|Politics of borrowed reasoning|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 22:26|
In his book “Social Amnesia,” Russel Jacoby writes, “Exactly because the past is forgotten, it rules unchallenged. To be transcended it must first be remembered. Social amnesia is society’s repression of remembrance.”
Human actions are only the seventh stage of a complex social process, and trying to remedy human actions without reforming the other six stages is a cosmetic exercise that can only be described as futile.
The first stage upon which our actions are based is the environment, be it described as social, economic, political or religious.
The Australians celebrate the Australian Day as the birth of a great nation, not as the Invasion Day that killed another nation. When an indigenous Australian boxer entered the ring flying the indigenous (so-called Aboriginal) flag at the current London Olympics the behaviour was seen by some Australian politicians and media as inappropriate.
Inappropriate precisely because the act itself does not auger well with an environment that has been created as the acceptable status quo of the country, a status quo where the status of the indigenous Australian is neither official or of any significance.
In the same way Dr David Livingstone “discovered” the Victoria Falls or Columbus “discovered” America we have people who seriously believe that the African is today a product of discoveries of colonialism. We have many among Africans who are convinced that we are an invisible people until we are proclaimed otherwise by white people.
Zimbabwe today is in a place where the Europeans and their Western outposts across the globe have resolved to use economic sanctions as a pressure point to make the Zimbabwean acknowledge that without the European there is no such thing as a Zimbabwean. The sad thing is that such logic makes perfect sense to some Zimbabweans.
“We will be listening to advice from Prime Minister Tsvangirai about the issue of sanctions. If he indicates to us that there is a case for easing some sanctions; that is to reward the reformers and show the hardliners that reform does actually pay dividends, then we will be open to those sorts of arguments.”
So there is this stick and carrot policy that is meant to teach the African that compliance with Western diktats “does actually pay dividends.”
As indicated earlier the environment builds a body of knowledge from which our experiences are derived. What we think we know about democracy today is largely built from an environment of white hegemony hailing uncurtailed from the days of slavery through colonialism to the current neo-colonial machinations.
Zimbabweans have of late been debating on how best to come with a constitution that resembles a Western society, and the efforts made by individual drafters to prove familiarity with and expertise in Western values was impressively dramatic, if not comical.
Despite the Zimbabwean having a rich history in farming long before the coming of white colonisers, it still made sense for some to believe that only white commercial farmers had the skills and capability to make farming a success in Zimbabwe.
Today we have people in Zimbabwe who believe job creation can only be carried out by investors from the West, and the Prime Minister is the Commander in Chief of this inferioritised brigade.
To these people Saviour Kasukuwere’s economic empowerment policy has become the definition of insanity, not for the unsoundness of its formulation but for the political incorrectness of making the black man the majority shareholder in a business involving white ownership.
It is sad that we have people among us who use as arbiters of truth those who have lied to us most — the white people.
These are the widespread kind of contradictions that make African politics the crazy circus we see today.
We have a young generation whose values are simply borrowed from a Western world whose culture they hardly know anything about.
We have a people so motivated to forget the African personality, and we have governments so addicted to Western aid.
They think the escape route is pretending yesterday has nothing to do with today.
Even if we genuinely did not know our history, it does not mean that the history is not controlling our behaviour.
The forces that are known in psychology as shaping human behaviour are those factors that are consciously not remembered by human beings; those experiences that one can swear he has never had.
that occurred in our lives at points we cannot remember.
Our political choices today are shaped by events we can hardly recall.
It is like the psychological theory that says human behaviour is determined by events of the first two years of life. How many of us can recall what happened in our first two years of life?
These are actions in expression of the choices so made by the African politician, based on the values so acquired from the beliefs inherent in the African community — beliefs entirely shaped by the life experiences in Africa, experiences so derived from the body of knowledge that has been created by the environment in which the African population lives today. Sadly we have a bastardised environment created for us by the colonial legacy.
Unless we change our environment by radically changing the core determinants of it we cannot envisage a time when our actions will change for the better. We cannot be a success story when our knowledge base is made from what happens in foreign environments, when our experiences are based on a faulty knowledge base, when our beliefs are based on the wrong sort of experience, when our beliefs create in us values of betrayal and inferiority, when such values lead us to make the wrong choices, and when such choices result in actions that only expresses our hopelessness as a people.
The hope of Zimbabwe is in the sovereignty of the country, in its sovereign control of its resources and its decision making processes.
If anything the economic sanctions have positively helped Zimbabwe to move from dependency to self-sustenance — painful as the experience has been to all of us.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!