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Africa needs to stop deferring to Europe and America on moral and scientific matters and chart a new course free from Western interference, says Pedrito Cambrão.


Throughout the centuries, Western culture was intrinsically linked to the Christian faith and church teachings, so the fact that the increasingly anti-religious West is in crisis is no surprise to anyone.

Just have a look at the way America is consuming itself over abortion, where a small minority of ‘pro-choice' activists post intentionally divisive videos urging pregnant women to have their babies ‘sucked out’ to upset their 'pro-life' neighbours.

It's the perfect illustration of how a once-intellectually curious society has turned angry, intolerant and no longer open to calm, reasoned debate.

Unlike Africa, where traditional values and strong family ties are still the bedrock of society, in the West people are aloof, unsure of who they are, where they are from, and where they are going.  

The current decay of Western democracy and morals marks the end of the Western order and therefore an opportunity for Africa to break with aspects of globalism that run counter to African perspectives.

We start from the assumption that Africa should probably seek to chart its own course, in light of the current democratic and moral decline in Europe and North America.

Thinking about the West often leads us to a sense of lost nostalgia for its past achievements, for a European culture that was the representation of passionate ideas and powerful and steadfast leaders.

We Africans learned to admire many aspects of this culture, its way of life and its technological capacity. 

Speaking in 1963, the Nobel winning scientist Richard Feynman argued that Western civilisation is based on two great legacies: the scientific spirit and Christian ethics.

And he defended the need to promote the cooperation of these two pillars and to suppress any friction that would call it into question.

In this argument, he enunciated a set of norms that should be taught in schools, because, once understood as an axiomatic body, it would dispense with any project of education for citizenship, in particular those that, with upstream solicitude and downstream totalitarianism, ignore, implicitly, these same norms: 

‘No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles or to prescribe in any way the character of the questions to be investigated.

Nor can any government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creation or limit the forms of artistic or literary expression.

Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historical, religious or philosophical doctrines.

Instead, it owes its citizens a duty to maintain freedom, to let citizens contribute to the continued adventure and development of the human race.’ 

Feynman's foundations are assumed and defended by other authors, such as Thomas Mann, author of the work Maritime Voyages with Don Quixote in which he brings his testamentary, and perhaps egocentric, reconciliation with Christianity. 

If Christianity and science are, as Feynman and Mann argued, the foundations of Western civilisation, then something is wrong today.

The West has renounced Greek, Latin, ‘the Classics’, and everything that structures its identity.

Through so-called ‘progressivism’, it continues to fight the Christian matrix, opposing it to a false secularity and all sorts of civil religions. 

We see this in the state of science, and the sad spectacle that we are witnessing due to the discovery of a respiratory virus in China in 2019.

Rather than debating the origins of Covid-19 and the best way to deal with it, Western societies have censored debate and told people not to question ‘the science’.

Starved of spirituality and meaning, the secular West has essentially turned science into a religion and scientists and healthcare workers into a priestly caste that cannot be challenged. 

Writing in the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche warned us that Western culture faced a crisis of generalised meaninglessness, a void of symbolic references offered by cultural institutions, religion, science and democracy. 

Today the West is consumed by ridiculous arguments about whether a woman can have a penis or whether teachers should be allowed to talk to under-7s about sex reassignment.

Meanwhile, several US states are proposing legislation to decriminalise abortion after birth (in California, for example, killing babies could soon become legal within the first month after birth).

European leaders are also rushing in legislation to ban or restrict protests and 'harmful’ freedom of expression (or ‘disinformation' as they call it, even when the information is factually correct). 

We've seen unprecedented state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters in so-called 'democracies' like Canada, the UK and Australia, and the suspension of constitutions and civil rights in the name of fighting a virus.

The West’s much-vaulted ‘free press’ doesn't even cover such stories. 

Today, there is another global and infiltrated attack, masked by good intentions and acting on a desert of ideas.

The UN, IMF, World Bank, WHO and Western-controlled Anglican and Catholic Church hierarchies are instruments of a dead culture that neither represents African ideals or has Africa’s best interests at heart.

The West is definitely finished, so Africans shouldn't bow to corrupt institutions like these because they harm Africans. 

In many ways, Africa is the last hope for traditional Western culture. It's funny that Malawi, an African country, was the only country that really bothered to hear a case about the legality of the lockdowns in early 2020 and decided they were unconstitutional. 

The case of Malawi is an example to be followed. 

The West should learn from how Africa is successfully defending its once cherished institutions; lawyers in Malawi’s former colonial master, Britain, have still yet to get their case heard more than two years on. 

The rest of Africa, meanwhile, must learn not to blindly venture into accepting and adopting everything that comes from the West.

Indeed, the decline of the West is an opportunity for Africa to break with aspects of Western globalism that run counter to African perspectives. 

Africa incorporated values and beliefs that were strange to them, hindering local originalities and restricting its own path to development, maintaining a situation of inequalities and not infrequently a domain now covered by 'international' capital.  

No matter the cultural differences, Africa boasts of a cultural heritage that opposes the morally decadent behaviours that characterise Western culture.

While cultural values are meant to morally cement humanity in citizens, the current tract shows a lack thereof.

It is then, an open invitation for the African culture to lead and fill in this dangerous void which is threatening to take humanity to oblivion. 

As such, Africa can be the solution for the various problems faced by the west as far as culture is concerned. Ubuntu spirit should be called upon to ‘resurrect’ the West and to encourage peaceful co-existence and value for humanity.

It helps both Africans and Europeans (Westerners) to embrace one another. Ubuntu spirit insists that one exists because of others and, therefore, people need to work together and help one another.  

It suffices to say that the African culture is the one culture that blends families together, brings eloquence to creation of well-knit societal norms and values that foster development in the face of a back-biting and cruel capitalist system.

It is up to countries, in their search for true autonomy, to use external experiences, adapting them to internal contexts, because only in this way can they bring beneficial results to the countries that apply them. 

Pedrito Cambrão is a sociologist, researcher and lecturer at Universidade Zambeze (UniZambeze) in Beira, Mozambique. 


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