THURSDAY Column with Mohammed Adamu
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What can be more horribly said about a treacherous person than what Julius Caesar says of Gaius Cassius Longinus, the two-faced character in the Shakespearean tragic play, ‘Julius Caesar’: “Let me have men about me that are fat” he says, “Yond Cassius (Cassius over there) has a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much: such men are dangerous”. And it takes Caesar’s bosom friend Marc Antony (who will have the lot soon to bury him), to reassure Caesar: “Fear him not Caesar”, he says “he is not dangerous; he is a noble Roman, and well given”.
But not quite reassuring enough, Caesar still fusses superstitiously, about Cassius’ ‘lean size’, wishing rather vainly that the guy was a little fatter: “Would he were fatter”, he tells Antony. Yet worse than Cassius being ominously petit, Caesar also dreads the fact that “He reads much” and “is a great observer” who “looks quite through the deeds of men”. Plus, he says, Cassius “loves no plays, he hears no music; seldom he smiles” and that even when he does, Cassius “smiles in such a sort as if he mocks himself and scorns his spirit”. Such men, Caesar insists “are dangerous”. And Cassius does in fact turn out, as Caesar fears, to be dangerous. Caesar’s tragic flaw can be said to lie not necessarily in the fact that he allows men about him who are potentially dangerous, but rather in the fact that in spite of his excellent precognition of these dangerous characters and the prescience of the imminence of danger likely to come from them, Caesar still allows himself to be victim of the tragic events of the ‘Ides of March’.
Just before entering Parliament to meet his tragic end, a desperate Sophist, Artemidorus, hands Caesar a note in which the plot to assassinate him is exposed, urging him to “read it” because it “touches Caesar nearer!” But as with all tragic characters, Caesar is already hoisted in the petards of his own ruinous flaws. Because tragic characters necessarily suffer the consequences of their own human weakness. In the case of Caesar it manifests in his reply to the Sophist, to foreclose any hope for redemption: “What touches us ourself” he says “shall be last served”.
The twin flaws of ‘pride of achievement’ and ‘arrogance of power’ are the undoing of Caesar. These two feed his tragic fall, so that although Caesar is portrayed as prodigiously precognitive of the fiendish characters around him; and although he is made to seem sufficiently prescient of the possibility of danger coming from those quarters, yet Caesar is unable to do anything about it. In the tradition of Shakespearean tragedies the flaws of the hero naturally feed the villainy of the antihero –in this case the complot of a shrewd Cassius, who leads the assault to murder Caesar from the rear, and his main decoy, a stealthy Marcus Junius Brutus who leads the hunt frontally. In the end, the Caesar we know with the thrasonical brag of ‘I came, I saw and I conquered’, himself is conquered, by stealthier and more dissembling villainy that defies Caesar’s tactical Military intelligence savvyness.
The longsuffering journey especially of Africa from slavery, colonialism through to an abject imperialist present, unravels a rather tragic denouement, with the imminence of a final fall, God forbid, at the foothill of a new form of white-pigmented expansionism. This extremely advanced stage of imperialism now uses ‘disease and medicament’ to reorder the world, so that from pax-Romana, through to pax-Gemanica and the current pax- Judaica, we are now ushered into the reign of a new Sino-Western power empire, -which I call ‘pax-Medicica. This new power is led, ironically, not by empire states, but by stupendously wealthy, non-governmental forces backed by empire states to demographically reorder the world so that it fits into a neo-Darwinist idea of ridding the world of unproductively-consumerist populations of the world. And this is merely de ja vu; because a race-complexed Germany’s Adolf Hitler once made such Darwinist move to supplant what he termed the world’s weaker strains of the human species with his ‘superior’ Aryan race. Now it is the Bill Gates of this world that are hoping to rid it especially of a ‘parasitic’ black race which they see as some metaphorical ‘dog in the manger’ standing in the way of a gasping capitalist world desperately hoping to be oxygenated with the earth’s only remaining resource treasure, -Africa.
And what is Africa doing about it? Like the tragic character Caesar, she is doing absolutely nothing! Because Africa is long sucked up in the honey pot of Western aid and philanthropy. Africa in the hands of these Cassiusess and Brutusess seems like a Shakespearean tragedy waiting to happen. We are all waiting to be cued to say our last dramatic lines as we ‘strut and fret’ our ‘hour’ upon the stage, and maybe soon we’ll be heard no more. That is how dumb and self-immolatingly unsuspecting we can be. In fact worse than a complacent Caesar, we neither have the precognition of who our real enemies are and their character, nor do we possess half Caesar’s prescience to smell or to perceive the imminence of danger from their neo-Darwinist design.
At least Caesar is critical of his perceived enemies and even suspicious of his known friends. Africa is happy to float self-indulgently like the sitting duck that it has always been. She is the tragic delight of every villainous Western gamesome duck-hunting –whether in the guise of a gratuitously mercantile philanthropy or in the guise of a questionably benevolent form of subjugative charity; or now in the guise of an acclaimed globally-spirited health concern covertly intended to wreck demographic havoc on a continent that is now the alluring object of a new ‘Scramble’. And which confirms the saying that ‘those who forget history, maybe be condemned to repeat it’.
And so to me Bill Gates, without apologies, is to Africa, what a shrewdly murderous Cassius has been to a naively non-acting Julius Caesar. Gates is our own ‘sleek-headed’, ‘lean-faced’, ‘hardly-sleeping’, ‘too much-reading’, ‘keenly-observant’ , ‘all-work-and-no-play’ modern day villain of a guy who poses as a charitably-benevolent philanthropist to depopulate Africa. He uses his wealth and influence garnered over ages, to apply the ‘stick and carrot’ of ‘disease and medicament’ to guile especially Africa seductively into a new ‘gas chamber’. Bill Gates to me is Africa’s dissembling Cassius, dedicating his wealth, time and energy to persuade us poor, underprivileged and disinherited Africans, to do the rest of the white world a favor and simply drop dead.
We have seen in the play ‘Julius Caesar’ that indeed Cassius is an articulate, persuasive and manipulative villain. He succeeds in persuading the most unlikely of conspirators, namely Marcus Junius Brutus, to partake in the murder of his bosom friend Caesar. In fact Cassius is so dissembling that although he is the mastermind of Caesar’s assassination, he still manages to push Brutus as leader; so much that Caesar’s pithy, dying epilogue of ‘et tu Brute’ has become the play’s byword of villainy, and ensuring that Brutus’ name looms large, eclipsing all others, as the Play’s chief antagonist. Each time I see Bill Gates on the screen talking prodigiously and with humanity about Africa’s demography, his pet projects on depopulation, infectious diseases, immunization, birth control, infant mortality, contraceptives, diaphragms, condoms, and now Corona Virus -especially with the fait accompli of a curative mass vaccine well ahead of the viral pathogen it is intended to cure, I see the danger that Caesar sees in the antics of Cassius which prompts him to say “such men are “dangerous”.
We Africans are a fitting metaphor for the arrogant naiveté of a tragic Caesar who, against all oracular warnings and personal presentiments, still walks himself into the enemy snare. But we are even worse than that; because unlike a critically thinking Caesar, even when it is right there cheaply on the wall for us to see, we dismiss as ‘conspiracy theory’ ALWAYS, every oracular warning about our being set up, someday, for a murderous ‘Ides of March’.
To be continued…