Humans refuse to grow beyond Bushmen as Adam Smith, Keynes and Marx bedeviled themselves for, or invented, illusions in the form of models that remain ever elusive in getting humans to rise above Bushmen.

Victor Ariole

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe FAS, presiding over the inaugural lecture of Prof. Dafe Otobo, on the 4th of July, must have been stunned by Otobo’s chair submission that Industrial Relations had remained, all along, not minding all the efforts his professorial output intended, a creation of more BUSHMEN.

He related how human beings have maltreated themselves so much so that industrial relations’ theories and practice remained highly frustrated as humans refuse to grow beyond Bushmen. In effect to him the salvation would have come in 1789 when the French Revolution abolished all the privileges of those who claimed to be the only humans among others; that is, those on the top of the pyramid of the feudal system – The King, the Lords, spiritual and temporal, and the Haut Clergé (Bishops) and the Prebendals. However, humans refuse to grow beyond Bushmen as Adam Smith, Keynes and Marx bedeviled themselves for, or invented, illusions in the form of models that remain ever elusive in getting humans to rise above Bushmen.

“When you mistake a model as the fact then it is illusion”.

Models have been created by those who have the capacity, either military, economic or brainwashing machines, to cage other people and straight–jacket them into such model for them to remain in euphoric and illusory state.

Such people used institutions to make the world their game reserve for perpetuity of, or ever expanding, inequality gap. They create boom and bust situation in the world arena of commerce, trade, and finance as seen in the stock exchanges and in the futures’ market where the prices of commodities like oil are determined, far from the people who could lay claim to such commodities and thereby perpetuating the bushman characteristics of both people – the exploiter and the exploited.

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You create a gap of inequality to constantly under-develop those around you – South America for the Americas, South Mediterranean, including Africa, for the Europeans, South Pacific for Joint USA – Britain and Japan. Even Nigeria could decide to be their vassal and under-develop other countries in its sphere but unfortunately the small countries in west Africa are helping them to under-develop Nigeria.

To be a state acknowledged in the prebendal conditionalities, you must fashion out a way to create some level of underdevelopment that is in systemic mode against your neighbours; hence countries leveraged by their multinational companies’ outlook or their military might and protection capacity, join in the illusion of civilization.

Trying to see how to institute a better industrial relations’ process two “great” leaders emerged at a time and focused on “rolling back the frontiers of the State” – Reagan and Thatcher. Reaganomics and Thatcherism succeeded in creating core-periphery entities either in the name of countries who acted as prebendals for them or in the name of enterprises who operated in tandem with either IMF or World Bank and gained greater value of prebendalism within and outside a State to create illusion of prosperity mindedness. Somehow Nigeria fell completely to that illusion by claiming it was structurally adjusting or that it was allowing market forces to determine the supply and demand of its trade and services whereas the bigger side of what makes its trade is never decided by such supply and demand model structure. And more Bushmen are created as leaders and as followers.

According to Otobo, 1948 Kings College Students riot was instructive of the great frustration industrial relations practices and theory continued to endure. Those defending

the strongest of the divide and those at the lowest side that makes the essence of the production process, remained subjugated and it perpetuated the state of Bushmen of the whole divides. Indeed, every trade dispute or agitation opens a seemingly upward mobility opportunity for some leaders of trade union. Out of 180 labour leaders interviewed by Otobo, 100 expected to end up in business or politics. So, labour movement was simply used as vehicle for upward mobility. On such lack of consciousness or commitment, “there had been no serious workers’ challenges to managerial authorities.. it seems also a reflection of the state of Africa, no commitment and consciousness to rise above models and aim at demodelling.

Finally, Otobo posits that at the end of the day from California, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Peking, Berlin Delhi and everywhere else to Lagos, we all are Bushmen in the face of incomplete knowledge, production and distribution of goods and services based on private preferences, human passions and perversions, and about the only thing we might practically and theoretically be sure of is economic boom surely being followed by economic depression, what Karl Marx wrote about a long time ago; all else are aprtly egocentric and partly-racist modeling and disingenuous trade in illusions for ideological, political and other self-service reasons.

Indeed, it could be said of Otobo as the man who came, saw Bushmen, and found out like people of the Kalhari desert, called the Bushman but refused to be counted as the Bushmen. Indeed, as he claimed to be the descendant of Eboe, Felix Eboe, the only Black French Governor of Equatorial Africa who refused to be counted as a bushman and who succeeded in making General Charles, De Gaulle change his colonial tactics, Otobo was undaunted in proving his worth in academics.

Ariole is Professor of French and Francophone University of Lagos