FROM IDEOLOGY TO OPPORTUNITIES: NIGERIANS WILL MURDER MMM (Published on TuckMagazine Online, Dec. 7, 2016)

“The whole financial world is a pyramid!”

MMM, Nigeria

In the beginning was an idea. The idea grew and blew into a system of ideas until finally; the world became governed by ideologies. According to the German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “the entirety or the system of ideas of the ruling class would be the IDEOLOGY of a given society”. Consequently, Marx sees ideology as an important part of the “superstructure”; ideology is a veil pulled over the economic base in order to prevent people from seeing its inherent injustice.

The three dominant ideologies that have controlled the economic base of the world over time have been Feudalism, Capitalism and Socialism. Since the Feudal system is gradually fading off, the battle has constantly and fluidly been between the two dominant ideologies – Capitalism and Socialism. These ideologies have often been powerfully represented by the Capitalist West, with the United States at the top of the chain; and the Socialist East, headed by Russia (made up of the defunct Soviet Union). Many wars have been fought and countless lives have been lost as a result of the kind of rivalry between the dominant ideologies. However, the wars are gradually becoming less physically and more mentally fought. Since the capitalist ideology creates masters and creates slaves in a world that is meant for all, the socialists see such an ideology as both inhuman and dehumanizing, as the sweat of many enrich just a few. Such was the situation that necessitated the rise of MMM.

MMM is a Global Mutual Aid Fund, World people’s Bank, the virtual social pyraMMMid whose sole purpose is to distribute wealth and destroy the capitalist base of the world. It is, according to the initiators, a voluntary informal association of millions and millions of people throughout the Earth, rebelling against financial slavery and declaring war against the Fed and banks. The brains behind MMM see the modern world as bad, inhuman, unfair and unjust. They see it as a world that places money and material wealth high and above human values; a world where the privileged few have turned the less-privileged masses into money-making machines. According to MMM Nigeria:

We work without cease. But what should we expect in the end? Low wages and pensions, and no rest, but a constant struggle with debts. And half-starved old age… You have spent all your life, working for billionaires, you have been taken away all your power, energy and health, you’ve been squeezed like a lemon, and after that you’ve been just thrown into the dustbin as a write-off.

The whole financial world is seen as a pyramid with the USA enjoining the largest chunk of the benefits. MMM Nigeria explains:

How is the financial world organized? It is a pyramid. The Fed the U.S. Federal Reserve System is at the top of it. The Fed creates dollars. How much? As much as they want! Of course, Fed adheres to some of their own internal rules and regulations; they try, for example, not to create too many dollars to prevent complete devaluation of the currency, and etc. But in principle the Fed can create as many dollars as they want. At least, there are no any external limitations for that. Absolutely! The U.S. Fed is guided solely by the reasons of expediency.

The lower levels of this global pyramid are the central banks of different countries; all other local national banks are situated on even lower levels. (Of course, all of this is slightly simplified, but in general everything reflects an overall picture). Actually, why do we need banks? Speaking figuratively, banks play the role of blood vessels in the social organism. Through these vessels the money (blood) from the heart (the Central Bank) enters all its organs. Money (blood) wash these organs, it brings life to them!

What then is the way-forward? FINANCIAL FREEDOM for the masses. The solution is what MMM refers to as “A new fair financial system:

Financial Apocalypse! That’s the only thing that can break our financial chains and save us all. Release us finally from the continuous slavery. Everything old will burn in its fire and the new will appear. The Fed will be removed from power and will no longer develop social inequality. The banks as they are now will simply disappear. They will stop robbing the people. In fact the banks do not produce anything useful. What useful can they do? Give credits at plundering interests? As a result all the population is burdened with debts.

The ultimate goal of MMM notwithstanding, Nigerians – both young and old – have seen this scheme as a quick money making venture; it has become a grand opening to both financial freedom and slavery. The socialist scheme whose sole purpose is to gun-down capitalism is now ironically breeding a new capitalist spirit in Nigeria.

First, MMM is a scheme operated and regulated online (a virtual scheme). How many of the poor masses are technologically skilled enough to be a part of the scheme? Second, how many of the financially-paralyzed masses can afford to “render financial” help to “help seekers” within a stipulated time without having to borrow? Some sell their properties or personal belongings in order to achieve this purpose. Students even delay the payment of their school fees, investing it in the MMM scheme. Simply put, the Nigerian society is going berserk in a bid to attain financial freedom. On top of it all, those who truly benefit from the scheme are big investors – the capitalists – and the educated “wanna bes” (students, teachers alike) who spend most of their time on the internet in order to enrich their pockets and eagerly anticipating joining the capitalist league.

In fairness to the MMM Schemers, investors are warmed to only invest their spare money (money not presently in need of) because there is no assured security on money lost. In Nigeria, however, the reverse is the case. People invest all money that comes their way and even borrow to invest in the scheme. More so, an individual is only expected to operate one account on the scheme in order to bring about fairness and easy spreading of wealth. However, the capitalist ideology has eaten so deep into the Nigerian system that desperate and selfish Nigerians operate multiple accounts with different names of family members and friends. This way, some get help from the scheme and opt out; some get help and refuse to confirm payment, defrauding payers in the process and so on. Worst of all, Nigerian youths no longer see the need to work when their money can work for them. If MMM (Modern Money Making*) brings about financial freedom, it also causes moral slavery and consequently destroying value-systems.

Unsurprisingly, Nigerians have seen the MMM scheme as a perfect model – an opportunity to defraud people. There are all sorts of Ponzi schemes, created by Nigerians, outshining and usurping MMM today. One of such is “From PH to GH”, a scheme operated on Whatsapp, where people are matched to Provide Help to Get Help within a short period (less than 24hours) with 50% interest. The ultimate one, however, seems to be the Ultimate Cycler where one pays twelve thousand and five hundred naira (12,500) and gets fifty thousand naira (50,000) in just a few days, though there is panic all around suggesting the crashing of the ultimate scheme.

On the brighter side, people have seen these Ponzi schemes as relieving majority of Nigerians from the present economic recession in the country. Consequently, anybody who speaks ill of the schemes, especially MMM, is seen as an enemy of the masses. I don’t blame the masses; Nigeria is a country built on faulty foundations; therefore, nothing good is built to last. If the MMM scheme is a messianic ideology, one thing is certain: greedy, desperate and opportunistic Nigerians will kill it like the world killed the Christian Messiah. With no disrespect to the socialist ideals that birthed MMM, capitalism is in the Nigerian DNA.

Madamidola Oladele (Angel Dee)

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