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For Development, Are We Ready To Let The Past Go?

People speak of development while ignoring some important things we will inevitably have to give up that make nigeria nigeria.

when Japan decided to modernize in the Meiji Restoration, the personally turned their own culture upside down to make a culture capable of supporting development

Japan, the country with the highest concentration of warriors in the ancient world got rid of the samurais that defined it's culture

it ban ways of conduct that were considered culture and took power away from feudal lords that had upheld the nation for ages.

Turkey did a similar thing with attaturk which is why today Turk seems more westernized then the other muslim countries around it.

so my question is are africans willing to give up parts of our own culture that dont make sense in a modern world in order to develop.

my first example is the african market

in the days of substance agriculture, the ancient days, people would grow their own produce, eat, and sell the extra in the market.

these markets came to become a lot of our ancient cities and as they grew they became staples of african culture.

the problem? we are using the same market system we used in 1300 in 2010.

the consequence? modern things like intellectual property can be EASILY duplicated and pirated

markets cannot be regulated or taxed properly

markets promote inferior products like fake medicine, fake electronics, fake clothes, and fake food again because they can't be regulated

markets promote substance agriculture which keeps communities and countries poor in comparison to commercial agriculture

markets make city planning impossible

markets encourage shanty developments and this can be seen in the fact that shanty developments are always by a market

markets allow for child labor and make it impossible to focus on consumer or employee rights

markets discourage fiance and capital investment and most markets are stagnate entities which their owner doesn't expect to grow beyond the basic level

markets aren't making anyone rich in simple terms.

so we're left with an economy that can't be regulated, can't be taxed, can't be improved easily, and is a breeding ground for pirating, inferior goods, dangerous goods, and manipulation of owners and consumers.

as other countries have realized elements of their cultures that must go in order for development to happen, the africa belief in pan africanism or the overtly romantic view of our past as perfect sometimes gets in the way of us making important sacrifices

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9 answers

europe used to be based on the market system as well

and america

infact ny york in 1901 looked exactly like lagos minus the nicer areas

they haven't totally eradicated them. in my small town in america you can still go to the quarterly 'farmers market' and buy produce.

but 99% of everyones shopping is done by modern means.

in asia you will still find these markets but then you have to compare the levels of urban cluster and decay in china to the levels in europe or america and you'll see the difference, though their is not as bad as some cases in africa like onitsha

modernizing them would mean replacing them in the end of the day. you can't attach a cash register to them, you can't do reliable inventory, you can't tax them in a modern fashion, you can't regulate them, and if it rains they don't exist.

look at Abuja, they have already done what im saying and this is a main reason why they have sustained the development they have and almost all cities in nigeria had at one point and watched go down the drain due to hazardous and outdated cultural practices

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i do not think you can totally eradicate markets from nigeria or the nigerian psyche but can modernize them.i mean even in big cities in china there are stiil markets albeit modernize despite the ever improving indices of their economy there

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Here's the thing.

there wont be an explosion of unemployment as much as a massive redistribution that will cause incredible degrees of social friction.

markets are owned by older women.

groceries hire younger people that are cosmopolitan and tech savvy.

this will lead to an increase of jobs for the young and decrease for the old, which can be taken how ever but im being realistic.

also, nothing says these women, with the life time experience they have, wont be hired by these replacement companies and inevitably make more due to gov now having the ability to make a regulated and monitored minimum wage which they can't do in a market system.

also, nigeria has it's own walmarts and best buys. Abuja doesn't allow the market system or hawking in their cities and from them and lagos have spouted a wealth of outlet stores and groceries that cater to an african, more importantly, nigerian, populace better then wal mart would, though having a walmart in the village wouldn't be a bad development.

building these outlets attract more outlets.

if you notice, surrounding every walmart are resturants, banks, mid size stores, gas stations, ect.

walmart didn't put them there, the natural laws of modern economics did.

Our markets of old have given us great cities in their time, but if we are looking to attain modern status we must organize ourselves in a modern manner.

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@ikengawo.i understand your point.this same market issue is why we have disorganized cities like lagos,portharcourt,onitsha,kano,aba,abeokuta etc.probably the entire nigerian cities and villages except abuja.

however on a second thought dont you think the unemployment level might explode and opportunities reduced when walmart et al invade the nigerian market?

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had i said the golden age it would have caused confusion cause its a very loaded phrase so i chose feudal.

but this is the era before the industrial revolution.

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nigeria has groceries and outlets that provide all the needs we as a people have, and we can't half Bottom the process. It's an archaic system that worked when things like intellectual property, copyrights, sales taxes, databasing, modern medicine, and electronics weren't invented. now that those things are here and we want more of them, we can't keep doing what we did in 1300. We are essentially entering a race with jets on camel back.

if they are eradicated the shift will go from substance agriculture to commerical and you will see the HUGE difference in development and productivity.

in the market system, the seller is also the grower, when it rains she has no source of income, if her produce was low, her family is in trouble

but in a grocery system, rain hail sleet sun your still going to get paid you basic hour based wage, and you'll have time to do other things now that you're not working on a backyard yam farm. This leads to greater creativity in the populace and more interest in leisure, learning and recreation (increased free time)

the japanese themselves ended their own samurai tradition knowing that a modern army was better suited for the modern world. a modern way of conducting business is more suited for a modern world as well.

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Not all former or present ethnic groups in africa practiced Feudalism.

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Are you saying we should eradicate markets in africa or modernize them?

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a people's culture is basically formed by how those ppl attain food. simple as that.

i can go into examples if anyone needs it but the culture africans use is one built for and in the feudal era.

i dont believe in totally destroying what's ours but i do believe in evolving it with time appropriately and uniquely if need be.

another aspect of our culture that stunts growth is our attitude towards land.

africans are extremely reluctant to sell land because they attach cultural significance to it.

even though capitalism is based on the selling of property.

these leaves every village, and everyone has seen this, with random patches of grassy undeveloped land that companies might be lining up to buy and do something with, but the owner doesn't want to sell it cause of the cultural significance even though he's poor and can use the money.

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