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afrobongo
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33968 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:18 AM

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"thoughts on nkrumah's "africa must unite""


          


so i finally got myself to read a book written by nkrumah.. of course i've read stuff on him and speeches and articles and stuff. and i wasn't really interested in reading HIM because i knew what to expect and i wasn't disappointed, really.

so like.. that one is particularly interesting because the topic is why and how africa should "unite". so he makes arguments and propositions on the topic. and well, well, let's say i had stuff to say on:

- his demonization of the ghanean opposition (the first part should be called ghana had to unite). basically he's saying the opposition doesnt really have disagree with the gov except for one thing: the centralist governance. isnt that a serious question ? isnt that something that should be debated because there are legitimate arguments on both sides ? nah, nkrumah doesnt do that. to him, it's all about them wanting to have power where they can win elections (in ashantiland)..and of course, he's not about power.

- his modernist stance: see one things that always amazes me is the fact that nkrumah, lumumba and all those progressives are worshipped by cultural afrocentists. meanwhile nkrumah dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our traditions and their economic counter-productivity (funerals, extended family, lack of savings, communal ownership of land, the traditionnal rulers).. weirdly enough some of those (communal ownership and lack of savings) are conviniently used to justify the socialist centralist path (state ownership of land and state-sponsored extensive industrialisation). but whether you agree and disagree, at least, and because he was a modernist, the economic aspect is adressed.

- financing methods: so nkrumah thought ghana (and africa) had to be quickly industrilized. fine. the next question was of course: how do you pay for it ? no savings, no desire to decrease government spendings (public servants vote, yo), no landownership or desire to see individuals or companies use any of it as collateral.. well there was 2 options left: debt and taxing cocoa. everybody knows about debt and all it implies. but the taxing cocoa thing is more interesting because the cocoa production region was the opposition. back to the centralist debate nkrumah didnt want to have.

- his absolute centralist stance: all in all, that was the point of the book: why a central very powerfull government is better.. in ghana, in africa.. in the world..because government can find funding more easily (that was 64 tho), because government can plan better, because individuals are selfish and sectarian, because nkrumah knows best.

- his total lack of sincerity when he talks about the how.. nkrumah defended the notion that political unity should predate economic, social and all that unity. but there are always provisions like not changing the states border and retainning right to secede that seem written to calm down afraid mofos BUT his further praise of the USSR constitution means what it means.. central power in the hands of a single party.

- historical mistakes: i mean how do you take china, usa, ussr and venezuela as examples of voluntary political unions ? only one is voluntary and that one has experienced a secession war and was economically and culturally integrated.. the other ones were forcefully established. period. and what's up with the praising of china ? no, kwame, in 64, china wasnt on the path of progress and it took more than 5 years to be bigger than UK.


there are other things i'm forgetting but it may come up later.
my whole thing is while i never doubt nkrumah good intentions, i believe he wrote the manual to justify dictatorship that other people later used for different motives. and also, the incredible refusal to even acknowledge the possibility of not totally being right is quite scary. everyone who disagrees in a way or another is imperialist, neocolonialist, tribalist, selfinterested and shit. it's interesting that history proved statism doesnt work and people yet worship nkrumah.

discuss ?

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
these discrepancies remind me of the federalist papers and the like.
Mar 05th 2007
1
yes, kinda
Mar 05th 2007
4
      although the temporal aim was longevity...
Mar 05th 2007
5
           well, independance africa is special..
Mar 05th 2007
8
                while ironic, the transition from opressed to opressor is nothing new...
Mar 05th 2007
15
what was lumumba about ?
Mar 05th 2007
2
RE: thoughts on nkrumah's "africa must unite"
Mar 05th 2007
3
hmmmm..
Mar 05th 2007
6
      ?
Mar 05th 2007
12
      RE: ?
Mar 05th 2007
21
           RE: ?
Mar 05th 2007
25
                ah !
Mar 05th 2007
33
                     RE: ah !
Mar 05th 2007
70
                          it's a pessimist/optimist thing.
Mar 05th 2007
73
                               not at all
Mar 05th 2007
80
                               kerala still didnt happen in china or kenya or iran
Mar 05th 2007
81
                                    hov
Mar 06th 2007
100
                                         hmmmmm
Mar 06th 2007
110
                               neotraditionalist critic with a pretty name
Mar 08th 2007
168
                               ah the idealisation of the past...
Mar 08th 2007
179
                               ali mazrui in accra 2002
Mar 08th 2007
169
                                    nice
Mar 08th 2007
171
                                         and the ecumenical senegal argument...
Mar 08th 2007
172
                                              say more
Mar 08th 2007
173
                                                   well
Mar 08th 2007
175
                                                   RE: well
Mar 08th 2007
177
                                                        !!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 08th 2007
180
                                                        RE: !!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 08th 2007
181
                                                             ah !
Mar 08th 2007
182
                                                        i've been reading articles about the brawl
Mar 08th 2007
187
                                                             it was actually also informative for me
Mar 09th 2007
192
                                                   how to recognize a political muslim
Mar 08th 2007
176
      mamdani
Mar 05th 2007
18
let me read this, i'll be back
Mar 05th 2007
7
on my side ?
Mar 05th 2007
9
yes in your summary
Mar 05th 2007
14
RE: let me read this, i'll be back
Mar 05th 2007
11
      attempt, vex, attempt or pretense.
Mar 05th 2007
16
           RE: attempt, vex, attempt or pretense.
Mar 05th 2007
20
           ah !
Mar 05th 2007
22
           hate ?
Mar 05th 2007
23
aah, the giant sized can of worms today huh?
Mar 05th 2007
10
But Nkrumah's 'centralist gov't' argument wasn't that different...
Mar 05th 2007
17
subcommadante marcos
Mar 05th 2007
26
Wearing a mask doesn't equal modesty.
Mar 05th 2007
29
no real disagreements there
Mar 05th 2007
30
      Pol Pot. Mao. NIIO.
Mar 05th 2007
35
      Pol Pot. Mao. NIIO.
Mar 05th 2007
36
kinda
Mar 05th 2007
19
eh. delete.
Mar 05th 2007
13
i don't know..
Mar 05th 2007
24
      Most revolutionaries aren't state builders.
Mar 05th 2007
28
           that's why they should let go after they achieve their first goal..
Mar 05th 2007
31
                Well, it's rare that happens. Like I said, I don't know...
Mar 05th 2007
34
                     kabila was a tourist in revolution, lol.
Mar 05th 2007
38
                     and now they're playing dueling banjoes in revolutionary hell.
Mar 05th 2007
39
                          i don't think they're in the same hell..
Mar 05th 2007
                               lol! sending spitballs @ other from adjacent hells...
Mar 05th 2007
43
                               i was about to say. lol @ adjacent hells, though. nm
Mar 06th 2007
92
                     so like what would be fair ?
Mar 05th 2007
40
                          As Universal Arbiter of All Things Fair...
Mar 05th 2007
42
                               Biafra is another can of worms..
Mar 05th 2007
45
                                    Biafra can hold, then.
Mar 05th 2007
49
                                         huh ?
Mar 05th 2007
58
finally posted it, huh?
Mar 05th 2007
27
*pulls up a chair*. interesting. i need to read up on nkrumah.
Mar 05th 2007
32
yes and no
Mar 05th 2007
37
      grandeur
Mar 05th 2007
44
      so did mobutu.
Mar 05th 2007
47
      excellent points
Mar 06th 2007
114
           ^^^ experienced *it*
Mar 06th 2007
120
50-60s anti-imperialism has aged rather badly
Mar 05th 2007
41
ah !
Mar 05th 2007
46
      RE: ah !
Mar 05th 2007
57
           hmmm..
Mar 05th 2007
59
           RE: hmmm..
Mar 05th 2007
68
           hmmm..
Mar 05th 2007
71
                RE: hmmm..
Mar 05th 2007
79
                     that's a totally unfair example..
Mar 05th 2007
82
                          why?
Mar 06th 2007
105
                               because
Mar 06th 2007
109
                                    RE: because
Mar 06th 2007
116
                                         RE: because
Mar 06th 2007
119
                                              RE: because
Mar 06th 2007
123
                                                   why should they even do anything on the country level ?
Mar 06th 2007
124
                                                        they do!
Mar 07th 2007
144
                                                             RE: they do!
Mar 07th 2007
153
           RE: hmmm..
Mar 06th 2007
87
           did anderson discuss africa ?
Mar 05th 2007
78
                anderson's orginally an indonesia specialist
Mar 06th 2007
83
                     i was using the french word.
Mar 06th 2007
84
                     I gotta read that
Mar 06th 2007
107
my thoughts... (partial)
Mar 05th 2007
48
don't get too caught up in his hype
Mar 05th 2007
50
never said he invented it.
Mar 05th 2007
51
      so do I
Mar 05th 2007
53
      who is in your avatar?
Mar 05th 2007
55
           Edward Alexander Bouchet. Phd, Physics, Yale, 1877
Mar 05th 2007
56
      I agree - that will always be the most important thing about him to me
Mar 05th 2007
54
           ah !
Mar 05th 2007
65
RE: my thoughts... (partial)
Mar 05th 2007
62
RE: my thoughts... (partial)
Mar 06th 2007
88
      format your replies, son, lol
Mar 06th 2007
97
           RE: format your replies, son, lol
Mar 06th 2007
102
           RE: format your replies, son, lol
Mar 06th 2007
115
           lol... i thought i did, jo!
Mar 07th 2007
147
                ?
Mar 07th 2007
149
                *duly noted.
Mar 07th 2007
152
                hmmm..
Mar 07th 2007
158
what was the alternative ?
Mar 05th 2007
67
      never said they justified anything
Mar 05th 2007
76
           sankara ?
Mar 05th 2007
77
props on making this post
Mar 05th 2007
52
that's why i wanted to discuss the policies..
Mar 05th 2007
63
a good book for me was
Mar 05th 2007
60
RE: thoughts on nkrumah's "africa must unite"
Mar 05th 2007
61
oh bin
Mar 05th 2007
64
how was he different from mobutu then ?
Mar 05th 2007
66
      benign dictatorship...isnt different
Mar 05th 2007
69
           it took another 20 years to kill Zaire tho..
Mar 05th 2007
72
                uh, 1 is taxing...but they keep their land/production
Mar 05th 2007
74
                     one is foreign, one is local.
Mar 05th 2007
75
ghana methods
Mar 06th 2007
85
lmao
Mar 06th 2007
86
sorry i'ma be self-indulgent for a minute
Mar 06th 2007
89
thanks for this post
Mar 06th 2007
90
just found a translation of one of the poems i mentioned
Mar 06th 2007
91
a better translation
Mar 07th 2007
165
RE: thanks for this post
Mar 06th 2007
93
RE: thanks for this post
Mar 06th 2007
94
thanks for the poem
Mar 06th 2007
95
      elitist as in "we know what's good for you better than you do"
Mar 08th 2007
184
           that hut is beautiful..
Mar 08th 2007
186
           it's a lot bigger than a hut
Mar 09th 2007
190
                yeah, i was wondering if the word hut was appropriate
Mar 09th 2007
193
           of course
Mar 09th 2007
191
                RE: of course
Mar 09th 2007
195
word on this:
Mar 06th 2007
98
my dad is a lot younger
Mar 06th 2007
96
      RE: my dad is a lot younger
Mar 06th 2007
104
      *throws back your argument at you*
Mar 06th 2007
108
           RE: *throws back your argument at you*
Mar 06th 2007
111
                lobby ? lol
Mar 06th 2007
113
                     RE: lobby ? lol
Mar 06th 2007
118
                          RE: lobby ? lol
Mar 06th 2007
121
                          HOW COULD I FORGET FOOTBALL (the one with the feet)
Mar 07th 2007
156
                               bc it's boring
Mar 07th 2007
157
                                    depends on what you mean by explicit.
Mar 07th 2007
159
      my experiences with decentralization
Mar 07th 2007
164
           sounds like Nigeria
Mar 07th 2007
166
                yeah Nigeria & Indonesia have a lot in common
Mar 08th 2007
178
                     they do
Mar 08th 2007
185
                          RE: they do
Mar 09th 2007
189
                               damn @ the youtube link
Mar 09th 2007
194
                                    RE: damn @ the youtube link
Mar 09th 2007
196
                                         is it that simple ?
Mar 09th 2007
197
                                         wow I didn't know that
Mar 12th 2007
199
                                              just for fun
Mar 19th 2007
203
                                         ?
Mar 09th 2007
198
                                              gandhi & nehru were too hindu
Mar 12th 2007
200
this is an interesting post. where can i find out more about this author
Mar 06th 2007
99
he's not an author... Kwame Nkrumah was the first leader of Ghana
Mar 06th 2007
101
      Oh. So *THATS* where Ive heard of him.
Mar 06th 2007
103
           are africans nicer people?
Mar 06th 2007
106
           pssst... nice African that I am
Mar 06th 2007
125
                pssst.. it's not european genes she was blaming
Mar 06th 2007
126
                     alors expliques
Mar 06th 2007
127
                          ....
Mar 06th 2007
128
                               is that her name?
Mar 06th 2007
129
                               that's the endogenous name of a BIG country...
Mar 06th 2007
132
                               this is offensive
Mar 06th 2007
131
                                    is it ? how ?
Mar 06th 2007
133
                                    you should intervene
Mar 06th 2007
134
                                    he ain't know. lol. lmBao. *rolling on floor*. nm
Mar 06th 2007
135
                                    ok now i feel stupid, lol, *sight* n/m
Mar 06th 2007
136
                                         this is all very confusing
Mar 06th 2007
137
                                         sure is
Mar 06th 2007
138
                                         ok, i'm confrused, too. i thought she was half-feigning offense at
Mar 06th 2007
141
                                    this feels like the "fewer dropped calls" commercials
Mar 06th 2007
139
           yes
Mar 06th 2007
112
                RE: yes
Mar 06th 2007
117
                     the stupid borders helped tho..
Mar 06th 2007
122
does mamdani really disagree with me ?
Mar 06th 2007
130
so... Who's the KRS-ONE to Nkrumah's Rakim, then?
Mar 06th 2007
140
hmmm.. that's a hard one..
Mar 06th 2007
142
wouldn't it be the other way around?
Mar 07th 2007
146
      Namibia has a mandela-like figure..
Mar 07th 2007
150
      i was kinda wondering that when i typed it -- but this post is the
Mar 07th 2007
151
           you think ?
Mar 07th 2007
154
           RE: i was kinda wondering that when i typed it -- but this post is the
Mar 07th 2007
155
                was this on purpose ?
Mar 07th 2007
160
                     hahaha
Mar 07th 2007
161
                          *sad*
Mar 07th 2007
162
i don't know what to think of this
Mar 06th 2007
143
RE: i don't know what to think of this
Mar 07th 2007
145
      here it is:
Mar 07th 2007
148
           that doesn't quite ans my q
Mar 08th 2007
170
                hmmm..
Mar 08th 2007
174
lunch-time googling
Mar 07th 2007
163
huh ?
Mar 07th 2007
167
really good post
Mar 08th 2007
183
I really have not much to say on this... I'm still learning
Mar 08th 2007
188
up you mighty nation. nm
Mar 13th 2007
201
^
Mar 19th 2007
202

suhBURB
Member since Jan 31st 2007
831 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:31 AM

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1. "these discrepancies remind me of the federalist papers and the like."
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Mar-05-07 11:32 AM by suhBURB

  

          

i don't think we should be surprised when people in power (or who desire power) write manuscripts that reinforce their desire for control with faulty logic and contradiction.

++++
here's another hit.

  

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afrobongo
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33968 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:36 AM

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4. "yes, kinda"
In response to Reply # 1


          


except that there was room for debate and acknowledgement of each other points..


and they were trying to design something that would last longer than them.


african constitutions are generally tailormade
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http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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suhBURB
Member since Jan 31st 2007
831 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:42 AM

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5. "although the temporal aim was longevity..."
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

i'd say the economic goal was the same: to maintain the power, status and wealth of those who had it and to feed the people who make up the bottom of the pyramid content with empty ideals and delusions of equality.

in the american case, it was in the vested interest of european elites to keep the system afloat, if only as a fellow consumer.

the merging of the media with the state in the american case - i'd argue - is the other reason for its longevity, but that's a whole other post.

++++
here's another hit.

  

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afrobongo
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33968 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:44 AM

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8. "well, independance africa is special.."
In response to Reply # 5


          


who had money, power, status ?

- the former lower clercks of the colonial administration.
- the traditionnal rulers



from that angle, nkrumah was defending the interests of the former.. hmm..
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suhBURB
Member since Jan 31st 2007
831 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:57 AM

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15. "while ironic, the transition from opressed to opressor is nothing new..."
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

nor uniquely african.

++++
here's another hit.

  

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afrobongo
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33968 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:34 AM

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2. "what was lumumba about ?"
In response to Reply # 0


          


that's the million dollars question..

no comprehensive article, speech, book on concrete policies and agenda and ideas...

i mean "national unity" and "freedom" are NOT policies.
______________________________


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http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:35 AM

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3. "RE: thoughts on nkrumah's "africa must unite""
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


>- historical mistakes: i mean how do you take china, usa, ussr
>and venezuela as examples of voluntary political unions ? only
>one is voluntary

well, tell that to the cherokee. if expansionism is "voluntary," so is china. but my question is, in taking the usa as an example, does he discuss the federalist papers.

i don't know that history has proved statism doesn't work, it depends on what is in the remit of the state. the lack of penetration of the state and its institutions into the countryside is one of the fundamental problems of the third world (as mamdani has written about africa).

the
>incredible refusal to even acknowledge the possibility of not
>totally being right is quite scary.

yes. marxist determinism has that affect. it's interesting how different the founding father were in that regard.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 11:42 AM

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6. "hmmmm.."
In response to Reply # 3


          

>
>>- historical mistakes: i mean how do you take china, usa,
>ussr
>>and venezuela as examples of voluntary political unions ?
>only
>>one is voluntary
>
>well, tell that to the cherokee. if expansionism is
>"voluntary," so is china.

good point. but let's say the union of the original 13 was kinda voluntary.
not european union voluntary but definetly not ussr voluntary.
(why didnt he discuss india tho ?)

>but my question is, in taking the
>usa as an example, does he discuss the federalist papers.

nope.

>i don't know that history has proved statism doesn't work, it
>depends on what is in the remit of the state. the lack of
>penetration of the state and its institutions into the
>countryside is one of the fundamental problems of the third
>world (as mamdani has written about africa).

yeah, definetly.
isnt unitarism one of the roots of that ?
the more central the gov is, the less penetration it will have.
(and of course, there is the issue of if the state CAN penetrate)

> the
>>incredible refusal to even acknowledge the possibility of
>not
>>totally being right is quite scary.
>
>yes. marxist determinism has that affect. it's interesting
>how different the founding father were in that regard.


it's even more interesting to see how nobody dares saying "they were wrong" (well, in my part of the world anyway).

______________________________


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http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 11:52 AM

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12. "?"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          


>>i don't know that history has proved statism doesn't work,
>it
>>depends on what is in the remit of the state. the lack of
>>penetration of the state and its institutions into the
>>countryside is one of the fundamental problems of the third
>>world (as mamdani has written about africa).
>
>yeah, definetly.
>isnt unitarism one of the roots of that ?

unitarism one of teh roots of what?

>the more central the gov is, the less penetration it will
>have.

i don't see how you're saying that. how does a govt have any penetration without some level of centralization?


>it's even more interesting to see how nobody dares saying
>"they were wrong" (well, in my part of the world anyway).

what about that africa-needs-sweatshops guy? j/k. but i don't know what you mean by "nobody" -- i've never read anyone say they were right, whether the critique was coming from a liberal (in the original sense), neo-traditionalist or leftist perspective.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:12 PM

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21. "RE: ?"
In response to Reply # 12


          

>
>>>i don't know that history has proved statism doesn't work,
>>it
>>>depends on what is in the remit of the state. the lack of
>>>penetration of the state and its institutions into the
>>>countryside is one of the fundamental problems of the third
>>>world (as mamdani has written about africa).
>>
>>yeah, definetly.
>>isnt unitarism one of the roots of that ?
>unitarism one of teh roots of what?
>

the paragraph below kinda implied the same thing... decentralization without democratization.
unitarism prevents penetration because it prevents the state from WANTING to penetrate.
(and prevents the populations from having a say)

>>the more central the gov is, the less penetration it will
>>have.
>
>i don't see how you're saying that. how does a govt have any
>penetration without some level of centralization?

top to down or down to top ?
of course a government needs SOME level of centralization.
but coming from the colonial period, more centralization may not be the way..
colonial authorities viewed colonies as one entity and viewed the policies in that mindframe.



>>it's even more interesting to see how nobody dares saying
>>"they were wrong" (well, in my part of the world anyway).
>
>what about that africa-needs-sweatshops guy? j/k. but i
>don't know what you mean by "nobody" -- i've never read anyone
>say they were right, whether the critique was coming from a
>liberal (in the original sense), neo-traditionalist or leftist
>perspective.

you don't read enough africans.


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http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 12:23 PM

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25. "RE: ?"
In response to Reply # 21


  

          


>the paragraph below kinda implied the same thing...
>decentralization without democratization.
>unitarism prevents penetration because it prevents the state
>from WANTING to penetrate.
>(and prevents the populations from having a say)

i'm really not followng you.

what is "unitarism"?

the paragraph below is saying the opposite of what you're saying -- it's saying that decentralization suited colonialists fine and now it suits an indigenous elite fine.

you're saying that decentralization doesn't exist and should, no?

decentralization is the missouri compromise. centralization is the 14th amendment.

>you don't read enough africans.

touche.

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afrobongo
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33. "ah !"
In response to Reply # 25


          

>
>>the paragraph below kinda implied the same thing...
>>decentralization without democratization.
>>unitarism prevents penetration because it prevents the state
>>from WANTING to penetrate.
>>(and prevents the populations from having a say)
>
>i'm really not followng you.
>
>what is "unitarism"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarism

>the paragraph below is saying the opposite of what you're
>saying -- it's saying that decentralization suited
>colonialists fine and now it suits an indigenous elite fine.

"decentralization on the surface"
"the decentralized level that is subordinated to the central one remains the preserve of "customary laws.""

i think dude talks about a dual phenomenon..
the decentralized level, from and after the colonial period is subordinated and organized by laws that mantain that subordination.


>you're saying that decentralization doesn't exist and should,
>no?

yes.
where are the local governments ?
what are their powers ?
and how democratic are they exactly ?

>decentralization is the missouri compromise. centralization
>is the 14th amendment.

no.
or rather, not only...
centralization can be mandatory english or hindi in schools while decentralization recognizes the other languages.

the real debate is when is centralization useful.

>>you don't read enough africans.
>
>touche.

i mean, in the african political, intelelctual, economic sphere, there is always positive mention of those figures..
or at least they carefully not name what they're criticizing


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thrill
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:54 PM

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70. "RE: ah !"
In response to Reply # 33


  

          


i know what unitarism means, i have no idea in what sense it "prevents penetration".

>centralization can be mandatory english or hindi in schools
>while decentralization recognizes the other languages.
>
>the real debate is when is centralization useful.

indeed. and since you brought up hindi, amartya sen writes about how basically education in india is in dire straits BECAUSE it was decentralized, i.e. left up to the states to handle as they wished. in some places, there was a successful progressive mobilization to educate the poor, in most places, there was no pressure on local elites to think of or permit such a thing.

>i mean, in the african political, intelelctual, economic
>sphere, there is always positive mention of those figures..
>or at least they carefully not name what they're criticizing

intellectual? i mean, i can't think of an african historian or political philosopher or critic i've read who has been cagey about criticizing nkrumah... what do you thik of michael chege.



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afrobongo
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73. "it's a pessimist/optimist thing."
In response to Reply # 70


          



>>centralization can be mandatory english or hindi in schools
>>while decentralization recognizes the other languages.
>>
>>the real debate is when is centralization useful.
>
>indeed. and since you brought up hindi, amartya sen writes
>about how basically education in india is in dire straits
>BECAUSE it was decentralized, i.e. left up to the states to
>handle as they wished. in some places, there was a successful
>progressive mobilization to educate the poor, in most places,
>there was no pressure on local elites to think of or permit
>such a thing.

would the progressive experiments happened with centralized planning/ruling ?
or would the progressive experiments have been nationwide ?

for whatever reasons, i'd go with the former. i'd rather "save" a part than risking a complete sinking ship.
and NOW that the progressive experiments happened, there can be popular pressure on the place where nothing changed.

>>i mean, in the african political, intelelctual, economic
>>sphere, there is always positive mention of those figures..
>>or at least they carefully not name what they're criticizing
>
>intellectual? i mean, i can't think of an african historian
>or political philosopher or critic i've read who has been
>cagey about criticizing nkrumah...

i really wonder which ones you're reading.
because i haven't read much african criticism of him.

>what do you thik of michael chege.

who is he ? where is he from ?

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thrill
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80. "not at all"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          


>would the progressive experiments happened with centralized
>planning/ruling ?
>or would the progressive experiments have been nationwide ?
>
>for whatever reasons, i'd go with the former. i'd rather
>"save" a part than risking a complete sinking ship.
>and NOW that the progressive experiments happened, there can
>be popular pressure on the place where nothing changed.

yes, well, india DID go with the former, and pretty much everyone agrees it was really stupid. i think you misunderstood my point about kerala -- my point was that in some places, there are avenues for redistributive justice despite local elites, but that's not the way it usually works. "there can be popular pressure"...i don't even know where to begin with taht.

i mean, why are you idealizing regional boundaries? what makes the region more responsive to its members than the nation?

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afrobongo
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81. "kerala still didnt happen in china or kenya or iran"
In response to Reply # 80


          


it happened in india.

and do i idealize region borders ?
hmmm.. may be..
i think community (and political legitimacy) goes up, not down..
local elites, tho concerned about their role as elites are by their loca status less removed than national elites, aren't they ?

but then again, it's an optimism/pessimism thing.
you come from a decentralized country and live in another one.
i've lived all my life in centralized countries.

i've seen the evils of centralization
you've seen the evils of decentralization.

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thrill
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100. "hov"
In response to Reply # 81


  

          


>and do i idealize region borders ?
>hmmm.. may be..
>i think community (and political legitimacy) goes up, not
>down..
>local elites, tho concerned about their role as elites are by
>their loca status less removed than national elites, aren't
>they ?

they're less removed, but it's often a pretty bad thing -- they actually feel the loss of power if their local victims go to school or don't wear a veil or drink from the same fountain or own a business or whatever it is. while the national bureaucratic elites are more modern, urbanized, have other sources of power/identity, and not as committed to perpetuating the traditional power equations.

sure the capital will feel more free about ill-treating some distant region, that happens too. i'm all for checks and balances on state power, but i do think, especially in the third world, that the real sources of oppression isn't the center bossing some distant villager, but the local village head/feudal lord abusing landless laborers and bonded workers. there's a book called "everybody loves a good drought", about the poorest districts in india, and what comes across very clearly is that the poor have no relief from the local big man because the state's reach doesn't really fully extend to those areas.

(i don't like your argument from biography, but if you're going to go that route, i grew up in one of the most centralized, authoritarian, busybody of nations, which has done rather well out of it too.)


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afrobongo
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110. "hmmmmm"
In response to Reply # 100


          

>
>>and do i idealize region borders ?
>>hmmm.. may be..
>>i think community (and political legitimacy) goes up, not
>>down..
>>local elites, tho concerned about their role as elites are
>by
>>their loca status less removed than national elites, aren't
>>they ?
>
>they're less removed, but it's often a pretty bad thing --
>they actually feel the loss of power if their local victims go
>to school or don't wear a veil or drink from the same fountain
>or own a business or whatever it is. while the national
>bureaucratic elites are more modern, urbanized, have other
>sources of power/identity, and not as committed to
>perpetuating the traditional power equations.

^^hmmm makes sense

>sure the capital will feel more free about ill-treating some
>distant region, that happens too. i'm all for checks and
>balances on state power, but i do think, especially in the
>third world, that the real sources of oppression isn't the
>center bossing some distant villager, but the local village
>head/feudal lord abusing landless laborers and bonded workers.
> there's a book called "everybody loves a good drought", about
>the poorest districts in india, and what comes across very
>clearly is that the poor have no relief from the local big man
>because the state's reach doesn't really fully extend to those
>areas.

hmmm..
see.. the third world is a pretty large entity.. with all kinds of particularism..
your argument works beautifully in nigeria circa 66'..
a feudal north damn near calling for secession, a south calling for a more centralized power with support for the scarce northern intellectuals..

but then a beautiful thing happens..
ibo are mass-massacred in the north, northerners take federal power and oil is found in the south.

the feudals now want an unitary state that later will happen to be corrupted, careless and all that nigeria has been over the last 40 years...


>(i don't like your argument from biography, but if you're
>going to go that route, i grew up in one of the most
>centralized, authoritarian, busybody of nations, which has
>done rather well out of it too.)

hmmm. my bad

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thrill
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168. "neotraditionalist critic with a pretty name"
In response to Reply # 73
Thu Mar-08-07 08:10 AM by thrill

  

          

>
>i really wonder which ones you're reading.
>because i haven't read much african criticism of him.

michael chege (there's a link to his mamdani review above, i thik he's of nigerian heritage) is the only name i could think of when you asked this, but just this morning i came across what i would call a neotraditionalist critique of nkrumah. see:

In fact, Nkrumah’s analysis, not less than that of Senghor did not go beyond the fact that the Marxism he was defending was part of the prevailing international developments in the aftermath of the World War II. He could not imagine that there could be other alternative(s) that could be provided by reflecting, for instance, on the African value system outside the Marxist metaphysical framework. In fact, I would go as far as saying that socialism as it was presented to the world was more concerned with economic means of production and competition than the liberation of a class of people from exploitation by another class.

The situation that Africans faced at that time was not that of capital and value and the alienation of human beings that result from it; it was not the problem of human beings becoming a means of production and strangers vis-à-vis of the product of their work. Instead, it was colonization according to which African people had no culture and civilization. This presumption did not produce the material alienation with which Marxists were concerned, but a spiritual alienation which needed to be addressed in the colonized and neo-colonized Africa. Thus, ironically, by defending and appropriating Marxism, Nkrumah, Senghor and other African Marxists seemed to prove true the very thesis which was the ground of colonization. In fact, one can but ask whether by choosing Marxism African scholars were not suggesting another way of being colonized, rather than considering some aspect of the African value system (cf. Serequeberhan, 1994:42)!

http://www.crvp.org/book/Series02/II-7/chapter_v.htm

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afrobongo
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179. "ah the idealisation of the past..."
In response to Reply # 168


          


lol
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thrill
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169. "ali mazrui in accra 2002"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          


(hmm... can't think of a one-word identifier for ali mazrui, but here you go, he named nkrumah in the u of ghana itself).

But Nkrumah was also the man who shackled Ghana with a one-party state, and who utilized the Preventive Detention Act to harass and imprison political opponents. He even dismissed the Chief Justice of Ghana for disagreeing with him. To that extent, Kwame Nkrumah started the whole tradition of Black authoritarianism in the post-colonial era. He was the villain of the piece.

http://igcs.binghamton.edu/igcs_site/dirton15.htm

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afrobongo
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171. "nice"
In response to Reply # 169


          


"Nkrumah stood for the single-party state and the single-state continent. His dream of trying to create “one-Africa by abolishing separate states” was an inspiration. His policy of trying to “create one Ghana by abolishing separate political parties” was usurpation."


(on an unrelated note, i'm always semi-offended by mofos who happen to be muslim talking about Islam being so crucially important to Africa. i mean sure, Ali you grew up muslim in Mombasa, but like what about the people living below the hausa/fulani/zanzibar expansion line ?)

  

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afrobongo
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172. "and the ecumenical senegal argument..."
In response to Reply # 171


          


that i always find flawed on a bunch of levels..

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thrill
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Thu Mar-08-07 10:28 AM

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173. "say more"
In response to Reply # 172


  

          


and as i read the mazrui essay, i was imagining your response to him criticizing nkrumah for not drawing enough on the arabic heritage.

semi-relatedly, i wonder how the anti-aids circumcision campaign has been viewed by muslim africans... it seems so ripe for propaganda

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afrobongo
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175. "well"
In response to Reply # 173


          


Senegal, a 94% muslim country had a roman catholic christian president its first 20 years without no riots or even mild criticism based on his religion.
more interestingly, all its 3 first ladies has been christian (one was sengalese)

the author (like many) go on an compare it to France or the US and many western countries.

i think the comparision is simplistic. Senghor was senegalese, not the son, the grand-son of an immigrant. tho there are 6% of muslims in France, they're virtually all 2nd or 3rd generation french.
and unless Sarkozy gets elected in April, french presidents are not immigrants.
and senegal (like most african countries) wouldnt elect an ethnically foreign president.
(there are many cases of important ethnically indian, white or even mixed political figures who themselves refused to even try gettting there)

India having sikh prime ministers may be a better comparision.

>and as i read the mazrui essay, i was imagining your response
>to him criticizing nkrumah for not drawing enough on the
>arabic heritage.

anger

>semi-relatedly, i wonder how the anti-aids circumcision
>campaign has been viewed by muslim africans... it seems so
>ripe for propaganda

male or female ?
i mean, male circumcision is damn universal in Africa. and far beyond the area of muslim penetration (therefore, it was a pre-muslim tradition and even westernized people are violently attached to it)
same for female circumcision, except that non-muslims gave up on it.

i've heard the argument before and it is quite stupid.
even the polygamy argument is stupid.

southern africa is the most hit by aids and well it's the less polygamous, the less female circumcising region.

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thrill
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177. "RE: well"
In response to Reply # 175


  

          


>>and as i read the mazrui essay, i was imagining your
>response
>>to him criticizing nkrumah for not drawing enough on the
>>arabic heritage.
>
>anger

in my imagination it was more entertainingly expressed.

did you see his brawl with hl gates over arab/muslim slave-trading?
http://www.africaresource.com/war/vol1.2/1.2war.htm

>i mean, male circumcision is damn universal in Africa. and far
>beyond the area of muslim penetration (therefore, it was a
>pre-muslim tradition and even westernized people are violently
>attached to it)

there's some campaign to encourage male circumcision as an aids reduction measure. a quick google says it's in malawi and south africa.

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afrobongo
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180. "!!!!!!!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 177


          


it may take me some time to read alladat..


and i never heard about THAT campaign before.
fascinating.
what kind of uncircumsized africans are those south africans ?
ewww
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thrill
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Thu Mar-08-07 11:12 AM

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181. "RE: !!!!!!!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 180


  

          

>
>it may take me some time to read alladat..

most of it not that interesting, but it shows mazrui's slipperiness/double standards.

i liked this essay by an okfather. http://www.africaresource.com/war/vol1.2/jeyifo2.html

>ewww

my sentiments exactly, but saying it aloud gets me called "muslim-lover".

ps. why did i feel so pleased by the !!s, i did kind of wince at the "you should read more africans," probably bc it is true. i ought to read even more south-east asians, measuring by dravido-meter.

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afrobongo
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182. "ah !"
In response to Reply # 181
Thu Mar-08-07 11:43 AM by afrobongo

          

>>
>>it may take me some time to read alladat..
>
>most of it not that interesting, but it shows mazrui's
>slipperiness/double standards.

so far i've read 3 or 4 of them and it really feels like a personnal dispute.
both of them sound annoying and biased and honestly i'm loosing respect for each of them faster than i can read them.

>i liked this essay by an okfather.
>http://www.africaresource.com/war/vol1.2/jeyifo2.html

opinion soon.

>>ewww
>
>my sentiments exactly, but saying it aloud gets me called
>"muslim-lover".

well now tell them it's negrolover.
we were getting circumcised before the first muslim went through the Sinaï.
(except for those backwards southern africans apparently, lol)

>ps. why did i feel so pleased by the !!s, i did kind of wince
>at the "you should read more africans," probably bc it is
>true. i ought to read even more south-east asians, measuring
>by dravido-meter.

i should read more of them too actually.
hell, i should read more. period. (the sad thing about being good at what the french call "synthese" is the lack of incentive to go deeper)
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afrobongo
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187. "i've been reading articles about the brawl"
In response to Reply # 177


          

(yes i have too much time in my hands)

and this is histerically hilarious.

the dirty world of philosophy indeed.
personnal beefs coming out (martin kilson talking about gates's goodies)

i'm so dying and loosing respect for all of them.
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thrill
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Fri Mar-09-07 08:58 AM

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192. "it was actually also informative for me"
In response to Reply # 187


  

          


>i'm so dying and loosing respect for all of them.

the essay i linked above i thought was pretty vivifying and respectable

i was interested in the mazrui/arab slavery thing particularly because there has been lots of criticism of indian leftist scholars (the subaltern school) for focusing on colonialism because of their own elite position, and i think there's something similar going on here, where mazrui is emphatically focused on the euro slave trade and cagey about the one in which his own elite family was involved...

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afrobongo
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176. "how to recognize a political muslim"
In response to Reply # 173


          


"Today African leaders are silent about the brutalization of Palestinians – although Yassir Arafat was once in the forefront of the fight against apartheid in South Africa"


^^^the obligatory mention of Palestine.
and his gratitude argument is pure bullshit.

The OPL and the ANC sure cooperated as a response to Israel and the Apartheid regime cooperation, but it's not like the arabian (whever african or not) public opinion has ever expressed any concerns over the actions of any arab/arabized government over africans (morrocco, libya, sudan, etc..).

and even beyond, Arafat wasn't at the forefront of that fight. if anything, his fight predated the other one.

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thrill
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18. "mamdani"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          


One of the things Citizen and Subject undertakes to do is to historicize , tying it to the legacy of colonial rule and what Mamdani calls "the mode of incorporation" of subject peoples into "the arena of colonial power." The accent here is on "mode of incorporation" into, not exclusion from, central power... supported the native authorities they found in the different communities, and sometimes gave them more powers than those native institutions had within the traditional social order... The form of rule that colonialism introduced is the "bifurcated state," that is, a social formation wherein there is decentralization on the surface, each community living within "customary laws.".. What formal independence achieved, then, is in Mamdani's phrase a "deracialization without democratization": that is, the nation-state is now run by natives, but the decentralized level that is subordinated to the central one remains the preserve of "customary laws.".. For him, the challenge of African governments is that of bridging the gap between the rural (where customary law prevails) and the urban (the preserve of civil society).

http://www.westafricareview.com/vol2.1/george.html
http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v1/1/4.htm

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akon
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7. "let me read this, i'll be back"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

btw,
no attempt at being unbiased, huh?

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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afrobongo
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9. "on my side ?"
In response to Reply # 7


          


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akon
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14. "yes in your summary"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Vex_id
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Mon Mar-05-07 11:50 AM

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11. "RE: let me read this, i'll be back"
In response to Reply # 7


          

>btw,
>no attempt at being unbiased, huh?

there's no such thing as 'being unbiased'.

lol

------
keep ya nails clipped
so you can bust 'em in the lip,
keep ya pants on your waist
so you can kick 'em in the face,
keep ya shoes laced
so you can beat 'em in a chase.

can't afford to slip,
no restrictions

(c) M-1

http://awol.objector.org/

  

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akon
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Mon Mar-05-07 11:57 AM

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16. "attempt, vex, attempt or pretense."
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

you can feel nkrumah hate seething from the words bongo typed.

i lift my hands from the keybored and it's stained black.

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Vex_id
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20. "RE: attempt, vex, attempt or pretense."
In response to Reply # 16


          

>you can feel nkrumah hate seething from the words bongo
>typed.

as could I...but that's bongo's steez.

>i lift my hands from the keybored and it's stained black.

lol.

question: has bongo *ever* posted a political stance/cited an author that he actually agrees w/?


------
keep ya nails clipped
so you can bust 'em in the lip,
keep ya pants on your waist
so you can kick 'em in the face,
keep ya shoes laced
so you can beat 'em in a chase.

can't afford to slip,
no restrictions

(c) M-1

http://awol.objector.org/

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:13 PM

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22. "ah !"
In response to Reply # 20


          


______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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afrobongo
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23. "hate ?"
In response to Reply # 16


          


disagrement is the word.
______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Olu
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10. "aah, the giant sized can of worms today huh?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>- his demonization of the ghanean opposition (the first part
>should be called ghana had to unite). basically he's saying
>the opposition doesnt really have disagree with the gov except
>for one thing: the centralist governance. isnt that a serious
>question ? isnt that something that should be debated because
>there are legitimate arguments on both sides ? nah, nkrumah
>doesnt do that. to him, it's all about them wanting to have
>power where they can win elections (in ashantiland)..and of
>course, he's not about power.

Nkrumah basically assumed he was smarter and had greater vision than everyone else around him. Now I'd argue that was true to an extent, but the way he handled his opposition showed a lot of unnecessary arrogance on his part and set a horrible precedent for other african leaders. Plus it was a huge part of his downfall. I think he would have done a lot better if he'd left room for public debate.

As for centralized african governments, we can blame him for those too and all the damage they did and continue to do.


>- his modernist stance: see one things that always amazes me
>is the fact that nkrumah, lumumba and all those progressives
>are worshipped by cultural afrocentists. meanwhile nkrumah
>dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our traditions and
>their economic counter-productivity (funerals, extended
>family, lack of savings, communal ownership of land, the
>traditionnal rulers).. weirdly enough some of those (communal
>ownership and lack of savings) are conviniently used to
>justify the socialist centralist path (state ownership of land
>and state-sponsored extensive industrialisation). but whether
>you agree and disagree, at least, and because he was a
>modernist, the economic aspect is adressed.

cultural afrocentrists celebrate a lot of actions of dead people they'd be less than enthused so see being done by the living IMO. Actually I agree with a lot of his modernist stances.I think he should have done more to take power and especially land out of the hands of chiefs. He slowed down at a point, I'm guessing because he realized how big an undertaking it was.

>- his absolute centralist stance: all in all, that was the
>point of the book: why a central very powerfull government is
>better.. in ghana, in africa.. in the world..because
>government can find funding more easily (that was 64 tho),
>because government can plan better, because individuals are
>selfish and sectarian, because nkrumah knows best.

I sense a lot of sarcasm here lol

>- his total lack of sincerity when he talks about the how..
>nkrumah defended the notion that political unity should
>predate economic, social and all that unity. but there are
>always provisions like not changing the states border and
>retainning right to secede that seem written to calm down
>afraid mofos BUT his further praise of the USSR constitution
>means what it means.. central power in the hands of a single
>party.

He wanted power. He felt he was the smartest person in the room by far and everyone else who didn't see the path the exact same way he did was an idiot of the worst kind, or a tool of someone else.
Its understandable and I can see why it happened, but it was still based on a huge amount of arrogance at the least.

>- historical mistakes: i mean how do you take china, usa, ussr
>and venezuela as examples of voluntary political unions ? only
>one is voluntary and that one has experienced a secession war
>and was economically and culturally integrated.. the other
>ones were forcefully established. period. and what's up with
>the praising of china ? no, kwame, in 64, china wasnt on the
>path of progress and it took more than 5 years to be bigger
>than UK.

At the time everyone thought the USSR was unto something. And they all believed in big state communism as the solution to all our ills. Yes it was short sighted and ultimately wrong but it was something a lot of people believed it.


>my whole thing is while i never doubt nkrumah good intentions,
>i believe he wrote the manual to justify dictatorship that
>other people later used for different motives. and also, the
>incredible refusal to even acknowledge the possibility of not
>totally being right is quite scary. everyone who disagrees in
>a way or another is imperialist, neocolonialist, tribalist,
>selfinterested and shit. it's interesting that history proved
>statism doesnt work and people yet worship nkrumah.
>
>discuss ?

Honestly my biggest issue with the debate on Nkrumah has been how easily people pick and argue one side. Either dictator or savior when truth is that he was somewhere in between. He did have remarkable vision but he was also arrogant and power hungry in the extreme. And I wish people would stop treating him as almost a saint incapable of any wrong.


sidenote. You'll like this
http://www.myjoyonline.com/audio/main/200703/asx/fp_02_03_2007.ASX

http://www.last.fm/user/Olu/
http://ghanageek.wordpress.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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17. "But Nkrumah's 'centralist gov't' argument wasn't that different..."
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

Than Alexander Hamilton's from almsot 200 years earlier.

His view clearly influenced by the dominant Eastern powers of the time, that all had highly centralized authorities - USSR, People's Republic of China - and were in 1964, very dogmatic in their approach to industrialization: The Party Knows Best, The Party Will Deliver You From The Chains of Capitalism (or in this case Colonialism).

As far as him being 'smartest guy in the room', that's been the case of every post-industrial revolutionary from Lenin to Che to Chavez. It seems to be a symptom of leadership. Which is to say, find me a modest revolutionary, and I'll send you a free cookie.

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:24 PM

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26. "subcommadante marcos"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          


Which
>is to say, find me a modest revolutionary, and I'll send you a
>free cookie.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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29. "Wearing a mask doesn't equal modesty."
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

The pipe + mask make him iconic.

Anyone can take his place if he's gunned down.

  

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Olu
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30. "no real disagreements there"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

>Than Alexander Hamilton's from almsot 200 years earlier.
>
>His view clearly influenced by the dominant Eastern powers of
>the time, that all had highly centralized authorities - USSR,
>People's Republic of China - and were in 1964, very dogmatic
>in their approach to industrialization: The Party Knows Best,
>The Party Will Deliver You From The Chains of Capitalism (or
>in this case Colonialism).

Yeah, but IMO part of what made those ideas interesting to begin with was the amount of absolute power they gave to the man at the top. It wasn't just the economics.

>As far as him being 'smartest guy in the room', that's been
>the case of every post-industrial revolutionary from Lenin to
>Che to Chavez. It seems to be a symptom of leadership. Which
>is to say, find me a modest revolutionary, and I'll send you a
>free cookie.

True. They all do it.

But Nkrumah did take it to serious heights. My uncles were still in primary school when he came to power and he was basically attempting to indoctrinate a generation to see him as the next best thing to god. And I'm not exaggerating either

http://www.last.fm/user/Olu/
http://ghanageek.wordpress.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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35. "Pol Pot. Mao. NIIO."
In response to Reply # 30


  

          

No Idea Is Original.

Place the revolution on the shoulders of a secular demigod, and lead them to the promised land.

Revolutionary messianism isn't new.

Have you ever really looked at old Soviet advertising?

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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36. "Pol Pot. Mao. NIIO."
In response to Reply # 30


  

          

No Idea Is Original.

Place the revolution on the shoulders of a secular demigod, and lead them to the promised land.

Revolutionary messianism isn't new.

Have you ever really looked at old Soviet advertising?

  

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afrobongo
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19. "kinda"
In response to Reply # 10


          

>>- his demonization of the ghanean opposition (the first
>part
>>should be called ghana had to unite). basically he's saying
>>the opposition doesnt really have disagree with the gov
>except
>>for one thing: the centralist governance. isnt that a
>serious
>>question ? isnt that something that should be debated
>because
>>there are legitimate arguments on both sides ? nah, nkrumah
>>doesnt do that. to him, it's all about them wanting to have
>>power where they can win elections (in ashantiland)..and of
>>course, he's not about power.
>
>Nkrumah basically assumed he was smarter and had greater
>vision than everyone else around him. Now I'd argue that was
>true to an extent, but the way he handled his opposition
>showed a lot of unnecessary arrogance on his part and set a
>horrible precedent for other african leaders. Plus it was a
>huge part of his downfall. I think he would have done a lot
>better if he'd left room for public debate.

detention act + ovetaxing of cocoa + sending troops to zimbabwe + annoying the chiefs = army+rich farmers+politicians united against him.

>As for centralized african governments, we can blame him for
>those too and all the damage they did and continue to do.

the part on civil servants is great too..
nkrumah proposes merit based salary, even if it hurts his unionist sensibilities, he think efficiency should be rewarded.. but then, he kinda makes it clear that political allegiance is what efficiency is.

>>- his modernist stance: see one things that always amazes me
>>is the fact that nkrumah, lumumba and all those progressives
>>are worshipped by cultural afrocentists. meanwhile nkrumah
>>dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our traditions and
>>their economic counter-productivity (funerals, extended
>>family, lack of savings, communal ownership of land, the
>>traditionnal rulers).. weirdly enough some of those
>(communal
>>ownership and lack of savings) are conviniently used to
>>justify the socialist centralist path (state ownership of
>land
>>and state-sponsored extensive industrialisation). but
>whether
>>you agree and disagree, at least, and because he was a
>>modernist, the economic aspect is adressed.
>
>cultural afrocentrists celebrate a lot of actions of dead
>people they'd be less than enthused so see being done by the
>living IMO. Actually I agree with a lot of his modernist
>stances.I think he should have done more to take power and
>especially land out of the hands of chiefs. He slowed down at
>a point, I'm guessing because he realized how big an
>undertaking it was.

or because it was dangerous.
i loved the part where he quote the paramount ashanti chief saying "if they keep sending our kids to school, there will be nobody to hold the umbrella".
great isnt it ?
i don't know if brutal opposition to the chiefs (à la sankara) was the way to go either.
somehow they do or rather should have a place in our countries.. i don't know which one.

>>- his absolute centralist stance: all in all, that was the
>>point of the book: why a central very powerfull government
>is
>>better.. in ghana, in africa.. in the world..because
>>government can find funding more easily (that was 64 tho),
>>because government can plan better, because individuals are
>>selfish and sectarian, because nkrumah knows best.
>
>I sense a lot of sarcasm here lol

lol.


>At the time everyone thought the USSR was unto something. And
>they all believed in big state communism as the solution to
>all our ills. Yes it was short sighted and ultimately wrong
>but it was something a lot of people believed it.

he implies that China was more unto something than USSR.
and there are things people don't know or refuse to know about USSR.
my mom recently taught me about 1913.
1913 was a year of unprecendented growth and prosperity for Imperial Russia and because of WW1 and the set of events, even communists used that year as a goal.
one they eventually reached but who knows when Imperial Russia would have been without WW1 or after WW1 ?

>>my whole thing is while i never doubt nkrumah good
>intentions,
>>i believe he wrote the manual to justify dictatorship that
>>other people later used for different motives. and also, the
>>incredible refusal to even acknowledge the possibility of
>not
>>totally being right is quite scary. everyone who disagrees
>in
>>a way or another is imperialist, neocolonialist, tribalist,
>>selfinterested and shit. it's interesting that history
>proved
>>statism doesnt work and people yet worship nkrumah.
>>
>>discuss ?
>
>Honestly my biggest issue with the debate on Nkrumah has been
>how easily people pick and argue one side. Either dictator or
>savior when truth is that he was somewhere in between. He did
>have remarkable vision but he was also arrogant and power
>hungry in the extreme. And I wish people would stop treating
>him as almost a saint incapable of any wrong.

yeah..
he was a dictator but not a Mobutu or a Mengistu..
though his policies were really a mix of the two, lol.


so when will we have a new original vision ?
(because nkrumah's is really, hmmm, problematic)


______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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13. "eh. delete."
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Mar-05-07 12:16 PM by Mongo

  

          

facile argument.

also, not really in the discussion.

  

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afrobongo
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24. "i don't know.."
In response to Reply # 13


          


i'm actually pretty much aware of the task those guys were facing..

his focus was on free-ing africa ? i don't doubt that.
i actually think it's the most interesting thing.
he (and others) had to lie to the populations about the virtues and the economic benefits of independance and freedom because honestly, the farmers in the villages didnt care.

so there was his own focus and the economic obligation to deliver..
hard to do when you really only care about an abstract concept.

______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:27 PM

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28. "Most revolutionaries aren't state builders."
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:33 PM

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31. "that's why they should let go after they achieve their first goal.."
In response to Reply # 28


          


Mandela, son.
______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:49 PM

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34. "Well, it's rare that happens. Like I said, I don't know..."
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

...how fair your expectations are.

George Washington wanted to retire right after the war ended.

And he refused to run the country after the term limit was up.

I think that's about as close as you get.

Mandela was singular.

Look at any other leaders, you are not going to find someone who steps down. Because, really, who's left to carry the torch, eh? America had a cabal of 'founding fathers' who kicked around leadership for DECADES. It's not actually such a far reach from Nkrumah...

To lead a sustained revolution requires a focus and vision that very few are willing to walk away from. I'm not even talking about power - I'm talking about the kind of obsessive behavior that lets these people fight an unfightable fight for YEARS.

So, yeah, in retorspect, Nkrumah's fatal flaw was the same as everyone else's: hubris.

But then look at Che: he called Laurent Kabilah a 'tourist in the revolution', and ended up dead shortly therafter.

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:57 PM

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38. "kabila was a tourist in revolution, lol."
In response to Reply # 34


          


______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:59 PM

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39. "and now they're playing dueling banjoes in revolutionary hell."
In response to Reply # 38


  

          

  

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afrobongo
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"i don't think they're in the same hell.."


          


they're the "you stupid arrogant misled motherfucker" hell

and

they're the "you're so evil" hell





Kabila and Mobutu in the second one.




______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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Mon Mar-05-07 01:08 PM

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43. "lol! sending spitballs @ other from adjacent hells..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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poetx
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92. "i was about to say. lol @ adjacent hells, though. nm"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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afrobongo
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40. "so like what would be fair ?"
In response to Reply # 34


          






______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
Member since Oct 26th 2005
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Mon Mar-05-07 01:03 PM

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42. "As Universal Arbiter of All Things Fair..."
In response to Reply # 40


  

          

I say to take the man as a deeply flawed egotist, whose greatest good was perhaps served as anchor for immediate post-colonial Africa, not role model for a modern African international community. He was an idea man, not an implementer. And he wrote a nice guidebook for guerilla warfare. Beyond that, I think anyone is reaching.

I also wanted to gage your opinion on Biafra, which seldom gets spoken of these days.


  

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afrobongo
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45. "Biafra is another can of worms.."
In response to Reply # 42


          


personally i think their secession was totally legitimate.


of course, my fellow continentals have been abused by the words tribalism and such.. and co-sign the pro-nigerian sentiment that was really based on fear of contamination.
______________________________


*TWINNING*

http://bongodoesnollywood.blogspot.com/

http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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Mongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 02:37 PM

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49. "Biafra can hold, then."
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

  

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afrobongo
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58. "huh ?"
In response to Reply # 49


          

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Mon Mar-05-07 12:25 PM

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27. "finally posted it, huh?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

okay... i'll be back. gotta run some errands.

_____________________

http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/287/6/c/the_wire_lineup__huge_download_by_dennisculver-d30s7vl.jpg
The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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poetx
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32. "*pulls up a chair*. interesting. i need to read up on nkrumah."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i think i, unfortunately, fall into a broad characterization of folks who hold up nkrumah without really knowing much specifically about him.

as for his praise of china, though. china was MAJOR during the post-colonial era. forget the specifics of what they did, the symbolism was palpable.

they took a tough (ok, ruthless) stance on 'toms' and collaborators and counterrevolutionaries and flexed and made the west jump. cat i used to work with who was from china, older dude. really good people. told me they used to study africa in school and how china would send doctors and scientists, etc., there, to try and help w/ the post - colonial world, out of solidarity.


now, in the interest of disclosure, there was some self-interest there. africa is the prize as far as natural resources goes. so of COURSE you'd want to ally yourselves with them.

from the african perspective, a LOT of the revolutionary movements, as did cuba, used the American Revolution as a model. they were looking at our constitution. and they came out of years of colonialism and oppression and reached out and were rhetorically smacked by the U.S., who has NEVER cared for or championed revolution and freedom for anyone except itself.

in that bipolar world, they ended up aligning east-west, and the terrible proxy wars began.

nkrumah and any other newly independent african (or latin american) leader was very right to praise china b/c they represented a model of someone else who had recently thrown off humiliating subjugation by the west (europe, but the U.S. was cheerleading), and, numerically and militarily, they seemed like a good potential ally, a la, us + y'all equals a majority).

i don't think any rhetoric or praise of china during that period (or even now, for that matter) has to be read as a ringing endorsement of their methods or tactics, it was a very realpolitik kind of assessment of how the scales of global power were tipped.




peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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afrobongo
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37. "yes and no"
In response to Reply # 32


          


>as for his praise of china, though. china was MAJOR during the
>post-colonial era. forget the specifics of what they did, the
>symbolism was palpable.
>they took a tough (ok, ruthless) stance on 'toms' and
>collaborators and counterrevolutionaries and flexed and made
>the west jump. cat i used to work with who was from china,
>older dude. really good people. told me they used to study
>africa in school and how china would send doctors and
>scientists, etc., there, to try and help w/ the post -
>colonial world, out of solidarity.

yeah but i don't think that's the real reason.
the whole eastern block helped africa.

why are n. korea, china, ussr and later ceausecu's Romania the ones that are the most praised ?

they had the spectacle.. the cult of personality, the giants projects (biggest dam in the world take that), the grandeur.

and i think that part attracted african leaders more than anything..

the yougoslavian model ? the cuban model ? the czech ? boring.
and the ussr would have been boring if it wasn't that big.

but China was the ultimate dream.

>now, in the interest of disclosure, there was some
>self-interest there. africa is the prize as far as natural
>resources goes. so of COURSE you'd want to ally yourselves
>with them.

i don't think the eastern block was really interested in those ressources..
USSR had anything anyone can have (except an access to southern seas)..
China was into agricultural revolution at the time.

>from the african perspective, a LOT of the revolutionary
>movements, as did cuba, used the American Revolution as a
>model. they were looking at our constitution. and they came
>out of years of colonialism and oppression and reached out and
>were rhetorically smacked by the U.S., who has NEVER cared for
>or championed revolution and freedom for anyone except itself.

that's a stretch..
- if you're inspired by the american revolution, you should care about democracy and liberties.. none of them did
- the US and USSR were leading the UN campaign that promoted decolonization.. for different and conflicting reasons, but they did.

that said, yeah, the alliances with the east were also about pissing off the us, uk and france.
or rather as a retaliation, ask Sekou Touré.

>in that bipolar world, they ended up aligning east-west, and
>the terrible proxy wars began.

yup

>nkrumah and any other newly independent african (or latin
>american) leader was very right to praise china b/c they
>represented a model of someone else who had recently thrown
>off humiliating subjugation by the west (europe, but the U.S.
>was cheerleading), and, numerically and militarily, they
>seemed like a good potential ally, a la, us + y'all equals a
>majority).

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
when did China thrown off subjugation ?
or rather when was China subjugated ?
and who did it ?

China in 64 was just out of a bloody civil war between 2 dictatorial models..

>i don't think any rhetoric or praise of china during that
>period (or even now, for that matter) has to be read as a
>ringing endorsement of their methods or tactics, it was a very
>realpolitik kind of assessment of how the scales of global
>power were tipped.

nah it was both.

but on the realpolitik level, why would it be easier to associate yourself with china than to deradicalize your stance to please the west (as some did) ?

because one "liked" the chinese model.



you know what's the greatest thing ?
the Chinese nowadays still come to africa with that brotherhood camarade freidnship talk and mofos STILL swallow the pill.

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anoman
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44. "grandeur"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

>why are n. korea, china, ussr and later ceausecu's Romania the
>ones that are the most praised ?
>
>they had the spectacle.. the cult of personality, the giants
>projects (biggest dam in the world take that), the grandeur.
>
>and i think that part attracted african leaders more than
>anything..
>
>the yougoslavian model ? the cuban model ? the czech ?
>boring.
>and the ussr would have been boring if it wasn't that big.
>
>but China was the ultimate dream.

yeah this is what I was trying to say in my first post. I think early post-colonial states really did need that sense of grand political theater to form a sense of their own purpose

  

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afrobongo
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47. "so did mobutu."
In response to Reply # 44


          


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Freduardo
Member since Nov 12th 2002
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114. "excellent points"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

  

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afrobongo
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120. "^^^ experienced *it*"
In response to Reply # 114


          


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anoman
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41. "50-60s anti-imperialism has aged rather badly"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

my dad was a big cultural/intellectual dude in Soekarno-era Indonesia; was at Bandung, spent most of the 50s early 60s meeting Nkrumah, Nehru, Nasser, Mao, etc. etc. A lot of their political, social, and esp. economic rhetoric sounds hopelessly naive nowadays, but I wish I'd been there to really feel like a new and better world was dawning.

my dad is quite embarassed about the poetry he wrote in the early 60s (odes to breaking bread at the peasant commune in China, an elegy to Lumumba that consists of little more than stock phrases about the imperialist reactionaries & the global revolution, etc.), and has distanced himself from the rhetoric.

but he is still unapologetic about what you call the centralist stance. Soekarnoists were well aware that the post-colonial nation-state was an artificial, ideological construction, not the organic political expression of some mythic ethnic "nation" as in 19th century European nationalist ideology.

the nation was seen as a common project for social and economic modernization, not ethnic groups securing their "right to self-determination". (the fact that the Dutch attempted to undermine the self-declared Republic by setting up a rival "united states of Indonesia" seemed to confirm that the alternative was a weak, disunited tribalism incapable of facing Western imperialism)

and i have to agree with him on this point - for places like Indonesia, India, & most African countries, where numerous ethnic & religious groups live within colonially determined borders, the best foundation for the state is as abstract social project. of course, its hard to get people excited about abstractions (esp in clan-based societies), so all those 50s-60s independence dudes had to come up with a lot of fiery rhetoric to get hearts pumping.

a lot if it sounds ridiculous today (or worse, like dictatorial indoctrination), but I give that generation the benefit of the doubt.

  

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afrobongo
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46. "ah !"
In response to Reply # 41


          

>my dad was a big cultural/intellectual dude in Soekarno-era
>Indonesia; was at Bandung, spent most of the 50s early 60s
>meeting Nkrumah, Nehru, Nasser, Mao, etc. etc. A lot of their
>political, social, and esp. economic rhetoric sounds
>hopelessly naive nowadays, but I wish I'd been there to really
>feel like a new and better world was dawning.

yup.
the enthousiasm is something i miss.

>my dad is quite embarassed about the poetry he wrote in the
>early 60s (odes to breaking bread at the peasant commune in
>China, an elegy to Lumumba that consists of little more than
>stock phrases about the imperialist reactionaries & the global
>revolution, etc.), and has distanced himself from the
>rhetoric.

lol

>but he is still unapologetic about what you call the
>centralist stance. Soekarnoists were well aware that the
>post-colonial nation-state was an artificial, ideological
>construction, not the organic political expression of some
>mythic ethnic "nation" as in 19th century European nationalist
>ideology.

yeah.

>the nation was seen as a common project for social and
>economic modernization, not ethnic groups securing their
>"right to self-determination". (the fact that the Dutch
>attempted to undermine the self-declared Republic by setting
>up a rival "united states of Indonesia" seemed to confirm that
>the alternative was a weak, disunited tribalism incapable of
>facing Western imperialism)

but is it about ethnies ?
or about fairness ?

i mean when nkrumah overtaxes cocoa to build a dam, how come the cocoa producing region shouldnt have a say ?
when lumumba wants the central power to be all powerful, aren't the fear of the miners in katanga and kasai justified ?

>and i have to agree with him on this point - for places like
>Indonesia, India, & most African countries, where numerous
>ethnic & religious groups live within colonially determined
>borders, the best foundation for the state is as abstract
>social project.

abstract social project.. hmm..
depends on the kind of social project.
we all saw the result of that.. a state structure simply superimposed on other structures..
no acceptance of each other.
then you get neopatrimonialism, corruption and lack of legitimacy and other ills.


>of course, its hard to get people excited
>about abstractions (esp in clan-based societies), so all those
>50s-60s independence dudes had to come up with a lot of fiery
>rhetoric to get hearts pumping.

especially hearts in the same body as an empty stomach.


i think they all lied tho.
independance and nationalism donest automatically improve socioeconomic conditions.
well, except the conditions of the educated elite who could get higher in the administration now that there weren't colonists.

>a lot if it sounds ridiculous today (or worse, like
>dictatorial indoctrination), but I give that generation the
>benefit of the doubt.

the benefit of the doubt ?
i dunno..
i do blame them for their mistakes, but like all mistakes, they're made so you can learn from it..

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anoman
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57. "RE: ah !"
In response to Reply # 46


  

          

>but is it about ethnies ?
>or about fairness ?

are you using "ethnie" in Anthony Smith's sense? I personally side more with Anderson; I believe ethnies are only identifiable retroactively, after they have been "imagined" through modern mass communication. and the ethnic map of Indonesia (and just about all of africa) is such a mess that the 19th century European ideal of "every People their Nation" is completely unworkeable (& really, it was unworkeable in Europe too). better stick with the arbitrary colonial boundaries & acknowledge that the national community is political not, genetic.

I gather you're critical of French republicanism (much of which I share), but I think that aspect of the French revolutionary model is a better alternative than ethnic nationalism. Unlike most people in this thread, I think the french revolution was also a much bigger influence on the colonial independence leaders than the American. the American revolution (like the English Civil War & Dutch War of Independence before it) based itself on claims of ancestral freedoms & privileges of Englishmen.

but I agree fairness is a legitimate concern. of course, decentralization and privitization are no guarantee for greater fairness than nationalized industry. In Indonesia, the wholesale pillaging of the outer islands only began with foreign investment under Suharto, & has only increased with decentralization in the last decade.

>abstract social project.. hmm..
>depends on the kind of social project.
>we all saw the result of that.. a state structure simply
>superimposed on other structures..
>no acceptance of each other.
>then you get neopatrimonialism, corruption and lack of
>legitimacy and other ills.

on the contrary, I see ethnic-based nationalism as leading to "no acceptance of each other", & as I said earlier, decentralization in developing countries has tended to lead only to more localized corruption, not greater accountability. The Phillipines is probably the best example - they've had American-style locally elected mayors for close to a century now, & corruption is as endemic as in any centralized state. In Indonesia, deforestation has reached its most critical levels now that the local Bupati (district head) can make money of illegal logging in his district, rather than just the Jakarta & foreign businessmen.

>i think they all lied tho.
>independance and nationalism donest automatically improve
>socioeconomic conditions.
>well, except the conditions of the educated elite who could
>get higher in the administration now that there weren't
>colonists.

I don't think they lied, in the sense that they genuinely believed what they were saying, and history had yet to prove them wrong.

>
>the benefit of the doubt ?
>i dunno..
>i do blame them for their mistakes, but like all mistakes,
>they're made so you can learn from it..

again, I don't know what other alternative would have been better. in hindsight Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are the only real post-colonial success stories, but right wing military dictatorship & Western foreign investment doesn't really sound like an attractive step to take if you've just gained independence from a Western colonial power. how you gonna kick out the Brits, then invite Shell back in to run the oilfields? & of course there are plenty of places that followed that model but ended up as banana republics anyway.

  

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afrobongo
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59. "hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 57


          

>>but is it about ethnies ?
>>or about fairness ?
>
>are you using "ethnie" in Anthony Smith's sense? I personally
>side more with Anderson; `

i don't know those guys..

>I believe ethnies are only
>identifiable retroactively, after they have been "imagined"
>through modern mass communication. and the ethnic map of
>Indonesia (and just about all of africa) is such a mess that
>the 19th century European ideal of "every People their Nation"
>is completely unworkeable (& really, it was unworkeable in
>Europe too).

i agree.
but see there lies the confusion..
katanga's claim wasn't about an ethnic group, it was about a region.
the cocoa producers claims weren't about ashanti (tho ashanti dominated it) it was about an economic model.

>better stick with the arbitrary colonial
>boundaries & acknowledge that the national community is
>political not, genetic.

but how does that work when economic, political, social differences coincide with ethnic groups ?
i think, there lies the main issue.
nkrumah and them were so fast to pull the tribalist card when other people had issues that..hmm.. they probably nurtured tribalism.

>I gather you're critical of French republicanism (much of
>which I share), but I think that aspect of the French
>revolutionary model is a better alternative than ethnic
>nationalism. Unlike most people in this thread, I think the
>french revolution was also a much bigger influence on the
>colonial independence leaders than the American. the American
>revolution (like the English Civil War & Dutch War of
>Independence before it) based itself on claims of ancestral
>freedoms & privileges of Englishmen.

while i totally agree with the fact that french revolution had a bigger influence.
there is one issue here:
France was already deep in a process of unification/centralization/nation building when it happened.
and Paris still imposed its model on the rest of the country.

>but I agree fairness is a legitimate concern. of course,
>decentralization and privitization are no guarantee for
>greater fairness than nationalized industry. In Indonesia, the
>wholesale pillaging of the outer islands only began with
>foreign investment under Suharto, & has only increased with
>decentralization in the last decade.

centralized power is easier to hijack for evil.
that's my biggest issue.

>>abstract social project.. hmm..
>>depends on the kind of social project.
>>we all saw the result of that.. a state structure simply
>>superimposed on other structures..
>>no acceptance of each other.
>>then you get neopatrimonialism, corruption and lack of
>>legitimacy and other ills.
>
>on the contrary, I see ethnic-based nationalism as leading to
>"no acceptance of each other", &

see you're talking about ethnic based nationalism.
that's not what i have in mind.
african countries are geographic aberations.
not only because of the cheer number of ethnies in them but because of the religous, political, social differences between them.
rich provinces have issues with being overtaxed for poorer ones.
educated provinces have issues with the law made by feudal ignant folks.
there's an equilibrium of power somewhere.

>as I said earlier,
>decentralization in developing countries has tended to lead
>only to more localized corruption, not greater accountability.
>The Phillipines is probably the best example - they've had
>American-style locally elected mayors for close to a century
>now, & corruption is as endemic as in any centralized state.
>In Indonesia, deforestation has reached its most critical
>levels now that the local Bupati (district head) can make
>money of illegal logging in his district, rather than just the
>Jakarta & foreign businessmen.

and y'all don't do shit ?
i know several politicians who wouldn't dare showing up in their own regions because of such issues.

>>i think they all lied tho.
>>independance and nationalism donest automatically improve
>>socioeconomic conditions.
>>well, except the conditions of the educated elite who could
>>get higher in the administration now that there weren't
>>colonists.
>
>I don't think they lied, in the sense that they genuinely
>believed what they were saying, and history had yet to prove
>them wrong.

either they lied or they confused their class interest with the national interest.
there is an economical equation somewhere.. and that one made their task a lot harder than they wanted to admit.

>>the benefit of the doubt ?
>>i dunno..
>>i do blame them for their mistakes, but like all mistakes,
>>they're made so you can learn from it..
>
>again, I don't know what other alternative would have been
>better. in hindsight Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are the only
>real post-colonial success stories, but right wing military
>dictatorship & Western foreign investment doesn't really sound
>like an attractive step to take if you've just gained
>independence from a Western colonial power. how you gonna kick
>out the Brits, then invite Shell back in to run the oilfields?
>& of course there are plenty of places that followed that
>model but ended up as banana republics anyway.

well if you have oilfields and no capital to invest in them and no workers to work in them and no experts knowing anything about them, WHAT DO YOU DO ?

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:43 PM

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68. "RE: hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 59


  

          


benedict anderson is the author of imagined communities.

>centralized power is easier to hijack for evil.
>that's my biggest issue.

this is very fashionably pomo, but i don't think it's true. just because power is decentralized doesn't mean the results will be more equitable, especially because local communities have their own internal hierarchies (e.g. "states rights" was the segregationist slogan), and are more vulnerable to whoever's dominating the local economy (e.g. company towns).

i think the problems you're attributing to centralization are really problems of rule of law/arbitrary exercise of power.

.........................
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afrobongo
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71. "hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 68


          

>
>benedict anderson is the author of imagined communities.

i'll read up on that
tho it sounds familiar.

>>centralized power is easier to hijack for evil.
>>that's my biggest issue.
>
>this is very fashionably pomo, but i don't think it's true.
>just because power is decentralized doesn't mean the results
>will be more equitable, especially because local communities
>have their own internal hierarchies (e.g. "states rights" was
>the segregationist slogan),

there is a formula..
slavery, segregationism do go against a national, if not universal principle "human rights".

remember we discussed states and ethnicity in nigeria and india ?
i think federalism can be hijacked too.

i said "easier" tho.
and it's even harder to reverse.

>and are more vulnerable to
>whoever's dominating the local economy (e.g. company towns).

hmmm...
but centralized gov are vulnerable to whoever dominates the national economy.

what's the lesser of two evils ?

>i think the problems you're attributing to centralization are
>really problems of rule of law/arbitrary exercise of power.

partly.
do you think the mesures that killed the Aral Sea would have flew near Moscow ?

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Mon Mar-05-07 06:52 PM

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79. "RE: hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 71


  

          



>remember we discussed states and ethnicity in nigeria and
>india ?
>i think federalism can be hijacked too.
>
>i said "easier" tho.

i dont think that's true, simply because it takes greater resources to capture power at a higher level, and because there are simply more competing interest groups and stakeholders. it's a whole lot easier to dominate a town or a region than the federal govt. i mean, in theory, local bodies are more accountable, but in practice, the internal hierarchies are much more entrenched.

>what's the lesser of two evils ?

the 14th amendement > states' rights. progressive taxation > prop 13. housing for the poor > nimby. i think of decentralization as the manifesto of local elites.

not that teh center never imposes on weaker regions, but i think that that needs a different kind of response than calls for decentralization.

.........................
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afrobongo
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82. "that's a totally unfair example.."
In response to Reply # 79


          


they tried to justify the denial of basic human rights by using "state rights" arguments..

the Aral Sea is still staring at that argument.

  

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thrill
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105. "why?"
In response to Reply # 82


  

          


>RE: that's a totally unfair example..
>they tried to justify the denial of basic human rights by
>using "state rights" arguments..

i gave three examples from the US -- are they all unfair and on what grounds? justifying the denial of basic human rights, and justifying the refusal of progressive taxation, is typical of calls for decentralization in the US. i could have also mentioned "welfare reform" -- which basically was bill clinton's brilliant idea to let states do whatever they wanted about poverty, with the results you'd expect from the states with the highest concentration of poor people. why do you think that the federal govt has been much more supportive of black rights than local govts?

>the Aral Sea is still staring at that argument.

i'm not naive about the use of centralized state power. but what other force can confront...say ashanti chiefs who are concerned about who will hold their umbrella?

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afrobongo
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109. "because"
In response to Reply # 105


          


the people who call for decentralization are typically a mynority.

it just happens that in the US they're THAT mynority.
now had the majority been regressive, would that made the progressive calls for decentralization illegitimate ?


>>the Aral Sea is still staring at that argument.
>
>i'm not naive about the use of centralized state power. but
>what other force can confront...say ashanti chiefs who are
>concerned about who will hold their umbrella?

their populations..
african traditionnal rulers, government or not, have to modernize their views or face an internal revolution simply because their model isnt working.
how do you think mofos would react once they figure out they can't get jobs because their chiefs don't want schools to be built ?
and saying that was the rulers ONLY concerns is as unfair as saying Nkrumah's only concern was his power.

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 05:21 PM

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116. "RE: because"
In response to Reply # 109


  

          

>
>the people who call for decentralization are typically a
>mynority.
>
>it just happens that in the US they're THAT mynority.
>now had the majority been regressive, would that made the
>progressive calls for decentralization illegitimate ?

but it's typically THAT minority of local elites. i wouldn't describe calls for decentralization as "illegitimate," i'd say that a regressive majority should be confronted on principled grounds, rather than trying to build a gated community. progressiveness is implictly about universal norms and rights.

>>i'm not naive about the use of centralized state power. but
>>what other force can confront...say ashanti chiefs who are
>>concerned about who will hold their umbrella?
>
>their populations..
>african traditionnal rulers, government or not, have to
>modernize their views or face an internal revolution simply
>because their model isnt working.

the ability of the dispossessed to regulate their traditional elite is much weaker than the ability of the center to regulate local elites. and this is even more true in the early days of independence.









.........................
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afrobongo
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119. "RE: because"
In response to Reply # 116


          

>>
>>the people who call for decentralization are typically a
>>mynority.
>>
>>it just happens that in the US they're THAT mynority.
>>now had the majority been regressive, would that made the
>>progressive calls for decentralization illegitimate ?
>
>but it's typically THAT minority of local elites. i wouldn't
>describe calls for decentralization as "illegitimate," i'd say
>that a regressive majority should be confronted on principled
>grounds, rather than trying to build a gated community.
>progressiveness is implictly about universal norms and rights.

so basically, the people who do vote for progressives should wait until they're done convincing the feudal majority in order to benefit from their decisions ?
seems fair ?

>>>i'm not naive about the use of centralized state power.
>but
>>>what other force can confront...say ashanti chiefs who are
>>>concerned about who will hold their umbrella?
>>
>>their populations..
>>african traditionnal rulers, government or not, have to
>>modernize their views or face an internal revolution simply
>>because their model isnt working.
>
>the ability of the dispossessed to regulate their traditional
>elite is much weaker than the ability of the center to
>regulate local elites. and this is even more true in the
>early days of independence.

by the time of independance, those autorities HAVE BEEN confronted.
except in some really backwards place like Chad, the first schools have been built, the first educated folks have came back and confronted the rulers.
Ashantiland in 57 was as much controlled by Joe Appiah (Anthony's father) as by the paramount ruler and there were a few Joe Appiahs.
very few paramount rulers mantainned any power (their unability to confront the colonial administration killed them) and those who did, did so because they were also part of the new educated elite that was all for modernization.

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 05:51 PM

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123. "RE: because"
In response to Reply # 119


  

          


>so basically, the people who do vote for progressives should
>wait until they're done convincing the feudal majority in
>order to benefit from their decisions ?
>seems fair ?

progressives should struggle for principles and not to create oases in the desert for people of their own background.

by traditional elite, i didn't just mean chiefs but the big landowners, or dominant classes. but mamdani's book goes into detail about how traditional power structures remain in the countryside in africa.

.........................
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afrobongo
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124. "why should they even do anything on the country level ?"
In response to Reply # 123


          


>progressives should struggle for principles and not to create
>oases in the desert for people of their own background.

principles are universal.
why shouldn't progressive struggle for the world revolution instead of creating national oases in the desert ?
(i actually see local experiments as tremplins for national policies)

>by traditional elite, i didn't just mean chiefs but the big
>landowners, or dominant classes. but mamdani's book goes into
>detail about how traditional power structures remain in the
>countryside in africa.

i should read the book.
i can see how would that argument devellop (those neopatrimonialism theories imply the same thing) but the same dominant elites that rule over the whole of africa tend to be the same people defending a certain type of governmental structure that i'm being suspicious of in this post.
(aka patronnage via the control of the central government ressources)

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Wed Mar-07-07 08:33 AM

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144. "they do!"
In response to Reply # 124


  

          



>principles are universal.
>why shouldn't progressive struggle for the world revolution
>instead of creating national oases in the desert ?
>(i actually see local experiments as tremplins for national
>policies)

they do! i mean, i think everyone realizes that the response to global capital has to be transnational (think of the global stevedores' strike).

if your aim is reducto ad absurdum route, i could say why not devolve power to the individual and live in anarchy? i don't see why your emphasis is on decentralization rather than democratization -- mamdani's point is that decentralization can exist without democratization (in teh s.a. bantustans for example).

ps. your english is entertaining, you're bamma-ing and mofo-ing at one end, vassilities and surrepresentation in the middle, and then at the other end, you straight give up and import tremplins and ingerance.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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153. "RE: they do!"
In response to Reply # 144


          

>
>
>>principles are universal.
>>why shouldn't progressive struggle for the world revolution
>>instead of creating national oases in the desert ?
>>(i actually see local experiments as tremplins for national
>>policies)
>
>they do! i mean, i think everyone realizes that the response
>to global capital has to be transnational (think of the global
>stevedores' strike).

yes.
that doesnt prevent them from starting the post-revolution at whatever level they can start it at.

>if your aim is reducto ad absurdum route, i could say why not
>devolve power to the individual and live in anarchy?

ain't that the marxist ultimate goal ?

>i don't see why your emphasis is on decentralization rather than
>democratization -- mamdani's point is that decentralization
>can exist without democratization (in teh s.a. bantustans for
>example).

and i emphatically agree.
sadly, that wasn't Nkrumah's or anyone's goal.
like i said before, his criticisms of pre-unitary ghana wasn't only about the power given to the chiefs (whatever they are) but also of the mere existence of a level of democratic expression below the national one.

on top of that, i believe that like Franco (with Catalunya), Stalin (with Ukraine or Georgia), the French Revolution (with Vendée), Congolese independance leaders (with Pointe-Noire), Lumumba (with Kasai and Katanga), Mobutu (with Katanga, Lower Congo and Kisangani), Nkrumah's opposition to the existence of some kind of democratic decentralization was motivated by the fact that some areas were opposition strongholds.

>ps. your english is entertaining, you're bamma-ing and
>mofo-ing at one end, vassilities and surrepresentation in the
>middle, and then at the other end, you straight give up and
>import tremplins and ingerance.

vassality IS an english word (well anwers.com seems to think so)
and stop making fun of me


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anoman
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Tue Mar-06-07 09:35 AM

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87. "RE: hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

>i agree.
>but see there lies the confusion..
>katanga's claim wasn't about an ethnic group, it was about a
>region.
>the cocoa producers claims weren't about ashanti (tho ashanti
>dominated it) it was about an economic model.

hmm don't know enough about Ghana to comment on the specifics, but I think "ethnic nationalism" vs. "regional seperatism" are only vaguely separated. & the same problems persist - how do you define the optimum regional geographic-economic unit that would form a better state than the current borders?

>>better stick with the arbitrary colonial
>>boundaries & acknowledge that the national community is
>>political not, genetic.
>
>but how does that work when economic, political, social
>differences coincide with ethnic groups ?

well, the 50-60s socialists argued that you *create* a national economy, a national political awareness, a new national society. & (at least in Soekarnoism) this was conceived not as "russification" (ie forcing minorities to conform to the dominant ethnic group), but as a new identity that transcends the old groups, & is based on a socialist ideal.

it sounds hopelessly naive today, but in Indonesia it has mostly been succesful (with some notable exceptions). there is now a definite Indonesian language, identity, national culture, & it's not kejawen ("javaneseness") writ large. Indonesian identity does not eliminate ethnic identity.

>France was already deep in a process of
>unification/centralization/nation building when it happened.
>and Paris still imposed its model on the rest of the country.

yes I totaly agree. but nonetheless the French republican ideal of what a national community should be (not what France actually was or is) has been profoundly influential in virtually all 20th century independence movements.

>see you're talking about ethnic based nationalism.
>that's not what i have in mind.
>african countries are geographic aberations.
>not only because of the cheer number of ethnies in them but
>because of the religous, political, social differences between
>them.
>rich provinces have issues with being overtaxed for poorer
>ones.
>educated provinces have issues with the law made by feudal
>ignant folks.
>there's an equilibrium of power somewhere.

OK, so if the current states are geographic aberrations, they should be split into more functional units. but how are you defining these alternative units, if not ethnically? the same problems exist in Indonesia, & the most serious seperatist movements are places where a coherent geographical unit matches up with an ethnic group (eg Aceh, and Papuah). I personally think ethnic-nationalism, with a clearly defined "national homeland" is the only real alternative to the current states.

>and y'all don't do shit ?
>i know several politicians who wouldn't dare showing up in
>their own regions because of such issues.

actually I'm astounded by the brazen pillaging that people can get away with, & I'm not sure how it works. since the fall of Suharto there is a very active press & various corruption watchdogs, but everyone agrees the problem is worse than ever. "they got the block sowed up even judges in the next election" (c) Ray Luv

thrill's covered why decentralization & democratization, the watchwords of foreign aid "good governance" projects do not necessarily lead to cleaner government.

  

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afrobongo
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78. "did anderson discuss africa ?"
In response to Reply # 57


          


doesnt sticking to colonial borders compeltly disregard the nation-building work that has been made pre-independance ?



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anoman
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Tue Mar-06-07 09:00 AM

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83. "anderson's orginally an indonesia specialist"
In response to Reply # 78


  

          

but "imagined communities" is a classic on the sociology of nationalism in general, & it was meant to criticise (eurocentric) perennialist notions of nationalism. read it - I'm sure you'll find it very thought provoking.

anthony smith's "the ethnic origin of nations" claims that nation-states did develop from proto-nationalist ethnic communities, which he calls "ethnies" (this is not a standard English word - so I wasn't sure if you were using his notion or just using a French word).

  

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afrobongo
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84. "i was using the french word."
In response to Reply # 83


          


i've read abotu anderson before.. and i should defiently check his work..
there's also a french anthropology book i've been trying to find for a while called "les ethnies ont une histoire" that is more about ethnogenesi and that discusses the dynamics of ethnic groups creation in Chad in the 20th century. and from the quotes and the articles based on the book, gosh, that was dynamic.



but back to smith/anderson.. i think i agree with anderson. nation are built, it's a voluntary and conscious process. usually a bloody one too.

what shocks me the most about the independance nationalism is the fact that they didn't put enough work to make those nations legitimate to the populations..
justifying the failures of a state or a government by the tribalism of the populations is weak.
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K tilda Swift
Member since Sep 20th 2005
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Tue Mar-06-07 03:46 PM

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107. "I gotta read that"
In response to Reply # 83


  

          

that sounds really good.

--NYC*The Capital of Brilliant Ignorance--
Rap should rhyme and be on beat.
http://mckswift.com

  

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akon
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Mon Mar-05-07 02:31 PM

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48. "my thoughts... (partial)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Well.
I like nkrumah, mainly because of his pan-africanism… I wish more of us would believe in this idealism. But I guess this post is mainly about his local politics.
----

the centralist governance:
what exactly does he say- paraphrase.
Does he state reasons as to why centralism was key?
I think in terms of 1964, considering the system of government inherited from the british- which im sure was a centralist form of government- its not a big leap toimagine that many might have felt that that was the right course of political governance, no? I find it really interesting that basically Nkrumah and Kenyatta both seem to have come to the same conclusions regarding what form of government to have, right down to increasingly becoming dictatorial/ keeping power in their hands.
But.. if not centralism, what was the alternatives given?
I don’t know much about federalism- but… again, it was a political debate in Kenya right after colonialism- again it was made by the opposition and overruled by the government. Kinda interesting I think.. that west and east Africa both came to the same conclusions…. At the same time, and squashed any opposition.
--
>>meanwhile nkrumah dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our traditions and their economic counter-productivity (funerals, extended family, lack of savings, communal >>ownership of land, the traditionnal rulers)
--
Okay, you kinda have to explain how some of these are economically productive. Granted, not every aspect of society should be counted in terms of economics (I’d hate for funerals- which I think are absolutely necessary rituals, to be considered unnecessary), but….. lack of savings? Communal ownership of land? I mean, ideally I want to say, those are *our traditions….but at the same time I feel like there have to be measures taken to come to some compromise with the fact that the world is changing.

Also…. I know with Kenya, 200 hundred yrs of colonialism abusing the ‘traditional’ form of leaders- i.e. the chiefs … basically rendered them pretty much useless…. I mean, But the fact that the chiefs were basically, the people that enforced that system- I think we should have been smarter about coming up with alternatives.
Im not saying Nkrumah did, but im saying that was a justified critique.

I also think state ownership of land and state sponsored industrialization was necessary at the time, as well, not too many individuals could afford to do these. The only alternative would have been allowing for foreign ownership- im not sure how I’d have felt about that, either. That’s not to say that the later abuse of these institutions was right, or justified, but… anyway, i’m interested in knowing what your alternative would have been. I do believe that for countries in their very nascent state, and considering that they were serving populations that had been grossly underdeveloped, there needed to be some sort of government sponsored attempt at improving their economic status and some sort of welfare system.
That said, bongo, im curious to hear your thoughts on South africa’s BEE (black economic empowerment) program. Maybe im being a bit, africanist- but I feel its critically necessary- the fact that the anc might be mistaken in some of the policies they follow, doesn’t disavow its necessity in my opinion.

- financing methods: so nkrumah thought ghana (and africa) had to be quickly industrilized. fine. the next question was of course: how do you pay for it ? no savings, no desire to decrease government spendings (public servants vote, yo), no landownership or desire to see individuals or companies use any of it as collateral.. well there was 2 options left: debt and taxing cocoa. everybody knows about debt and all it implies. but the taxing cocoa thing is more interesting because the cocoa production region was the opposition. back to the centralist debate nkrumah didnt want to have.
-
^^^^^^^don’t know much about this.
- -

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Olu
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50. "don't get too caught up in his hype"
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

he neither invented pan-africanism or was the first person to bring it to ghana.

He did popularize it though

http://www.last.fm/user/Olu/
http://ghanageek.wordpress.com/

  

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akon
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Mon Mar-05-07 02:53 PM

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51. "never said he invented it."
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

but the fact that he did promote it or whatever.

*that i appreciate.
and i wish more of us would believe in this idealism.


.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Olu
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53. "so do I"
In response to Reply # 51


  

          

on the other hand, people need to be careful about which version of it they support IMO

http://www.last.fm/user/Olu/
http://ghanageek.wordpress.com/

  

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Chike
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Mon Mar-05-07 02:59 PM

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55. "who is in your avatar?"
In response to Reply # 53


  

          

.

  

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Olu
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56. "Edward Alexander Bouchet. Phd, Physics, Yale, 1877"
In response to Reply # 55


  

          

a personal hero

http://www.last.fm/user/Olu/
http://ghanageek.wordpress.com/

  

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Chike
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54. "I agree - that will always be the most important thing about him to me"
In response to Reply # 51


  

          

His symbolic importance is in leading the 1st sub-Saharan nation to independence but his substance for me is his call for a united Africa and his acknowledgement of the importance of the diaspora.

  

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afrobongo
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65. "ah !"
In response to Reply # 54


          


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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:24 PM

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62. "RE: my thoughts... (partial)"
In response to Reply # 48


          

>Well.
>I like nkrumah, mainly because of his pan-africanism… I wish
>more of us would believe in this idealism. But I guess this
>post is mainly about his local politics.

no it's not.
his panafricanist was just an expansion of his local politics.
he did criticize the entente or the monrovia group the same way he criticized his opposition.
and the fact that he started by explainning why ghana had to unite before getting in the africa argument kinda proves it.

>----
>
>the centralist governance:
>what exactly does he say- paraphrase.

i don't have the book next to me.

>Does he state reasons as to why centralism was key?

yeah.. because only a central state can do the proper planning.

>I think in terms of 1964, considering the system of government
>inherited from the british- which im sure was a centralist
>form of government- its not a big leap toimagine that many
>might have felt that that was the right course of political
>governance, no?

yes and no.
didnt they criticize and oppose the colonial rule ?
or was it only about who was in that seat ?

>I find it really interesting that basically
>Nkrumah and Kenyatta both seem to have come to the same
>conclusions regarding what form of government to have, right
>down to increasingly becoming dictatorial/ keeping power in
>their hands.
>But.. if not centralism, what was the alternatives given?
>I don’t know much about federalism- but… again, it was a
>political debate in Kenya right after colonialism- again it
>was made by the opposition and overruled by the government.

ding.

>Kinda interesting I think.. that west and east Africa both
>came to the same conclusions…. At the same time, and squashed
>any opposition.

it's not surprising.
this post doesnt single out nkrumah.
all his "brothers" did the same.
and someone up there pointed out that asia was on that too.


>--
>>>meanwhile nkrumah dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our
>traditions and their economic counter-productivity (funerals,
>extended family, lack of savings, communal >>ownership of
>land, the traditionnal rulers)
>--
>Okay, you kinda have to explain how some of these are
>economically productive. Granted, not every aspect of society
>should be counted in terms of economics (I’d hate for
>funerals?- which I think are absolutely necessary
>rituals, to be considered unnecessary), but….. lack of
>savings? Communal ownership of land? I mean, ideally I want
>to say, those are *our traditions….but at the same time I feel
>like there have to be measures taken to come to some
>compromise with the fact that the world is changing.

did i say i disagreed with hsi stance ?
i was just fascinated by the afrocentrist worship of someone who despised traditionnal rulers, their laws, their traditions and a lot of things we're supposed to "get back to in order to successed"

>Also…. I know with Kenya, 200 hundred yrs of colonialism
>abusing the ‘traditional’ form of leaders- i.e. the chiefs …
>basically rendered them pretty much useless…. I mean, But the
>fact that the chiefs were basically, the people that enforced
>that system- I think we should have been smarter about coming
>up with alternatives.
>Im not saying Nkrumah did, but im saying that was a justified
>critique.

it was.

>I also think state ownership of land and state sponsored
>industrialization was necessary at the time, as well, not too
>many individuals could afford to do these. The only
>alternative would have been allowing for foreign ownership- im
>not sure how I’d have felt about that, either. That’s not to
>say that the later abuse of these institutions was right, or
>justified, but… anyway, i’m interested in knowing what your
>alternative would have been. I do believe that for countries
>in their very nascent state, and considering that they were
>serving populations that had been grossly underdeveloped,
>there needed to be some sort of government sponsored attempt
>at improving their economic status and some sort of welfare
>system.

was there a welfare system ?
how is spending ghana's money on a dam improve education or hospitals ?

i mean the main criticism about state ownership is its semi proven counter-productivity.

the alternative to foreign investment is foreign debt.
is that better ?

>That said, bongo, im curious to hear your thoughts on South
>africa’s BEE (black economic empowerment) program. Maybe im
>being a bit, africanist- but I feel its critically necessary-
>the fact that the anc might be mistaken in some of the
>policies they follow, doesn’t disavow its necessity in my
>opinion.

it is necessary.

>- financing methods: so nkrumah thought ghana (and africa) had
>to be quickly industrilized. fine. the next question was of
>course: how do you pay for it ? no savings, no desire to
>decrease government spendings (public servants vote, yo), no
>landownership or desire to see individuals or companies use
>any of it as collateral.. well there was 2 options left: debt
>and taxing cocoa. everybody knows about debt and all it
>implies. but the taxing cocoa thing is more interesting
>because the cocoa production region was the opposition. back
>to the centralist debate nkrumah didnt want to have.
>-
>^^^^^^^don’t know much about this.


how were those factories, highways, schools, hospitals, dams financed ?

- the few sources of revenue ghana had
- debt

the ghanean government wasnt working in the cocoa fields, farmers were.
the gov created a monopoly on cocoa exports and bought them from the farmers at less than half of the price and sold them on the foreign market.
the gains ? >>> government expenses.


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akon
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88. "RE: my thoughts... (partial)"
In response to Reply # 62
Tue Mar-06-07 11:08 AM by akon

  

          

>Well.
no it's not.
his panafricanist was just an expansion of his local politics.
he did criticize the entente or the monrovia group the same way he criticized his opposition. and the fact that he started by explainning why ghana had to unite before getting in the africa argument kinda proves it.

Was it wrong to want Ghana to unite though? Maybe the means the achieving that end were wrong but are you arguing against the necessity of it?

>>yeah.. because only a central state can do the proper planning.

yes and no.
didnt they criticize and oppose the colonial rule ?
or was it only about who was in that seat ?

But bongo, every post-colonial country continued with its inherited colonial system of government, despite the fact that they criticized colonialism. The opposition to colonial rule, seems to me was the lack of sovereignty and self rule. Why expect nkrumah’s rule to be any different? I mean which is why im kinda interested in alternatives

>But.. if not centralism, what was the alternatives given?
>I don’t know much about federalism- but… again, it was a
>political debate in Kenya right after colonialism- again it
>was made by the opposition and overruled by the government.

ding.
Funny….
Okay. So are you saying federalism *would’ve been preferred. I don’t know…. I look at Kenya- our problems started because of exploiting ethnic divisions and increasing kleptocracy. I don’t see how federalism *might have altered/stopped that. I think our problem started with *who we got as president and what he did thereafter. But I do believe a centralized state *would’ve worked, if there had been an attempt at dismantling… well the ease with which the colonial system made the move to dictatorships… (idealistic, but shit, removing chiefs and district officers etc would’ve been a start). but is the critique here, the centralised state system or the *leader?

I’d be interested in *you or a ghanaian’s thoughts on whether or not federalism might have altered the course of events for Ghana. I don’t necessarily agree. Actually im not sure how federalism *could’ve worked for a nascent country- in which there really is no sense of ‘nationhood. Wouldn’t that have made it easier for each part of Ghana to become its own little country? I mean, from what I know- one of the few countries in which there is a sense of nationhood is Tanzania…. I don’t know much about west Africa, but the rest of us pledge allegiance to tribe first…. Was this different in ghana right after gaining independence? If not… then what makes us think that federalism would’ve created a sense of… I don’t know, unity for Ghana.

it's not surprising.
this post doesnt single out nkrumah.
all his "brothers" did the same.
and someone up there pointed out that asia was on that too.

but don’t you find it interesting. Like did everyone receive the same political education or something that said… these are the steps you should take? And *where did they receive this education, or get these ideas/policies from? I don’t quite buy that on gaining independence, all influence from previous colonial countries ceased. Especially since in most cases independence was an agreed upon transfer of powers- not… as we like to think, we fought and kicked out the colonialists.

did i say i disagreed with hsi stance ?
i was just fascinated by the afrocentrist worship of someone who despised traditionnal rulers, their laws, their traditions and a lot of things we're supposed to "get back to in order to successed"
---
oh, it sounded like you disagreed. Maybe I read that wrong. I don’t like afrocentrists so im gonna leave this at that. They can go shit on a pyramid for all I care.
------------------------------
it was.

was there a welfare system ?
how is spending ghana's money on a dam improve education or hospitals ?
i mean the main criticism about state ownership is its semi proven counter-productivity.
the alternative to foreign investment is foreign debt.
is that better ?
how were those factories, highways, schools, hospitals, dams financed ?
- the few sources of revenue ghana had
- debt
the ghanean government wasnt working in the cocoa fields, farmers were.
the gov created a monopoly on cocoa exports and bought them from the farmers at less than half of the price and sold them on the foreign market.
the gains ? >>> government expenses.

-----
well, if the only purpose of an economy is to improve education and hospitals then the expectation that dams should be built only for only that specific purpose is justified.
But if you are building a dam, expecting the benefits of that to trickle down to other sectors of the economy including education and health…then you can say, building that dam improves….. (are we back to arguing semantics)

but really… we are talking about a pre-industrialized country, reliant on a agrarian economy and one export/ revenue earner .. little to no social infrastructure, very few sources of finance, coupled with a desire to be autonomous- what were the options?
I think yes, you can critique nkrumah’s mismanagement of the economy- that is valid….

But in terms of –what options did a country like Ghana have in 1964 except- get into debt with the hope that somehow that bustle of dam building and selling cocoa etc will pay off, tax farmers because that’s where you are getting revenue from..
But didn’t those factories, highways, schools, hospitals, dams have to be financed?
The main issue I think (for me) is that the system was exploited, and money was squandered- not necessarily what needed to be done. It should have been done smarter, tho

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 02:34 PM

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97. "format your replies, son, lol"
In response to Reply # 88


          

>>Well.
>no it's not.
>his panafricanist was just an expansion of his local
>politics.
>he did criticize the entente or the monrovia group the same
>way he criticized his opposition. and the fact that he started
>by explainning why ghana had to unite before getting in the
>africa argument kinda proves it.
>
>Was it wrong to want Ghana to unite though? Maybe the means
>the achieving that end were wrong but are you arguing against
>the necessity of it?

that's the part that is to be discussed.
what is unity ?
to Nkrumah it was an elected president that nominates everyone down to the town council head.


>>>yeah.. because only a central state can do the proper
>planning.
>
>yes and no.
>didnt they criticize and oppose the colonial rule ?
>or was it only about who was in that seat ?
>
>But bongo, every post-colonial country continued with its
>inherited colonial system of government, despite the fact that
>they criticized colonialism. The opposition to colonial rule,
>seems to me was the lack of sovereignty and self rule. Why
>expect nkrumah’s rule to be any diifferent ?

^^^and that makes it less stupid ?
the fact that everyone, like sheeps didnt think about doing it differently ?
i mean what is sovereignty and self rule ?
why are they considered goals ?


>>But.. if not centralism, what was the alternatives given?
>>I don’t know much about federalism- but… again, it was a
>>political debate in Kenya right after colonialism- again it
>>was made by the opposition and overruled by the government.
>
>ding.
>Funny….
>Okay. So are you saying federalism *would’ve been preferred.
>I don’t know…. I look at Kenya- our problems started because
>of exploiting ethnic divisions and increasing kleptocracy. I
>don’t see how federalism *might have altered/stopped that. I
>think our problem started with *who we got as president and
>what he did thereafter. But I do believe a centralized state
>*would’ve worked, if there had been an attempt at dismantling…
>well the ease with which the colonial system made the move to
>dictatorships… (idealistic, but shit, removing chiefs and
>district officers etc would’ve been a start). but is the
>critique here, the centralised state system or the *leader?

it's both.
i do believe Nkrumah wanted a centralized state BECAUSE he was the leader.
had he been in opposition ? he would have been screaming "more democracy".

> I’d be interested in *you or a ghanaian’s thoughts on whether
>or not federalism might have altered the course of events for
>Ghana. I don’t necessarily agree. Actually im not sure how
>federalism *could’ve worked for a nascent country- in which
>there really is no sense of ‘nationhood. Wouldn’t that have
>made it easier for each part of Ghana to become its own little
>country? I mean, from what I know- one of the few countries
>in which there is a sense of nationhood is Tanzania…. I don’t
>know much about west Africa, but the rest of us pledge
>allegiance to tribe first…. Was this different in ghana right
>after gaining independence? If not… then what makes us think
>that federalism would’ve created a sense of… I don’t know,
>unity for Ghana.

see there are various levels or federalism or centralization.
Nkrumah, in his book, criticized the existence of elected local governments.
his views was that more or less everythng had to be decided at the national level.
and the local level was purely executive, nominated by the national level to execute.

what about catering to the different needs of different populations ?

>it's not surprising.
>this post doesnt single out nkrumah.
>all his "brothers" did the same.
>and someone up there pointed out that asia was on that too.
>
>but don’t you find it interesting. Like did everyone receive
>the same political education or something that said… these are
>the steps you should take? And *where did they receive this
>education, or get these ideas/policies from? I don’t quite
>buy that on gaining independence, all influence from previous
>colonial countries ceased. Especially since in most cases
>independence was an agreed upon transfer of powers- not… as we
>like to think, we fought and kicked out the colonialists.

yeah and ?

>did i say i disagreed with hsi stance ?
>i was just fascinated by the afrocentrist worship of someone
>who despised traditionnal rulers, their laws, their traditions
>and a lot of things we're supposed to "get back to in order to
>successed"
>---
>oh, it sounded like you disagreed. Maybe I read that wrong. I
>don’t like afrocentrists so im gonna leave this at that. They
>can go shit on a pyramid for all I care.

lol

>was there a welfare system ?
>how is spending ghana's money on a dam improve education or
>hospitals ?
>i mean the main criticism about state ownership is its semi
>proven counter-productivity.
>the alternative to foreign investment is foreign debt.
>is that better ?
>how were those factories, highways, schools, hospitals, dams
>financed ?
>- the few sources of revenue ghana had
>- debt
>the ghanean government wasnt working in the cocoa fields,
>farmers were.
>the gov created a monopoly on cocoa exports and bought them
>from the farmers at less than half of the price and sold them
>on the foreign market.
>the gains ? >>> government expenses.
>
>-----
>well, if the only purpose of an economy is to improve
>education and hospitals then the expectation that dams should
>be built only for only that specific purpose is justified.
>But if you are building a dam, expecting the benefits of that
>to trickle down to other sectors of the economy including
>education and health…then you can say, building that dam
>improves….. (are we back to arguing semantics)

yeah.
the argument for the dam makes sense.
but dismissing the people who weren't convinced of the usefullness of it as neocolonialists and enemies of the nation is stupidity.

>but really… we are talking about a pre-industrialized country,
>reliant on a agrarian economy and one export/ revenue earner
>.. little to no social infrastructure, very few sources of
>finance, coupled with a desire to be autonomous- what were the
>options?
>I think yes, you can critique nkrumah’s mismanagement of the
>economy- that is valid….

ok.

> But in terms of –what options did a country like Ghana have
>in 1964 except- get into debt with the hope that somehow that
>bustle of dam building and selling cocoa etc will pay off, tax
>farmers because that’s where you are getting revenue from..
>But didn’t those factories, highways, schools, hospitals, dams
>have to be financed?

half of those factories were unproductive.
i mean, the import substitution model was praised back then so part of it is not his fault.
but when you're about to spend people's hard earned money, you may want to ask the people what they think of it. and check twice on what you're buying.

>The main issue I think (for me) is that the system was
>exploited, and money was squandered- not necessarily what
>needed to be done. It should have been done smarter, tho

but HE justified the absence of accountability.
that's what opposition does, that's what a parliament does, people ask questions.
and Nkrumah was against that.
______________________________


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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Tue Mar-06-07 02:55 PM

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102. "RE: format your replies, son, lol"
In response to Reply # 97


  

          


>Nkrumah, in his book, criticized the existence of elected
>local governments.

on what grounds?

>his views was that more or less everythng had to be decided at
>the national level.
>and the local level was purely executive, nominated by the
>national level to execute.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 05:20 PM

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115. "RE: format your replies, son, lol"
In response to Reply # 102


          

>
>>Nkrumah, in his book, criticized the existence of elected
>>local governments.
>
>on what grounds?

the existence of independantly elected local government slowed the efficiency of the national one because there was a system of checks and balance..
you know approval and stuff..
opposition to eminent domain and stuff and other ways to block projects some people may disagree with

>>his views was that more or less everythng had to be decided
>at
>>the national level.
>>and the local level was purely executive, nominated by the
>>national level to execute.

yeah.
apparently, his party via its local sections was informed enough about the will of the people.

but like i also said before, the mere existence of some kind of local legislative and executive positions benefitted the opposition. and that seemed to annoy him the most. especially considering said opposition, just like him, benefitted for encubemcy advantage to get reelected.

his hatred of an opposition that though not perfect proved its worth and played its position every now and then is really fascinating.
______________________________


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akon
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26984 posts
Wed Mar-07-07 10:16 AM

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147. "lol... i thought i did, jo!"
In response to Reply # 97


  

          


>that's the part that is to be discussed.
>what is unity ?

well... i guess formenting some sort of feeling of pride/nationhood- y'know, the purpose of flags, and national anthems, and national holidays and pledges of allegiance and such other useless relics.

>to Nkrumah it was an elected president that nominates everyone
>down to the town council head.

yeah... this is wrong. i wont lie tho, if i were president, i'd want the same thing too. surround myself with cronies and cross myfingerstheyworkforthe bettermentofusall.

>^^^and that makes it less stupid ?
>the fact that everyone, like sheeps didnt think about doing it
>differently ?

no... it doesn't make it more or less stupid. but hindsight is a luxury they didn't have 30-40-50yrs ago, no?

>i mean what is sovereignty and self rule ?
>why are they considered goals ?

i assume because people prefer self rule to being ruled by others.
and they prefer to determine their own future- as best as they can.
i dont see why they shouldn't be goals.
i think the argument should be are the paths we are following the right ones that achieve this. like maybe questioning how we define country/nation.

>yeah and ?

and i think that means at the time that might have been the path most felt was the best one to take. years later when we have the luxury of knowing that yes we can say, that was stupid. but at the time was it? was not a centralised state what was considered the path to some sort of democracy and industrialisation and progress?
should we fault those leaders for having believed that, or should we fault them for having exploited it instead. i mean who knows if with less greed and corruption these systems would have worked? we dont because the only models we have to look at are those exploited.

>but dismissing the people who weren't convinced of the
>usefullness of it as neocolonialists and enemies of the nation
>is stupidity.

isn't it ironical, that we came to bear the brunt of neo-colonialist policies (ala world bank imf) directly as a result of people *like nkrumah who were the ones going around calling everyone else the neocloloialists. i think its funny. i agree with what you said. our leaders end up becoming megalomaniacs. but i like to think that *some of them started out having their hearts in the right places. i believe nkrumah was one of them, i give them same respect to mwalimu nyerere, as for kenyatta they should have whipped him with that kikuyu whisk he carried around. (harambee!!!)

>ok.
ha!

>but when you're about to spend people's hard earned money, you
>may want to ask the people what they think of it. and check
>twice on what you're buying.

hindsight, bongo. we have it.
nkrumah didn't.
i actually lay more blame on later leaders, or... those who later stubbornly clung to a failing idea due to lack of.... i dont know. brain sense than i do those faced with initial nation building. i mean... at the time, yes factories were bloated- you had to employ the people you promised jobs too... build the infrastructure you felt you needed.... i guess im saying look at nkrumah's beginnings with less of a judgemental eye when it comes to policies. that's not to say he wasn't an arrogant s.o.b who clung to power etc..etc...

what the fuck is a twinning?

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Wed Mar-07-07 10:47 AM

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149. "?"
In response to Reply # 147


  

          


years later when we
>have the luxury of knowing that yes we can say, that was
>stupid. but at the time was it? was not a centralised state
>what was considered the path to some sort of democracy and
>industrialisation and progress?
>should we fault those leaders for having believed that, or
>should we fault them for having exploited it instead. i mean
>who knows if with less greed and corruption these systems
>would have worked? we dont because the only models we have to
>look at are those exploited.

well, when a model is so vulnerable to exploitation, that means it's a not very good model. and plenty of people who were there (see my c&p below) at the time were very critical of the consolidation of power. (did clr james makes explicit the grounds of his break with nkrumah?) 1957 is long after kronstadt, and there were plenty of critiques of the undemocratic model, not to mention that there were other leftist models available, fabian socialism for one.

the striking thing about the founding fathers is that they thought very seriously about what model would be less vulnerable to exploitation.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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akon
Charter member
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Wed Mar-07-07 10:58 AM

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152. "*duly noted."
In response to Reply # 149


  

          

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 11:46 AM

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158. "hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 147


          

>
>>that's the part that is to be discussed.
>>what is unity ?
>
>well... i guess formenting some sort of feeling of
>pride/nationhood- y'know, the purpose of flags, and national
>anthems, and national holidays and pledges of allegiance and
>such other useless relics.

paraphelia (sp?) ?
lol


>>^^^and that makes it less stupid ?
>>the fact that everyone, like sheeps didnt think about doing
>it
>>differently ?
>
>no... it doesn't make it more or less stupid. but hindsight
>is a luxury they didn't have 30-40-50yrs ago, no?

see Thrill's reply

>>i mean what is sovereignty and self rule ?
>>why are they considered goals ?
>
>i assume because people prefer self rule to being ruled by
>others.
>and they prefer to determine their own future- as best as they
>can.

how are you self-ruled in a dictatorship ?
how do you determine your own future in a dictatorship ?

but most importantly, did people vote for self-rule and sovereignity as empty concepts or was it because they assumed those will be more efficient in fullfiling their needs than a foreign rule ?

>>yeah and ?
>
>and i think that means at the time that might have been the
>path most felt was the best one to take. years later when we
>have the luxury of knowing that yes we can say, that was
>stupid. but at the time was it? was not a centralised state
>what was considered the path to some sort of democracy and
>industrialisation and progress?
>should we fault those leaders for having believed that, or
>should we fault them for having exploited it instead. i mean
>who knows if with less greed and corruption these systems
>would have worked? we dont because the only models we have to
>look at are those exploited.

see Thrill's reply

>>but dismissing the people who weren't convinced of the
>>usefullness of it as neocolonialists and enemies of the
>nation
>>is stupidity.
>
>isn't it ironical, that we came to bear the brunt of
>neo-colonialist policies (ala world bank imf) directly as a
>result of people *like nkrumah who were the ones going around
>calling everyone else the neocloloialists. i think its funny.
> i agree with what you said. our leaders end up becoming
>megalomaniacs. but i like to think that *some of them started
>out having their hearts in the right places. i believe nkrumah
>was one of them, i give them same respect to mwalimu nyerere,
>as for kenyatta they should have whipped him with that kikuyu
>whisk he carried around. (harambee!!!)

i do think Nkrumah had his heart in the right place.
i even think all his efforts to consolidate his power came from his genuine belief in his ideas and their righteousness.

>>ok.
>ha!
>
>>but when you're about to spend people's hard earned money,
>you
>>may want to ask the people what they think of it. and check
>>twice on what you're buying.
>
>hindsight, bongo. we have it.
>nkrumah didn't.
>i actually lay more blame on later leaders, or... those who
>later stubbornly clung to a failing idea due to lack of.... i
>dont know. brain sense than i do those faced with initial
>nation building. i mean... at the time, yes factories were
>bloated- you had to employ the people you promised jobs too...
>build the infrastructure you felt you needed.... i guess im
>saying look at nkrumah's beginnings with less of a judgemental
>eye when it comes to policies.

no.
because Nkrumah and his kind are still presented as an alternative to the IMF/WB capitalism scheme.
a mistake is a mistake.


______________________________


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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:40 PM

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67. "what was the alternative ?"
In response to Reply # 48


          


ask his adversaries..

houphouet boigny, senghor and them..


(not that i retrospectivally agree with them either)



but all in all, is lack of alternatives back then enough to justify the incredible amounts of "IF ONLY THE 64 COUP DIDNT HAPPEN" articles that are published every year ?
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akon
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Mon Mar-05-07 06:14 PM

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76. "never said they justified anything"
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

and i'd like to know your thoughts on what the alternatives were.


and btw, what are your thoughts on sankara?
or his brand idealism?

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 06:22 PM

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77. "sankara ?"
In response to Reply # 76


          


another well-intentionned leader.


well.. my thoughts on the alternatives ?

at what point ?
in 57 ? 64 ? the 70's ? now ?

i don't know. i wouldn't have wanted to be an independance leader. after telling mofos that independance will automatically give you money, schools, opportunities, jobs and health, you had to deliver with very few assets to use.

i think keeping the political system alive was more urgent.
i think creating a rule of law was the emmergency.
i think building conditions for business to prosper was the emmergency.
i think health and education should have been tackled progressively ( one step after another)

i think great leaders are the ones who admit their limits

______________________________


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Chike
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Mon Mar-05-07 02:55 PM

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52. "props on making this post"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I think it's an interesting discussion to have as we move toward the 50th birthday of the country he led. I don't have anything specific to add to the discussion as yet, though, other than to agree with Olu that it's so important to avoid the extremes of "blameless saviour" and "worthless dictator"...

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:25 PM

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63. "that's why i wanted to discuss the policies.."
In response to Reply # 52


          


a lot of people keep talking about african leaders intentions, corruption and all kinds of personal things.

policies are far more interesting.
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sha mecca
Member since Oct 21st 2004
64667 posts
Mon Mar-05-07 05:18 PM

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60. "a good book for me was"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://i8.ebayimg.com/02/i/03/bd/92/85_1_b.JPG

the closing chapters on how he felt about the whole movement taught me a lot. i started reading 'dark days in ghana' by nkrumah but i never finished it.

www.mybabystayfresh.com

  

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Binlahab
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:23 PM

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61. "RE: thoughts on nkrumah's "africa must unite""
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

his demonization of the ghanean opposition (the first part
>should be called ghana had to unite).
why should anyone in power do/give anything to opposition political movements?

basically he's saying
>the opposition doesnt really have disagree with the gov except
>for one thing: the centralist governance.
whats the point of having a centralized govt unless that govt is firmly in power?

isnt that a serious
>question? isnt that something that should be debated because
>there are legitimate arguments on both sides ?
debate can happen...but what happens when you have hardcre factions on both sides who are refusing to compromise? add in the tribal aspect as in 1 tribe is predminantly of one movement, the other tribe is for another...shit happens...bam, you have a civil war

nah, nkrumah
>doesnt do that. to him, it's all about them wanting to have
>power where they can win elections (in ashantiland)..and of
>course, he's not about power.
all politics is power, of course

>
>- his modernist stance: see one things that always amazes me
>is the fact that nkrumah, lumumba and all those progressives
>are worshipped by cultural afrocentists. meanwhile nkrumah
>dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our traditions and
>their economic counter-productivity (funerals, extended
>family, lack of savings, communal ownership of land, the
>traditionnal rulers).. weirdly enough some of those (communal
>ownership and lack of savings) are conviniently used to
>justify the socialist centralist path (state ownership of land
>and state-sponsored extensive industrialisation). but whether
>you agree and disagree, at least, and because he was a
>modernist, the economic aspect is adressed.
so...you agree or disagree w/ his stance here?


>
>- financing methods: so nkrumah thought ghana (and africa) had
>to be quickly industrilized. fine. the next question was of
>course: how do you pay for it ?
corporations come in & pay for everything. later on, you can always nationalize them

no savings, no desire to
>decrease government spendings (public servants vote, yo),
central power should be able to spread its rationale to whomever votes

no
>landownership or desire to see individuals or companies use
>any of it as collateral..
yeah, thats wrong

well there was 2 options left: debt
>and taxing cocoa. everybody knows about debt and all it
>implies. but the taxing cocoa thing is more interesting
>because the cocoa production region was the opposition. back
>to the centralist debate nkrumah didnt want to have.
once youve got your enemy down...you need to step on them...thats just politics

>
>- his absolute centralist stance: all in all, that was the
>point of the book: why a central very powerfull government is
>better..
benign dictatorship?

in ghana, in africa.. in the world..because
>government can find funding more easily (that was 64 tho),
>because government can plan better, because individuals are
>selfish and sectarian, because nkrumah knows best.
but what if he did...looking back? did he i guess is the ?

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:32 PM

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64. "oh bin"
In response to Reply # 61


          

>his demonization of the ghanean opposition (the first part
>>should be called ghana had to unite).
>why should anyone in power do/give anything to opposition
>political movements?

gosh.

>basically he's saying
>>the opposition doesnt really have disagree with the gov
>except
>>for one thing: the centralist governance.
>whats the point of having a centralized govt unless that govt
>is firmly in power?

hmmm ok.

>>isnt that a serious
>>question? isnt that something that should be debated because
>>there are legitimate arguments on both sides ?
>debate can happen...but what happens when you have hardcre
>factions on both sides who are refusing to compromise? add in
>the tribal aspect as in 1 tribe is predminantly of one
>movement, the other tribe is for another...shit happens...bam,
>you have a civil war

so dismissing the other side of the story and qualifying it of tribalism and neocolonialism and power hunger IS the way to go, right ?
i guess that saved him from a coup, right ?

>>nah, nkrumah
>>doesnt do that. to him, it's all about them wanting to have
>>power where they can win elections (in ashantiland)..and of
>>course, he's not about power.
>all politics is power, of course

ok.

>>- his modernist stance: see one things that always amazes me
>>is the fact that nkrumah, lumumba and all those progressives
>>are worshipped by cultural afrocentists. meanwhile nkrumah
>>dedicates a whole chapter to criticize our traditions and
>>their economic counter-productivity (funerals, extended
>>family, lack of savings, communal ownership of land, the
>>traditionnal rulers).. weirdly enough some of those
>(communal
>>ownership and lack of savings) are conviniently used to
>>justify the socialist centralist path (state ownership of
>land
>>and state-sponsored extensive industrialisation). but
>whether
>>you agree and disagree, at least, and because he was a
>>modernist, the economic aspect is adressed.
>so...you agree or disagree w/ his stance here?

i actually agree to an extend.

>>- financing methods: so nkrumah thought ghana (and africa)
>had
>>to be quickly industrilized. fine. the next question was of
>>course: how do you pay for it ?
>corporations come in & pay for everything. later on, you can
>always nationalize them

^^^ hmmm.. really ?

>>no savings, no desire to
>>decrease government spendings (public servants vote, yo),
>central power should be able to spread its rationale to
>whomever votes

and tax those who don't vote for them ?

>no
>>landownership or desire to see individuals or companies use
>>any of it as collateral..
>yeah, thats wrong

ah.

>well there was 2 options left: debt
>>and taxing cocoa. everybody knows about debt and all it
>>implies. but the taxing cocoa thing is more interesting
>>because the cocoa production region was the opposition. back
>>to the centralist debate nkrumah didnt want to have.
>once youve got your enemy down...you need to step on
>them...thats just politics

yeah and you get a coup and cry "foul" ?

>>- his absolute centralist stance: all in all, that was the
>>point of the book: why a central very powerfull government
>>is
>>better..
>benign dictatorship?

yes.

>in ghana, in africa.. in the world..because
>>government can find funding more easily (that was 64 tho),
>>because government can plan better, because individuals are
>>selfish and sectarian, because nkrumah knows best.
>but what if he did...looking back? did he i guess is the ?

if he did, he would have been in power up till his death.




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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:34 PM

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66. "how was he different from mobutu then ?"
In response to Reply # 61


          


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Binlahab
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:45 PM

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69. "benign dictatorship...isnt different"
In response to Reply # 66


  

          

and mobutu basically commited nation suicide by kicking his tax/business base out the country

thats just stupid


barack is my homeboy:
www.barackobama.com

i am melle mels sky blue smedium rayon shirt.

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 05:57 PM

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72. "it took another 20 years to kill Zaire tho.."
In response to Reply # 69


          


(probably because he partly reversed on that idea)


how is kicking your business/tax base out different from overtaxing your farmers ?
how is what mobutu did different from what mugabe is doing ?



what is the way ?
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Binlahab
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Mon Mar-05-07 06:11 PM

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74. "uh, 1 is taxing...but they keep their land/production"
In response to Reply # 72


  

          

the other is...kicking them off their land/production AND booting them out the country

theres a difference


barack is my homeboy:
www.barackobama.com

i am melle mels sky blue smedium rayon shirt.

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-05-07 06:14 PM

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75. "one is foreign, one is local."
In response to Reply # 74


          


nkrumah couldnt kick them out of the country because, well, where would they go ?



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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Tue Mar-06-07 09:26 AM

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85. "ghana methods"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


(this is from an article on the nkrumah/banda correspondence, i can post the whole thing but this is the excerpt most relevant to the thread)

Four months later, in November 1964, Edusie was back in Malawi on a secret mission from Nkrumah with personal letters to Banda and to Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika. The context was the aftermath of Malawi's Cabinet crisis, that defining event in the new nation's history, when the most talented members of Banda's Cabinet resigned in protest. Though Banda's social and foreign policies were given as the cause, the real issue was his autocratic, increasingly messianic, style of leadership. New to power, the ministers were easily outmanoeuvred, overlooking the importance of the Malawi Congress Party, and losing a confidence vote in a parliament packed with Banda's nominees. When violence erupted, several of the exministers, including Chiume, were given asylum in Dar es Salaam. In Nkrumah's letters, Banda was "advised to visit Ghana during his U.N. trip so that he may have the benefit of Osagyefo's counsel . . . and advised about the dangers of friendly overseas overtures to the Portuguese". Nyerere was warned "that Osagyefo would not tolerate any interference in the internal affairs of Malawi".

By 1964, Nyerere, at forty-two, wielded more influence than Nkrumah in Eastern and Southern Africa, and Dar es Salaam was the principal base of the nationalist movements later to achieve power in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa. His response to Nkrumah's assertion of seniority was cool: "He would obviously like a complete rapprochement with Osagyefo", Edusie reported, "provided in his simple view Osagyefo would leave Africa alone and stop causing trouble". But it was Banda's response that caused heart-searching. His style of leadership was "unpopular because he was following Ghana . . . he used what he described as 'his Ghana methods' and he gave the impression that his actions had the support of the Ghana government". This had caused, noted Edusie dryly, "some confusion in African nationalist circles".

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 09:33 AM

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86. "lmao"
In response to Reply # 85


          


Malawi is one of my favorite topics..
for years, they have been praised as a model, mostly because of their support (or neutrality, depens on who's talking) of the white austral african regimes..
and years later, they're one of the poorest countries in the world ? thanks, madonna.

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anoman
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Tue Mar-06-07 11:09 AM

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89. "sorry i'ma be self-indulgent for a minute"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

& tell the story of my father & his sister, because he's from roughly the same generation as Nkrumah (14 years younger). it's an experience that was replicated all over the colonial world in the first half of the 20th century, & formed that 50-60s generation of socialist firebrands. hopefully it'll garner some more sympathy for their views.

my grandfather was born in the late 1850s in the north sumatran highlands to the west of Lake Toba, just a decade after the first white man saw the lake. if he'd been born in the states, he woulda been a slave.

in 1878, the Dutch decided they finally needed to incorporate the Batak lands into the colonial state, largely as a consequence of the Aceh War being fought directly to the north. the Si Singamangaraja ("The Great Lion King", the Batak supreme "king"; really just the most senior & sacred clan chief) resisted, & started a guerilla war.

my grandfather was his brother-in-law, the most honored position in Batak society, & so became his right hand lieutenant. He wisely did not fight in the broad valleys around the lake, but stayed in the mountaineous jungle area that was our sub-clan's traditional home. he was an expert in jungle warfare, & for thirty years he eluded capture (because he could turn into a tiger at will, explaining his name Grandfather Tiger).

in 1907, the Dutch managed to kill the Si Singamangaraja in battle, & also captured my grandfather's first wive and children, who died in a prison camp that same year. he surrended (the last Batak chief to do so) the next year. in the typical manner of the colonial state, he was immediately pardoned, baptised Cyrus, & made district chief of a valley on the lake's edge.

(the ancestral home in the mountain jungles was abandoned, being considered dangerously isolated. when I first visited the ruins in the 1980s, it was 5 hours walk through thick rainforest from the nearest road. in 2001, it was a ten minute stroll through orderly rows of eucalyptus trees from a logging trail. but that's another story.)

anyway, my grandfather remarried & in 1910 had a daughter, the aunt of this story. my father was born in 1923, when grandfather was already in his 60s. being the son of a district head, he could go to a missionary boarding school in the nearest large city. he was a promising student, & so was sent to Jakarta for high school (in the 1930s, there wasn't a single Dutch-speaking (ie elite) high school for natives on the entire island of Sumatra.)

as he was about to go to university, the Japanese invaded. he wrote a beautiful short story about an occasion when he saw a Japanese soldier rudely stop a white man on a bike, & simply rode off with it, leaving the white man standing there, looking at him, both knowing the world had changed forever.

after the war he became a journalist for a Republican newspaper, covering the war of independence from the inside (he is one of the few people alive today who was personally present at most of the seminal moments in the 1945-50 Revolution). during that time he also become one of the 1st generation of modern Indonesian poets, & after independence a major Soekarnoist cultural figure.

meanwhile, his sister, being female, could not go to boarding school, but simply stayed in the village. in all her 91 years I don't think she ever went more than an hours drive from the valley. She spoke no Indonesian, & to me she always seemed awe-inspiringly ancient. I'm not just talking about wrinkles and rotten betel-stained teeth; she was a living embodiment of a world that no longer existed, before the Republic & even before the Dutch East Indies.

anyway, she was always my father's favorite sibling, & I think seeing what became of her when he was writing avant-garde erotic poetry in Paris in the early 50s or preaching global anti-imperialist revolution in the 60s was always in the back of his mind, & that of many other socialist revolutionaries of his generation all over Asia and Africa.

it's a combination of nostalgia for the old ways, a feeling of guilt at having left it behind, combined with a genuine excitement about the opportunities & possibilities of the new world.

it seems like Afrobongo is sceptical & critical about their project to reshape parochial tribal society into a new, modern, socialist whole. but I can imagine my father coming to Batavia (Jakarta) from a small village in north sumatra, & being electrified at the wider horizons opening up for him, & genuinely feeling that this was an opportunity everyone should have. *could* have in an independent country.

but at the same, there is a deep sense of longing for the simple pleasures and honesty of the village community in a lot these post-colonial socialists. my father's written some beautiful poems about being torn between the traditional village he left behind & his "progress" as a modern intellectual.

the most poignant is one he wrote about receiving a tikar (woven palmleaf sleeping mat) in the mail from his sister when he was in prison (in the Suharto era, for his association with Sukarno). basically the sister and the mat become symbols for the lost world, & he reflects on how modernity brought him from the village to his cell. (but nowhere near so bluntly as I just described)

anyway, this is the type of background that the rhetoric of Nkrumah, Lumumba, U Nu, Nasser, Sukarno, etc. etc. etc. has to be read through. and I maintain that their vision for new post-colonial societies was essentially a noble one, & they were not insensitive to needs of the village (the paradigmatic periphy).

excuse the length of this post, didn't think it'd be this long when I started!

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 12:11 PM

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90. "thanks for this post"
In response to Reply # 89


  

          


>as he was about to go to university, the Japanese invaded. he
>wrote a beautiful short story about an occasion when he saw a
>Japanese soldier rudely stop a white man on a bike, & simply
>rode off with it, leaving the white man standing there,
>looking at him, both knowing the world had changed forever.

so similar to the experience of people in singapore and malaysia!

>anyway, this is the type of background that the rhetoric of
>Nkrumah, Lumumba, U Nu, Nasser, Sukarno, etc. etc. etc. has to
>be read through. and I maintain that their vision for new
>post-colonial societies was essentially a noble one

i agree. i typed up a long post about this yesterday and realized i was wandering way off subject. they deserve all kinds of criticism but i feel grateful for the secularism, the concern for women and worker's rights, the attempt at redistributive justice that they naturalized in the third world. i mean, better all that than sharia or special economic zones.

and the enlightenment idea of the citizen is really connected with the centralizing impetus -- i.e. you can't have nkrumah criticizing the chiefs in modern ways without having him also centralizing in modern ways, both of these are drawing on the same enlightenment discourse.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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anoman
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Tue Mar-06-07 12:41 PM

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91. "just found a translation of one of the poems i mentioned"
In response to Reply # 90


  

          

I think it beautifully captures what that generation of post-colonials went through. This is from 1953, when he returned to his village after being gone for almost a decade, first the tumulteous 5 years of the war of independence, then a couple of years in paris.

I include the Indonesian for the sound of it.

Si Anak Hilang

Pada terik tengah hari
titik perahu timbul di danau
ibu cemas ke pantai berlari
menyambut anak lama ditunggu


Perahu titik menjadi nyata
pandang berlinang air mata
anak tiba dari rantau
sebaik turun dipeluk ibu


Bapak duduk di pusat rumah
seakan tak acuh menanti
anak di sisi ibu gundah
-laki-laki layak menahan hati-


Anak duduk disuruh bercerita
ayam di sembelih nasi dimasak
seluruh desa bertanya-tanya
sudah beristri sudah beranak?


Si anak hilang kini kembali
tak seorang dikenalnya lagi
berapa kali panen sudah
apa saja telah terjadi?


Seluruh desa bertanya-tanya
sudah beranak sudah berapa?
Si anak hilang berdiam saja
ia lebih hendak bertanya


Selesai makan ketika senja
ibu menghampiri ingin disapa
anak memandang ibu bertanya
ingin tahu dingin Eropa


Anak diam mengenang lupa
dingin Eropa musim kotanya
ibu diam berhenti berkata
tiada sesal hanya gembira


Malam tiba ibu tertidur
bapa lama sudah mendengkur
di pantai pasir berdesir gelombang
tahu si anak tiada pulang

The Lost Child

In the midday heat
a speck appears on the lake.
The anxious mother runs down to the beach
to welcome her long-awaited child.

The boat takes shape.
As she stares her tears flow -
the child has come back from his journeying.
The moment he sets foot, mother embraces him.

Father sits at the centre of the house
as if he couldn't care less.
The child is crestfallen at his mother's side -
but men know to restrain their feelings.

The child sits down, is told to talk,
a chicken is slaughtered, rice cooks.
The whole village is asking,
'Are you married, any children?'

The lost child has come back
but now he knows no-one.
How many harvests have been and gone?
What has happened?

The whole village is asking,
'Any children, how many?'
The lost child is silent -
He has questions of his own.

At dusk after the meal
his mother moves closer, she wants him to speak.
The child stares, the mother asks
if it is cold in Europe.

The child is silent, remembering forgotten things -
the cold of Europe, the seasons of its cities.
His mother is quiet, has ceased talking -
no resentment, only joy.

Night has come, mother is asleep,
father has been snoring some time.
The waves swish on the beach.
They know the child has not returned.

  

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anoman
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Wed Mar-07-07 02:56 PM

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165. "a better translation"
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

less literal in some parts (more in others), but at least it attempts to mimic the meter & rhyme of the original.

The Prodigal Son

In the fiery of midday
A speck, a boat, appears in the bay
The anxious mother runs to the shore
To greet the son she's long waited for

In time the speck becomes a boat
The mother's tears, in languid pools float
So many years abroad, yet safe from harm
The son delivers himself to his mother's arms

In the room's center sits the father
Posed as if to wonder what's the bother
The son fidges at his mother's side
Feelings are something a man must hide

The son is told to sit and speak
A chicken's dressed, the rice readied to eat
The whole of the village wants to know
Is he married, has he kids to show ?

The prodigal son is now back home
In a village where he's now unknown
How many harvests have come to pass
What has happened since they saw him last?

The whole of the village wants to know
Is he married, are there kids to show?
The prodigal son has little to say
For all the questions he holds at bay

After the meal and twilight's fall
His mother begs him to recount all
He stares at the queries her eyes hold
But how can he explain Europe's cold?

Though memories rise, the son sits still-
The seasons, the towns, Europe's chill
The mother silent, not from fear
She has no regrets now, only cheer

Late at night the mother quits her chores
The father long before had begun to snore
On the sandy shore waves hiss and foam
Knowing the prodigal son has not come home

  

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anoman
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Tue Mar-06-07 01:01 PM

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93. "RE: thanks for this post"
In response to Reply # 90


  

          

>
>>as he was about to go to university, the Japanese invaded.
>he
>>wrote a beautiful short story about an occasion when he saw
>a
>>Japanese soldier rudely stop a white man on a bike, & simply
>>rode off with it, leaving the white man standing there,
>>looking at him, both knowing the world had changed forever.
>
>so similar to the experience of people in singapore and
>malaysia!

the fact that the Malays themselves (in contrast to the Chinese) didn't appear to be in any hurry to act on these experiences was baffling to the Indonesians, and led to the bitterness of Konfrontasi.

Malaysia was basically handed independence on a silver plate, a source of both envy & dismisiveness for Indonesian nationalists.

>and the enlightenment idea of the citizen is really connected
>with the centralizing impetus -- i.e. you can't have nkrumah
>criticizing the chiefs in modern ways without having him also
>centralizing in modern ways, both of these are drawing on the
>same enlightenment discourse.

I'm torn about it. it's an unashamedly elitist project. as afrobongo says "Nkrumah knows best". the "Enlightenment" & "Enlightening the masses" are also clearly Western ideas, the justification behind colonisation in the first place. but on the other hand, Jakarta does offer more fullfillment to more people than the village ever can. and of course, nowadays the village is going to be swallowed up in the global market whether they want to or not. the poems say it best.

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 02:03 PM

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94. "RE: thanks for this post"
In response to Reply # 93


  

          

>Malaysia was basically handed independence on a silver plate,
>a source of both envy & dismisiveness for Indonesian
>nationalists.

yes, i was just reading about how malay-speaking malaysians are much more invested in a pan-malay identity than malay-speaking indonesians, because the freedom struggle forged an indonesian identity for the latter to invest in.

>I'm torn about it. it's an unashamedly elitist project. as
>afrobongo says "Nkrumah knows best". the "Enlightenment" &
>"Enlightening the masses" are also clearly Western ideas, the
>justification behind colonisation in the first place.

what project can't be described as elitist? having a project itself is elitist, bc it means believe certain things ought to be done. as if the indigenous traditions or colonial powers they confronted weren't even more elitist!

i have lots to criticize in nkrumah or nasser or nehru (or lee kwan yew!) in how they implemented modernizing their nations, but not in the fact that they undertook that project.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 02:05 PM

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95. "thanks for the poem"
In response to Reply # 93


  

          

>Malaysia was basically handed independence on a silver plate,
>a source of both envy & dismisiveness for Indonesian
>nationalists.

yes, i was just reading about how malay-speaking malaysians are much more invested in a pan-malay identity than malay-speaking indonesians, because the freedom struggle forged an indonesian identity for the latter to invest in.

>I'm torn about it. it's an unashamedly elitist project. as
>afrobongo says "Nkrumah knows best". the "Enlightenment" &
>"Enlightening the masses" are also clearly Western ideas, the
>justification behind colonisation in the first place.

what project can't be described as elitist? having a project itself is elitist, bc it means believe certain things ought to be done. as if the indigenous traditions or colonial powers they confronted weren't even more elitist!

i have lots to criticize in nkrumah or nasser or nehru (or lee kwan yew!) in how they implemented modernizing their nations, but not in the fact that they undertook that project.

your father's history sounds fascinating...i have richard wright's bandung book but i still haven't read it.


.........................
the little anodynes

  

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anoman
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Thu Mar-08-07 12:44 PM

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184. "elitist as in "we know what's good for you better than you do""
In response to Reply # 95


  

          

>>Malaysia was basically handed independence on a silver
>plate,
>>a source of both envy & dismisiveness for Indonesian
>>nationalists.
>
>yes, i was just reading about how malay-speaking malaysians
>are much more invested in a pan-malay identity than
>malay-speaking indonesians, because the freedom struggle
>forged an indonesian identity for the latter to invest in.

I wouldn’t say “pan-Malay identiy”, more that in Malaysia, Muslim austronesian migrants from different parts of the archipelago (migrations that have been going on for hundreds of years) have in the past 100 years or so become assimilated into a Malay identity. So in Malaysia, people of Minangkabau, Bugis, Javanese, Acehnese, Madurese, etc. descent all call themselves “Malays”, no longer speak their original languages, or maintain their adat (traditional custom) that are still retained in Indonesia.

I've met a number of "Malay-Malaysians" with Batak clan names (from the 2 Batak subgroups who became Muslim in the early 19th century) who were absolutely horrified when I pointed this out, as its associated with heathen hill peoples.

Similarly, Minangkabau in Indonesia still maintain an extremely strong matrilineal clan system that has almost completely died out in Negeri Sembilan, largely to conform with standard Malay culture.

>>I'm torn about it. it's an unashamedly elitist project. as
>>afrobongo says "Nkrumah knows best". the "Enlightenment" &
>>"Enlightening the masses" are also clearly Western ideas,
>the
>>justification behind colonisation in the first place.
>
>what project can't be described as elitist? having a project
>itself is elitist, bc it means believe certain things ought to
>be done. as if the indigenous traditions or colonial powers
>they confronted weren't even more elitist!

I’m afraid I’m one of those wishy-washy liberal cultural relativists right-wingers love to rail against – the type who’ll excuse any type of barbarism in the name of cultural sensitivity. well, not quite that bad but close. I think it has to do with my anger at missionaries. those dudes were equally convinced of the righteousness of their civilizing mission; I can’t help but feel unsure if the poor heathens really need any saving at all. and the Bataks actually did practice cannibalism & human sacrifice!

I mean, in some respects my Inang Boru (paternal aunt, the sister of my story) was a tragic figure, but in other respects she lived a beautiful life that I’m deeply saddened is fast disappearing from the world. after she became a widow she could have easily gone to live with one of the many rich relatives in Jakarta or Medan, but she stayed in the village for her whole life, living in one of these:

http://www.bonapasogit.eu/Images/Toba/Toba%20Batak%20huis.jpg

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if one of the rich relatives had insisted & taken her off to Medan or Jakarta & parked her in front of the TV with the AC on full blast. I don’t think it would have been an improvement.

of course, if I like the simple peasant life so much, I should just log off, move into a longhouse & get down to some subsistence rice farming. hence I’m torn.

>your father's history sounds fascinating...i have richard
>wright's bandung book but i still haven't read it.

there’s a chapter in VS Naipaul’s Among the Believers about him and my mother. I forget the title, but it’s in the Indonesia section & with the story I’ve given here it’s unmistakable. he was surprised to find himself in there, as he wasn’t Muslim himself (he was just putting him in contact with some Muslim intellectuals), but it’s the type of story about the colonial’s relationship with western modernity that Naipaul loves.

  

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afrobongo
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186. "that hut is beautiful.."
In response to Reply # 184


          


and it seems extremely practical too
(the roof shape is perfect for our equatorial rains and the ceiling for our equatorial heat)

me and my architect student sister share a fascination for colonial architecture and disgust for "what we have done since the AC was popularized".


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anoman
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Fri Mar-09-07 05:43 AM

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190. "it's a lot bigger than a hut"
In response to Reply # 186


  

          

the peak of the roof is roughly 15 meters tall, & the whole thing is about as deep. there's practical aspects to it: the roof acts as a windcatcher bringing a cool breeze into the interior, & the space underneath the stilts serves as a stable for buffalo & pigs.

but it also has very little natural light, houses 10+ people in a single hall with no privacy. most people today prefer a Malay-style hut or Western bungalow. the only people who still live in them have no other option, or like my aunt, are voluntary dinosaurs.

plus it uses an immense amount of timber for relatively little floor space - now that people have to buy their timber rather than get the village together & chop it down themselves, it's become way too expensive to build new ones. they'll all be gone in another 30 years.

  

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afrobongo
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193. "yeah, i was wondering if the word hut was appropriate"
In response to Reply # 190


          


see, i don't know what is the situation in Indoniesia, but in my part of the world all architectural principles were through the window once A/C became popular..

i always wonder if there's a way to combine the efficiency of traditionnal style with more "modern" techniques to basically have the best of both worlds..


  

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thrill
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Fri Mar-09-07 08:46 AM

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191. "of course"
In response to Reply # 184


  

          


>I wouldn’t say “pan-Malay identiy”,

the article was actually about how malay-malaysians care about including indonesians in a pan-malay identity but indonesians don't care, even if they are malay-speaking.


RE: elitist as in "we know what's good for you better than you do"
>I’m afraid I’m one of those wishy-washy liberal cultural
>relativists right-wingers love to rail against

oh leftists like to rail against y'all too. it's impossible to have any definition of the good without thinking some set of people are mistaken in their understanding. not that i'm without some ambivalence myself...i heartily wish we would all become atheists, but sometimes i kind of feel wistful about the way secularization robs saps meaning from our artistic traditions.

.........................
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anoman
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195. "RE: of course"
In response to Reply # 191


  

          

>
>>I wouldn’t say “pan-Malay identiy”,
>
>the article was actually about how malay-malaysians care about
>including indonesians in a pan-malay identity but indonesians
>don't care, even if they are malay-speaking.

that's not my experience - most Indonesians happily acknowledge a close relation to Malaysia (& the Philippines). but come to think of it there's no real word to describe the supranational "racial" group in Indonesian. definitely not "Melayu" - that's just one specific suku (tribe, the usual word for different ethnic groups in Indonesia).

people usual just talk about Indonesia-Malaysia being "bangsa bersaudara" "brother nations", but don't specify "kita semua orang xxx" "we are all xxx people".

>RE: elitist as in "we know what's good for you better than you
>do"
>>I’m afraid I’m one of those wishy-washy liberal cultural
>>relativists right-wingers love to rail against
>
>oh leftists like to rail against y'all too. it's impossible
>to have any definition of the good without thinking some set
>of people are mistaken in their understanding. not that i'm
>without some ambivalence myself...i heartily wish we would all
>become atheists, but sometimes i kind of feel wistful about
>the way secularization robs saps meaning from our artistic
>traditions.

I was being a bit facetious there - there's plenty of things I'll condemn & would like to see eradicated. and I don't see slogans like "Africa must unite" as necessarily implying the elimination of traditional cultures. but I do find modernization a bittersweet process.

  

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afrobongo
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98. "word on this:"
In response to Reply # 90


          

>but i feel grateful for the secularism, the
>concern for women and worker's rights, the attempt at
>redistributive justice that they naturalized in the third
>world.

^^^ total co-sign

>and the enlightenment idea of the citizen is really connected
>with the centralizing impetus -- i.e. you can't have nkrumah
>criticizing the chiefs in modern ways without having him also
>centralizing in modern ways, both of these are drawing on the
>same enlightenment discourse.

but the issue there is the lack of consistency.
they were fast to say democracy/human rights/parliaments are unafrican/western when it fitted their purposes..


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afrobongo
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96. "my dad is a lot younger"
In response to Reply # 89


          


>it seems like Afrobongo is sceptical & critical about their
>project to reshape parochial tribal society into a new,
>modern, socialist whole. but I can imagine my father coming to
>Batavia (Jakarta) from a small village in north sumatra, &
>being electrified at the wider horizons opening up for him, &
>genuinely feeling that this was an opportunity everyone should
>have. *could* have in an independent country.

he was 3 when Congo became independant
he was 8 when Congo became socialist
he was 11 when Congo became marxist

his generation was probably even more driven than the generation before..
they went to schools because there were public schools
they went to college abroad for free because the country needed the skills they acquired
they got jobs to devellop the country

for them, the project has worked. not only he had friends from all over the country but when a student in the USSR had friends from all over the continent, if not the world..

that said, though he's naturally less extreme as mine, there is a sense of disappointement around..
i can't tell how many great projects, ideas him or his friends have worked on that have been killed, slowed down, corrupted by all too powerful politicians.
and meanwhile there is an even bigger disappointement in the population.. because nobody explainned what was possible or not, nobody explained why this or that decision was made..
because the higher ranking politicians had all the power in their hands.



like i told Thrill above, my main issue with centralist models is the lack of internal competition. miracles like Kerala or Curitiba are studied all over the world because they happened. except for the cuban healthcare system (and keep the size of cuba in mind), few centralist countries came up with anything. too much inertia, one person makes every decision..



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thrill
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Tue Mar-06-07 03:08 PM

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104. "RE: my dad is a lot younger"
In response to Reply # 96


  

          



>like i told Thrill above, my main issue with centralist models
>is the lack of internal competition. miracles like Kerala or
>Curitiba are studied all over the world because they happened.
>except for the cuban healthcare system (and keep the size of
>cuba in mind), few centralist countries came up with anything.
>too much inertia, one person makes every decision..

lee kwan yew isn't studied and feted? what about mahathir in malaysia?

and internal competition at what level? whether little kids should go to school or not? i don't really think that should be a matter for competing regions to decide for themselves, because not all regions have the resources, intelligensia etc to produce the committed communist cadres who created the kerala miracle. what you're really saying is that if i happen to come from a poorer, more feudal, less educated, more oppressive region, it's ok for me to starve because i was born in the wrong place, as long as someone in the next state over has the freedom to start a communist movement. i think that's pretty terrible.


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afrobongo
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108. "*throws back your argument at you*"
In response to Reply # 104


          


>what you're really saying is that if i happen
>to come from a poorer, more feudal, less educated, more
>oppressive region, it's ok for me to starve because i was born
>in the wrong place, as long as someone in the next state over
>has the freedom to start a communist movement. i think that's
>pretty terrible.

you're pretty much saying that a kid coming from a region that has the workforce, the elite, the financial means and the desire to go to school should be held back because the country is ruled by mofos who come from a region that lacks all that ?

^^^ this happen in my country.

which one is better ?

  

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thrill
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Tue Mar-06-07 04:56 PM

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111. "RE: *throws back your argument at you*"
In response to Reply # 108


  

          


>you're pretty much saying that a kid coming from a region that
>has the workforce, the elite, the financial means and the
>desire to go to school should be held back because the country
>is ruled by mofos who come from a region that lacks all that
>?
>
>^^^ this happen in my country.
>
>which one is better ?

decentralization will help people in privileged positions, i already said that -- but it doesn't transform things for people in disprivileged positions. i mean, it's like lowering taxes, sure it will empower the privileged, but it will also disempower the poor.

knowing nothing about the congo, i can't argue over your precis, but i'll say that in a centralized country, people with more can lobby the center for national change and have the motivation to do so because it benefits them -- but decentralization will exacerbate regional differences. and tht's exactly what's happening in china right now, the retreat of the state is exacerbating regional dfiferences, the differences btw the cities and the countryside, return of all kinds anti-woman practices like child marraige.





.........................
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afrobongo
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113. "lobby ? lol"
In response to Reply # 111


          


their lobbying is as efficient as "popular pressure" to follow kerala's model in other states.


the uneducated and unproductive north is actually more attached to national political power because it's uneducated and unproductive. and they're attached to central power because ANY kind of decentralization (literally anything you can think about) would lower their only source of income.

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thrill
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Tue Mar-06-07 05:29 PM

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118. "RE: lobby ? lol"
In response to Reply # 113


  

          


>the uneducated and unproductive north is actually more
>attached to national political power because it's uneducated
>and unproductive. and they're attached to central power
>because ANY kind of decentralization (literally anything you
>can think about) would lower their only source of income.

i mean, if you can buy the dispossessed pressuring ashanti chiefs, why can't you buy the possessed pressuring __ leaders. is this example above nigeria?

relatedly, i'm curious about the medium of propagandizing for a multiethnic national identity. it was cinema in the US and in india, was it radio in africa... ? i guess i've only heard of pan-african music, and never say, nigerian music that explicitly says "ibo, hausa, yoruba, yay nigeria" or whatever... ?

.........................
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afrobongo
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121. "RE: lobby ? lol"
In response to Reply # 118


          

>
>>the uneducated and unproductive north is actually more
>>attached to national political power because it's uneducated
>>and unproductive. and they're attached to central power
>>because ANY kind of decentralization (literally anything you
>>can think about) would lower their only source of income.
>
>i mean, if you can buy the dispossessed pressuring ashanti
>chiefs, why can't you buy the possessed pressuring __ leaders.

they could pressure as long as they had an official role.
ok.
i think there's confusion here:
in the first constitution of ghana, the chiefs had an official role (some kind of senate) and the local admn had another one (local parliaments).
while getting rid of the first one totally makes sense to me (undemocratic mostly), the second one is less problematic.. since i think that local population deserve to have representation and executive that represent their desires AT THEIR LEVEL.

> is this example above nigeria?

no it's Congo.
in Nigeria, finding oil in the south was probably the worst thing that could happen to the northern economy.
at least they were productive before

>relatedly, i'm curious about the medium of propagandizing for
>a multiethnic national identity. it was cinema in the US and
>in india, was it radio in africa... ? i guess i've only heard
>of pan-african music, and never say, nigerian music that
>explicitly says "ibo, hausa, yoruba, yay nigeria" or
>whatever... ?

yeah i'd say radio. and schools.
of course there were all kinds of different models..
British Africa had their secondary boarding schools that were a great way to mix up kids from different ethnic groups and also social backgrounds..
in Zaire, the existence of Kinshasa (that slowly created its own particular identity) and its cultural production, helped.
Music was used too.. a lot actually. i think panafrican music travels better.

radio was confronted to conflicting problems tho.. in order to reach the people, local languages were used, but those local languages reinforced ethnic separation..
(in congo, during the civil war, talking a language could save your life)



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afrobongo
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156. "HOW COULD I FORGET FOOTBALL (the one with the feet)"
In response to Reply # 118


          


>relatedly, i'm curious about the medium of propagandizing for
>a multiethnic national identity.

National Teams are the most concrete example of sucess via national unity.
and quite interestingly, Nkrumah, Mobutu, Sekou Touré, Mandela, Biya and many other enjoyed an african nation cup victory at decisive historical moments.

weirdly enough too, no african country has ethnic domination like USSR had (the basketball team was 60% lithuanian and the football team was at least 50% ukrainian)




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thrill
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Wed Mar-07-07 11:38 AM

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157. "bc it's boring"
In response to Reply # 156


  

          

>
>>relatedly, i'm curious about the medium of propagandizing
>for
>>a multiethnic national identity.
>
>National Teams are the most concrete example of sucess via
>national unity.

but that's not explicit -- is it? i meant more some sort of explicit discourse ethusing about the unity in diversity.

the way US ww2 movies will explicitly have an irish-american, an italian-american etc as a way of enthusing about domesticating and ethusing about the domestication of immigrants.

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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 11:51 AM

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159. "depends on what you mean by explicit."
In response to Reply # 157


          


are the people on the team put together for that purpose ?
no. they are just the best players.


do governments, media populations explicitely see and use it as a symbol ?
yes


there IS a reason why the less ethnically diverse clubs aren't given so much exposure, attention and support (political, mediatic and eventually popular).

i mean a month ago, the congolese victory in the under 21 african nation cup was celebrated with a holiday the next monday and that's quite common too.


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anoman
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164. "my experiences with decentralization"
In response to Reply # 96
Wed Mar-07-07 02:53 PM by anoman

  

          

>
>>it seems like Afrobongo is sceptical & critical about their
>>project to reshape parochial tribal society into a new,
>>modern, socialist whole. but I can imagine my father coming
>to
>>Batavia (Jakarta) from a small village in north sumatra, &
>>being electrified at the wider horizons opening up for him,
>&
>>genuinely feeling that this was an opportunity everyone
>should
>>have. *could* have in an independent country.
>
>he was 3 when Congo became independant
>he was 8 when Congo became socialist
>he was 11 when Congo became marxist
>
>his generation was probably even more driven than the
>generation before..
>they went to schools because there were public schools
>they went to college abroad for free because the country
>needed the skills they acquired
>they got jobs to devellop the country
>
>for them, the project has worked. not only he had friends from
>all over the country but when a student in the USSR had
>friends from all over the continent, if not the world..
>
>that said, though he's naturally less extreme as mine, there
>is a sense of disappointement around..
>i can't tell how many great projects, ideas him or his friends
>have worked on that have been killed, slowed down, corrupted
>by all too powerful politicians.
>and meanwhile there is an even bigger disappointement in the
>population.. because nobody explainned what was possible or
>not, nobody explained why this or that decision was made..
>because the higher ranking politicians had all the power in
>their hands.


but whether decentralization & democratization actually prevents concentration of power & corruption, or merely transfers it to local elites is a highly contentious issue in economics & political science - the evidence is rather inconclusive.

I interned for this UNDP-Habitat project back when I was an undergrad & still thought I could save the world:

http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=732&catid=47&typeid=13&subMenuId=0

since 99, Indonesia has started an ambitious program of decentralization, granting districts a great deal of autonomy in public policy & spending to districts. this project selected 9 "model municipalities" to help implement the

I was with the project in 2002, when it was still fairly new, but already it was obvious that the new law was "democratizing" corruption. projects that before would have required only the authority of the central ministry now require the co-operation of many figures in local government as well - all of whom are therefore in a position to accept bribes that they weren't earlier.

another thing - I worked in Solo, Central Java, the biggest, wealthiest, & best educated city of the 9 selected for the project, but even there I found both the local government & civil society simply not equipped to deal with their new responsibilities.

municipalities are not the appropriate level to be setting education policy or an industrialization strategy. & at least in Indonesia, decentralization has only increased the administrative fragmentation - my father's birth district, Tapanuli Utara, was split into 3 new districts in 99 & 2004. the new district, Samosir, has 130,000 people, no real city, no industry, no university. yet it's expected to function as an autonomous unit of local governance.

but by your argument splitting the district like this is a good thing, because there do exist clear differences in the economy, population, culture, etc. of these 3 areas in the old district.

what would you consider the optimal scale for governing?

>like i told Thrill above, my main issue with centralist models
>is the lack of internal competition. miracles like Kerala or
>Curitiba are studied all over the world because they happened.
>except for the cuban healthcare system (and keep the size of
>cuba in mind), few centralist countries came up with anything.
>too much inertia, one person makes every decision..

but for every kerala, there's a bihar. & let's not forget that the probably the biggest success stories, South Korea (in 1957, Ghana had a higher per capita GDP than South Korea) & Taiwan, were highly centralized. of course, they were also ethnically homogeneous & geographically compact, but not in a way that could be easily replicated through decentralization in Africa.

  

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afrobongo
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166. "sounds like Nigeria"
In response to Reply # 164


          


>municipalities are not the appropriate level to be setting
>education policy or an industrialization strategy. & at least
>in Indonesia, decentralization has only increased the
>administrative fragmentation - my father's birth district,
>Tapanuli Utara, was split into 3 new districts in 99 & 2004.
>the new district, Samosir, has 130,000 people, no real city,
>no industry, no university. yet it's expected to function as
>an autonomous unit of local governance.

(and i can't count how many times i've read articles mentionning nigeria as an example for indonesia and indonesia for nigeria)
but yeah, in Nigeria, many cities, universities, industries were directly the product of decentralization via creation of new states (and budgets, of course).
130,000 people tho ? hmmm.

i do agree that the municipality may not be the proper level for a lot of policies.
the real issue is to discuss on what level a policy is efficient.. or on what level the decision should be made.

even the cuban health policy has levels of decision-making and budget allocations that arguably make it more efficient.

>but by your argument splitting the district like this is a
>good thing, because there do exist clear differences in the
>economy, population, culture, etc. of these 3 areas in the old
>district.

that's a political engineering decision, isn't it ?
what's the powers of those districts ?
what policies do they handle ?

>what would you consider the optimal scale for governing?

though question.
the most legitimate one.
we live in a world where Lichtenstein and China both exist. Russia and Tunisia too..

i'd say it depends on the aims and the homogenity and the level of democracy plays a huge role.
are centrally planned and implimented policies (without accurate representation) efficient when it comes to resolve diverse issues ?


>but for every kerala, there's a bihar. & let's not forget that
>the probably the biggest success stories, South Korea (in
>1957, Ghana had a higher per capita GDP than South Korea) &
>Taiwan, were highly centralized.

and let's also not forget the massive politically-oriented investments they receive due to their role in the cold war.
Ivory Coast fell in that category too.

>of course, they were also
>ethnically homogeneous & geographically compact, but not in a
>way that could be easily replicated through decentralization
>in Africa.

Cabinda, Katanga, Biafra..

  

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anoman
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178. "yeah Nigeria & Indonesia have a lot in common"
In response to Reply # 166


  

          

both artificial colonial creations, huge population divided into hundreds of ethnic groups (including everything from ancient kingdoms to hunter-gatherers), major Muslim-Christian division coupled with strong ancestor religions, natural resources unequally distributed, plus all the problems of the "Third World" in general.

I'm most familiar with Indonesia, so I keep bringing it up, but hopefully it's relevant & useful for a post that should be about Africa.

>but yeah, in Nigeria, many cities, universities, industries
>were directly the product of decentralization via creation of
>new states (and budgets, of course).

ha! the district government website proudly displays the huge new legislative assembly building the legislators built for themselves:

http://www.samosir.go.id/

and they've also clearly hired someone (no doubt a cousin) to design a website, even though I've never seen a computer in any of the villages in that district. and so on.

but I must admit the Bupati (district chief, literally "master of the earth" in sanskrit - gives an indication how this role is usually conceived) is a good guy, clean, enthusiastic, & genuinely interested in improving the lives of locals. but the system is too entrenched for lone rangers to make much of a difference.

>i do agree that the municipality may not be the proper level
>for a lot of policies.
>the real issue is to discuss on what level a policy is
>efficient.. or on what level the decision should be made.

in Indonesia it was a conscious decision to decentralize at the kabupaten level, out of fear of making provinces too powerful. so efficiency wasn't the main concern. but the provincial level may be to broad.

for instance, North Sumatra Province contains Malays, Buginese, Coolie Javanese, Chinese, & Tamils on the east coast, Acehnese, Minangkabau, & "Malayified" Bataks on the west coast, 7 different Batak groups in the interior (2 of whom are Muslim, & all but 1 of whom actually object to being called Batak), & the Nias islands off on their own in the Indian Ocean. and that's just the traditional division, nowadays ethnic groups are hopelessly mixed up in the cities.

the economy is similarly diverse: a major city, rubber, tobacco, & palm oil plantations on the east coast, European fruits & vegetables, coffee, & logging in the interior, rice & fishing on the west coast.

I'm guessing you would consider this an overly centralized unit, but there is no obvious level in between the province and the district either. I don't know enough about Ghana, but I doubt the situation is any simpler over there (or in any African country).

>>but by your argument splitting the district like this is a
>>good thing, because there do exist clear differences in the
>>economy, population, culture, etc. of these 3 areas in the
>old
>>district.
>
>that's a political engineering decision, isn't it ?
>what's the powers of those districts ?
>what policies do they handle ?

the new regional autonomy law, by granting some of their own rights of taxation & a significant share of the nationally collected revenue from mining, logging, tourism, & a few other industries to the districts, encourages breakaway districts who want a piece of the action. the splitting certainly wasn’t the result of some kind of popular grass roots campaign.

the districts have quite broad powers – they run the schools and local medical centers, are responsible for most public works and infrastructure, esp. in agriculture. they also get a say & 80% of the tax revenue in logging and mining, and as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, the new millennium has not coincidentally seen a catastrophic explosion in both those activities (witness the “mud volcano” in east java caused by faulty gas drilling, that has been swallowing up country side under toxic superheated mud since may 2006, scientists have no idea how to stop it: http://www.crisp.nus.edu.sg/coverages/mudflow/index.html )

>>what would you consider the optimal scale for governing?
>
>though question.
>the most legitimate one.
>we live in a world where Lichtenstein and China both exist.
>Russia and Tunisia too..
>
>i'd say it depends on the aims and the homogenity and the
>level of democracy plays a huge role.
>are centrally planned and implimented policies (without
>accurate representation) efficient when it comes to resolve
>diverse issues ?

it’s does seem like small, socially cohesive democracies always come top of the human development index. Japan & the US are the only ones in the top 10 with more than 30 million people. and of course, perceptions of small change over time. nowadays anything under 10 million is considered small; Plato thought more than 5000 male citizens was too much.

>>but for every kerala, there's a bihar. & let's not forget
>that
>>the probably the biggest success stories, South Korea (in
>>1957, Ghana had a higher per capita GDP than South Korea) &
>>Taiwan, were highly centralized.
>
>and let's also not forget the massive politically-oriented
>investments they receive due to their role in the cold war.
>Ivory Coast fell in that category too.

true, but somehow this didn’t just benefit the politicians in the capital, so centralized systems are not inherently incapable of encouraging development regionally.

>>of course, they were also
>>ethnically homogeneous & geographically compact, but not in
>a
>>way that could be easily replicated through decentralization
>>in Africa.
>
>Cabinda, Katanga, Biafra..

hardly cases of easy replication! even supposing that the states they were seceding from had just let them go peacefully, I think for example Biafra itself would have developed problems between the Igbo majority & other ethnic groups in its territory.

  

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afrobongo
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Thu Mar-08-07 02:01 PM

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185. "they do"
In response to Reply # 178


          


>I'm most familiar with Indonesia, so I keep bringing it up,
>but hopefully it's relevant & useful for a post that should be
>about Africa.

i *think* it's more relevant to countries of comparable size.. Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, DRC..
middle size countries (ghana, mali, cameroon) and small ones (benin, congo-b, botswana) have different dynamics.

>>but yeah, in Nigeria, many cities, universities, industries
>>were directly the product of decentralization via creation
>of
>>new states (and budgets, of course).
>
>ha! the district government website proudly displays the huge
>new legislative assembly building the legislators built for
>themselves:
>
>http://www.samosir.go.id/
>
>and they've also clearly hired someone (no doubt a cousin) to
>design a website, even though I've never seen a computer in
>any of the villages in that district. and so on.

lol.
i love the third world.
lol.

>but I must admit the Bupati (district chief, literally "master
>of the earth" in sanskrit - gives an indication how this role
>is usually conceived) is a good guy, clean, enthusiastic, &
>genuinely interested in improving the lives of locals. but the
>system is too entrenched for lone rangers to make much of a
>difference.

is he an elected official or a traditionnal ruler ?

>>i do agree that the municipality may not be the proper level
>>for a lot of policies.
>>the real issue is to discuss on what level a policy is
>>efficient.. or on what level the decision should be made.
>
>in Indonesia it was a conscious decision to decentralize at
>the kabupaten level, out of fear of making provinces too
>powerful. so efficiency wasn't the main concern. but the
>provincial level may be to broad.

aka the nigerian syndrom.
(from 3 regions to 36 states.. actually there is a number of people arguing that the rules for state creation are direct incentive for state creation.. sub-groups of ethnic groups tend to differentiate themselves for the sake of having a state and a budget and an university and an airport and a city in their village)

>for instance, North Sumatra Province contains Malays,
>Buginese, Coolie Javanese, Chinese, & Tamils on the east
>coast, Acehnese, Minangkabau, & "Malayified" Bataks on the
>west coast, 7 different Batak groups in the interior (2 of
>whom are Muslim, & all but 1 of whom actually object to being
>called Batak), & the Nias islands off on their own in the
>Indian Ocean. and that's just the traditional division,
>nowadays ethnic groups are hopelessly mixed up in the cities.

whoa

>the economy is similarly diverse: a major city, rubber,
>tobacco, & palm oil plantations on the east coast, European
>fruits & vegetables, coffee, & logging in the interior, rice &
>fishing on the west coast.
>
>I'm guessing you would consider this an overly centralized
>unit, but there is no obvious level in between the province
>and the district either. I don't know enough about Ghana, but
>I doubt the situation is any simpler over there (or in any
>African country).

pre-colonial and early ghana was 5 entities i think..
Accra, the ashantiland, the north, the west and the former togoland.
Togoland was the entity that made the least sense.. as it simply was a smaller ghana (or togo)
the others were socio-economical (and kinda ethnical) units.


>>>but by your argument splitting the district like this is a
>>>good thing, because there do exist clear differences in the
>>>economy, population, culture, etc. of these 3 areas in the
>>old
>>>district.
>>
>>that's a political engineering decision, isn't it ?
>>what's the powers of those districts ?
>>what policies do they handle ?
>
>the new regional autonomy law, by granting some of their own
>rights of taxation & a significant share of the nationally
>collected revenue from mining, logging, tourism, & a few other
>industries to the districts, encourages breakaway districts
>who want a piece of the action. the splitting certainly wasn’t
>the result of some kind of popular grass roots campaign.

hmmm..

>the districts have quite broad powers – they run the schools
>and local medical centers, are responsible for most public
>works and infrastructure, esp. in agriculture. they also get a
>say & 80% of the tax revenue in logging and mining,

is there still some kind of central coordination ?

>and as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, the new millennium has not
>coincidentally seen a catastrophic explosion in both those
>activities (witness the “mud volcano” in east java caused by
>faulty gas drilling, that has been swallowing up country side
>under toxic superheated mud since may 2006, scientists have no
>idea how to stop it:
>http://www.crisp.nus.edu.sg/coverages/mudflow/index.html )

ouch.

>>>what would you consider the optimal scale for governing?
>>
>>though question.
>>the most legitimate one.
>>we live in a world where Lichtenstein and China both exist.
>>Russia and Tunisia too..
>>
>>i'd say it depends on the aims and the homogenity and the
>>level of democracy plays a huge role.
>>are centrally planned and implimented policies (without
>>accurate representation) efficient when it comes to resolve
>>diverse issues ?
>
>it’s does seem like small, socially cohesive democracies
>always come top of the human development index. Japan & the US
>are the only ones in the top 10 with more than 30 million
>people. and of course, perceptions of small change over time.
>nowadays anything under 10 million is considered small; Plato
>thought more than 5000 male citizens was too much.

agreed.

>>>but for every kerala, there's a bihar. & let's not forget
>>that
>>>the probably the biggest success stories, South Korea (in
>>>1957, Ghana had a higher per capita GDP than South Korea) &
>>>Taiwan, were highly centralized.
>>
>>and let's also not forget the massive politically-oriented
>>investments they receive due to their role in the cold war.
>>Ivory Coast fell in that category too.
>
>true, but somehow this didn’t just benefit the politicians in
>the capital, so centralized systems are not inherently
>incapable of encouraging development regionally.

oh i bet you heard the argument about how the presence of neighbouring communist regimes has been the biggest incentive for social-democratic policies in western europe and some asian countries (policies that were formulated and implimented even by right-wing governments)..
aka Checkmating the commies.

>>>of course, they were also
>>>ethnically homogeneous & geographically compact, but not in
>>a
>>>way that could be easily replicated through
>decentralization
>>>in Africa.
>>
>>Cabinda, Katanga, Biafra..
>
>hardly cases of easy replication! even supposing that the
>states they were seceding from had just let them go
>peacefully, I think for example Biafra itself would have
>developed problems between the Igbo majority & other ethnic
>groups in its territory.

(aka why Tanzania and Zambia recognized Biafra 2 years deep in the war: at that point the territory controlled by the biafrans was Ibo)

and for Cabinda and Katanga, well, it's not like during the years of forced centralism by their capitals they saw any devellopment
______________________________


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http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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anoman
Charter member
416 posts
Fri Mar-09-07 05:20 AM

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189. "RE: they do"
In response to Reply # 185


  

          

>>but I must admit the Bupati (district chief, literally
>"master
>>of the earth" in sanskrit - gives an indication how this
>role
>>is usually conceived) is a good guy, clean, enthusiastic, &
>>genuinely interested in improving the lives of locals. but
>the
>>system is too entrenched for lone rangers to make much of a
>>difference.
>
>is he an elected official or a traditionnal ruler ?

since the new law on regional autonomy in 99, the Bupatis have become locally elected. before that, under the Republic they were appointed by the provincial governor. under the Dutch, in most of Indonesia they were traditional rulers. they had higher protocol rank than the Dutch "residents", who were officially just diplomatic representatives of the governor-general.

but the Bataklands historically did not have any regular form of political organization bigger than the set of villages that shared a single irrigation source for their rice fields. all decisions were made through clan councils.

so when the Dutch introduced the Bupati system (which had developed in the 17th & 18th century in Java, where there had been large kingdoms for over a millennium), there were no obvious "traditional rulers" to appoint at the district level. all colonial Bupatis were respected clan elders (such as my grandfather), but they had no traditional claim on the loyalty of anyone outside their own clan & village.

>aka the nigerian syndrom.
>(from 3 regions to 36 states.. actually there is a number of
>people arguing that the rules for state creation are direct
>incentive for state creation.. sub-groups of ethnic groups
>tend to differentiate themselves for the sake of having a
>state and a budget and an university and an airport and a city
>in their village)

that's exactly what appears to be going on in parts of Indonesia today.

(witness the “mud volcano” in east java caused by
>>faulty gas drilling, that has been swallowing up country
>side
>>under toxic superheated mud since may 2006, scientists have
>no
>>idea how to stop it:
>>http://www.crisp.nus.edu.sg/coverages/mudflow/index.html )
>
>ouch.

just thought of checking youtube, because still images don't do justice to how fucked up this thing is:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ae_i69BPM2U

>>>Cabinda, Katanga, Biafra..
>>
>>hardly cases of easy replication! even supposing that the
>>states they were seceding from had just let them go
>>peacefully, I think for example Biafra itself would have
>>developed problems between the Igbo majority & other ethnic
>>groups in its territory.
>
>(aka why Tanzania and Zambia recognized Biafra 2 years deep in
>the war: at that point the territory controlled by the
>biafrans was Ibo)

but even then, is a territory ever really 100% ethnically "pure"? maybe in a few places in Africa that is a realistic possibility, but for the most part I don't think creating separate administrative units for every ethnic group to call its own is possible or desirable. hence, "Africa must unite".

  

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afrobongo
Charter member
33968 posts
Fri Mar-09-07 12:01 PM

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194. "damn @ the youtube link"
In response to Reply # 189


          

>>>but I must admit the Bupati (district chief, literally
>>"master
>>>of the earth" in sanskrit - gives an indication how this
>>role
>>>is usually conceived) is a good guy, clean, enthusiastic, &
>>>genuinely interested in improving the lives of locals. but
>>the
>>>system is too entrenched for lone rangers to make much of a
>>>difference.
>>
>>is he an elected official or a traditionnal ruler ?
>
>since the new law on regional autonomy in 99, the Bupatis have
>become locally elected. before that, under the Republic they
>were appointed by the provincial governor. under the Dutch, in
>most of Indonesia they were traditional rulers. they had
>higher protocol rank than the Dutch "residents", who were
>officially just diplomatic representatives of the
>governor-general.
>
>but the Bataklands historically did not have any regular form
>of political organization bigger than the set of villages that
>shared a single irrigation source for their rice fields. all
>decisions were made through clan councils.
>
>so when the Dutch introduced the Bupati system (which had
>developed in the 17th & 18th century in Java, where there had
>been large kingdoms for over a millennium), there were no
>obvious "traditional rulers" to appoint at the district level.
>all colonial Bupatis were respected clan elders (such as my
>grandfather), but they had no traditional claim on the loyalty
>of anyone outside their own clan & village.

ah.
yeah, that's quite common.

>>aka the nigerian syndrom.
>>(from 3 regions to 36 states.. actually there is a number of
>>people arguing that the rules for state creation are direct
>>incentive for state creation.. sub-groups of ethnic groups
>>tend to differentiate themselves for the sake of having a
>>state and a budget and an university and an airport and a
>city
>>in their village)
>
>that's exactly what appears to be going on in parts of
>Indonesia today.

but there are particularities in the nigeria.. (basically if a state is divided in two states, the cummulated revenue will be bigger than the original state revenue)

but there is the other process going on in other countries.
in congo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_the_Republic_of_the_Congo
the tension became regionnal instead of purely ethnic.
i mean, they are ethnic but only two regions are more or less homogenous (kouilou and pool).

actually to an extend, it has even become south vs north, while both are diverse and all that.

>(witness the “mud volcano” in east java caused by
>>>faulty gas drilling, that has been swallowing up country
>>side
>>>under toxic superheated mud since may 2006, scientists have
>>no
>>>idea how to stop it:
>>>http://www.crisp.nus.edu.sg/coverages/mudflow/index.html )
>>
>>ouch.
>
>just thought of checking youtube, because still images don't
>do justice to how fucked up this thing is:
>
>http://youtube.com/watch?v=ae_i69BPM2U

nah really, DAMN.

>>>>Cabinda, Katanga, Biafra..
>>>
>>>hardly cases of easy replication! even supposing that the
>>>states they were seceding from had just let them go
>>>peacefully, I think for example Biafra itself would have
>>>developed problems between the Igbo majority & other ethnic
>>>groups in its territory.
>>
>>(aka why Tanzania and Zambia recognized Biafra 2 years deep
>in
>>the war: at that point the territory controlled by the
>>biafrans was Ibo)
>
>but even then, is a territory ever really 100% ethnically
>"pure"? maybe in a few places in Africa that is a realistic
>possibility, but for the most part I don't think creating
>separate administrative units for every ethnic group to call
>its own is possible or desirable.

well, once Biafra lost Calabar, the lower Plateau and the Delta it was Ibo.
but the truth is that before and after, there were already tension inside the Biafran government and army.. villages, clans, lineages..

but is it different from Singapore or Bangladesh ?
Was it desirable to keep them in those bigger oppressive entities ?
______________________________


*TWINNING*

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http://www.combandrazor.blogspot.com/

  

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anoman
Charter member
416 posts
Fri Mar-09-07 12:42 PM

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196. "RE: damn @ the youtube link"
In response to Reply # 194


  

          

>but is it different from Singapore or Bangladesh ?
>Was it desirable to keep them in those bigger oppressive
>entities ?

well Singapore is a bit different, in that it had originally been a separate colony. then it was kicked out of the federation (which it had first voluntarily joined), rather than seceded. same reason why in the end Indonesia was willing to let East Timor go, but will never relinquish Aceh.

and I find the original Pakistan a prime example of the lunacy of trying to create neat separate states when populations are anything but neat. India really could have used an Nkrumah-like figure in the early 20th century to promote "Pan-South-Asianism" over communalism.

  

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afrobongo
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Fri Mar-09-07 02:34 PM

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197. "is it that simple ?"
In response to Reply # 196


          

>>but is it different from Singapore or Bangladesh ?
>>Was it desirable to keep them in those bigger oppressive
>>entities ?
>
>well Singapore is a bit different, in that it had originally
>been a separate colony.

so was Cabinda (or Western Sahara or Somaliland)
Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon were litteraly created on the eve of independance as a mix of two, three or more colonies.

>then it was kicked out of the
>federation (which it had first voluntarily joined), rather
>than seceded.

isnt kicked out a bit simplistic ?
or was it UMNO being realistic as they realized they'll never control Singapore ?

>same reason why in the end Indonesia was willing
>to let East Timor go, but will never relinquish Aceh.

hmmm...

>and I find the original Pakistan a prime example of the lunacy
>of trying to create neat separate states when populations are
>anything but neat. India really could have used an
>Nkrumah-like figure in the early 20th century to promote
>"Pan-South-Asianism" over communalism.

the issue with figures like Nkrumah is that they fuel such separatism by giving the impression (or the excuse for sectarists) that they're more power hungry than anything.

i mean, in an interview, Nyerere or Kaduna or Nujoma (i dont remember which) said that some head of state were afraid to go to the 65 Accra OAU conference because they were convince Nkrumah would take over.

  

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anoman
Charter member
416 posts
Mon Mar-12-07 08:51 AM

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199. "wow I didn't know that"
In response to Reply # 197


  

          

>so was Cabinda (or Western Sahara or Somaliland)
>Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon were litteraly created on the eve of
>independance as a mix of two, three or more colonies.

a bit of googling shows Ghana was amalgamated in 1946, Nigeria in 1914 (both w/ the exception of the British mandates of German togoland & Cameroon that only joined at independence). so while it was only for a short time, it was still the status quo at independence. I guess the situation is most analogous to the German territories - what would have happened if British-controlled Togoland had changed its mind after 2 or 3 years as part of Ghana, & wanted independence instead?

but that wasn't my main point - my point was that Singapore was the odd one out in Malaysia, & keeping it in the federation was more threatening to the integrity of the state than letting it go. all the other states were controlled by the conservative Malay establishment; Singapore threatened to tip the scales in terms of race, economics, and more radical politics.

most multi-ethnic states are terrified of secession because it might set off a domino-effect, in the case of Malaysia this wasn't a concern. so Singapore was kicked out.

>>India really could have used an
>>Nkrumah-like figure in the early 20th century to promote
>>"Pan-South-Asianism" over communalism.
>
>the issue with figures like Nkrumah is that they fuel such
>separatism by giving the impression (or the excuse for
>sectarists) that they're more power hungry than anything.
>
>i mean, in an interview, Nyerere or Kaduna or Nujoma (i dont
>remember which) said that some head of state were afraid to go
>to the 65 Accra OAU conference because they were convince
>Nkrumah would take over.

I think Pan-Africanism was an easier sell than an inclusive south-asian nationalism precisely because a single African superstate was never a serious possibility. someone in Tanganyika could clap to Nkrumah's preaching without actually having to worry about being ruled from Accra. a Muslim in British India didn't have that luxury.

  

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afrobongo
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Mon Mar-19-07 10:29 AM

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203. "just for fun"
In response to Reply # 199


          

>what would have happened if
>British-controlled Togoland had changed its mind after 2 or 3
>years as part of Ghana, & wanted independence instead?

^^^story of Somaliland and to an extend the Southern Cameroons.
Somaliland voted to join Somalia under a constitution with special provisions. of course unified Somalia quickly moved to get rid of those provisions..
the british-controlled cameroon is even weirder.
the north voted to join Nigeria and no one ever heard anything about it even since.
the south joined french-controlled Cameroun.
now the interesting part is that a lot of nationalists claim the southern cameroon has been tricked. it is clear that they didnt want to join Nigeria but they may had voted for independance if given the choice. and even beyond that, the ballot was semi-confusing.. a lot of people who voted for Cameroun thought they were voting for an independant Cameroon..

fun isnt it ?
______________________________


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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
17071 posts
Fri Mar-09-07 03:09 PM

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198. "?"
In response to Reply # 196


  

          

India really could have used an
>Nkrumah-like figure in the early 20th century to promote
>"Pan-South-Asianism" over communalism.

wasn't that gandhi or nehru, everyone in the congress was against communalist separation. or are you trying to include bhutan, nepal etc.

but on second thought, it's interesting that many people from south asia would boggle at the thought of enthusing over a pan-south-asian identity (even peoples far away from partition in time and space), but does any african (non-diasporic) boggle at pan-africanism?

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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anoman
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Mon Mar-12-07 10:03 AM

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200. "gandhi & nehru were too hindu"
In response to Reply # 198


  

          

> India really could have used an
>>Nkrumah-like figure in the early 20th century to promote
>>"Pan-South-Asianism" over communalism.
>
>wasn't that gandhi or nehru, everyone in the congress was
>against communalist separation. or are you trying to include
>bhutan, nepal etc.

no, I'm leaving the other countries out of it. yeah Gandhi & Nehru (& the whole INC) were sincere secular nationalists, but Gandhi's style was completely neo-Hindu holy man, & Nehru just screamed Kashmir Pandit from every pore of his body. It's like white people in America preaching black-white unity; they hold no weight on the minority side. a truly credible "pan-southasian nationalist" would've had to have been an impeccable Muslim, a figure like Maulana Azad. but I'm not really a believer in Great Man History; by the 1930s I don't think anyone could convince the Muslim population as a whole that their interests would be served a Hindu-majority secular democracy.

>but on second thought, it's interesting that many people from
>south asia would boggle at the thought of enthusing over a
>pan-south-asian identity (even peoples far away from partition
>in time and space), but does any african (non-diasporic)
>boggle at pan-africanism?

yeah, there were never any pre-Indepedence calls to split Indonesia into 2 separate Muslim & Christian states, or AFAIK anywhere in Africa. I actually went to school in both India & Pakistan, so I had to learn both official versions, & I'm still not sure at what point partition became "inevitable".

  

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Natural Mystic
Charter member
posts
Tue Mar-06-07 02:40 PM

99. "this is an interesting post. where can i find out more about this author"
In response to Reply # 0


          


and more about this in general?


______

The Roots + Rage Against The Machine = Greatest Day EVER
Wu Tang + RATM = THE best 25th Birthday EVERRRRR

http://www.last.fm/user/EmpressEricka
http://www.myspace.com/kakiking

  

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afrobongo
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101. "he's not an author... Kwame Nkrumah was the first leader of Ghana"
In response to Reply # 99


          


he led the country to independance day for day 50 years ago.
it was the first subsaharan african country to be decolonized.
and he ruled it until a cia-supported coup removed him.


he's known for his socialist leanings and even more for his panafrican stance.

he wrote a few books. but there are even more on him.
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Natural Mystic
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posts
Tue Mar-06-07 03:01 PM

103. "Oh. So *THATS* where Ive heard of him."
In response to Reply # 101


          

>
>he led the country to independance day for day 50 years ago.
>it was the first subsaharan african country to be
>decolonized.
>and he ruled it until a cia-supported coup removed him.

i remember hearing about him. he was for womens rights and voting in the gold coast/ghana way back in the day.
supposedly he was voted into power while he was still in prison, right? got a peace prize from somewhere too I think. i might be wrong, thats cool shit.

>he's known for his socialist leanings and even more for his
>panafrican stance.
>
>he wrote a few books. but there are even more on him.

im going to google him now.
thanks for this.


p.s.
do you ever think that african can unite as one country?

______

The Roots + Rage Against The Machine = Greatest Day EVER
Wu Tang + RATM = THE best 25th Birthday EVERRRRR

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 03:28 PM

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106. "are africans nicer people?"
In response to Reply # 103


  

          



like, i watch afrobongo and chike make serious posts and conduct themselves with exemplary manners and generosity. while back when i made serious posts, i wigged out at the first reply which did not meet my expectations. *blames genes for flat ass and lack of anger mgmt*

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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Chike
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Tue Mar-06-07 07:58 PM

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125. "pssst... nice African that I am"
In response to Reply # 106


  

          

I should let you know that I'm the diasporic kind (Canadian-born, father from Dominica, Guyanese mother - to be specific), in case my name led you to believe I'm Nigerian. If you were blaming your European genes for those failings, know that I share them... well, not the failings but the European ancestry, lol.

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:02 PM

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126. "pssst.. it's not european genes she was blaming"
In response to Reply # 125


          


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Chike
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:18 PM

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127. "alors expliques"
In response to Reply # 126


  

          

.

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:21 PM

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128. "...."
In response to Reply # 127
Tue Mar-06-07 08:34 PM by afrobongo

          


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Chike
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:23 PM

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129. "is that her name?"
In response to Reply # 128


  

          

.

  

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afrobongo
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132. "that's the endogenous name of a BIG country..."
In response to Reply # 129


          


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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:28 PM

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131. "this is offensive"
In response to Reply # 128


  

          


.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:29 PM

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133. "is it ? how ?"
In response to Reply # 131


          


(not that i doubt it, i really just want to know)
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Chike
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:29 PM

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134. "you should intervene"
In response to Reply # 131


  

          

.

  

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poetx
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:37 PM

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135. "he ain't know. lol. lmBao. *rolling on floor*. nm"
In response to Reply # 131


  

          


peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:39 PM

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136. "ok now i feel stupid, lol, *sight* n/m"
In response to Reply # 135


          


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Chike
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:42 PM

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137. "this is all very confusing"
In response to Reply # 136


  

          

.

  

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afrobongo
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138. "sure is"
In response to Reply # 137


          


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poetx
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:56 PM

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141. "ok, i'm confrused, too. i thought she was half-feigning offense at"
In response to Reply # 136


  

          

the european comment. i didn't see the edited reply.

oh well.

peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:49 PM

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139. "this feels like the "fewer dropped calls" commercials"
In response to Reply # 131


          


WHAT DID I DO ?
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afrobongo
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112. "yes"
In response to Reply # 103
Tue Mar-06-07 05:12 PM by afrobongo

          

>i remember hearing about him. he was for womens rights and
>voting in the gold coast/ghana way back in the day.

yes until he got into power and decided voting (period) was useless.

>supposedly he was voted into power while he was still in
>prison, right? got a peace prize from somewhere too I think. i
>might be wrong, thats cool shit.

peace price ? not sure.
voted in from prison, almost, i think.

>do you ever think that african can unite as one country?

a country ? not soon.
but do i believe that there are chances that an unification process will take place ?

yes.
i actually think that contrary to the common pessimist stance, a lot of steps have been made in that direction recently.
tho it has been mostly very technical stuff made on the down low.


as long as the politicians leave it alone, it's gonna happen

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Tue Mar-06-07 05:25 PM

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117. "RE: yes"
In response to Reply # 112


  

          


>i actually think that contrary to the common pessimist stance,
>a lot of steps have been made in that direction recently.
>tho it has been mostly very technical stuff made on the down
>low.

i was really struck by the fact that one of the megacities that mike davis discusses in his new book is a cross-border west african one -- and the only cross-border exmaple, i think.

A similar urban ribbon is developing in West Africa; by 2020, according to an OECD study, it will run for 600 km from Accra to Benin City and contain 60 million inhabitants. Davis believes it will be ‘the biggest single footprint of urban poverty on earth’.

.........................
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afrobongo
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122. "the stupid borders helped tho.."
In response to Reply # 117


          


i mean it goes from ghana to nigeria and passes by benin and togo

benin and togo are only second to gambia in geographic stupidity and their capitals happen to be on their 1hourcardrive long coastlines and ghana's capital in on the far east of that coastline and nigeria's is former on the far west coastline.

they're bulding a Ecowas highway from Abidjan to Lagos.

watch Abidjan and ultimately Monrovia, Porth Harcourt, the nigerian east and may be Douala be ONE megalopolis.

a road (and non-harassing customs officers) can do wonders.
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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:27 PM

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130. "does mamdani really disagree with me ?"
In response to Reply # 0


          


http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/mamdani/urban-rural.htm

"The reform of decentralized despotism turned out to be a centralized despotism. So we come to the seesaw of African politics that characterizes its present impasse. On one hand, decentralized despotism exacerbates ethnic divisions, and so the solution appears as a centralization. On the other hand, centralized despotism exacerbates the urban-rural division, and the solution appears as a decentralization. But as variants both continue to revolve around a shared axis-despotism."

Nkrumah was the first one to create a single party (well, not exactly, Ivory Coast had a de facto single party before independance, it didnt OUTLAW opposition before Ghana) and happily justified it.


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poetx
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Tue Mar-06-07 08:52 PM

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140. "so... Who's the KRS-ONE to Nkrumah's Rakim, then?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

-- borrowing a lesson post where folks thought that a poster was making a shock post by kind of poking holes in the legacy of someone thought to be the best emcee ever, by contrasting him with another figure who was not quite as stylistic, but covered more of the ground of what it means to be a dope emcee, even though people tend to normally have negative reactions to him b/c of his personality and ego.

so, if Nkrumah's pan-africanist 'rap', under close historical scrutiny, turns out to have been more style than substance, who really held it down on the continent and came closer to a combination of that pan african style PLUS good governance and well - thought out political and economic leadership?

(my contributions to this jam. fascinating post, by the way. i have some learning to do. i don't quite agree with all of your assessments, but i'm admittedly not versed enough to bulletproof my argument).


peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 09:00 PM

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142. "hmmm.. that's a hard one.."
In response to Reply # 140


          


i'd be tempted to say Houphouet-Boigny..
tho his panafrican and nationalist credentials are limited (he relunctanly accepted his country's independance and kept his panafricanism economical (the fact that ivory coast needs a countryside helped)).

for years Ivory Coast has been on an economical miracle..but the model eventually crashed for a bunch of reasons..

Nyerre may be ?

i dunno. Nkrumah is a mystery..
would he have became a Sekou Touré or a Nehru is the real question

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Wed Mar-07-07 08:41 AM

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146. "wouldn't it be the other way around?"
In response to Reply # 140


  

          



that nkrumah is krs-one -- loud, contradictory, egotistical, talented, transfixing stage presence and ludicrous pronouncements? and mandela is rakim, much more low-key and self-possessed and a huge advance.

well, i'm nominating mandela bc he's so famous -- i don't know enough about mali or namibia or botswana.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 10:47 AM

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150. "Namibia has a mandela-like figure.."
In response to Reply # 146


          


Botswana's first leader was like Malawi's and probably Ivory Coast much more "controversial", as he supported some conservative movements and was at best neutral in the namibia/angola/zimbawe/mozambique/southafrica liberation fights.

Mali.. well.. nobody really stands out. Modibo Keita, the first president was overthrown in a mysterious coup (on the day of the release of Bound To Violence) with an even more mysterious ethno-religious-historical context. the one after was your average national-marxist dictator. the current president organized the coup that got rid of that one, then organized the transition and gave power to an elected government before getting elected later.

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poetx
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Wed Mar-07-07 10:57 AM

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151. "i was kinda wondering that when i typed it -- but this post is the"
In response to Reply # 146


  

          

first time i've heard nkrumah described as egotistical, etc. (*glaring hole in my education -- my info on much of the principals in the african liberation movement is secondhand, from the pov of their black american counterparts (malcolm, etc.), OR, from the standpoint of knowing which euro or U.S. intelligence agencies did them dirty, as w/ lumumba's assassination).

its quite chastening, really, to acknowledge my ignorance in this area. i mean, i knew about the bandung (sp?) conference. organization for african unity.

i know that diop posited a framework (and justification) for a federated state of africa. and i know that nkrumah came forward as a pan-africanist, post-colonialist.

but the details, now that i look, are mad fuzzy.

like, in reading this, i'm tempted to say that bongo is perhaps expecting too much of nkrumah, in pointing out what he sees as flaws in the government that he erected. to me that speaks to a much larger (or, at least, more general point) of, 'to what degree are revolutionaries defined by their opposition?'

like, folks 'hate' on castro's government model in cuba. but dude wasn't studying up on his Master's In Public Administration and then take a semester off in order to topple batista, nahmean?

it takes a specific type of (person) man to wrest power from an existing government. it takes a very specific type, imho, to do so from an autocratic, repressive regime. do the very qualifications that it TAKES to 'liberate' something make one undesirable to lead it? (the george washington example -- was that mongo?? -- was very interesting to me).

from what (little) i know of revolutionary or liberation movements, there has been an alliance of sorts between the military-minded and philosophically-minded, however, should that be a triumvirate, instead, also including the pragmatic-policy-minded?

i mean, were we to go back in time and ask the then-colonized africans would they rather suffer the (unifying) indignations, predations and exploitations of an external FOE, or sieze the day for themselves, only to have their victory short-lived and give way to a succession of vile dictators who are every bit as corrupt and oppressive, and foment discord and death among their own people to maintain their position?

i mean, when i go back and read Blood In My Eye by george jackson, its unnerving all of the marx-talk. i mean, they bought that suit off the rack. but still, he was *about* something and did something and i'd rather, i guess, that he went out as he did, hitching his cause to the best available ideological bandwagon rather than spending so much time trying to formulate something new that he never got to the action phase. but i recognize that that's a false dichotomy. but its asking a LOT of revolutionaries to be able to pull off EVERYTHING.




peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 11:24 AM

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154. "you think ?"
In response to Reply # 151


          


>like, in reading this, i'm tempted to say that bongo is
>perhaps expecting too much of nkrumah, in pointing out what he
>sees as flaws in the government that he erected. to me that
>speaks to a much larger (or, at least, more general point) of,
>'to what degree are revolutionaries defined by their
>opposition?'

i actually don't think there is much more Nkrumah could have done..
or rather let me rephrase, i wouldn't have wanted to be in his position.
he had a huge task, even bigger demands and limited means.

what i wanted to point out here though is the fact that a lot of the things he defended rightfully or not, are the same thing other people are attacked on.
i mean people talk about the coup that ousted him from power as a terrible blow to democracy. but what about his attitude towards his internal opposition ? (from the elimination of the Regional Assemblies to the Detention Act to Party-State to Presidency For Life)

but his biggest mistake wasn't even that. it was his unability to generate creativity via debate INSIDE his camps. towards the end, nobody even dared giving him bad news so he was living in a Potemkin Village fantasy.

>like, folks 'hate' on castro's government model in cuba. but
>dude wasn't studying up on his Master's In Public
>Administration and then take a semester off in order to topple
>batista, nahmean?

word.
to Nkrumah's defense.. the first coup post-colonia coup happened in Togo, a neighbouring country, the first party-state (tho a de facto one) was another neighbouring country, Ivory Coast. and both were quite supported by the west.
I would have gotten paranoid too.
(and Sekou Touré had those examples PLUS Nkrumah's and Keita's demise)

>it takes a specific type of (person) man to wrest power from
>an existing government. it takes a very specific type, imho,
>to do so from an autocratic, repressive regime.

Nkrumah didnt fight Batista tho.
in the time he became important, the discussion was really about "when/how" not "if the decolonization would happen".


>i mean, were we to go back in time and ask the then-colonized
>africans would they rather suffer the (unifying) indignations,
>predations and exploitations of an external FOE, or sieze the
>day for themselves, only to have their victory short-lived and
>give way to a succession of vile dictators who are every bit
>as corrupt and oppressive, and foment discord and death among
>their own people to maintain their position?

CONTROVERSIAL OPINION ALERT:
i think they wouldn't go that way.
i actually think the liberation leaders got the population support by saying the independance itself will improve their lives.
especially in rural africa, the external foe was barely visible. and its lack of visibility via jobs, hospitals, schools has been fully used against him.

>i mean, when i go back and read Blood In My Eye by george
>jackson, its unnerving all of the marx-talk. i mean, they
>bought that suit off the rack. but still, he was *about*
>something and did something and i'd rather, i guess, that he
>went out as he did, hitching his cause to the best available
>ideological bandwagon rather than spending so much time trying
>to formulate something new that he never got to the action
>phase. but i recognize that that's a false dichotomy. but its
>asking a LOT of revolutionaries to be able to pull off
>EVERYTHING.

of course.
but obviously, Nkrumah wasn't alone.
Actually his parliamentary opposition was full of people who were as active in the liberation fight but had disagrements.

should the discussion switch to "hijacks" now ?
(i.e. how the FLN in Algeria hijacked a liberation fight that has been started by another movement and fought that movement as much as the colonizers ?)

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Wed Mar-07-07 11:27 AM

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155. "RE: i was kinda wondering that when i typed it -- but this post is the"
In response to Reply # 151


  

          


>like, in reading this, i'm tempted to say that bongo is
>perhaps expecting too much of nkrumah, in pointing out what he
>sees as flaws in the government that he erected.

*channels bongo* low expectation having mofo, democracie is not too much to have expectations of.

haha, but seriously though, is it too much to ask of nkrumah to not cancel elections, to tolerate some dissent, to see the scariness of the ussr and china at a time when plenty of other people did? it's not too much to ask of castro not to basically crush all his fellow revolutionaries because he can't tolerate any kind of disagreement.

>i mean, when i go back and read Blood In My Eye by george
>jackson, its unnerving all of the marx-talk. i mean, they
>bought that suit off the rack. but still, he was *about*
>something and did something and i'd rather, i guess, that he
>went out as he did, hitching his cause to the best available
>ideological bandwagon rather than spending so much time trying
>to formulate something new that he never got to the action
>phase.

see, i disagree. i don't think off-the-rack marxism WAS the best avilable bandwagon, thinking IS acting, and leninism destroys people's hopes and lives. the cult of action has been a very dangerous idea in the 20th c -- we'd all be better off thinking.





.........................
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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 11:53 AM

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160. "was this on purpose ?"
In response to Reply # 155


          

>democracie

if yes, i hate you and i love you. lol.

(btw you still haven't told why it was offensive)
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thrill
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Wed Mar-07-07 12:25 PM

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161. "hahaha"
In response to Reply # 160


  

          



the really funny part is that you're questioning the spelling of that word and not the awkward english of "not too much to have expectations of".

offensive... it's like... indigenous to whom, what kind of person would use that word today, is that how talk about myself... not mine, not me, no and not really. that's not what i meant by my gene pool, and the only people who think so are wedded to a conception of ethnic nationalism i despise with all hatred i can muster (*thanks genes for strong hating ability*).

.........................
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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 12:31 PM

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162. "*sad*"
In response to Reply # 161


          


>the really funny part is that you're questioning the spelling
>of that word and not the awkward english of "not too much to
>have expectations of".

you win.

>offensive... it's like... indigenous to whom, what kind of
>person would use that word today, is that how talk about
>myself... not mine, not me, no and not really. that's not
>what i meant by my gene pool, and the only people who think so
>are wedded to a conception of ethnic nationalism i despise
>with all hatred i can muster (*thanks genes for strong hating
>ability*).

^^^ ok, that's what i thought. i apologize.


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afrobongo
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Tue Mar-06-07 10:30 PM

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143. "i don't know what to think of this"
In response to Reply # 0


          


tho i emphatically agree on the respect for the constitution being the beginning of rule of law.. my main issue with that generation of leaders is still their total absence of self-criticism..

i mean, don't get me wrong. i'm not shitting on nkrumah, sankara, nyerere and them
the mobutus and the idiamins and the abashas are by no means better, they're more than worse, they're hopeless..

also, i wonder if the peer reviews in AU existed back then.. probably didn't. but that's the greatest invention of the AU. and you can see who decide to go through it or not (and watch some getting furious at the idea of unacceptable ingerance)

http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/nyerere/1998/10/13.htm

Governance in Africa, says the Chairman of the South Commission, must be improved for the continent's countries and people to build real freedom and real development. However, his definition of good governance is different from the one used by the rich countries in meting out aid to poor nations.

A few years ago, I attended a meeting of the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA) in Harare, Zimbabwe. It was chaired by the former President of Botswana, Masire, and attended by a substantial number of African Heads of State. From outside Africa, it was attended by the two Co-Chairmen of the GCA, Robert MacNamara from the United States and Ian Pronk from the Netherlands, and a large number of officials from the donor community.

At a certain point in the course of the discussion, the question of good governance in Africa came up. But it came up as a condition of giving aid to African countries. The manner of the discussion and the fact that this was an exchange between African Heads of State and officials from rich countries made me livid with anger.

Notion of the 'Deserving Poor'

It reminded me of the social history of Great Britain before the advent of the welfare state. The extremes of individual or family poverty within that country were dealt with through the philanthropy of rich persons to whom such human misery was unbearable. But their charity was given only to those they regarded as the 'deserving poor'. This, in practice, meant that it was given only to those people regarded by the philanthropist as having demonstrated an acceptance of the social and economic status quo - and for as long as they did so.

As the world's powerful nations have not (as yet) accepted the principle of international welfare, they apply the same 'deserving poor' notion to the reality of poverty outside their own countries. 'Aid' and non-commercial credit are regarded not as springing from the principles of human rights or international solidarity, regardless of national borders, but as charity extended as a matter of altruism by richer governments to the less developed and very poor nations. However, the quantity of this 'official' charity being increasingly inadequate to meet the most obvious needs, one of the criteria for a nation being classified as among the world's 'deserving pooor' came to be having 'good governance' as defined by the donor community.

And in practice that phrase meant and means those countries having multi-party systems of democracy, economies based on the principle of private ownership and of international free trade and a good record of human rights: again as defined by the industrialised market economy countries of the North. It was in this kind of context that we in Africa first heard about 'good governance'; and this was the manner in which it was brought up at the Harare meeting to which I have referred.

It was this aid-related discussion of good governance, a matter between aid givers and aid seekers, and the arrogant and patronising manner in which it was raised by the aid givers, that discredited the whole subject in the eyes of many of us in Africa and other parts of the South. For used in this manner, good governance sounded like a tool for neo-colonialism. We have therefore tended to despise the concept even as, out of necessity, we try to qualify under it.

I am very far from being alone in rejecting neo-colonialism regardless of the methods adopted to bring it about or to enforce it or to define it! Yet we cannot avoid the fact that a lot of our problems in Africa arise from bad governance. I believe that we need to improve governance everywhere in Africa in order to enable our people to build real freedom and real development for themselves and their countries. And I allowed myself to be persuaded to be a 'convenor' of this Conference on Governance in Africa because I believe that it provides an opportunity for us to understand more about our past political and economic policy mistakes and see how we can improve the management of our affairs as we grope towards the 21st century.

Government vs Governance

Governments bear the final responsibility for the state of the nation - its internal and external peace, and the well-being of its people. It is the distinction between the words 'governance' and 'government' which draws attention to the reality that, despite its enforcement agencies, government (in the sense of the executive authority) is not the sole determinant of whether those responsibilities are fulfilled. For there are always other forces within a country which, in practice, can help or hinder the effectiveness of a government, and which it therefore ignores at its peril.

Government is an instrument of State. Today there is a call, emanating from the North, for the weakening of the State. In my view, Africa should ignore this call. Our States are so weak and anaemic already that it would almost amount to a crime to weaken them further. We have a duty to strengthen the African States in almost every aspect you can think of; one of the objectives of improving the governance of our countries is to strengthen the African State and thus enable it to serve the people of Africa better.

One result of weakening the State can be observed in Somalia. There are many potential Somalias in Africa if we heed the Northern call to weaken the State. In any case, dieting and other slimming exercises are appropriate for the opulent who over-eat, but very inappropriate for the emaciated and starving!

Incidentally, the world has changed indeed! The withering of the State used to be the ultimate objective of good Marxists. Today the weakening of the State is the immediate objective of free-marketeers!

In advocating a strong State, I am not advocating an overburdened State, nor a State with a bloated bureaucracy. To advocate for a strong State is to advocate for a State which, among other things, has power to act on behalf of the people in accordance with their wishes. And in a market economy, with its law of the jungle, we need a State that has the capacity to intervene on behalf of the weak.

No State is really strong unless its government has the full consent of at least the majority of its people; and it is difficult to envisage how that consent can be obtained outside democracy. So a call for a strong State is not a call for dictatorship either. Indeed all dictatorships are basically weak; because the means they apply in governance make them inherently unstable.

The key to a government's effectiveness and its ability to lead the nation lies in a combination of three elements. First its closeness to its people, and its responsiveness to their needs and demands; in other words, democracy. Secondly, its ability to coordinate and bring into a democratic balance the many functional and often competing sectional institutions which groups of people have created to serve their particular interests. And thirdly, the efficiency of the institutions (official and unofficial) by means of which its decisions are made known and implemented throughout the country.

Ingredients for Democracy

It goes without saying that all of the institutions must be rooted in and appropriate to the society to which they are applied. The machinery through which a government stays close to the people and the people close to their government will differ according to the history, the demographic distribution, the traditional culture (or cultures), and the prevailing international political and economic environment in which it has to operate. For 'democracy' means much more than voting on the basis of adult suffrage every few years; it means (among other things) attitudes of toleration, and willingness to cooperate with others on terms of equality.

An essential ingredient in democracy is that it is based on the equality of all the people within a nation's boundary, and that all the laws of the land apply to all adults without exception. The nation's constitution must provide methods by which the people can, without recourse to violence, control the government which emerges in accordance with it and even specify the means for its own amendment. In shorthand, the constitution itself must be based on the principles of the rule of law.

It is inevitably the government which is responsible for upholding the role of law within the State. This, together with the making of laws, is one of the most important of its responsibilities to the people. But the government itself is subject to the constitution. All heads of state swear to honour and protect the constitution. this is as it should be; for the constitution is the supreme law of the land. We cannot respect ordinary laws of the State if we do not respect the constitution under which they were promulgated. A scrupulous respect for the constitution is the basis of the principle of the rule of law.

This is an area where we need to be very careful. Presidents, prime ministers, and sometimes all members of a government, seek to amend a constitution in their own favour even when they come to office through, and because of, the provisions of a constitution which they have sworn to honour.

Too often, for example, we have seen presidents seek to lengthen the number of terms they serve, despite the limit laid down in the constitution. This practice is wrong. It cheapens the constitution of the country concerned.

If and when experience shows that the restriction laid down in the constitution is too restrictive and needs to be changed (which in my view should be very very rare), the change should not lengthen the term of the current office-holder, who is bound in honour to observe the restriction under which he or she was elected in the first place. And in any case, and more importantly, the first president to be elected under a restricted term of office must never change the constitution to lengthen that term. If he or she does it, it is difficult to see how subsequent presidents can honour the new restriction.

Furthermore, if the provision of a limited term of office irks one president or prime minister, another provision of the constitution could irk another president or prime minister. We might then expect the constitution of the country to be changed after every general election. This is a point which in my view needs great emphasis. No Respect for the Consitution leads to No Basis for the Rule of Law.

About the nature of government machinery - vitally important as that is to the maintenance (or establishment) of peace, justice, and the people's well-being - I need say little. A number of the previously circulated papers provide an excellent basis for serious consideration of this topic and its manifold implications for good governance. I would, however, like to emphasise one or two related points.

Costs of Democracy

All the institutions and processes of democracy and democratic administration cost a great deal of money to establish, to maintain, and to operate. That applies equally to official and spontaneous unofficial institutions - and to cooperation among them.

Further, to be effective all such structures rely heavily upon the existence of a politically conscious civil society, which is active, organised and alert. Such a civil society will have a good understanding about the existence and functions of the different institutions, and about both their powers and the constitutional limits to their power. Dictators generally prefer an ignorant and passive or malleable population. It is easier to manipulate such a population and parade the result as Peoples' Participation.

Yet Africa is at present poverty-stricken. I am the first to admit that a country does not have to be rich in order to be democratic. But a minimum amount of resources is needed in order to meet some minimum requirements of good governance. In Africa today, even the high echelons of the civil service receive salaries inadequate to keep a family for a month, and the minimum wage is derisory; and all salaries (especially of teachers and health workers) are frequently delayed. Nor have the people in general been the beneficiaries at any time of a well-organised education system directed at enlarging public understanding of and active participation in modern democratic institutions and processes.

Poverty is an enemy of good governance, for persistent poverty is a destabiliser, especially if such poverty is shared in a grossly unequal manner, or is widely regarded as being unfairly distributed as the few who are relatively rich indulge in conspicuous consumption. Known or suspected corruption among the political leaders often makes the problem worse - and corruption throughout the society more difficult to overcome. Good wages or salaries will not stop bad people from being corrupt; but miserable wages and salaries are not conducive to rectitude. Political instability, real or imagined, can be a source, and is often used as an excuse, for bad governance.

Corruption

But to say this is very different from saying that because Africa is poor, Africans do not deserve good governance. This continent is not distinguished for its good governance of the peoples of Africa. But without good governance, we cannot eradicate poverty; for no corrupt government is interested in the eradication of poverty; on the contrary, and as we have seen in many parts of Africa and elsewhere, widespread corruption in high places breed poverty.

Nor in saying this am I asking readers to accept the widespread belief that Africa has more corrupt, tyrannical, and power-hungry elites, than have other continents either now or historically. While avoiding the living and naming only a few of the dead, it is surely easy to see, in the past 75 years alone, our Mobutus, Iddi Amins, Bokassas, and military juntas, of Europe and elsewhere.

In all European countries where the term of office is not limited by the constitution, my fellow politicians there pride themselves on how long or how short they remain in power. The trouble is that our Amins and Bokassas and Mobutus are Africans; but the Francos, Hitlers and Mussolinis are Spanish, Germans or Italians; and Africa played no role in putting them in power.

Rather than conduct a post-mortem, we should try to help Africa and African countries to move forward from where we are now by addressing the central issue of building and strengthening the institutional framework of our continent and its countries. In doing so, to face the realities of Africa - all of them.

Those internal, where our theoretically sovereign nations find their freedom to act is obstructed by the depth of our poverty and technological backwardness. And those realities external to us and beyond our control, in relation to which we are like a collection of pygmies in a world where giants stalk, and from where modern and constantly changing technology floods outwards over the world like an irresistible tide.

The Ignored Truth

Most countries of Africa are now once again 'coping' with the worst of their economic problems, and some are making well-based progress towards better living conditions for their people. We hear little about such difficult triumphs over adversity in the context of such things as international recessions and violent changes in primary commodity prices.

Most of our countries are now living in a state of internal peace, and a peace which is deepening; we do not hear such peace unless it is broken. Despite the artificial and often unclear national borders of Africa, our States have very largely avoided violent conflict among themselves. Despite the histories of other continents, that accomplishment is ignored - even within Africa.

And although this important success has been achieved largely through the work of the Organisation of African Unity (which African States themselves established), the media and the international community generally refer to the OAU with derision - if at all. Our children's expectation of life, and all that those statistics imply, has greatly improved - except where countries became the direct or indirect surrogates in Cold War conflicts, or were for other special reasons among the countries involved in prolonged civil strife.

Africa does now have a core of highly educated and internationally recognised experts in different fields. Given the number of technicallyand professionally educated Africans in our countries at independence, and the paucity of secondary or tertiary educational institutions at that time, the number of high-calibre experts in Africa is now much larger than could reasonably have been expected after this lapse of time. Perhaps we are misusing them, but they are there now. At independence, some of our countries had no trained people at all.

Finally, good or bad, the first generation of our leaders is fast being replaced by the second or even the third; most of these are better-educated, relatively free from the mental hang-overs of colonialism, and have had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and the successes of their predecessors. With the help of work done at different fora, I am confident that African States, individually and in cooperation with one another, can step by step and in an ordered fashion, move towards Good Governance.

The OAU exists and assists in the maintenance or restoration of peace and cooperation within Africa, even if it too is severely weakened in action and capacity by its lack of resources. Some sub-regional organisations are making limited but useful contributions to stability, peace and economic progress in their respective areas.

The machinery of government and of unofficial institutions within African States can facilitate or hinder movement towards greater intra-African cooperation. And in addition, the all-African institutions, as well as those working on a sub-regional basis, may well be able to benefit by it - provided the actors bear in mind the prospective importance of the role these intra-African institutions can play in strengthening us all. - Third World Network Features


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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Wed Mar-07-07 08:37 AM

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145. "RE: i don't know what to think of this"
In response to Reply # 143


  

          


what is the peer reviews of the AU -- what is it for?

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 10:41 AM

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148. "here it is:"
In response to Reply # 145


          


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Peer_Review_Mechanism

  

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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Thu Mar-08-07 08:47 AM

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170. "that doesn't quite ans my q"
In response to Reply # 148


  

          



what was teh impetus for the program? what motivated countries to go through it? is it to make them more likely candidates for euroamerican donors.

.........................
the little anodynes

  

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afrobongo
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Thu Mar-08-07 10:28 AM

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174. "hmmm.."
In response to Reply # 170


          


i know Ghana went through it..
Mauritius too.


the interesting thing is that it seems the most democratical and rule-of-law-respecting countries are the first to have voluntarely went through it.


what's the goal ?
well it's an evaluation.

are the euroamerican donors/investors interested in the results ? i bet they are.
does that stop them from massive investments/aid in Equatorial Guinea or Ethiopia ? not really.



but i guess all in all, the goal of it, just like many of the AU institutions (in conflict resolution for instance) is to prove Africa doesn't need Milton Friedman's org or some western risk assessement (sp ?) firm or the UN agencies to properly evaluate itself.


i also noticed that the criteria is not only IMF-ish (lol).. social evaluation is considered.
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thrill
Member since Nov 04th 2006
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Wed Mar-07-07 02:13 PM

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163. "lunch-time googling"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          



i was listening to a bbc program about karl popper and the idea of the open society, so i googled to see what african critics had done on popper. result:

However, the ontological, deeper level of the success of computer technology is to stamp,
experientally, the fact which has been known by the African ancients and traditionalists about the
oneness of reality and the link between the spiritual/metaphysical world and the physical/material
world. All these were expressed by the Ancients as the law of interlaced triangle: - AS ABOVE,
SO BELOW.

hilariously, a submitted paper for a conference on popper.

i wonder if abdolkarim souroush has been taken up by anyone in muslim africa -- perhaps some particularly interesting hausa?

.........................
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afrobongo
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Wed Mar-07-07 05:20 PM

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167. "huh ?"
In response to Reply # 163


          


what kind of african traditions did that guy imagined in his head ?
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akon
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Thu Mar-08-07 11:38 AM

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183. "really good post"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

wish i'd had more time to spend on it.

but its a crazy week at work. ugh.

keep the comments coming tho'

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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les_fleurs
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Thu Mar-08-07 08:03 PM

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188. "I really have not much to say on this... I'm still learning"
In response to Reply # 0


          

but thanks, this is a great post!
I need to print it for future reference even

http://twitter.com/tortueturquoise

  

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poetx
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Tue Mar-13-07 11:29 PM

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201. "up you mighty nation. nm"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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AFRICAN
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Mon Mar-19-07 05:09 AM

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202. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

.

http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
instagram:@3rdworldview
Blessed be the Lord /who believe any mess they read up on the message board

  

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