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By Kwame Nkrumah

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Extra info for Consciencism: Philosophy and the Ideology for Decolonization

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In the same way, there are two real philosophical alternatives. These alternatives coincide with idealism and materialism. In the preceding chapter, I explained how idealism was connected with a tiered society, how through its mode of explaining nature and social phenomena by reference to spirit, idealism favoured a class structure ofa horizontal sort, in which one class sat upon the neck of another. I also explained there how materialism, on the other hand, was connected with a humanist organization, how through its being monistic, and its referring all natural processes to matter and its laws, it inspired an egalitarian organization of society.

He was, in spite ofhis claims, an engage historian. The key to the attitude which he strikes in his historical works lies frrst in his views on the necessity of strife for progress, and second in his ideas on the source of the state and the relation ofthe individual to the state. Dutifully grinding an axe for His Prussian Majesty, on the first point Ranke holds that it is pre­ cisely through one state seeking a hegemony ofEurope, and thereby provoking a rivalry, that the civilization of the European state is maintained; on the second pOllIt he holds that the state, in being an idea of God, enjoys a spiritual personality, and hence that neither reform nor revolution is exportable, for this would do violence to the personality of the importing state.

The ideology ofa society is total. It embraces the whole lifc of a people, and manifests itself in their class-structure, history, litera­ ture, art, religion. It also acquires a philosophical statement. If an ideology is integrative in intent, that is to say, ifit seeks to introduce a certain order which will unite the actions of millions towards speciflc and definite goals, then its instruments can also be seen as 60 CONSCIENCISM instruments of social control. It is even possible to look upon 'coercion' as a fundamental idea in society.

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