“The king was the personification of Ma’at, a word that we translate as ‘truth’, or ‘justice’, but has an extended meaning of the proper cosmic order at the time of its establishment by the Creator …There is in Akhenaten’s teaching a constant emphasis upon Maat …as is not found before or afterwards.” – Cyril Aldred, Akhenaten: King of Egypt
What can we learn from the past? Is there anything at all that we cannot learn from seeking the wisdom of the ancients, while we forge ahead with boldness towards the future we desire? In our quest to find effective leadership styles, ways to rule with equality and govern with equity, we found ourselves using many inadequate words. Even the very words, rule, govern, and equality are found wanting in the greater scheme of things.
Many of us use words such as democracy, socialism, social justice, nation/nationhood, nationality and the old troublesome one RACE as if these are natural terms that cannot be avoided or substituted for ‘better’ or more adequate words.
As Afrikans ( even this term is highly questionable in some circles) or as Black people ( this term is also contestable and may only be limited to socio-political description) and personal choice, we are undergoing a transformation. Every revolution brings forth new faculties of interpretation, ways of being and naming. Every revolution also necessitates the destruction, deconstruction and reconstitution of previous terms and conditions.
My comrades within the Black Radical tradition often use the phrase ” To End The World As We Know It”, or simply “End The World, by which they are referring to the exploitative and highly unequal system which is maintained and perpetuated by White Capitalist Monopoly or White supremacy. This is a world we all agree must be destroyed in order to build a better world from its ashes.
Socialist and variations of democratic dispensations are proposed and in some places even begun, but maintaining them in a sea of oppositional or counter-revolutionary forces becomes a rather daunting task. Not only do such alternative or supposedly progressive governments faced with internal social and economic dynamics, they are also under attack by external market and ideological forces.Many have capitulated and exist only as caricatures of their original principled selves, some,, such as the Republic of South Africa and few others insist that theirs is a dual or mixed economy. This is highly debatable but it is what it is.
This essay seeks to explore the future firstly or primarily through an ancient lens. I wish to take a deeper and analytical look at the efficacy of Kingship or rule by monarchical, theocratic, and monarchical-democratic or social and traditional leadership. Perhaps later we can even explore the proposals expounded by Anarchists and Chaotic theorists.
But before, we get into the discussion on Ancient rule, lets explore the pros and cons on Western style democracy. According to Samuel P.Huntington; “Liberal democracy, rooted in the concept of individual dignity, is a Western product, and some have argued that liberal democracy is impossible outside the West. In fact, however, at least one liberal democracy exists in almost every other civilization. Liberal democracy, in short, is not inherently incompatible with major- non-Western cultures.
Yet the extent to which non-Western societies are receptive to wither liberal democracy or electoral democracy varies with the extent to which they have been influenced by the West.” ( After Twenty Years:The Future of The Third Wave, Samuel P. Huntington, 1997)