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31.01.2015 Feature Article

Dr. Kofi Dompere On Kwame Nkrumah’s Scientific Thinking 9

Dr. Kofi Dompere On Kwame Nkrumah’s Scientific Thinking 9
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On the topic of the utility of reading to personal growth, intellectual development, moral refinement, and development economics, K.B. Asante recalls of Nkrumah, of his reading habits, writing accordingly: “He was an avid reader and enjoyed the company of intellectuals and men of ideas, especially those whose views were similar to his own. Nkrumah was therefore aware of the trends of development economics… (See Asante's essay “Nkrumah and State Enterprises”). This type of constructive collaboration is what we previously referred to as “spatial,” an interactive configuration that has contributed to the “success” of the so-called Rwandan Model (Rwandan Economic Miracle, or Rwandan Experiment) as well as to the praxis of Kagame's enlightenment and knowledgeability about development questions, innovative strategies for political maneuverability of his opponents, and intellectual cosmopolitanism.

The irony of Kagame's exemplary reading posture, nonetheless, is that while Britain is Rwanda's biggest donor, whose contributions to Rwanda's GDP amounts to about 70%, Kagame's intellectual and ideational sympathies lie with Singapore, not Britain, to which he looks for innovative praxes of development strategies, tactics of political pragmatism as it relates to the particularity of Rwanda's recent history, and useful models of technocracy. In that case, then, the proposition of spatial constructive collaboration, experimental as it may be in its underpinnings of philosophical temperament, collaterally carries with it a portmanteau of implications for converting functional knowledge acquired through one's quality reading, travels, and strategic association with knowledgeable persons into “intelligence.” This process of conversion requires the operational variables of imagination, intuition, vision, and personal, or collective, initiative for effectuation of material success. It may also entail huge costs of emotional and physical exertion.

Accordingly as a matter of further emphasis, going back to one of our primordial remarks we should want to state categorically that, Prof. Dompere's timely advice was in direct response to those Ghanaian university students and professors who had complained to him about the inability of some major ideas imported from the West to solve African problems, if effectively. This is a controversial supposition as a matter of principle. On the one hand not all of these questionable drab ideas are, in and of themselves, foreign in philosophical content or in cultural texture. Many of these ideas are actually originated in the partisan political manufactories of Ghana's winner-takes-all capitalism, a system largely borrowed idea from America and which a cross-section of the American electorate wants to see radically revised, somewhat molded on a standard potter's wheel of Gandhian economics.

Proponents of Gandhian economics, not dissimilar to proponents of Nkrumah's “mixed economy,” the Nordic Model, Beijing Consensus (“market socialism”), or Keynesian economics, arguably prefer Keynesian economics to the classical model where, as in the latter case shadow forces purportedly regulate and steer supernatural engines of economic activities under oversights of theoretical designations of transcendental mystery and under jolts of revisional impenetrability, as though the greedy calculus of human intentions does not matter in the dynamics of market economy. The Chinese, who are under no illusions as to the realistic caliber of Adam Smith's “invisible hand” successfully shaping and directing economic activities, have realized the moral weaknesses of unfettered capitalism and, accordingly, restructured the theory and praxis of market economy to fit a model the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) calls “socialist market economy,” or “socialist-oriented market economy” in line with the political economy of Vietnam.

Either system falls under the rubric of state capitalism. It does mean, on the one hand, that state capitalism intrinsically provides adsorptive and absorptive capacity for the failures of unrestricted capitalism, and on the other hand against the shortcomings of human predictive power and greed. Among other things, the Asian Tigers did not blindly copy Western capitalism. Rather, they adapted Western capitalism to the particularities of their cultural, geographical, spiritual, material, and historical experiences, a path Nkrumah tried pursuing for the most part. Aside that, humanism or general concerns for the quality and dignity of human life are accommodated in the critical compartments of Gandhian economics! Nkrumah's “mixed economy” substantially shares a practical and theoretical overlap with the spirit of Gandhian economics.

What is more, teleology, human spirituality, preservation of human dignity, and community are subtle connotations or, even overt corollaries, of Gandhian economics as of Nkrumah's “mixed economy.” On the other hand state capitalism does not share an internecine habitation with individual, or collective, initiative as regards greed and destructive competitiveness of unfettered capitalism. State capitalism merely offers a tempering or moderating “visible hand” of corrective intrusiveness at the moment capitalism undergoes internal episodes of derailment and of haywire, as well as of creative and timely management oversight in regulatory mechanism. State capitalism can also run currently with the private sector and public or social ownership of the means of production. Unfortunately for Ghana today, the spate of corruption scandals, namely the winner-takes-all capitalism, bad judgment debts, lack of competitive tendering and procurement protocols, extreme partisan politics, weak institutions, bribery, lack of patriotism and of respect for laws, underdevelopment, cronyism and nepotism and ethnocentrism, technocratic blindness, kleptomania, and the like, rocking the state and the private sector renders any prospect for implementing genuine “mixed economy” in the contemporary dispensation of Ghanaian political economy gloomy.

It is worth mentioning that the predominant mode of political economies in the modern era is “mixed economy” or Keynesian economics.

The question we should all be thinking of is this: Which model of economic proposition fits the contemporary challenges of Africa's political economy, of Ghana's especially, as capitalism has demonstrated debilitating instances of internal unsustainability in many a situation across the world? That is a standing inquiry our political economists, politicians, sociologists, political scientists, scholars, and policy makers are struggling with. Moreover, granted that state capitalism worked so well for Nkrumah at least, recalling that Nkrumah's state capitalism predated China's late 1970s economic reforms and sequent optimization of China's contemporary political economy, is there a rational argument to be made weighing the comparative strengths of state capitalism against unfettered capitalism, the latter of which Africa's clueless leadership is vigorously pushing?

Predictably then, the intellectual infecundity of many of our scholars, technocrats, and politicians constitutes a dangerous trend, a worrisome fixture to many, that needs focused reversing for the sake of Africa's development economics to materialize in its fullest capacity, in order for those in charge of the theory and praxis of development sociology to direct the continent's positive growth. More important is the fact that policy effectuation of progressive ideas for advancement and growth need not be inclusive of the specter of partisan politics, particularly, otherwise the bane of Ghana's development economics. Meritocracy, inclusiveness, relative unity across ideological and political and ethnic and regional lines as regards national development strategies, and patriotism are more than essential considerations as well.

An obvious corollary of the preceding statement underscores a need for proactive contentions for safeguards to be erected against or around dangerous possibilities of institutional entrenchment of ethnocentrism and regionalism. Good examples abound. The idea of ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians with technocratic, scientific, and technological skills leaving Malaysia as a result of ethnocentric and racist policies or as a result of not returning to Malaysia upon completion of their studies in the West, or both, clearly, does not bode well for Malaysian development economics (See “A Never Ending Policy,” The Economist, April 27, 2013; “Politics in Malaysia: Bumi, Not Booming, The Economist, March 20, 2014; “Washing the Tigers: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Malaysia,” 2012, The Equal Rights Trust & Tenaganita).

This is why a unifying political philosophy that seeks, justifies, sustains, and protects the national interest from partisan greed, myopia, contamination, and hijack is of paramount consequence to any unraveling strategy of Ghana's development. Nkrumahism, categorical conversion, and consciencism define such a progressive pathway. And no less an academic economist, philosopher, scientist, and mathematician as Prof. Dompere has taken up this very question and several other related ones in his large corpus of economics texts. On the other hand, locating the right answers requires intimate knowledge and scientific, philosophical depth of the human condition, what, to wit, Ali Mazrui once titularly referred to as The African Condition. The point is not for Africa to pursue an attractive economic proposition merely because everyone else pursues it and merely because it works for everyone. The political economy of growth and development economics and their intersection with culture is a more complicated subject to circumvent than it seems facilely.

Still, as it stands Ghana's present predicament in terms of institutional behavior parallels Malaysia's in many an example. “Malaysia's lack of transparency and weak institutions have made graft and corruption endemic, making it easy for people to be smuggled in and out of the country, often on stolen passports,” writes Joshua Kurlantzick. “The watchdog organization Global Financial Integrity has ranked Malaysia as one of the countries with the biggest illicit outflows of money in the world, while corruption monitoring organization Transparent International ranks Malaysia 53rd in the world in terms of clean government, below many poorer nations with fewer potential resources to combat graft (See “Why Malaysia Will Say Almost Nothing About the Missing Plane,” BloombergBusiness, March 12, 20124).

The question is: Why is Malaysia ahead of Ghana in terms of development indices even as she is awash in corruption, racism, and ethnocentrism? Prof. Dompere's work on Nkrumah and Nkrumahism and his economics texts covertly and overtly provide some of the major answers to fill in the gaps.

Let us also recall that the post-independence leadership of Malaysia has, to date, retained a number of the policies the British left behind, such as favoring one ethno-racial group over other. Relatedly, Frantz Fanon feared post-colonial African leadership following or adopting the crooked ways of colonialism, a troubling augury whose thematic rhythm Thiong'o's novel “Petals of Blood” captures in the particular case of post-colonial Kenya, with familiar echoes proliferating throughout the geopolitical landscape of Africa. This is why correlation, causality, and effect are such important ideas in the applications of simulation, mathematical modeling, and game theory to the claims of sociology, of conjecture, and of hypothesis. Where do we look then? Prof. Dompere, nevertheless, correctly appreciates the political and moral amplitude of the dilemma confronting Africa well enough to explain to us in no uncertain terms, that, the scientific and philosophical writings of Nkrumah have answers, positing that the latter's eloquent dialectic articulation, at least as framed in terms of the tacticality of development economics and of the strategy of practical remediation formulas, leaves a lot to be desired.

If so, why have Ghanaian and African leaders largely failed to take full advantage of the full cornucopia of Nkrumah's scientific, technocratic, and philosophical ideas, his profound thoughts on development economics for instance? Part of the arsenal of responses to this inquiry may point to Prof. Dompere's timely ripostes to his audience at the University of Ghana to be ideationally originative. The truthful nature of this response does not necessarily imply developing new ideas from scratch, for adaptation, creative appropriation, and adoption are also implied in Prof. Dompere's ripostes. Furthermore, time, neocolonialism, psycho-cultural dislocation on the part of African leadership, and misplaced ideologies may be the usual culprits. However, the point is not to appropriate Nkrumah's ideas and adapt them wholesale to contemporary actualities.

Times have changed, so too have the realities of development economics. Globalization, population growth, industrial economics, managerial economics, information technology management, cultural geography, strategic management, decision analysis, operations management, national strategic priorities, economic espionage, and technology management are other important variables to consider. Yet the arguments Nkrumah advanced in “Africa Must Unite,” “Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism,” and “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization” are still as relevant today as when he made them several years ago. This is where creative adaptation, adoption, and appropriation come in. Industrialized economies and emerging ones in Asia and the Americas have done the same. For instance, Enlightenment and Greco-Roman ideas have been, and continue to be, the twin sources of Western meteoric rise in global affairs. Most significantly, it is to reinforce the central idea that every society has its positives which it can appropriate and turn to good use, not least of which is development economics.

Prof. Dompere also believes one major reason for the lackluster performance of African leadership is not necessarily its failure to avail itself or to capture the moving rhythm of Nkrumah's ideas. Quite the contrary. Rather, he strongly believes African leadership lacks a depth of scientific appreciation of Nkrumah's body of works, particularly his “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization.” Prof. Dompere's ten-year-long perusal of this particular work just to capture its fundamentals in its fullest philosophical dimensions, and his mathematical, scientific exploitation of Nkrumah's “Consciencism,” particularly, among his larger focus of empirical methodology, represent eloquent testament to the book's scientific and mathematical merit. That aside, we, on the other hand, also think the lumbering exigencies and political encumbrances of neocolonialism and intellectual laziness and dependency complex and personal aggrandizement and inferiority complex are part of the problem, too.

Even more disconcertingly, Prof. Dompere also thinks there are many self-professed Nkrumahists who claim to have read Nkrumah but, who, regrettably, much like their political siblings who merely pay lip service to the noble claims of Nkrumahism, lack the rigor of mathematical, scientific, and philosophical tools required to defog Nkrumah's sophisticated or labyrinthine psychology, let alone grasp the theory of categorical conversion, consciencism, and philosophical conversion and their practical implications for politico-economic continentalism and development economics. The recurring debates and multiple interpretations this work has generated from different scholars, professional philosophers, researchers, political scientists, scientists, and sociologists around the world speak to Prof. Dompere's remarks. This is not to say either Nkrumah or Prof. Dompere has all the answers. No single individual can. Neither Adam Smith nor Karl Marx did.

Thus, it is to reinforce the notion that both intellectuals, Prof. Dompere and Nkrumah, have given us enough to jumpstart the national conversation on development economics and continentalism, exactly as Europeans have done. In theory, Prof. Dompere develops rational arguments to support another of his salient positions that, it is only through sound scientific and mathematical examination of Nkrumah's ideas and their prudent prosecution that African political leadership, researchers, scholars, scientists, development economists, and policy makers can truly cut the Gordian knot of African problems. These are exactly what he has laid out in his technical texts. Similarly, Diop's complex body of scientific and philosophical works advance arguments along this path, although our mendicant African leadership has conveniently turned its back on them for imported taphonomic ideas instead. Then again Prof. Dompere, a trained “traditional” priest, brings what we have already termed “informal intellectual development” in prior installments to bear on scientific, mathematical articulation of ideas appropriate for practical resolution of African, or human, problems. This observation is very important for a nation's development given that the best policy strategies for human development are not the preserve of formal education alone.

Also notably, it is instructive to note that Prof. Dompere as a priest does not permit metaphysical encumbrances of superstition and uncritical consciousness to arrest the lofty caliber of his scientific thinking, a given fixture not unlike the high-profile statuses of the world-famous ex-neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Francis Collins, the latter being one of the impressive minds behind the Human Genome Project, yet both conservative Christians (See George Johnson's “Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order” and Francis Collins' “The Language of God: A Scientists Presents Evidence for Belief”). Besides, Georges Lemaître, the mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Catholic-priest formulator of the Big Bang Theory, and the Moravian priest Gregor Mendel, the “founding father of modern genetics,” are two other interesting examples of individuals whose intellectual profiles sight an overlap between religion and rational thinking.

These striking parallels are similar to the example of Prof. Molefi Kete Asante who went to school to train as a Christian evangelist, but turned out one of the world's best and innovative minds in spite of his African spirituality and religious beliefs. Yet all these creative minds with instrumentalist attachment to spirituality, namely African, Christian, or otherwise, join the noble and enviable pantheon of the world's sharpest and most productive mental factories. It is as if the penetrating vista of transcendence offers them pineal eyes that strategically position them on a height of scientific and philosophic profundity, where the limitless possibilities of exploring the mercurial innards of human complexity, of nature, namely, beyond the pedestrian, assumes a rational pinnacle of calculating certainty. These are the kinds of creative men and women Nkrumah envisaged for the new Africa, as conceived through the dialectic prism of the larger inquest of consciencism. Nkrumahism produced many of these but, alas, their services are rendered elsewhere, across the world if you will.

Yet again, Prof. Dompere, an international scholar not given to the theatrics of apologetics of any kind, is the type of progressive thinker who also artlessly disacknowldges excessive religionizing of human psychology as a creative antiphon to development economics. For instance, Prof. Dompere is not one to gullibly accept gymnobiblism for its own sake, a fixture of Christian apologetics, or Quranic hermeneutics, simply because such systems purportedly born of the elitist detachment of transcendental mystery are not only controlling of human psychology, but are also more likely to encumber the freedom of intellection. We are here referring to fideism and conflict thesis. Disarticulation is therefore the surest path to scientific objectivity, clear thinking, and intellectual independence from the clasp of irrationality. Thus, the clear disarticulation between Prof. Dompere's religious beliefs and rational psychology has always worked to his advantage.

This is equally reminiscent of Nkrumah who erected a rigid wall of separation between his religious, or spiritual, beliefs and his rational psychology as it specifically relates to the question of development economics. Again, for Nkrumah as for Profs. Diop and Dompere the practice of humanism and the quest for “truth” put the kibosh on dogmatic tendencies of religiosity and xenophobic intellectualism. The question, however, is not to exclude these profound scholars of diverse faiths from meaningful strategies of policy formulations as a result of religious bias, the primarily reason being that a thick curtain of scientific objectivity assumes a translucent partition between their formulaic spiritual identities and their approach to empirical methodology. This point is more than indispensable to the proposition of constructive collaboration. As a ready illustration, it is not possible to discern any traces of religious birthmarks in the entire corpus of Diopian scholarship for instance, at least those we have read over the years. It is all about the rigor of empirical methodology and serious scholarship.

The preceding contentions notwithstanding, it is interesting to read how effectively Prof. Dompere deploys advanced theories of logic, mathematics, philosophy, and science to originate theories for solving African problems, this, by way of familiar philosophical or cultural systems of Ghanaian concepts, such as the Adinkra symbols, Sankofa Anoma, Anoma-Kokone-Kone, and Santrofi Anoma, ideas that help to open up several analytic vistas into the buried chambers of Nkrumah's labyrinthine psychology, among others. That is to say, Prof. Dompere brings alive interred artifacts of African cultural motifs and memes and other profound ideas from the sliding past that Africans have thrown away, either advertently or inadvertently, through sustained efforts of experimental archeology as per vigorous scientific and mathematical perlustration. Put simply, mathematical modeling and simulation are expertly manipulated to underwrite creative translation of the qualitative or philosophic import of cultural symbols into social-political actuation of communal neighborliness or social egalitarianism, without the intrusive encumbrances of ethnic balkanization, interethnic exploitations and antagonisms, and systemic internal disharmony.

This holistic approach to empirical methodology then gives way to a more refined methodology of creative consciousness, in which the lingering possibilities of unitariness find common ground with the intrinsic equation of duality, polarity, and contradictions, all characteristic of the resulting historical particularity that obtained in the crossroads of Africa's tripartite socialization with cultural otherism, and of the cultural raciology of Africa herself. As it stands consciencism, categorical conversion, and philosophical consciencism deal with these complexities. These examples also point to the praxis of “informal education” which, as we noted previously, Prof. Dompere brings to the scientific and mathematical investigation of Nkrumahism! Mazama, Diop, Obenga, Asante, Botwe-Asamoah, and others have done similarly, as exemplified by Asante's “The Afrocentric Idea,” though outside the province of mathematical and scientific inquest.

Also and this is extremely important, we cannot ignore the fact that Prof. Dompere's intimate knowledge of the cultural epistemology of “traditional” Africa is deep, profound, exemplary, and even conspicuously nonpareil. The aspect of his informal education as well as of his grasp of African culture have enriched the spectrum of his academic work, for, he has, for instance, skillfully demonstrated how Santrofi Anoma and Anoma-Konene-Kone and Sankofa Anoma offer themselves up as insightful philosophical planks upon which theoretical parturition of cognitive foundations assumes inquiring possibilities of eventuation, and through which the concept of “transformational dynamics,” to appropriate his phraseology, takes shape, capturing lingering moments of philosophical queries in the rational crucible of corrective evaluation of global and internal policy constructs, especially those strategically targeted at asphyxiating the “total” independence of African polities but, which, unfortunately, seem to evade Africa and her development economics through the slippery roadmaps of neocolonialism, poor African leadership, political ethnocentrism, weak institutions, and kleptomania.

Unfortunately, outside the scope of Nkrumah's, Diop's and Prof. Dompere's scholarships, self-determination, Pan-Africanism, anti-imperialism, African Personality, humanism, and social justice have become emotional staples of social-political mirage even while they still undergird the concept of Nkrumahism, though they still directly fall under the questioning radar of Prof. Dompere's empirical methodology! Admittedly the leadership of post-colonial Africa has not seriously looked at these variables well enough to extract any meaningful ideas to advance the continent. These concepts, Santrofi Anoma and all, in their philosophical nakedness and cultural profundity evoke the imageries of internal contradictions and harmonies inhering in symbolic acceptations of the scatological bird “chichidodo,” so-called, a metaphoric character associated with the thematic architecture of Ayi Kwei Armah's “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born” as well as of the psychopomp Esu-Elegbera or the Yoruba Orisha of crossroads explored in Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s American Book Award-winning masterpiece “The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism,” although both literary works directly fall outside the inviting oversight of advanced mathematics, science, and logic.

In one sense, the dialectic rigor of Prof. Dompere's empirical methodology ploughs through the dilemmatic thicket of the philosophical and cultural mystery surrounding a novelistic creation like Joseph Heller's Catch-22 in the African example. Also, understanding these concepts requires another level of intimate knowledge peculiar to the historical method and Afrocentric methodology, source criticism, semiotics, semasiology, comparative mythology, phenomenology, philology, urban legends, and utility of myths in the service of social and cultural formations. Urban legends (or myths), for instance, in the typical Ghanaian context may be home to revisionist concoctions and calculating orchestrations of falsehoods, of lies, as it were, designed to discredit Nkrumah and his legacy. This is not to imply Nkrumah was infallible and angelic and saintly. Far from it. He was a human being like every other human being. “Kwame Nkrumah was never a god,” Genoveva Kanu writes, “he was an astute politician, an indefatigable leader, an able statement; above all, he was human, he was a man with a dream, a man with vision for Africa―a great man (See “Nkrumah the Man: A Friend's Testimony”).

That is, serious attempts to learn about Nkrumah should be a productive intellectual undertaking only if done outside the hagiographic strictures of cult of personality, hero worship, or unquestioning embellishment. That is also not to say Nkrumah's legacy stands a chance of defacement from the annals of world history as the coup plotters and their ilk unsuccessfully tried to do during and in the aftermath of the coup. “The hideous thing after the CIA-inspired coup, was the attempt by the coup makers to get his [Nkrumah's] eighty-year-old 'mother to say that Nkrumah was not her son,' at gun point,” Prof. Botwe-Asamoah maintains. “She was dragged to a Commission of Inquiry and questioned whether Nkrumah was her real son. Though almost blind, she refused to tell such a lie; instead, she fearlessly told them she would stay alive to see her son return to her in Ghana.” Prof. Botwe-Asamoah concludes: “Another crude and immoral campaign to disgrace Nkrumah was the dragging of his niece, a high school student at the time, to the Commission to be 'quizzed as to the real relationship between her and Nkrumah'” (See Kwame Botwe-Asamoah's “Kwame Nkrumah's Politico-Cultural Thought and Policies”; see also Prof. Kofi N. Awoonor's “GHANA: A Political History from Pre-European to Modern Times” and Genoveva Kanu's afore-mentioned book).

Others rumored that Nkrumah's father was a Liberian. In other words there is no finality in sight to these revisionist fabrications. These Machiavellian pretensions to political wickedness recall a salient episode in the history of America's political campaigns where the gossip mills of Thomas Jefferson's calculating enemies peddled insidious falsehoods alleging the latter's death, a move “which was a ploy to discourage his supporters from going to the polls” according to writer Richard B. Bernstein (See his book “Thomas Jefferson”). Ironically Jefferson was alive then. But, these legacies of shameful histories and revisionist concoctions notwithstanding, it still is shocking to hear Nkrumah's contemporaneous enemies and their current ideological scions preachify that Nkrumah was not even a Ghanaian, to start with. In other words, what was a non-Ghanaian doing in the Gold Coast and then in Ghana presiding over a nation-state, in the skewed reckoning of Nkrumah's xenophobic peers? As the preceding facts amply demonstrate, it is not possible to erase the indelible legacy of great men and women from the conscience of human history.

To underscore that observation, readers can take a long, winding look back at how Nkrumah's once-rejected, vandalized localized statue has assumed its rightful status symbol of international respectability at the headquarters of the African Union (AU), which, according to New York University's Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David L. Lewis, the CIA clandestinely persuaded Haile Selassie to agree to have the headquarters of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), ancestor of the AU, established in Ethiopia as a condition for his acceptance of the African unification project, Nkrumah's brainchild, with the latter, but probably unbeknownst to Selassie himself, the CIA's insidious intention had been actually to reduce Nkrumah's global influence (See Lewis' book “W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963”).

How ironic! The CIA grossly misread Nkrumah as he wanted the headquarters and secretary-generalship of the OAU outside the political boundary of Ghana, a political maneuver or tactical orchestration designed to instill in his peers a reversal of a hovering negative tendency in what appeared to have been a group of men who collectively nursed well-founded apprehensions of Nkrumah's “usurping their positions of power,” to appropriate Dr. Poe's phraseology! “Ghana did not seek to be the Headquarters or Secretary-Generalship of the OAU,” writes Dr. Poe of Nkrumah's elastic disinterest in the political leadership of the Organization of African Unity. Remarkably, we make this assertive admission merely as a basis for separating the wheat from the chaff in evaluating Nkrumah's legacy. Of course that notwithstanding, there is a manifest contradistinction of Nkrumah's ingenuity, selflessness, vision, pragmatism, and foresight to the normative intelligence, greed, idealism, cluelessness, and myopia of the vast majority of humanity.

On the face of it, nevertheless, Nkrumah's larger vision for Ghana, the world, and Africa circumscribed any such stifling particularity of philosophical narrowness, of ideological pathos, and of unfounded fears based on the quest for truth. In other words, Nkrumah's political and intellectual courage contributed to expanding the frontiers of human socialization, human community, and development economics. Among other things, Nkrumah tried unknotting that world of relative complexity analogous to the dialectic labyrinths of consciencism, categorical conversion, and philosophical consciencism, but for the intervention of the enemies of Africa. That world he chose to develop from his categorical conversion is, indeed, a world of technology and science and technocracy and critical thinking and creativity foisted on a bedrock of African humanism, egalitarianism, cultural ethos, human dignity, gender equality, and respect for community and race and diversity and ethnicity.

And whilst his enemies tried to strike the explosive match of fear in his wise face through juvenile acts of terroristic bombing and sniping, fear, we may add, was not an ingredient in the cosmic soup of Nkrumah's spiritual identity, thus, remaining as it were outside his intellectual geography of political innovation. Nkrumah, we further argue, did his best for Ghana, Africa, and the world in the midst of flying bombs, bullets, insults, aspersions, lies, and jealousies from his political and intellectual rivals, towering over them then and even in death. What his enemies and rivals did not know was that pain tolerance was a fixture of Nkrumah's physical and spiritual well-being. It was why he refused general anesthesia as doctor(s) operated on him in the wake of the Kulungugu bomb attack. “Have no fear for atomic energy,” sang Bob Marley. “Because none of them can stop the time.” Nkrumah, Nkrumahism, and Nkrumah's legacy are unstoppable. Indeed Nkrumah never dies. Indeed Nkrumahism never dies. Indeed Nkrumah's legacy never dies.

As a matter of fact Nkrumah, Nkrumahism, and Nkrumah's legacy have become haunting prospects for the Ghanaian, African, and global conscience as the 20th century deliberately metamorphosed into the 21st. What are the intentions behind these declarative assertions? Africa falls into a five-hundred-year induced coma. While in transition in an otherworldly cultural limbo, so to speak, she dreams a strange dream. In that strange dream she faces the mirror of accountability and in it, the mirror, she sees herself essentially as Siamese triplets. Yet, somewhere in the depths of the mirror of accountability she sees herself as a unique individual in a moment of individuation from the Siamese triplets. Trinity in internecine unitariness of sorts. And then, slowly, she begins to feel the tightening pangs of euthanasia, of assisted suicide, that is, around her hyoidal conscience as she deliberately swims in the ether of internal contradictions.

The boat she is swimming in eventually begins to drown in the blurry consciousness of interior incohesion, the outboard motor of social-cultural self-correction having gone of order. The entire episode assumes a surprising state of cultural anatopism, of spiritual anachronism. The strange dream even dissolves into a vaporous ocean of near-death experience, flowing upstream against the tidal juggernaut of unitary stream of consciousness. Internal unitariness becomes a central focus of intra-Trinitarian hostilities, a question of Orwellian deceptiveness. Before long the militant voice of Bob Marley's “Africa Unite” makes a sudden appearance in the sinking fog of Africa's cultural abstraction. But Bob Marley's is a lighter version of Nkrumah's “Africa Must Unite.” In other words the modal verb “must” separates Marley's lyrical militancy from Nkrumah's philosophical militancy, an enormous ideological chasm.

Bob Marley's “Africa Unite,” it turned out, was a philosophical scion of Nkrumah's African Unity, or Organization of African Unity. Regrettably then, that dream of unitary cohesion in Africa remains a distant reality in terms of strategic effectuation of Africa's internal cohesion, because Nkrumah's categorical conversion, consciencism, or philosophical consciencism has not been given a fair chance, if at all, at material attestation. This, coupled with the drowning boat of philosophical indecisiveness on the part of African leadership, adds to the political conundrum of effectuating Nkrumah's larger vision for Africa and the rest of the world. Thus, successfully weaving a basket of unity in the praxis of continentalism has become a difficult task to accomplish. Understandably, Africa's grudging tendency to hearken to the wisdom of Nkrumahism underscores her sinking boat even as her distorted image in the mirror of accountability defies the logic of physics.

It still is not in doubt that, all things considered, the philosophical aesthetics of Nkrumah's consciencism indisputably remains as mathematically, intellectually, and dialectically appealing to the inquiring conscience as peacock plumage is to the piercing eye, though the peacock's cautionary vocalization for intra-continental harmonization is yet to fully materialize. It is also worth mentioning that peacock plumage, intrinsically, can be a bane and a boon simultaneously depending on the evolutionary context of the Darwinian compass of natural selection. A careless, or miscalculated, melodious note from a peacock in the presence of a powerful predator may constitute the bane of that peacock's existence; on the other hand the same situation may attract a prospective female, consequently leading to a boon in the peacock's genetic proliferation. Africa, it seems, has not found an equilibratory locus within these hypothetical extremities.

There is an intrinsic cost, prohibitive though we are quick to acknowledge, which the continent is being unnecessarily burdened with because her leadership refuses to associate itself with the voice of reason, of Nkrumahism.

Who are the Siamese triplets? How do we successfully turn the so-called Trinitarian hostilities into social-political moments of unitary wholeness? How do we get Africa out of the political quagmire of the proverbial sinking boat? Where is that practical synthesis Nkrumah advanced to underwrite Africa's continuing development economics, continentalism, and technocratic advancement? Why are religion and laziness, to mention but two, rather than science, technology, technocracy, industry, and critical thinking, being promoted as the panacea for Africa's manifold ills? What explains Africa's growing habituation to anti-development ideas that industrialized nations and emerging economies are throwing away? What is the proverbial mirror of accountability? What is the Orwellian language of deceptiveness about? Perhaps, the qualitative answers can be gleaned from the universal set of Prof. Dompere's uniquely formal mathematical, logical, and scientific solutions to the dialectic quest of Nkrumahism, for it is in the dialectic realms of Prof. Dompere's logical, mathematical, and scientific ornateness that the elegance and timeliness of Nkrumah's great ideas show themselves.

The world, no doubt, keeps validating Nkrumah's major ideas from time to time. Julius Nyerere made it clear that “Since then Europe via the EU has adopted his [Nkrumah's] entire proposal apart from the one on a union government.” A number of industrially powerful polities across the world are gravitating towards Nkrumah's “mixed economy.” Ex-President John Kufour saw it wise to declare May 25 an African Union, Nkrumah's brainchild, holiday in Ghana (See Dr. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah's “A Salute to President Kufour on African Union Day”). More than anything else Nkrumah's ideas foreshadowed the ethno-cultural and ethno-political conflicts on the continent, as well as on the dangers of neocolonialism, religious terrorism, gross socioeconomic inequality across the length and breadth of the continent, the same ideas undermining the developmental strategies of African leadership and threatening the internal cohesion of Africa today.

It is not in question that Nkrumah's idea to unite Africa and then to use her vast wealth to develop the continent and its people stood at odds with Western interest to exploit Africa's wealth and its people to develop the West and her people. Jomo Kenyatta once opined that Ghana's independence ended colonialism in Africa. This statement is correct in one sense. As it stands the end of colonialism also ushered in the political birth of neocolonialism. Neocolonialism, an ideological doppelganger of colonialism, has eventually taken on the spectral shadowiness of religious terrorism, environmental destruction, mental laziness, dependency complex, and mindless copycatism. Among other things, neocolonialism is also a self-sustaining institution in which political lies and revisionist untruths take shape to palliate the bruised psychologies of certain human elements in defense of the status quo, the art of lying for its own sake.

There are many useful examples to underscore these contentions. Richard Nixon, the same man whom Dwight D. Eisenhower handed a letter inviting Kwame Nkrumah to visit the United States when the former attended Ghana's independence celebration, and Henri Kissinger disapproved of Nkrumah's left-leaning policies, while, at the same, accommodating the left-leaning policies of Mao Tse-tung (See Andrew Rice's book “The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda”). As a president Nixon and his confidants deployed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against his critics, thus resigning the presidency in the wake of the Watergate Scandal.

Still, there are those ideological enemies of Nkrumah who see nothing good in Nkrumah's state capitalism or state intervention, but the same critics have no problem with the state intervention policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, leaders of the so-called Asian Tigers, and several others around the world. More remarkably, we want to recommend the article “State Capitalism: Big Brother is Back (France and Germany Lead Revival of State Intervention”) in the Nov. 3, 2014 edition of The Economist for readers' perusal. There is also an interesting table of facts with the legend “A Tentacle in Every Boardroom: French Government Stakes in Listed Companies” which readers may want to look at. Germany's social market economy, the Nordic Model, Britain's social insurance, Japan's collective capitalism, Keynesian economics, French dirigisme, state capitalism, mixed economy, and social capitalism are essentially born of similar economic philosophy (For a description of “social capitalism,” see Haydn Shaughnessy's article “The Emergence of Social Capitalism: Adaptation or Threat,” Forbes, Jan. 23, 2012).

Yet others like Ralph Nader, however, put corporate socialism in a separate category. Thus, it seems that everywhere one looks Nkrumah, without a doubt, pursued the right path for Ghana and Africa in terms of his overall political strategies on development economics policies. It is unfortunate how Nkrumah's ideological enemies fail to see that a “mixed economy” can go either the way of socialism/communism or of capitalism and that Nkrumah's “mixed economy” largely went the way of capitalism, Keynesian economics. And these critics mistakenly think every component of Adam Smith's or of David Ricardo's classical economics is capitalistic in theory, neither do they fail to see that laissez-faire capitalism hardly exists anywhere (we explore in a later page).

“Contrary to Smith's assertion, a cursory revision of the titanic economic growth of the 20th century developers, namely Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, CLEARLY REVEALS THAT ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THOSE COUNTRIES HAS BEEN DUE TO ANYTHING BUT NON-STATE INTERVENTION,” writes Masoud Movahed. “QUITE THE CONTRARY, IT WAS NOT THE 'INVISIBLE HAND' OF THE MARKET THAT KINDLED RAPID GROWTH IN THOSE COUNTRIES BUT RATHER THE 'VISIBLE HAND' OF THE STATE, which directed the flow of capital to the industries the state thought would be most productive. STATE-INTERVENTION AS A CRUCIAL INGREDIENT OF RAPID INDUSTRIALIZATION OF THE 20TH CENTURY'S LATE DEVELOPERS IS NO LONGER AN ESOTOREIC REALITY TO INTREPID DEVELOPMENT ECONOMISTS (our emphasis).

Movahed continues therefrom: “WITHOUT RIGOROUS STATE INTERVENTION, MASSIVE INDUSTRILIZATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FEASIBLE IN THE POST-WORLD WAR ll GIANT INDSUTRILIAZED ECONOMIES, NAMELY GERMANY, JAPAN, AND RECENTLY THE EAST ASIAN TIGERS. THE STATE IN THOSE LATE DEVELOPERS NOT ONLY PROVIDED MACROECONOMIC CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO CAPITAL ACCUMMULATION AND ECONOMIC DYNAMISM, BUT ALSO STRIVED TO REDUCE UNCERTAINTY AND RISK FOR THE LOCAL FIRMS THROUGH VARIOUS PROVISIONS OS SUBSIDIES SUCH AS CHEAP CREDIT, LOW OR NO TAXES, AS WELL AS SUBSIDIZED EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY (our emphasis; See “The East Asian Miracle: Where Did Adam Smith Go Wrong?”, Harvard International Review, Oct. 26, 2014; see also “A World Bank Policy Research Report: The East Asian Miracle (Economic Growth and Public Policy),” Oxford University Press, 1993).

The policy OF for the Asian Tigers' surprising development and growth in a generation is the Keynesian model, the same model that drove Nkrumah's economic and development policies. Even China's then-Den Xiaoping reforms were essentially based on the Keynesian model, namely “mixed economy,” state capitalism, or state intervention, as Xiaoping's 1979 Four Cardinal Principles eloquently demonstrate: 1) The Principle of Upholding the Socialist Path, 2) The Principle of Upholding the People's Democratic Dictatorship, 3) The Principle of Upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and 4) The Principle of Upholding Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism-Leninism (See Wikipedia; see also Jim Abrams' “Karl Marx Rediscovered As China Stresses Ideological Orthodoxy,” Associated Press News Archive, Oct. 1, 1989). As a matter of emphasis, these four principles were erected against the backcloth of free market strategies. Ironically, both capitalist and socialist regimes have seen fit to revise their political economies to suit emerging realities.

On the other hand, others selectively and conveniently cite Cubans as being happy that, finally, the Obama Administration's opening up the island for exploitation. These critics of Nkrumah forget that a cross-section of Americans, namely religious leaders (clergy), businessmen and businesswomen, farmers, politicians, Cuban-Americans, activists, scholars, etc., have been lobbying for decades to have the embargo lifted. These critics also forget that the world has railed against America for the injustice of the embargo and that Pope Francis worked behind the scenes with the Obama Administration to reverse America's policies toward Cuba. These critics have not bothered to find out how much in billions of dollars the embargo costs both America and Cuba every year (See the website of the US Chamber of Commerce).

Finally, these critics gloss over the euphoria American exporters, investors, retailer, and business people have since been expressing over prospects for exploiting the Cubans once the embargo is dissolved. They want to find every means to identify Cuba's political economy with Nkrumah's Keynesian economics when there is no such link to begin with. It is obvious why the Cuban example is selectively invoked and manipulated to, in point of fact, attempt an unscholarly distortion of Nkrumah's nonpareil legacy on the part of his ideological enemies. Actually, one wonders why anyone will go to this extent because, apparently, an individual or a group of individuals wants to discredit Nkrumah's legacy while collaterally ignoring the fact that Nkrumah's development economics policies were neither exclusively capitalist nor socialist, but rather Keynesian economics. Why fabricate or distort historical facts to fit one's ideological perspective? Why will anyone go to great lengths to tarnish the image and legacy of another person when the moral weight of the world is behind that another person?

Now, regarding the preeminence of Keynesian economics, one important study reports: “Given the general lack of laissez-faire capitalism in the world, examples to show its benefits are few and far between. Rather than admit that the idea is simply impossible, conservative and right-'libertarian' ideologues scour the world and history for examples. Rarely do they let facts get in the way of their searching―until the example expresses some negative features such as economic crisis (repression of working class people or rising inequality and poverty are of little consequence). Once that happens, then all the statist features of those economies previously ignored or downplayed will be stressed in order to protect the ideal from reality (See “Doesn't Hong Kong Show the Potentials of 'Free Market' Capitalism?”).

The author(s) of the said study is/are reacting to the widespread misconception that Hong Kong's economic success derives exclusively from laissez-faire capitalism or, to put it otherwise, from Adam Smith's “invisible hand,” given that verifiable facts from around the world contradict the misconception.

For instance, it is seldom mentioned that the government of Hong Kong was instrumental in establishing the Hong Kong Stock Market (HKSM), that the same government has been associated with heavy expenditures on both social welfare programs and construction of public infrastructures and, finally, that the government owns every piece of land in Hong Kong and how it uses land to manipulate the economy of Hong Kong in the its favor. Neither has it been thoroughly discussed that Adam Smith's “comparative advantage” or “carrying trade” has come under attack, with some cogently arguing that international logistics invalidates the idea. These scholars and researchers argue, in effect, that Adam Smith was wrong on his “carrying trade” theory. James Buchan's well-received book “An Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas” dismisses the idea that Adam Smith's “invisible hand” has anything to do with free market or laissez-faire capitalism.

As a matter fact, others have also pointed out that Smith used “invisible hand” only three times in his well-known work “The Wealth of Nations” and on each occasion the concept had nothing to do with free market or laissez-faire capitalism. Prof. Duncan Folley's work “Adam's Fallacy: A Guide to Economics” makes it clear that economics is not an inductive or deductive science, but rather a speculative philosophy, and that proponents of capitalism more often ignore the negative side of laissez-faire capitalism (See his other interesting work “Understanding Capital: Marx's Economic Theory”; see also Robert Heilbroner's “The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and the Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers). Finally, the impact of Ricardian socialism, a concept derived from David Ricardo and Adam Smith's classical economics, on Karl Marx's thinking is hardly broached by critics of Marxism in intellectual discourses on economic theory.

Yet unrestricted capitalism continues to devastate economies around the world. “THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS APLIED TERRORIST LAWS TO FREEZE THE ASSTES OF AN ICELAND BANK…WE THOUGHT WE HAD FRIENDS, IN EUROPE AND IN THE UNITED STATES…ONLY THE SCANDINAVIANS WERE PREPARED TO EXTEND A HELPING HAND AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, RUSSIA. SOMEHOW THE WORLD HAS CHANGED…IN MANY WAYS WE UNCRITICALLY ACCEPTED THE CAPITALIS SYSTEM,” writes Prof. Gauti Kristmannsson, “which appears to have been a gigantic casino without an owner…But, then again, I heard that a new edition of 'The Communist Manifesto' will be published here this autumn. Coincidence, of course−but, like everything else, unreal. Kafka's Iceland probably has an ending different from anything that we can possibly imagine (our emphasis; see his piece “The Ice Storm” in The New York Times).

Prof. Krismannsson was, to all intents and purposes, writing about the failures of capitalism in his native Iceland and what they did to the economy and people of Iceland. Capitalism, it suddenly yet inexplicably appears to the world, an excessively dangerous, unpredictable armed robber, a wolf in sheep's clothing if you will, storming into the night and making away with King Solomon's mines. It is no use, then, that the sleeping world has forgotten so soon that Karl Marx had correctly predicted globalization, its problems, and the failures of international capitalism more than a century ago. Why have the failures of capitalism suddenly become a cause célèbre, an epiphany, a déjà vu? The not-so-unpredictable behavior of capitalism, we may add, takes after the questionable behavior of Adolf Hitler who, according to the Jewish-American public intellectual Dr. Norman Finkelstein, hid 30-35% of the wealth he and the leadership of Nazi Germany stole across Europe in America. This percentage of stolen wealth is still part of America's political economy.

Moreover, Dr. Finkelstein has offered some reasons justifying Jewish organizations' reluctance to go after the American government in recovering Jewish wealth, artistic and otherwise, as they did with European governments and European institutions (See Dr. Finkelstein's “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” and Peter Novick's “The Holocaust in American Life”). Other interesting information has been revealed about Hitler and Nazi policies (See Bryan M. Rigg's book “Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military”).

What is the point of our narrative diversions? These diversions paint an assembly of facts that make it easier to appreciate Prof. Dompere's scientific work on Nkrumahism and to easily dismiss offhand the emotionally-tainted yearnings of Nkrumah's ideological enemies or, conversely, to let readers in on the knowledge that for Prof. Dompere's scientific and mathematical exploitation of Nkrumahism to make practical sense readers will have to develop extensive inventories of expertise in subject matters ranging from global history, history of philosophy, history of science, history of knowledge, critical theory, Afrocentric theory, history of science, cultural theory, Egyptology, political theory, Cold War Studies, classical African history to postcolonial theory. The point is that Nkrumahism cannot be properly or sufficiently understood outside these investigational contexts, as Nkrumah arguably represented a culmination of the long, meandering evolutionary history of political refinement, political wisdom, and moral bravery.

In the end Nkrumah's call for grafting science, technology, critical thinking, and technocracy on the bedrock of African humanism, egalitarianism, African Personality, and cultural ethos still holds great promise for Africa's developmental vivification. What is more, like the regenerative power of a salamander or of an axolotls, the advanced mathematics, logic, and science of Prof. Dompere make a powerful case for policy resurrection of Nkrumah's great ideas. It goes without saying that Nkrumah's ideas are as good for Africa just as they are for Europe. “If Africa unites, it will be because each part, each nation, each tribe gives up a part of the heritage for the good of the whole. That is what union means, that is what Pan-African means,” said W.E.B. Du Bois in 1958. Europeans have seen the wisdom and light in Nkrumah's innovative ideas and seen fit to implement some of them to advance their continent, what of Africa and of the African people if we may ask?

We shall return…

Francis Kwarteng
Francis Kwarteng, © 2015

The author has 580 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: franciskwarteng

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