Our sympathies or our protests?

by Odilim Enwegbara

It was out of immense nationalism and patriotism that Alexander Hamilton – the super intelligent first US secretary of treasury – did everything not only to fiercely oppose the British economic hegemony in his newly America, but also to roll out some draconian industrial nationalist measures that completely kept British manufactures out of the United States. That it was also out of such undiluted nationalism that the first Congressmen overwhelmingly passed his proposed US protectionist industrialism into law in 1791, made Hamilton number enemy of Britain’s economic imperialists. Who without wasting any time asked London dig out and publicize the skeleton in Hamilton’s cupboard, his extra-marital affair with a married woman. But, did Hamilton regret paying such high price in his selfless service to his dear nation?

While reigning in 1795 as a result of the scandal, he made it clear to his admirers as the hero treasury secretary that the price was worth paying if that was what it would take to give nascent American industries the kind of support they required to kick out ”Britain’s imperialist free-traders out of America.” But the costs of that single nationalist policy were devastating to say the least. Not only that it frontally challenged the Britain’s century-long industrial power – an industrial power started by ferocious nationalist, King Henry VII in 1489 through a combination of protectionist ban, sponsored poaching, industrial espionage, and subsidies and rebates-but from then on, while Britain was declining as the world’s leading industrial power, America was rising and emerging as its potential replacement.

In a world of nationalist survivalist competition – even as far back as the empires of Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome – it is recognized that those to be celebrated as national heroes should always be those men and women who have paid high price in defense and promotion of their nation’s interests. Little wonder, in full agreement with that truism, Ulysses Grant, nationalist American president, demanded from his fellow Americans to live and die selflessly for America should desire an America wins and lead other nations.

Each time I spear the time to watch the amount of time our leaders spend celebrating themselves rather than celebrating ideas that should solve our problems and lift us up, it shows me our leaders not only lack patriotic sentiments, selflessness, seriousness, but have no sense of urgency to ensure that the country in their hands is an endangered species. It is immeasurable the gravity of self-centered celebrative leadership taking place while the state is moribund. The tragic truth is that when eventually historians come down on us, they would be overwhelmed that all we did was celebrating failure after failure, mediocrity after mediocrity, rolling out and hipping awards upon awards on themselves.

But, looking deep into who really were these men and women who called themselves today’s leaders, they would begin to soften their anger, especially when eventually coming to understand why that era of celebration in the midst of total failure persisted. One thing certain they will little difficulty answering some embarrassing questions as: Were they truly leaders, or just self-servers? Were they truly in touch with the reality of their time, if all they left behind were monumental economic and social graveyards all over the country? How come they did not watch how leaders in other countries were behaving? In short, how could they have called themselves leaders if all they did while in power was – and in most cases excessively – conniving with foreign looters and bandits to plunder Nigeria without even minimal sense of patriotism?

But reflecting over what great thinkers like Plato and Socrates said about these kinds of men and women, these historians would, rather than continuously blaming their actions would resort to sympathizing with our today’s leaders. More so when done with an in-depth understanding of the intemperate and effusive psycho-abnormalities in people who while calling themselves leaders of their country ended up working assiduously with every foreign imperialist to destabilize and loot the same country.

Making their search for answers easier is the in-depth work done by Aristotle in profiling these self-seeking enemies of their own nations, who in conclusion he referred them as men suffering from an excessive youthful longing for superiority and victory, men willed to raw power, and who lacking moderation that comes with self dignity and virtue, understandably should be indulging in everything about power and material excessively, believing so as the greatest dream and achievement of living. Handing over their nation’s wealth to foreigners so long as they are compensated no matter the highest cost to their nation is never recognized as an immeasurable sin to one’s own nation.

In other words, as Plato made us to understand, the fact that they excessively handed the fortunes of their nation to the enemy shouldn’t be believed that they did so out of wickedness, but course, out of sheer immature quest for power and material happiness, a result of an inborn self insecurity. As for their lack of feelings for weaker members of the society, the historians will agree with great psychoanalysts that their brute minds buried in dog-eat-dog was shaped by the same resistible reckless excesses accompanying materialized impulses freely flowing in them.

But to understand the depth of their habitual wantonness, these historians should go further in their search of explanation but not far-flung from Plato and Aristotle. Should they, they too should end up in sympathy, especially when discovering that these men were genuinely sick, and as a result should deserve pity rather than flood of condemnation we today are handing them. With such psychiatric sophistication, these historians, rather blaming them, we have us blame for not doing enough to carefully distance them from the corridors of power. That is why our great grand children would see us to blame not only for lacking the understanding but for not doing enough help our brothers and sisters who in their serious illness, in their inner disharmony, their psychological fracture that not only destroyed their moral appetite, but also gave no room for guilt or remorse for wrongdoings, we did not to help.

Of course, they will blame us for while seeing the handwriting on the wall did nothing than playing the blame game. Yes you can say, you know what, I refused myself partaking in handing foreigners my country’s wealth but should that have been where your national responsibility would have ended had it been your desire to have a great country inherited by great grandchildren? Yes they would have discovered that why great grandpapa never got to power was because he was not ready to mortgage his hard earned self-restraining principles and patriotism, but they would then come back to believe that no doubt great grandpa was a coward. If not why didn’t stand up and possibly pay the price like Alexander Hamilton paid for his dear America? In short, historians will all concur that not partaking in the looting of our country at the time, wasn’t patriotic enough, when true nationalists should have stood frontally against these looters and their foreign partners in crime.

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1 comment

Mike Ibezim December 23, 2011 - 1:42 pm

Well said. I wish they had ears.


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