The easiest way to practise exclusion – of whatever kind and for whatever purpose – is to categorise under whatever explicable but not necessarily appropriate pretext.
Exclusion by qualifications, positions, titles, income and a slew of other absurd so-called “socioeconomic” categories designed, supposedly, but in a Machiavellian manner, for the purpose of socioeconomic policy intervention; are usually about and tools of power and control. It even becomes rather easier, but nonetheless and as much absurd; when, behind it, there’s State power and the use and application of necessary State means.
“If you name me, you negate me. By giving me a name, a label, you negate all the other things I could possibly be.” Søren Kierkegaard
Categorisation, whatever the supposed intention and purpose of it, is right up there with – and is the same as – “Classification” in “The Ten Stages of Genocide” By Dr. Gregory H. Stanton.
If and when categories are created; they can, and will be abused. Especially if, and when (and where), doing so comes with gain, like an advantage over others. Where and when it gives an advantage – there’s something to gain; created categories will be manipulated and abused. It’s even more likely and common in environments shrouded in opaque and weak regulations on the use – and abuse – of power and positions. Where checks and balances on the use of power and positions, are [almost] non-existent. Or, exist but are too weak to be enforced; and can be easily manipulated and circumvented by the powerful, using their positions.
Categorising society under socioeconomic categories, where privilege and wealth, that is, ownership of property, and poverty, that is, lack of property – propertylessness – are key distinguishing factors without necessarily understanding and/or addressing factors that make it possible for some people – from the same society – to be privileged, have access to opportunities to be able to acquire wealth; while others are deprived of similar or the same opportunities and unable to acquire wealth, hence, with limited chances of upward social mobility, is wrong.
Instead of focusing attention on creating – and using resources to create, frankly, unnecessary socioeconomic categories; African governments (authorities) should be trying to comprehensively study, map out and understand the possible factors that cause socioeconomic inequalities and, therefore, work to eliminate the causes rather than trying to focus on, hence, deal with and address the outcomes.
The failure to deal with and eliminate the causes of socioeconomic inequalities, cannot be reason for – and therefore justify – the focus on and the unnecessary creation of categories out of the outcomes of the initial failure; by packaging outcomes into alphanumerically labelled but discriminating, and frankly, dehumanising socioeconomic categories, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2.
It is those yet – [to be] comprehensively studied, established and therefore – known socioeconomic factors that cause or greatly contribute to the kind of socioeconomic inequalities that are applied to creating such unnecessary, and truth be told, discriminating socioeconomic categories. It’s an absurd [government] policy of discrimination by categorisation.
African governments (authorities) should address causes of socioeconomic inequalities head on; instead of going round in circles and coming back to the same point, where those in charge of policy making, engage in navel-gazing and pick their noses.
They might, if they are really genuine in their intentions, start, for example, by addressing massive income disparities in the public sector which disproportionately favour those at the top against – and accordingly, those down the ladder who do the most work but are the least, or woefully, remunerated.
By allowing such wide public sector pay gaps, African governments are consciously creating socioeconomic inequalities through a system of pay inequality.
Why should a government minister, for example, earn ten times more than his/her ‘Personal Assistant’?
What special (unique) value does such minister create, that his/her ‘Personal Assistant’ cannot create, or did not greatly contribute to creating?
It is no exaggeration, and therefore apropos, to suggest this is “Public Sector PAY-APARTHEID”.
It is ridiculous for, and as a government on the one hand, to be speaking publicly against- and the need to eliminate – all of forms discrimination; while on the other hand, you allow and, arguably, consciously practise a socioeconomically discriminating Public Sector pay policy.
Categorisation will facilitate exclusion allowing the practice of token inclusion to hold and maintain power. This is something – a policy – African governments (authorities), particularly those with undeniable dictatorial behaviour, learned best from their colonial masters’ ‘band aid’ approach to their deeply racist and dehumanising colonial policies in the service of White supremacy.
The Politics of exclusion by categorisation under the pretext of socioeconomic ‘intervention‘; is the politics of controlling the (power of) distribution of income and rewards, as a means to hold on to and maintain power.