A society is a group of people defined by the same geographical territory,institutions,political authority and,frequently,cultural exposures.It can also be used to refer to a group of people characterized by relationships based on social status,functions,social networks and political/economic expectations.Men first came together in a group,in an attempt to ward off the predator,whether man or beast.In the earliest society formed by man,the hunter-gatherer society,man lived as a nomad,moving from place to place as he foraged for food.However,as man discovered agriculture,the cultivation of crops and breeding of animals for food,he was able,not only to guarantee food supplies,but also to create food surpluses,while living in one location.
Guaranteed and surplus food supplies made it possible for man to stop wandering from one location to another.Thus man could settle down in one place,build a permanent settlement,thereby forming a sedentary society.Surplus food meant those people not required for food production,could turn their attentions to other pursuits.This led to division of labour as people specialized in the performance of specific economic activities.In time,these settlements became complex,stratified and densely populated,growing to become the towns and cities that we know today.Although agriculture,by providing the means of creating food surpluses,was key,the importance of man’s willingness to collaborate with his fellow man should not be discounted,in the development of civilization.
Collaboration,the process of two or more people or organizations agreeing to work together to achieve certain aims,enabled the process of specialization.According to that definition,the only commonality for the collaborating parties is the set objective.To collaborate,it is not necessary to have the same tribal or religious affiliations.It is necessary to understand this in order to appreciate the true essence of a society.Unlike the community,say your typical village,where membership is affective,based on consanguinity,relationship by blood,birth or marriage,integration in a society is based on commodity-exchange.A society is a mechanical contraption that facilitates commodity-exchange.Everybody brings something to the table.Societies are about skill-exchange.
This should be food-for-thought for Nigerians,especially the leadership.There should be a re-think of the way this country is run.Too much is made of tribal and religious affiliation.Tribal or religious homogeneity is not necessary for productive collaboration.We can collaborate across these lines,with focused leadership.We need to understand that we can only develop by creating more than we consume.Economic growth is about creating value,and this happens only through education and collaboration.We need to equip our people with the necessary skills so they can go out there and produce.Right now we are only concerned with sharing the oil money.This is wrong.This sort of thinking is a throw-back to the political economy of the hunter-gatherer society,which was organized to ” gather food” and then uproot itself to another location,when it has completely defoliated it’s present location.When the oil runs out,do we also move to another country.?