Dr. Kofi Kissi Dompere, Associate Professor of Economics, Howard University, returns to the issue of democracy
The discussion on democracy and development cannot come to an end. It is the epicenter of intellectual confusion, ideological battles, and our contemporary socio-political instabilities where the concepts of democracy and freedom have been monopolized by the West. Without developing the general epistemic conditions, I would like to raise some important logical fallacies (erroneous thinking) and non-information-supported factual claims about democracy. I would like to point out from on set that I think some African scholars and political leaders are imprisoned by the rhetoric of democracy and enslaved by its ideology without the full comprehension of its content and relevance to its resolution to conflicts in collective decisions and choices, and the extent to which Africa's social formations must reflect democracy, types of democratic ideals and appropriate good progressive and efficient governance..
Democracy is now worshiped as a god that is going to bring "freedom, justice" and development to Africa. The question of what type of democracy that is being discussed is out of the intellectual screen. Let us reflect on these ten claims and counter claims that I take liberty in presenting to you for your reaction.
CLAIM I: Development occurs under democratic social organizations. (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM 1: The global history reveals that no country has developed under democratic social organization
(not USA, nor GREAT BRITAIN, nor FRANCE nor GERMANY nor JAPAN).
CLAIM 2: There is no Democracy if there is no voting by the people (FALSE).
COUNTER CLAIM 2: Democracy is about collective decision making and the manner in which collective decisions are made is driven by the evolving social order with institutions and value structure. Voting is simply a method to resolve conflicts in collective decision-choice process.
CLAIM 3: There is one type of efficient and acceptable social institutional arrangements and these arrangements must be based on the Western type of democracy. (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM 3: There are many types of institutional arrangements where conflicts in collective decision making and individual participation are efficient under differently defined democratic method.
CLAIM 4: Democratic nations do not oppress their people. (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAME 4: Oppression of citizens takes place under all kinds of human institutional arrangements including democratic social institutional arrangements (e.g. Hitler'sGermany).
CLAIM 5: Africa never developed democratic institutions (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM 5: Democratic social arrangements and socialist orientation in varying degrees are at the core of African traditional social formations and governance.
A QUOTE OF RELEVANCE: "Much the most notable achievement that can be placed on his Credit in his invention, without the assistance of extraneous Influence, of the democratic system of government and state Socialism, which are the basic principles upon which his tribal policy is founded. Recent innovations, as I have indicated, tends seriously to Undermine this system; and it is interesting to note that while European political theorists are apparently working their way back to a state of things closely resembling that which the TWI-speaking people long ago evolved for themselves, the latter are displaying an inclination to discard them as an immediate and inevitable accomplishment of their first real and solid advance towards a higher standard of civilization" ( Sir Clifford statement quoted from Joseph Ben-Jochannan, Africa: Mother of Western Civilization, Biltmore, MD, Black Classic Press, 1988 pp. 59-60)
CLAIM 6 : Democracy can be imposed from without. (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM 7 : Democracy is an evolution of cultural institutional configuration that allows collective decision to be settled amicably if the rules of engagement are agreed upon. It can never be imposed by force without or otherwise since the nature of collective decision making is part of the cultural norms and their belief system these
cultural norms and belief system are the products of the people and the thinking system that they hold.
CLAIM 8 ; The Western nations are interested and committed to democracy and democratic ideals (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM 8: The Western nations are interested in using the concept and ideology of democracy as instruments of propaganda to overthrow legitimate governments that are opposed to their global predatory activities in the resource and power spaces. (Examine the Algerian election experience, the case of Venezuela, Saudi
system, Egypt, Morocco South Korea and compare to Cuba, North Korea, and the list continues).
CLAIM 9: United Nations is organized on the principles of democracy as defined and claimed by the WEST. (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM 9: United Nations is the most undemocratic organization that the nations of the World belong to. It operates on dictatorial decision-choice principles with a system of vetoes without the voice of the masses.
CLAIM 10: Good governance is the sole property of democratic social formation. (FALSE)
COUNTER CLAIM: Good governance flows from the cultural norms, belief and the thinking systems of the society and the rules of collective decision making that the society has established and accepted for practice. It also flows from nationalism and dedication to the service of the nation and its progress with the true understanding that the people are the backbone of the nation and the national greatness.