Human progress or lack of it hinges on the content of available knowledge. That means that the problems facing society today, socioeconomic, political or cultural, can only be sustainably addressed with progressive refinement at the intellectual level. Therefore, innovations and inventions are essential tools for the progressive refinement of knowledge. Governance without the requisite innovations and Inventions is like putting the cart before the horse. This explains why humanity is getting nowhere, but instead always at the precipice of contradictions, conflicts and unbridled self-destructiveness. This also explains the reasons for the wastage of political power by those privileged to rule, and the systemic ruination of the governed.
The purpose of this article is to bring vital information to the public domain that a great invention that would self-finance the creation of total jobs for members of a community according to need has now emerged. The invention known as ‘Automatically Sustainable Community’ is a product of a new discipline, prosperity management, developed in the course of a just concluded 40-year multidisciplinary research study into the sustainable development of the grass roots population.
From 1981 to 2021, two frontline intellectuals of the University of Lagos now deceased: Professor Emeritus of Geography/former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Isaac Adalemo; and Professor Emeritus of Engineering System/former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos /Founding Vice Chancellor of Federal University in Ebonyi State, Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, mentored a multi-disciplinary research study to do an outside of the box rethinking of a new concept of sustainable grass roots development. This writer has the unique privilege of being mentored by the two emeritus professors over the past 40 years in this great endeavour and becoming a co-founder of the Development and Empowerment Society International with them.
The great research was embarked upon when it became overwhelming to investigate the factors responsible for the inherent self-destructiveness and contradiction in the application of human knowledge that resulted in the development of predatory socio-economic and political systems. This has resulted in many unwanted consequences, which in turn have pushed human civilisation to arrive at the threshold of two extremes. On one extreme are ecstatic celebrations of scientific and technological breakthroughs, as these have greatly improved human living conditions. While on the other extreme are progressive segregation of humanity into minority who have in abundance and majority who are always in poverty. Along the line is the endless quest for world domination leading to perpetual conflicts and terrifying arms race among nations resulting in existential fear of humanity wiping itself off the planet in a nuclear catastrophe.
Observing these apparent contradictions and self-destructiveness brought to the fore, there is the need to subject the totality of what we know, especially in the sphere of social sciences to scrutiny. The need has become increasingly urgent in the last 40 years because humanity has arrived at the threshold when human knowledge itself has continued to fail and terrorise humanity through several unwanted consequences. The Austrian-British Economist, Professor Fredrick Hayek in his Nobel Prize Lecture in 1974, titled, ‘The pretence of knowledge’, admitted, “On the other hand, the economists are at this moment called upon to say how to extricate the free world from the serious threat of accelerating inflation which, it must be admitted, has been brought about by policies which the majority of economists recommended and even urged governments to pursue. We have indeed at the moment little cause for pride: as a profession we have made a mess of things.”
Probably for the first time in human history, frontline African Intellectuals began to come together in 1981 as Afronomics Institute in order to subject the totality of human knowledge to scrutiny through a holistic process of thinking outside of the box. This out of the box creative thinking states that the planet Earth and its humanity of less than 8 billion members is an integral part of a self-organising, self-sustaining and ever-burgeoning universe; that a set of system sustainability laws organise the entire universal system incorporating innumerable trillions of stars and planets conservatively quantified at not less than 10 sextillion for automatic sustainability and systemic prosperity; that the same system sustainability laws must be clearly discerned, adapted and replicated in order to usher in an era of automatic sustainability and systemic prosperity in the human situation. The system sustainability laws responsible for the automatic sustainability and systemic prosperity of the entire universe have been identified as the law of definite location, the law of definite role, and the law of definite relation.
These system sustainability laws are applied as model to put every one economically displaced out of 8 billion humans in definite location, to perform definite role which have definite relations with all others.
Chief Stanley Wey was one particular distinguished intellectual invited by Professor Adalemo to mentor the research in 1985, for the same wavelength thinking. Wey was a seasoned economist who joined the Nigerian Colonial Civil Service in 1943; became Assistant Secretary between 1946 and 1956; Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Defence between 1960 and 1961; took over from Sir Peter Stallard from British Colonial office to become Secretary/Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, between 1961 and 1966; Secretary Federal Military Government in 1966; held several other important positions in government before retiring from the civil service in 1973.
He provided useful mentorship and direction for the Afronomics research project. He edited earlier research papers and guided the thought process. More than anything else, he turned to the institute the two volumes of the research he did with Professor E. Osagie for guidance: An ideology for social development, and the world at adult stage.
In the two volumes, as it applies to Nigeria, it was observed that there was no serious effort made to mobilise and integrate the masses of the rural population constituting 80 per cent of the population for any sense of direction.
Therefore, a well developed system outlining a logical and coherent body of thought which spelt out society’s conception of the good life was proposed. This system is in the form of an ideology called integratism, which should be the forerunner of any sustainable constitution.
However, in spite of the fact that the proposition was made by someone of substance, an intellectual grandfather, who has the authority to make such a proposition by virtue of his experience, antecedents and pedigree, the proposal became a victim of intellectual snobbery simply because of the advent of oil and gas wealth.
Thus, societal problems continue to worsen as some expert advisers somewhere around the government subject dedicated research efforts to intellectual snobbery.
Given that intellectual snobbery has substantially contributed to the despicable state of Nigeria’s economy, this cankerworm deserves particular mention with a view to finding a requisite cure for it. Otherwise the situation will continue to exacerbate.
What is intellectual snobbery? Simply put, it is a way to disarm or frustrate someone with greater knowledge and ability. Robert Roberts and W. Jay Wood classify it as one of intellectual vices which include arrogance, vanity, conceit, egotism, grandiosity, pretentiousness, snobbishness, haughtiness, and self-complacency. In the position of these vices, the virtue of intellectual humility is a prerequisite to promote the acquisition of epistemic goods. Humble people are too motivated by pure interests regarding entitlements given their ability to serve as means to some valuable purpose or project. The authors, therefore, propose a crucial need for guiding, refining and informing the epistemic practice of the intellectual class of the population.
The Afronomics research applies the system sustainability laws to review traditional economics, which resulted in the development of Occupational Roles Economics, the development of the integrative land tenure system and introduction of the Universal Sustainability Investment Regime. The huge improvements resulted in the invention of AUTOSUCOM capable of creating and self-financing sustainable jobs for every member of the community to perform delineated occupational role in the community.
The project name Afronomics was changed to prosperity management in 1992. In April of that year, the project had its debut at the all important international Conference on the Interdependence of Human Rights and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A blueprint for democratisation in the 21st century held at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, USA. The impact at the conference made it clearer that the project had a deeper universal relevance and applicability. The project name was consequently changed prosperity management, especially, in order to save the project from unnecessary Afrocentric connotation.
In his foreword to the publication, prosperity management, catalyst knowledge for Automatic Sustainability and Systemic Prosperity, shortly before his demise, the President of DESI, Professor Emeritus Isaac Adalemo said, “The prosperity management invention is now ready for implementation after 40 years of dedicated research study. As a global project, the invention must now be bestowed as our durable legacy for posterity. This endowment is to be bequeathed through a university or consortium of universities to a new institution, the International Institute of Prosperity Management. In this connection, nominations are now being sought for the best minds that Africa and the rest of our world have produced to join as co-founders of the International Institute of Prosperity Management.”
The true nature of a man could be verified by what he does in private or in secret. Out of public glare, the two emeritus professors committed themselves to the mentorship of the great research study into universal sustainability. Their involvement with the great research for 40 years espoused their true beliefs and deeply held secrets. They fervently believed that the missing gaps in human knowledge must essentially be fixed as a durable legacy for posterity. They were determined to leave the world a better place than they met it and they would forever be remembered for their indefatigable efforts to usher in a much better life for the majority grass roots population that has been subjugated to perpetual exploitation throughout human history.