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« Nigerians Living in Fear in China | Main | Ozodi Osuji Lectures #5: Nigeria and the Capitalist Political Economy »

October 08, 2005

Ozodi Osuji Lectures on Nigeria's Politics #4: Nigeria and Political Ideologies

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- An ideology is not a science. It is a belief system. An ideology is composed of ideas of how some people think that their world ought to be. It is based on a value system and has no basis in empirical reality. An ideology is like a religion that individuals embrace as true and it enables them to organize and make sense of their world. It is by no means objective in the sense that its postulations can be verified in a controlled scientific experiment.

The scientific methodological approach to phenomena requires that a thesis or proposition be verifiable and replicable in a controlled experiment. Any school child can walk into his Chemistry Laboratory, mix two elements, oxygen and hydrogen, apply heat and obtain water. This is a fact and is replicable anywhere in the world. That is science. This is not empty debate as to what is true or not, but acceptance of self evident facts. Political ideologies are not science, they are based on beliefs.

In the extant world, there are many ideologies but the main ones are: communism, socialism, capitalism, fascism, corporatism, mercantilism, liberalism and conservatism. I will briefly explain these competing ideologies, with particular reference to communism.

Communism came into being as a reaction to primitive capitalism. If you recall, the industrial revolution began in Britain around 1746. By this is meant the system of bringing many workers together to work in a factory rather than have them work in their own shops as crafts men. Men and women were brought together and fitted to the world of machines and thereby optimized the advantages of large scale economies.

This process began in the Midlands of Britain (Birmingham and Manchester). Men with money built factories and hired workers to work in them. The factory owners had a tendency to work their employees several hours a day. It was reported that some worked their employees for up to sixteen or more hours a day, six days a week. Moreover, they did not pay them well. The working conditions were very poor. The average factory worker died before he or she reached age forty. Simply stated, factory workers lived in squalor.

Naturally, men of goodwill decried the apparent exploitation of the emergent factory workers. These persons agitated for improved working conditions for the workers. Literary persons like Charles Dickens wrote about the appalling living conditions of the urban proletariats of England. Those of a more activist frame of mind took to the streets protesting against what they saw as the exploitation of the workers. In time, these bleeding hearted, do good persons were called utopian communists. They comprised of men like Charles Fourier and Joseph Proudhon in France and Robert Owen in Britain. (Owen eventually migrated to America and started a commune in Indiana. In his commune, he gave his workers some say so in the management of their work. His commune fell.)

Industrialization began in Germany around the same time it began in America, in the 1830s. Karl Marx, a middle class German Jew, studied Hegel’s’ philosophy. It should be recalled that Hegel (see Phenomenology of Spirit/Mind) was motivated to have a strong German state. Hegel was a German nationalist who decried the divisions he saw in his father land, divisions that made the country easy prey to the well organized nations of France, Russia, Austria and England. He was in the same mode as Niccolo Machiavelli when the later wrote the Prince. Machiavelli had urged the Duke of Florence to, if necessary, use guile and force to unify Italy, so as to prevent her from been subjugated by foreign powers (France, Austria and Spain).

Hegel argued that history is characterized by the march of ideas, and that the ultimate idea is the nation-state (the united volk). The nation-state, as he saw it, is the culmination of historical development. What this German nationalist was really trying to accomplish was for a German prince to use guile and or force to unify the several kingdoms that constituted the Germany of his time. Hegel was telling the prince that dares to take up this challenge that he would be in accord with the forces of history; that, in effect, history would approve his behavior.

Ultimately, this was exactly what Otto Von Bismarck did for his Kaiser Wilhelm of Prussia: use guile and iron fist to unify Germany by 1870. Bismarck immediately attacked Louis Napoleon’s France and humiliated her. This was Germany’s coming out party. Germany joined the big boys’ league, the great powers of Europe. Since Germany had not participated in the scramble for foreign colonies, Bismarck called for a conference at Berlin (1882-84) to extract some colonies from the other European powers who at this time ruled the world. At that conference, the modern map of Africa was drawn. Germany was given Togoland, Cameroon, Tangayika, Burundi, South-West Africa (where it proceeded to massacre the various African tribes, especially the Heroros.)

Karl Marx, a Christianized Jew studied Hegelian philosophy. He completed his doctoral dissertation but, as a Jew in anti Semitic Germany, found it near impossible to obtain a teaching job at a German university. Unable to secure a job with what he studied, he tried his hands are journalism. For a while, he worked as a reporter for a New York City, USA newspaper. Marx failed at journalism and turned his attention to social activism.

In time, Marx joined forces with Frederick Engel, a German whose father owned factories. The clever Marx had Engel support him financially. Marx subsequently embarked on writing pamphlets and tracks opinionating on every subject under the sun. He fancied himself an expert on political economy even though he did not study economics.

The failed revolution of 1848 gave the opportunistic Marx an opportunity to give a self serving interpretation to what was essentially a failed attempt by German nationalists to persuade the rulers of Germany to unify during their conference in Frankfurt. The Princes of Germany used force to disperse the agitators for a unified Germany. The clever Marx saw the failure of the revolution as an opportunity to call for workers of the world to unify and overthrow their so-called oppressors. Thus, he penned the infamous track, Communist Manifesto. In it, he argued that the workers were oppressed by the factory owners, the bourgeoisie, and called on them to expropriate the expropriators. Marx argued that the workers oppression could only end if they took possession of the means of production and managed it by themselves.

Apparently, this utopian/idealist dreamer forgot that it takes a different type of mental outlook to be an entrepreneur.

Business skills are acquired, indeed are a culture that you either have, or you do not. If you give workers businesses to run you have essentially sentenced such businesses to death. It takes a few persons who understand how to run things to do so, not idle talking socialists. One of the reasons why African Americans are going nowhere is their lack of entrepreneurial skills. Asians come to America with business skills and in a few years take over the shops in the black community while the brothers talk communism. See the writings of Thomas Sowell.

As a result of his increasing agitations against the powers that were in Germany, Marx was driven out of Germany. He made a brief stop in France, but fearing that the long arms of German authorities could easily reach him in France, he sought to put a great distance between him and them by fleeing to Britain. He settled at London. He made the London Library his second home. Engel was left the responsibility of feeding him.

Marx wrote unreadable dissertations on such topics as “capital accumulation’ “Labor added value” and such high sounding but irrelevant subjects. It was in London that Marx produced his seminal work, Der Capital. In it, he claimed that he stood Hegel, his old mentor, on his head.

How so? Whereas Hegel argued that the rise of the nation-state was the goal of history (see the treaty of Westphalia, 1648, the end of the religious wards and the rise of the modern nation-state), Marx argued that communism, his workers paradise, was the goal of history. He employed the Hegelian notion of thesis, antithesis and synthesis (dialectical materialism, he called it) to make his case. As he saw it, society began in primitive communalism, where all people co-owned all property. This is not an empirical fact, just the product of Marx’s imagination. That imaginary but pristine world gave way to what Marx called slave society. In the later, a few used the many to secure pleasure for themselves and generally to enrich themselves. Slave society, in turn, gave way to feudal society where aristocrats used the semi slave serfs to procure good living for themselves while the serfs toiled in the fields for them. The later, in turn, gave way to what Marx called the bourgeoisie class (middle class).

In each of these social orders, the implicit contradictions in it, Marx contends, led to conflicts. Thesis, what is, the accepted social order, was challenged by its opposite, antithesis. The ruling elements were resented by those they ruled and both parties fought each other. The result is a synthesis of the warring parties in a new social order.

The new society, synthesis, in turn, produced its own paradox and contradictions and the two struggled until a new synthesis was formed. Ultimately, there emerged the bourgeois class whose contradictions would lead to the rise of the workers paradise, ala Marx. It should be observed that according to the world invented by Marx, each of these succeeding social orders was an improvement on preceding ones, hence to be encouraged. The Bourgeoisie was advancement on the aristocrats who rule Europe. As Marx saw it, where the Bourgeoisie had not come into being, they were to be encouraged to do so, for they were a necessary precondition for the rise of the proletariat class.

Russia was not industrialized and was composed of Bowyers and their peasant servants. It was not until 1862 that slavery was ended in Russia. In this regard, Marx did not expect Russians to initiate the communist revolution. He had expected the workers revolution to first occur in England, where the industrial revolution began. Some observers have, indeed, argued that Marx was probably a racist; that he imbibed the Germanic race’s tendency to look down on the Slavic race and looked down on the Slavic population of Eastern Europe and did not expect any thing good to come out of them?

Marx implied that once the workers overthrew the bourgeois class, the factory owners, that there would no longer be conflicts in society, and that the struggle for a different social order would end.

(This Marxian fantasy reminds one of Francis Fakuyama’ fantasy upon the end of Soviet Communism; Fakuyama thought that the emergence of America as the sole superpower meant the end of history; that there would be no more struggles for power and America and what she represented would not be challenged by rival ideologies and last forever and forever. He had not reckoned with the rise of ethnicity and what Samuel Huntington called the clash of civilizations; America is presently knocked around by emergent China.)

How is the triumph of communism to end history? Marx believed that economic inequality in society would be eliminated. He believed strongly in economic determinism of everything else. His pseudo science, dialectic materialism, was supposed to account for every thing in history. (That fantasy did not take into consideration the more powerful idea of ethnicity; communists talk of class but men do not go to war for class but for their nations; see what happened in eastern Europe, the emergence of ethnic struggles. Yugoslavia, Czchokoslavia, USSR etc all fell prey to ethnic power struggles. In Nigeria and other parts of Africa ethnicity rules.)

In Marx’s fantasy land, property and wealth would be shared equally: “from each according to his abilities and to each given his needs”. Marx waxed so sentimental that one wonders what planet he came from. As he saw, it people are so good that they would work and share their wealth. That is correct; a Bill Gates would put in sixteen hour work days and share his resultant wealth with socialists who probably work less than six hour days. (Charles Darwin, a more realistic thinker told us that life is characterized by struggle where the fittest survived and the weak died off. Herbert Spencer reinforced that realistic view by showing us how the robber barons of North America used skill and guile to build great industrial empires. Social Darwinism is the truth that no one wants to talk about. See Edward Wilson, on Social biology and Selfish Genes.)

The productive elements of society, in Marx’s fantasy world, would support the lazy elements who run around calling themselves radicals while doing nothing to contribute to what Adam Smith called the wealth of nations. Marx wrote poetry, not hard nosed science of human nature. Indeed, he visualized a scenario where people worked very minimally, but, instead, read poetry, contemplated flowers and the sunset and somehow still had their food. This is a never- never land; the stuff of fiction. This man was a dreamer, a neurotic idealist living in the world of fantasy, not the real world where man has to work for his daily bread. (The good book, the Bible tells us that man has to earn his bread by the sweat of his labors and that children are born through women’s labor pain. This remains reality and no wishful thinking by a confused socialist would wish it away.)

To the political realist, Marx wrote pure nonsense. In my opinion, Marx is not different from a foolish child talking utopian gabled gook. Read Thomas Moore’s Utopia and you have read Marx’s convoluted rubbish. In the real world, people have to work hard and the most competitive elements of society generate more wealth than lazy socialists.

Communism, Marxism, or whatever it is called, means the sharing of wealth and the public ownership of the means of production. Marx visualized a situation where the workers spontaneously rose up and took over the factories where they worked.

Marx was so foolish that he did not even reckon with human tendency to fear. Those who study leadership know that the run of the mill human being is ruled by fear. He is afraid of harm and death. If you have credible means of coercion and are unafraid to punish, even kill a few persons, the masses will tow your line. Human beings are cowards, through and through. They talk loud but if you shoot and kill a few of them, as any leader that truly wants to accomplish serious objectives must do, people will panic, run and eventually obey you. Hitler knew this fact and did not hesitate killing those who opposed him.

Marx did not recognize that his angelic workers are governed by fear and cannot mount a credible revolution. It always takes the fearless type, the heroic character, the type willing to die for what they believe in to organize and lead the so-called workers of the world.

The masses are too afraid to accomplish Marx’s utopian goal. So, V.I. Lenin, a tough Russian, proposed to form a communist political party and use it as a vanguard to organize the masses. His idea was to use the political party, an elite group of dedicated revolutionaries, to bring about the communist revolution that Marx had expected the workers to bring about by themselves. As Lenin saw it, if you left the workers alone, the most that they can develop is what he called trade union consciousness, but would never see that the imperialists were oppressing them. In America, the transnational corporations exploit the rest of the world and give illiterate American workers middle class living standards hence buy their loyalty and support in oppressing the rest of the world. How can an American factory worker who cannot read or write his name but drives a Hummer see himself as oppressed by the ruling classes? He is more likely to fancy himself special, even a superior white racist. (Generally, American university graduates cannot compete with High school graduates in Asia. That is how broken the educational system in America is. The situation is even worse among African Americans; their high school graduates often cannot fill out job application forms.)

Lenin imagined that in time that the party would give power to the masses and wither away. Seventy four years later (1917-1991) the Bolshevik party was still ruling Russia on behalf of the masses, the masses that are forever thought not ready to govern themselves.

Lenin and his coconspirators formed the Bolshevik party. I do not have the time and space to document the history of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. Suffice it to say that these criminals took advantage of the sufferings brought about by the First World War to take over power in Russia. These amoral criminals proceeded to murder the Czar and established the reign of terror in what became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR.

(Communists tend to be amoral and antisocial personalities; they tend to lack well developed moral conscience and do not feel remorse for their hurtful activities. As Dostoyevsky observed in Brothers Karamazov, if you take away God from social discourse, as socialists do, every behavior becomes permissible. Socialists, in Nietzsche’s terms, see God as dead and give themselves the permission to do whatever they want.)

Lenin died in 1924, and his lieutenants, Stalin and Trotsky, battled it out for power and control. Over time, the cold blooded murderer and thief, Stalin won the battle for power. Trotsky ran to Mexico where he was eventually axed to death by Stalin’s agents.

The paranoid personality called Stalin imagined that there were people everywhere out to kill him and killed them before they could kill him. This monster killed more people than Adolf Hitler did. In the 1930s alone, Stalin liquidated the kulaks, small farmers, the Russian military officer class and any one else who could challenge his paranoid rule. He established a totalitarian, authoritarian, dictatorial, monolithic and terrorist state. He instilled fear into every person’s mind and used intimidation and death to get the people to obey his criminal rule.

Communism is the ideology that workers ought to own the means to production. How exactly are workers supposed to do so? In a typical work place, there are differences in the level of information available to the workers. Engineers know more than assembly line workers. Managers know more than engineers and so on. So how can this motley of different information units own and manage their means of production?

In the real world, those who know more will always tell those who know less what to do. Joseph Schumpeter made this point so well that one does not need to repeat it here. There can never be equality in the work place, as long as different workers possess different levels of information. Those who understand business and public finance will always tell those who don’t what to do with their money. This is so in capitalist and socialist economies. Accountants are needed in all economies.

Industrial democracy or participatory democracy is a wish of the wisp. If we need to build bridges we need to listen to the opinions of civil engineers, not the idle opinions of foolish socialist. We are entering a highly scientific and technological world, a world that will increasingly be ruled by technocrats, those with technical skills, not idle talking socialists.


Socialism, as opposed to communism is construed as the acceptance that workers could come to political power through democratic means, rather than seize power through violent uprising, as Marx and Lenin wanted. In reality, socialism is disguised dictatorship. Wherever these criminals come to power, society not only becomes less productive, but people are killed. These murderers take away the incentive for people to work hard by taking people’s hard earned income and giving it to the lazy bums that call themselves the leaders of socialist societies. (They do not even help the workers on whose behalf they talk shop. Russian communist leaders sent their children to the best schools in the land and lived in Dachas while the average Russian lived like a third world person and stood in line for four hours a day to buy a loaf of bread.)

Wherever there is central planning where a few bureaucrats propose to determine how the economy should work disaster occurs. As Adam Smith tells us, the forces of the market are always the best way to allocate resources in society. Where there is demand, supply follows and that way, resources are allocated to where they are needed.

Men do evil when they propose to do well but do well when they pursue their self interests. This is because in pursuing their self interests they must produce what other rational self interest seeking persons would buy, thus, willy-nilly, the blind forces of the capitalist market makes sure that every person’s self interests are served.

The last paragraph segues to the free enterprise economy. I will be very brief here for we shall devote our next lecture to capitalist political economy. The free enterprise ideology is embodied in Adam Smith’s political economy (Wealth of Nations). The forces of the market work to distribute goods and services to where they are demanded.

Prior to the free enterprise economic system was the mercantilist system. Here, the state looked after its interests in domestic and international trade. It tried to stifle the development of industries in other countries so as to make those countries dependent on its own industries. Britain, for example, tried to prevent America from becoming industrialized. In doing so, it hoped to keep America a market for its industries. Britain also tried to prevent America from trading/buying goods from other countries, even if those goods could be bought cheaper. This system obviously was not good for Americans and largely contributed to their resentment of Britain hence the war of 1776. (Milton Freidman has a wonderful book on America’s economic history, from colonial times to Alexander Hamilton’s management of the initial post revolutionary economy, to America’s industrialization efforts and so on. This book is a must read for all students of the American economy.)

Mercantilism is inefficient and leads to poverty. Free competition leads to efficiency in the production of goods and services. If you produced your goods and or services cheaply, you sold them at a lower price and made profits. The buyer is a rational person and would always prefer cheaper to higher priced goods and services. Therefore, the person who produces inefficiently hence has higher production costs and must sell high would be pushed out of the market by the cheap producing person. Thus, in a free enterprise system, all producers seek ways to reduce their cost of production, increase efficiency and the result is cheaper goods and services, and more efficient allocation of goods and services in the economy.

Corporatism is a form of mercantilism. An excellent example is Japan and Nazi Germany. Here, the state and industry colludes and work hand in hand to target industries to be developed and pours money into them. The goal is be able to out compete other countries. Usually, corporative states resort to dumping their goods in other economies and in so doing control the market. Japan did this and used to have favorable balance of trade Vis a Vis the USA. Corporatism generally goes hand in hand with fascist governments.

In fascism, there is a belief that most people are idiotic and do not know what is good for them. One person or a group of persons (Oligarchs) assume to know what is good for the people. He/they seize the government and proceed to superimpose their ideas of how things ought to be on the nation. Usually, fascists believe in strong nations and wars and see individuals as mere appendages to the state. People are to be used at wars for the greater glory of the nation. Nazis n Germany and Fascists in Italy saw their subjects as existing for the good of the state. The fuehrer prince, Hitler, decided to go to war and people were coerced and used to accomplish the goals of the state. (Communists like Stalin did the same; they transformed the masses into instruments for accomplishing their communism dreams; they, too, had no respect for the individual’s right; indeed, they killed the individual if in their psychotic judgment he was not useful to their course.)

Liberals and conservatives are the dominant political ideologies in the extant Western world. They are the mainstream and accepted political ideologies in Western Europe and North America.

Liberals believe that the state could be used for good, to serve the masses interests. They crave big government and want to tax the rich and use that money to provide services for the poor. The negative side of liberalism is that they want to use the power of the state to impose their views on how society ought to be on the people. In today’s America and much of the Western world, liberals and their lesbian feminists and homosexual perverts would like to utilize the state to impose their depraved life styles on the good Christian people. They think that they know what is good for the people. They see religious people as simpletons who believe in superstitions written in scriptures. They discount the Bible and think that they know what is good for all people and what is good for them is to shove homosexuality down their throats. In fact, a liberal superintendent of the New York school district, without consulting parents, who, to his mind, know not what is good for them, went ahead and printed books telling students that it is normal for two lesbian women to raise children. These people are normalizing deviancy and soon will force people to embrace their bestiality as healthy life styles.

If liberals are allowed to run amuck they would take away the people’s civil liberties and civil rights and initiate the rule of perverts and pedophiles. They would impose their godless conception of society on all of society. And we all know where that leads: decline of the empire. Rome declined when homosexual criminals imposed their defiance of nature on society. These animals that defy nature and insist on doing the incredible always contract diseases, Aids being the least of them. These folks have a death wish, their godless lives lead to existential depression and they want to take all members of society with them in their self destructive life styles.

Conservatives are in favor of limited government. (See the writings of John Locke, Edmund Burke, and John Stuart Mill etc.) They fear big governments and believe that big governments invariably lead to tyranny. Big government means large bureaucracies. We know that bureaucracies tend to attract brain dead persons. These unproductive elements of society would like to tell people how to live their lives. Ten bureaucrats who cannot change a light bulb would like to tell the productive elements of society how to produce goods and services. Where these despicable persons rule productivity dies. (See Max Weber’s writing on the nature of the bureaucracy.) Conservatives want free enterprise economy. Conservatives want people to have God in their lives. They understand that without God morality would breakdown. An amoral society is an anarchic society, a Hobessian world where all is at war with each other and the result is life becoming nasty, brutish and short. (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.)

Society generally swings from the left to the right of the political spectrum and right to left. As long as centrists and moderates rule we seem safe. But when right wing, or left wing ideologues take over control of society, disaster strikes.


I believe that I have given us a summary of the various political ideologies competing for people’s allegiance. These ideologies seem to exist in every polity. Wherever you go in the world, you can plot people on this ideological spectrum. Some people are on the left and some are on the right, but a preponderance of the people tend to be in the center of the ideological continuum (hence centrist, moderates).

The average human being is not a socialist or a fascist, left wing or right wing, the opposite ends of the ideological spectrum but a mix of both. Most politicians address the centrist individual for they know that that is where the votes are.

Nigeria and most African countries are not characterized by ideological politics. Whereas there are a few campus radicals, there really are no well defined socialists or fascists in Nigeria. Indeed, there are no well defined liberals and conservatives in Nigeria.

Most Nigerians are still at what Abraham Maslow would consider the lower levels in his hierarchy of needs schema. Maslow has five levels on his hierarchy of needs: from lower to top: physiological, safety, self esteem, social esteem, and self actualization. As Maslow sees it, human beings have to meet their lower order needs before they can aspire after higher ones; they have to have food, clothes and shelter before they worry about safety, then after that self esteem and social respect and finally a desire to actualize their innate potentials. As long as people are hungry, they tend to concentrate on seeking ways to obtain their food. Those who are hungry have little or no time to worry about ideological politics. Ideological politics is for well fed professional middle class persons.

With less than one percent of her population as truly middle class, Nigerians are at Maslow’s lower levels in the hierarchy of needs. They, therefore, don’t tend to worry much about ideological politics. They just want to obtain their food, clothes and house and be able to pay their children’s school fees.

Nigerians will vote for any politician who promises them the means to meet their material needs. Though many Nigerian politicians do not, in fact, deliver on their promises to the masses, but as long as they have money to bribe key persons who can deliver the votes, they tend to be elected into political offices.

Nigeria’s tribal nature confounds its politics. People are most likely to vote for persons from their ethnic groups than for others. They seldom worry about political candidates ideological affiliations. What seems to matter most to them is a candidate’s ethnic affiliation.

Igbos will likely vote for Igbo candidates even if those candidates stand for nothing, other than steal from the national treasury and give some crumbs to their fellow towns men, not to all Igbos. The same goes for Hausas and Yorubas. What we have in Nigeria is the politics of ethnic groups, not ideological politics.

For our present purposes, there is little ideological politics in Nigeria. True, on college campuses, well fed children of the middle class make noises about poorly understood Marxism, nevertheless, they are preoccupied with figuring out ways to secure jobs. They know that the chances are slim that they would secure good jobs. Nigeria is awash with unemployed college graduates. The struggle is to secure a job and keep it. Nigerians keep quiet just so that they keep their jobs.

Whereas there is little or no ideological politics taking place in Nigeria, Nigerians being human beings still fall into the above outlined ideological states. The individual Nigerian, therefore, ought to know what his political ideology is and, hopefully, obtain a more detailed education in it. My goal in this lecture is to summarize the various ideologies, not to provide detailed education on them. We cannot do that in the one hour time frame we set for each of the twenty lectures in this series.



As John Maynard Keynes demonstrated, the capitalist economy has built in boom and burst cycles. There are periods of inflation, depression and recession. To prevent these from occurring, we now manage the capitalist economy. We use many instruments to regulate and guide the economy: Taxation, monetary policy and fiscal policy. Briefly, taxation is used to increase or reduce the quantity of money in circulation; government spending is used to stimulate stagnant economies or cool down over heated ones; the central bank’s raising or lowering of prime interest rates are used to reduce or increase the level of money in circulation hence curb inflation and or reduce depression etc.

We do regulate what the private sector does, such as employ the Environment Protection Agency to decide on acceptable levels of emission factories are permitted to emit into the air. What we have is a regulated capitalist economy, not lassie faire economy. This mixed economy seems the best that we can do.

In my judgment, Nigeria and African countries ought to embrace mixed economies. There really is no better alternative. The alternatives of socialism and communism are unproductive and lead to dead ends. Socialism does not lead to increased productivity anywhere it has been practiced. What it does is give authority to power hungry folks. These monsters proceed to enslave every body in society. They cannot be permitted to tell us, free men and women, what to do with our lives.

A mixed economy, not unmitigated capitalism, is the right solution to Africa’s economic problems. I believe that every person has a right to free medical health and free education, from elementary to technical colleges and universities. I believe that public utilities like electricity, water, transportation, and so on ought to be publicly subsidized. But beyond these select areas of the economy, I believe that the state should hands off the economy. Let the individual swim or sink. (Of course, we should provide him a few safety nets, but not too much, so as not to discourage his competitive spirit. Unemployment payments and Old age pension are good safety net for folks. Old age pension should begin at age 70. Nobody, repeat, nobody should be paid welfare money. That nonsense is what encourages defiant, unruly women to destroy monogamous marriages and have children out of wedlock.)

There is competition in nature. A few will win and many will lose, such is life, cest la vie. In sports, not all of us will be Tiger Wood or Michael Johnson. In academics, not all students have the intellect to be outstanding students, no matter what we may wish. Intelligence is a product of the interaction of our inherited genetic make ups and our social environments. All we can do is provide every child with equal opportunity to compete but not equal outcomes.

We ought to live with reality without harkening to the empty promises of socialism, communism, Marxism and other such yesteryears ideas.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

October 7, 2005

Lecture 5, on October 9, is on capitalist political economy.

Posted by Administrator at October 8, 2005 07:23 PM


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