SMOOTH-LIFE on smooth 98.1
Welcome to today’s edition of smooth-life. Today is Monday and my focus is on those at the top and those seeking to get there. Now, the world has accepted, practiced and promoted several economic models for a long time in our history. A lot of these economic models were invented by the West and Americans. Eastern Europe also expressed its creativity in delivering socio-economic models that equally enjoyed wide spread acceptance. But capitalism has been the most successful as well as the most enduring of all models. But clearly, none of these models have been able to successfully deliver on the promise of the fulfilment of the need and aspirations of people around the world. Each of the economic models practiced before now had some great components but all had endemic flaws.
In a capitalist system, compelling relevance depends majorly on three things: (1) the amount of personal responsibility the individual is willing to take; (2) the value (skills, services, products, solutions) each individual brings to the table and (3) the weight and quality of the structural capital prevailing within the environment in which the individual lives and works in. The problem with these three is that at their best, they successfully and consistently produce three categories of people. (1) a few big winners, (2) a number of average winners otherwise known as the middle class and (3) a myriad of losers. Now, It’s simplistic to say that everyone is responsible for his personal relevance and status; yet, there must exist another kind of education that defines the standards that underscores the blessings inherent in our humanity and collective good; that in itself respects the truth that all men are not equal in ability and will never be. And that socio political factors such as access to health care and education and good governance or a lack of it contribute significantly to the people’s ability to express the best their individuality deserves as well as to maximize their full potential. And that the content of history such as slave trade and colonialism has created a kind of dichotomy that a system like capitalism takes advantage of to consistently widen the gap of poverty between nations; such that while some get richer and richer, their continuous growth will be sustained by those capitalism push to get poorer and poorer. Africa and the so-called Third World are the obvious victims here.
But Africans themselves must invest in that kind of empathy towards ourselves with the critical goal to move beyond the aids and favours that keeps us small in the comity of nations…to the kind that defines new strength for us as a people.
Now, African leaders, and especially leading businessmen and women all over corporate Africa, must now begin to define a new kind of economic model that in itself will be a hybrid of the capitalism we have known but with empathy at its centre, and that promotes sound market based strategies of capitalism such as the creativity, innovation, efficiency, management and sustainability culture of the free market, blended with the focus on social engineering for the common good that socialism offers. However, these will not be necessarily done strictly through legislation, but mostly through value-based education with a focus to teach and lift solution providers to become social entrepreneurs passionately committed to placing the common good over and above the desire to amass personal wealth—more of what i define as stewardship of private property. Meaning that wealth will continually be created but is not amassed. Meaning our societies will no longer be filled with people who just have money, rather it will be filled with people who have the money that is allowed to flow to multiply stability for the common good.
I believe that greed is nothing but the voice of an untrained human mind to communicate his helplessness, his naiveté and poverty. We now know that some people are so poor, all they have is money. See, Socialism only failed because it did not capture and embrace a critical component of capitalism. But capitalism is also failing because it is unbridled and inspires self-serving gain at the expense of the common good. It may not be the last we have seen but Africa can accept and promote a new world economic order in the mould of what Bill Gates has already called Creative Capitalism. Please google the word and seek to understand it more. Continued reliance on transnational socialism in the name of Aids cannot close the gaps, It is why socialism did not work. More than 50% of the aid Africa receives returns to the west as payment for technologies and expatriate skills anyway. Africa gives back about 14pounds for every one pounds received in Aids. Favour is not free, someone always pick the bills. For every degree of favour you seek, you lose a level of freedom, and a begging bowl is not a pathway to prosperity of any kind.
Between socialism and capitalism exist our own peculiar economic order. We need men and women with the guts to study it, and the political and corporate character to embrace, practice and promote it. This is the thought each visionary African must consider. This is who we should be. And this is what we must do.!