Awolowo on Leadership through Mental Magnitude and Democratic Socialism: Problems and Perspectives

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Ojo, O. A.
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University of Lagos
This work is a critical study of the problems of political leadership and social integration for national development as they are perceived and treated in Awolowo’s socio-political philosophy. The latter revolves around these concepts i.e. leadership and socio-political integration. The study examines Awolowo’s conceptions of the prerequisites for political leadership (viz, ‘mental magnitude’), the ideal socio-political arrangement (democratic socialism), and the process of social transformation (through the universal mind). These conceptions are appraised primarily within the context of the reality of post-colonial African Societies. The main thesis is that despite the apparent coherence of Awolowo’s socio-political thinking, there are philosophically unsatisfactory claims and conclusions which arise from the categorial error of an unjustified leap from the material into the mystico-spiritual realms where faith plays a greater role than reason. Awolowo’s main concepts of dialectics, mental magnitude, and universal mind, in terms of which socio-political problems are interpreted, involve a problematic twist of the classical dialectics and a mystification of the role of consciousness. Thus, his socio-political thought, as it borders on a ‘’mystical weltanschauung’’, is not readily satisfactory to philosophers and social scientists. The study involves a systematic interpretation of scattered political discourses in order to evolve a coherent political thought. Notwithstanding the weakness, Awolowo’s political thought has yet its merits in being a more or less coherent set of guiding principles for national and perhaps international integration.
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Political Leadership , Democratic Socialism , National Development , Democratic Socialism
Ojo, O. A. (1990) Awolowo on Leadership through Mental Magnitude and Democratic Socialism: Problems and Perspectives. A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of the PH. D. Degree in Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos.