David Mafabi: Response To There Is No Crisis Of ‘Succession’

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In last week’s article, we posited that there is no crisis of succession in Uganda. We elaborated on why we are absolutely certain on this. We pointed out what, in our opinion, our political elite and intelligentsia, should instead be focused on.

The article evoked a lot of critical responses – both positive and negative. We consider the feedback very important. We share some of it here (touching it lightly), using only the initials of the Compatriots who responded. We shall be glad to share their contacts with anyone who wants to go deeper with them.

D.B. wrote (lightly touched): “Excellent! You finally get back to tackling what is at issue; implementation of projects in Department I.

You also, very cleverly, talk about sectors that must initially anchor a country’s transformation.

Whilst all this is well grounded in its theoretical framework, we posit that NRA/M’s members’ clamour for change is down to the fact that even as members of the State, they quickly realise that they are short changing not only themselves, but future generations with an almost obscene obsession with politicking at the expense of any meaningful public project implementation in Department I.

It is the vulgar expense of money in Department II by the state architecture … not supportive of local industry, etc. … that is at issue. There is no one deluded enough into thinking we shall have a Messiah, but certainly everything points to the fact that we have failed, spectacularly, to understand Lee Kuan Yew’s dicta: Even if you have all the PhDs on Earth running a State, if you cannot implement public projects (Department I) on time and budget, you will never transform society.

We shall stay in a constant Nigeria like loop of excellence in the diaspora and pockets of excellence in country, with a disaffected, disenfranchised majority that genuinely HATE and feel ashamed of their country, because it offers NOTHING at the scale needed in Department I to enable them partake of the pursuit of happiness.”

That, is D.B. – obviously upset, writing with a lot of feeling! We shall comment briefly.

J.O. also wrote (lightly touched): “You do very well to clarify the context of leadership in our economic landscape.

However, one fact we can’t overlook is that whatever the context, the leadership in place modifies the experience of the population.

Those who talk about succession, transition or whatever they call it, do not necessarily have objectives of creating economic changes, they seek justice in leadership.

I find it difficult to justify an individual holding a position for life, however good they may be. Actually, retirement from positions is part of goodness.”

We once again thank D.N., J.O., and the others who wrote back!

The issues they raise lead to still more questions or areas of inquiry. The conversation cannot be complete without providing an overall structural context – that of national and state formation, a historical process (not act of creation) unfolding in the enclave economies in the periphery of global capitalism … in the shadow of the forces that rule the current world division of work and market.

Here, we must flag the concept of original or primitive accumulation of nations and states. While D.B.’s concern about the balance between what Marx called Departments I and II of production is valid, we must not get into fights which are objectively about how to democratize our current “poverty”! We must exponentially grow the economy – double digit growth, and sustain it for at least a generation or two!

In Chapter 26 of Volume I of “Das Kapital”, Marx writes: “… the accumulation of capital presupposes surplus-value; surplus-value presupposes capitalistic production; capitalistic production presupposes the pre-existence of considerable masses of capital and of labour power in the hands of producers of commodities. The whole movement, therefore, seems to turn in a vicious circle, out of which we can only get by supposing a primitive accumulation (previous accumulation according to Adam Smith) preceding capitalistic accumulation; an accumulation not the result of the capitalistic mode of production, but its starting point.”

“This primitive accumulation plays in Political Economy about the same part as original sin in theology. Adam bit the apple, and thereupon sin fell on the human race. Its origin is supposed to be explained when it is told as an anecdote of the past.”

“In times long gone by there were two sorts of people; one, the diligent, intelligent, and, above all, frugal elite; … the other, lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living.”

“The legend of theological original sin tells us certainly how man came to be condemned to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow; but the history of economic original sin reveals to us that there are people to whom this is by no means essential. Never mind! Thus it came to pass that the former sort accumulated wealth, and the latter sort had at last nothing to sell except their own skins …”!

“Such insipid childishness is every day preached to us …! M. Thiers, e.g., had the assurance to repeat it with all the solemnity of a statesman to the French people, once so spirituel. But as soon as the question of property crops up, it becomes a sacred duty to proclaim the intellectual food of the infant as the one thing fit for all ages and for all stages of development. In actual history it is notorious that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, briefly force, play the great part. In the tender annals of Political Economy, the idyllic reigns from time immemorial. Right and “labour” were from all time the sole means of enrichment, the present year of course always excepted. As a matter of fact, the methods of primitive accumulation are anything but idyllic”.

Marx is underlining that “… in actual history it is notorious that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, briefly force, play the great part” in the original accumulation of nations and states! How are we, the African people going to effect meaningful national accumulation outside political integration?!

We stay with these issues next week – including the all-defining nexus between economics on the one hand, and political, values and norms on the other!

K. David Mafabi

Senior Presidential Advisor/Political Affairs (Special Duties)

State House

Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at thestandard256@gmail.com
Or WhatsApp Us on +256750474440

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