A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Borrowing from the title A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens, which swung the theme of a story between Paris and London during the French Revolution. This was centuries ago when Europe was dirty, slummy and shabby. Throughout history, we see that all events happen twice or more in the principle of Hegelianism (or Hegelism), propounded by Friedrich Hegel.

Hegelism is a concept that philosophy and experience do not contradict but explain reality in unity with idealism. It is blending the abstract with the rational. It uses a triadic method of development to arrive at an ultimately true explanation. Thus, a thing is “in itself,” then “out of itself” and finally “in and for itself.” Freedom as an example is an abstract idea, which we can use in the context of the experience of savage. The idea of freedom is first known in itself as being uninhibited to a savage. And then when the savage comes to become civilized and become retrained by the Rule of law and thus “out of” freedom, he considers that as opposite of freedom, or tyranny. Finally in an “in and for itself” level, he comes to be a good citizen and understands the concept of freedom in a more refined state than as a savage.

Back to our tale of two cities, or as in this case now, two countries. During the slave trade era, Europe was engaged in a crime against humanity. The African chiefs were encouraged to engage in this trade since it was a trade made lucrative beyond what the whole world initially had as slave concept without wholesale profits. Unlettered African chiefs were even made to sign documents they understood nothing about as the Europeans became greedier to take over the land and its resources and turn the natives into Europeanized Africans. It was a way of hoodwinking the native Africans since the European businessmen were making money for their governments at home. Nigeria was an example of different nations forced together irrespective of distinct cultures and languages simply because the Royal Niger Company found it convenient (after the end of slave trade) to control such a large area of land knitted together by the River Niger, which was used to transport resources from the hinterlands to the Atlantic coast and finally be sailed to England.

The savage reaping and raping of Africans was sheer greed “in itself”, unlike the early Portuguese who traded with the African chiefs as equals. But when the French and British began to explore Africa, greed and overt ambition eventually led to colonial imposition and the subsequent social and psychological debility on an entire race. This savagery became “out of itself” during the years of a social awakening that began to dawn on the Africans as the ghost of nationalism and renaissance swept across the continent. This second stage pitched a lot of African leaders against the Europeans who still wanted to dictate the terms of African resources even after independence; Africa then became the theater of war for the capitalist greed funded coups and civil wars, or installed puppet dictators that bled their countries dry for the west. Africa simply collapsed under this wave of corrupt leaders favored by the west, incessant coups, protracted civil wars and progressive pro-African leaders frustrated economically or overthrown. The last stage of the triadic is evolving and hopefully, the west will not just go about trumpeting democracy, but a progressive democracy that favors the people globally with more power to social responsibility. It is when America under Obama, ignored the highhandedness of the Shiite Iraqi president against the Sunni that has brought the Sunni-led ISIS nightmare as a global problem now. The same way the corruption and irresponsibility of the Nigerian government made Boko Haram stronger. So while we read of people dying like numbers on an index, the world would know these are people with families and they have the right to be protected in the name of humanity.  But sure, a bad govt. can hide behind sovereignty to commit all sort of crimes.

At the other end of the pole of our tale of two cities, let us leave the slavery/colonial period on a pole and move to the other end of the pole. We should however remember that there was no reparation paid to Africans for this mass torture and hoodwinking of the continent from slavery to colonial era. Marshall Plan was money America paid Europe to help the continent recover from the devastating second world war. The aid was $17 billion (roughly $160 billion in current dollar value). even the Reagan administration in America paid reparation to Japan in 1988 for the inhuman interment of Japanese American during the Second World War. Yet, no one is seeing anything wrong in making a trade of a race of people for 400 years in the most dehumanizing conditions; no one is seeing anything wrong in the wars of conquest that subjected African communities to European canons; no one is seeing anything wrong in the destruction and carting away of heritage icons and social institutions to impose European colonization; no one is seeing anything wrong in depriving the African of his sovereign rights until blood had to be shed to reclaim it; no one is seeing anything wrong in the killings and tortures sanctioned by European government and kings of Africans; no one is seeing anything wrong in using gunboat policies and making unlettered chiefs sign documents written in languages they do not know; no one is seeing anything wrong in the African being treated as no better as a slave; no one is seeing anything wrong that we were unlawfully mapped into countries that ought to be independent states like Tutsis, Hutus, Hausa, Yoruba and so on. Poverty, bad government and a harsh society as a result of corruption in high places are strife in Africa.

Anyways, something has become the trend in Africa now. Conning. As Aristotle once said that poverty is the mother of revolutions and crimes. History is repeating itself in a different but similar form, as Hegel once said. There is a trade going on and this is what is termed ‘yahoo-yahoo’ or 419. It has become as endemic as the slave trade that three out of every five Africans (especially Ghana and Nigeria) young men engage in this trade. Just as the slave trade was inimical but a trade nonetheless that was common and enriching many in Europe, the 419 trade though inimical, has also become a trade many young boys enrich themselves with. It is simple; engage the white female over the Internet for a relationship and make her “pay” while believing you are going to be together and posing as a white male. You can only imagine the frustration and sorrow of being hoodwinked if you had a direct experience. Whether the slave trade or the romance trade, both are crimes against humanity. Both show the depravity of man’s conscience and greed in his effort to enrich himself at the detriment of another. Just as the British government later rose against slave trade and even against colonialism, Nigerian government especially has been ‘trying to’ use the EFCC to combat this menace that is also becoming as embarrassing as the slave ships of yesteryears. Yes, it will gradually decline but not completely extinguished overnight, since there are still whiffs of color bias not to talk of outright apartheid and aboriginal genocide is still going on in Australia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Mzl8h0J-DUY (please watch the ripple effect of bad governance and the new ‘slave trade’).

However, the question is, what are these ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys doing with the millions they rake from their “romantic slaves”? If slave money and colonizing companies built businesses and funded patents in the West, is it not stupid that the only thing these empty-headed ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys ever have to show for their trade are sleek cars and materialistic lifestyles? Great minds are not clad in gold, it is when you scratch beneath the surface that you will see they are made of gold. When time catches up, some initial truth eventually becomes blasphemies, while some initial blasphemies become truth. All events happen twice in history…Hegelism…the first and the second will eventually be refined by the third that we return to a higher refined form. By then, I hope we have a better humanity after experiencing the first (slave trade), the second and ongoing (con trade), and a third but better educated world that will trade without greedy savagery.

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