In the German tradition the concept of ‘Weltanschauung’ or ‘Worldview’ occupies an important place in ones psyche. It explicates the core values of individuals’ as well larger collectives within a given social formation. German philosophy insists on the existence of such internalized guiding principles, (visibly propounded or not, consciously felt/endorsed or not) within an individual, group, tribes, etc., mindset. According to this reasoning; the reigning Worldview/Weltanschauung (over an individual or society) is the basis of thoughts and actions. In German ‘high culture’, an individual devoid of a Weltanschauung is considered as good as a beast on four!
For instance the prevailing modern world system, whose very driving force is accumulation, has been tirelessly engaged in the systemic homogenization of diverse worldviews/traditions/orientations throughout the centuries and across the globe. As a result, the worldview of the profit system became the supremo and all other worldviews were/are forced to become mere subsidiaries to its suffocating preponderance, non-material rhetorical inclinations notwithstanding (religious, humanities, etc.). One result that obtains from such a religiously followed worldview is the expunging of all that is deemed costly/cumbersome to the system’s propagation from active/responsible societal consideration, (whether the object in question is nature, humanity, etc.)! We believe this mechanically inspired and ill-conceived callous calculus, has now reached its historical limit!
Even though there are palpable signs to indicate the accelerated pace of systemic decay/collapse, clearly articulated alternative worldviews that should have made grounds by now don’t even seem to be on the horizon. Reasons abound, the major one being the belligerence of entrenched interests against all and sundry that tries to scintillate alternatives to the established life destroying system. Even those that have always been at the receiving end of the system’s brutality remain passive and dormant, maybe as a result of persistent and complete mental/physical subjugation! The prevailing disempowering views/actions expressed by some of Africa’s elites, those we affectionately call the ‘belly thinkers’, testify to this assertion.
Africa’s integration to the modern world system was mostly, if not exclusively, a result of sheer force- direct oppression. At the dawn of the 21st century our major operating worldview still remains, pervertedly, the one derived from the traditional beneficiaries of the system. ‘Scramble for Africa Round II’, which has already been enacted by the power that be (EU-EPA, USA-AFRICOM) and is rooted on the condescending principle of, ‘Africa is there for the taking’, is in the process of being swallowed raw by our compromised buffoons! See the article next column that is critiquing our blind submission to the diktat of the European Union. Under EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) Europeans are trying to sneak in the Singapore issues of the WTO (and even more, Capital Account) through the back door, that have been repeatedly rejected by developing countries. The childish narrative of ‘unless you jump on the bandwagon you will be left alone’ crap must be deconstructed. Why jump on the train that is inevitably destined to go over the cliff? Africans must be aware of confidence sapping narratives impostering as knowledge, which our gullible and ambitious elites voraciously consume and utilize to earn crumbs in the institutions of establishments, be them local, regional, continental or global.
Lacking vigorous self valorizing worldviews to challenge the violently destructive established order, Africa’s political leadership, intellectuals, business people, etc seemed to have made a Faustian pact to deliver the beasts (African human mass) soul and riches, for ‘ephemeral development’ or to use Mao’s vivid phrasing; ‘paper tiger development! In a nutshell, this phony development project is anchored on Mickey mouse leadership devoid of wisdom, contentless pontification to lead the beast astray, parroting without understanding, pomp without substance, consumption without production, worshipping mediocrity while condemning quality, sanitizing oligarchs while destroying entrepreneurship, etc., etc. In all honesty, if development is these, maybe we are better off not ‘developing’ in the manner that is dictated to us.
Obsessed with accumulation, modernity became blind to other aspects of life. The time has come to confidently and intelligently interrogated its stupid but supremely established dictatorial ideology, which has been reigning and ruining the world for centuries. The twisted logic of accumulation that has gradually transformed a good portion of the beast to zombies of the unthinking type (consuming drones, etc.,), nature to a universal commodity must be ejected from Africa’s worldview, if we are to save our sanity and resources. Here is an example of contrasting Weltanschauungs as they pertain to prevailing reality. One is by a well-known neocon while the other is by a raging libertarian, both from the same land. (See the articles on pages 23,29 & 45). We hope it will be an interesting read.
One Christian thinker defines worldview as a matter of the heart! Let’s listen to his version: “Worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true, or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic construction of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being. We should all think in terms of worldviews, that is, with a consciousness not only of our own way of thought but also that of other people, so that we can first understand and then genuinely communicate with others in our pluralistic society.” James W. Sire. Good Day!