Faculty: Arts
Department: Department Of Philosophy


Mbaegbu, C.C;


What should constitute the ideal social order is an age-old philosophical problem. Hence virtually every scholar who has thought seriously about politics and the problems of a just political order has had to contend with this problem which springs from man’s ever-becoming and therefore unpredictable character. This complex problem of man -ever -becoming in society is as a result of the thymotic (the struggle for recognition) character in him (even though it has been argued that it is freewill driven by egoistic desires that sums up this tendency in man) which continuously strives to be recognized either as equal to the other- isothymia or to be recognized as superior to the other- megalothymia. This decisive but hardly recognized character of man has in recent time come into resurgence and new pre-eminence in political discourses. Fukuyama considers it as the levers of human historical progress. However, this excessive struggle to be recognized as superior to the other, when not properly tamed takes the society back to the state (of nature) which it attempted to evade when it articulated the social contract; as presently being witnessed in most African states where selfism has become the political watchword and hence the crisis in society and indeed the explanation for the deplorable state of the African socio-political space. Nyerere’s ujamaa which translates to the African spirit of “familyhood” or “brotherhood” is presented as an antidote to the phenomenon of megalothymia in African society. It is a humanist philosophy anchored on the principle of equality of all men. This research adopts the philosophical method of dialectics to reconcile man’s megalothymia and ujamaa as an ideal social order. The research finds that ujamaa socialism is an African reality which has almost been entirely discarded but remains a valid part of the African personhood. This is the thesis. It also finds that megalothymia is a reality in man and cannot be relegated to the background by simply professing ujamaa spirit of equality. This is the antithesis. It concludes by proposing the emergence of a new African who, on one hand, lives and relates in the spirit of “brotherhood” and, on the other hand, genuinely strives to be recognized as human (to be at par with the modern tendencies), without the untamed tendency to be seen as superior to others (synthesis).