In the last few months, the Wikileaks has “leaked” the so called secret cables originating from the American Embassies to the superiors in the USA. From these cables, Kenyans have gained access to what their leaders tell the Americans. In reaction to these messages, we have read a lot of commentaries. As an example, on this blog, we have had Luke, Taabu and of late, Chris, whose essay is entitled: Wikileaks and Desperate Kenyans . In the “main press,” the Daily Nation’s Gitau Warigi whose essay entitled: “WikiLeaks exposes our weaknesses when in the company of foreigners” can be cited.
Having taken time to read all these essays and the comments, all we have noticed is an understandable anger of Kenyans towards their so called leaders. However, with utmost due respect to all those who have written and commented, we are of the considered opinion that, this anger and frustration is totally misplaced. We hold this view because; we are of the considered opinion that, Kenyans have confused two things. These are KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING. In other words, all we have acquired is mere KNOWLEDGE as to how our so called leaders behave in dark corners. However, this is not interesting at all. It is boring stuff. What is interesting is an UNDERSTANDING as to WHY today’s leaders and even the so called YOUNG FUTURE leaders the USA is training SHALL behave in the same manner.
However, we understand why Kenyans have reacted with anger and dismay, but, with no understanding. It is this. It is very rarely do men define the problems they face in terms of historical change and institutional contradictions. As such, seldom are men aware of the intricate connection between the patterns of their own lives and the course of world history. As a result, rarely do ordinary and even big men realise how changes in world history has a bearing on what kind of men and women they become and the kind of history they make. In other words, rarely do men form a just estimate of themselves and of mankind. This is so because, many rarely locate their actions and of others within a larger social system that severely restricts and moulds them. In other words, to expect our leaders, present and the future ones to behave differently is an illusion for such cannot happen without significant reorientation of the global power structure that empowers them in the first place. In other words, the sense that, our leaders/we are men of free choice is an illusion when viewed against the deeper influences that are normally hidden. But, what are these forces? And, how can they be understood?
An understanding of one’s life and mind and what men represent in his age, requires one to be aware of mankind’s history. The appreciation of the mankind’s treacherous history affords one at least two things. These are amusement and instruction. You see, when one studies history he or she comes to know very intimately how the human mind worked in the past, how it is working now and how it shall work in the future. Upon this knowledge, one can base his expectations of the present and the future workings of the human mind. The only problem is that, with such an understanding, one is forced to withdraw from many popular movements and ideas (remember the wonderful new constitution?) because, he knows so well, just like the old movements and human thoughts, how everything will end up. As such, he can match everything he watches in the politics of the day and thoughts all the way, for instance to the politics and thoughts of Athens and Rome. As such, when we read the Wikileaks stuff, we see nothing to ferment about the revelations, for we have seen these stuff before which enables a clear understanding of the situation.
To understand ourselves, our leaders, today and tomorrow, in relation to Wikileaks, all we need is to recall the writings of a Roman historian, Tacitus, who wrote at the time of the Roman Empire. At the Danube where the “civilised” Romans bordered with “Barbarians”, i.e. the Germans, it was the Roman Empire’s interest to keep the barbarians divided and distracted as a means of defence and PLUNDER. It is from this perspective, Tacitus, perhaps, forgetting for the moment, his sacred duty as an historian, he summarised and exhorted Rome’s imperial policy towards the barbarians:
“The Bructeri were totally exterminated by the neighbouring tribes, provoked by their insolence, allured by the hopes of spoil, and perhaps inspired by the tutelar deities of the empire. Above sixty thousand barbarians were destroyed, not by the Roman arms, but in our SIGHT and for our ENTERTAINMENT. May the nations, enemies of Rome, ever preserve this enmity to each other! We have now attained the utmost verge of prosperity, and have nothing left to demand of fortune except the DISCORD of the barbarians.”
These words of an eminent historian express the imperial policy of Rome. As it was 2000 years ago, so, it is in 2011. In other words, the strategy is this, how do you destroy those you seek to destroy while appearing as a friend? The Romans deemed it a much safer expedient to divide than to combat the barbarians. We are further told that, the Romans used money and negotiations to insinuate themselves into the heart of Germany and every art of seduction was used with dignity to conciliate those nations whom their proximity to the Rhine or Danube might render the most useful friends as well as the most troublesome enemies.
More so, we know this. Chiefs (read tribal leaders) who were known and had power were flattered by the most trifling presents. These presents were given either as a mark of distinction or as the instruments of luxury. When there were any civil commotions in the Barbarian camp, the weak parties/faction endeavoured to strengthen its interests by entering into secret deals with the governors of the frontier provinces. It is from this we learn that, every quarrel among the Germans was fomented by the intrigues of Rome and every plan of union and public good was defeated by the stronger bias of private jealousy and interest. Doesn’t this sound familiar in the 21st Century as we watch Libya, Ivory Coast etc? As an example, can the Ivorians and the Libyans manufacture the guns they are using to kill each other? No. But, are they not armed by those who appear as their friends? Arm them to what purpose? Simple, for self destruction so as to allow pillage by their friends. Isn’t this special?
This brings us to the saga of the Pavlov dogs. Briefly, Dr. Ivan Pavlov in his studies found that, he could train dogs to associate the ringing of a bell with food so that they would start salivating - which gave the stomach the message to start the digestive process every time a bell would ring. By so doing, he gave us the conditioned reflexes that are learned as opposed to innate and natural.
Here is the point to take home. Now, what the psychologists do not make explicit is that, his and these kinds of experiments are a political game. The relationship between the experimenter, i.e. Pavlov and his dogs represents the relationship of POWER. More so, the dog is conditioned and changed because of the difference in power between the dog, rat etc and the experimenter. It is so because; the experimenter is in control of things that the dogs needs/needed. As such, when you let others control your food, manufacturers, money, weapons, clothes and even condoms, and you expect them not to condition and change your psychology, like the Pavlov dogs, you are very deluded. It is therefore, this conditioning which makes Pavlov dogs like the Kalonzo’s. Kosgey’s, Wako’s etc of this world to salivate (read sing) like parrots when they are invited to the residence of the American ambassador (Pavlov) for dinner.
In essence therefore, through the Wikileaks, you have been given an opportunity to see how Empires work so as to keep their periphery economically weak and politically disorganised for the benefit of Empire and its Allies. That's why the Ambassadors and their superiors are interested in every trivial issue going around the capitals of the world. It is through such trivial, they learn the minds of those who can be used to further the imperil interests at the expense of the people. And, since we depend on them for the most vital aspects of our lives, we are conditioned to sing like Pavlov dogs.
The question now is, so, what do we do? For one to know what to do, he or she must appreciate this fact. We are living in an imperial age. In this system, we have the New Rome, its Free Allies and the Provinces, i.e. 3rd world. There are two ways to end the system. One, we, i.e. those who live and die in the poor provinces, i.e. 3rd world, we end it. This was the sacred mandate of the COE, but, they never understood it. All they did was to create more Satraps as one would expect of those educated into ignorance by their Pavlov. The other option, which we have accepted, and if you want to see that acceptance, read the new Kenyan constitution, is to live with our poverty, wars, famine, lack of condoms etc as we wait for the New Rome to collapse on its own weight. However, this may take time, and even worse, rarely, do blood thirsty empires go without rivers of blood.
NB: Finally, remember this. They are what they are, because, we are what we are.