A very Liberian scandal got enacted since the ascendency of the Weah administration. It’s disgracefully administering the reins of power ranging from appalling to ridiculous and gyrating between scandalous and sickening on all fronts of social indicators of progress — from economic to reconciliation and issues verging on the social realm — and its performance has been utter chaos.
In this drama of charade and a game of political clowning, their actions have removed all pretensions of adhering to democratic aspirations. The regime has made it patently pellucid its intention to emasculate governmental institutions showing the merest desire to make public officials accountable for their stewardship. Here they put stooges in posts that far exceed their potential. Incompetence and corruption are qualifications to get very lucrative positions in a government of thieves, scoundrels, and lousy nobodies.
An adherence to rudimentary legal canons and the upholding of basic rights — these very democratic tenets that allow for the free exchange of ideas and insist on bourgeois legal impartiality have been brutally disabled. People who refused to do the bidding of Weah have either been flounced out of the regime or some in tenured positions are condemned to marginal existence and left to suffocate as a retribution for not being spinelessly servile. Indeed, these woeful actions have made a complete mockery of any pretense of upholding even the most elementary principles of democracy.
Change remains both an illusion and empty rhetoric in the era of national deformation and sclerosis. Open looting has thrust the population in motion, but a mainstream opposition lacking in radical strategy only complicates the conundrum. George Weah set off a detonator that ignited the campaign of looting when he allegedly converted sixteen billion Liberian dollars into private use and put up high-rise buildings in communities with emaciated children and lacking safe drinking water. That was an invitation to looting and it sealed the fate of the regime. They have turned Liberia into a cemetery as different stripes of diseases afflict the masses coupled with the bleak economic realities that have escalated poverty like a raging fire in a dense forest of dried leaves.
These sickening happenings call into question the agenda of the government. This era was painted in glowing terms by social forces who presented Weah as an outlier with a conscious understanding of the crises of society. He would work wonders, making fictional the whole claim that there are certain skills set a leader must possess and thus a particular conceptual paradigm to reign and deliver for the people.
The takedown of education, the invention of Weah as a messianic figure although patently hedonistic and vulgarly profligate–all part of the grand design to obscure the vast ocean of limitations inherent in the political charlatan. An embellishment of the man with effusive praises to his honor — all serves the purpose of casting him as that political Messiah. To add insult to injury, elements in the CDC had the brass neck to reach for the prophecy of a quack prophetess crowns the desperation and shows the many distances his echo chambers were prepared to travel to bamboozle the unsuspecting people into falling for the claptrap.
Now the country is in familiar territory. Hope has turned into hallucination. Change has been the biggest fraud perpetrated on the Liberian public. We can say of George Weah as they said of King Midas, although in an opposite language, anything the former touches turns into a mess. Treated to grand fanfare, Weah announced Bali Island, the electrification of the Roberts International Highway, and the construction of a coastal highway are all too familiar promises that have not met the light of day.
Such shocking realities have lighted up a population derisively dismissed by forces of the right as being lethargic and vapid to know their rights and fight for it. The collective agitation and effective solidarity among the people in utter rejection of the maladies running rampant in the country discard this claim. The people have awakened to the reality that until they take autonomous actions, their future would be postponed and suspended in the air. However, this does not mean that revolution is in the offing, but this era holds possibility, and one cannot doubt the agency of the masses.
In emancipatory language, the masses distill their criticism against the regime and make demands to a system that is tone-deaf to address their grievances. Radical imaginations on such a plane that goes beyond the paltry concessions the system is willing to offer open up revolutionary possibilities that would ignite a mode of politics that is a far cry from the status quo of economic deprivation and social dislocation, but which brings the people into the centerfold of history.
While these developments are heart-warming, neoliberal politicos have begun the dirty offensive to tar the Liberian nightmare in romantic guise. Completely situating the utter decline of the country to the current administration is not only political opportunism but profoundly lacking in nuance. The mal-development and dysfunction of the Republic predate this era, and they are systemic. What Weah and his band of political pickpockets have done is to exacerbate the rot, which is due to steeped ignorance and open looting. These are a conjoined twins that have tarnished his administration. George Weah is not an aberration as certain politicians and their followers want us to believe, but an epitome of a system in insoluble crisis, an electoral system manifestly rigged that struggles to produce free and fair outcomes. Given these realities, such a system in decay cannot deliver anything meaningful except by throwing up the most rotten layers in society to positions of significance. Hence the CDC.
The story of Liberia is a country battered and in ruins. A nation with a tortured people and suspended future. The agency of young people sapped because of the lack of opportunities and limited possibilities that only benefit the power elites and their echo chambers. With the current band of leaders mismanaging the country, the future of the country has been permanently postponed. Monrovia looks like a city subjected to a brutal gun assault, while the misleaders stuff themselves on the public treasury and waste parties for themselves.
This is the story of infamous misdeeds, the industrialization of corruption, tax giveaways to multinationals, and business of the parasitic political forces. We can attribute much of the social degradation and underdevelopment of the country to an elite caste slothful and impervious to any progressive conception but works hand in glove with international finance capital as a running dog. Liberia is a thick chapter in the lengthy history of looting by reactionary forces in the power structures. In progressive countries, governments are a blessing to the working people and the masses. In Liberia, the reverse is true.
If Liberia must address its problems and deliver prosperity to her people, it cannot be by tinkering on the edges with prescriptions that are lousy, that compound inequality and that perpetuate the regime of dispossession and paralysis. The country must begin the process of honest introspection. By this, we mean a radical imagination of the state, whose interest does it serve, its role in the process of accumulation, and what form of economic organization that it would enact. All of the above are critical to the journey. Only a social revolution can liberate the people and begin the period of transformation. What Liberia needs is not change, but social transformation.