When the transcendent symbols in the culture lose their cogency, furthermore, the individual’s personal symbols, including biological and sexual seem to lose their power or be thrown into self-contradiction all down the line as well.
Our historical political and economic situation in the face of injustice, marginalization amidst negative variance of democracy points to breakdown of cogent national symbols. The symbolic elements in life have a tendency to run wild, like the vegetation in a tropical forest. Continuous process of pruning and adaptation to a future ever-requiring new forms of expression, is a necessary function in every society.
The successful adaptation of old symbols to changes of social structure is the final mark of wisdom in sociological diplomacy. In addition, an occasional revolution in symbolism is required.
Humanity, it seems has to find a symbol in order to express itself. The emergence of living beings cannot be ascribe to the superior survival value either of the individuals, or of their societies. National life has to face the destructive elements introduced by these extreme claims for individual idiosyncrasies. We require both the advantages of social preservation, and the contrary stimulus of the heterogeneity derived from freedom.
The society is to run smoothly amidst the divergences of its individuals. There is a revolt from the mere causal obligations laid upon individuals by the social character of the environment. This revolt first takes the form of blind emotional impulses; and later, in civilized societies these impulses are criticized and deflected by reason. In any case, there are individual springs of action, which escape from the obligations of social conformity.
It is no longer news that the Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution is deeply flawed and our democracy is a negative variance of the norm. Some sections of the bourgeoisie recognized that this inheritance is not something we should snuff life out of in our time.
Many other sections of the bourgeoisie who lost out of the power equation at the centre are aligning with agitators, separatist and ethnic jingoists to further more undermine the fragile national symbol feebly binding the whole as one.
In this light, “Imposition of Sharia Law ( Boko Haram), Exhumation of Biafra Sovereign State and Restructuring” appear on the political horizon as metaphors for a new symbol. Since the drumbeat of power tendencies increase its decibel, it becomes abundantly clear that most people are donning their ethnic garbs and coming only at the regional and ethnic levels at the base.
This is a troubling incestuous political and cultural embrace with the ultimate intent of disintegrating the old symbol and replacing it with a new one. It is imperative here to draw attention to the underlying causal factors of class struggle. The symbol and the search for a new one are characteristics of the inherent tension and conflict that is capitalist bourgeoisie democracy.
Bourgeoisie politicians wave ethnic and religious symbols as subliminal symbolic interactions with their support base. In this way, they strive to construct identity in a singular form. This is in sharp contrast to Karl Marx Concept of “Historical Materialism” which identifies two broad classes in society.
This concept deconstructs the parochial singular construct of identities by pointing to multilevel construct of identities. Any Nigerian from any ethnic background belongs to a class. People who earn wages, women who suffer injustice and the poor masses represent one of these core identity markers.
When we allow ethnic chauvinists and religious extremists to hit the polity with their drumbeat of tribal and religious identities, we may have reduced the discourse to an anti-intellectual and primordial stance. A paradigm shift in political education and participation from bourgeoisie based political party to leftist mass based one will redefine the socio- political orientations of Nigerians. 2019 offers a vista into this new beginning for socio- political and economic renaissance in Nigeria.
- Comrade Alex Ameh Ogbu is an Abuja based Media Practitioner and a prolific writer that writes mostly from Akatekwe Kingdom. He can be reached via: email@example.com
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