The Emergence of the Development States of Southern Africa After the End of Colonialism and Minority Rule Represents the Rise of a New Civilization

Dr. Wayne Edge

Political Scientist, Cedric Robinson, in his work ‘Black Marxism’ The Making of the Black Radical Tradition’, noted that ‘what racist Europe feared most is the emergence of an alternative civilization.’ Based on the logic of both Armah (i.e. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born), and Robinson, one extremely important hypothesis should be tested, ‘as the states of southern Africa are being transformed into Development States, are we witnessing the emergence of an alternative civilization?’ In short, ‘the Beautiful One’s Have Been Born.’ Now, what is their agenda? This paper argues that in Southern Africa 'Development' is the agenda and the basis of a new civilization.

Southern African colonialism restricted development, and hindered it with a racially based economic system, aimed at sustaining the colonial state and a small minority, while restricting the development efforts of the vast majority. Although a few features of the Development State cited in this paper may be absent in various Southern African nations, today most of them are present and play an active role in achieving National Development Goals.

Throughout Southern Africa, the liberation wars were won, and the struggle for the end of racism and discrimination in that part of the world is almost completely over. In obliterating the old order, a new order, a new civilization is being built. The new civilizations component parts are largely unknown because it’s still being created. To try and forecast the future, at this stage, in the development of southern Africa, implies that we take our knowledge of the past to foretell coming events. In this we may well be guilty of simply chasing ghost. Hegel once noted that 'the Owl of Minerva Flies at Dusk' meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away. As the old order crumbles however what we can say is that the emerging Development States of Southern Africa represent a new hope: the beginning of a new civilization bubbling up from the past.