Here we are, children of God, or Allah, or whoever we want to cite, faced with the most overwhelming question life has ever given us: where do we go from here? This is not an easy question to answer, and in this era, it is better off ignored than answered at all. We are at a critical stage, where two roads, no, many roads diverge, but each seems to be leading to the same catastrophe. Where do we go from here?
The Marxist desolation has been established in our capitalist system, and there is no way denying this. Those of you who spend your life within the affluence of self-contained hotel rooms should one day take a humble journey to the people below, I mean the mass of people who struggle day in and day out to find a simple note to buy rotten fish at Phwetekere Market in Lilongwe, Mpondabwino Market in Zomba, or Nkhatabay Market up north. Leave the comfort of your Fords and others like them for a while, and take kabaza to one of these Markets, and others like them, and see for yourself there the desolation we are talking about. If you don’t know any of these places, I am ready, at your expense, to take you there myself.
The first logical fallacy that has been attributed the term ‘cause’ for this desolation is the idea of laziness on the part of the average poor Malawian Man. On this let me leave my rambling aside for a while, for it needs some logical and rational analysis. It is true that laziness creates desolation and poverty, and man, young and old alike, lives in as far as he is able to produce. This idea, wrongly attributed to Adam Smith, other than to common sense (that is if sense is common), I cannot wrestle with. It is universal, and all binding. From this we can advance that let he who does no work starve to death. However, it is observable that certain groups of people, like the elderly, children, and disabled, have to rely on other people’s labour, and to these groups we can give an exception to our general theory.
But work alone is not the sole determinant of man’s survival. Adam Smith puts it clear in his logically confused book (logically confused in the sense that he confuses the wealth of individual with the wealth of the nation) that man survives in as far as the output matches the labour he applies to realize his subsistence. This means laboring for nothing will only speed man’s time for nihilism, untimely death. On this principle I am at home with Smith and, from this, we can infer that any nation that subjects its citizens to conditions of labour that do not match the labourer’s need for subsistence, and that of his off-springs, is a nation that puts its citizens on a fast jet to untimely death, nihilism.
This is what has come to stay in our country. Masses of people work day in and day out but for a meagre return that barely takes them through the day. Masses of men, under heavy luggage, beneath the sun; boys and girls selling water, mandazi, mangoes, kaunjika, go home at the end of the day with a sum not even enough to buy a proper meal. So they go to Mpondabwino, Phwetekere, and other places like them, to buy cheap and rotten fish for dinner, increasing chances of dangerous body infections.
I do not succumb to those fanatics who pretend that Malawi as a country is not in a desolate state. These fanatics, most of them who are either well-paid professors or depraved politicians, go about preaching that the country is rich, it is not as desolate as the West portrays it, and things are just fine here at home, forget that Malawi is a country governed by the western machinery, and by that it means that it should be measured by western standards. If we want to be the measure of our own wealth, why not stop being Western middlemen, native capitalist whose interest is tied to the western capitalist? This, as far as I know my native capitalist, he is not ready to do.
In this desolate condition then, the impoverished, laboring man is faced with an overwhelming question: where do I go from here? Where do I lay my burdens and find respite? Where do I go and regain my human worth?
The answer to this question, which I call the ‘Holly Opiums of Prophets’, will form my next discussion.