Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonization by Kwame Nkrumah . Home > Archive Kwame Nkrumah. Publication date: Publishers: It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe. Nkrumah argues that the African political system must include elements of Excerpt from Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology, by Kwame Nkrumah, . Axioms of Kwame Nkrumah. Class Struggle in Africa. Consciencism. Dark Days in Ghana. Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare. I Speak of Freedom. Neo-.
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Request PDF on ResearchGate | The Logic of Consciencism | According to Kwame Nkrumah, the conscience of the African society is plagued with three strands. Consciencism Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization and Development with Particular Reference to the African Revolution. Kwame Nkrumah. Heinemann. The Ontology of Kwame Nkrumah's Consciencism and the Democratic Theory and Practice in Africa: A Diopian Perspective. Show all authors. Kwasi N. Boadi.
As long as we are ruled by others we shall lay our mistakes at their door, and our sense of responsibility will remain dulled. Freedom brings responsibilities, and our experience can be enriched only by the acceptance of these responsibilities. The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah Seek ye first the political kingdom and all things shall be added unto you. The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah Never in the history of the world has an alien ruler granted self-rule to a people on a silver platter.
The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah Consciencism. New York University Press. ISBN Retrieved on 14 March Introduction[ edit ] The evaluation of one's own social circumstance is part of the analysis of facts and events, and this kind of evaluation is, I feel, as good a starting point of the inquiry into the relations between philosophy and society as any other. Philosophy, in understanding human society, call for an analysis of facts and events, and an attempt to see how they fit into human life, and so how they make up human experience.
In this way, philosophy, like history, can come to enrich, indeed to define, the experience of man. A colonial student does not by origin belong to the intellectual history in which the university philosophers are such impressive landmarks. The colonial student can be so seduced by these attempts to give a philosophical account of the universe, that surrenders his whole personality to them.
When he does this, he loses sight of the fundamental social fact that he is a colonial subject. In this way, he omits to draw from his education and from the concern displayed by the great philosophers for human problems, anything which he might relate to the very real problem of colonial domination , which, as it happens, conditions the immediate life of every colonized African.
With single-minded devotion, the colonial student meanders through the intricacies of the philosophical systems.
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And yet these systems did aim at providing a philosophical account of the world in the circumstances and conditions of their time. For even philosophical systems are facts of history. By the time, however, that they come to be accepted in the universities for exposition, they have lost the vital power which they had at their first statement, they have shed their dynamism and polemic reference.
This is a result of the academic treatment which they are given. The academic treatment is the result of an attitude to philosophical systems as though there was nothing to them but statements standing in logical relation to one another.
This defective approach to scholarship was suffered by different categories of colonial student. Many of them had been handpicked and, so to say, carried certificates of worthiness with them. These were considered fit to become enlightened servants of the colonial administration.
The process by which this category of student became fit usually started at an early age, for not infrequently they had lost contact early in life with their traditional background. By reason of their lack of contact with their own roots, they became prone to accept some theory of universalism , provided it was expressed in vague, mellifluous terms. Armed with their universalism, they carried away from their university courses an attitude entirely at variance with the concrete reality of their people and their struggle.
When they came across doctrines of a combative nature, like those of Marxism , they reduced them to arid abstractions, to common-room subtleties. In this way, through the good graces of their colonialist patrons, these students, now competent in the art of forming not a concrete environmental view of social political problems, but an abstract, ' liberal ' outlook, began to fulfil the hopes and expectations of their guides and guardians.
There were the vast numbers of ordinary Africans , who, animated by a lively national consciousness , sought knowledge as an instrument of national emancipation and integrity. This is not to say that these Africans overlooked the purely cultural value of their studies. But in order that their cultural acquisition should be valuable, they needed to be capable of appreciating it as free men. Philosophy In Retrospect[ edit ] The critical study of the philosophies of the past should lead to the study of modern theories.
For these latter, born of the fire of contemporary struggles, are militant and alive.
It is not only the study of philosophy which can become perverted. The study of history too can become warped. The colonized African student, whose roots in his own society are systematically starved of sustenance, is introduced to Greek and Roman history , the cradle history of modern Europe , and he is encouraged to treat this portion of the story of man together with the subsequent history of Europe as the only worthwhile portion.
This history is anointed with a universalist flavouring which titillates the palate of certain African intellectuals so agreeably that they become alienated from their own immediate society. I learnt to see philosophical systems in the context of the social milieu which produced them. I therefore learnt to look for social contention in philosophical systems.
It is of course possible to see the history of philosophy in diverse ways, each way of seeing it being in fact an illumination of the type of problem dealt with in this branch of human thought. It is possible, for instance, to look upon philosophy as a series of abstract systems. When philosophy is so seen, even moral philosophers , with regrettable coyness, say that their preoccupation has nothing to do with life.
I am committed to Pan-Africanism and Scientific Socialism. I hunt for people like you and when I get them I don't spare them, intellectually speaking. It is not a mere academic exercise for the heartless. Whoever tries to create a wedge in our midst is expeditiously descended on.
Let us get one thing clear.
When I speak to my fellow Ewes it is "a Nyebro issue". I have no apology there to make. And if it is not the issue, then leave it out even though you may refer to me as "Fo"… Already I can see you have an identity problem and unable to just define who you are as an Nkrumaist… You say of yourself: "I am a Marxist philosopher-historian with the Consciencist orientation.
The quote above is meaningless in "Consciencism". There is no such thing as Marxism with a Consciencist orientation that is separate from Pan Africanism that is separate from Scientific Socialism.
You see, if you are really acquainted with Marxism you will see that Consciencism is a particular application of Marxism in Africa. To claim to be a Marxist with a consciencist orientation is just to say that I am a Consciencist. And if you understand that Consciencism is the philosophy of Nkrumaism then my Nkrumaist status must not be in doubt. Kwami, there is a lot that you need to know. You now make me laugh a lot tonight… Well, I had promised sending to you a copy of an ongoing draft of what I call 'Manual for the Study of Consciencism' for a critical input.
It is actually not worth it. I would now prefer that if by grace I finish the Manual and have it published you can then offer a public criticism of it. Why do you think I would like to do that? Why should I?
What makes you think I take your profession of Consciencism any more seriously than you take mine? Why say all those uncomplimentary things about me?
It is in response to articles in the Daily Graphic by Ahuman Ocansey. I only occasionally read religious articles on the web. Normally I do not. Ordinarily, for all kinds of reasons, I would not have read an article on Kwame Nkrumah saving Ghana from religious confusion. Frankly, the topic does not interest me. But as it is written by Lang Nubuor who has said so many uncomplimentary things about me, I decided to read it.
It is an interesting read. It contains the odd quote here and there that I have read elsewhere. The article has the correct central thrust. Some details are contentious. He puts forward a key concept of "Integration" throughout the article at one point asserting "Yes, thanks to the integrationist philosophy of Consciencism that informed the ideology.
But this is what Lang Nubuor is saying. Clearly he is interpreting Nkrumah. This is all the more surprising especially as he invokes Kofi Batsa who co-authored "Essentials of Nkrumaism". What struck me however more than anything is this comment by Lang Nubuor: "Consciencism is certainly a difficult book to read with the grand author's assumption that the reader is already in grasp with certain formal principles of Philosophy and Logic.
Many read the first few pages and give up. The disturbing issue here is that having given up reading the entire book some of such readers pronounce themselves qualified to pass judgements on it — basing themselves on the pseudo-interpretations of distortionists like the one we have at hand.
But they do not pass judgements on the book. They simply ignore it. They quote from all of Nkrumah's books but never the key book "Consciencism". What I do not know is the extent to which this section applies to Lang Nubuor himself. What I certainly know is that it cannot refer to me because not only have I read the whole book over and over again, but in the beginning read it for seven months at a stretch in order to master it. And it was the only book I read in the entire seven months.
The purpose was to master it. The other thing that struck me, but with less intensity, is that his interpretation recalls that of a leading Nkrumaist in Ghana who provided a wholly religious interpretation to the mention of Christians, Moslems and Traditional Africa in Consciencism. I shall not be surprised; I am not saying it is, if this is the motivation - a religious interpretation - that informs his rebuttal of Ahuman Ocansey.
He says, referring to Nkrumah, "Hence he concludes ideologically that we need to build a culture that integrates or harmonises our experiences of Christianity, Islam and African Tradition.
These are religious cultures. Guided by this ideological stance Kwame Nkrumah pursued a cultural environment that integrated or harmonised these cultures.
Clearly not! Nkrumah does not assume these are religious cultures on the basis of which we ought to pursue an integrated or harmonised religious culture of three religious cultures.
Islam enslaved us and so did Christianity and so did Traditional Africa. These are not just religious cultures; they are also economic cultures, military cultures etc.
Limiting the question of Christianity, Islam and Traditional Africa in "Consciencism" to religion and religious cultures has not ceased to astound me.
But my point is that I saw this among the Ghanaian Left who dismissed "Consciencism" with ease. The argument that "Consciencism" is an idealist work is not far from this assertion.
Instead of engaging me on this and many other issues, all I get is uncomplimentary comments. And yet you Fo Nani gave him my contact. I am writing this to tell you that I have just discovered a piece by Lang Nubuor which I would normally not have read because of the title but which I have read and I am not in the least impressed although its central thrust is correct.
If Lang Nubuor wants to engage with the synthesis of "capitalism" and "socialism" that I have raised then he must master "Consciencism" so we can discuss it intelligently, dispassionately and intellectually to advance social praxis. Why is Lang Nubuor only limiting it to religion and religious culture?
To preserve some Marxist purity? You see, when I talk about Consciencism as an integrationist philosophy I can never mean that there is some bonafide philosophy called "integrationist philosophy" inside the philosophy of Consciencism but that Consciencism is itself integrationist. That is what a real Professor does. Only comical Professors do otherwise.
Nkrumah’s Political Writings, 1958–1966
All this should be clear to you if you actually read the book itself and not relied on commentators which is what I suspect you have done… Fo Kwami, I agree with you that it is not entirely a religious issue involved.
The article was a reaction to an accusation that Nkrumah was an atheist. The thrust was therefore on the religious issue. And only 1, words were allowed by the Daily Graphic. I am glad that you are digging. I am, however, surprised that you found the central thrust correct but remained unimpressed.
You must be a very wonderful person. Fo Kwamiiii! My knowledge is from the book itself which I have mastered. I shall definitely floor you when it comes to Consciencism in the first round. I am not asking you for your Manual. But do send me a signed copy when it is out.
I intend completing it by the end of March, God willing.
Your appeal to others who have turned their back on you reminds me of a similar situation when I had to take Professor Kwami Karikari on in Finally, Tsatsu Tsikata and Rawlings were asked to intervene. Fo Kwami, you are doing something similar.He argued that Ghana, and most of the rest of Africa, had never developed the class distinctions which Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin saw in Europe and thus reform could reestablish preexisting egalitarianism suited to a post-colonial context.
Capitalism is a development by refinement from feudalism just as feudalism is a development by refinement from slavery.
The most powerful within materialism is Dialectical Materialism which is where Consciencism is situated and based.
I am, however, surprised that you found the central thrust correct but remained unimpressed. But my point is that I saw this among the Ghanaian Left who dismissed "Consciencism" with ease. The process by which this category of student became fit usually started at an early age, for not infrequently they had lost contact early in life with their traditional background.
Ekoko, Margaret A.
I shall not be surprised; I am not saying it is, if this is the motivation - a religious interpretation - that informs his rebuttal of Ahuman Ocansey.
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