@Jamwanda2 on Saturday
ASKED what he wanted his novel to be, the 1947 French Literature Nobel Laureate, Andre Paul Guillaume Gide, answered with characteristic wit and philosophical tinge: “A crossroads — a rendezvous of problems!”
Threats from MAGAs
United States President Joe Biden is in campaign mode. The other day he was lashing out at MAGAs whom he accused of putting America’s self-vaunted democratic soul in jeopardy.
Americans are notorious for acronyms — including coining many from banalities. Donald Trump won and lost elections on the banal mantra of “making America great again”.
Out of that unimaginative mantra was born MAGA, which Biden now blames for imperilling American democracy.
Before this stunning claim by the Chief Executive Officer of America, one Republican had warned that forcing Trump to appear in court on any charges would plunge America into civil war.
The prediction was quite dire, and a clear indication that Trump, whose nominees are winning primaries, has a support base broadly cross-cutting enough to create generalised instability.
It got me to wonder if this is not what is behind ardent attempts by the Biden Administration to arraign Trump, hoping that would disqualify him from running for office.
When the global model collapses
Over a century, America has prided itself as the shibboleth or touchstone of democracy.
This has gone beyond mere pride. American democracy has become a forcible export to the rest of the lesser world.
Any departure from it is automatically indictable or, worse a causa belli — reason for war.
We in Zimbabwe are no stranger to this American high-handed haughtiness. America’s ZIDERA uses the pretext of democracy — its democracy — to mask her aggression against us, all of it triggered by our subsoil assets which it covets.
With America and Americans themselves questioning the viability of their democracy for it and themselves respectively, I am sure the world is slowly becoming a safer place.
Amidst self-doubt, and against an introspective imbroglio, there is no way America is in a position to package and ship broad its pernicious commodity — its example!
And with so much happening at home whose unwholesome sum — for America of course! — is raising serious questions against its values, the rest of the world can easily give a sharp retort to its pretences for nonpareil democratic standards.
End of history
Of course the biggest beneficiary of an America in self-doubt and at war with itself is Putin’s Russia, and Xi’s China.
The burden of developing an antipodal ideological standpoint to that of mighty America becomes lighter: American democracy is being derided at home, and by its own people.
And going by the statement of President Joe Biden, it is no longer assured of self-reproduction, meaning history has come to an end, to use Fukuyama’s favourite but now useless phrase.
Pasting illness on Putin
Which takes me to a related point. I notice the Western media is donating all sorts of maladies and ailments to President Putin of Russia.
As I write this piece, the Daily Mail reports that Putin’s leg “shook savagely” as he addressed Russian school kids on the special operation in Ukraine.
Of course I am used to this “black” propaganda by the white world. I suffered it during the term of our founding President here.
The Western media never ran out of maladies to give him.
But I got to know that this is the West’s back-handed tribute to a sturdy opponent they cannot overrun.
It turns to prayers so the heavens can join in the fight through all manner of maladies so the West is rid of its intractable opponent. Long live President Putin.
Rendezvous of problems
The Gokwe Kabuyuni by-election came and went. Triple C got quite some thrashing. The result went deeper in terms of portents: it indicated a movement in mortal decline, at a time when its opponent — the ruling Zanu-PF — continues to defy gravity.
As if that was not bad enough, Triple C does not hesitate to do further harm to itself, including digging deeper after it has hit the bottom.
Formless, structureless, hierarchy-free, endogenous value-free and — worse — leaderless, it has become Gide’s rendezvous of problems, in spite of itself.
A party in atrophy
Leaderlessness in politics shows by way of many situation figures popping up, and of course by way of many messages for which there is neither reason of rhyme.
That is Triple C at the moment. Even political upstarts like Hopewell Chin’ono fancy themselves in the driving seat, indefatigably dishing out expletives they confuse for directional policy.
In sum, the whole movement has been pimping for grievances and national slights from friend and foe, hoping to patch up a cause for elusive cohesion.
Inorganic and therefore inchoate, the only organic thing about Triple C is the palpable sense of despair and dispiritedness within its warring ranks.
This is very good news for national politics.
No sorrows, no dirge
Generally funerals are spectacles of sorrow, particularly when the departed was dear.
Triple C struggles to elicit any modicum of sympathy.
It is not of this earth, having been bred abroad. Its value-system — if any it has — is anti-people, anti-nation; pro-foreigners and pro-imperialism.
It deserves no dirge; only triumphant laughter following the demise and irrevocable departure of something so baneful.
The point is better made when one contrasts woes of Triple C with those of the African National Congress, ANC.
Close to its nadir, we all worry that a vanguard movement of the South African black underdog is threatened, both from within and from without.
There is a real risk of a watered-down outcome, come the next polls. It never too good when erstwhile forces of apartheid rally back so strongly, against brooding malaise that afflicts a fellow liberation movement, the oldest on the Continent, and thus a trope of African resistance.
When the glue fails
My deepest worry is not ANC’s organisational status; the liberation movement can always improve its appeal and step back from the brink.
What worries me is the gradually disintegration of the very glue that held it and the masses together, namely the pan-African, anti-Apartheid and anti-imperialism for which its retinue of iconic founders were famed.
Even more worrisome is that this assault on its founding glue is both from without and from within.
Here is how. ANC’s opposition has been playing the anti-African card of xenophobia.
I never call it an anti-foreigner card because foreigners who are white or off-black go about unmolested.
The xenophobia is anti-African, strictly. That is not necessarily tragic.
Gold rusts like iron
The tragedy comes about when gold apes iron in rusting.
Unable to reformulate its electoral agenda in the face of opposition-inspired xenophobia, the ANC has now elected to ape that degraded ideology, thus toppling itself from the lofty plinth of a liberation movement.
There is a deeper and even sinister side to the whole thing. When imperialism targets a country, the goal is not to capture a political party, necessarily, usually an opposition party.
Many wrongly think that is the goal. Imperialism invents opposition in targeted countries not so much to capture power, desirable though that may be.
It invents opposition in order to instrumentalise it in changing the political ethos of a target society.
This is a game of numbers; of critical mass. Once that is achieved, then a new zeitgeist forms, which changes the politics of a people, a nation forever.
What a better way to do this than to get a ruling party to succumb to messages of a sponsored opposition!
That for me is the tragedy unfurling in South Africa.
Unlike Zanu-PF in 2008
Imagine Zanu-PF in 2008 swaying itself towards the predilections of Tsvangirai’s MDC and the Mujuru-led internal wing within its own structures?
That would have been the end of the Zimbabwe Struggle. Which is to say, the beginning of the return to Rhodesia recast!
In terms of national politics and national vision, the tragedy is not when an opposition rises or declines; it is when a ruling party apes the ethos engendered by a foreign-sponsored opposition!
Imagine donkeys leaving their braying ways for a cow’s moo!
I am out to donkey world.