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Is Nomadism the Antithesis of Civilization?

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Companero, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Companero

    Companero Platinum Member

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    Sep 17, 2009
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    The Loliondo saga has taken a new twist as the Minister responsible for Tourism/Hunting has declared that some of the Maasai there are not Tanzanians. At the same time some of our 'enlightened' friends are furthering the ancient argument that nomadism - or transhumance to put it correctly - is not a 'civilized/developed' way of living in the 'modern' world. Ironically, this argument was advanced by the great African Philosopher of History, Ibn Khaldun (1332 -1406 AD) as the following Mahmood Mamdani's critique shows:

    But all ignore that the thrust of Ibd Khaldun's remarks is deduced from his general theory about the destructive power of nomads in the history of civilizations; he thus highlights the impact of the Juhayna in Nubia as purely destructive. If we are to follow the logic of his argument, the result would not be conquest but disintegration. Of the Bedouins, says Ibd Khaldun, "their rule was inevitably lacking in statemanship, because of their essential defect, which denied the subordination of one man to another. " As a consequence, "they have been divided to this day and there is no trace of central authority in their part of the country. They remain nomads, following the rainfall like the Bedouins [sic]." "The Bedouins," concludes Ibn Khaldun, "are a savage nation, fully accustomed to savagery and the things that cause it. Savagery has become their character and nature. They enjoy it, because it means freedom from authority and no subservience to leadership. Such a natural disposition is the negation and anti-thesis of civilization."

    If Nomadism is indeed the anti-thesis of civilization how come we have a lot of settled communities that are not that civilized? Could it be that nomadism is the actual thesis of civilization-cum-development as the history of migration and movements of conquest indicate? Why, then, are we singling out nomads when we fail to get civilized/developed?
     
  2. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

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    Sep 17, 2009
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    Nimesoma kitabu cha Ibn Khaldun (THE MUQADDIMAH). Na kitabu kizima kipo hapa.

    http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ik/Muqaddimah/Table_of_Contents.htm

    Analitumia neno Bedouin kama normads. Lakini vile vile anaonyesha kuwa nao wao wanatamani sedentary life. Hivyo kwa namna moja au nyingine anaonyesha kuwa wote tulianza na u-bedui au u-normad.

     
  3. Ndjabu Da Dude

    Ndjabu Da Dude JF-Expert Member

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    Sep 18, 2009
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    If "savagery" equals freedom and greater possibility of being master of one's own destiny, then, what the heck? Its about time everybody became a "savage" in their own right! This goes to prove that being a bona fide "vicious, reckless savage" isn't necessarily a bad thing after all, or is it...?!

    By the way, it comes as a surprise that Bedouins too could possibly be referred as "savage" in their ways: for all along I believed the term "savage" as used by academicians only applied to Blacks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  4. Companero

    Companero Platinum Member

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    Zakumi but is Ibn Khaldun an authority on their way of life? Hawa transhumance citizens wetu wamesema wanatamani kuwa sedentary? Mbona wako selective in what they choose from the so-called settled/civilzied/sedentarized/modernized/developed world?
     
  5. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

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    Sep 18, 2009
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    Companero:

    Mtu anaweza kufanya selective ya kile alichoandika Ibn Khaldun ku-prove point anayotaka kusema.

    Nimesoma kitabu chote. Na kuna watu wanamweka Ibn Khaldun kama baba wa uchumi wa jamii. Hivyo kabla Adam Smith ajatokea, Ibn Khaldun tayari alifanya kazi zake.

    Katika kitabu chake ametoa latitudes kuonyesha kwanini nchi na jamii fulani inapata maendeleo. Na vilevile kwanini watu wa milimani na jangwani wana mitazamo ya maisha tofauti.

    Hivyo premises zake ni kuwa mazingira na hali ya hewa ni vitu muhimu sana katika maendeleo na tabia za binadamu.

    Data alizokuwa nazo Ibn Khaldun, zilikuwa ni za North Africa, Mediteranian na Middle East. Hivyo comparison kubwa ilitokana na observation yake kwa jamii katika maeneo hayo.

    Tukija kwenye swali lako. Assurance ni kitu kimoja muhimu sana katika maisha. Sedentary life style iliyopo Tanzania sio sustainable. Kwa mfano, mababu zangu ni wakulima. Na walilima chakula cha kujitosheleza wenyewe kama vile wamasai wana mifugo ya kujitosheleza mahitaji yao. Hawakuwa na haja yoyote kulima mazao ya biashara.

    Lakini serikali iliwahamasisha kulima pamba hili kujiongezea kipato. Na walifanya hivyo. Mwanzoni serikali ililipa vizuri wakulipa. Na wakulima waliongeza uzalishaji. Lakini baadaye bodi za mazao, zikashindwa kuwalipa watu. Matokeo yake ni watu kijirudia katika maisha yao ya zamani. Wanalima hili kujikimu.

    Intuitively, transhumance citizens wetu wanaelewa fika kuwa mtindo wa maisha yao ni sustainable, japokuwa sio efficient. Na hawawezi kukubali kubadili maisha yao kwa kitu kisichoeleweka. Unapomwambia mtoto wa Kimasai kwenda shule na kuacha kujifunza shule shughuli asilia, je una uhakika gani kuwa elimu atakayopata itakidhi mahitaji yake?
     
  6. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

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    Katika kazi za Ibn Khaldun, Bedouin kuonyesha watu wanaoishi maisha ya shamba au maisha ya jangwani. Katika maisha haya watu waliishi kwa utawala wa kifamilia au kiukoo tu na kulikuwa hakuna central structure ya utawala.

    Vilevile katika kipindi kitabu kinaandikwa, Watu wa Ulaya ya kaskazini nao walihesabika kama Savages.
     
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