diasporicroots: The Black Man’s Burden - Africa & the Curse of the Nation-state Basil Davidson The postcolonial countries of Africa turned to nationalism as a liberating force, but as Davidson observes in this profound inquiry, the modern African nation-state has meant harsh dictatorships, massive poverty and ever-increasing transfer of wealth to the industrialized world. he traces the roots of this crisis to Africans’  copying European models of governance and denying their own past. This book should be called the burden of colonial states. In the plight of the current situations of north Africa, let us not forget that most of the current african states were formed from colonial artificial states. This book looks at the implications of that. This book examines the history of the formation of the current modern African states. It argues that, contrary to popular opinion, pre-colonial African states existed which had the capacity to integrate themselves into the global order on their own terms. It dwells extensively on the Asante nation-state of now known as Ghana to illustrate the vibrancy of these states. This organic process would have led to a much more positive end (as it did in Japan following the Meiji reforms of the 1870s) but it was aborted by the invasion of Africa by Imperial powers (driven partly by greed and partly by a racist world view) and the subsequent imposition of “alien” political structures, completely divorced from, and hostile towards, “traditional” African institutions and society. Colonialist created new states which took no account of African history, tribal loyalties, or trading relationships. These new states served the purposes of the colonialists. Colonial subjects were made to provide free or nearly free labour to the new state. As a result, most colonial subjects tried their best to avoid any contact with the state. It further argues that the later nationalist campaign for independence was led mostly by descendants of recaptive Africans (i.e returned slaves) and other similarly Westernized Africans who, though fighting for “freedom”, shared the colonizers core socio-political values and hence attitude towards pre-colonial African institutions. This independence, therefore, did not change the fundamental nature of the Colonial African state. It remained primarily a tool for expropriating resources and executing the “top-down” modernization agenda of the ruling elite. After gaining independence the artificially created states were retained. Some African independence leaders were aware of the dangers inherent in these artificial states. These new states were inherently unstable. They did not command the loyalty of the majority of the rural population. It states tribalism, was a defensive strategy adopted by society in the face of the hostility of the state. He suggests that it developed in response to the rise of the slave trading state prior to colonialism and was maintained during colonial rule as part of a “divide-and-rule” policy. It turned particularly virulent after independence as the modern African state further developed the exploitative and oppressive nature of its colonial predecessor. The newly independent nation-states just carried on where the colonial powers had left off. They continued to extort surpluses from the rural population to satisfy the needs of the urban population. As a result, the rural population continued to avoid any contact with the state. The majority of people continued to see the state as a predator. In conclusion It provides a strikingly different and refreshing explanation for the plight of modern Africa. While it mostly focuses on analyzing the issue, in conclusion, Davidson suggests that dealing with Africa’s problems would require the building of a more organic and genuinely participatory state, which is sincere in its devotion to its people. This is mainly why we are having problems in the middle east and Africa, the governments are not properly devoted towards the economic growth of the people, due to the concepts of governance they are using being based on old models that are becoming redundant in a ever changing global world. About the Author: Author of more than 20 books about Africa ( The African Genius ) Basil Davidson committed his life to understanding and telling the truths, as he sees them, about Africa. Basil Davidson has studied African history since the end of World War 2. He has written extensively on African history. Basil Davidson gives us an informed and concerned reflection on Africa’s current deep disappointments with the nation-state. His exploration of its relation to the wasted years of colonialism and also its parallel with the dramatic developments of Eastern Europe offer a clear and illuminating explanation. References: Davidson, B. (1992) The Black Man’s Burden - Africa & the Curse of the Nation-state. James Currey; ISBN-10: 0852557000

O Fardo do Homem Negro – África e Maldição do Estado-nação Basil Davidson

Os países pós-coloniais da África viraram-se para o nacionalismo como uma força libertadora, mas como Davidson observa, o Estado-nação moderno Africano significou muitas vezes ditaduras severas, pobreza massiva e crescente transferência de riqueza para o mundo industrializado. Para ele as raízes desta crise estão na negação do próprio passado e na atitude nociva de se copiar os ‘modelos europeus de governança´.

Referências: Davidson, B. (1992) O Fardo do Homem Negro – África & A Maldição do Estado-nação. James Currey; ISBN-10: 0852557000

Fonte: http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/

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