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Living With The Unacceptable: A New World Order And Democracy In Africa

The beauty of democracy has always been its ability to impose the will of a majority over the ‘others’, even when ‘the others’ may not like the imposition.

This has kept the wheel of civilised society turning; winners and losers alike respecting each other’s viewpoint.

However, lately, the opposite seems to be the case because we now live in an age where people can be right and yet wrong at the same time. This contradiction seems to be redefining the majority clause on which our democratic system is built upon, and consequently, forcing many of us to shove empathy into the waste bin.

Life doesn’t always give us what we want, but we have learned to live with what we were given – lemons, lemonade and all that. The Brexit result and Trump presidency were two such examples. Some people (the others) still believe the outcomes were wrong results and are prepared to challenge the sacred rule of democracy that the majority always wins. Why are people bothered anyway? Maybe, because we are witnessing the emergence of a new world order - the reawakening of nationalistic paranoia and the death of common sense. But then, is there anything really wrong with us wanting to take full ownership of our own little corner of Europe, or the Americans putting their country first?

We are all aware the system is messed up and broken; riddled with anti-human agenda, failed policies, mismanagement, corruption, misplaced priorities and obnoxious trade/ monetary policies that programmed Third World countries to struggle in perpetuity. Today, it’s all about balancing the books, greed and xenophobic rhetoric. We blame and hate those whose viewpoint goes against ours, or whose colour does not fit in with our perceived landscape. Democracy supposes to be the Knight that gives voice to the voiceless, but nowadays, it feels like it is primarily helping big businesses and clueless bureaucrats to control our lives.

While we reflect on how terrible these social ambiguities have impacted our lifestyles, or offended our conscience, please spare a thought for those in Africa, especially in the Sub-Saharan region who are living with an unacceptable version of democracy.

The democratic system here has become a metaphor for the traumatised citizens, whilst serving as a breeding ground for integrity-deficient leaders, cabals and thieves.

Democracy in most African countries represents a government meant for the people, stolen by few, for the sole purpose of personal enrichment. The players have mastered the dark art of the ‘voodoo democracy’ (when the dead and undocumented aliens vote in an election). The process is a circuit of the ‘shameless’, the ‘have not’s’ and the ‘damned’; presided over by the same old brigade who for half a century have bastardised and shamelessly supervised hopelessness and institutionalised corruption and an unprecedented waste of both human and natural resources.

To them, political leadership means spitting on the rule of law and abuse of power, while syphoning monies meant for social and infrastructure development into overseas’ bank accounts.

The point is, people may be different socially and politically but basic human needs always remain the same in any language. Poverty, hunger and hopelessness respect neither religion and race nor national boundary. Be it the version of democracy that exists in Africa or the West’s desire to bolt her doors, the key to challenging the root cause of depreciating the value of human life (wherever that may exist), is to act and speak with one voice on issues affecting people. Democracy (the assumed voice and hope for ordinary people) is being hijacked and abused and we can no longer hide behind a collection of indefensible positions and excuses.

Whatever our belief may be, we should all be angry at anything that devalues human life and dignity, regardless of whom or where it is happening in the world.

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