Liberia: Independence Not Dependence
The only way to solve any problem is by telling the Truth about the source(s) of the problem and use the Truth to solve the problem. Many Liberians continue to talk in and out of the media about the need to not celebrate Liberia’s Independence Day because there is too much suffering in Liberia. When these Liberians bring their concern to me, I tell them that we should celebrate by giving thanks to our Common Creator for Blessings that have Liberia still existing in spite of all of the suffering experienced by the vast majority of Liberians over the years. We should celebrate to thank our Common Creator for keeping Liberia alive for Liberians to have another chance to make living conditions better for Liberians, especially the Poor.
By Togba-Nah Tipoteh, [email protected], Contributing Writer
We can not celebrate Independence because Liberia remains in a state of dependence, as this Commentary will show. Independence is a state in which at least the majority of the people participate in the making of national decisions. The fact that Liberia exists within a Global Community does not mean that Liberia can not have democracy, the participation of the people in national decision-making. Liberia’s existence in the Global Community can coexist with democracy in Liberia through the respect for the positions of other countries while making Liberia’s own decisions. However, Liberia remains in a state of dependence rather than in a state of independence because State management in Liberia promotes the decision-making in Liberia by the transnational corporations and their partners, the developed countries with their international financial organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Let us look at the evidence from the Liberian experience.
Liberia was founded 174 years ago by the ancestors of “freed” slaves from the United States of America (USA). when the manufacturing of cotton became possible through technology and it was cost ineffective to continue to use slaves for cotton production in the USA, the slave owners released the slaves, who had begun to escape anyway through the leadership of Mother Harriet Truman in her Underground Railroad Campaign. Then former slave owners formed the American Colonization Society that arranged the transport of some ‘freed’ slaves back to Africa during the early nineteenth century. On July 26.1847, the Constitution of Liberia was signed at the Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia, making Liberia a State. Although the Preamble to the Constitution stated that the “freed” slaves came back to Africa because slavery was a bad system, these “freed” slaves established a State management in Liberia that violated the Constitution of Liberia. To start, the “freed” women slaves who made the Liberian Flag, did not have the right to vote until after the Second World War. All indigenous people in Liberia did not have the right to vote until after the Second World War. Back in the mid-1920s, before the Second World War, the top of the State management of Liberia was forced out of public office by the League of Nations through complaints made by leaders of the indigenous Liberians to the effect that the State managers were engaged in slave trade by selling indigenous Liberians to the Portuguese in Fernando Po, West Africa.
When reliable statistical data became available about the Liberian experience in the 1950s. it showed that less than one per cent of the people of Liberia accounted for more than than sixty per cent of Liberia’s income and wealth. This phenomenon has come to be known globally as Economic Growth without Economic Development because Liberia had the second highest economic growth per person rate in the world for the period of the 1950s (Robert Clower, et al, 1966). Despite this scientific knowledge, the World Bank and the IMF continue to rely on the use of economic growth per person data to show progress in an economy. Under mass pressure, the United Nations has come up with the Human Development Index (HDI) to measure progress in the living standards of the people. For the period 1990 to 2019, Liberia has an HDI in the low category, placing Liberia at position 177 among 188 countries. Currently, Liberia is the second poorest country in Africa and the fourth poorest country in the world. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that eighty per cent of the people of Liberia say that Liberia is going in the wrong direction (Afrobaromedia, 2019). Furthermore, the evidence shows that Legislators, in the first Branch of the government. have access to at least USD1,000 a day and their foreign partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least USD2 million a day. while over eighty per cent of the people of Liberia remain poor, with access to at most less than USD2 a day (GOL Budgets, CBL Annual Reports, and Ministry of Commerce and Industry Annual Reports). This longstanding and widespread poverty comes from the continuation of the colonial mode of production, where Liberia produces what Liberia does not consume and Liberia consumes what Liberia does not produce, through the production of raw materials for export. Value addition, which can lead to better health and education, with employment and Liberian business ownership. to move Liberia away from poverty generation and place Liberia into poverty alleviation, is not prioritized by State management in Liberia.
It is this exhibition of the pursuit of self interest on the part of State management that explains the spread of the corona virus, with only one operational testing center in Liberia. However, this dismal situation provides the opportunity for people who love Liberia, working together, through the entity called the Community, to share scientific knowledge and take ownership of the anti-corona process to end corona as ebola was ended. For our part in the Servants of Africa Fighting Epidemics (SAFE). we are stepping up our awareness raising to cover the more than one million people already covered. We must not get tired in this regard because the lives of Liberia’s children depend on the corrective actions that we take.
The evidence provided in this Commentary shows that Liberia is in in a state of dependence rather than in a state of independence because if the masses of the Liberian people were to exercise their constitutional rights, as found in Chapter 1 of the Constitution of Liberia, good persons would be elected to make the good decisions to get Liberia our of poverty generation and place Liberia into poverty alleviation. So, the question remains. How does Liberia get into the right direction? The experience from working to end ebola shows that persons who set the House called Liberia on fire must not be expected to bring water to put out the fire because they benefit from the fire, as seen in the longstanding and widespread corruption. Therefore, the way forward for the better is to use knowledge in ways that motivate people to take non violent actions, through the Rule of Law, to change the electoral system from UNFAIR to FAIR in order for persons with good records in helping the poor to help themselves in their struggle for sustainable improved living conditions to be elected.
Gweh Feh Kpei (the Kpelle language for the Struggle Continues)!