Monday, February 28, 2011

Slavery and Colonialism: The Consequence of Ignorance of The Elements of Life and Nature?

"High spirituality to the neglect of high intellect is a self-defeating sterile concept"

In this write up, I attempt to view the sad history of Africa's slavery and colonialism not through the prism of moral judgment but as simple issue of Africa's ignorance and lack of understanding of the elements of life and nature. The drive for knowledge and insight is the lifeblood of thriving and progressive societies and the lack of that kind of drive is exactly the condition that permits a group of people to be bought and sold. The lack of moral judgment by the slave masters, in my view, is not as important a determining factor of slave trade as the very low level of  understanding of the raided communities themselves. The shocking truth is that ignorance of Africa before slavery and colonialism and to a large extent today, goes far beyond the physical and the metaphysical world to include the spiritual. Far beyond the intellectual and logical reasoning that underlies the understanding of the concepts of how nature and life work. This is exemplified in the fact that missionaries of the Anglican Church who came to Africa ostensibly to convert lost African souls to Christ ended up incarcerating their mortal bodies in the dungeon and shackles of slavery. So they conquered in the logical, intellectual and the spiritual battles for supremacy before finally doing the simple act of using the being and lives of Africans as objects of gratification.   

"So why and how did Slavery and Colonialism end?"

I wish to submit that the brutal and cruel forms of slavery and colonialism ended not because the "MASTERS" yielded to the invading forces of high morality but rather a simple phase shift in two basic conditions in their own lives. This shift made slavery mostly needless and colonialism too expensive to maintain. It is often stated that survival is all about using all you have to obtain what you need but do not have. The "MASTERS" used their spiritual, logical and intellectual superiority to obtain their urgent needs in terms of natural resources and manpower. A careful analyses of the history and evolution of science and technology in the world will clearly demonstrate that slavery was a mechanism to meet the shortfall in the supply of social needs of the "MASTERS". The advances in science and technology in the homeland of the "MASTERS" therefore meant that the need for material and manpower was easier to obtain without the slavery and colonialism. This is how slavery and colonialism began to lose their strong appeal to the "MASTERS" and of course, the eventual dismantling was accelerated by the moral crusader and the second world war. France and England which were the prevailing slave and colonial "MASTERS" of the world then of course became too occupied with the war in Europe which  forcibly loosened their grip on their colonies at the time.

"Ghana's 54th Independence Celebration"

As we mark another year of independence in Ghana, I wish that a thought will be spared for the part that this continent played in its own enslavement and colonization. If we continue to celebrate the victory of gaining our freedom but fail to identify the root courses of the problem itself then we are preparing the current generation for an obvious future danger. The best form of freedom is that which shows and finds its form and expression in the requisite mindset and actions needed to forestall any future recurrence of the problem of oppression. Ghana and Africa must therefore defer all celebrations of independence and rather devote energy to the demolition of all the pre-existing structures and arrangements that brought this calamity upon Africa in the first place. The contribution of Africa to its own enslavement and colonization is far higher than any other entity associated with this rather sad history. The good book says that "you cannot raid a strongman's  house unless he is bound and immobilized" and so it is also true that you cannot deceive a brilliant and intelligent man unless his sense and intellect are completely exceeded by the schemes of their invaders.

"The Hope of the future"

Enduring freedom will mean that people of Africa will have to do everything possible to know and understand whatever anyone in any corner of the world knows. It will mean, being as skilled as anyone in any place on earth. This is vitally important because what you do not know will be used against you. If an enemy nation deplores missiles against another nation which is well equipped with its own far more
advances missiles and even missile intercepting system, will this nation panic??? The answer is a big NO!!!. Knowledge and understanding of the elements of life and nature which is science and technology is not only key to economic development and social progress but also a key to access enduring freedom.

Thank you

Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),


  1. Thank you for taking time to read. Our countries in Africa seem to think discovery of new natural resources with the use of foreign technology is a blessing. But little do they know that the actual blessing is for the people who developed the technology to discover and extract that resource.

    Education and Cutting-edge craftmanship is the source of true and enduring freedom and prosperity.



  2. My article is not about recounting the history of Slavery.

    If you donot know that the purpose of slavery is economic gain? then you need to study!

    My article is about reasons why slavery happened. Africans were decieved because of ignorance.



  3. Author:Kofi Bempah London

    Date:2011-03-02 08:11:19

    Comment to:Slavery and Colonialism: The Consequence of Ignora

    Wallowing in self pity does not help development. By the way, advances in science and technology do not cure ignorance! There are more bigots in the West than you seem to appreciate.

    My response:

    If all your saw was self pity then you must have read a difference article.

    Identifying what is causing one's problems is NOT self pity.

    Its called being conscious and realistic!!!

    By the way Kofi, would you write your location if it was a tiny village in Ghana??



  4. I am not so much bothered about the past slavery but what sadden my heart are the current and the Computer world slavery where people are educated yet illiterate and empty.
    My contributions are all summed up in the phrase “let’s allow change for a positive change”

  5. Ignorance is a disease! A disease we must all join hands to cure and completely eradicate from our part of the world. Too much has been taken from Africa due to ignorance and lack of understanding of what is actually going on. We must all strive to achieve a certain level of knowledge and wisdom as well. Develop the areas of science and technology and train people to think systematically. Ignorant people are disabled and greatly disadvantaged. It is like being sold a piece of cloth for 200 cedis when its actual value is about 20; imagine how you would feel when you discover the truth. We should not give chance to ignorance because that is the only way we can attain justice for the many lives and resources claimed during the era of slavery and colonialism, even in the fight for independence.

  6. Knowledge they say is power and the good book says that ‘My people perish for the lack of knowledge’. This was a major contributor to the establishment of the slavery and colonialism of yesteryears. It all started with the locals exchanging gold and other minerals for gunpowder and other artefact; obviously oblivious of the good things surrounding them. This culminated in our own people selling their relatives and friends into slavery wilfully or under coercion. The disadvantages of slavery far outweigh any advantages.
    Today slavery has taken a different turn. We still rely on foreign aid to develop. There is the notion that every good thing should come from the West.
    Total freedom comes with self-dependence. We should look in such a direction.

  7. Well I have just realized another twist to why the colonial masters loosen their grips on slavery – due to advancement in technology. Truly, instead of wasting money on the celebration of independence, it can be geared towards science and technology which is synonymous to development.

  8. what is wrong with us? i always ask myself when i see politicians spend huge monies on celebrations of national holidays when basic utilities are not being provided to the people. i sometimes don't understand but i tell myself life is an enigma. we should all pray for a better Ghana.

  9. I think the mere knowledge of our colonial masters gives them the superior psychological edge over us. It can clearly be seen in how we treat the foreigners with much respect and hospitality upon visits whiles we show hostility towards our own people. It's high time we shook this mental slavery off and think of ourselves as co-equals rather the the mindset of indebtedness.

  10. and who say colonialism has ended?how can it end? for me its now worse,because this time round, nobody comes to take anyone away,we go there ourselves to do these jobs. just because most people lack self respect. the effect of colonialism is tragic because it still has a great effect on us. it has left most Ghanaians with a complex, which has been in the subconscious mind and has been passed on from generation to generation. i dont think its made us a ignorant but its rather is the attitude it left us with. however our politicians choose to remember it and wonder their basis for celebration. it was for the freedom of the Ghanaian but its not realized in our daily lives thus why the need to celebrate it. they would rather pump huge amounts of money into celebrating a day like this.this day shouldnt be celebrated since there is not much difference since it was won till now.

  11. Colonization can end it Ghana for now. Being independent means being self reliant. Ghana today is never self reliant and so once will continue to dependent on other nations for survivor they will still dictate to us what we should do