There seems to be an ubuntu renaissance going on in the world which, in its purest form, could guide humanity toward self-governance and freedom. But only in the hands of those who would utilize it that way.
To assist us toward that end, let's take a look at how the international "ubuntu movement" began, the direction it is heading now, and where it could lead.
The philosophy of ubuntu itself began among tribal communities as an aid for bringing lawful remedy in cases of broken or strained relationships (Wikipedia, March 2003). Ubuntu simply means 'a person is a person through people' (Zulu proverb). It brings the indigenous ideal of respect for the humanity of another to establishing order in communities. In ubuntu, human development depends upon a shared humanity where each person is born with an ethical responsibility to support others. Ubuntu supports the Law of One.
One of the distinguishing features of ubuntu as stated by the Constitutional Court of South Africa in the 2006 case of Dikoko v Mokhatla (CCT62/05)  ZACC 10; 2006 (6) SA 235 (CC); 2007 (1) BCLR 1 (CC) (3 August 2006) is, "...the basic constitutional value of human dignity relates closely to ubuntu or botho, an idea based on deep respect for the humanity of another. Traditional law and culture have long considered one of the principal objectives of the law to be the restoration of harmonious human and social relationships where they have been ruptured by an infraction of community norms....A remedy based on the idea of ubuntu or botho could go much further in restoring human dignity than an imposed monetary award in which the size of the victory is measured by the quantum ordered and the parties are further estranged rather than brought together by the legal process. It could indeed give better appreciation and sensitize a defendant as to the hurtful impact of his or her unlawful actions, similar to the emerging idea of restorative justice in our sentencing laws."
Recent Rise in South Africa
The philosophy of ubuntu has gained traction as a foundation for African Constitutional Law through The Ubuntu Project. Founded in 2003 through the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, the project was funded by a National Research Foundation grant from the South African government (listed on the SEC as a private, for profit corporation), for R2.5 million per year from 2003-2010. A pilot study states, "In any society there is always conflict, and people inevitably wound each other in their engagements. In South Africa there has been a traumatic disintegration of the relations between people. The particular devastation of colonialism leaves a gaping wound in the social bond.
"For restoration or redemption to truly occur, we must acknowledge our inevitable exposure to that wound and the need for repairing the relations of community. Ubuntu, along with other ideals like dignity, freedom and equality, must be manifested in the continued political, social, economic, and legal transformation of the country."
So why would the African Government spend all that money promoting ubuntu? According to South Africa's first government online radio station, UbuntuRadio.com, SA's admission to the UN Security Council and BRICS has positioned them "to contribute significantly on the global political scene." The ubuntu radio station was designed to "communicate the country’s foreign policy without distortion and to promote Brand South Africa domestically and abroad." In other words, ubuntu is no longer simply a philosophy or foundation for social law, it has become part of the commercial branding of South Africa (unrelated to the Ubuntu Liberation Movement created by Michael Tellinger).
It is ironic that even with the spot light trained directly on the philosophy of ubuntu in South Africa, tribal communities located in South Africa (as well as North America) are dangerously close to losing their connection with their social traditions. This is partly due to a limited understanding of the difference between English Common Law and Customary (tribal) Law. The true spirit of ubuntu allows for a variety of expressions, not just a few that are familiar to the majority.
It is our responsibility to guard ourselves -- that we do not inadvertently promote a bleached version of slavery in the form of a "contemporary ubuntu" philosophy that is but a shadow of the real deal.
UbuntuUSA.com is a menu of potential tools, not an organization. It is designed to assist new communities wishing to grow together in integrity, honor, human consciousness, and social connectedness. We care deeply about humanity, the planet, and our heritage and embrace all who wish to connect. We respect differences and understand conflict as an inevitable part of growing together. Our aim is not a society with no challenges, but a society where everyone is free and has a voice -- and is heard.
Ubuntu USA is a small band of like-minded men and women living in community in the heart of Pennsylvania. We are new, but focused and ready to grow. If you would like more information or to schedule a visit to the Ubuntu USA WeR1 Farm, you may contact Dustin and Hannah Hoffman at 570-502-3995 or visit the WeR1 Farm on Facebook.
Love to all,