During private-study periods, Franklin invites his classmate, Peter, to play and mock other students for studying too much and being boring. But, as everyone goes home after school, Franklin stays back to study, while Peter goes home with others. After exams Franklin passes with high grades, while Peter fails since he lost himself to distraction. The constant bombardment (supply) of distracting elements through media, academic and religious institutions suggests a conspiracy to distract people from productivity. Therefore, it becomes necessary to evaluate the pattern and the people who benefit from people’s unproductivity and eventual impoverishment.
The high publicity and sponsorship for entertainment and fantasies in many underdeveloped societies suggests a conspiracy to distract people from material productivity. Material productivity here refers to using natural resources to produce tangible items like machines, tools, cars, books, gadgets, clothes, etc. Hence, some politicians and firms in poor societies lavishly fund music, carnivals, comedies, reality shows, pageantry, gossips and other forms of entertainment to distract the unproductive and impoverished people. They import material items like foods, drinks, loud speakers, gadgets, costumes and decoration to keep people from thinking or retrieving their resources for production. This suspicion increases when there is little or no corresponding funding for people to develop their ability to utilize their resources in material production.
“Impoverish them by seizing their production resources, then give them crumbs and entertainment to keep seeing you as their savior.”
Definition and social uses of distractions
Noting the necessity of distraction, Olena Tyrell warns Tyrion Lannister: “The people are hungry for more than just food (material goods), they crave distractions. And if we don’t provide them, they will create their own. And their distractions are likely to end with us being torn to pieces.” Distraction is defined as a thing that takes your attention away from what you are doing or experiencing. Secondly, it means a thing that amuses or entertains you. Following these two definitions, distraction can either be positive or negative, depending on their effects in people’s lives.
Humans find true happiness by developing and utilizing their potentials and resources for solving problems and satisfying needs. Yet, since humans are under the natural principles of motion and rest, they require rest to refresh their energy and capacity. Without resting and refreshing the body and mind, humans get saturated, break down, fall sick or experience reduced performance.
Positive distraction, therefore, implies engaging in leisure activities for the purpose of resting and refreshing yourself for better productivity. It includes all sports, rest, music, games, books, parties and activities for dissolving accumulated stress, in order to improve productivity. Effective educators, supervisors and trainers introduce relevant and adequate distractions for refreshing their team’s performance. It also includes educative games for easy learning.
Negative distraction, on the contrary, implies being totally or more occupied with activities that differ from or hinder your processes of development or productivity. By taking more time than necessary, negative distractions reduce the time people could have used for their self-development, productivity and efficiency. People introduce diverse addictive and time-wasting elements as negative distractions for their rivals, opponents or victims.
Objects of distraction
The positivity or negativity of distraction is not found in the object itself; but in its use to either refresh the individual for higher productivity, or to remove the individual’s mind from productivity. And what is considered distraction for one man could be another man’s major contribution to the society. So, objects or activities that can be used for distraction include sports, music, concerts, gambling, clubs, bars, movies and social services, academic and religious activities.
What are they distracted from?
People form societies by agreeing to collaborate in using their potentials and resources to solve their problems and satisfy their needs. They focus more on producing their material items, since material products form the basis for all other activities. In health, education, transportation, communication, clothing, feeding, defence or housing, material products provide the basis for functional progress and economic growth. So, a major activity for progressive societies is setting systems for increasing and guiding its people’s abilities for material production. And by applying scientific knowledge on mineral and agricultural resources, they develop and trade surplus material items for satisfying these needs.
With the primacy of material productivity, the most destabilizing plot in a society is distracting people from the means of material production. It begins from imposing legal structures for seizing people’s lands and mineral resources before using religious, ideological, academic and social elements to redirect them to various service sectors. Efforts to survive by providing services in marketing, entertainment or other service sectors bring dependence on costly imported materials. Thus, every little money made from service quickly goes back to material producers as bills for provisions or tools. With this system, the exploiters of people’s resources for material production can control the flow of provisions to their desired direction. And the non-producers barely survive by speculating and fitting into any scheme the material producers choose to fund. This is the game behind the distraction game.
Who is funding the distraction from productivity in Nigeria?
Identifying the people who fund distraction from productivity in Nigeria requires evaluating people who would gain from Nigerians’ unproductivity. Such are globalists, firms, persons and groups upon whose finished products Nigerians desperately depend for survival; the people who mainly see Nigeria as a hunting ground for human and mineral resources, and Nigerians as market for surplus products. They include subsidiaries and marketing agents for foreign firms in telecommunication, construction, foods, wears, gadgets, home and work appliances. So, identifying them requires evaluating those who sponsor most perversions and depraved reality-shows, movies, games and songs.
Fighting them is irrelevant. Simply overwhelm their perversions and distractions with social education for higher stakes in material productivity, policies and social responsibility.
Gladiators were captured slaves who were made to fight and kill one another as entertainment for ancient cities. After killing other captives for sports, their masters rewarded them with few coins, wine or women, or by erecting a statue for the champion among them. The masters regulate the captives’ rewards and trainings to keep them distracted from thinking, uniting or seeking freedom. Likewise, people in disorganized and exploitative societies are often distracted from thinking, uniting and liberating themselves from socio-political and economic bondages. Entertainment, twisted academics, civil service, religiosity, and antisocial ideologies of passivity, feminism and single parenthood are often used for distracting people from liberating themselves from their socio-political and economic bondages.
 Victoria Kimani, in www.nairaland.com/5456139/victoria-kimani-under-fire-saying
 Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “How much laugh to forget your sorrows in Nigeria?” in Restartnaija, 28th August, 2017. https://restartnaija.com/2017/08/28/laugh-to-forget-your-sorrows-in-nigeria/
 Olenna Tyrell to Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, season 3, episode 5
 Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, International Student’s Edition, 8th edition. S. V. Distraction
 Cf. Henry Hazlitt, Economics in one lesson (New York: Pocket books, Inc. 1946) p.149.