The Socrates moral values African students need to adopt in subsequent African societies is the Basis for Social Order
Social order is used in the normative sense to depict normal functioning of society in such a way that individuals and institutions within the society experience development.
We cannot forget Socrates so soon, for according to him, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Granted this, we must re-examine our moral pedigrees from the individual and state perspectives if we are to ensure the desired level of social order that will promote development in Africa. Morality presupposes human well-being both at the societal and individual levels. If this is the case, moral values are not ends in themselves as such but tools which should be tailored towards arriving at our goals.
Let us make a disclaimer at this juncture. It is not that Africans do not understand what it means to be moral and what moral values are all about. Which means that inspite of their knowledge of morality, state of things are not as desirable as they ought to be. The problem then is that the non-application and non-internalization of these moral values have been due largely to the inaction of the states in Africa that have foisted undue political and economic pressures on the individuals, who then have no choice but to resort to unethical means of attaining livelihood and survival.
Furthermore, we cannot overlook the role of the government and state in promoting social order which will make the proper application of moral values possible. For instance, when government derives its legitimacy through the people and not just through the military coups, kangaroo elections and one party dictatorship that have become the trade mark of most African states. This is buttressed by the fact that leadership successions through democratic process have become so difficult that most African leaders are replaced in office through coup d’etats or sudden deaths.
In similar vein, government economic policies should be such that allows the unfettered development of the weakest individual in society. This seems to be the major pre-occupation of Rawls in his A Theory of Justice, (Rawls, 1971) where he argued that the state has the obligation to protect the interest and welfare of the less well-off in society. The essence of the foregoing is that since we cannot reverse the movement of capitalism in most African states, with some of its perceived threat to economic dependent ones, government can continue to foster such measures that will make it possible for the ordinary citizens to enjoy the benefit of living.
Finally, the solution to our moral problem and social order would then require re- adjustments in our attitude towards wealth, democratic values such as justice and freedom, and governance and the necessary educational orientation, which is not predicated on the fetish of material development which governments in Africa tend to encourage. Rather, it should be based more fundamentally on educational orientation, both at formal and informal levels, that develops human mind to strive for excellence, integrity, justice and happy life based on reciprocal obligation.