Friday, March 4, 2011

AFRICA - The head of the sacred figure disputed

Africa throws its leaders, heads of state, its leaders or its traditional kings. Maghreb Sahel. Cape Horn. The secular cult of personality that has historically characterized relations between African rulers and their subjects leaves give way to indifference when it is not just defiance. The fault in this burgeoning democratic system who wants to make every man the equal of another.

The leader, the servant of his subjects. The image of the leader in Africa was previously associated with prestige, a certain nobility. She was responsible for the grace itself. This vision is due to our history, that of our royalty and the ascendancy as the kings, autocrats and nobles could have on their peoples.

This design also makes the head of the bid almost natural that the subjects could have vis-à-vis their rulers. In any case, those with whom they shared tribe, ethnic origin. This design also makes our traditions. The chiefs, kings and other rulers were indeed privileged interlocutors of the gods; the transmission belt between people and their divine protectors.

The "civilizing mission" of the white man (who has been more humble ourselves and we operate as we age) has not changed much to this practice at first. The allegiance of the subject to his chief of clan, village, kingdom gradually deported to the Head of State. There was now a reason to comply, sometimes doing a bad job against heart, a teacher with whom the ties of blood were far from obvious: he rules over all in a unitary state.

Ignore the forces of coercion at his disposal through the army and who can enable it to ensure the submission of the people. What is important here is the voluntary allegiance, not the subordination imposed. In fact, the image of African leader has long been a consensus implied. Until a first degradation occurs in terms of democratization not load in the early 1990s.

This period was challenging for the Heads of State and Government of African countries. Used to seeing people sing and dance movements (or not) for each of their outings, they are surprised to have to suffer now booing, throwing projectiles, public disavowal. Blame it on an autocratic governance, widespread corruption, an embarrassing failure in socio-economic ...

The leader who starves and kills his people necessarily see his image suffer. Kerekou, Mobutu Sese Seko, Felix Houphouet-Boigny [respectively former leaders of Benin, Congo, Zaire and Cote d'Ivoire] and others have learned to their cost. Now, democratization (not democracy) would now configure the system for collection of their leaders by the people.

Few have managed the exercise. Somewhere where democratization has taken shape, it took longer to dislodge the caciques. The image of the leader took time to eat in the tropics, but it ended up being. Course with the inevitable differences that there may be a state to another, from one region to another.

Today is a new step in the degradation of the image of the sovereign that the continent has begun. Since the end of 2010, a phenomenal political crisis affecting the Arab-Muslim world. The Heads of State and Government in this region were known as yet among the most powerful leader of the people fully acquired their causes and their people.

Two of them even had "released". Victims of the wrath of the street and their management of the despotic state. Others struggle to safeguard their interests. Some through great concessions, another in the "rivers of blood" that he promised to "rats" who have thus dared to challenge him.

Anyway, this is the myth of the omnipotence of the latest most powerful leaders of the world is collapsing. People no longer afraid to say, to confront, to die. The leader is no longer a god. And if the most powerful leaders may be shaken, no one else deserve to be focused on a pedestal.

There, in the democratization of the world the seeds of dissolution of the cult leader. Africa, late in the term of the right to political self-determination of its people is only beginning to experience it. But whatever may be, it will remain a piece of respectability of the traditional leader (at least to him), as a legacy of our history and our culture.

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