By Tim Akano
Ralph Waldo Emerson that propounded the Theory of Compensation in 1841, argued that Nemesis is as certain as the night begets the day. Emerson added that all unjust accumulation of wealth, power and privileges by a person, ethnic group, nation-state, continent, race or religious group is not tax-free. In other words, unwritten but certain “Terms and Conditions” apply to such vices as rapacious greed, exploitation and oppression.
The end-game of nature is optimisation of benefits, but for every benefit, a commensurate tax is levied. When too many benefits accumulate unjustly in the hands of an individual, nation, race or ethnic group, they will ultimately lead to corruption.
Nature’s tax net is so vast and water-tight that the oppressors will not only pay the regular tax like the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) but will also, through nature’s own mechanism, pay a special Value-Added Tax (VAT), Withholding Tax and penalties for every infraction that leads to abnormalities in the world. Conversely, capital appreciation and capital gain from nature’s Fixed Deposit Account await the oppressed on their assets that are unjustly appropriated through unbalanced transactions.
When two nations try to steal from each other for the sole purpose of one enriching itself at the expense of the other, two violently-unbalanced conditions are created that will definitely lead to chaos. But nature always completes its transactions and its book is always balanced somehow.
The twin question of why Africa has remained the least-developed continent and what should be done to remedy the sorry state of things will continue to engage researchers until the condition is reversed.
In the subsequent paragraphs, we will examine the roles of destiny, destination and Emerson’s Doctrine of Compensation.
Nature abhors monopoly and prevents exceptions. It opposes half-ness and is averse to stillness. Every condition in nature is subject to impermanence. There is an opening in nature, nothing can be given, and most benefits go to the highest bidder. Power, wealth and fame favour the audacious. Roman Empire was the highest bidder for power and wealth at a time in history. Later, it was the United Kingdom followed by the United States of America. But today, it is China.
Once, briefly though, there had been a world’s Duty-Free Shop created by God in the Garden of Eden but which was later shut down by God Himself after the biblical Adam and Eve’s misdemeanour.
Consequently, all meals are served a la carte. Crime and punishment are two sides of the same coin. They are also like two branches of a tree growing out of one trunk. Punishment is the fruit which is secretly ripe within the seed of oppression or greed.
A race or an ethnic group cannot do wrong without ultimately facing the consequences of wrongdoing. No infraction of love, beauty and trust will go unavenged. Furthermore, every breach of social, economic and political equity in intra-community or international relations will not go unpunished.
In nature’s ledger book, inventions that advance humanity and multiply happiness are credited on one side while infractions by a race or nation-state are debited on the other side. The world is essentially a spiritual living organism constantly seeking balance. It is debt-free. It owes no one and no one owes it for long because it is a ruthless debt-collector. Its debt-recovery mechanism is incorruptible.
The world is governed by human laws but nurtured by nature’s unwritten norms and code to maintain the equilibrium. That was why nature put it in the mind of Valdimir Lenin to midwife the creation of the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) as a counter-balance to the dominance by Europe and America. When Russia became too overbearing and dangerous to the world, nature again put it in the mind of Mikhail Gorbachev to introduce reforms (perestroika and glasnost) that led to the dissolution of the old USSR. But since nature is anti-monopoly, it has caused China to rise and serve as countervail to America’s hegemonic tendency.
The Whole is inside the Dot, nature is present in every one of its particles. Everything in the universe mirrors mother nature. The dualism and polarity of life are sacrosanct. Equity, justice and fair-play are not forever discarded, though they may be postponed. The dice of nature are forever loaded.
Some time, somewhere and somehow, everyone pays directly or indirectly. Individual, nation-state, ethnic group, race, continent or religious movement will retire its I owe you (IOU) either voluntarily or forcibly administered by nature’s Labour Prefect. Some pay by instalments; some wholesale.
Whatever one steals from the world, the world will steal from one. Whatever one loses on the swings, one will gain at the roundabouts. The ongoing global climate chaos is part of the settlement process for the overdue invoices from nature. Nature’s ledger book debit balance arising from the over-exploitation of the world’s resources has created a huge imbalance which has to be settled aggressively.
In July 2021, China and Europe witnessed an unprecedented flooding, similar to that of the biblical flood which CNN aptly described as “once in a thousand years’ event”. Rain that was meant for one year came down within three days.
Meanwhile, America, Europe and the UK have some invoices that are long overdue for settlement and the figures are staggering. Slave trade, colonialism and ne-colonialism are sins against Africa and people of African descent which the West must settle voluntarily or else, the two empires may go into nature’s receivership sooner than later.
UK’s Brexit misadventure was part of the chain of events leading to the fulfilment of Compensation Theory towards the unbundling of the UK. By the time Scotland exits from Britain and Ireland follows, Britain will become that small, inconsequential English country it had been before the Act of the Union of 1st May, 1707 that gave birth to the United Kingdom. In nature, no debt cancellation, no tax exemptions, no debt-forgiveness but only IOU.
In the animal kingdom, scientists’ shocking revelation is that the chosen ones are not yet born. There are no creatures that are favourites. The immutable Law of Compensation governs the jungle and balances every edge and defect. The same thing goes for human beings.
The king of the jungle, lion, for instance, is dangerously powerful, yet, dangerously vulnerable at the old age. Jellyfish has no brain, whereas a leech has 32 brains and they both have their needs met. The Theory of Mechanical Forces confirms this: what is gained in power is lost in time and conversely.
Every excess begets a defect; every defect an excess. That invisible levelling force that puts down the overbearing individual, race, nation-state, ethnic group or religious group is ever-present and prepared to simultaneously promote another that is the fittest and ready. Such must have attended nature’s home lessons and passed with distinctions in critical life subjects. Also, such must have gone through a rebirth and make full payment to nature’s current account.
China’s action and Africa’s inaction
China, at the beginning of its second coming knew that the world’s ‘’Duty-Free Shop’’ was shut down by God Himself immediately after Creation due to gross mismanagement by the two store-keepers, that is, Adam and Eve. Consequently, China’s first action was to build a system that is self-reliant and independent of IMF, World Bank, Europe and America during the foundation-laying years. It was Chinese kidneys powering China’s second coming effectively.
This is where Africa is totally missing it by thinking that the then world’s Duty-Free Shop located in the present-day Iraq, which was shut down by God has been re-opened by God in Shanghai, China. If it is going to be, Africans must build Africa. Nothing is wrong with Africa’s stars, mother nature has been so generous to Africa with numerous blessings. Huge natural and mineral resources and excellent weather, a COVID-19-resistance weather.
More than 30 per cent of the untapped world’s mineral resources (according to Aljazeera); 22.7 per cent of forests (according to the United Nations) and 60 per cent of global arable land, roughly 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land (according to CNN) are located in Africa. Africans constitute about 20 per cent of the world’s population, that is, when you add the over 200 million people of Africa descent to the population of mainland Africans. It looks strange that a continent with this multitude of blessings (DESTINY) is the last-in-class.
The source of the problem
Then, is poor visioning (destination) the problem? Africa never lacks plans of actions. There have been several visions that fell flat, the recent one being the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while in 2000, Africa under the UN umbrella set eight targets to be achieved in 2015. These included halving extreme poverty and hunger; empowering women and promoting gender equality; providing quality universal primary education and good health-care services and ensuring environmental sustainability among others.
Africa scored F9s in most of those parameters, unfortunately. With the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), there is an urgent need to hit the ground running and increase intra-Africa trade from 20 per cent to about 50 per cent within the next three years.
To Emerson, ‘’The world looks like a multiplication-table or a mathematical equation, which, turn it how you will, balances itself. Take whatever figure you will, its exact value, no more, no less, still returns to you.”
Therefore, at this juncture, concerning Africa’s sorry state, we would like to ask: Which battle is Africa fighting? Or is Africa suffering from systemic and cultural defects? Is the law of compensation absolute and why has it not worked in Africa’s favour considering its huge receivables arising from the slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism unbalanced transactions? Can any race or nation-state outsmart the Compensation Doctrine?
Africa’s best time
Africa’s best time is now and this is why. A weakened West, dangerously ageing Japanese population, hugely overstretched America, distracted India, distressed Russia, fumbling Turkey, over-ambitious China in cold-war with America and a divided, tumultuous Middle East provide a global perfect storm for Africa to rebuild its civilisation, carefully working under the radar by harnessing and leveraging the continent’s huge blessings and the technical know-how of its people in the diaspora.
In conclusion, it is in America’s and Europe’s enlightened self-interest to settle the 400-year-old receivables they are both owing Africa through slave trade and colonialism by paying just $3.6 trillion reparation to African-Americans and Africa, representing just ten per cent of their combined 2020 GDP of $36 trillion (America, $21 trillion and Europe, $15 trillion).
Allowing nature through the Law of Compensation to balance the ledger book in its own way and time will definitely cost the two continents much more, including, but not limited to, the untimely decline of their empires.
However, Africa, too, must realise that nature will not do for it what it is expected to do for itself. To make the Law of Compensation work in its favour, Africa needs to expunge from its mentality, the idea of a ‘’Duty-Free-Shop” existing somewhere in Shanghai, London, Brussels, Washington or Tokyo. There is no Duty-Free-Shop anywhere on the planet earth. God has since closed it.
It is true that Compensation Doctrine affirms that impermanence and Rhythmic Balanced Interchange (RBI) are the basic laws that govern the world. Nonetheless, it is still a Self-Help World.
Africa’s competitive edge includes the 600 million hectares of uncultivated, arable land which it can use to feed the world with organic food. The chances are ratio nine to one that the world will rather patronise a well-packaged organic food from Africa than the genetically modified food from Europe and Asia.
Two, the world’s youngest population is in Africa, roughly 50 per cent of the population is under 20 years. Africa leaders should stop using their youths as political thugs and ethnic and religious warriors. Killing in the name of religion and/or God, a practice that is still rampant in some African countries but rare in most progressive Muslim countries like UAE and Qatar, is, to say the least, barbaric.
The youth should be deployed to take the front-seat row in the fourth Industrial Revolution Limousine car that is just about to take off. The future will be ruled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Everything (IoE) and Cloud technologies.
Here, Africa has an edge: the median age of 15.4 years in most African countries is an unbeatable edge, which when put into optimum productive use, will remove Africa farther and farther from the treadmill of mere existence and closer to abundance.
Finally, Africans should love one another and stop pervasive hatred.
Tim Akano is the President, One Africa Initiatives (OAI)