A panelist at a United Nations-sponsored meeting observed that to understand why peasants (a class of people, of low social status, who depend mainly on agricultural labor) stay poor, one has to study first why their neighbors have become rich. He was saying that the rich exploit the poor.
Studies from early civilizations to the present have shown how ruling and other classes accumulated enormous wealth at the expense of peasants. As the rich accumulated more wealth, the effort to extract surplus from the peasants grew ever more.
Thus the growth in wealth on the one hand was accompanied by the growth of poverty on the other hand driving living standards of peasants down to the minimum level or even lower.
Seventeenth century England was marked by political chaos. It executed one king, experienced a bloody civil war, experimented with military dictatorship, restored the son of executed king and after a bloodless Glorious Revolution, established a strong and enduring constitutional monarchy and democracy.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was the culmination of conflicts between Parliament and the Monarchy. The Revolution was bloodless because it deposed one king and installed another without bloodshed.
In his book “The Wealth of Nations” (1776), Adam Smith reasoned that the state had three duties – defense of the country against invaders; maintenance of justice to prevent inhabitants from oppressing one another; and maintenance of certain public works like roads and support to elementary education. The state should not interfere in the workings of the economy. Adam Smith rejected economic regulation which should be left to the market forces.
My article titled “How Rujumbura’s Bairu got impoverished” in the Weekly Observer of December 4-10, 2008 has raised questions that require clarification by looking briefly at the history of the short-lived kingdom of Mpororo and its relationship to Rujumbura.
I want to thank Dr. Ephraim R. Kamuhangire for his response of December 23 to my article on “How Rujumbura’s Bairu got impoverished” which appeared in Weekly Observer of December 4-10, 2008. I will respond on how he has chosen to interpret my article.
First of all, Dr. Kamuhangire’s use of words such as ‘hatred and sectarian bias’ is an attempt to prevent people from telling the truth and to sharing knowledge freely. This method must be discouraged forthwith.
My article is about Rujumbura county. I am not comparing it with neighboring counties and beyond. Dr. Kamuhangire is free to compare Rujumbura and other entities of his choice and report his findings.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the term “sectarian” refers to ‘of or concerning a sect; bigoted or narrow-minded in following the doctrines of one’s sect; a member of a sect’.
When the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government came to power in 1986, it launched the Ten-Point Program for the advancement and security of all Ugandans. Point three of the program stressed the consolidation of national unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism which had divided the country along religious, ethnic and tribal lines. The NRM added that it was a home to everyone irrespective of party affiliation, color, sex or height. The Movement would vigorously fight tribalism and religious sectarianism.