Afrocentric (i.e. the Africa centred perspective) It is my opinion that the most logical position from which a person of African ethnicity can view the larger world is one which is based firmly on the perspective that is currently described as Afrocentric. I will seek to convince, in the course of this debate, that to be Afrocentric should overide all other ideologies/religions that have their power-centres outside the continent of Africa. I institute this debate in the hope that in its course, we may obtain (for the record) on this site, the plain facts and reasoning behind which some have based their negative outlook towards the concept in the title. It is my intention to show the illogicality of such reasoning (especially when coming from ones who claim to be Africans). POSTULATES In the context of this debate, used as "a hypothesis advanced as a premise in a train of reasoning." 1.00: On Perspectives 1.01: Every sentient being has a perspective. A perspective, in the context of this reasoning, is described as the coordinates within a mind from which the nature of awareness is determined as its owner relates objectively and subjectively to phenomena that occur in its immediate environment (and in the larger world around it). 1.02: Not all sentient beings are aware of the true scale of the world outside of their immediate environment. For some, this limited awareness is due to the restrictions of physical being (e.g. most mammals cannot reside permanently under water) but, for others, this limited awareness is due to voluntary or, imposed ignorance. 1.03: Where the outside world has no noticeable effects on a being, then to be of limited awareness need not necessarily be detrimental. However, when the outside world is conspicuous by its relentless demands and noticeable effects, then to be fully aware of the nature of all external entities and of the grand intentions behind their interventions is a primary necessity. As is the way of thinking that guides the inception and implementation of ones tailored responses. 1.00: All humans are hard-wired to be religious. 2.010: I assert that for all the various peoples of the Earth, the true religion that guides the aims of the societies they create is based around/on ethnicity. 2.011: I assert that the concept of religion was created for the reason of giving humanity a perspective from which sense can be made of the surrounding Universe and, that the reason this specialised form of awareness was required was so that long-term purpose could/can be determined. 2.012: I therefore identify as a religion anything that attempts to place the everyday existence of man within a framework of that which outspans human lifetimes and normal experience. 2.013: The concepts that we now call religion (or ideology) existed in our communities long before any of those terms entered our vocabulary. I tried (in my not very skilful way) to unpack the terms as a way of expressing the opinion that religion is actually something that involves a lot more than 'holy' books, praying, hymning, or even belief in a Supreme Being. Our religion is actually however we live. And, how we live (or aspire to live) is moulded by how we view ourselves and the larger world around us. 2.02: I assert that identity is the main component of religion. That we define the highest deity by what we assume to be the highest ideals that we can aspire to as a people and, that we identify the Earthly incarnation of this deity with ourselves (and our physical form). 2.030: I assert that all humans are hard-wired to be religious. 2.031: That even those of us who identify ourselves as atheists are simply adherents of a new label that has been appended to the mind-set/concept that was first described as "religious". 2.032: That all we have done, in our atheist incarnations, is remove the image of a Supreme Being from our conception of religion. 2.033: That in its place, we have put what we currently describe as "scientific facts"; the majority of which were/are derived from theories (i.e. ways of thought that are also largely dependant on 'faith' - "a belief in things not seen"). 2.04: I also identify allegedly 'godless' ideologies like communism to be nothing more than offshoots of the religious instinct. In other words, I identify all ideology to be a form of religion. 2.05: Now, since even those who would claim to have no religion will hardly deny having an ideology, and if it is accepted that paragraphs [1.01 and the set of 2.01x] are two halves of a whole, then we can see how in all matters of relating to the universe at large, perspective and the awareness it breeds are everything. 2.06: We all have basic needs and desires (some material in nature and others from what is called the spirit). And, in most organized human communities/Kingdoms/States (past and present), those who took it upon themselves to secure place and livelihood for members of their community have found various ways to manipulate the instincts of their fellow humans in order that they may move the community in whatever direction they thought was best suited to its long or short term interests . 2.07: Instincts as we know breed emotion. Fear has been used to move people. Fear is still being used to move people. Hunger (and of course the fear of hunger) has been used....is being used. Pride, anger, greed...I could go on to list a host of other psychological tools.... 2.08: I am not proposing Afrocentricism as a new 'religion' but because I have recognized (as many other have) that our acquired religions/ideologies have been (and still are) one of the greatest factors behind our continued stagnation. 3.00: What it means to be Afrocentric 3.010: To be Afrocentric means that a person is one who seeks to relate with the world at large on the basis of how this world at large impacts on him/her self as an African being. 3.011: I propose that the alternatives to the Afrocentric view can be divided into two species. These are, the ideal and the real. 3.012: The ideal view is the humanity-centred view and, when we are governed by this way of perceiving, we are compelled to act in ways that affirm our knowledge that all humans are the same and should be given the same opportunities in all realms of human existence/organisation. 3.013: It is difficult to see any reason why this view should not immediately prevail however, we need not be told that at this moment in human time, the ideal view prevails no where on Earth. What we have as a reality is the existence of perspectives that are basically fed by the impulse to establish, on as wide a global scale as possible, a dispensation that is most favourable to the members of whatever ethnicity one belongs to. To speak in favour of an Africa centred perspective does not mean that one is promoting an fanatical adherence to non-inclusive and static African cultural norms. Unlike what many who (instinctively) oppose this idea would like us all to believe, to be Afrocentric means a lot more than wearing danshiki, throwing Black Power salutes and calling the 'white' man a devil. 4.00: Africans have no universal philosophies 4.010: I assert that the human species can be divided into two. a) Those that have been subsumed within the instinctive agenda of other ethnicities; and b) Those who are actively engaged in subsuming others within the instinctive agenda of their ethnicity. 4.011: Africans are currently placed within the first category and, this is because, unlike those from the second category, Africans consistently fail to act collectively while in pursuit of the instinctive agenda of all living things (i.e. to survive and to thrive). 4.012: I propose that the primary reason things are like this is because unlike others, during this particular epoch of human history, Africans have not articulated an indigenous common purpose (bound up as religion/ideology) or a basic universal philosophy that selfishly places the creations of their own mind (past and present) at the centre of the Universe. 5.00: Africans will flounder until they have a self-centered philosophy 5.01: I come now to the reason I have persistently used the word "religion" as I sought to make my points. The human instincts that are nourished by the concept described as "religion" is a tool. Since I have equated religion with ideology and, since I now further place within the orbit of this equation the concept of principles, I can also say that the human instincts that are nourished by the concepts described as ideology (i.e. formalised ideals) or principles, are also tools. 5.02: I repeat, in a more succinct manner: Human instincts are tools. 5.03: The present is a child of the past and the parent of the future. All are inextricably linked. The Arabs derived an Arabocentric perspective and sold it as the basis of a religion to whoever was willing to buy. The Europeans, more cleverly, derived various Eurocentric perspectives and sold them as religion or ideology to all who would buy. Right now, as we are witness the conflict between these two tools of dominance, we can also see on the sidelines (for now) how other societies, notably the Hindu and the Chinese are guarding their borders with views that can best be described as Indocentric and Sinocentric. While we may not be certain that either society will become like the second category described in [4.010] above, we can be certain that they are now in little danger of falling within the first category. 5.04: I conclude by saying until we Africans subscribe to a way of thinking that selfishly places the creations of our own minds (past and present) at the centre of the Universe, then we as a collective stand no chance of departing from the ranks of ones who may best be described as floundering prey. Costs of not being Afrocentric as defined 5.05: Otherwise, for as long as we are governed by people who are basically Eurocentric or Arabocentric in outlook, we will remain within our assigned role in the drama the authors/caretakers of those views conceived/nourish. 5.06: Africa, as it is now, is teasingly near to being in as ideal a state as can be dreamed of by the masters of the proposed global village. Anyone who is in doubt of what this ideal condition will look like ought to do some reading on what has been happening in Central Africa. Benefits of being Afrocentric as defined The immediate practical benefit that would accrue to us from having African governments that are Africa/African centred will be seen in the way the wealth of the land is deployed first (and last) for the benefit of the indigenes.