SAHR EGBINDA JUANA
PEACE AND CONFLICT EDUCATION
MILTON MARGAY COLLEGE OF
EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY
GODERICH – CAMPUS
DESCRIBE THE KIND OF SOCIETY YOU WOULD LIKE TO
LIVE IN AND SET OUT THE HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS
FOR SIERRA LEONE
Ever since man became conscious of his environment, his worries basically have been how to alter such an environment to be more serene and conducive.
Political thinkers from Aristotle through Plato to those of our own times have hypothesized of how society ought to be like – Aristotle for instance mad it clear that the State basically “came into being for the bare needs of life and stays in being for the good life”. Plato on the other hand in his “Republic” stratified society into three categories to be headed by a philosopher King Hobbes. In his “Leviathan” and Machiavelli’s “Prince perceived only a strong state and a ruler who should also be foresighted and decisive. The likes of Rousseau, Montesquieu and Locke envisioned a liberal type of society where power was diffused or concentrated in the hands of the masses having the right to determine those who should govern them.
The cam in the of the Industrial Revolution Economic theorists who blended politics and economics. The English utilitarians such as Jeremy Benthan and the Mills, Adam Smith a Liberal, and Max and Angles-socialist fall within this category. But every one of them particularly addressed the question that was worrisome and relevant to the period and circumstance they found themselves in. however, their theories, as hindsight has shown have influenced the past, present and will the future.
As a budding political thinking, the challenge to envisage a society e.g. Sierra Leone, which encapsulate my aspirations and inspirations seems towering. However since this deals with what ought to be, it presupposes that I am not restricted to what is obtaining now or what leader want but what I wish an ideal society should be.
If society is perfect the need for reforms, revolutions and political thinking would hardly arise. My country today lies at the bottom of the human development index. Majority of my compatriots are below the poverty line and a lot more go to bed on empty stomach. Basic health and education facilities are either lacking or non existent in many areas. To cap it all the economy is 70% donor driven. The irony in our situation id that misery has crept into a country richly endowed with precious minerals with only a population of about 4.5 million. If Aristotle had existed in our time he would have called our state a failed state because according to him the essence for the creation of a state is to provide the bare needs of life. If thus we have failed in doing this how then are we going to provide the good life – the second part of the state staying in being according to him.
It is against this backdrop that I wish to project the society I wish to live in. the realm of politics looms large and significant in my mind’s eye. The simple reason being that when this arena is in the people’s favour, it is then well with the people. It is through democracy that the hopes and aspirations of the people are enhanced and realized. Mentioning democracy here does not mean I am referring to pseudo-democracy which ends with elections conducted to hoodwink the International Community or cajole donors to open the taps for the free flow of grants and aid, but a democracy that has strong and durable institution where political power is decentralized and the people possessing the right to elect their leaders right from the village level to the national. I am also not referring to the western variant democracy which is well advanced and is devoid of entrenched ethnicism and other difficulties mostly found in Africa. But I am referring to a democracy that deals with my own situation, a situation that has to erase ethnic, regional, economic division and inequalities.
I am also referring to a scenario where the Judiciary should be independent and corrupt; (where justice is dispensed on the merit of cases brought forward and not as a result of arm-twisting tactics from an overactive authoritarian executive branch of government or from an unscrupulous or mafia type bourgeoisie branch of government or from an unscrupulous or mafia type bourgeoisie dependent on its wealth.
I look forward to the day when politicians are voted into public offices based on merit and not sentiment. I wish for the day when politicians are inducted into politics not for self-aggrandizement and self assertion, but for genuine patriotic intentions geared towards nation building. I look forward to a society where freedom of association, speech and movement are amplified so that government is kept on its guard and compelled to be responsible.
It is but appropriate that my society would respect minority opinion as well as appreciate and tolerate religious and cultural diversity, where individuals co-exist without fear of persecution or intimidation. My society individuals co-exist without fear of persecution or intimidation. My society will be a peaceful and conducive landscape for the development of aspiration and inspirations.
Economically a society that is not viable portends doom for its inhabitants. It is shock and revolution prone. In an acceleration globalization, it is either to eat or to be eaten. My society will avoid being consumed by chaos and anarchy as a result of mismanagement and misappropriation of resources. Our resources will be well managed by the type of public officials already mentioned above. Government will supervise and create an enabling and conducive environment for economic development. This does not mean it should regulate the economy but that it would provide, where necessary, a congenial atmosphere for production and economic liberalization which are recipes for competition, quality production and service thereby creating wealth and a high standard of living for every Sierra Leonean.
Under such economic buoyancies my ideal state will consider social services and the welfare of the people. The rural areas should not remain remote from the urban areas. Transportation and communication will run across the length and breadth of the state. Hospital, schools and tertiary education will be highly prioritized and electricity, the bed rock for production, will increase from where it is now to about 85% throughout the country in the first ten years of its invigoration.
In conclusion my ideal society will ever be vigilant in the interest of all and sundry, developing and implementing strategic development plans for the enhancement of society. In summary my state in the words of Aristotle will “come into being for the bare needs of life and will stay in being for the good life”.