Sunday, 5 May 2019

The Changing Face of Civilization by Joe Pollitt

The Changing Face of Civilization

Today, thankfully we are coming to the end of an abysmal cycle of Civilization. The Greeks had their time, so too the Romans and later the British, French, Portuguese and the Americans. The rise and fall of Empire is solely dependent on whether or not those that are Governed by the so-called, ‘civilized’ are prepared to tolerate the notion of unjust, outdated feudal systems, whereby power, (both economic and intellectual) is distributed to the few. These cycles of Civilization are constant, ever changing and optimistic; sadly, the civilization of now has its roots based strictly on race. Its success has been largely dictated by the blatant exploitation of the Continent of Africa. This comes in many guises, the resources found in the ground and the forced migration of the vast unpaid workforce in the form of slavery. This perverse human ownership, similar to that of cattle-thieves and homogeneously as noble, was a foreign affair whereas Colonization, less obviously shocking but nonetheless equally damaging, was more a domestic affair; both evenly derogatory for those held captive.

In the early days of European trading with Africa; mainly in the West and Central regions, the partnerships where amicable, trustworthy and even respectful | In Chinua Achebe’s essay, ‘Africa’s Tarnished Name’, he notes that the Portuguese captain, Diogo Cao first visited the Congo in 1482 and by his third visit in 1487 he was introduce to the King Mweni-Congo.  

“Seated on an ivory throne surrounded by his courtiers. Cao’s monks were returned to him, and all was well. An extraordinary period ensued in which the king of Congo became a Christian with the title Dom Afonso I. Before very long, the royal brothers of Portugal and Congo were writing letters to each other that were couched in terms of complete equality of status. Emissaries went back and forth between them. Relations were established between Mbanza and the Vatican. A son of the Mweni-Congo was appointed in Rome itself as bishop of his country. This bishop, Dom Henrique, had studied in Lisbon, and when he led a delegation of Congo noblemen to Rome for his consecration, he addressed the Pope in Latin.”

These harmonious relations fizzled out, as the aggressive Europeans started fighting over territory, carving up the Continent for themselves. Soon enough the white man’s greed dominated, as they became increasingly aware of the abundance of wealth to be gained from the coast to the interior of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Modern European Civilization goes back to 15th Century but it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th Century that the clandestine style of literature, speeches, paintings, cartoons, eugenics, botany, evolution, natural philosophy and expeditions, funded by the Church started to evolve.  Thus, begins a campaign by the wealthy elite, on a lasting racism that has become forever ingrained in the feeble minds of the Enlightened Europeans of that time, right up until the present day. This systematic formation of the very definition of our Modern Civilization has been founded on the notion of racial division. Ideas that have been cunningly established in the public libraries, constructed by academic slave-owners, all of which requires the reader to be complicit and obediently silence in order to become an acceptable “civilized” individual. The recurring theme over time has been based on superiority of race and the value of location; Geo-political racism, where those that have been omitted from the pages of history are considered redundant when it comes to the collective global village. At the time of these writings and centuries before, the tribal make-up of West Africa were highly sophisticated and complex systems of governance and power sharing. These practical and intelligent forms of African democracy prior to the Colonial invasions have been absent from the shaping of our Modern Civilization. Conveniently ignored over years of formal published abuse, which was superciliously crafted in the ironically named, ‘Age of Enlightenment’. 

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