Economic Dynamics: How the Industrial Revolution Created in Nigeria the Worst Parents Ever

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We all know that today's modern technology, economy, and government were all developed by the Europeans and taken to all the other continents via conquest. You have to note, though, that the foundation of modern tech, economy, and government was mainly laid by Africans and Asians. Notable African civilizations that contributed were the Nubian, Egyptian, and West African civilizations, etc. While notable Asian civilizations that contributed were the Chinese, Babylonians, Arabs, etc.

Africans and Asians played the bigger role in laying the foundation for today's technology, economy, and government but from the middle to the latter part of the second millennium Europe took these foundations to the level that it is today, with the industrial revolution, setting up America and much of today's economy and government.

In Nigeria, which is a country in West Africa, the lifestyle was the simpler lifestyle of the pre-industrial age. The people were mainly farmers, fishers, miners, artists, musicians, smiths, etc. You need to understand this sort of economy and setting, this sort of economy/setting was what was available all over the world before the rise of technology.

In this pre-industrial revolution economy/setting, all a man needed to live a successful happy life was to have way more basic things. For example, if you had a farm, a house, a forest nearby to hunt in, water nearby to fish in, it was all you needed. You'll get food from your farms, hunting, and fishing.

The house you lived in didn't cost much, it was made of simpler materials like wood, thatch, clay, etc. You and your brothers/friends can come together and put it up. There was no electricity or air conditioner or telephones or cables, so you didn't have bills to pay. There were no televisions, refrigerators, fans, or modern costly decorations, etc, so you didn't have to spend a fortune on the house.

Once you and your brothers/friends put it together, you only needed a few pieces of furniture and a fireplace and you were good to go. You could also take care of your family easily because all they wanted were basic things like food, clothing, and shelter. They didn't want cable, phones, an expensive education, electricity, pipe-borne water, etc. They didn't want it because it didn't exist!

You see how simple life was? And then came technology which makes life very easy. Men could no longer feel comfortable with that basic lifestyle. Men started paying for the new things: electricity, phone bills, and cable bills. They started paying for cars, fuel, televisions, refrigerators, and all the things you have today that make life easier.

These new things made men to have to work harder to afford them, though, it made the basic things more costly and scarce. Manufacturing and maintaining these technologies also created so many jobs that made people drop agriculture in order to work these jobs. Dropping agriculture made food more scarce and therefore costlier.

The Interesting Case of How all These Turned Nigerian Parents into Some of the Worst Parents in the World

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These technologies started becoming adopted by Nigerians from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. By the 1950s Nigerian society had completely changed from that simple lifestyle to this technological lifestyle described above.

Recall that when they lived the simpler lifestyle, parents didn't have to do much for their children. Basic food, clothing, and shelter were easier to provide. But all of a sudden all these technologies came and people could no more live happily without them. Food became costlier, land less accessible and the basic was no longer enough.

The requirement to live a happy life was now to make money no longer just fishing, farming, and hunting. And to make more money one now needed school, working in an office, technological jobs, and bigger business, a good background now was very important.

You needed your parents to be able to send you to school, get you some training, provide you with capital, etc. Or else you were doomed to fight it off on your own and climb the ladder from the very bottom. So parents who for generations didn't have to do much for their children now had to do a lot for them.

(Also with life becoming this harder and costlier parents had to give birth to only a few children so that they would be easier to take care of. But people were already used to having many children and humans usually learn by trial and error, humans would have to birth many children and suffer the consequences for some generations before they realize that they have to change. So parents birthed a lot of children in the new economy and everyone suffered for it.)

Many parents rose to the occasion, though, and were able to do much for their children like send them to school, give them training, etc. But as you would imagine, the greater majority were not able to do it. Amongst these majority that couldn't afford it, though, a lot of their children were still able to go out there and get it without any help from their parents/background.

A lot of kids were able to put themselves through school, get training make it some way, somehow in the new economy. One of the things that helped them was that many positions in Nigeria were new and in dire need of filling. Also, the qualification requirements were lesser. Take this example: a government office would easily accept a high school leaver into a top position because it is newly opened in a country where degree holders are few. This was early-mid 20th-century Nigeria, remember?

People didn't realize how much things like this helped those with poor backgrounds and so having a great number of the population with poor backgrounds going out there to make it was good and inspiring, but it raised parents and children of that generation to think that they don't have to do much for their children, that children can go out there and make it happen for themselves.

The generation of Nigerians who were born anytime in the 20th century has so much of this culture/reasoning that they don't have to do much for their children, that multitudes of people went and made it without any help from their parents, so their children should do it too.

They do not realize all the advantages lesser competition gave those people, nor do they realize that those people had no option at all because there was nothing their parents who were used to the basic life could do for them. They still want their children in this 21st century where there is a higher competition to easily go out there and make it with little to no help.


Clearly, I'm not saying every Nigerian parent today is like that, but this reasoning is still quite common among the older generation. Many members of the newer generation also hold this conviction. Like I said, humans usually only learn from trial and error, they'll need to live with this mentality and suffer its consequences for some more generations before it would fade away completely.

The End.

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