When I’m not in church on a Sunday morning, I use the time to partake of the religion of politics by watching and listening to the ideological ponderings of diverse characters that saturate network television.
And there’re enough characters every channel espousing individual political and ideological perspectives to nourish and satiate viewers’ political bents.
I especially like CNN’s Global Public Square (GPS) hosted by Fareed Zakaria, an award-winning journalist, political scientist, and author. And his program is interesting, informative and yes, educational… offering his weekly take/perspectives on national and international events.
I don’t always agree with Zakaria’s analyses, but not enough to shut him off; he truly has a firm handle on the issues of the day that are impacting specific countries at any given time, but the international community in general.
So when, a couple Sundays ago Fareed Zakaria introduced GPS by posing a question about the chaotic state of the world, and whether it would be in a better place than it currently is if women were the ones wielding power internationally, my answer without equivocation was yes!
Why? In layman’s terms I’m tired of (men’s mismanagement) of the world. Forever, it seems, all power has been vested in his hands, and in the process he has made a mess. Power, especially absolute power, has absolutely corrupted mankind… men. And up to this point in my still unfolding life there have been ample evidence to support/corroborate that.
Borrowing a phrase that was coined 132 years ago, it precisely describes the calibre of men, many of whom have completely set the planet on a path to humankind’s destruction–manmade and otherwise. That’s when one historian and moralist named Lord Acton expressed the proverb: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely…”
In reflecting on that sentiment I couldn’t help thinking of some of the so-called (great, er bad) men I’ve learned about in history, but I haven’t become completely jaded – yet. Men have done some good things, but also a hell of a lot of awful things along the historical path. Just look around the world and think… the good things are readily absorbed by the bad… which to my way of thinking have become more mentally conspicuous.
To add a little more to that proverb/sentiment, it continues: “[…] Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence…”
Pondering on Fareed Zakaria’s question made me look across the planet at events transpiring on the African continent, a massive portion of the planet that could use some help, woman’s help. Since the post-colonial era Africa has had a fair share of good political men (insert yours), who were instrumental in bringing the continent forward.
Problem, though, are the ones who, with the complicity of former colonial powers and their shenanigans, have used their political tenures to ravage their respective countries’ financial and other resources to fatten themselves; their people’s welfare, by default and humanitarianism, has been deferred to international “help” agencies (industries). Hence the Africa we’ve come to know in the 21st century.
Meaning a continuing parade of men seemingly lining up and awaiting their opportunity (turn), ostensibly to lift the continent out of the doldrums and place it on good footing… politically (genuine democracy and good governance), economically and socially, and all those things that work in this part of the world, that we’re accustomed to and take for granted.
Call me Africa “pollyannish”! Conclusion next issue