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Opinions of Sunday, 17 May 2015

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

Nkrumah Did Not Force His Views On African Leaders 4

“AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, I AM IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT DEATH CAN NEVER EXTINGUISH THE TORCH THAT I HAVE LIT IN GHANA AND AFRICA, LONG AFTER I AM DEAD AND GONE THE LIGHT WILL CONTINUE TO BURN AND BE BORNE ALOFT PROVIDING LIGHT AND GUIDANCE TO ALL PEOPLE (Kwame Nkrumah).

George Washington, America's first President and president of the convention which drafted the US Constitution, was not a fan or apologist of party politics, so too were Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, and Ethiopia’s late Meles Zenawi, all darlings of the West, of Western corporations. After all, there was no pre-existing party politics model for Washington and his delegate-colleagues to make informed decision about constitutional questions of implementation logistics. Accordingly, Washington’s perceptual indictment of party politics made for a positive symptomology of pure conjecture. Granted, it was only after 1800 that another political party earned the mandate to exert its presence as head of the federal government. More important, Washington served two terms and did not seek a third term on account of his age. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term but passed away a year into his fourth term.

Nevertheless, in the absence of constitutional injunctions on presidential term limits, a handful of sitting US Presidents attempted to extend their presidency to third terms, but did not succeed for a number of reasons. It would take the recommendations of the Hoover Commission, set up by President Harry S. Truman in 1947, to restrict the tenure of the American presidency to two terms. That recommendation consequently became the Twenty Second Amendment of the US Constitution. In 1949, the Commission submitted its findings and in 1951 the US Congress ratified and adopted it, a span of nearly 162 years upon Washington’s assumption of the presidency.

But, even so, some past American Presidents and Congressmen who were not happy with the new law proscribing aspirations for the presidency beyond the two-term limit vehemently criticized it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the new Amendment’s most recognizable and vociferous critics.

It appears evidence exists to underscore the preference for the two-term presidential limit during the 162-year span of America’s geopolitical existence, but the country’s politicians and legislators merely paid lip service to it. More, the presidential term limits was designed in such a way as to distinguish America’s “constitutional republicanism” from European, specifically British, monarchy, well as to put in place conducive and stabilizing conditions the lack of which provoked and gave cause for the French Revolution. We mean theocracy and absolute monarchy among others Yet America’s “constitutional republicanism” looked more like an approximation of totalitarian democracy.

Essentially, others have advanced the argument, we should further point out, that the United States of America was never founded as a “democracy” but rather as a “constitutional republic.” Horatio Seymour and Francis Blair, Jr., two American politicians ran their campaign on the motto: “This is a White Man’s Country; Let White Men Rule” (see Tali Mendelberg’s “The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality”). The so-called Southern Strategy, American exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, slavery, and African-American disentrancement could not have been the symbols of a true democracy.


This is why we believe the American experiment in self-government was carried out in a political laboratory seething with the moral stench of seemingly irreconcilable gargantuan contradictions: Chattel slavery, annihilation of Native Americans and the seizure of their lands, and constitutional usurpation of the rights and privileges of Native-Americans and African-Americans. American representatives attended the Berlin Conference, albeit in an unofficial capacity as observers, whatever that means. None of the Western powers made a case for African humanity and Africans’ right to self-determination and happiness. The French national motto “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” meant two radically different contexts to two different sets of humanity,” liberty, equality, fraternity” for Europeans; “slavery, colonization, inequality” for Black folks. The French hypocrisy and America’s “All Men Are Created Equal” share(d) the same philosophic boundary of moral absurdity.

We discover this moral absurdity again in the political symbolism of France’s gift of the Statue of Liberty, which some scholars believe was initially modeled on a black woman, a symbol of black liberation and freedom, to the Americans. The point here is to make the case that the concept of the European nation-state has had a long evolutionary history of hypocritical contradictions, killings, deadly betrayals, human rights’ abuses, dehumanization of women and non-Whites, prevarications, and involvement in internal and external wars of conquest. This symptomatology of the European nation-state was foisted on the pre-colonial African state, thus augmenting Africa’s own unresolved internal contradictions.

Meanwhile, we should re-emphasize our initial contention that there existed no constitutional restriction on the tenure of the American presidency prior to the ratification and adoption of the Twenty Second Amendment. What were the Founding Fathers to do in the absence of a model for self-government? Of course they could not have dreamt up one in vacuo? In that case the following list of books and source documents influenced the Founding Fathers, shaping their progressive vision for America: Utopia (Thomas More), The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith), Two Treatises (John Locke), The Prince (Niccolo Machiavelli), Story of Liberty (Charles Carleton Coffin), Spirit of the Laws (Baron de Montesquieu), Treatise of Human Nature (David Hume), Some Thoughts Concerning Education (John Locke), Reasonableness of Christianity (John Locke), Magna Carta, Letter Concerning Toleration (John Locke), History of the Roman Republic (Theodore Mommsen), Essays on Crimes and Punishment (Cesare Becarria), Essay Concerning Human Understanding (John Locke), and Commentaries on the Laws of England (William Blackstone) (see the website of the Federalist Papers Project).

To this list we should add Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” ‘The American Crisis,” and “The Rights of Man” and Plato’s “Republic.” Could America’s Founding Fathers have looked to the model of the pre-colonial African state? Predictably the answer is not in the affirmative. The general opinion they had of Africa was that of her inferior humanity. America’s Founding Fathers doubted and questioned the scientific axiology of African humanity even while some of them, like Thomas Jefferson, sexually exploited and patronized African womanhood. In other words, in the absence of a veritable model or precedent for party politics America’s Founding Fathers found philosophic, moral, and political inspiration and justification for their model of constitutional republicanism in the histories, writings, and cultures of the Greco-Roman and European worlds!

Africa’s Founding Fathers eventually chose to pursue a somewhat similar trajectory, though from the holistic perspective of African-centered cultural history, the practical exigencies of postcolonial politics, the legacy of slavery and colonialism and imperialism, and competing agitations for the political sentiments of secessionist, ethnocentric, religious, and federalist balkanization.

None of those philosopher-authors whose wisdom the American Founding Fathers drew upon, however, may not have advanced a model for party politics, and so the only plausible argument or theory to advance is one which suggests that America’s bold experiment in capitalist republicanism may have arisen from a raw distillation of the core aggregate claims of those philosopher-authors. The important point here is that America’s Founding Fathers did not uncritically adapt those varied claims of nation-building strategies to their country’s unique place in human history. When Hillary Clinton returned to the US from Africa with her newfound epigrammatic infatuation, “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child,” some powerful American politicians and social conservatives blasted her claiming the statement’s philosophical undertones of collective responsibility, child-rearing practices and developmental psychology, and communitarianism were contrary to American core beliefs.

The central point of the criticism leveled against Clinton was the question of uncritical adaptation of foreign ideas to America’s core beliefs on individualism and whether that did not constitute a stigma on the social psychology of international relations. The American mixed reaction to Clinton’s newfound child-rearing philosophy is important in light of the fact many in the Islamic world, like America’s Founding Fathers did in founding the new republic, look to Islam for models of statecraft and development strategies. Yet Nkrumah’s detractors and enemies expected him to have done and behaved differently contrary to his convictions, notwithstanding the many positive attributes of African culture and history. Those Confederate detractors behaved as though every aspect of African culture and history was negative.

In the example of the American political economy the exercise of popular sovereignty through elective franchise assumed a muffled voice of capitalist republicanism, which for the most part, regrettably, never served the people’s collective interests, particularly those of African-Americans, Native-Americans, women, poor as well as unpropertied White males (see Brent Staples’ New York Times piece “The Racist Origins of Felon Disenfranchisement,” Nov. 20, 2014).

The case of Florida Republicans meeting secret to strategize how to disenfranchise blacks ahead of elections still ring fresh in our memory (see Alex Seitz-Wald’s “Fla Republican: We Wanted to Suppress Black Votes,” Salon, July 2012; “The Path to Florida,” Vanity Fair, Oct. 2004, David Margolick et al.).

Finally, former Attorney General Eric Holder’s successes in fighting state-sponsored suppression of the voting rights of African Americans and others is well documented (see Zachary Roth’s “Eric Holder’s Fight for Voting Rights,” MSNBC, Sept. 29, 2014). Yet America’s “democracy” is seen as flawless by many, a view writer Paul R. Pillar finds troubling (see “America’s Flawed and Fragile Democracy,” The American Interest, Nov. 18, 2012). And then there is the support which the so-called “liberal” democracies of the West, particularly America, give autocrats and benevolent dictators around the world, from Mobuto, Lee Kuan Yew, Charles Taylor, Houphouet-Boigny, Adolf-Hitler, the Shah, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein, P.W. Botha, Idi Amin…The list is endless.


The situation is not any different today. Here we use “capitalist republicanism” and “constitutional democracy” interchangeably.


For us the idea is to place more emphasis on the impact Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” had on the constitutional characterology of the American republic.

Elsewhere, it has been pointed out by many a scholar how Alexander Hamilton’s fiscal philosophy drove a wedge between him and Thomas Jefferson and how that wedge eventually sowed the seeds of duopolistic politics outside the framework of the American Constitution. There is a touch of practical poignancy to the stochastic benefits and claims of human psycho-socialization.

Nkrumah’s chance and planned encounters with the novel ideas of Kwegyir Aggrey, Marcus Garvey, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Mahatma Gandhi, W.E.B. Du Bois, and S.R. Wood and his own signal contributions to them became the most powerful instruments of positive social change in the history of the Gold Coast and of Africa.

Indeed, there is a global aspect to this positive social change. It is the same with the story of the American experiment.

The above commentaries notwithstanding, what is also interesting is the notion that the American Constitution was written and ratified in the late 1770s, we should emphatically add, without the Founding Fathers having read the novel idea of party politics into it. Nkrumah’s vision did not suffer the same degree of the restraining context of constitutional myopia until the harsh realities of terrorism, ethnocentric federalism, external political intrigues, and secessionism set in. The foregoing speculations carry a subtext of notional reinforcement, in which instance the one-party political ideology was not conjured up in a vacuo, per se, but from a set of demanding and competing contexts.

Yet the idea of philosophical individuation and the manifest possibilities of characterlogical particularism signaled an embodiment of the seeds of antagonism and differences. The seeds of antagonism and differences may take on the philosophic synonym of party politics.

That antagonism and differences were there in the debates which preceded and proceeded through the adoption of the US Constitution, but even so, the framers of the American Constitution did not anticipate or lacked the foresight to translate that antagonism and difference into the ideational novelty of party politics, let alone adopt its incorporation into the Constitution, because, as we pointed out in one of our prior intimations, there was no party politics model anywhere in the world at the time to justify its inclusion in the Constitution. Of course, the seed of party politics was sown in the bitter rivalries between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, though it did not develop into full-blown rootage until the enactment of the Twenty Second Amendment. It was, however, the political and moral divide over the fate of chattel slavery in America’s political economy that would eventually give cause for the eventuation of America’s entrenched unipolar duopoly, corporatocracy if you will.

But that political denouement was and still is far from the unifying tendencies of ideological, racial, and ethnic all-inclusiveness.

There is no denying the fact that political hypocrisy is the hallmark of the concept of democratic deficit. The situation is analogous to the French practicing “nominal” socialism and “liberal” democracy at home but then changes the political dynamics to unfettered crony free-market capitalism and political authoritarianism in Africa. But then again, the exigent claims of social, economic, and political convenience in the protective interests of any political elite, to the exclusion of a people’s legitimate aggregate concerns, makes for the political parturition of moral contradictions in the exercise of democracy, even distorting the leverage or balance between the electorate and the ruling elite.

In fact, political and economic elites have always resorted to the comparative advantage they wield in society to underwrite their social perpetuation, to protect themselves from the contaminating influences of populist claims on their power, and to resist demands for equal power-sharing. National armies, draconian laws, enhanced internal security via intelligence-gathering schemes, the strategies and tactics of internal and external policing, and formation of powerful international bodies and conglomerates are deployed in defense of the elitist political and economic superstructure.

The American army, for instance, played a major role in containing the boiling potential of African-Americans and Native-Americans and other suppressed minorities to strike at the heart of the Union’s facile political coherence. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln used the militia or army to unbind the yoke of British colonialism and to forestall the political harmony of the Union from breaking apart, respectively. In the end it was the unitary interests of the ruling elite and the tempting demands of political corporatism that incurred a measure of preservation. Though America is a federal republic, state prerogatives and constitutions were and are reflective of the general unitary character of the Constitution of the federal republic.

The preceding is somewhat analogous to the Nigerian example. Biafra understood that when she decided to go her own way without the expressed approval of the unitary chaperonage of the Nigerian federation. Again there is a strong resemblance to Abraham Lincoln’s strategy to deploy the might of the federal republic against the scourge of internal geopolitical betrayal. Nkrumah approached his conceptualization of the unitary state from a similar angle of proactive political consciousness. And as we said before, America’s Founding Fathers fostered that unitary sense of social and political togetherness as a strategy of forestallment, where the apprehension of another attempt by their British overlords to recolonize America loomed large on the political horizon. Nkrumah faced similar dilemmas, challenges, and threats from his local enemies and the combined might of the West.

Nkrumah did what General Yakubu Gowon and Abraham Lincoln had done to forestall the de-balkanization of their federations through the political unitarization of the nation-state.

Thus Nkrumah was fundamentally a unitarist, while the direction and position of his foreign policy prescriptions was multilateralist. In fact no modern astute political leader behaves otherwise. As it were America's Founding Fathers found party politics divisive and probably more than that, injurious to the idea of republicanism. America’s Founding Fathers probably feared that party politics may undermine the unitary interest of the new republic, given its recent detachment from the colonizing potentiality of the British monarchy. The late Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., a historian and advisor to President John F. Kennedy, wrote in his book “The Unifying Of America”: “FOR BETTER OR WORSE, THE WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANT TRADITION WAS FOR TWO CENTURIES, AND IN CRUCIAL RESPECTS STILL IS, THE DOMINANT INFLUENCE ON AMERICAN CULTURE AND SOCIETY. THIS TRADITION PROVIDED THE STANDARD TO WHICH OTHER IMMIGRANT NATIONALITIES WERE EXPECTED TO CONFORM, THE MATRIX INTO WHICH THEY WOULD BE ASSIMILATED.”

Thus, the “white Anglo-Saxon protestant tradition” became the standard critique of political sociology against which other traditions falling outside its immediate domain were excluded from mainstream political intercourse with the imperial standard of the imported Anglo-Saxon model. Yet the exercise of political monopoly by the Anglo-Saxon tradition represented another expression of the one-party political system in all its material disguises. In fact it had a human face as well, that of a masculinized frame of concrete racial whiteness, from George Washington to George W. Bush. The anomaly of the Obama presidency does not cause any perturbations in the dynasty of white power, privilege, and material conditions. In one sense, the highly publicized conflict and the harsh, shambolic rhetoric exchanged between President Obama and Dr. Michael Dyson on the one hand and Dr. Cornel West on the other hand is the result of the anomaly of the Obama presidency, in defense of white and corporate privilege, and in the other sense, President Obama’s defense of the American Empire and its hegemony (see Dr. Dyson’s “The Ghost of Cornel West,” New Republic, April 19, 2015; see also Glenn Ford’s “Why Barack Obama is the More Evil,” Black Agenda Report, March 21, 2012).

But the question of the anomaly of the Obama presidency is not that simple. The Republicans, like the political and ideological opponents of Nkrumah, are doing everything in their power to covert President Obama’s Midas touch into a political alchemy of a string of failures and frustrations. That is not to say the criticism of the Obama presidency is entirely misplaced. It does happen that on paper the American executive seems to enjoy all the prerogatives of political constitutionalism, yet it is the political slave and darling of corporatocracy, of capitalist republicanism. The legislature and the judiciary themselves are also beholden to the tempting claims of corporatocracy. This is why we still maintain the stance that the dark political complexion of the Obama presidency has not and could not replace, however one looks at it, the entrenched racial whiteness of America’s dynastic corporatocracy, the real motive power behind America’s totalitarian democracy.

This is nothing new. We see the privileged and status fomenting of corporatocracy in Alexander Hamilton’s fiscal philosophy, a controversial view that earned George Washington’s approbation and Thomas Jefferson’s disapprobation. Likewise, the fiscal policies of the Obama presidency have not generally succeeded in gaining popular approbation, yet popular sovereignty handed him a second term in spite of the putative anomaly of his presidency. The question is: What are we to make of “the dictatorship of the minority,” of corporatocracy, where a minority’s views are buried under the political weight of majoritarian democracy? What if the minority is right and the majority wrong? In effect, the exercise of elective franchise in the American political economy is merely illustrative of the constitutional perpetuation of the one-party political system, which we have variously referred to as corporatocracy.

This constitutes one of the dilemmas which elective franchise visits upon the electorate. What is more, the concept of corporatocracy is Orwellian in its political manifestations, a view represented by the duopoly of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, both of which come across as dissembled constituencies of corporatocracy. Ironically it is through the elective franchise that corporatocracy exerts its political will on the American people and institutions.

But the roots of American corporatocracy have had a life of its own quite apart from the historical singularity of her European political ancestry, since the founding of the former’s republic.

One may be tempted to argue for a simplistic relation of political pedomorphosis in the particular case of America via her British political and cultural ancestry, given Schlesinger, Jr.’s Anglo-Saxon tradition, but that question is beyond the scope of this paper. The point is not to confuse or adulterate the idea that critical imitation cannot overlap originality. Clinton may have understood the philosophic subtext of the preceding remark. Then, Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th-century French writer, historian, and political philosopher, noted in his famous book “Democracy in America” the American drive to fashion a republican experiment somewhat different from the typical European model, a novel republican model designed to suit the unique temperament of America’s turbulent history, political economy, cultural integration, and experiences. The fundamental assumptions of Tocqueville’s assertions share some philosophic resemblance to the underlying presuppositions of Nkrumah’s “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization.”

Nkrumah wanted to construct a unitary social and political society, a new Ghana and Africa, out of the conflagration of historical, cultural, and cosmogonic paradoxes.

In this case Nkrumah’s arguments for a unitary state, taken together, constituted an enabling environment of moral calculus against social centrifugal forces, of the conflated character of ideational externality and internality. Clearly “unitary state” is not the same as a “one-party state” though an overlap is possible. Delegation of political power and devolution are central to an effective running of any political entity. That said, there still exists an ironic if uncomfortable distance between the larger scope of Tocqueville’s arguments on nation-building and Danquah’s proposed claim to use the Akyem Abuakwa State as a nation-building model for the would-be nation-state, Ghana. The contentious schism between Tocqueville’s and Danquah’s central arguments, we should point out, stemmed primarily from the dominant role the “Anglo-Saxon tradition,” to borrow Schlesinger, Jr.’s phraseology, played in America’s geopolitical formation, a view hardly the instance or case in the political situations of the Akyem Abuakwa State and the Gold Coast, and then Ghana. Any geopolitical connections between the Akyem Abuakwa State and the Gold Coast and then later Ghana was insubstantial, or grudgingly hypothetical, to say the least.

In any event, Danquah’s self-serving proposition disregarded the diversified convolution of the ethnic and cultural constitution of the Gold Coast and then of the would-be nation-state, Ghana. The Akyem Abuakwa State model therefore undermined the unitarized diversified complexity of the constitution of the hypothetical nation-state as conceptualized by Nkrumah. In this context, neither John Mensah Sarbah’s “The Fanti National Constitution” and his other writings, a corpus of works that served as useful instructional and philosophic models for Dauquah’s corpus of works, mainly his “The Akim Abuakwa Constitution,” nor any other ethnic constitution for that matter could have been adopted as an exclusive template for the construction of the would-be nation-state. Perhaps, the most cogent objection to this view comes from the fact that there was no ethnic group in the then-Gold Coast and later Ghana that did not have its own ethnic constitution.

It did not matter if that ethnic constitution was part of a people’s oral literature or set down in a corpus of writings. What mattered the most was a political philosopher with a unifying vision.

It was, therefore, important that whoever assumed the political leadership of the would-be nation-state saw a need to pursue a unifying ideology that, among other political and moral objections, went beyond the distinctive particularities of ethnic constitutions, for a unitary state like Ghana with a pluralistic social, ethnic, and cultural structure could certainly not have been the proper place for a political gamesmanship of antagonistic ethnic constitutions. While Dr. Ama Biney and Aristide R. Zolberg further advance the argument that “the one-party ideology was evident in West Africa, including Ghana in the late 1950s and early 1960s,” Danquah and his brother Ofori Atta the Second on the other hand, would make a statement to a visiting parliamentary delegation to Kyebi on March 14, 1956, indicting party politics.

They insisted on their conviction that, of all their personal headaches and frustrations, party politics was a foreign political practice that had generated civil strife and violent dissension between father and son.

What is the alternative to party politics, if not absolute monarchy, autocracy, the one-party political system, colonialism, theocracy, slavocracy, Apartheid, or khakistocracy? Thus, it takes more than the skewed psychology of partisan rhetoric or ideological tendentiousness to appreciate the valuation complexity of postcolonial African politics. Busia’s dismissal of Cameron Duodu over his Daily Graphic criticism of the former’s proposed “dialogue with Apartheid South Africa,” Busia’s unconstitutional dismissal of hundreds of civil servants (Note: Sallah vs. Attorney General), and his disrespect for the courts, etc., still characterize the legacy of the self-styled democrat, K.A. Busia. In fact, Busia’s perceived Akan-dominated Progress Party (PP) is a reminder of or offers deep insights into the convoluted typology of problems we have been trying to distill here in these pages and others before.

Thus, the argument for empirical methodology, where the evolutionary history of party politics assumes the investigational focus of empirical judgments, mandates a comparative adoption of a dress of holistic facts specifically tailored to the resolution of the virtual paradox of the question of political historicity vis-a-vis pre- and postcolonial African politics. Having considered all the facts, it appears a number of challenges and dilemmas, similar in their political and social and cultural outlooks, confronted the new crop of African leaders at the dawn of independence: How to prevent their fragile nation-states from disintegrating along the lines of ethnicity, regionalism, race, and religion!

Factor in the Cold War; the legacies of Indirect Rule, colonialism, and Eurocentric education; personal egos of political rivals; rivalries and enmities among kingdoms, states, and empires carried over from the pre-colonial era into the postcolonial dispensation; collaborations between Western governments and their local agents aimed at undermining Africa's independence aspirations, and the result is internecine destructiveness. There is no denying the fact that Western intelligence has had a great many collaborative intersections with a number of African fifth columnists, traitors, and hypocritical patriots. Charles Taylor's self-incriminating revelations at his international trial that he worked with the CIA in the 1980s is one such excellent instance of a typical African fifth columnist. Another unspoken truth surrounding the mystery of Taylor’s political infamy points to the conclusion that his disobedience to his Western bosses is the reason for his imprisonment. Indeed, these are the men who are destroying Africa, contributing to and augmenting the ever-widening circle of African problems and internal contradictions.

There is no doubt in our minds that corporatocracy and lack of moral sensibilities in his political calculations also contributed to his ungracious fall and exit from African politics.


Taylor’s political legacy, if we may add, is a regrettable indictment of the unitary calculations of statecraft. In fact, Taylor’s political miscalculations reinforced the artificial boundary problems arising from the Berlin Conference, a problem some European leaders are beginning to come to terms with. Not too long ago former British Prime Minister Tony Blair described the legacy of Africa’s artificial dismemberment as a "scar in the conscience of the world." Nkrumah understood the political dynamics of this question and proposed a number of practical solutions to address it. He believed the major fallouts from Africa's artificial dismemberment and her confused psychology of political individuation added to the continent’s inability to mobilize resources for development. Hence, Nkrumah saw a powerful Africa from the angle of continental federation and in that vein proposed an African Union Government, among others, to neutralize the deficits and weaknesses of national individuation.

These arguments are fully developed in "Africa Must Unite." But it appears Nkrumah reserved the scientific and philosophic justifications for continental unity for his more academic text, "Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization." Cheikh Anta Diop, on the other hand, provided a cultural and economic for African unification (see “Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State”). Dr. Kofi Kissi Dompere has since followed up with “The Theory of Philosophical Consciencism: Practice Foundations of Nkruamhism,” “The Theory of Categorial Convention: Rational Foundations of Nkrumahism,” “African Union: Pan African Analytic Foundations,” and ‘Polyrhythmicity: Foundations of African Philosophy. The bold ideas explored in this body of works are equally applicable to the political economy of each individual African nation-state, possibly in what a set theorist might describe as a functional overlap between a Universal Set and a Subset(s). Understanding of the nature of these works, effective policy implementation strategies, logistics, human capital, and patriotism are some of the variables required to add institutional meaning to these works.

Serious challenges to policy implementation of these ideas still persist in African politics. Neocolonialism and lack of political will to strategize in Africa’s interests are the primary ones.

We should quickly add that, when Nkrumah and other African leaders convened a continental conference of African leaders to vote for the adoption of his African Union Government proposal the former French colonies in Africa boycotted it, thereby denying the proposal the quorum to make his idea a constitutional reality. Evidently, the leaders of France’s former African colonies did not see what Nkrumah saw in powerful political unions such as the United States, Canada, China, or India. They may not also have realized the political power of numbers, statistics such as population size, or even ordinary concepts like the political economy of pooled resources, mass and resource mobilization, critical mass, the richness of cultural and ethnic diversity in a continental union, and so forth.

We set these variables against the backcloth of Africa’s vast wealth, which has always been grossly mismanaged.

The question is: What could possibly have caused those former French colonies in Africa to boycott such an important conference? One possible reason might be Francafrique and France’s opposition to Pan-Africanism. The other might be apprehension over Nkrumah’s intentions.

Liberia’s William Tubman, for instance, feared Nkrumah's idea of the African Union Government would usurp or subsume his country’s sovereignty under a unitary continental authority. He also feared the political corollary of losing the privileges and prerogatives that came with the package of presidential entitlements. He did not even like the name “African Union Government.” Accordingly, he preferred the United States of Africa instead. As well, there were other examples of African leaders like Tubman who feared that Nkrumah was going to use the African High Command to usurp the spheres of their political influence, even after Nkrumah had assured them of his desire to see the Organization of African Unity (OAU) headquartered in Ghana. Nkrumah also assured them that Ghana would not seek the establishment of the office of Secretary-Generalship inside Ghana's geopolitical parameters.

During this period the CIA worked closely with other African leaders such as Haile Selassie to curtail Nkrumah's global influence (see David Levering Lewis’ book "W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight For Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963").


Still, it is not clear how any of those postcolonial African leaders like Tubman came to the conclusion that the African High Command was going to be instituted under Nkrumah's commandership, since every idea the latter proposed in connection with the challenges of the continent was subjected to a vote or a quorum. No convincing justification has been offered to explain why Africa would reject Nkrumah's African High Command in favor of AFRICOM! Thus far, Nkrumah's central arguments made adequate room for the relative constitutional and political autonomy of the United States of Africa in terms of the theory of devolution and delegation of powers within a continental federation but where the African Union Government acted as a central chaperone of authority in the best interest of the collectivized nation-states.

We shall conclude this essay with Nkrumah’s own authoritative take on the legacy of British colonialism in the Gold Coast (see “Africa Must Unite”; see also “Thoughts of A Troubled Child,” Blog at Word Press.com). He writes:

“As a heritage, it was stark and daunting, and seemed to be summed up in the symbolic bareness which met me and my colleagues when we officially moved into the Christiansburg Castle, formerly the official residence of the British Governor. Making our tour through room after room, we were stuck by the general emptiness. Except for an occasional piece of furniture, there was absolutely nothing to indicate that only a few days before people had lived and worked there. Not a rag, not a book was to be found; not a piece of paper, not a single reminder that for very many years the colonial administration had had its centre there

That complete denudation seemed like a line drawn across our continuity. It was as though there had been a definite intention to cut off all links between the past and the present which could help us in finding our bearings. It was a covert reminder that, having ourselves rejected that past, it was for us to make our future alone. In a way it hinged with some of our experience since we had taken office in 1951. From time to time we had found gaps in the records, connecting links missing here and there which made it difficult to for us to get a full picture of certain important matters.

There were times when we had an inkling of material withheld, of files that had strayed, of reports that had got ‘mislaid.’ We had to find the other gaps and interruptions as we delved deeper into the business of making a going concern of the run-down estate we had inherited. That, we understood, was part of the business dislodging an incumbent who had not been too willing to leave and was expressing a sense of injury in acts of petulance. On the other hand, there may have been things to hide. It was part of the price, like much else, that we had to pay for freedom. It is a price that we are still paying and must continue to pay.”

We shall return…