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THE WITHERING OF CIVILISATION?

By: Professor Dr. Emmanuel Esiemokhai

 Published August  5th, 2010


Questions about such a complex issue can only be answered by those with exceptional insights. Since my limitations on the subject are obvious, I am going to restrict my comments to how contemporary world leaders insist on using force as an instrument of national policy and in the process, waste scarce national and human resources.

I have carefully evaluated the psychogenic intoxication of those world leaders, who have been conferred with state power.

Their Excellencies enjoy the trappings of power until power crawls out from the shell of authority, at which time; the emptiness of power becomes real.

Those dictators, who have destroyed civilisation, are constant reminders of the counterfeit nature of man. However, history has been very kind to document their ignoble ends and has stressed to the aspirant the powerlessness of power.

Civilization is the cumulative product of the inventive genius of thinking men and women. It often uses great symbols to manifest its bountiful, complex characteristics like the Great Sphinx at the Giza necropolis or the 15th century BC Shang dynasty markings that "evolved into the present Chinese characters" that assisted in the formation of the bedrock of Chinese resilience and its progress, we now celebrate, albeit, reluctantly, in the West.

I disagree with Kenneth Clark. His perception of Western art, architecture and philosophy, did not stress the eclectic nature of Western civilization.

How much did Western civilization benefit from the Laws of Manu of India, the Feta Negact of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Codex of Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar, (now Malagasy), the Inca's civilisation, the intellectual spread of Timbuktu, ancient Zimbabwe and Azania ?

The West supremely documented their intellectual achievements. Their thesarian etiquette has assisted mankind inexorably..

My concern here is primarily, not to go into the disputed definition of civilisation, synonyms, antonyms, derivatives of civilisation, but to lament its withering away by power politics.

When states dip into contentious politics, their leaders permit themselves to talk tough, aggravate tension and go to war. The cultured lives of cities are disrupted, young soldiers get killed, and women and children get caught in the crossfire.

After that, life goes on and the dead are forgotten.

There must be something in State Houses that seem to empower political leaders to desecrate human lives.

There click-streams help blood to flow in battle-fields in Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Biafra, Congo and wherever civilisation is to be crushed by military power..

Since 1960 when the hippie culture held sway until the more debasing hip hop debauchery took over in the 1990s, world culture has seen a running sore..

A sub-culture of violence, muggings, assassinations, economic mal-practices, financial frauds, official corruption that has taken on a globe texture, seem to have tarnished civilized .mannerisms, on a global scale. Children now kill their parents, kill their fellow college-mates, while murders have been on the increase, reminiscent of the stone age.

Our civilisation, whose culture of the heart is decaying, does not posses an illusion of strength or a future.

An arsenic culture is one in which the people's consciousness is riddled with asinine habits, gossips, paparazzi violence on prominent citizens, fraud in high places etc. A civilisation in which evil brigandage rules from the street s to State house, is suspect.

A civilisation in which delinquency is applauded, racism is engraved in the hearts of men, women and children, comedians, actors, rap singers are better appreciated than thinkers, while the economy remains in the doldrums, paints a disgusting picture of a civilisation in disrepute.

Such a civilisation cannot convince anyone that its ideals are worth emulating. Their disputations will remain disputable.

A civilisation that purports to impose its rotten values on others must have a re-think.

Human and material resources put into such civilizing enterprise are wasted.

Moralizing about civilized behavior cut no ice because people want to live by precepts and not by political jingles from State Departments. and Secretaries of State.

Museums, cathedrals, the statues of our heroes past are cultural relics, which symbolise the clean heart outpourings from the zodiac.

The hippy culture of the 1960s,the noisy hip hops culture of the 1990s laid the foundation of decay in modern society. The debauchery they introduced into societal life in the new century is a counter-culture and against the sensations one feels in a well-lit cathedral or in a well-adorned museum.

There are states in which GOD acceptance is hindered by law and other legislative props. Technology is dominating human consciousness and the magic of the computer is over-whelming.

Human values are unconsciously been replaced by the dictates of mechanical imperatives., statistical data, financial gurus ,the turning wheels, journalistic heartless fabrications, cultural trivia and war-mongering.in societies.

The worst "civilisation" is the one that extols the culture of mediocrity, which elevates the alalus homos, to the highest councils of the land, which harbour morally bankrupt people, whose fame is deep-rooted in their successful looting of the state and citizens funds meant for societal development .

The people have cursed them, using the divinations in the psalms, especially in Psalm 109..

While some of these people are recognised by being decorated with national "honours", those, who are versed in integral calculus and calculus of finite differences are ignored. It stands to reason that honour earned by dint of exertion and excellence outweighs the frivolous recognition given to the decadent political class.

From the invention of writing, the Chinese have always venerated the written word; a scholar is revered above all other men. The Confucian canon has influenced Chinese thinking till today and that accounts for their versatility and intellectual prowess.

In some political regimes, speeches are faithfully written for leaders. As a result, the promises made in the speeches are immediately forgotten until next time the same issue will be addressed.

Such societies are bereft of the plasma to add to world civilisation. Even after minor or major plastic surgeries, it remains comatose, never raises its cadence. It is incapable of creating the technology of modern civilization, but is usually the most voracious user of the products of other well-developed and organized societies and civilisations.

The problem of the withering of civilisation is of serious concern, which the international society should entertain. I raise the issue here with gusto and unmistakable pride.


Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokai is the President of the proposed Afemai University, Fugar, Edo State, Nigeria. He is a writer and Academic.



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