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Aze Kerte Amoulgam
Political reproduction is a survival mechanism of a political system by legacy from generation to generation. The actors of the system seek to preserve their achievements by recruiting new actors who understand the rules of operation of the system and apply it in turn.
Political reproduction is most often successful in societies where family and community ties are very strong. It is based on an already pre-existing group dynamic and on a first circle of family and traditional allegiance. The heirs of the system will generally not want to change it, because they are the first beneficiaries. Those who are tempted to leave the ship are under great pressure from their loved ones or the system in place. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to oppose the system, which is capable of even eliminating its dissident elements. Most often, when you affirm your opposition to the system, it is poorly perceived by both the actors of the system and the opponents of the system. The actors of the system will consider you a traitor, a dissident, and this will have an impact on the position of your family members who enjoy the benefits of the system. For example, if the son chooses to dissociate himself from the system in which his father thrives, it will have a negative impact on his father's political career in the system. This means that in general, good or bad, families remain in solidarity (or prisoners) with the system. As for opponents of the system, they will always tend to see you as a child of the system and remind you of it as soon as the opportunity arises.
Thus, many African countries have experienced episodes of political reproduction, especially the countries "formerly" colonized by France, with a few differences. During the colonial period, there was direct French administration in the colonized territories and indigenous people were subjects of the France. After several wars and the political will for liberation, the exhausted settler resolved to grant independence. Two types of independence were born during this period: an independence of rupture and an independence of reproduction.
The independence of rupture is that experienced by some African states that have snatched their independence in blood or have had revolutionary leaders. Examples include Algeria and Guinea. Algeria experienced a long and bloody war of liberation against France which caused the death of several hundred thousand people. Many war crimes were also blamed on French soldiers during this liberation struggle. As for Guinea, the independence leader Sekou Touré chose to break with the France as early as 1957, while others hesitated between the independence of their countries and being part of the French community.
This hesitation led to reproductive independence, a hybrid system of half-colonization, half-independence known as neocolonialism. Neocolonialism is an association between local rulers and the former colonist (French political and economic elite in the illustrative case) in order to maintain the colonial system of exploitation. It was born out of an independence under the control and supervision of the colonist inherited by several African states, including Togo, Gabon and Chad. Some features of this reproductive independence are the presence of French administrators in the high administration of these states, the military cooperation agreements maintaining the French military presence, the economic cooperation agreements granting fiscal advantages and the primacy of French companies in the exploitation of mineral wealth and trade, the production of money and the control of monetary and investment policy by the France, control of the devolution of power, international paternalism, etc. In fact, one must scrutinize these states to discover spheres of real independence, if there are any.
In the case of Chad, the system has managed to reproduce and maintain itself for more than 60 years. On Independence Day, August 11, 1960, Ngarta Tombalbaye was appointed President of the Republic. However, the system of government that was established was a colonial replica, like the colonial administration that was supposed to end. The settler-turned-neocolonist (otherwise known as cooperant), had remained present in the new administration and ensured the sustainability of his interests through cooperation agreements. The new Chadian administration, ignorant of the major economic and political stakes of the world, engaged in the cunning and manipulation of the colonist who wanted to retain all the advantages derived from the exploitation of the annexed territories. Monetary Nazism replicated through the franc of the French colonies in Africa (FCFA) guarantees on the one hand the free acquisition of raw materials and production goods, and on the other hand the confiscation of the foreign exchange reserves of the neo-colonized countries. This currency, which was already in use during the colonial period, has been preserved in at least 14 countries and is the perfect illustration of political reproduction.
The other aspect of political reproduction is the recovery of the colonial system by the new Chadian administration. Successive governments since independence have carried out what can be described as a "colonial replica". The methods of the former settler have been recovered to govern: domination of one group over the others, exploitation of local wealth to the detriment of indigenous populations, imposition of cultural and religious patterns from the dominant to the dominated. Domination has resulted in ethnic governance, control of strategic and decision-making positions, militarization of the state, and privatization of the public service. The exploitation of wealth is done in a neopatrimonial way and the distribution of state revenues between those in power and their families. Cultural and religious domination is characterized by the imposition or promotion of a culture and religion and the granting of favors to their followers. Ethnic groups, cultures and religions have therefore succeeded one another, since independence to the present day, at the head of the Chadian State.
Even today, since the death of Idriss Déby Itno, the neocolonial system is in a process of reproduction with the coup d'état orchestrated by the CMT military junta. The son of the late president was placed at the head of state to ensure continuity, with the support of the French neocolonist. The current president of the France has personally gone to enthrone the new king, his ambassador on the spot is putting pressure on the socio-political opposition and French agents are threatening and influencing politico-military actors in the arenas of pre-dialogue on the future of Chad in Qatar. A certain fringe of the opposition has ambiguous relations with the French political class. In fact, the system even tries to replicate itself through the opposition if its first plan doesn't work.
How can the process of political reproduction be broken? The best weapon against political reproduction is revolution. In this sense the remedy is found in the poison. If the French political and economic class has set up the colonial and neocolonial system, the French people give a contrario the best historical example of socio-political revolution to the extent of breaking reproduction. We will discuss this revolution of 1789 and the conditions for its success in a future post.
Amoulgam Aze Kerte is a lawyer and political analyst. He holds, after a double degree in legal and political sciences, a master's degree in human rights and humanitarian action option human rights litigation obtained at the Catholic University of Central Africa and a master's degree in governance and regional integration option governance from the Pan-African University. He is a researcher at the Canada Research Chair in International Criminal Justice and Fundamental Rights and the author of several books and articles in the field of international human rights law and international criminal law. He continued his doctoral studies at Laval University.