Hindsight: A good story to tell, a promise to take up arms and nothing to offer

optical jacket1When Julius Malema during his Aljazeera interview made a call to take up arms should the 2016 local elections be rigged as he and the reds believe the 2014 election in which his party deputed nation wide were rigged he did two things on an international platform. Whether wittingly or unwittingly we will find out one day, however on the one hand ahead of the reds, Economic Freedom Fighters, local election manifesto launch he called attention to his political party so that the media’s attention could on 30 April train its sights on him which will give him the publicity he needs and on the other hand he let his guard off and revealed the true nature of the kind of a leader he is or the kind of a political party he presides over. He has, as the epitome of the reds, reminded us that he is not prepared to work and carve out a future for this country as a moderate and crowd pleaser within the realm of multiracialism. Suddenly the cool cat that we saw during the campaign to impeach the president at the stoop of parliament was gone. Malema stands for the dispossessed, the black populace, to be specific – the youth – the young people who constitute the constituency let down by the occupants of the center of power

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Hindsight: Of Big Bosses and Minions

 

HISTORYAs South African political parties diverge in different directions this weekend across our country to launch their political manifestoes sandwiched with promises and posturing ahead of the oncoming local government elections on  3 August 2016 an uneasiness pervades the employees of the City of Tshwane and their families who have been renting apartments and houses from the municipality.

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#theWriterlyBugJuice(v)31/03/16-The Shadow of the big boss


 

Critical distance affords those who watch unfolding events from a distance a vantage viewpoint. For the actors in the unfolded events only in hindsight can they make sense of the nexus of those events.


HISTORYWe were not actually sure but it was there, like a hunch that everybody feels at the same time but for lack of a firmer grasp of reality do not want to or cannot acknowledge what’s happening because time has yet to give the unfolding phenomena in front us a shape, a form.  And perhaps, at a sympathetic level that is, everyone is hesitant to acknowledge what is happening because all are in it – all are in the box-set of a moment with no leeway for critical distance myopically. I saw it flush around on the faces of majita like a shadow of doubt or a bulb moment as the judgment was passed on by the principal (most of the time pronounced presbala) flanked by the Tight Three: SRC’s president, chairman of the SGB and Prime leader of the Educators. It was a disciplinary hearing and they were facing the rest of those attending the hearing in the staff hall. Our parents dotted that sea of attendees.  On the opposite side with us sat our leader, head sunken to his barrel chest, I could not make out what was going on in his mind due to his sunken head  and the fact that I beheld it oblique as I was sitting several people away on his left so the positioning of his face defied a reading. His mom sobbed silently while his dad sat unemotionally on the right hand side of the two rows of chairs separated by an isle facing the big boss and the rest of us. I come to think of it I never thought of him as a mama’s boy kinda of an ou. Clearly his pap could not care less. I laughed silently imagining how the old man was dragged from home to hear a stout baas’s case.

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Next

Today in South Africa there is a known fear that is slowly creeping back into our consciousness or perhaps should we say hatred for the ‘other’ for that matter. The powers that be has appealed to the masses that they must harness the positive energy from the remnants of the effects of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in each other to instill a feeling of African Unity, camaraderie and sharewood.

This fear that is supposedly creeping back into our society, one will agree, is a demonstration of a problem that has remain latent and dormant all throughout the World Cup. One should find it interesting that during the matches none of the visitors were threaten in any way. There were a few mishaps here and there, the media has reported, but one should not fail to acknowledge the efforts and delivery of SAFA, the LOC, FIFA as well as countless of man and women who, in the midst of criticism and uncertainty have delivered a superb tournament to us and the rest of the world.

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The Rainbow Nation: The Neglected Discourse

21column#2Relationships have their nourishment entrenched in communication. Without communication, even with ourselves, from an individual perspective, there exists no growth. We can see this everyday when we wake up to tackle the world. We are in constant communication with who we are as we battle with the forces of destiny to attain the goals we have set out for our selves. However even if we are fueled by self ambition, because by default we are social beings, we are compelled to establish relationships outside of our own personal spheres in order to achieve our goals; additionally those formed relationship need to be maintained and sustained over particular periods of time as bargaining chips in order that our multifarious selves, fueled by personal ambitions, succeed in getting towards the finishing lines of our individualistic goals. We are opportunistic beings.

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Relocating the Rainbow Nation

In my last meditation I spoke about the acceptance of the status quo as a positive progression towards unity; specifically speaking towards – a United Rainbow Nation. Otherwise-obliviously our Republic suffers an internal conflict within itself as disunity creeps in and outright and visible separation makes itself the prevalent order. Also in that very meditation I have ushered us opaquely unto the doorstep of a particular concept, that of dialogue.

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Inter Space

The other day an Afrikaner friend of mine, dismayed by the turmoil of race conflicts that are slowly gripping our country, wondered whether the state of affairs will all end up in ashes.

‘Hardly’ said I optimistically despite the haggard look he flashed at me. I pressed on and said that in the face of the present situation it all rests on how we South Africans, both black and white, respond to the racial crises that is being played out before us. It is through a collective work-harmony why we have gotten so far in our democratic rule. Why then should the democratic mindset entrenched a decade and a half ago be bowed out and brushed aside while the serpent of tyranny assume rule through political polarization? Surely the Centre of power is not composed of misers moping around while so much security in our Republic is at stake. The haggard look contorting my friend’s face was accentuated by threats which are presently being thrown around through Malema’s Facebook account towards the Afrikaner society in our country and they in turn responding vehemently at the threats with similar racial gumption. As I tried to quelled the worries of my friend a similar event that occurred in cyberspace last year cropped up in my mind.

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Tremor 3.4

The brutal murder of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche will inevitably cause a major tremor in South African politics. Unfortunately the landscape of politics in our country is defined by race, when a high profile leader dies, it matters whether he or she was black or white – before we even establish the cause of death. Then the establishment of the cause of death rounds off our impression from which we can move on. Despite the fact that post ’94 we viewed our selves as a Rainbow Nation, never has there been a time as conducive as now to inquire as to how many of us bought into the Rainbow Nation ideal. Perhaps when it was proclaimed, with glistening eyes, some Republicans scoffed and grunted ‘we will see whether it will work out or not’.

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Cracks of a Chariot

Is  the advent of the Soccer World Cup in Africa a blessing in disguise to reveal the concealed cracks in our superstructure(s)? Do mind that against the ensuing  violence, protest and lawlessness the world’s attention is focused on  the Republic of South Africa. June to July 2010 will pass there is no questioning that fact, it is as stark as our furrowed foreheads.

Over the past years the townships and informal settlement have displayed a nag to take to the street and sing songs of protest if they are not certified with how the show is running often tearing  the surroundings and themselves part in the process. The results, a backward leap in terms of infrastructure destruction that is caused by protests.

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The Centre’s Loss of Plot

We all have our tomorrow-day meditations. It is a given that we all have hopes and dreams and had made plans today to reach them tomorrow. Plans are tightly knitted with change. It is through the tracing of change that we will be able to acknowledge whether our tomorrow day is feasible or not as we have envisaged it.

What is the yardstick of measuring change then? The yard stick can be located in one’s historical heritage. History becomes an invaluable tool when pitted against the present. One needs to just cast an open eye if not one’s mind into the past in order to critically evaluate whether change has taken place. With such a tool as history at hand then we can talk about progression or stagnation. However the deliberation upon measuring change should be critically inspired, it is an activity that one should be impartial when unearthing or discerning progression or stagnation and not to be defensive to the results yielded otherwise the activity, should it undermines the search for truth, will automatically be rendered banal.

The results that may be yielded by the inquiry may be undesirable should the one who is involved in the activity of historical inquiry be aligned with the left or right of those who are the dominant forces in the society being evaluated, a society to which the inquirer may or not belong to. For what else is the point of historical recordings if they do not serve the purpose of helping us evaluate our present stance in the greater scheme of things, in revealing our true nature as it is?

Reiteration: It is arguable that Humanity is bound by change and change itself has as its substratum the concept of time. And the events that humanity partakes in are demarcated by the concept of time itself. Henceforth time frames, marked by prominent occurrences, are used as outlines in demarcations of historical periods in the scrutiny of the history of a society par excellence.

Now when a Society takes a peep at its past and isolates a particular event that has had a remarkable impact in the lives of people belonging to its social structures and opts to celebrate that event by honoring those who have partook in it, that society is unwittingly, doubly so knowingly, assessing itself anachronistically. I use the words ‘unwittingly’ and ‘knowingly’ as an attempt to remind us that some members of societies are overtaken by pronouncement of vital periods or occurrences through media or while conversing with their peers or colleagues, even families they are made self aware of their historical heritages.

Time and its meaning differs from person to person, from culture to culture as well as from nation to nation. It is the context within which time is experienced that differs, otherwise time goes on whether it is acknowledged or not. I herewith propose to offer simple illustrations to make sense of what I mean by the difference in meaning of time as far as context is concerned. The following illustrations ought not to be taken as universal due to the abundance of frame of references in the social sphere.

The meaning of time to those who are ruled

To someone who is unemployed we can argue that time experience is different because they have no pressure of deadlines to adhere to nor do they look forward to their payment to services rendered since they render none. What we can agree to is that the unemployed wish to have to worry about the responsibilities that come with the rendering of services provided since, granted an opportunity to be part of a workforce, they will be compensated for their trouble per output and the standard of their livelihood would be much better. The unemployed masses of any nation look at those in power to help their efforts at achieving the livelihood of being active in their society. More often they are not a passive segment of a society which relies on handouts. The basis of human existence is self resilience and it should not be underestimated that major segment of any nation is endowed with it. Henceforth their support to political parties, which are well packaged ideological pockets who seem to be having their best interests at heart.

The meaning of time to those in midway

Here simply the opposite applies. To someone who is part of the working force of a society time is undoubtedly experienced differently in that they have to adhere to deadlines as far as the output of the work that they are employed to do is concerned. They have to be answerable to their actions as far as their work is concerned, answerable to whomever who has employed them for their skills.

To the employer or those in power; time is important for them to produce whatever it is that they must produce for they benefit from that production monetarily.

In this illustration we see that the area of demarcation between those in power and those who are in the employment of those in power is reduced to a certain degree so that the contact between the two is marginal.

At least contact with power does exists, as opposed to the ruled who has no contact whatsoever with those in power unless the rulers make themselves accessible to the ruled. More often this segment of the society’ support to political parties is readily pronounced.

The meaning of time to the centre/ to those in power

By the word ‘centre’ here, we mean that point of arrival where control of those who are in subordination is coordinated and regulated by those who are in power to achieve their desired goals. The desired goals of those in power may be implied or specified, depending on the agenda of the ‘centre’. Corporations, Associations, Clubs, Political Parties and, over and above, the State (Government) are acute examples of what the centre is. While this definition is by no way one highway of describing the power structure relation, as already stated a few paragraphs ago – above, here we wish to delimit it to this sense for the brief interrogation we are about to submit it to.

We have stated in simple terms that change is assessed anachronistically/historically and that our vehicle to discern change is the concept of time. We have pointed out, indirectly that when a society co-opt to celebrate a particular moment in its historical recording it is engaged in comparative analysis of itself in terms of past vs. present. The co-option of celebrating particular events locked in the history of a society is sanctioned by the Centre.

The Centre makes arrangements well in advance to celebrate milestones in the social sphere where they are situated. Through its public interactions with those whom it regulates, the ruled and those who render its functions, the Centre is able to forecast the coming of such celebrations to the society. Should the Centre then not be able to see to it that the masses buy into the ideal to be celebrated, then it will not be in tune with the masses who acknowledges its power of control. Then Centre will cease to hold ground and will collapse. What then is the significance of celebrating the historical milestones of a society if they are lacerated with risks of fallout?

The answer is undeniably the fact that in order for the Centre to re-impress itself upon the masses concerning its validity to continue to hold ground it has to continuously revisit the past of the society it is situated in, it must remind who that society is. Thus the co-opted milestone to be celebrated at any time frame in the lifespan of any nature of a society should resonate across all spheres of the society in question. Here then we get a sense that the scrutiny of what is to be venerated should be carefully selected.

Example: In our Republic – the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, 22 & 23 January 1879. The Anglo-Boer War, 11 October 1899 to May 31 1902. The enforcement of apartheid, 1948 – 1994. The Group Areas Act  of 1950. The Women’s March August 9, 1956 and the Sharpville massacre of 21 March 1960…(giant leap thirty years odd years or so)… the dawn of Freedom, 27 April 1994, will be forevermore acknowledged. It is a triumph over human evil that resonates throughout the globe. 1976, June 16, it is a Tsunami that sent warning tremors to the state apparatuses of the latter-day apartheid system’s  fragility. Like all these events above it drew world attention to this republic. So is the 20 years celebration of Madiba’s release from Prison early this year, so is the 100 years anniversary of the centre in two years to come.

These firm stepping-stones, ranging from resistance through defiance and liberation, sampled anachronistically are the yardsticks to assess change. It is through them that South Africans will always evaluate change in this country. And it is through our collective yardsticks that the world assess change in the Republic of South Africa.

The question then that the Centre needs to meditate upon is how long shall its validity to rule, control and acknowledge the ruled hold? If the centre does not ponder upon this question it would have lost the plot altogether – which is its key function. Knowing the plot. Knowing what has happened and why. Knowing the stage at which the ruled society is at and the aspirations that that society anticipate to achieve.

With the Centre’ loss of Plot the ground shall have been prepared for the Neo-Struggle. Let it be known that the moment the Centre ceases to be a reflection of those it purports to uphold the interest of, it acquires a state of banality, and meaning for the ruled society ought to be sought elsewhere, albeit through an untying effect called – Revolution.

21 February, summer

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2010