Saturday, April 05, 2008
Breaking Out Of The Tools of Liberal Thought by Akindele Akinyemi
One tool for breaking the chains of psychological slavery and freeing inner city people from the shackles of conceptual incarceration is urban conservatism. If we are serious about reaching Black people to embrace contemporary urban policies we need to change the way we discuss policy in general. Within urban conservatism is a method called conservative technology. This is a scientific method for removing the psychological chains of mental bondage. Rooted in Erriel Addae’s (1996) notion of “thought without boundaries,” at its most elementary levels, conservative technology equips us to experience then actively promote what Thomas Kuhn (1970) called a paradigm shift — in our case, from liberal centered to conservative centered world views. At its highest level, conservative technology promotes harmonizing the human will with the Universal Will, a process the Ancient Kemeitans called Maat (pronounced my-ot). Maat is a Kemetic word for truth, justice, order, balance, harmony, reciprocity and propriety known to the ancient Chinese as the Tao. Also a moral code and standard of conduct for evaluating leadership and society.
Urban conservatism emancipates inner city people from the dungeon of false beliefs about ourselves, others and the world because it provides us with a new set of historically accurate facts, concepts, theories, and perspectives about ourselves, about others, and about the world based on our cultural and intellectual heritage. Urban conservative scholars, like Thomas Sowell, C. Mason Weaver, Shelby Steele, Condoleeza Rice and a host of others are developing a lexicon to free us from conceptual incarceration — not only by replacing our false, limited concepts and ideas with correct ones, but also by expanding and re-centering our analyses, definitions, and understanding of ourselves and the world.
In addition, our urban conservative scholars have discovered that much of what is passed off in our schools, in our churches, in our civic organizations, and by the media as universal truths are nothing more than select liberal theories, practices, preferences, and customs wrapped around a core of socialist/Marxist thought. Today, our psychological slavery in large measure is self-imposed; we have allowed others to imprison us in their ethnic or cultural group’s concepts and beliefs. In short, we have been contained by our infatuation with liberalism; therefore, we have scant knowledge of our own.
Urban conservatism, through Pan-African thought, is a journey of rediscovery and reconnection inspired by what the Akan people of Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire call sankofa. Sankofa posits that the wisdom is reaching back and reconnecting with the best of one’s traditions, customs, and practices. We, as urban people, are blessed because we are perhaps the only large group in the U.S. with a tricultural heritage. We have three cultural traditions we can mine for “gold”: African, European, and Native American. As recipients of European centered education, most African Americans have an abundance of operational concepts from our European “gold mine.”
But that is not enough; we cannot empower ourselves by merely adopting the world views, belief systems, and life styles of liberals. Our salvation will not come from imitating others, but only from being our authentic, urban conservatives. That is why we sankofa, which means that we: (1) extract the “gold” from our African and Native American heritages (two long neglected, untapped sources of potent operational concepts) and (2) assess our liberal cultural borrowings through the lenses of African and Native American philosophy and tradition. In cases where there are conflicting world views, we gravitate toward the traditional wisdom of Africa.
People and communities that have internal centers of control believe that through their own persistent effort, they can rearrange or change their life conditions without outside approval or assistance. Because they believe deeply that they are the “captains of their fate” and the “masters of their destiny,” they feel empowered, optimistic, creative, productive, energetic, and positive. Because of this deep faith in themselves, their people, and hard work, they are willing to take calculated risks to fulfill their dreams. Such people are successful and such communities are autonomous, wholesome places to live and raise children.
Urban conservatism teaches that the maintenance and perpetuation of urban psychological enslavement and its chief expression, conceptual incarceration, pivot on urban people maintaining an external locus of control. As long as we turn away from conservative principles and our ancestral wisdom and embrace as solutions to our life problems the views of liberal implants and others from outside of our traditional African cultural centers, we will remain the servants of liberals in both thought and deed.