea.
Boko Haramites figure that Northern Nigerians live in fear so if they killed many of them the rest of them would adopt their radical interpretation of Islam. They seem to have succeeded beyond their wildest imagination and are thus emboldened. Then people figure that terrorists who exploit human fear of harm and death are human beings living in bodies hence are prone to harm and death.
The world has learned that you do not play around with terrorists; you kill them. Boko Haram is currently being decapitated; they like to exercise violence and will learn that what we do to other persons some persons would do to us.
These people initiated violence and are now living in the violence they invited into their lives. Those who live by the sword die by the sword, a wise Jew, Jesus, said.
People are animals and may swagger around as powerful but we all know that if you aimed bullets into any human being’s head and pulled the trigger you would kill him. No human being is invincible. Killers are killed and that is all there is to them.
Nothing is permanently achieved through terrorist violence.
Social realists do not sweat what happens to terrorists; they know that terrorists invite violence and get it and are killed and since they are not making any contribution to science and technology, what really matters, they are forgotten like the rats they are. Refuse to refuse and that is all there is to it.
In the meantime, we know that you cannot change terrorists; no human being can change other people, as idealists, sooner or later, learn. You allow people to take their fate; those human beings who are so morally depraved that they think it fun to kill people will eventually be killed.
The realistic part of me knows that the fate of Boko Haram is sealed from the moment they started killing people. They have made life miserable for their people for a while but eventually would be gotten rid of.
The Boko Haramites are not going to take over the Southern parts of Nigeria, as they fantasize. Christians would call on their Christian brothers worldwide and deal advancing Jihadists a blow they would regret.
Life continues in violence until all human beings learn to live loving lives.
Ozodi Osuji, PhD
May 27, 2013
This essay says that there is something in each of us that takes our biological and social experience and conceptualize a self-concept and self-image for each of us. Subsequent to the construction of the self-concept the individual thinks that it is who he is and defends it as if his life depends on it. He sees the world from the self-concept he made. The self-concept is a mental construct and is not real; it is a wished for self. What seems real is the conceptualizer in us. That real self has been called many names, including soul, part of God, son of God, Atman and so on. What is true is that when the individual realizes that he is not the self-concept, aka ego and lets it go and lives through the conceptualizer in him he tends to be peaceful and happy. Living from the self-concept often disturbs the individual’s peace whereas living from the conceptualizer gives him peace.
THE SELF CONCEPT CAN BE CHANGED BY ITS MAKER
Each human being has a self-concept and a self-image (Kelly, 1958); the self-concept is the idea of who one thinks that one is; that idea of the self is then made into a picture of the self, a self-image.
Something in each of us, I call it the conceptualizer, take the child’s inherited biological constitution and his social experience and conceptualize a self for him or her. (I adopt a biosocial, that is, biological and sociological approach to understanding people and their behavior patterns, personalities.)
I do not know what the conceptualizer is; some say that it is spirit, a part of God, a son of God, Atman who is one with Brahman (Maharshi, 2010). Whatever it is, what is self-evident is that upon birth in body and living in society that something in the human child takes his biological and sociological experience to conceptualize a self for him.
Philosophical materialists claim that the self is epiphenomenal; that is to say that it is the product of the workings of the neurons in our brains. However, there is no conclusive evidence for the biologically reductive assumption that the self is a product of the workings of neurons.
(Neurons are made of atoms, which are made of electrons, protons and neutrons and which are made of quarks and which are made of light and which are made of nothing. In effect, if neurons produced the self-concept and neurons came from nothing, nothing produced the human sense of self! Nothing thinks in people! This idea is as incredible as the idea that spirits think through people. I am existentialist in philosophy and suggest that the reader should read Jean Paul Sartre’s book, “Being and Nothingness”. It is also useful to peruse Henri Bergson’s concept of élan vital.)
What is demonstrable is that each human being has a self-concept; how that self-concept came about is heuristic.
The self-concept could be realistic (sane) or unrealistic (neurotic or psychotic). In neurotic instances the self-concept sees itself as either inferior or superior. As Alfred Adler (1911) pointed out, the human child, upon confronting the impersonal forces of his environment may feel overwhelmed by it and may first posit the feeling that he is inferior due to his problematic body and or adverse social experience and then react (compensate) against that sense of inferiority with pursuit of superiority. As Adler sees it, the child’s pursuit of superiority is what characterizes neurosis.
(Adler’s Individual Psychology is my psychological frame of reference; I do not see much sense in Sigmund Freud’s cogitations on the etiology of neurosis; his Id, Ego and Superego dynamics as causal in neurosis does not make sense to me. However, if the superego is seen as internalized social norms, I accept that it affects human behavior, for society has tremendous influence on people’s behaviors. I tend to think that it is worthwhile considering Carl Jung’s (1968) belief that there is a spiritual subset in people’s lives. However, what resonates with me is his concept of Collective Unconscious Mind, for we all have in our minds ideas from our immediate society and from all the societies preceding it.)
As Carl Rogers (1947) pointed out, extant human societies tend to accept people only when they seem good; therefore, the child seeking social acceptance must appear to be good and where he is lacking in perfection he pretends it. Thus, some children pretend to be perfect so as to meet other people’s criterion for their acceptance.
Karen Horney (1950) says that neurosis originates in the child’s perception of social conditional acceptance of people and his desire to seem ideal so as to be accepted by those Harry Stark Sullivan (1965) called his significant others (parents, siblings, peers, teachers, priests etc.). As Horney sees it, the child, appreciating that the significant others in his life, people who have the power of life and death over him, for if they ignored his material needs and since he cannot yet fend for his self he would die, wants him to seem good and knowing that he is not always good he rejects his real self and uses his imagination to construct an ideal self that is always good and strives to become it. In seeking to become the ideal self the neurotic child fears not becoming it hence has what Horney called basic anxiety. Neurosis is characterized by the presence of anxiety.
We must not underestimate the impact of other people on the individual. The influence of society on people is total. Consider: if other people did not exist the individual world not exist; if other people did not have language the individual would not speak.
Society has such powerful hold on people that even when the individual makes a conscious decision to ignore society and not seek its attention invariably he finds himself disturbed when people do not approve his actions.
Anthropologists tell us that in traditional, read primitive societies people actually died when they were rejected by their people. The individual’s identity is embedded in his group affiliation (Schaeffer et al, 1998); some individuals are willing to fight, kill and get killed defending their group even if their group is wrong in what it does! Thus, the self-concept is influenced by society, especially the individual’s primary group, his immediate family, peers, religious leaders and teachers at the schools he attended. There is no such thing as a self apart from other selves; the idea of individualism is often belabored!
For our present purposes, the self-concept is the idea of who the child thinks that he is; once he establishes it during the first five years of his life he pursues attaining it as if his survival depends on it. He defends his self-concept and self-image with the various ego defenses (especially fear, anger, pride, shame, denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, fantasy, avoidance etc.).
The self-concept is not a physical reality; it is an idea; what is possibly real is the conceptualizer, the person doing the conceptualizing.
The self-concept being unreal must be defended to seem to exist (Schucman, 1975); if it is not defended it goes out of existence; it does not die for what does not exist does not die; it simply disappears.
The self-concept can be changed as one changes ones clothes; what cannot be changed is the conceptualizer of the self-concept.
Rene Descartes said “cogito ergo sum”, I think, therefore, I am; he was saying that there is a thinker in us, a thinker that is not his thoughts and not his body. In this dualistic philosophy the thinker is spirit and is part of God. Cartesian philosophy is dualistic and mechanistic; it posits spirit and matter and believes that matter is amenable to scientific study.
THE SELF CONCEPT, ANXIETY AND OTHER MENTAL UPSETS
The self-concept one formulated in childhood, a make belief self and a made up self that does not exist in fact but a self that one tries to live up to gives one loads of anxiety, fear, anger etc.; it does not do one any good; it, therefore, must be reconceptualized in adulthood.
One can simply realize that one is not the self-concept and that one’s true identity is the conceptualizer who is not his self-concept.
Fear is the primary defense of the self-concept, aka the ego; fear alerts one to what threatens the self-concept, the ego and urges one to either flee from it or fight it hence the flight, fight response to fear. Without listening to fear the self-concept, ego would not survive for a day.
That which is maintained by negative emotions, fear and anger, cannot be real; the real is maintained by positive emotion, love (this is an assertion).
Human beings are animals that have self-consciousness; some human beings have more self-consciousness than others, such as shy, introverted persons.
Human beings have self-consciousness because they have self-concepts, ideas of who they ought to be and are always conscious of that idea, wondering whether they measure up to it or not.
If the individual did not have a self-concept, especially a self-concept that desires perfection he would not be self-conscious. If the individual jettisons his self-concept he would no longer have self-consciousness.
(Why not find out if this assertion is true or false: give up your self- concept, do not defend any idea that you think is who you are and you would have no self-consciousness! You would just be life manifesting through your body!)
If one’s self-concept wants to become ideal, perfect and important one attempts to protect it at all costs. In trying to protect it one feels anxious; one anticipates what could make one not seem important and fears it hence experiences anxiety.
ANXIOUS STUDENTS LEARN POORLY
Anxious persons, especially in childhood make poor learners for at school they are conscious of how they are doing in the classroom and if they feel like they are not doing well they feel anxious. These students may be very bright but generally do not learn well in classroom settings, for they are afraid of making mistakes and or failing and been laughed at by other children; being laughed at, they believe, diminish their desired ideal self-concept and ideal self-image. (See Zimbardo, 1991)
Whereas it is not necessary to give folks psychiatric labels, let it be stated that the person I have been describing is often diagnosed as having anxiety disorder and may also be said to have avoidant or dependent or obsessive- compulsive personality disorder (DSM, 2013). Most parents know such children as shy children who do not feel comfortable around strangers.
Jerome Kegan (1999) wrote excellent books on shy children. One may want to familiarize one’s self with writings on children’s psychology, called developmental psychology. The writings of Jean Piaget (1962), Burton White (1995) and Lawrence Kohlberg are especially instructive.
The person seeking ideal self-concept often avoids other people for he fears that they would see him as not perfect and reject him. Such persons avoid other people and live a socially withdrawn, lonely existence while wishing that they are part of society. They avoid other people so as to protect an unreal, wished for self, to protect a fantasy self!
Such persons live to protect a picture of the self that gives them fear, anxiety, tension, anger, stress. That which gives one this much trouble ought to be thrown out! One ought to let go of all pretended self and relax and let the conceptualizer in one conceptualize a different self for one.
DESIRE TO CHANGE THE SELF, CHANGE REALITY AND ANXIETY
If the self-concept that one desires is that one ought to be ideal, perfect and powerful, since one is not so in reality one strives to seem so. Such persons strive to change their real selves and become ideal and perfect.
Such a person is always pursuing change of his self, and since as the individual does to his self he does to other persons, such a person wants to change other people, change society, change social institutions, and change nature (such as change animals and trees) and change the universe itself and make them ideal and perfect!
(I often wonder whether Plato and his mentor, Socrates, since they were driven by desire for perfection, archetypes, were obsessive-compulsive neurotics. See Plato’s Republic. Aristotle accepted the imperfect real world hence seems robust and normal. See Aristotle’s Politics.)
To recap, the idealist wants to make everything around him ideal; he wants to change imperfect reality and make it perfect.
His inability to accept what exists and his desire to change them is anxiety giving. The person seeking change and perfection lives in tremendous anxiety.
If seeking change of the self leads to anxiety, so why seek change of the self, other selves and the world; why not live with the self and the world as they are, imperfect and know peace of mind and body?
NORMALCY, NEUROSIS AND PSYCHOSIS
So far, I have been describing the normal person who is dissatisfied with his self and wants to change it and make it ideal and perfect. Such a person is called Neurotic by psychoanalysts (Freud, 1960).
A neurotic is a normal person who is unhappy with reality as it is and wants to improve it and feels frustrated because neither he nor other people can make reality perfect. The neurotic knows what reality is but is not happy with it. In Henry Thoreau’s terms, such a person lives a life of quiet desperation. Alas, he is found in the highest ranks of achievers in society. We are talking about the best and brightest of humanity!
The pursuit of ideal self, perhaps in combination with certain types of biochemistry in the individual, sometimes leads one to believe that one is the ideal, perfect-self one desires to be. In such instances one has lost awareness of reality and has moved from normal-neurosis to psychosis, delusion disorder.
The deluded person believes that he is the powerful self that the neurotic merely wishes to become. (Please note the difference between neurosis and psychosis.)
The deluded person has moved from neurosis and its anxiety to psychosis where anxiety is overcome by believing what is not true as true, that one is a big, important self.
Delusion can be an independent psychiatric disorder or it can be conjoined with other disorders such as schizophrenia, mania, even depression. (See Meisner, 1982.)
In schizophrenia the individual has hallucination in one or more of the five senses and additionally could be deluded. In schizophrenia, paranoid type, in addition to his schizophrenia the person also has delusion (paranoia). Such a person may hear voices (auditory hallucination) telling him that he is god (delusion of grandeur).
In mania the individual in addition to his excited sensorium, euphoria, may have the delusion that he is the richest man on earth or that he is the best musician on earth, neither of which is he.
In delusion disorder proper the individual may believe that other people are out to destroy his big self, and kill him. (See Swanson et al, 1970.)
In paranoid personality disorder (this is a neurosis) the individual seeks to become ideal and feels anxious from such wishes; however, he is aware that he is not the important self he wants to become; thus, he has not fled from the reality of his imperfection to the delusion that he is perfect and powerful. Because he desires a big self and defends a picture of him as big he feels anxious from not been seen as that imaginary big self. Many socially highly placed persons have this disorder! (See Shapiro, 1972.)
Regardless of what type of delusion one has the thread running through all of them is that one wishes to have a big self or assumes that one already is a big self and is defending that big self. If one believes that one is already the big-self one is psychotic, mad; if one merely wishes for a big-self but knows that one is not it one is normal-neurotic.
Defense of the imaginary ideal, powerful self is pointless, for no amount of defense would make the unreal real, the imperfect perfect, and the weak powerful.
Who one is is the conceptualizer (?). The conceptualizer is an unknown quantity in our lives. Just let go of the self-concept (big or humble) and stop trying to approach the world from it and you relax and feel calm. The conceptualizer in you can re-conceptualize the situations you find yourself in differently.
If you accept love as our nature, the conceptualizer in you would lead you to love all people and accept that all people are part of you and in doing so you would feel good around people.
EXAMPLE OF PURSUIT OF IDEAL SELF
In the 1960s, when I was eight years old, my parents sent me to their village to go live with their own parents, so as to learn their Igbo culture and language. I am by nature acutely observant and observed my grandparents.
Grandmother was quiet. She was tall, almost white looking and majestic and regal in physical bearing; she was calm and loving. She seldom talked. She was the epitome of a caring, normal woman.
Grandfather, also fair in complexion, on the other hand, was her exact opposite. He had volcanic temper. If he felt that you did not respect him he would do whatever he could to punish you. Single handedly he dominated his village (Umuohiagu, Owerri, Nigeria). When he spoke folks were intimidated; nobody wanted to be on the wrong side of Osuji (he was the people’s war leader; his brother, Akakporo was the high priest of Amadioha).
Osuji was a man of action, a dominant character, an alpha male. The villagers said that before 1960 when Nigeria gained her independence from the British that the man tried to intimidate the local British district officers at Owerri. Taking marching orders from the white man was simply out of the question for Osuji. He felt totally superior to the white man and did not see why any white man should tell him what to do.
I have had occasions to ponder grandfather‘s personality. Clearly, the man wanted to be powerful. His self-concept was that he wanted to seem very important and powerful. He did everything he did to appear powerful. In psychoanalytic language, he pursued ideal self hence was a normal-neurotic person; in contemporary psychiatry nomenclature he had no psychiatric disorder.
Grandfather was a normal man who had a self-concept that required him to be powerful. If you treated him as if he was powerful he allowed you to be but if you disrespected him he would jump all over you.
Later, I observed that many of grandfather’s fellow Igbos were like him. Igbos, for some reasons, want to be powerful. They are motivated by desire for importance and power. These people want ideal selves that say that they are powerful but in reality they are not powerful or ideal.
My father, Johnson, was a total idealist. He wanted to change his self and everybody around him and make them become ideal. He was driven to make the world ideal. His pursuit of idealism and perfection is rooted in making his problematic body and self-ideal. Upon leaving elementary school he left his village and never really came back until he was retired at age sixty eight. He went to wherever a good living could be made and eventually settled at Lagos where he had all his children.
Throughout our growing up years all we heard was “should” statements: “you should do this or do that”. We had to do whatever made us seem ideal and if not he criticized us. He always compared us to an imaginary ideal standard that he believed we ought to live up to and since we were not ideal he found us not good enough and criticized us.
By the time the man was in his fifties his body began to show its inherited medical issues. He felt stressed and really wanted to retire from work but the need to train his children kept him going. It was clear to all that his problematic body sought rest.
When all his children were done with schooling and settled in the world of work he finally quit work and retired to his village, a place he had not lived at for decades! Clearly, he went home to rest and die and died at age eighty.
Since I am like my father in body and have his medical issues (my body feels traumatized and stressed by the activities of daily living) my own body would give me loads of complaints in my fifties and by my sixties I would desire rest from work. However, retirement is not an option for me, for I believe that a man should work until he drops dead.
In practical terms, given my problematic body I must do the type of work that is not traumatic and stressful to my body. Above all I must study science, especially the biological sciences and use them to figure out the correlation of body and human behavior.
My ideal vocation is a combination biology, psychology and spirituality. By spirituality I do not mean escapist spirituality but philosophical spirituality that appreciated that there may be more to us than our bodies, not spirituality that urges folks to give up on this world and seek other worlds; we must first understand this world scientifically and use technology to master it before we go anywhere. We are not going anywhere and might as well understand and make the most of our one and only world.
My ancestor’s problematic bodies led them to reject their bodies and pursue ideal bodies and selves. Their bodies disposed them to pursue ideals and perfection. This was problematic to all around them since they compared everybody to imaginary perfection and found them not good enough. We must therefore figure out a way to not pursue ideals, to be realistic and accept our imperfect bodies as they are.
Human beings probably will always seek to improve their lot hence some idealism will always be with them. I am talking about pursuit of excessive idealism that is impossible of attainment; that is what needs to be jettisoned. It needs to be jettisoned considering that the pursuit of ideals could lead to delusion disorder although in my ancestor’s case it did not go that far.
Whereas it is understandable for those with problematic bodies to wish for better bodies, to seek ideal bodies nevertheless that pursuit could lead to neurosis or delusion and make life miserable for one. One must accept one’s imperfect self as it is, accept other people as they are, imperfect and accept reality as it is, imperfect; use science to study them and use technology to improve them where improvement is possible and live with what cannot be improved.
We cannot change imperfect reality and make it what we want, perfect. The desire to change reality leads to idealism, to neurosis and to delusion hence must be understood and given up; adapting to reality, imperfect, is what maturity is all about.
Naturally, I observed my own character. Since I have lived in America from early adulthood my observation is restricted to my behavior in America. In America I noticed that I resented it if a white man told me what to do. I would internally feel furious but, of course, recognize that he is the dominant animal in the land and I grudgingly go along with him. (I did my master’s degree thesis on animal territorial behavior; I accept that male animals are jostling for control of given territories and that for the time being white folks control the territory called America. I do not fight reality but want to change it so that black folks participate in ruling America.)
The salient point is that I did not want white folks or any human being for that matter to push me around.
In America, white folks generally push black folks around and black folks smile and go along with that situation whereas it bothered me no end!
Eventually I came to understand why I reacted in the manner that I did. I am like my father and his father and their great grandfather, Njoku.
In 1902 when the British finally took over Igbo land and marched through our Owerri area, great grandfather Njoku mobilized his people to fight the white men and their soldiers. He fought and was killed rather than live to become subordinate to white men. His son, Osuji, then a teenager grew up to continue his father’s fight with the white man, trying to preserve his people’s independence. My own father, Johnson, was westernized for he went to Western schools.
In effect, I came from a lineage of men who were motivated by power and dominance; they wanted to dominate their world and did not want other people to dominate them.
Further studies showed me that this pursuit of power and prestige caused my folks tremendous anxiety. They lived tense, anxious lives because they were always trying to seem powerful and feared social perception of them as not powerful.
BIOSOCIAL ORIGINS OF MY FOLKS PURSUIT OF IDEAL SELF AND POWER
There were sociological reasons why my ancestors wanted to seem powerful. They lived in slave catching and slave selling Igbo land and had to defend themselves. In Africa of the nineteenth century you either defended yourself or you were caught by Igbo enslavers (Aro and Abam slave catching criminals) and sold to either Arabs or to white men as slaves. Therefore, my ancestors reacted with pursuit of power, for power was a necessary instrument to protect their independence. They were and still are the dominant persons in their world. If you made the mistake and went to my town and did what the family members considered insulting, well, you better be prepared for war!
The Osuji-Njokus are a warrior and priestly people; they were their people’s warriors and priests; one of them would be the people’s war leader and another would be the people’s high priest.
There were biological reasons for my ancestors’ extraordinary aggressiveness. I cannot speak for my dead grandparents but I can speak for me and assume that what is in me was in them. I inherited a deficiency of the mitochondrial enzyme: cytochrome c oxidase as well as spondilolysis of the fifth lumber vertebrae; those deficiencies made me feel pained and weak. I believe that members of my family inherited similar biological issues hence feel pained and weak. I believe that feeling pained and weak was unacceptable to them and they compensated with drive to seem over adequate and powerful.
If you add their biological deficit to their slaving environment, you begin to understand why these people were motivated to become powerful persons.
In broad terms, my ancestors were normal-neurotic persons; they were not deluded, for they knew the difference between desire for power and possessing actual power. They wished for power but did not delude themselves into believing that they were actually powerful.
Consider, despite grandfather’s resentment of the British intrusion into his world he donated the land on which the town’s school was built and sent his children to the first mission school built by the Catholic Priests in his town. The man made sure that his sons went to school. He said that he wanted his sons to know what the white man knows so that they would not be dominated by the white man. His children are today found all over the world.
The salient point is that Osuji was operating in the world of reality, not the deluded world that ignored reality while pretending to be powerful.
The relevance of this foray into my background is to show that where folks seek power and perfection there is always something in their biological make up and sociological experience to make them do so. I have shown how possibly my folk’s inherited biological issues and adverse social environment disposed them to have what Adler called the neurotic’s all or nothing approach to power (pursuit of ideal self, superior self).
I will, here, say what may not sit well with many Africans. My grandparent’s looked white. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that they were mixed white and black. In the family, occasionally, a child is born that looks almost entirely white. My senior brother, Eugene could pass for an Italian! In childhood I myself was so fair in complexion that folks called me white boy (omopupa). I must also say that given the Osuji children's extraordinary intelligence (most of them have above average IQ, some in the superior range of IQ over 132) I have wondered whether it is because of their mixed racial heritage.
If the reader wants to understand the psychology of colonized persons in some detail I refer him to read Kardiner and Ovesey, Mannoni, Memi, Pettigrew, Karon, Frazier, Clark, Fanon and others.
The relevance of this foray into my background is to remind the reader that he has to look into his background and understand his ancestor’s behavior patterns and personalities, for, as Socrates said, an unexamined life is not worth living. You, the reader ought to try to understand your personality and behaviors; you should not deny your ugly aspects and pretend to be ideal and present a false ideal self-image to other people to relate to; most of us, especially persons trained in the mental health field can see through your social mask and know if you are normal, neurotic or psychotic.
LETTING GO OF THE IDEAL SELF CONCEPT AND ITS QUEST FOR POWER
Whatever is the cause of the pursuit of ideal self and power, neurotic or psychotic level of it, what is self-evident is that the individual can understand how it works in him, decide not to seek ideal self and power. He can give up his self-concept and self-image, humble or grandiose. He can simply tell himself that he is not the self-concept, grandiose or humble, that he formed in childhood, and accept his true identity as the conceptualizer, the maker of concepts.
As Buddha correctly realized, the thinker is not his thoughts; the conceptualizer is not his concepts; you, the conceptualizer is not your self-concept.
I do not know who the conceptualizer in us is, in fact; to the best of my knowledge, no human being knows who his real self is, either.
Some say that the conceptualizer in us, our real self is spirit. Such view is not based on facts but religious belief. I am not here talking about religious beliefs. I am here talking about psychological science.
The scientific method requires us to accept only what we can observe and verify whereas religion accepts what we cannot verify as real.
In other papers I explored the possibility that the real self is spirit but those are exercise in speculation. Here I am interested in facts.
For psychology to become a real science it must restrict itself to what is observable and verifiable in people’s lives; so far it is the biological and sociological aspect of people that are observable and verifiable. Behavior-psychologists, such as B.F. Skinner (1972) do not want anyone to inject any kind of religion (even psychoanalysis) into psychology.
What I do know from my experience is that when I studied my self-concept and decided to give it up and accept that there is something in me that do the conceptualizing and that I do not know what that something is I felt peaceful and happy.
The conceptualizer in me does not see itself as its concepts but plays with concepts knowing that ideas are not the” ideationer” (I made up that word).
Generally, I see me as the same and coequal with all people. I treat every person as my equal. However, if a person tries to act as if he is better than me I correct him and let him know that all human beings are the same. I do not buy into anyone’s delusion of inferiority or compensatory superiority. Because in temperament I am shy and introspective some folks mistake it for timidity and try to intimidate me and I let them have it; you do not want to step on me for if you do my ancestors’ warrior spirit immediately comes to the fore and your death would mean nothing to me.
If the individual understands the origin of his self-concept and self-image, understand that there is an unknown part of him that conceptualizes the self-concept and self-image, and understands that once conceptualized the self-concept and self-image drives his thinking and actions; if the individual understands that most things he does is done from his self-concept and that this is causing him social problems, and understand that he does not have to pursue the self-concept especially if it wants to be ideal and powerful, that he can let go of the self-concept and live without it then he must do so.
Admittedly, it is difficult to give up one’s self concept and self-image but it can be done. I have done it and therefore I am not speaking from mere conjecture. I have studied my self-concept and understood that I was seeking perfection in everything that I did. I decided that it is impossible to be human and be perfect.
No human being can ever become perfect. As long as we live in bodies and in the world of space and time we cannot be perfect. Perfection and ideals are in the mind, are ideational, are wishes and cannot be brought about by magical wands for there are no magical wands. Matter makes whatever it touches imperfect so we must be imperfect.
I therefore consciously decided to give up the desire for perfection; I gave up what had motivated me in my youth. When I did that I felt like I had no self.
Where I had believed that there was a self in me I now I see no self. I see nothingness where I had thought was a self in me.
However, having no self does not mean that there is nothing in one. There is an unknown conceptualizer in all of us. I do not pretend to understand the conceptualizer in us. I can live with not knowing what our real self is.
In his teachings, the Indian sage, Ramana Maharishi (2010) told his disciples: you are not the ego, separated self-concept (ahankara), so who are you? He asked people to keep asking that question until they find out their true identity.
He assumed that people’s true identity is part of God, Atman who is one with Brahman. I do not know if he is correct or not.
He may well be correct but since I have not verified his claim I will stay clear of his conclusion. What is self-evident to me is that the individual’s biological and sociological experience affects the formation of his self-concept and those with medical issues tend to conceptualize problematic self-concepts.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we study medicine and genetic science and develop genetic engineering and use it to correct whatever faulty genes we inherited. God or no God we have to live in the world of matter, space and time.
SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THE SELF CONCEPT
Spiritual psychology (Schucman, 1975) holds that there is a self in people and everything that is not of matter, space and time. It says that that self is spirit and is part of what folks call God. It says that that self is eternal. That self is part of all selves in a state of formless oneness.
Motivated by pride, parts of that unified spirit-self pretend to separate from other selves and manifest as whatever they want to manifest as: people, animals etc. They do so in dreams.
Each human being is a part of God’s unified spirit and seem to have separated from it and manifest in matter, space and time (body space and time are said to be means for spirit to express itself in forms). In form spirit takes its body and social experience to form self-concepts. The self-concept is formed by the spirit self for the individual.
While in body spirit cannot know beyond vague knowing that it is spirit; it certainly cannot act with the power of spirit for body limits what it can do; it is always imperfect in body while it is perfect outside body.
Since body dies spirit seems to die but awakens in another form of existence; this time in electrons (light). It may return to body and live in body and then die and resurrect in electrons, light. Ultimately, it recognizes that it is spirit and stops manifesting in body forms.
BEHAVIORISM SAYS THAT THE SELF CONCEPT IS LEARNED
Behaviorist psychologists say that the self-concept is learned, that its learning is influenced by body and social experience; they do not pay attention to the agent doing the learning, for that agent is not amenable to observation.
Biologists say that there is no spirit and that what appears to be consciousness, aka spirit is the product of the configurations of matter in the human brain.
I personally think that there is a non-material part to us, and calling it spirit is fine except that one should not try to explain what spirit is for spirit is beyond our explanation.
THIS WORLD AS A RESULT OF PRIDE AND REBELLION
As I see it, we are motivated by pride and out of pride left oneness and manifested as separated selves in body. Pride makes our original unified-self form normal, neurotic or psychotic self-concepts.
The ideal self is motivated by pride (notice that one avoids people to avoid failing so as to preserve ones social face of importance; that is pride at work; even the child is proud; we came to this world with pride).
Pride is used to make existence in body, in nothing seem like worthwhile endeavor; people posit ideal selves and pursue them with pride and in doing so forget their bodies’ nothingness. They may even kill each other in misguided efforts to realize their prideful ideal self.
Since it is pride that made us separate from oneness, when we remove pride we return to oneness and see all people as part of us. It is pride that constructed the self-concept using body and social experience as building blocks.
GHOSTS ARE COMPOSED OF ELECTRONS, LIGHT WITH SOME MASS, HENCE NOT REAL
Spirit in form is composed of electrons (light with some mass) but outside matter spirit is pure light without form.
God is pure light without mass (that is. Is not made of electrons). What people call ghosts are made of electrons that have not returned to formless light, aka spirit?
IDEALISM LEADS TO POVERTY
Idealism leads to poverty for one pursues ideal solutions to problems that can only be solved realistically. You have to accept things as they are and study them scientifically and devise technologies to solve them if you want to solve them.
Idealistic solutions are fantasy and do not solve anything. If you want to solve problems you must study physics, chemistry and biology. Realistic spirituality must take matter into consideration otherwise it is idealistic and escapist spirituality.
However, excessive realism, as found in normal persons leads to conservatism and static state of being; excessive idealism leads to socialistic views and those are unproductive.
Truth is somewhere between realism and idealism. Truth is neither material realism nor idealism.
BE WHATEVER YOU WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO BE
Be the love you want other people to be; be the savior you want other people to be; be everything that you want other people to be.
Do not judge yourself or judge other people and you would feel peace and joy.
All things in life serve you and you serve everything in life. Love is connection to everything that you accept without judgment as part of you
I see our existence in body as a kind of divine joke; we are born, live and die. This, to me, is a joke. I cannot take life in body seriously; I must laugh at life in body for it is mirth, a humor. Why would we bother to take all the trouble to live in body, struggle to provide our bodies with food knowing that they would die and rot?
Our lives in bodies and on earth, in Shakespeare’s immortal words, seem like a tale told by a fool, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing; we seem like poor actors on a stage who make noises and die and disappear and are heard from no more.
This world seems like Dante’s divine comedy. Therefore, I am determined to have fun from the comedy (or is it tragedy).
In Gnostic categories (Schucman, 1975), I see the world as a dream and I am determined to make it a happy dream. A happy dream is existence where one loves one’s self and loves all people.
In about a hundred years the individual dies; in a couple billion years the earth will die; in five billion years our sun will die; in trillions of years all stars, galaxies and the universe will die.
Contemporary cosmology teaches us that the universe came out of nothing, in a big bang, 13.7 billion years ago. What came from nothing will return to nothing.
But we should not become cocky in asserting that we came from nothing and return to nothing; this is because nothingness could mean somethingness!
Consider: when massive stars die in supernova their inner cores compact to nothingness and that nothingness is so powerful that they can eat stars, planets, people that wander into their event horizons. That is to say that the nothingness that produced this universe may be a powerful something, what folks call God. You never know.
What I do know is that if I do not defend my self-concept I tend to be calm, flexible and happy. However, I do defend my body.
I live in body; living in body requires one to defend one’s body with good food, medications, clothes, shelter and exercises. If the body is not defended it dies.
If another person tries to destroy my body I would not hesitate for a second shooting him to death, for in nature animals must defend their bodies to live. I do not have a sentimental view of forgiveness; Nietzsche correctly pointed out the unworkableness of radical forgiveness.
If you enjoy killing people you should be killed by people. I do not allow murderers to walk around murdering people under the misguided notion of Christian forgiveness. I accept capital punishment for murderers and long prison terms for other kinds of criminals.
In conclusion, in the past I used to defend my wished for ideal self-concept but I no longer do so. At present I look at the events before my eyes and if I choose to I offer an opinion on them and move on. You can disagree with my views, for you are entitled to do so. However, your disagreement with me would not bother me one bit.
In the past I used to be bothered if I felt unfairly opposed but now, I say it is a free and democratic country so go ahead and have your say. If I feel that you made mistake I will restate what seems to me the correct response and leave you to keep stating your views.
I am generally dispassionate and impersonal in responding to folks; I do not respond emotionally even to what most folks would call insulting views of the person.
I do not give rat’s tail what a fellow thinks of me and my views; what really matters to me is for me to state something as I see it at that moment in time and if I made a mistake correct it.
In Buddhism it is believed that when the individual gives up pursuit of what he calls his self-concept, aka ego that he awakens to the awareness of his real self which is construed as undifferentiated self, aka God.
I do not know if there is God or not; I suspect that the conceptualizer in us is what folks call soul; I suspect that the soul is in Hinduism’s categories part of God (Atman).
Call it what you like, all I know is that when the concept of the self is given up and one simply lives from the self that does the conceptualizing one tends to be peaceful.
If you prefer to call this state of living enlightenment, illumination, and self-realization, as Oriental religions call it, so be it. I choose to call it mental health, not neurosis or psychosis but simply living from the force that makes concepts knowing that concepts are not the concept maker.
Delusion disorder is an attempt to change reality and make it what one wants it to be. This begins with the self- concept. One sees ones imperfect reality and one rejects it and wants to make it different, a perfect self. Of course no one can change reality.
Mature people embrace reality as it is and try to understand it as it is and cope with its demands rather than try to change it. This is what science does.
Idealists, neurotics and psychotics are unhappy with reality and want to change it to suit their idea of how it ought to be.
Igbos generally want to change the reality of our equality and make it fit the delusion that they should be superior to other people.
A question begs for an answer: what is reality? Is the human body our reality? Helen Schucman’s A course in miracles said that the very self-concept this paper tries to understand is a replacement self-formed by the children of God when delusion disorder took hold of their minds. She says that originally we are unified as one self but decided to rebel against oneness and separate from it. We went to sleep and dream that we are separated from God and from each other and invented matter, space and time and used those to make living in separation seem real.
She says that the self-concept, grandiose or humble, is a false self, a substitute self, a replacement self. The real self, she says, is unified spirit self, the union of God and all his sons in one spirit.
She defines salvation as letting go of the separated ego self-concept we made for each of us and returning to unified spirit self.
Is A course in miracles rendition of the origin of the self-concept and its material world true or false? I leave it to you to ponder.
As for me I know that I feel like an alien in this world. When I listen to good music (my choice is classical, such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, Hoyden etc. and good black folks soul music) I have a feeling that there must be life after death.
I agree with Machiavelli (See the Prince) that if there were no God we ought to invent him; if there were no life after death we ought to invent it; why not, it is a delightful delusion that enables folk to cope with their existential nothingness and consequent angst.
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Adler, A. (1964). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. H. L. Ansbacher and R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.). New York: Harper Torchbooks.
Adler, A. (1979). Superiority and Social Interest: A Collection of Later Writings. H. L. Ansbacher and R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
American Psychiatric Association (2013), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.
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Frazier, Franklin (1955), The Negro Middle Class. Bourgeoisie noire (Paris: Plon, 1955.
Freud, Sigmund (1999), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, translated from the German under the General Editorship of James Strachey. In collaboration with Anna Freud. Assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson, 24 volumes, Vintage, 1999
Horney, Karen (1950), Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W.W. Norton.
Jung, Carl (1968). The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kardiner and Ovesey (1951), The Mark of Oppression. New York: W.W. Norton.
Karon, Bertram (1958), The Negro Personality. New York: Springer.
Kegan, Jerome (1994), TheGalen’s prophecy: Temperament in human nature.
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Machiavelli, Nicolo. The Prince (there are many editions).
Maharshi, Ramana (2010). The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi. Carlsbad, California: New Directions.
Mannoni, Octave (1956), Prospero and Caliban, The Psychology of colonization. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.
Meisner, Williams (1980), The Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.
Meisner, William (1982), Psychotherapy and the Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.
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Piaget, Jean (1962), The Language and Thought of the Child (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962) [Le Langage et la pensée chez l'enfant (1923)].
Pettigrew, Thomas (1964), A Profile of the Negro American. New York: Van Nostrand.
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Rogers, Carl (1947), Client Centered Therapy. London: Conant.
Sartre, Jean Paul (1943), Being and Nothingness.
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Schucman, Helen (1975), A course in miracles. Tiburon, California: Foundation for Inner Peace.
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May 18, 2013
(907) 440-4317; (907) 570 4954
*Dr. Osuji is especially interested in communicating with those who ponder Africans’ psychological states. He wants to know if there is such a thing as African psychology; is psychology a universal science whose parameters apply everywhere in the world? If so, how come much of its findings are rooted in western epistemology? Don’t we have to factor in Oriental philosophy and the still unknown African philosophy? Dr. Osuji is interested in understanding who human beings are, not from any particularistic culture but from universal scientific perspective.
Depending On How You Look At It; I Dealt A Death Blow On Igbos Or Offered Them The Opportunity To Change
I do not have mail from Nigerian Internet forums come to my email address. If and when I want to take a peek at what is going on at those forums I go to their websites. Generally, I do that about once a week. Nevertheless, some folks send their letters to my mail box. Thus, throughout last week some folks kept sending to me mail talking about me, calling me whatever name that fits the callers.
Like deluded persons everywhere whatever they see in them they deny and project to other persons...they are addicted to the Internet and instead of facing that reality they see you as frequenting the Internet!
On Monday I decided to correct one egregious mistake of these folks, their calling me osu. I did that and moved on. Today is Thursday and these incorrigible folks are still talking about me.
If you defend yourself they say that you are seeking attention; apparently, in their warped world, you ought to allow them, sadistic persons to abuse you no end and you take it like a masochist! No wonder they call Hausas derogatory names and expect Hausas not to retaliate; they gave themselves the right to abuse folks but for folks not to defend themselves against their abuses!
Why do they do it? What are they trying to accomplish? Are they trying to get me to change my perception of them and see them as angels? I have already made up my mind that they are criminals and do not want anything to do with them, ever! You can only get me to change my mind about you if you change your behavior and behave pro-socially.
They indulge their childish game of trying to shame me by spreading all kinds of incredible lies about me; this is a kind of primitive psychological warfare where these denizens of the jungle try to control folk by shaming them. Unable to shame me they call me shameless hoping that that would silence me.
These are the behaviors of jungle criminals; they are dealing with a professional who understands their criminal thinking patterns and can checkmate every move their warped minds make.
It is either you allowed them, scamming artists coning Americans (I have evidence of their various scams obtained from law enforcement agencies and Congressional committee hearings) or they try to shame you or call you shameless.
If I had a desire to be evil like they are I would wreak havoc in their childish lives. They came to America to rip off Americans and make noise on the Internet about their phantom goodness. Wherever crime is taking place (such as 419 scams, credit card scams, bank loan scams) Igbos are at the forefront leading it; they are never leading anything positive for society!
They present themselves as rich and everyone else as poor (boasting and exhibiting empty pride is their second nature) but when you deal with them you end up even buying gas for them to drive their cars.
They are such angels that they would not lift a finger to help anyone; actually, they are more likely to exploit people, if necessary to sell them for money and come to the public square and talk about how good they are! Take them out of my face, for they are despicable and contemptible folk!
They say that the person who is trying to change a deluded person has a problem for he has not understood that the deluded person wants to be deluded. The deluded person did not ask you to change him and by trying to change him you become his mortal enemy.
In my naiveté I tried to change deluded Igbos; they do not want to be changed by anyone; their delusion serves a function for them: mask their existential sense of nothingness.
Since the deluded person sees you as challenging his delusion of grandeur he would come at you with everything he has trying to make you change your perception of him and accept his grandiose self-concept as his truth. This is what has happened between Igbos and me.
For as long as I can remember, like deluded psychotics everywhere, they go about pretending to be superior persons. If you ask for evidence of their supposed superiority they do not give it to you.
In terms of political development they are the least developed of Nigerian tribes. In Karl Marx’s reinterpretation of Hegelian categories of how societies develop, folks go from primitive communal living to slave to serfdom to bourgeois and finally to socialist society.
Igbos were at the most basic level of political development: stateless, communal society. Some Nigerian tribes, such as Hausas, Edos and Yorubas, had attained the feudal level (and could easily transit to the capitalist state).
Igbos who were at the most rudimentary state of social development somehow want to browbeat folks into seeing them as the most developed people on earth. You ask: show me why and all they can do is making empty claims.
Well, claiming something does not prove it; you have to provide proof for your claims for anyone to take them seriously.
Igbos claim to be smarter than other Nigerians; IQ tests show that they score the same as other Nigerians.
They did not invent the wheel or writing. Yet, they go about fancying themselves ahead of other people. They, in effect, believe in what is not true as true. They actually believe in the self-serving delusion that they are better than other people (it is very difficult for them to give up that delusion given the function it serves for them, veil their existential sense of smallness).
Other Nigerians were either browbeaten by their false claims or ignored them. I am persuaded by only facts, so I looked at the facts and found them not better than their neighbors and said so. In effect, I struck a death blow at their delusion of superiority.
They see me as having attacked their sense of superiority; they now see me as their mortal enemy. Thus, they come at me with all they got. If they could discredit me then they would retain their delusion of superiority. I have their deluded dance elsewhere, at psychiatric hospitals.
And what they do they have?
All they have is call you stupid put down names (Imanjakiri, eko okwu). They have called me every name their limited vocabulary can muster.
Their name calling does not bother me for I assume that they are deluded and one is not bothered by the name calling of insane persons.
I have had deluded patients tell me that they are Jesus Christ. Of course, I know that they are not Jesus Christ so I smile and do not confirm their delusional claims.
If you go along with a deluded person and see him as the god he wants to be seen as he would like you but if you disagree with him and not validate his grandiosity he sees you as an enemy and would verbally attack you and if you are close enough he could physically attack you (as one Igbo psychotic attacked me and I had the county mental health system investigate him and keep an eye on him...they diagnosed him as having intermittent explosive personality disorder but could not involuntarily put him in a psychiatric hospital; such persons are only arrested when they act out and injure persons).
In the psychotic’s mind if he killed you he would have removed the source of reality check for him and would thus continue masquerading as the false important persons he wants to be seen as.
If you fight against the reality of human sameness and equality, as Hitler and Nazis did, and as racist whites do you will be defeated for reality always prevails. People are always equal; all you can do is pretend to be better than some people (and pay the price of experiencing tension, stress, anxiety and anger).
Calling me negative names for stating the truth is water off my skin; they are mad persons calling you bad names hoping that you would go away and leave them to be mad and pretend to be the person that they are not.
For our present purpose, I have struck a deadly blow on Igbos narcissism and they now have to change and accept reality (of our oneness and sameness). If they continue pretending to be superior people I would recommend that we change their diagnosis from neurosis (personality disorders) to psychosis and start placing them on anti-psychotic medications.
A dose of Risperdal, Zyprexa, Haldol, Thorazine and other anti-psychotic medications would calm them down. If they act out we shall put them in five points’ restraints.
These people are first class con artists. For over four hundred years they (Aro and Abam) roamed their jungle world capturing their people and marching them to Calaba and Bonny and selling them to white men as slaves.
In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century the white man ended slavery in their world; left alone they would continue slavery; indeed, if the white man did not have International laws against slavery they would today gladly resume capturing and selling their people to all buyers and using the pieces of glass buyers give to them to buy ozo titles to make them seem prestigious (to mask their eternal sense of inferiority).
As we talk, they are capturing their people and holding them ransom for money. What they are now doing is a form of modern slavery; these people do not have conscience, do not feel guilt or remorse; they are an evil people.
Slavery ended and instead of accepting responsibility for their crime against their people their pseudo scholars told the world that it is only the white man’s fault that slavery existed.
The white liberal humored them and treated them as children and went along and said that only white folks are culprit for slavery.
Actually, it is a worse crime to capture and sell your people to slavery than to buy them, for the buyer does not know who he is buying and as people of different color he could rationalize his evil deed by saying that Africans are an inferior people.
Please notice that the criminals do not blame Arabs for slavery even though they sold their people to Arabs much longer than they sold them to white men. They know that Muslim-Arabs do not feel guilty for their sins and would not be conned by being blamed. They blame white Christians whose religion disposed to feel guilty and in the process manipulate them, and con them to get money from them.
These people have been involved in racketeering all their history while pretending to be innocent angels.
I want to punish every Igbo slave seller or kidnapper; I want to send each of them to jail for the sin of slavery and holding people hostage for money.
They could not con me into seeing them as saints while they keep on behaving as criminals. In America they specialize in scamming white folks, ripping them off while talking rubbish about what they call “Lugard’s cage”, Nigeria, a cage that gave them whatever little civilization they currently have.
I believe that it is now time we healed the black man of his tendency to commit crimes against his own people (sell them, misgovern them, steal from them) and blame other people for his crimes. Thus, I checkmated these criminals and they are flailing around and won’t get anywhere with me.
I really did not know how far gone Igbos were; I was naïve and trusted them (no more) and they ripped me off. From that moment I decided to ignore the rubbish that comes out of their filthy mouths and treat them dispassionately, impersonally, unsympathetically, unemotionally and objectively, as I have done by explicating their sins.
They can be angry at me for calling them out all they want but they cannot hide from my searching lights. I know that they are selfish and will not call them the angels that they want to be called while they act as Satan itself; they place money ahead of human life and will betray you in a jiffy if money is involved. When they see money they turn to the devil itself; they are unprincipled and opportunistic beyond belief. They assume that folks are chomps that they can exploit, and that folks would not see their exploitative behaviors!
They are evil beyond measure while presenting themselves as saints. If you are dealing with an Igbo please know that he is going to try to rip you off and if you protest he would call you awful names. He thinks that by calling you derogatory names that you would be shamed to tell the world about what he does and thus leave him to keep on scamming you and the rest of the world while he masquerades as a saint.
Please do not mind his name calling; prevent him from ripping you off; and if he insists on scamming you do not hesitate in sticking the law on him and let him be sent to jail or prison, for that is where he belongs.
If you state the truth of him he would say that you self-hate. You do not hate yourself by stating the truth; in fact, the ability to state the truth despite social opposition is sign of good self-view and courage.
They are cowards and project what they see in them to you; see, they are forever ruled by other Nigerians and they do not have the courage to fight for the leadership of Nigeria; they only seek opportunity to steal but not to work for social good.
I have exposed them as fraudsters. They can no longer bullshit people into believing that they are supermen; they are a sham.
In my experience with them they never join organizations that fight for public good but are always scurrying in darkness looking for self-interest oriented scams.
They are cowards while always talking big. I have popped their grandiose balloon and all they have left is say that Ozodi is ten years old, or one hundred years old, or is poor or is childless or is wifeless. Assuming that those are true, and they are lies, do they matter in public discourse?
These scoundrels always redirect discussion to the personal (for they enjoy attacking your person) instead of keeping it to public issues where they belong.
For some reasons they are almost always inarticulate and lack understanding of the English language; they jabber inchoate rubbish tempting you to correct them.
Anyway, I have said elsewhere what I said in this piece. When a man repeats his self it is time for him to stop saying whatever it is he is saying. I will, therefore, desist from concerning myself with these incorrigible people. They want to retain their socially untoward behaviors but want everybody else to change and see them as angels. I leave them to their dastardly ways and the negative consequences they bring to them (such as their neighbors perceiving them as untrustworthy hence seldom voting for them for national offices in Nigeria...I doubt that Nigerians would vote for an Igbo president of Nigeria; the only way an Igbo can become president is if the PDP rigs one into office for them; what a pity that they have done this to themselves by insisting on being unscrupulous!).
As deluded persons they do not appraise reality as it is; they do not try to understand people as they are and deal with them as they are, not as they think that they are. They have not bothered to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various Nigerian ethnic groups hence know how to objectively deal with them. Instead, they talk as if they are invincible persons whom no one can defeat and Hausas knowing that they are mere mortals aim bullets at their thick skulls and kill them. They do not even realize that given the reputation that they have created of themselves as thieves that should Nigerians start killing them, again, that the white man is not going to come to rescue him; folks do not rescue thieves; they leave them to die and say good riddance!
One of the things that I have not been able to understand about Igbos is their inability to learn from experience. They take on those who have what it takes to defeat them. Yorubas, for example, have amazing understanding of Anglo-American jurisprudence (no Igbo lawyer, in my opinion, has understood the spirit of English common law tradition) and if they deploy those on Igbos who have very little understanding of how the Anglo-Saxons world works would always defeat Igbos any day. Yet Igbos choose war with Yorubas. Hausas are good at taking orders from their superiors hence make good soldiers and would defeat Igbos at war any day, yet Igbos take them on. This is madness, I tell you.
I have awesome writing skills and unequalled understanding of how the human mind works and will defeat a bunch of semi-literate, rag tagged bush caterwaulers any day. If they had any sense in their heads they would not provoke me (in fact, they would try to get me to become their ally...imagine what I could do for them with my excellent writing skills). But these mindless adventurers always test my patience and then I would devote a few minutes to them, as I have done in this mail, and do a devastating job on them.
God, these people should take a break from fantasy and return to living in the real world. They should accept that some people have what it takes to make mincemeat of them (a person is not yet grown up if he does not know who can defeat him in battle). If I choose to I will leave these bush men alone but not because they can win in any kind of battle with me.
In sum, I know that it is particularly ireful that a person from their world who knows them ousted them! But as a truth teller I must not hesitate in exposing charlatans. I do write exposes of racism in America (while cowardly Igbos would not speak out against racism, afraid that the white man would deport him to the dreaded jungle he came from and does not want to return to); on the evils of radical jihadism. I am not afraid of any man born of woman.
PS: Someone asked: why are you at war with your people, what did they do to you? My response to him is that I saw their problem and had to state it with as much clarity as I could and provide as much answer as I could. I could not see them misbehaving and ignore it just because I want to be accepted by them. I do not need their acceptance; I live independently; I do not need Igbos help to survive (and if I needed it they would not help me, for they do not help anyone; they are too self-centered to care for other folks survival needs). I do not want to live in their world, for one does not deliberately choose to live with thieves. There you have it.
May 23, 2013
This essay tries to educate Igbo Internet warriors who do not understand Igbo culture but pretend to do so; specifically, those who do not understand what the name Osuji means. Throughout much of human history there is no instance where a person persuaded deluded persons to give up their delusional beliefs. Delusion is desire to change reality and make it as one wants it to be. If something is black and a deluded person wants it to be white he would simply say so and ask you to accept his psychotic interpretation of reality and if you refuse to go along with him he feels angry at you and calls you a string of god awful names. I have tried my best to ask these deluded persons to give up their delusional wishes and failed. I will stop trying to make the insane sane. I have nothing to gain from this matter except that it pains me when I see them attacked by those their delusional behaviors lead to retaliate with attacks on them. Like Pontius Pilate I wash my hands off these crazy people and leave them to their unenviable fate: crucifixion by their neighbors. I don’t enjoy always having to correct fools and must from now desist on from doing so.
Igbo Internet Warriors Are Not Authentic Igbos!
The other day, I had a private mail from an Igbo chap living somewhere in Michigan. He wrote to tell me that he read where some Igbos called me osu and said that his last name is Osuji and some Igbos call him osu when he disagrees with them. He wondered how Igbos could be so benighted as to not know what the name Osuji means?
I am used to been called all kinds of negative names by Igbo twits and it does not bother me but what this young fellow said got me thinking about his issue. As I cogitated on this matter it dawned on me that these folks who claim to be fighting on behalf of Igbos actually are not Igbos, or if they are nominally Igbos do not know a damn thing about Igbo culture! These folks are literally ignoramuses of Igbo culture and yet they claim to be the champions of that culture. It would seem that if they are going to fight on behalf of Igbos that the least they could do is understand Igbo culture!
Regarding the name Osuji if these imbeciles had any kind of intelligence in their block heads they would wonder why someone would be called a name with the prefix osu in it if he is an osu? Would a slave name himself slave? And if other people named him so would he not disown that name to hide his slave identity?
Intelligence is not the coin that Igbo Internet warriors use. Therefore, let me take a few minutes to educate these fools on what the name Osuji, Njoku and Osuchukwu means.
These names are found mainly in Owerri Igbos. By Owerri Igbos I include folks from Owerri, Ngwa, Aba, Orlu, Okigwe, Mbaise, Mbano etc.; those areas are Igbo heartland. People in that area are the authentic Igbos; as opposed to those Igbos who border non-Igbos hence have cultures that are contaminated by those they border.
In Owerri there is a belief that some persons are spiritually advanced and when they die they reincarnate to do spiritual work (compare to Buddhist notion of Buddhavesta or Hindu notion of avatar or Brahmin class).
When a child is born Igbo parents consult Dibias (psychics) about who the child was in a previous life time and what he came to do during this life time. Dibias tell them who that child was in a previous lifetime and what he came to do in this life time.
In some cases the parents are told that their child is spiritually advanced and came to this world to serve God. They are told to name such a child Osuji or Njoku or Osuchukwu. Children so named automatically become trained in spiritual matters and often are the people’s spiritual guides. These children are almost always from the best of Igbo society and are never from the osu class; in fact, they are generally from the children of ogaranya, rich folks.
My kindred, Umuamadioha have for hundreds, if not thousands of years, produced the high priests of Amadioha; they are the people’s spiritual leaders. In the kindred those children considered extraordinarily spiritual are named Osuji or Njoku or Osuchukwu. Such a child is dedicated to serving God, pretty much as the Jews dedicated certain children to serving God, such as the Levites, beginning with Samuel.
Osuji, Njoku, Osuchukwu are not names given to slaves (osus); they are names given to the best of the Igbo Diala (free born).
My kindred are the first of the Dialas; in our tradition you do not do anything unless a member of my family blesses it.
As an aside, Lugard’s warrant chief of Owerri is an Osuji (Njemanze). One wonders if the people make a slave their Chief!
Who exactly did osus serve? I hate to break it down to foolish Igbos but will. Here are the facts. In traditional Igbo land if a man did something wrong and the people were after his life he could run to the temple of Amadioha or any other Igbo god and seek refuge there and the people would not pursue him into the temple. (Christians had a similar practice; if a culprit ran into a church Christian folks would not go in there to drag him out and punish him). Such a person thereafter becomes an osu. He is used by the high priest to do his farm work.
Another manner of acquiring osu is through inter-village wars. Some of those captured at wars were given the option of being sold into slavery to the White men or living as osus. If they choose to be osu they take their position in high priests families as their slaves.
The osus in Owerri were used by high priests to do their farm work. Technically, however, osus belong to the gods but in the real world they belong to high priests.
(A sordid aspect of this matter is that until the intervention of the white man in the early twentieth century, when Igbo Ogaranya, important folks died many life slaves were buried along with them! If you consider this practice awful, as I do, would you not say that the white man civilized Africa, at least, this aspect of it? Hindus used to burn life widows in their dead husbands’ funeral pyre; suttee it was called and the British stopped that dreadful practice. So, did the British do third folk some good or were they all bad? Thanks to what misguided Igbo folks derisively call “Lugard’s cage” some of those people would today be osus!)
In addition to the category osu is another set of Igbo slaves called ohu. In Alaigbo if a man is poor he could indenture his self to a person who has money for a period of time and in effect become his servant (do his farm work for him). In this case he is called ohu, not osu, for he is a slave to a mere human being, not a slave to the gods.
An ohu works for his master and when he has paid off what he owes him he becomes free and is free to return to his village. Some ohus choose not to return to their villages and stay with their masters. Their children are generally integrated into their masters families (you can, however, tell that they are not members of the family lineage because generally they look different; they have different genetic make ups).
The British abolished osu but did not abolish ohu. Until recently poor Igbos were still indenturing themselves to other families as ohus.
For example, when slavery was abolished in Owerri area we gave the osus separate villages but the ohus kept on living with their masters (who gave them land to farm).
In my town, Umuohiagu, the village for osu is called Amuga (their women somehow are unusually pretty but, unfortunately, no diala is allowed to marry them; what a pity; given my defiant nature if I lived in Nigeria I probably would have deliberately defied tradition and married an osu woman, just as I defied white racism and married a white woman!).
And here is an issue that drives me up the wall. I ask: are the Igbos who call folks osu proud that their people had slaves? They must be proud of it to call people osu, don’t you think so? Obviously, they call folks osu in an infantile effort to put those persons down, to say that they are outcast; so, are they proud that they had outcasts? If so does that not make them savages?
If they were not proud of it they would hide the fact that they had osu in their world. These people are shameless primitives; they do not know when they are insulting themselves (they think that they are insulting you by calling you osu but in fact they are insulting themselves for being primitives who had osu).
This is akin to what these mentally underdeveloped and emotionally arrested fools do in America; they call black Americans Ndi Akata, people who fight, and look down on them; they even call them slaves, Ndi Osu and avoid them (Ghanaians who are more civilized than Igbos embrace black Americans and make them feel at home in Ghana).
Well, I got news for these ignorant Igbo fools. Most slaves in the United States are from Nigeria, many of whom were Igbos. The British who settled in the United States preferred Igbo slaves, for they deemed them hard working fools (since the Igbo is driven by desire for high social status, give him seeming social status, such as call him a hardworking man and he would not mind his slave status and work hard for you...Igbos are easily manipulated if you have an eye to doing so but do not know it!). It is estimated that well over 80% of blacks in Virginia and Maryland were of Igbo heritage. Now, you go figure!
During slave times (1500-1900 AD) Aro Igbos and their Abam mercenaries, head hunters, really, roamed all over Alaigbo, capturing and selling their fellow Igbos to the white man and were proud of their savage behavior.
Currently, these conscienceless savages are kidnapping Igbos and holding them hostage for monetary ransom; they have reverted to doing what their savage ancestors did.
Please note that no Owerri person, no real Igbo kidnaps other Igbos for money ransom just as we did not sell our fellow Igbos during slavery time; the false Igbos in our midst always give us bad names, black eyes. It is now time we punished these savages in our midst (or sent them back to wherever they came from; they are not real Igbos; real Igbos love their fellow human beings and do not kidnap them and sell them into slavery or hold them for monetary ransom).
Brazil and Latin America in general had many Yoruba slaves; indeed, to the present a large portion of Brazilian blacks still speak Yoruba; a large portion of Cuban blacks still speak Yoruba; a large portion of blacks in Central America still speak Yoruba!
The point is that since most black American slaves were Nigerians, Igbos included, if you look down on them you have looked down on your people!
Igbos who look down on black Americans are idiots. They are doing what they do in Nigeria, look down on other Nigerians and in their delusion disorder imagine that such action makes them a superior people.
Igbos average intelligence, as measured on standard IQ tests, such as WAIS, WISC and Stanford Binet is exactly the same as those of Hausas, Yorubas and other Nigerians. Therefore, Igbos are talking rubbish when they fancy themselves superior to other Nigerians.
No wonder their neighbors now call them Mumu, fools! They do not deal with facts but want to change facts to suit their delusional wishes.
Delusion disorder is an effort to change (the) reality (of our human sameness and equality) and make it different from what it is (make it seem that one and ones people are superior to other people).
Deluded Igbos are not comfortable with reality and want to change it and make it seem that they, Igbos are superior to other people when in fact we are all the same and coequal.
Mad men have a difficult time accepting reality and keep wanting to change it; rational, realistic and mature persons accept reality as it is, the fact of our sameness and equality and respect all people, all Nigerians.
One of the reasons I automatically dismiss the ranting of non-Owerri Igbos is because I know that they do not understand Igbo culture. This is because their variation of Igbo is contaminated by non-Igbos. For example, genuine Igbos “ama gi eze”; do not have kings, but Onitsha pseudo Igbos have kings due to their Edo heritage; and these Edo folks want to rule real Igbos, what travesty!
Onitsha folk claim Edo origin (they should pack up and return to Benin right away); in the case of Enugu folk there is evidence of their contamination by their Igala neighbors; in the case of Umuahia, Bende, Ohafia area contamination by the Efik; Ikwerre is heavily contaminated by Ijaw folks.
Owerri folk are the real Igbos and do not want pseudo Igbos to speak for us. When it comes to matters Igbo non-Owerri folk should shut up for they do not know what they are talking about.
For example, one non-Owerri chap who pretends to be an Igbo historian, on these forums talks about Nri being the spiritual leaders of Igbo. That propagandist ought to go talk to Owerri folks to find out about their spiritual leaders. Apparently, the man thinks that everything is based on propaganda and if he tells a big lie long enough that he would convince all Igbo that Nri is their spiritual leaders.
Propaganda may be accepted for a while but in the long run is discarded; go ask Joseph Goebbels of Nazi Germany if his efforts to tell us that Germans are superior persons are now accepted by any one.
Nri is not Owerri folk’s spiritual leaders and if the pseudo Igbo historian cannot deal with that reality he is free to jump into a river and drawn his life.
In conclusion, I hope that this short piece educates ignorant Igbos who talk about subjects like osu that they know nothing about. It should also be noted that these days most Igbos are Christians and have jettisoned their traditions. Since Igbos, by and large, no longer believe in their God: Chi-ukwu, Ch-neke and Chi and the functional gods of Amadioha and Ala, they no longer give their children names that refer to functions performed for Igbo gods. Thus, seldom are Igbo children these days called Osuji or Njoku or Osuchukwu; those names now exist as surnames only.
May 20, 2013
*This write up is an expanded response to a chap who wrote to say that some ignorant Igbos did not understand what his last name, Osuji, means. I am sick and tired of always trying to educate Igbos and prevent them from walking paths that would bring them harm. I am really no longer interested in performing this unpaid and distasteful function for ungrateful Igbos. However, my mind cannot over look Igbos foolishness without wanting to correct them. No one wants to be on the wrong side of his people and I certainly do not want to be perceived as an enemy of Igbos by always saying what seems to put them in bad light. I must discipline myself to ignore these people’s unrealistic behaviors and let them take the consequences of putting their hands in fire.
Nigeria is a developing country; its social scientists should not take refuge in the Ivory Tower and not participate in the governing of the country. Nigerian social scientists, building on their understanding of the influence of society on the people, ought to be making public policy recommendations to their governments.
Public Policy Oriented Social Science In Developing Countries
We can define social science as the scientific field that studies how the working of society affects the individual human being. Society and its culture appear to influence the individual’s behavior.
Sociologists, beginning with August Comte, Emil Durkheim, Herbert Spenser, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Karl Mannheim, Talcott Parsons, W.E.B. Dubois, C. Wright Mill etc. have demonstrated that the individual seems hugely influenced by the society and culture he lives in.
Similarly, the biological sciences demonstrate that the individual seem a product of his inherited biological constitution.
We can then safely say that biosocial (biological and sociological) factors are the main factors affecting the individual’s behaviors (and his personal psychology, his personality). This is a scientific conclusion because it can be studied, observed and verified (and if not discarded).
THE DISLOCATIONS OF MODERNIZING SOCIETIES
Social science has demonstrated that societies going through rapid change, from traditional society to modern society, from agrarian to industrial society go through severe dislocations.
Nigeria is one such society. People who hitherto lived in traditional villages are moving to urban areas. Their work relationships are changing from the communal mutual help of farming societies to the impersonal social relationships in the capitalist economy.
In capitalist work settings the individual is a means of production. He is useful to the extent that the labor he has to sell is useful to those seeking to buy labor, employers. If you have what the manufacturer of cars needs to manufacture his cars (say, mechanical engineering degree) he hires you, but if not you are not important to his productive activities and he does not hire you.
People in capitalist economies are only useful if they have the skill sets that employer’s desire. Even if they have the required skills of today, tomorrow if different skill sets are needed by producers they are discarded as garbage. For example, a few years ago to have a degree in computer science guaranteed a college graduate high paying employment. Employers came to college campuses recruiting seniors in computer science. Today, a degree in computer science while still useful does not guarantee immediate employment.
Today, medical doctor degrees and nursing certificates guarantee those possessing them immediate employment, for hospitals are looking for medical doctors and nurses. Human beings are prone to sickness and seek medical treatment; therefore, the chances are that medical doctors and nurses will be demanded by sick people. Nevertheless, if there is an oversupply of medical doctors and nurses there would be less demand for their services and they would find it difficult to obtain jobs and if they did obtain jobs their pay would not be as astronomical as it is today. (The medical establishment realizing that too many medical doctors and nurses would degrade the income of medical doctors and nurses apparently restrict entry to medical schools so as to reduce the supply of medical doctors and nurses and thus guarantee medical health professionals good income.)
In sum, in capitalist societies it is your skills, not your person that matters to the employer. This kind of relationship is not what folks are used to in traditional African societies.
CLASS FORMATION IN EMERGENT CAPITALIST URBAN AFRICA
In the emerging urban centers of Nigeria class formations is beginning to take shape. For example, until the twentieth century most Igbo people were, more or less, of the same class; they were agriculturalists farming with primitive farm instruments and were generally equal in social status. These days, on the other hand, Igbos are streaming into urban areas. In these urban areas folks are employed based on their different skill sets. Some persons possess highly demanded hence well paid skills and others don’t; thus, class differentiation is emerging. Urban Igbos are now separated from the laborer selling his muscles to whoever needs muscle work from the medical doctor being paid good wages for his medical services.
Moreover, in Urban Nigeria there are the beginnings of the bourgeoisie, the owners of capital who employ labor for productive purposes; these folks are usually rich. Thus, there is beginning to form the rich and the poor classes in Nigeria’s urban centers. This type of social stratification and attendant class conflicts is not what Igbos knew in their traditional villages.
In modern urban areas generally people could care less for the person they see on the street. Indeed, you could go to an apartment block and most of the people living there would not even know who their next door neighbor is. You could go down the street and most people living on that street do not know who lives on their street and even if they knew they have no social interaction with them for they may belong to different skill sets hence different class.
In large urban centers people come from different ethnic groups (and sometimes, races) and therefore have different cultural backgrounds.
Culture differentiates people. You relate well to those from your cultural community and poorly to those from different cultures. Indeed, you may not even want to relate to people from different cultures. Therefore, people from different cultural backgrounds living in the same urban areas do not interact much.
The cumulative effects of these realities of urban living are that most people living in urban areas are separated from their neighbors. They experience what the sociologist Durkheim called anomie; that is, they feel extreme sense of aloneness and disconnection from other human beings.
Since African folks hitherto lived in communal settings this type of social disconnectedness is often a jarring experience for them. They feel lost. They experience psychological pain.
Whereas no one has done serious epidemiological studies of the incidence of mental disorders in Nigeria, my interaction with Nigerians in America shows that most of them have treatable mental disorders but do not know it! They do not know it because their conception of mental illness is schizophrenia, disorganized type.
Schizophrenia (which occurs in late teenage years) exists in less than a fraction of one percent of the population. Once the young seventeen to twenty something year old person experiences schizophrenia (psychotic decompensation) he tends to drop out of productive society and live on the margins of society; in Africa he roams the streets eating from garbage. Schizophrenics are usually not part of working urban society.
There are hundreds of other mental disorders and people with them have paying jobs. Many Nigerians have these. (See the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, 2013, for listing of hundreds of mental disorders.)
SELF DESTRUCTIVE COPING MECHANISMS
Living in the emerging urban centers of Africa is very traumatic and stressful. When stress becomes intolerable folks seek amelioration of it. Some find temporary solution in alcohol and drugs, others resort to over eating and or frequent sexual activity.
Nigerians often use sex to procure reduction of stress and since they engage in sex with casual partners contract sexually transmitted diseases, including Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes and, of course, the deadliest of them all, HIV AIDS; these people are killing themselves through sexually transmitted diseases, over eating and alcoholism at an amazing rate!
Let me recap: capitalist societies and modern urban societies brutalize people. This means that people coming from rural areas to Nigeria’s urban areas are brutalized, they are psychologically traumatized. Urban Nigerians are living under tremendous psychological pain and are seeking solace in their own individual ways (in addiction to alcohol, drugs, over eating, sex and primitive Pentecostal religions).
THE EUROPEAN AND NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Much of what contemporary urban Africans are going through seem inevitable. When Europeans and North Americans left their villages in the nineteenth century and flocked to the urban centers that emerged around the factories that the industrial revolution had spurn they, too, had the problems we are now witnessing in urban Africa.
The problems we see in contemporary urban Africa are attendant to the beast called capitalism. Since no one has figured out a better alternative to capitalism we simply have to live with these problems and seek ways to ameliorate them.
Socialism, communism, fascism etc. appear worse medicine for the sickness. Winston Churchill observed that democracy (replace with capitalism) is the worst form of government except that the alternatives to it are worse!
Experience in Western societies show that they did not reduce the pain their people felt as they transited from rural to urban living during the period that Karl Marx (Das Capital) called primitive capital accumulation but during the post-industrial era, beginning in the 1930s. Americans call this era of modified capitalism New Deal Economics; it was initiated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; In Great Britain the labor government of Ramsey Macdonald, building on the findings of John Maynard Keynes, injected healthy doses of social welfarism into British capitalism. Other European states did the same (and in the process ameliorated the impact of capitalism’s cycles of boom and bursts).
AFRICANS LACK INTEREST IN HELPINGTHEIR PEOPLE
Based on the Western experience, there are certain things that Nigeria can do to ameliorate the tremendous pain of incipient capitalist economy in the country.
So, what public policies are Nigerian social scientists (economists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologist and psychologists) recommending to their governments to reduce the pain their people are living in?
Perhaps, as usual, Nigerians, Africans leave their people to fend for their selves, leave it to each individual to do what he has to do to survive or die. Africans leave their people to swim or drawn but apparently do not feel motivated to help their people to do what needs to be done to survive.
In North American urban areas, in the sections where black folks live, ghettos, folks do what they have to do to survive or sink into the black holes that are ghetto America. Black kids barely learn how to read or write before they drop out of schools. Generally, black American children are abandoned by their fathers (more than 70% of black kids in America are raised by their mothers and may not know who their fathers are!).
Fatherless, these children seek alternative families by joining street criminal gangs. Gang members kill each other at alarming rate. Young black kids in South Chicago, Illinois kill leach other almost at the same rate as young people kill each other at typical battlefronts. Since they are black kids the white American mainstream media ignore their death. Niggers’ death is of no relevance seems to be the idea.
These poor kids lacking job skills to make it in the complex technological society called America seek alternative ways to make a living. Some sell drugs to make a living; the girls sell their disease ridden vaginas in prostitution. A few make it in the world of entertainment (music and sports).
Young black men get black girls pregnant and abandon them (and those go on public welfare). Black America is a mess; black men simply do not organize to help their young people in North America.
The bystander in chief black president of America, Barack Obama, has done nothing, repeat, nothing to help his fellow blacks in the ghettos of North America. Indeed, he refused to hire more than one black man in his cabinet, Eric Holder, who, like him, has foreign parents. Even racist Republican presidents usually had, at least, two black persons in their cabinets! Apparently, in Obama’s view he is the only qualified black man in the land despite his mediocre performance at the schools he attended and virtual lack of managerial experience before becoming the president. Apparently, this astonishing black man believes that only white folks are qualified to serve in his administration!
And that is not all; Obama has not added a penny to the level of aid that a white man, George Bush spent on Africa! Under Obama’s administration African issues take back seat; Africa is not even mentioned in his administration. The bloodbath in the Congo is seldom reported in the American media while we hear a lot about 80, 000 Syrians (white folks) murdered by their President (Assad) and his goons.
The philosophy of black folk seems to be: I got mine, you go get yours; black folks do not seem to care for the collective black folk.
In urban Nigeria and Africa people individually seek survival and some survive but the majority live like animals in the slums of these urban centers.
Is this really all that the black man can do? Can the black man do better than sell his people into slavery to Arabs and white men? Must the black man always ignore his people’s misery?
Are black folks really a cursed people, as racist whites say that they are? The jury is still out on this subject; we are yet to see a change of behavior in the part of Africans.
SOME PUBLIC POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
If I were a Nigerian social scientist I would recommend that the various Nigerian governments fund education for all Nigerian children, from kindergarten to University. That is correct: the government should pay for every Nigerian child to go to preschool, elementary school, secondary school and for those with the abilities to go to universities (experience shows that about a third of the people have the intelligence to go to universities, so 33% of all secondary school graduates ought to go to universities whereas the others are sent to publicly paid vocational colleges where they learn trades to become mechanics, electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, machinists etc.). I further recommend that all Nigerians be provided with publicly paid health insurance. Finally, I recommend that Nigeria embark on serious industrialization policy that would in a few decades industrialize Nigeria.
I am not into the business of speaking deceptively; I speak what is in my mind; therefore, I will give it to you straight. My perception of the black man is that he is totally self-centered.
To be self-centered is what is meant by evil; therefore, the self-centered black man is an evil person. He may deny this fact all he wants but the fact is that his actions show that he is evil. For hundreds of years he roamed around Africa capturing and selling his people to Arabs, white men and to whomever else wanted to buy them. If the white man today wanted to buy Africans Nigerians would gladly start selling their people to him.
There is nothing in Africans history that shows heroism; nothing in African history shows Africans sacrificing for their people.
The occupiers of the various governments in Nigeria: federal, state and local, apparently, do not believe that it is their function to care for their people. It seems that they seek public offices to be seen as very important persons, VIPs but not to serve their people’s needs.
President Jonathan jets around the world in a presidential plane and that costs Nigeria millions of dollars annually while each of his countrymen live on a dollar a day. He does not feel guilty from this anomaly; that is to say that he does not have social conscience and is essentially criminal in his thinking.
Apparently, the people in Nigeria’s governments do not plan to develop the country and provide jobs for Nigerians. Over fifty percent of young Nigerians are not gainfully employed. But this is not the headache of the leaders of the country. Young people go to Nigeria’s poorly equipped schools and upon graduation do not secure jobs and the leaders of the criminal empire do not care.
If a twenty something year old is unemployed, and his elders do not care for his welfare, could anyone tell me one reason why he should respect their lives? He is probably justified in reverting to the mode of life in the jungle! Kidnapping his well to do people for money ransom or even killing them, as is now rife in Nigeria, is part of that jungle life style.
If I heard that Nigerian leaders are kidnapped and or killed by armed robbers I would say serves them right.
The lack of interest in serving public good I see in Nigerians, Africans, black people make me want to throw up; in fact, it sometimes makes me wonder if they are human beings at all?
In my judgment, a human being is different from animals because he does not live for his good only; he serves his neighbor’s needs. If you do not care for the public you are an animal and, as such, I could care less what happens to you.
I say, take Nigerian leaders to the garbage dump and shoot them and dump their useless bodies there. If these people do not care for their people’s suffering they are not human beings and someone ought to get rid of them.
As I see them, Africans are takers, not givers; they are always looking for opportunity to get but not to give, to receive but not to serve. Consider, a few months ago a visiting Nigerian woman asked me to take her to my church; I did. She looked around and said that the mostly white folk’s church looks affluent. She then asked me to introduce her to some church members so that she would ask them to help her out financially. I responded thus: members of this church volunteer to do the work that keeps it as you see it, good looking; women come in on weekends to clean the place up, the men do the yard work that keeps the place good looking. I then suggested that she should go to the priest and ask him how she can volunteer to do some social service work at the Church instead of looking for what the members of the church could do for her. Of course, that was the last time she asked me to take her to my church!
She is a typical Nigerian, a taker, not a giver. We must figure out a way to transform Nigerians, Africans and black folk from takers to givers.
These days, having messed up their country, big time, some members of Nigeria’s elite run to North America or Europe to go live and enjoy the well maintained facilities in there. There, they embark on being takers and seldom lift a finger to serve the interests of the countries they now live in. Wherever they go to they take but do not give, they do not serve. Worse, some of them engage in scamming the people who had given them economic refuge!
If such behaviors continue one would not be surprised if the Western world stops Nigerians from immigrating to their countries! Countries need givers not takers, for if most people are takers society breaks down, as it has broken down in the “takers heaven” called Nigeria.
Finally, we must figure out a way to stop black folk from always blaming white folks and other people for their fallen house. These people mess up their countries royally and seek scapegoats to blame for their mismanagement of their countries.
(I generally do not listen to them when they bitch and moan about what white people did to them; I remind them about what they are doing to their selves by not caring for each other.)
It seems that in Nigeria social scientists and other academics just want to be called professor; apparently, being called professor is enough for their sense of importance. Titles do not make a man important; it is what a man contributes to society’s good that makes him important. Since social scientists and other academics are more educated than the average Nigerian, I believe that they must put their education to practical use by participating in the formulation and implementation of public policies in Nigeria. This is particularly needed for often the politicians ruling Nigeria are poorly educated and do not know what to do in regards to governance; their goal for seeking public offices is often to steal from the public treasury and become “rich very important persons”.
Failure to figure out a way to serve Nigerians needs, doing business as usual, which is to abandon Nigerians to each shifting and fending for his self, would lead to the total breakdown of law and order in Nigeria.
We have already seen the beginning of that breakdown in some parts of Nigeria; there, disaffected youth who feel like their elders do not care for them now kidnap people and hold them hostage until money ransom is paid to them before they released them. This situation, all things being constant, will probably progress to where criminals kill those they perceive as the rich.
Nigeria is heading towards Somalia like total anarchy and chaos. This is what happens in a country where the people do not feel it their concern that their neighbors lived or died.
The average Nigeria subsists on one dollar per day and the clueless boy occupying Aso Rock fancying himself in the ranks of the American President junkets to all over the world in private jets (why not take commercial flights?).
I often wonder whether this sort thing happens to black folks because of their alleged laziness. What exactly is responsible for Africans inability to take actions to forestall bad things from happening to their people? What really is responsible for Africans not doing the right things for their people? Must Africans always live like animals?
If I was a social scientist in Nigeria I would set up think tanks to study what needs to be done in Nigeria and use the results of such studies to advise the folks in government in Nigeria. I would not give up on Nigeria; I would do whatever I could to see if the Nigerian government could so something to improve Nigerians lot.
Perhaps, Nigerians and Africans can actually have a change of mind and for once in their seeming cursed history do the right thing for their people?
Africans current self-centeredness could be due to their disease ridden bodies; the sickly concentrate on their needs for survival and seldom think about other people’s survival needs. This means that when Africans are well fed and obtain relative good health they would be able to transcend their egos and think in sociocentric terms. Perhaps, in about a hundred years well fed middle class Africans would become sociocentric instead of egocentric. This means that there is hope for Africans?
May 16, 2013
Igbos are always looking into your personal life and if they see what to them seem like weak points in it they immediately pounce on them, exploit them and use them to try blackmailing you and or bringing you down. They never struggle to build people up but always want to bring people down.
They harp on what to them seems your negative side and hope that in doing so they would persuade you to embrace their deluded goals or else they take you down.
They talk boldly about you as if they know that what they are talking about is the truth when, in fact, what they are talking about are all made up lies by their fertile imaginations.
They have spread so much lies about me that one often wonders how human beings could sit around making up lies about their fellow human beings and writing about those lies as if they are true! Very few of them actually know who I am in person (I stay away from them as rational persons stay away from plagues) and therefore they are not in a position to write truthfully about me yet they pontificate about me (they even talk about my parents as if they know who they are) and in their deluded minds apparently believe that they are correctly representing who I am!
They do this sort of thing to whoever does not agree with their delusion of superiority. If you dared criticize them and ask them to accept our equality they see you as their enemy, hate you and do whatever they could to bring you down. If you are savvy you ignore their campaign of hate and leave them to swim in their gutter.
I keep saying what I know is the truth and leave these folks to continue their ceaseless campaign of hatred against me; it is water off my skin. I am not deterred by the shenanigans of unscrupulous persons; this is especially so because I know that they are out for personal gain but seem incapable of sacrificing for the collectivity.
They are deluded persons who want you to collude with them and tell them what they want to hear, that they are superior to their neighbors and if you refuse to do so they embark on ceaseless campaign of trying to destroy you.
This is insanity insisting on making the entire world insane. One ought to laugh at their madness and simply ignore them and continue doing the right thing, which is stressing our human equality.
It must be stated that even the best therapists have not gotten one of their deluded clients to give up their delusion of superiority, so one has no illusion of healing these deluded Igbos.
Deluded persons like their fictional sense of superiority to other persons and to give it up makes them feel inferior (actually, when it is given up one feels equal to all people hence peaceful and happy).
I must keep on stressing the reality of people’s inherent sameness and equality regardless of whether deluded persons who desire superiority to people listen or not.
YOU CAN UNDERSTAND PEOPLE BUT YOU CANNOT CHANGE THEM; NOR IS IT YOUR DUTY TO CHANGE PEOPLE
In childhood I rejected real people because they are imperfect and wanted to change them into ideal, perfect people.
In adulthood, I necessarily learned that I could not change people and make them perfect, for perfection is in the mind and not in the world of space, time and matter.
The physical and social environment makes people imperfect. A realistic, mature person must accept that human beings are always imperfect and deal with people as they are, imperfect. It is pursuit of impossible idealism that disposes idealists like me to seek to make people over to perfection.
You cannot change people and make them perfect and ideal as your mind conceives perfection and ideals to be.
With effort you can understand yourself and people but you cannot change them. Accept and live with that reality; it is not for you to change people and make them perfect; even God allows people to live imperfect lives so you must allow people to live their imperfect lives without the desire to change and make them perfect beings.
LESSON FROM OBSERVING IGBOS
I learned this crucial lesson when for seven years I tried to point out what is wrong with Igbos and showed how to change and improve Igbos. I did not get one Igbo person to change his behavior. These people want to seem superior to their neighbors and do not want to give up that delusion of superiority; a delusion that masks their existential nothingness tolerable to them (this type of behavior is found in primitive savages but not in civilized persons; civilized persons accept our sameness and equality; in their primitive psychological state Igbos kind of think that it is possible for one human being to be superior to others or for one group of human being to superior to others...Adolf Hitler and his Germans had similar primitive thinking processes and that led them to fancy themselves superior to other people and they killed millions of people in pursuit of that madness).
If you asked Igbos to give up their delusion of superiority they see you as humiliating and degrading them, and they feel angry at you. Instead of listening to you, like paranoid persons they try to understand your motives from the standpoint of their paranoid ideation (desire for importance) and, of course, project false motives to you.
They speculate on why you do what you do and take their conjectures as the truth of who you are and behave towards you as such.
These people are paranoid characters per excellence. I give up on them. Currently, I do not make any efforts to correct them, nor do I really care if they went to hell in a hand basket.
It is not for me to change Igbos or change any human being. My sole responsibility is to understand the human personality and share information on that subject and leave it to folk’s to-do with it what they want.
It is all I can do trying to transform my life, from my known deficits to their opposites, strength (if I mentioned my deficits the roguish Igbos who never want to change, who want to see themselves as perfect even as the rest of the world see them as unprincipled, opportunists would say, see, we told you, he, Ozodi has problems and they would harp on my problems making it seem like they have no problems when even a child can see that most of them are paranoid).
I did not tell folks that I or any human being could ever be perfect; what it means to be a human being is to be imperfect and struggle to attain some measure of perfection but not total perfection. I do not pretend to be perfect as deluded Igbos pretend to be.
These people are masters of self-deception. Whenever they see something in them that they do not like to be there, they deny it and project it out. They see themselves as wackos, deny it and project it to other people and call them wackos (paranoid persons see in other persons what is in them and refuse to be analyzed; mental health professionals must be analyzed so as to understand themselves and not project what is in them to other persons).
Recently, one of them, a smooth sociopath stole $1.5 million dollars from the Nigerian embassy at Washington DC and a US district court found him guilty and asked him to return that money to the people of Nigeria. But instead of his Igbo compatriots calling him a thief, as he obviously is, they rallied around him and defended him; they made him out as a hero (they even called him their Nelson Mandela, a thieving Mandela, not a Mandela that fights for social justice).
One of them, a brain dead fellow that apparently lives at Canada and uses a university (edu.) address to make it seem like he is faculty (he writes at eight grade level hence is probably doing nonacademic job there?) rubbishes my name just because I said that a thief ought to be punished. In his infantile mind the fact that I did not join Igbos in defending his fellow Igbo makes me weird; apparently, one must be crazy to stand for the truth!
Apparently, as they see it Igbos are at war with Nigeria and in war every behavior is justified, including stealing from Nigerians.
Well, in my book stealing is stealing regardless of whom you stole from. I would throw that Igbo sociopathic attorney at Washington DC to prison, to no less than seventy -five years in prison and also seize every asset he has to pay for the money he stole.
These people are too far gone to be relevant to civilization, really. I just hope that they are not wiped out by their Nigerian neighbors, for the next time they provoke a war in Nigeria the other Nigerian ethnic groups having concluded that they are unrepentant thieves without remorse or guilt feeling would probably gang up on them and kill them off.
When attacked, Igbos would probably cry out to the rest of the world hoping that the world bought their delusion that they are special hence come to their rescue but the rest of the world seeing them as thieves (they are the kingpins of Nigeria’s notorious 419 criminal ring, and as we talk they scam American banks, credit cards and Americans know this fact) would not come to their rescue.
Who is going to come save criminals, keep them alive to steal some more? Killing them serves them right, moral people would say!
One must learn how to handle Igbos paranoid persecution complex. They attack people by constantly insulting them and in self-defense people often attack them and they feel persecuted. Like paranoids everywhere they forget what they did to provoke the persecution they get but instead only talk about their persecution.
If you dared point out their sordid behaviors they immediately see you as persecuting them and their paranoid sense of persecution goes into high gear and most of them would come at you with their rusted swords stabbing at thin air where they think that you are.
I used to pithy these people; actually, it was out of pity, compassion and sympathy that I wasted my time writing about them. But I no longer care for them. For all I care they all could be killed by their Nigerian neighbors and I would not lose sleep.
Destiny took me out of Nigeria at age nineteen; I have my family in the West so killing Igbos in Nigeria would only affect me tangentially when my distant relatives are killed in Nigeria. The point is that I really have nothing to lose when Igbos neighbors kill them. I only talk about Igbos out of human interest.
Igbos like to label people with psychiatric terms. Even though they are afraid to look inside them lest they see the shit they believe is in there (Africans sold their people into slavery hence believe that they are evil persons but do not want to acknowledge that reality by looking into their souls), and as such do not take courses in psychology but when it suits them to put folks down they become psychologists and psychiatrists and give folks psychiatric labels.
These days they quickly call folks who disagree with them schizophrenic, obsessed and or narcissistic and similar names. But if you asked them what those labels mean they reveal that they know diddlysquat about them. They simply latched onto psychiatric labels that in their childish minds would seem to make those they call them seem insane, hence beneath them.
They call people crazy because they feel crazy, deny it and project their self- view to other people, but what they projected out is still in them.
I often feel like teaching them the meaning of the psychiatric terms they cavalierly employ but give up for it is like teaching savages science; they have no frame of reference to understand what you are talking about!
I must say that a person like me is a shock to Igbos. Why? Ordinarily, they are used to going about imagining themselves superior human beings. But here I come and see them as nothing (I also see myself as nothing; existentially we are all nothing special; we are born, die and rot and that is all there is to us); I do not acknowledge their delusion of grandeur.
I must have shocked them for how can a human being see them, self-exalted superior persons as not important? The only way they could cope with that situation is to call me silly psychiatric names.
In putting me down they are struggling to retain their cherished deluded self-concepts. If I am uninformed and crazy then what I said about them does not matter and they still can retain their cherished grandiose self-concepts. I understand their neurotic ego dances.
I have no psychiatric diagnosis. I have good self-esteem; I do not see myself as superior or inferior to any human being. I do struggle to be knowledgeable in some areas of academic endeavor while accepting that there are things that I am not good at, and such is life.
PS: I will post this material on Nigerian Internet forums; my motivation is educational. But that is not how the unscrupulous Igbos would see it. They would seize on it to harp on me and in the meantime refuse to deal with their palpable problems. Wherever they go people see them as self-centered, unprincipled, opportunistic, arrogant and hate them; they would not deal with that negative social perception of them but instead redirect attention to you who calls attention to their dreadful behaviors. Some people say that Igbos have bad karma; I do not believe in karma. I believe that people’s personalities shape their behaviors and their behaviors determine their fate. Igbos negative behaviors determine how other people respond to them, which mostly is negatively. This is a pity; but reality is that behavior has effects and those who hurt other persons reap negative consequences whereas those who love other persons receive love from them. As we sow we reap; what we give to other persons, love or hate, we receive from them.
From Ozodi Osuji’s Daily Journal
May 12, 2013