Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy
Philosophical exploration of leadership in Caribbean and diaspora polities
Journal on African Philosophy
Date of Publication
An electronic Journal of International Society for African Philosophy and Studies
This essay is aimed at provoking dialogue on the often neglected aspect of the African and Diaspora academics’ philosophical reflective obligation to each other, to their contemporary societies and to posterity - leadership. I question the notion of “leadership” as is prevalent in the discourse of contemporary developing societies of Africa and its Diaspora, whereby anyone who assumes power or attains prominence is described as “leader”. I argue that, especially in these societies, there is a disconnection between the governed population and the “leadership”, which is a consequence of a dysfunctional leadership metaphysic, epistemology and psychology. I prefer to delineate “leadership” from “rulership”, to separate de facto Africa and Diaspora realities from de jure (Cf. Burns 1978: 2). This is because “leadership”, as I understand the concept, is a normative concept to which “rulership” is not necessarily a synonym. Thus, Western media and their satellite appendages’ Africa and Diaspora media references to “leaders” is often uninformed, at the most charitable, and mischievous, in plain language. I propose to do three things in this essay: first, to highlight the “leadership” issue as a problem in Africa, Caribbean and Diaspora polities; second, to dilate on the different origins, causes, effects and implications of the problem in these societies, and third, to indicate why I think a philosophical approach to the analysis of the problem will help find solutions to the problem, especially by indicating what criteria will have to be met for the development of an adequate Third World sensitive theory of leadership....