- Currently, the West itself is experiencing a strong resurgence of anti-intellectual sentiments and a threatening relapse into uninformed populism. Africa on the other hand hasn’t really shifted position.
From my attempts at following how other societies snapped out of their national backwardness, it’s clear the “intellectuals” of such nations didn’t sit and criticize while the charlatans held sway; and entrenched the tyranny of ignorance in the governance and public discourse of their societies.
The enlightenment era marked a departure of Western Civilization from indulging in and entertaining false dichotomies largely, and encouraged falsification of generally accepted assumptions, particularly social and ‘scientific’ norms. I want to believe this created a certain minimum threshold of clearness in thought that’s enabled them to be effective and functional in both public and private service, to themselves and the entirety of humanity to an appreciable extent. The enlightenment hasn’t only leap frogged human ingenuity in science and technology, but has also greatly helped in drastically reducing undue human suffering, through the nullification of mostly unequal, unjust and simply inhumane practices.
This in some way trickled to other parts of the world, through the export of Western Education. But it appears we only took hold of the superficial and clerical import of such educational values and its ethos in transforming our body politic hasn’t really taken roots in most parts of the continent.
Currently, the West itself is experiencing a strong resurgence of anti-intellectual sentiments and a threatening relapse into uninformed populism. Africa on the other hand hasn’t really shifted position.
Again, my following of the intellectual space in both the Global North and South respectively shows a spirited resistance by the Western Intellectuals, while most of their African counterparts do little to shift the status quo. But I must add that the intellectuals in our parts do a great job at complaining and finger- pointing the problems; and heavens know they’re consistent at that. The few who try to actively change things while in public service only succeed in planting a giant bull’s eye on their foreheads; making them inevitable targets for political party fanatics. Those others who attempt change through advocacy in the civil society space are heckled, tagged and called names by others (some of who are of the “intellectual” stock in their own rights) who should be encouraging their efforts; no matter the secondary differences.
Such developments have only worked to strengthen the influence of the mob in our ugly underbelly on the current condition and prospects of our nation and that of others on the continent.
I believe that if there’d be a shift in our national, hence continental fortunes, it must begin with mental shifts at different complimentary levels. This must be instigated and coordinated by those who have had the opportunity to gain some great level of thought development through education. They must begin to put their petty parochial differences on the back burner and begin thinking and acting in ways that can shift the cognitive and emotional threshold of our societies in a direction that’d position us better to understand and better apply the methods and tools of development for our collective betterment.
#GoodEvening from #TheStreetPhilosopher