HUMANISM: AFRICA'S NEXT CHAPTER...?
By , Magabe Kibiti
It is well known that the term “capitalism” has been widely used by Europeans and Americans to describe their respective economic systems while the term “socialism” was widely used by Russia and eastern Europe countries to describe their economic sytems respectively. In between, there has been different kinds of terms used by different countries to describe and define their social and economical sytems. All in All, societies either collectively or individually have been trying hard to allocate scarce resources among alternative unlimited uses.
I don't want to rewrite the history, nor would I ever change the past. I am all concerned with what happened to “Those who can't decide for themselve, we have to tell them what to do-countries.'' I am talking about Africa here, my poor Africa. Unfortunately, Africa was again not given any chance to decide for herself, African countries had to decide either to follow capitalism or socialism. Don't even think of Non-Alignment pact, that never worked. African countries were forced to choose sides. And today, following the fall of Russia, Africa has been given only one option-sticking with capitalism economic sytem. Those who have been deciding for Africa, are pushing for capitalism. By citing their own economical developments, they're prescribing capitalism as the only cure for poor and desperate Africa.
Really!, is Capitalism the cure for Africa? Lets get some facts.One of the best scholars I know defines capitalism as free-enterprise system where every economic unit is free to act in its own interests; Resources are owned privately and decisions are made individually thus economic questions are answered by the pricing mechanism of free markets. Stop there for a minute. Has America or Europe ever followed capitalism economic system ? Have they really let free market mechanism determine their economic policies? The answer is probably not. For more than seventy years now, America has incorporated the largest Government operated social program called social security to help elderly. This is pure socialist program. Europe has had social security program on top of its public run education and health programs for years, and as you know this is against capitalism principles.
Recently, the United States supreme court affirmed that the public can condemn any individually owned property for public interests. Is this real capitalism? What about public run transport in Europe and America? Is that part of capitalism too ? Probably not. I am not trying to be against capitalism here, and neither will I ever be for socialism because the next best scholar I know defines socialism as something of mixture of capitalism and communism. What? Communism? Yes, Communism. He defines communism as economic system were resources are owned by the state and most decisions are made by the state. Individuals make limited choices thus economic questions are answered by government planning. Wait a minute, Has there been any economical system were all decisions were made by the government? Who is the government? If you look at China and North Korea ( widely known communists), you will find that there were no decisions made by the government as a group but only few dictators decided for the rest of Socialists. To him (scholar), socialism is a non-existence policy.
If you look deep beyond emotions, you will realize that there has never been socialism, capitalism nor communism. Societies have been trying to use the best term out there to cover for their frustrations from unsuccessful trials of trying to allocate currently known scarce resources among themselve. Knowing just these few facts, I have come to self determined best term for Africa-HUMANISM. Forget about ten thousand definitions out there for Humanism. I am talking about care and respect for humanity.That is forgeting all externally-determined-not-working-solutions and opt for internally developed solutions to rescue the dying African society. Solutions to stop all unnecessary wars and conflicts, corruption, greedy and instability. HUMANISM- a new economic and social system in which the only and constant determinant is respect for humanity.
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