Author Interview : Jo M. Sekimonyo -- Ethosism: Self-Enslavement Abolitionist Manifesto
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I was born in the DRC, formerly known as Zaire. At a very young age, my family emigrated to the United States while my father was pursuing his doctorate. We returned to the DRC where I did my primary and secondary studies. Then I went back to the States for college, and I've been living there ever since. It has been more than a decade since I decided to spend six months between different continents observing the hideous facets of humanity, digging into the root causes, and prescribing remedies. That is to say, that I am a merchant of ideas of Congolese origin, fermented in the United States and bottled all over the world. Simply, I am a theorist, human rights activist, political economist, and social philosopher. I am one of the founders of "En Charge", an independent and non-partisan organization that promotes the participation of young people in social, political, and economic dialogues at national and global levels.
Much of my thinking has focused on economic injustice, poverty, and egalitarianism. I strongly believe that the ability of individuals to understand the world and respond creatively to the challenges facing humanity is essential to reducing poverty. As a result, I facilitate several workshops and seminars, particularly in developing countries with the aim of engaging young minds into debates on global social issues and mainstream economic theories. Since the COVID-19 crisis, I had to augment my crusading path and it has slowed me down a bit.
What inspired you to author this book?
The more I travel and meet real people and witness the devastating consequences of capitalism, the more I dislike the archaic psychological contract between the working class, the captains of industry, and the robber barons that still have a stranglehold on the distribution of wealth and power; even if excuses of exploitative ties have long since lost their validity. Most of my anger comes from watching economic druids play with economic models filled with assumptions that denigrate humanity while politicians feel compelled to defend the disfigured spirit of capitalism by any means necessary. Other souls no longer to seek the truth and are transmuted into the “self-enslavement”. However, one can't just remain angry. We need to re-examine the status quo to free humanity from elitism-flavored bigotry and racism, and then concoct an adequate solution to the paradigm shift of the twenty-first century.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
As a writer, I aim to make my books an experience like Adam Smith or Dambudzo Marechera did, instead of an artistic acrobatic exercise meant to be watched to remind you that "it exists." On a personal level, I draw inspiration from all the Mama Vincent's I meet. At one point in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, I had to hug young Vincent to keep the police away. My tourist eminence in Kenya protected Vincent and his mother from police harassment. The city of Nairobi passed an ordinance criminalizing begging, or should I say poverty. Criminalize poverty in different forms in different countries or environments, but with the same unpleasant smell and the same fuel of indifference.
What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
The idea of writing a book is equated with getting butt naked in front of a large audience. I never had a problem of being vulnerable, but my constant inner battles through this experience consisted of synchronizing my heart with my mind. I had to overcome the temptation of being guided solely by either passion or vision. Both intensity and accuracy are essential in this enterprise to birth out a new concept. In life, passion without vision is a waste of energy, and vision without passion is a dead-end.
Tell your readers about your book.
This book evaluates in depth both the capitalist and socialist models, from the finance, economics, philosophy, and political point of view. We have come to forget that capitalism sprung up in England at a time when peasants lost their lands and didn’t have any skills. In this picture, the masses were at the mercy of the bourgeois, who possessed the ability and right to initiate an enterprise and control primary means of production. This doesn’t justify the social injustices inherent to capitalism, but it demonstrates how easy it was for a few culprits to enslave the laboring masses who have doled out a meager recompense, also known as a wage.
This book is equally critical of socialism. The attempts by socialists to improve the conditions of the poor have always had an opposite effect, in fact, reproducing their subservient position - the very act of acceptance of a minimum wage, for example, only serves to accept inequality; even the creation of trade unions, rather than tackling inequality, have indicated acceptance of subordination. Socialism simply embeds the capitalist attitude in the minds of the poor and socially enslaved.
Alas, the failures and atrocities of revolutions and insurgencies, under socialist and Marxist banners, have been used to justify and reinforce the success and prevalence of capitalism. In the twenty-first century, the notion of “means of production” has become a fallacy. More than ever, people acquire and own the means to engage, participate, or get involved in an organization. It is an abomination that moneyers still get the lion’s share of a business or an enterprise's surplus. We should no longer stand complacent to these savage and frankly archaic economic arrangements.
Ultimately, the model of capitalism is outdated and rejects the communism of socialism, suggesting something new, ethosism, in which the middleman is eliminated or rendered powerless.
This book brings forth the notion of indifference instead of considering our behavior as a set of preferences. It also brings new insight into the old economic dilemma of the business cycle, the reason, and, more importantly, the remedy.
I go even further and say, Let’s get rid of economics altogether; it is plagued with stupid cacophony. Why not start fresh with a quantum paradigm study of the way we transform, sell and buy, and, above all, distribute surplus.
Who is your target audience, and why?
By the end of the 20th century, white women were recognized as human beings and were to be exploited like poor white men. Somehow, everyone else also found their way through the golden age of self-enslavement into the human centipede.
Ordinary mortals acquiring and possessing their means of engagement, participation, or involvement has become a global culture.
As we have all become over-efficient slaves but economic crises occur more frequently and caused by the maneuvers of developed countries to mitigate over-efficiency. The oxycodone of the developed nations is running high deficits; and of its people is racking up household’s debts, has added to third world over-inefficiency, makes it impossible to avoid a rougher sail. We are in dire need of a morales nuvem cōnsēnsus. So, everyone is the intended audience.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I don’t consider ranking anything that I’ve accomplished as the greatest success in my life. But I find great comfort each time I use my ability or my knowledge to impact someone else’s life or brighten their worldview.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
Economics is an addition to my arsenal of business academic training (accounting, management, and finance), philosophy, politics, and real-life tragedies. All of these elements come through in my writing content and style, which receives either scathing insults or abundant praise for not being transmitted in the “normal” economics cadence.
March 2nd 2022