Communalism is not communism, it is not even socialism, rather it is the African way of living that has sustained Africa and Africans for centuries! It is best encapsulated in the aphorism: “leave no brother behind!”
In communalism, everyone is thought as a brother and non can be left hungry if there is food in any man’s house! There are still vestiges of communalism in the villages and in many rural countryside. It is that practice that has sustained peace within kindreds and in those tribes where love and sharing is still practised as a way of life!
In the communal system, all in society are rich together or are poor together! Much like the chemical reality of fluid in a container, the concentration is always the same in every part of the fluid, so is it in communalism!
The beauty of communalism cannot ever be erased by all the propaganda of western systems of wealth accumulation in the hands of a few while the generality live in hot wrenching poverty. In classical communalism, everybody shares in everybody’s success and every body is indeed equal in the eyes of the community. The only classification of superiority is that conferred by age because the older you are the core experienced you are deemed to be and therefore the wiser. In other words, the wiser you are the more valued you are!
Now contrast that with the western system where the old are discarded in old people’s homes. In communalism, everyone is valued but more so the old because they are the libraries of the community!
If Africa had retained its practice of this system, all the vices that we complain of today in practically all African countries would never have found space in our social arena. Corruption would never have been known because the impetus for the rise of corruption is the very abandonment of communalism by the westernised elite.
For instance, take the African system of sharing, in that system, sharer takes his portion last. Contrast it with the current system where the elite sharers take first while leaving the crumbs and the bare bones for the generality of the people! A process that allocates much more to recurrent than capital is the evidence of the elite taking first.
In African sharing, every sector would have gotten first before the people in government can smell a share because they themselves apportion the shares so they can never take first! But in the unsuitable western systems, sharers get first. Of course, that would never be fair.
In communalism, road works would be communal just as security would also be. Schools would be communal and every adult will be a custodian of every child in the community. As I wrote elsewhere in communalism, there is no homelessness and there can be no serious crime!
There could never be crime because there would be no highbrow areas or slums because everyone lives with everyone else so the institutions of social control and compliance ensure that everyone or almost everyone conforms to the norms and values of society.
Furthermore, extreme lack does not exist in such a system. Indeed the social welfare net that the western world practises today is a partial adoption of African communal systems. They have quietly realised that a society that does not share is a society doomed to crime and disorder.
How many of us know that there is both free housing and free medicare for the poor in Europe? How many of us know that there is free social welfare services in the Scandinavian countries so much so that education, health and housing is practically allocated on the basis of need?
Unfortunately, the elite here connive amongst themselves to deprive us of even the basics of life while cornering the entire nation’s resources to themselves. Such a system will invariably result to high crime rates, social alienation and a body of disenchanted youths who consciously or unconsciously work to upturn the system because it is unfair.
My prognosis is that our nation will remain in jeopardy until the elite recognise that the current system is unworkable and work to review it. Society is just a laboratory like any other. The results of governance inputs can be seen on how the society runs. Garbage in, garbage out.
Anyone who studies our society will come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem of Nigeria is mainly that of unfair and unworkable social organisation that leaves virtually all societies in the hands of a few. It can be likened to rain that falls only on treetops. The leaves of the tree will enjoy but leaving its roots and trunk vulnerable to attacks from the shrubs and bushes underneath.
The main ethics of communalism is equity, justice and fair play! Under a regime of communalism, corruption, kidnapping and mass poverty will speedily disappear. How can poverty not disappear when ALL the nation’s resources are ploughed into the betterment of everyone in society. But the elite will resist it because their powerful use of hunger to get votes will not work any longer if true communalism is introduced.
The President’s New Year Address! I keenly watched Mr President’s New Year address and I saw a glimpse of the old Buhari that is both firm and clear. All I can pray is that the confidence his address has generated be not allowed to dissipate.
Indeed many Nigerians did have a very hard time. My driver tells me that he has never had a hard Christmas such as this one and I think that is the truth for generality of Nigerians.
This column hopes that all the apparatchik of government will work with the President to improve the lot of Nigerians. However it is sad to note that many governors still owe wages despite the huge funds received by the states. It would be very nice if the President and the leadership of the political parties make citizen’s welfare a priority for the states.
Happy New Year everyone.