Home News Of Thieves, Deprivations, And Social Order | Olugbemiga Afolabi

Of Thieves, Deprivations, And Social Order | Olugbemiga Afolabi


There is a thread that runs through morality, legality and social order. A thief is a thief though reasons could be adduced for extenuating circumstances for those hungry and deprived as you have posited.

For instance, what would an individual do with stealing roofing sheets or tractors? To sell with the probability of getting caught. Agreed, there is no morality for those hungry and angry. To be sure, deprivations (single and multiple) could cloud reason and unleash actions that would destroy the society they try to reform.

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So, the chain reaction would lead to progressive chaos and anarchy starting with the government, those connected to government, politicians, rich individuals and ultimately, themselves, the very people that sees themselves as deprived (mob mentality).

This has been the lot of societies that have witnessed mass revolutions and social upheavals. For instance, several societies in Europe and elsewhere that have witnessed mass revolts have reset their social relations to take care of those in the lower rungs of the society as social relations is practically impossible to be built on equality but on equity.

Example is Russia after the Bolshevik revolution as unequal social relations exist till date. Those referred to generic thieves suffers from poverty of the mind and are found in the upper and lower echelons of the society.

The structure of the post-colonial state has tended to encourage massive corruption as government offices and funds becomes personified resulting in state capture. And this has percolated to all segments of the society as evidenced by the ongoing looting (looters loot being looted).

Given our place in circle and centre of knowledge production, the social scientist occupy a pride of place because humans and society constitute his/her centre of epistemological pursuits as knowledge is often confronted with the choice of whether to pursue knowledge as an end in itself or an end as a social reformer. Combined, they constitute the sociology of knowledge in each society.

Both are not necessarily conflictual but complementary as we engage in deep introspection of social realities that confronts us daily. It is precisely as this juncture that social scientist use his/her craft as knowledge seeker (seek knowledge as an end in itself) and/or knowledge as a tool of social reformatioun/emancipation within the morality (immorality) legality (illegality) and order (disorder/chaos) architecture of a state.

O.D Afolabi, Ph.D, can be reached via  osafolabi@oauife.edu.ng

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