Monday, March 19, 2018

Predation: A Kenyan Tale

I am a very selfish man. If we were honest, most of us would admit that we are very selfish. The most important things to us are the things that make our lives easier and happier, and if it means stepping over your cold, dead body to get to those things, many of us won't even flinch. In many instances, things are really zero-sum games: our win is someone elses loss. What we have conditioned ourselves to think and act on is that everything is a zero-sum game. Instead of building more co-operative structures to ensure our collective well-being, we have focussed our individual energies to winning the lottery of life at all costs, even if it means destroying our world to do it. 
It is why presidents, provincial commissioners, ministers and lands officers allocated themselves hundreds of thousands of acres of forest lands and chopped down whole forests. And it is why the wealthiest families don't care if through their connections the national healthcare budget is spent buying medical equipment of little to no practical value to 90% of the people. It is why men will cheat on their wives without compunction. It is why schoolchildren have become experts at organisational management when engaged in the task of examinations cheating. My win equals your loss. Julius Nyerere's warning to his fellow Tanzanians is true: Kenya is a man-eat-man society; you are either the predator or the prey.

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