Friday, November 20, 2009

Majimboism and related ideology

A highly place sentiment in today's World society is something in the lines of “Africa unite!”.The picture i put up reflects joining sentiments, however most people think of african unity in enveloping terms i.e. uniting africa into a super political continental body. On the face of it, it seems noble enough. Set aside your differences and join together. A lovely message to the right listener however distressing to the actual logically critical Africans. It seems that the central base of this position carries no empathy towards tribal society, local economic system needs, national and regional identities only specifying that everyone join up now. It is the sad result of American or more correctly western impingement on African living dynamic, the 'bigger is better' mindset towards society, government and social life characterized by brazen, careless individuality diametrically opposed toward the slow culmination of reason that characterizes regular segmented day to day life. It is these views of African segmentation in regard to tribal communities that are the subject of this article. I will try and explain my thought towards political devolution and related ideology.

If one was to show the evolution of societies, one would see a basic directional evolution. All organization begins with the simple group(family,clans,clicks,sets,gang) with little needed to bring this type of group together other than common interests whether safety,monetary, friendship, blood ties e.t.c. We then move on toward the tribal society which is an aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs,traditions and maybe religions, common language and adherence to the same leaders. The societies above the tribe are characterized by an increase in complication and stratification, the only similar group in Kenya that have this level of organization are the Nandi who center their spiritual leadership, civil administration and army around a single person i.e. the Orkoyoit leading to great administrational organization as noted by arabs scholars even before colonization. The most complicated form of social and political organization so far recognized is the state society characterized by a strong centralized government with little or no individual regional independence, socio-economic class divisions , a market economy and large populations. This type of social structure distinguishes itself by centering around political structures and having ways of national self regulation i.e. standards for stuff(foods,roads e.t.c.), architectural discipline, education, law enforcement and many other methods of catering for the irrational individual.

Knowing this if it was asked “Is bigger really better ?”,what would the non-laudatory answer be? As much as I would like to rail on imperialism, The precept state model set by the western countries like U.S.A , the Euro-union, China or even USSR seems to be the winning design. Huge democratic or even communist countries with a minimum of disparaging elements and tightly controlled will or really limited choice in terms of government. The key beneath the power of these body-politics always being size. The USA is the most successful example of this with a choice of only two political parties, the country has little range of choice in direction of policy and with such a huge population it has morphed into a major power player economically, militarily and culturally. It is as such obvious that in todays current social-political climate, this model has the most advantages. These power blocs have solidarity and power in their wills, clear direction in policy and big huge armies to fuck their enemies up with. They do have various disadvantage. For example, it is theorized by many political scientists that their instabilities either economically like in the case of recurrent economic slumps and depressions(Keynesim) or in terms of political and catastrophic bedlam towards social agenda and concentration of power i.e. The USSR, The second and third Reich are inherently predisposed. However the benefits seem to be much greater than the disadvantages.

Even though the current political makeup of systems in Africa is currently inferior to the state society, it is disadvantageous and virtually impossible to establish a state archetype of government. The continent is populated with thousands of tribes each with their own sometimes conflicting interests, cultural and social dynamic and prevalent history. Beyond this level of organization, there is a different type of organization. Colonization and western expansion into Africa imposed structures of nations and sentiments like national pride onto this social dynamic, As Such the imagined united African state will never exist not because of the unwillingness of individual African governments, but due to the conflicting and individual but seemingly malignant interests of tribal sentiments of the voters that predominantly govern candidates chosen with little consideration of anything else i.e. unity of country, concerns about other regional areas e.t.c.

It is why we see ideas like Majimboism or political devolution spring up. The viewpoints that advocates increase of consideration and power to the tribal organizations that predated the national divide of Africa. The role of any government is to foster safety and public order within its controls by building systemization with a prescient of using present organization not the castle in the sky one wishes to occupy. If Kenya or African countries are highly tribalized, it seems unreasonable to maintain a government that constantly works against this organization. Modeling today's politics in Kenya, we can see it is comprised of a lot of politician using tribal sentiments to run for office, an epitome of the type of politics that have displeased the people so much. However most of us look to the politicians we voted for to improve roads in our towns or cities or to help with farming difficulties in our region. This is not a sign of weakness. This is common in almost all forms of government. Regional interests being different from national interest and in need of observant care and deliberation in terms of crafting solution i.e. individual attention.

A lot of the segmentation mentioned is political and The best course of direction would be more power towards tribal structures, However the concept of Majimboism is flawed. Political devolution would mean segmenting ruling power around tribal lines, however today's Kenya is not primarily tribal. The birth of the country after our independence in 1963 brought together the different regions and tribes giving way to the gentrification of predominantly tribal Kenya to a Kenya today that has quite a lot of ethnically mixed areas and regions. Political devolution would be quite similar to ethnocratic gorvenment which is known to increase tribal strife and maybe brew conflict, increasing vulnerability to incidents like the civil conflicts of 2008 after the election. I do not want to be unfair but the few examples of ethnocentrism in gorvenment like Uganda under Idi Amin or even South africa's apartheid are not that great. Political devolution also would be intrinsically complicated and unfair. Bigger tribal structures would gain more power and might not put this power to best of uses. i.e. unfair dividing of resources between regions, like natural resources, rivers,minerals e.t.c. or even more land disagreements. This type of organization is also redundant since such specific organization within government already exists in the name of chiefs, D.O's and D.C's of Kenya who are primarily there to cater to specific regions and their demographies.

What is needed is Economical organization for tribal structures i.e. economic deviaing up. Does it not irk any person out there that religious structures that are largely here to organize people by sponsoring irrationality (supernatural bullshit) and non-profit organizations here to give people useless paraphernalia like poor quality clothing and limited food supply get to pay no taxes, yet the structures who do have the power to ebb social ills i.e. the tribe has very little or no economic leeway. When the white guys give you their stupid bibles and used underwear you (Kenyan Government) give them a free pass on taxes however the gueth makech or the coinage set forth by western society is taken away from the Luo people so they have nothing to contribute to private sector efforts like Aga Khan hospital enterprise in Kisumu or Nyanza's healthy water project which have appreciated impacts on health and poverty. Is it also not possible for the Kikuyu people to make their own contributions to improving cattle breeds or increasing distribution of fertilizer and pesticide with a little bit of leeway from the KRA?

It is imperative that the Kenyan or more to the nub African governments take an active role in fostering the organization and growth of our tribal structures in the only field that has measurable bearing in todays society i.e. standings in the market economy. Without this, it is hard to be optimistic for the future of the African tribe. I do not know about you guys I do not want the Kikuyu language and culture to be a relic of the past. I am sure all of you guys would say the same for your particular tribe, as such we must get merchantilistic organization in place for the underlying tribal structures in Africa countries from our governments in our case being the Kenyan coalition government. If not there may not be a Kikuyu or a Ja-luo or a Kalenjin culture or any other tribal culture to talk about in 2309.

This is also the only realistic way we can expect Africa to unite. Under the common interest to prosper the next step for Africa would be to build a continental economic body that could not only regulate and encourage trade but make groundwork for a collective African identity as such striving forward to a more rational and understandable human identity.

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