W.E.B. Du Bois on war and empire

One of the things that I noticed as I was writing my dissertation about Du Bois was his participation in the peace movement. In fact, when I was at Fisk doing research, his opposition to militarism was indelible. To be sure, he viewed war as an instrument of empire, one ultimately incapable of securing the surety of peace and human well-being. Further, war and militarism were linked to capitalism. Hence, for all its horror, warfare is exceedingly profitable.

At any rate, he might say of our present moment that humanity stands at the precipice. I agree. Militarism is increasingly the preserve of dying empires. Moribund powers whose folly will result, not only in their annihilation, but ours with it.

Read “There Is No Such Thing as a Small Nuclear War” by Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research: https://thetricontinental.org/newsletterissue/nato-ukraine-nuclear-crisis/

Following the heart: The Wisdom of Ptah Hotep

“Follow your heart as long as you live,
Do no more than is required,
Do not shorten the time of ‘follow-the-heart,’
Trimming its moment offends the ka.
Do not waste time on daily cares
Beyond providing for your household;
When wealth has come, follow your heart,
Wealth does no good if one is glum!”
-Ptah Hotep

Explanation: Though our lives present many necessary tasks, some of vital importance, Ptah Hotep reminds us that we should also seek fulfillment, to “follow your heart”. He emphasizes that one should give due attention to such matters and links such activity to the ka, which Obenga translates as “soul, spirit, the essence of a being, personality, fortune”. This is an important reminder, as we live in a society that not only emphasizes the pursuit of material gain over all other considerations–a striving that would have been considered vulgar in ancient Kemet, in addition to incessant toil. In fact, many today have reported an erasure of any clear separation between their personal and professional lives. For Ptah Hotep, to be consumed with work, disallows balance, which is vital to one’s development. Balance is key to our well-being. As Fu-Kiau has stated, “To be healthy is to be mu kinenga, ‘in balance’–with ourselves, our environment, and the universe.” Thus, while one should not waste time, one should, remember to satisfy one’s ka by following the heart.