Beyond politics of tribe and religion and the question of self-interest in human psychology and anthropology

Original Research

Beyond politics of tribe and religion and the question of self-interest in human psychology and anthropology

Anthony Udoka Ezebuiro1 & Emeka Simon Ejim2

Nsukka Journal of Religion and Cultural Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | © 2023 Anthony Udoka Ezebuiro1 & Emeka Simon Ejim2 | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0 

Submitted: 19 February 2023 | Published: 28 July 2023

About the author(s)

1Anthony Udoka Ezebuiro PhD, is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

2Emeka Simon Ejim is a lecturer at Humanities Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 

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Abstract

Politics is about people and how they manage their affairs within a given society. Every society is a reflection of its political experiences and institutions. There is no politics without people; hence people’s circumstances, culture and environment affect their choice of politics. The argument, in some quarters, that political activities in Africa are shrouded in traditional identity politics is a biased one. Actually, identity politics has been a significant part of the political and social landscape in the past few decades, as it has been employed by various groups to push for increased recognition of marginalized identities. Although, there is a claim that identity politics can be reductive and lead to polarization, it is not fair to reduce it to only Africa. This work refutes such claims, and argues that ethnic, tribal or religious influences or sentiments have a way of influencing people and the choice of their political system. It is the view of the work that except those who are at the forefront of this accusation are just disciples of Hume and Hegel who were particularly negative about the humanity of Africans generally; having claimed that Africans are not mature enough to think objectively to the point of engaging in politics, there is no reason to reduce identity politics to Africa alone. The politics of defining African identity has travelled a long way, with a total denial of humanity to the Africans by the West. It is therefore imperative to demonstrate that identity politics is not something peculiar to Africans. It is a global practice that is first rooted in human psychology, although unknown to most people. An examination of the ancient Egyptian governmental structure, affected by its cosmogony and anthropology, could serve as a proof in this direction.                                          

Keywords

Politics, tribe, religion, self-interest, psychology, anthropology