Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Year after the historical elections...

Partisanship is our great curse. We too readily assume that everything has two sides and that it is our duty to be on one or the other. - JH Robinson

You have to love American politics, they always have some flare, and some drama, without appearing to do so. No other country claims to be so patriotic, yet every decision is based on partisanship. Washington DC is disgustingly so. I mean, you are either a Republican or a Democrat, and that is what you are identified with first...then off course after wards, you can be a human being who have a variety of interests.
Decisions are made based on Republican agenda, or the Democrat Agenda. basically, if congress is majorly republican, then you can expect some high taxes and some top hikes being paid more to seat down in meetings. And then off course, there is the democratic agenda, which mainly includes a hippie version of in, everything is permissible. Republicans hide behind the Bible, and the Democrats hide behind Americans' need of justification for their actions or rather their amorals. What happened to having personal responsibility and cooperation.

Today marks a year since Obama was elected. And off course with that comes the mistakes. Massachusetts has a Republican senator, and now republicans can celebrate Kennedy's death. its a great day in America, if you are a republican, and a sad day if you are a democrat.
then there is the general public, bemoaning, and grumbling about Obama's failings. The man has only been in office for a year. They are expecting miracles...but even he won't be able to perform those miracles. Change takes time, progress does not happen over night...Instead of recognizing that he is trying to fix it, and that above all he is a politician, the public is just looking for someone to blame...and Obama is the man on the seat, so off course it is all his fault. Forget congress, forget big corporations, forget the years of bad all boils down to the fact that the system is going down, and there is no one who wants to take the blame.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund  |  Home

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund  |  Home

This is some good work they are doing. Let us support them.
They are not my favorite former presidents, and some of you might have reservations...but it is a cause that should bring us together and not divide us.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

AVATAR...the coming age of political satires

So let me say this first...I hate 3D movies, and in this, I might be alone, but well, i do hate the fact that I can't see clearly... and having images that close to me is just not cool.
But thats beside the point...lets discuss the real movie.
Now, its heartbreaking that some people did not like the movie...but then again, I am wondering if these are the same people who are blind about such things as new imperialism and outsourcing.
ladies and gentlemen Pocahontas meets Dances with Wolves in Avatar. Avatar besides besides being futuristic...and having digital sophistication, is as spiritual, political and well social satire of sorts. I find no fault in the production and editing, nor in the sound...more importantly, I am impressed by how Cameron managed to weave so many themes in one story. But lets not kid ourselves here...there is a blatant display of Cameron's disgust of the political conditions in Iraq and the US presence there. But not just the US, you could definitely make a case for the condition of the North and South relations in World politics. The movie has themes of love, imperialism, environmentalism, and lets not forget the idea of a superior, we see Kipling again, in his "white man's burden" suit.
A nation runs out of its resources, ( misusing those resources and exhausting them) then goes to another planet to find some more energy or resources. TO be able to do so, they use their "big bad " machines to not only kill, but destroy a planet that was flourishing. They use the easy way or the humane way by offering education, but then they lose favor because the "natives" are too smart to be outsmarted. So since the education and clothes do not work...they turn to the machines.
sound familiar...
let me see...Imperialism in the third world, the native Indians in the US....
the present new imperialism, the oil battles in the middle east...
its no wonder this movie got under people's skins....

Monday, January 04, 2010

A political Dilemma of the African Identity Revisited

What is the African identity?

Scholars have not really addressed this issue, yet, this is the crippling factor of African politics and politicians. Is the African identity what Tom Mboya describes as African Values? He says that these values are "the proven codes of conduct in the African societies...that has conferred dignity on our [African] people and afforded them security regardless of their situation in life.”[1] In search of an African identity, African leaders like Nkrumah forgot that it was human beings that made the nation, and not the materialism that the leaders succumbed to. I have wondered what it would have been like, if African leaders did not rebellious jump to Socialism as a means of governance... At the time of independence, they were still in the state of euphoria of being free. The urgency of the creation of postcolonial states did not give the African people enough to understand that they were free. Instead, they were pulled into a system and forced to act a certain way with or without their consent. In a way, they had moved from one colonial rule, to another, only that this time, it was by their fellow Africans. Nyerere used forced to get some of the peasants into the communal villages, and burnt any private holdings that they had. Any opposition to the one man-one party state was met with violence. Instead of the African people being free, they had to face dictators who demanded loyalty or death.

A major mistake was in idolizing pre-colonial African societies. Nyerere assumed that an egalitarian system would be ushered in without conflict and that in time; every member of society would soon learn the value of communal work. This assumption turned out to be false because Nyerere did not envision the “massive peasant opposition to Ujamaa, nor the failure of communal methods of production and consumption.”[2] Like Nyerere, the leaders did not pay attention to the created the liberal laissez-faire system that had been left behind by the Europeans. Those who recognized it, tried to crash this system by becoming dictatorial and crushing any individual interests that would take precedence over the community.

This idolization failed to realize that even without the European materialism, money, ideas, and values, Africa had never been perfect. By recapturing the spirit of Africa, these leaders would have had to start from scratch. They would have to face the tribal rivalries, droughts, and hostilities among families and the imperfect governing systems that embodied this “African spirit".
Humanity, dignity in being part of a family, being proud of one’s origins, integrity, and a strong past- those are the traits of an African identity. Community is just a setting that allows all these characteristics can be practiced. It seems that African leaders have forgotten what pre-colonial african society was like, and more than that, they have misinterpreted the society and used this "blinded" vision as their propaganda to steal from their own people.

[1] William H. Friedland., and Carl Gustav Rosberg. 1964. African Socialism: 251

[2] Fatton, The political ideology of Julius Nyerere: 15