The Matrix Redux: The African Version Scene II
April 18, 2005 3 Comments
The continuation of Scene I of the Matrix; The African Version. The first scene can be found in the March archives. Enjoy and could someone please teach me how to link stuff!!
Mzee: The aid industry is everywhere. It is all around us. You can hear it every time words like sustainable, indigenous, governance, NEPAD, Humanity and wellness are used, or phrases such as fair trade, me-time, evils of globalisation and capacity enhancement. You can see it on every 4×4 with a logo on its door, in the raw tuna salad and the cocktail of diet coke with a dash of St. Petersburg vodka ordered by the healthiest looking person in the most expensive bar you know. Missing that, you can see it when you turn on your television: it is a declaration issued at a giant conference in Porto Allegre, Monterrey or Beijing; there, you are told, a consensus on your future has been reached. You can feel it when you go to work…just before you are downsized, when you listen to politicians now perfectly arrayed into government, opposition and civil society. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Boi: What truth?
Mzee: That you are a slave, Boi. Like every African you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.
Boi: Okey dokey… free my mind. Right, no problem, free my mind, free my mind, no problem, right…
Mzee: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You follow the baby-boomer flower leftists in their attempt to foist their failed revolutions on you: the story ends, you develop some African capacity, give micro-credit loans to gutsy women you admire, rage at Starbucks, and believe whatever Tree-Hugger Smith wants you to believe. Open your eyes and you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
What is aid? Control. Aid is a liberal generated dream world built on the vision of an individuality that is universalised in the image of Smith. It is an attempt to extend a legal and moral code that is everywhere similar. It is contemptuous of the political life of the African, believing as it does that he does not possess one. In the final analysis, it is the vulture that uses African misery as an orientation of its identity: they must be seen and see themselves to be good. Distress is the balm on the wound of a liberal nihilism that everyday rots further as Smith battles to reach for goodness at no cost to his privilege. It seeks control in order to change an African into this.
[Holds up a Mojito cocktail and a picture of a laughing child in a refugee camp]
Boi: No way. No way. This is crazy. But I know Fanon by heart and I am down with the people.
Mzee: I didn’t say it would be easy, Boi. I just said it would be the truth.
Boi: But…listen, I have to think about it all. You’re heavy man. Besides, I have to rush; I am meeting Tree-Hugger Smith in a few minutes so I’ll ask him what the deal is.
Scene III coming up soon, watch this space…