Update on the book's impact in Uganda
My experiences and the lessons I got from “The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible” give me a reason to question the nature of governance I have seen in my home country of Uganda.
The book tells a series of short story lessons that reflect Ugandan politics. Politicians are enriching themselves and giving favors to their flattering cronies. In return, the cronies support them in the form of kickbacks and political support. Uganda has many political "Lady Tweed's," as referenced in the book. They work as agents to sway citizens to work for and obey the regime in power. "Lady Tweed's" prevent people from annoying leaders by using laws and other tactics. In Uganda, they enacted a law limiting Facebook access after a youth annoyed President Museveni of Uganda. Museveni told parliament to pass a law to control talkative people on social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp.
Uganda is in the middle of the campaign period for the January 14th, 2021 elections. We will be casting our votes for the presidency, the parliamentarians, and other offices. I am pondering how important these will turn out. Why are politicians fighting so hard to get into office? Those in power and their flattering cronies often torment the opposition, breaking limbs, causing fear, and even possible death.
Voting here only seems to cause loss of liberty. It hands our power and liberty to politicians. We are presided over by unconscionable politicians. They employ outrageous policies to suck out our economic energy. Soon, it looks like it will be another loss of liberty. Most Ugandans don’t know this. They don’t know the economics related to politics and the extent of the blessings of liberties.
Now I have some fundamentals basic knowledge in economics and political economy. I can't vote to lose my liberty. I can't vote to be oppressed by them. However, most Ugandans will be voting for someone who will influence my life and lifestyle. The author of "The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible," Prof. Ken Schoolland, writes as if he had first-hand knowledge of our situation. He indirectly explains how Africa's political class govern poorly. I have hope the cautionary tales in the book can influence the human way of life for the better.
Uganda is one country where those in government determine all lifestyles. It obstructs attempts to live one's life independently. People are dependent on the government just like the book details how the government usually stands in the way and forcefully influences how we live. Unjust laws and threats of additional ones threaten property rights. Those in power design the system to keep power for themselves. They treat people who go against their agenda as troublemakers. Voices and the media are either pro-regime or stand to be compromised or stepped on.
I am grateful for the knowledge of free-market books such as "Adventures Of Jonathan Gullible." With these books, I know the economy, private vs. public economic initiatives, the concepts of the "Broken Window Fallacy," and "The Tragedy Of The Commons." The book has excellent imaginative stories on different government policies and the dangers that they cause society. I now understand why public institutions are in a bad state with inadequate services, corruption, and poor results.
Ugandan politicians promise Ugandans jobs, free hospitals, and free schools. They run persuasive manifestos that appeal to the socialist population yet. The politicians don't have the money except to take taxpayer money to do these things, but this causes lots of losses.
Most business people here seek favors from those attached to the government. They call for taxes and regulations on foreign businesses, causing low economic growth. Since politicians do not incur losses, they don't feel the pinch of the taxes or the many excess regulations.
“The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible" is a tale that reflects the truth in Uganda politics and the economy. I was astonished that the author wrote what is happening today in Uganda using an imaginative storybook written years ago.
The ideas in the book are helping to motivate many of us. We are signing a new petition in hopes of a prosperous future with a free market, more individual rights, and personal liberty.
Thank you, Prof. Ken Schoolland, for the donation of hard copies of the book. Action for Liberty and Economic Development (ALED, Uganda) is purposefully using the book to educate high school students classes. The students are very much inspired. They are becoming knowledgeable about the present bad oppressive political culture and becoming enabled to bring prosperity, individual rights, and liberty to Uganda.
Additionally, we have found sharing a link to the online PDF, a useful tactic in promoting free-markets and the book. It gets through Uganda's often slow, intermittent internet connections and uses little costly data. It bypasses our unreliable postal service, such as when COVID lock-down caused disruptions. The PDF provides additional people with access to the book's ideas, both in Uganda and worldwide.
Thank you, Prof. Ken, Schoolland, for making this also possible!
Mr. Mwesige Joram
Action for Liberty and Economic Development (ALED Uganda)