Terrorism. Communism. Autarky. Left-wing radicalism. These are the ambiguous words we see and hear from the neo-liberal media outlets whenever there is a complete overturn of reactionary governments impoverishing the people of Africa. The truth is that the western liberal world, which considers itself as the “international community,” doesn’t care about Africa’s political orientation or ideology. It cares even less whether Africans have left-wing or right-wing leanings. All they care about is whether or not they will continue to have easy access to Africa’s resources.
The case of Libya is illustrative of this point. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was murdered by the “international community” ostensibly to save the people of Libya from state terrorism and left-wing radicalism. This happened at a time when the per capita income of an average Libyan was one of the highest in the world, and when the people of Libya had reasonable and sustainable material conditions. Today, Libya has turned into a war zone, where foreign powers wrestle for mineral wealth, and where the people do not have the right to determine their future. Do we call this democracy or western terrorism?
Consider this: any political and economic system ought to be anchored on the cultural and historic context of a people because it should be born out of the need to solve problems confronting their society. It follows that the resulting political and economic organisations in Africa and elsewhere would be as diverse as the unique conditions that led to their creation. Therefore, the power of transformation, reformation and maintenance of a politico-economic system must depend on the creative power and the cultural ability and necessity of a people to do so. Clearly, it’s not incumbent on foreigners to determine what politico-economic systems would suit other people. Invading nations, killing innocent people and destroying civilizations in a bid to ‘spread’ democracy is terrorism and a betrayal of the basic tenets and principles of democracy. In other words, those who ‘spread’ democracy are the most anti-democratic people the world has ever known.
The above-outlined ambiguous terms used by neo-liberal media outlets are diversionary. They are meant to divert our attention away from the main issue: western powers’ predatory practices. In the same vein, ECOWAS and the African Union are applying cynical and anti-people stringent sanctions, supposedly for the “restoration of democracy.” Yet, the issue in Africa is not the backsliding of democracy; instead, Africa is facing the weaponization of democracy by the liberal world, which never loses sight of the prize: Africa’s vast resources. By refusing to stand with the people, ECOWAS and the African Union are proving to be nothing but an extension of western powers whose main preoccupation is to preserve the (neo-)colonial structures and ultimately deplete the material conditions of Africans. In the main, this explains why Africa houses the poorest people in the world despite being the richest continent in the world in terms of mineral and human resources. A devastating paradox!
Moreover, if democracy means liberty and freedom, why are African people denied the liberty to create the society that suits them? The ability to be in the world, understand the world and project the understanding of the world is not the right of a few but the right of every human being on the surface of this planet earth. Therefore, the denial of a people to be in the world, understand it and project their understanding of the world is fatal dehumanization. The sad reality is that Africans are the only people on this earth whose ability to think and create a society emanating from their consciousness and realities has been taken away from. Tragically, this atrocity is perpetrated by those who want to keep them powerless, exploited and irrelevant. To a very large extent, the creative power of African people is gradually being erased, if not completely obliterated. We are the only ones who must follow while others lead, who must be treated as objects, who must think what others want us to think, who must be possessors of consciousness but not conscious people. This, therefore, means that we are barred from creating our own political and economic systems because our consciousness has been impaired and our political, economic and social realities have been – and continue to be – shaped by people who have kept us in bondage for centuries and are unwilling to allow us the slimmest chance to enjoy our humanity.
Sadly, Africa has become a war field where western powers wrestle for mineral resources and Africans are the ones losing their lives for it. This is the constant truth Africans have to contend with, even as they read the distortion of their realities in the neoliberal media outlets.