By Alfred P. B. Kiadii
The blue field in the flag of Liberia is supposedly the representation of the dark continent of Africa. Although we argue that why should blue represent a dark continent instead of black—that it was a misjudgment on the part of the creators of the flag. Years later, currently, the blue field in the flag of Liberia doesn’t represent the dark continent of Africa, but the dark and backward country of Liberia.
Now, the sudden dialectical shift of the meaning of the blue field is not a product of abstraction or a figment of our imagination, but its change of meaning finds striking and deep expression in the egregious malady which has engulfed the country since the ascent of George M. Weah as the president of the republic.
Also, in the National Anthem of Liberia, it says ‘we’ll shout the freedom of our race benighted,’ even though our race is still benighted, it is important to state that an alteration must be made to the effect that we are a benighted people whose country is in the state of decadence and decay.
Liberia dances in ruins and it is a strange domain of wretched reactionary trend that represents a dying civilization. The current crisis in the country is one of the crisis of conscience and an eloquent case of a civilization which cannot solve its problem, hasn’t found a direction, refuses to use the scientific method in addressing social discards, but relies on jingoism, fanaticism, symbol, and incoherent phrase-mongering as a short-cut to address social ills.
History teaches us that each time a particular civilization refuses to solve its problems, keeps postponing them by opening different frontiers, it is essentially planting the seed for its demise. When it reaches a dead end, the most scandalous of its member will rise on center stage through the people calling or voting for said person. As was the case when the Germans called for their Hitler, the Americans called for their Trump, the Liberians called for their Weah, and we dare say their own nightmares.
Currently, there is a striking alienation in the country akin to that of the schism between wage labor and capital, feudal lord and serf, worker and capitalist, materialism and idealism. The Liberian stripe of alienation is found in the fact that the masses of the people elected a president who they thought could deliver them from social backwardness, but this leader who they created through their vote has come to suppress and exploit them. It is an alienation because what they created has turned on them and is engaged in howling exploitation of them. In this matrix of things, the wretched existence of the people will then lead to a change in their consciousness. Hence the intensification of the class struggle between the masses of the people and that of the ruling clique.
Similarly, Liberia may not have emerged from colonialism in the truest sense of the word, but from the political gospel preached by the CDC one can draw a striking parallel between the two. Here it is fair to argue that Weah preached about the liberation of the homeland, but such was a pretext and use of high-sounding jingoistic phrases to hoodwink the people, as he himself is a blood relative of corruption and the country has thus transformed into a carnival of avarice, balkanization and wholesale theft.
This era in the nation’s history represents the confluence of two reactionary trends. On one hand, it indicates Liberians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and on the other hand, the country is a dancing flame in a bonfire. It goes without saying that the homeland is a contradiction on three legs: crass opportunism, ingrained sycophancy and scandalous degeneracy. These anti-people trends alienate the people and provide opportunity for economic parasites and robber bureaucrats to milk the homeland with reckless abandon.
President George M. Weah has not only exposed the rotten edifice of the Liberian political system, but also unveiled himself as the most grotesque fraud which has ever hit the nation, stultified by the most pernicious of disorders: leadership deficit. Truth be told, the country sucks and it holds the dubious distinction as the model for mediocrity and misrule.
Eight months in his tenure, the self-styled emancipator of the masses has shown center finger and granite attitude to them and is yet to take a nationwide tour in the country as a simple courtesy of thanking the people for electing him—that is if we are to blind our eyes to the irregularity and rigging of the election. In such a visit, he would have a first-hand interaction with the people and they would outline the social plagues affecting them, which would influence the policy choice and priority of the regime.
Up to this point, he has neither toyed with such idea nor said anything about embarking on such trajectory, which is a clear expression of the lack of appreciation of the sufferings and sacrifices the ordinary people went through to elect him. By any measure, Weah’s action is an act of contempt for the people. A classic testimony of bankruptcy and an indication that he is clueless.
While Weah shows utter neglect for the people and seems to be totally unconcerned about them, he organizes a so-called meeting with opposition figures which in true was nothing but a meeting of the elite Monrovia boys club with nothing substantive to talk about other than engaging in bandy, singing his praises, and adoring the chief patron of corruption and the Liberian variant of leadership at nadir in him.
Inspired by their misconception that the people are beholden to the regime, intoxicated with power and its residue of private property, getting wealthy through wholesale swindling of the people’s resources, with slavish minions at their disposal and thus ready to insult decent compatriots who dare to question the criminality of the regime, the nation perishes in poverty and bloody exploitation, but the CDC-led government sits above the people and exercises authority through lies and deception.
What is thus obtaining in the homeland is the thingification of the masses of the people by the Weah regime. Their action can be analyzed in the context that they think the people are not worthy of living a dignified life, take them as objects to be used, fooled, and rot on the margins of society.
The Weah regime is caught in a deep-seated, all-round and intractable crisis. Side by side such crisis, there is a growing wave of revolutionary ferment among the people as they pose serious questions about the trajectory of the homeland. Even though the regime would limp on this crisis it is a far gone conclusion that its democratic termination by the people is on the horizon.
Its inability to salvage the economic crisis and garner the gravitas to awaken its social base is being laid bare by the growing antagonistic contradictions. Even some of the masses who supported this regime are struggling to put up a coherent defense for it. While some of them have jumped to commend the popular forces for being steadfast in exposing the hollowness of the political farce, others have pander to sycophancy to defend the malady which is amok in the country, trading insults—an expression of the inability to engage in a civil debate about the Liberian situation.
As contradictions are being repeated on a colossal scale in the homeland so we keep writing to expose the excesses of the regime until the people move in history and make the social overturn. The people have been duped and tricked by this political farce which has no productive capacity. Therefore, our task is to keep exposing these elements so the revolutionary ferment which is taking root in the country can spread across its nook and cranny.
One can wager that in the not too distant future the anger which is building in the mass of the people against this establishment will reach the critical point, and that is when they would stampede in history like the Italian partisans ‘stormed heaven’ in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra to lynch Benito Mussolini and his girlfriend Claretta Petacci on August 28, 1945.
In true, the CDC-led government plies its trade in lie, deceit and obfuscation. The regime practices zogo capitalism as its economic model, trashycracy as its form of government, and black fascism as its official ideology. These three reactionary trends explain why the country is in the doldrums and thus emphasizes why wages have been destroyed by inflation, unemployment has hit ear-piercing crescendo, and the exchange rate is at an all-time high.
Trashycracy— is a form of government which showcases bourgeois democracy in senile decay. In this form of government, professionals are overlooked for trashy lowlifes, standards are disregarded, the function of the civil services is compromised and usurped, and there is a disregard for the rule of law and thus the government is personified in a bankrupt president.
Zogo capitalism— is the Liberian variant of gangster capitalism, in which the nation metamorphosis into a gambling casino. In this system, there is a great stampede for private property and the official normalization of corruption. The state turns into a mafia corporation and joint criminal enterprise where loan sharks, black money dealers are pursued for funds against every parity of reasoning.
Black fascism—this ideology is based on no social category but relies on the use of crude violence and brute force. Its application begins with threat, peddling of insults, and concludes with serious violence. In this realm, healthy debates are substituted for verbal insult, fist fight, and the infliction of pain.
Here there is a unity and struggle of opposites of two trends, in the form of the center and periphery. The elements in the government represent the center while the masses of the people represent the periphery. In such an asymmetrical relations, the elements in the center plunder the resources of the country with the speed of light, in primitive accumulation. While the masses of the people in the periphery live on the margins of the society, crushed by systemic poverty, inequality and diseases. In this matrix, social mobility is predominantly driven by one’s readiness to trade in deceit, deception and theatrics. Others who dare to remain virtuous suffer from the pangs of vilification.
Against this background, a revolutionary party must be formed to educate the mass of people and workers to remain internally vigilant to expose the government, conduct propaganda work among the people and explain how their suffering is tied into the logic of the neo-colonial capitalist system which only strives on exploitation and oppression of the people, while using the rotten ruling clique in the third world countries, and in this case Liberia, to frustrate the people and to ensure they remain in the economic wilderness.
Kiadii studies Political Science with emphasis in Public Administration at the University of Liberia. He is the Secretary General of the Movement for Social Democratic Alternative (MOSODA). You can reach him through firstname.lastname@example.org.