Zimbabwe is not Egypt

I’m getting tired of Twitter users all over the world saying it’s Zimbabwe’s turn for revolution, Egypt-style. And it’s starting to piss me off.

These peeps are scattered everywhere, and it appears anywhere but Zim! Do they know what they’re talking about? It’s well and good saying “Wake up Harare, it’s your turn, remove the dictator Mugabe” and all sorts, but they have no idea of the reality in this country.

The difference between those countries up North and us down here is that we have some semblance of opposition. We have some semblance of democratic space. We have an outlet for our frustrations, and a vibrant party willing to take the bullets for the masses.

Yes, I know our democracy is superficial and we’re under the thumb, but if you look at the people on the streets now, they’ve never demonstrated before, they have never had a voice or anything of the sort.

We have had a voice for 12 years now, and although the progress is minimal, we have gained a bit of ground. Fact is, we are in the process of negotiating around our oppressors, and that process has not been so exhausted as to make popular revolt a viable option.

Also, we look at the age of our current (and only) President, and his rumoured failing health, and we appear content to wait him out. Yes, this is a system not a person, but the people will be in a major position of strength once the old guard has moved on to a better place.

There has been much hullabaloo about failed politician Munyaradzi Gwisai and his little film showing, mostly from people who don’t know the political landscape in Zimbabwe. It was meaningless, harmless, and their detention and eventual prosecution shows the heavy hand at work, cracking down in fear and paranoia.

I am not going the easy route, accusing our people of political cowardice like other commentators like to do – we are pretty smart, and I’d say to anyone with a choice of either resisting or being forced to attend a ZPF meeting, the smart choice is to go, sing, chant, then if we end up with elections like they’re threatening, simply place your X where you want it to be.

Fact is, our people have been brutalised, as recently as 2008, 2005, 2002 and 2000. We don’t need the sort of terror that we know people with degrees in violence can unleash.

We don’t need no more trouble” – Bob Marley

35 Replies to “Zimbabwe is not Egypt”

  1. The people who are harping on about Egypt have no clue what the f*** just happened in Egypt.

    Two things that are now certain in Egypt, only two,

    1. Mubarak is no longer president.

    2. Egypt is now a Military State.

    Period.

    The entire world is run by dictators. Some countries call them Kings, Sultans, Presidents, Prime Ministers or whatever the f*** – same shit. All of these are figureheads for establishments of power backed by a military somewhere, whether internal or external *cough US *cough*.
    Some of these dictators stay on for decades and are referred to as autocratic and other flowery words.
    More devious systems get their citizens to elect their dictators of choice every few years and call themselves democratic.

    All this harping on about removing Mugabe,

    You remove Mugabe and then what?

    You should have paid attention when military spending post 1980 was consistently 1/3 of the annual budget AND when contitutional amendments were whizzing through parly.

    Revolt by sending a tweet, tsk.

  2. It was almost inevitable you’d go off on one of your anarchist, anti-authority rants. Which I think is way off base, but hey, opinion.

    My point is, change is necessary, change is inevitable, but what is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. We shall go about our revolution in a different manner.

  3. The noble and ignoble reasons for any political revolution result in one powerful banditry element over the majority. What the people of the Middle East are simply saying is that they are tired of one dictator and not necessarily tired of dictatorship.

    What Joe and similar Zimbabwean acolytes do not see is that Bob and Morgan come from the same ancestral gene. Bob just has a 30 year advantage.

  4. Wonderful, if your words of any value. It’s easy to fool about a system, without proposing mechanisms to replace that system. If democracy’s fraud then what’s your alternative?

    Defiant words and delusions of enlightenment do not a country make. Talk solutions and I’ll take you both seriously.

  5. btw, ACM, with reference to those emails I sent you, been slowly drawing to Oscar’s conclusion,

    “Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”

    revolutions, democracy, dictatorships, the people, the leaders – at the bone, after you strip away the noises, there are just individuals.

    With all the theory at hand, experience is however teaching me that there is no collective consciousness – at most there are individual feelings which are expressed towards one (albeit misguided) direction – what matters is each person’s perspective and what they see from where they stand.

    In simple-speak Beezy – it is irrelevant whether there is a revolution in Zim or not or whether Bob stays or not. There are no “people” wanting a revolution in Zim, Egypt or anywhere else, just individuals with individual aspirations.

  6. The “people” are a collective mass, for better or for worse. If the plurality of the population of Zim want certain conditions of living, like free speech, free assembly, free elections and so forth, is that illegitimate?

    And go off on a spiel about how there’s no such thing as “free” elections and polls are irrelevant, because that’s going back to what I said before, whining in the abstract while ignoring reality.

  7. MosNative indeed when individual aspirations are clothed in collectivism ( read; we the people, equality, rule of law, government for the people by the people), they become acceptable to the generality of the people. Yet what is evident is that certain individuals are now able to enjoy a luxury that they aspired for but could not achieve by being productive.

    in the words of D. French on “what kind of individual aspires for political office”.

    “So while the electorate recognizes that they are electing at best incompetents and at worst crooks, the constant, naïve, prodemocracy mantra is that “we just need to elect the right people.” But, the “right people” aren’t (and won’t be) running for office. Instead, we will continue to have “the average American legislator [who] is not only an ass,” as Mencken wrote, “but also an oblique, sinister, depraved and knavish fellow.

    for the full article http://www.mises.org/daily/4739

  8. @ Joe what is necessary is a system that guaranteed individual sovereignty and not collective sovereignty. By accepting collective sovereignty (e.g Republic, rule by majority,dictatorship) through the use of elections (or otherwise)you are only guaranteeing the ruling elite sovereignty. Anarchy is the only considered and forthright answer. But the lazy and stupid cannot possibly benefit from a free society, and unfortunately the lazy and stupid are in the majority.

  9. So why don’t you, the industrious and intelligent, f*** off somewhere and form your own enlightened anarchy? If democracy or whatever version of it isn’t good enough for you, please, by all means, go form your own society.

    As for us, the collective, we will continue to strive to improve our own imperfect world, and build a true democracy in which EVERY citizen can participate, despite the wannabe-elite-pseudo-philosophers looking down their nose at them.

  10. Joe we do have a society and we try our best to persuade as many as possible to appreciate the benefits of individualism. We take heart that only after 200 years democracy has become shaky. More and more are questioning the ethos of collective sovereignty. We remain steadfast. I beg, infact doth implore you to read the above article I posted.

    To know more http://www.pikespeakeconomicsclub.com/CMS/PPEC/

  11. Go ahead and do the best to persuade people to change their whole system of living – I wish you the best with that. I won’t bother reading your article, because I for one believe in democracy, and see it as an imperfect solution much better than all possible alternatives, which have been explored.

  12. You lot think too much. You need to relax and just make sure your asses, others’, vote for who you think is the lesser of however many evils when the time comes, and hope for the best. You’ll live longer. 🙂

    Look, I’m just saying, given that waiting for voting is the only pragmatic option for Zimbos right now, just go with it. Zimbo is trying to be a Democracy, and a good one at that. So no use wishing for anarchy, cause it aint gon happen any time soon (Seriously!!! If it does, it won’t be in the Utopic form that I’m sure Mos Native fantasises about. Think any of dystopian action film you’ve seen. Think Gaza. EISH). Instead, try and be part of that democracy, and even work to mould it. Voices will be heard as long as they use the right platforms for the current context. Yes, we are all in it for number one, but I find that when the number ones have something in common and collaborate, they get shit done.

    FYI: I really try and keep up with you boys on politics, but gather I have ways to go yet. I know it is very complicated and shit, and I’ve probably oversimplified matters. So please cut me some slack. I’m trying.

  13. Tara you’ve actually done well, simplifying it is the only solution. These two try to make themselves out to be some sort of tortured elites, philosophising about anarchic utopias that will not come to pass.

    Humanity has tried every form of society and governance, and fact is democracy is the least of all evils. You may wanna carry on tilting at windmills forever, but until you get pragmatic about what you want to achieve, or want to see society achieve, you’re pissing in the wind.

    Get real.

  14. Tara was is utopian? Arguing for people to be left to their individual pursuits OR creating a small elite of people who then decide what is “good and proper” for the majority of the people where everyone is equal and there are neither poor nor rich people, everything is shared equally and justice prevails across the shores?

    Joe. Democracy is not the least of all evils as enunciated by Churchill. Rather as posited by Plato it’s the last evidence of total decay of human civilisation, when men of little character, ethics and/or natural talents rise to the top of society and become rulers of all- e.g Zuma, Tsvangirayi

  15. So why don’t YOU, of immense character, ethics and natural talents, stop whining about the system and insert yourself into the system to make it better? Why don’t YOU rise to the top of society and rule?

  16. I can only propagate the notions of an upright society. There are two ways to rise to the top of society, by being industrious and entrepreneurial OR by stealing from the industrious and entrepreneurial.

    The former requires ability, bravery, talent and voluntary customers while the later requires becoming a politician and forcing a tribute from the majority of people. Evidently one requires individual strength of character whilst the other requires one to lie and be corrupt. Strive Masiyiwa rose on the back of natural ability and strength of character while Mutambara rose on the back of deception.

  17. So if you choose to go into industry and steer clear of politics, you lose your right to moan about the political dispensation/reality, since you have OPTED to do NOTHING about it.

  18. Politics in the larger realm of society is only one aspect- the least important aspect. My contribution to society is firstly to produce and to ensure no harm befalls on society. The biggest harm at the moment is the poisonous political class.

  19. Politics is a broad concept and party politics is merely an aspect of democraticy. To limit political action to taking part in democracy is narrow thinking.
    The act of taking part, or not, in party politics is a political action in itself.
    To detach from the comical tragedy that is party politics and its delusions of some democratic ideal is a strong political action.
    Strive’s success is a big middle finger to the farce that is indigenisation and party politics and the many smaller yet successful non-politically aligned individuals doing business and not waiting for government deliverance are proof positive of the circus that is government.
    Similarly, the breakdown of services and infrastructure in Zim has sorted, albeit tragically sometimes, the wheat from the chaf – there are those who moan about government f***ing up the country and not repairing roads, water services, electricity infrastructure etc and wish for revolutions and removal of mugabe as events which will suddenly uplift their livelihoods, and then there are those, the wheat, who strut ahead like Colossus, regardless of the shenanigans in government, and get a 4×4, sink a borehole, get a generator and get the f*** on with living.

    All of those moaning right now. Give them access to what they moan for and they are suddenly not one of “the people”.

  20. Thanks JB! ACM, in my opinion, where everyone is equally happy is utopian. But such a place only exists in the minds of people like you and me. I am comfortable enough to declare that it will never happen. Problem is, it can only be attained in a society where every single individual is IDENTICAL to the next. Utopia will only work for a homogenous society where everyone is exactly alike, all liking the same things, all having the same experiences and living in exactly the same circumstances, all being good and bad at the same things and looking alike. Then, people will all want for the same things and all get the same because they all have the same abilities to attain and all that, without others doing better. They won’t know any better. Unlike the real world where no two people are alike, not even your identical twins. We all vary in skills and experiences, and we live in very different situations in space and time, and all that. And as such, some do better than others, with the theory of relativity* playing a big factor. As long as this variation exists in individuals, there simply cannot be an ACM Utopia, where people are left to their individual pursuits. No, because those individual pursuits will often be to the detriment of others, bringing us right back to square 1. You remember square 1, right. Where someone is bound to be on the business end of a raw deal. And without some form of order and law, those people are screwed, because there is nothing to stop said individual pursuits being, by democracy standards, ‘unlawful’.

    So, how can you get a Utopia. The closest you can get there is get a dictator who changes the laws and … no wait, I think that’s what the communists tried to do and failed. I know the churches have tried a few times. Why did they fail? We all want different things. Forget Utopia, and work with what you’ve got. Leave utopia to eusocial organisms. They got Utopia nailed.

    *It’s all relative.

  21. Thank you Tara. Utopia is only in the minds of the political class.

    Individualism simply says protection of individual rights, protection of private property and right to one’s labour is the most important. It argues that they will be natural leaders in any society, through wealth, skill, bravery, talent and determination virtues which should always be rewarded. It accepts, those who are lazy must suffer the consequences and prosperity should be based on meritocracy. The law is for everyone.

    Its not an ACM utopia but rather simply free the people!

  22. Not really sure about these ‘lazy’ people. What do you mean lazy people? I am just worried that the term refers to those who are marginalised and disenfranchised. The homeless. Drug addicts. Long term unemployed. Etc. Is anyone really ever lazy. Because I reckon that society usually perpetuates this ‘lazy’ section of society.

    I digress.

  23. Tara – on a somewhat unrelated note. Someone from the upper regions (restless arab states) was trying to explain to me that we Zimbos are in the state we are in because we are lazy and dont bother getting involved in any cause be it political or religious – hence no southern african suicide bombers. This after Economist said some of the mercenaries in Libya killing protestors are apparently Zimbos. My take on it, is that we arent on the streets, politically or religiously because Im sorry but I just love my life too much no matter how flawed it is. I aint becoming a martyr for a cause – I want to be there to enjoy the utopian state and I cant do that if I am dead!

  24. The marginalised, disenfranchised, homeless etc are only possible through a caste system and democracy is a caste system. Under Anarchy a drug addicts cannot rely on a dole to sustain his habit. But if he is producing then drugging himself to death is up to him.
    I rather find your rhetorical question “Is anyone really ever lazy?” at best naive and at worst intellectually lazy.

  25. There you go again, speaking in the abstract. Snap out of it, intellectual laziness is advancing the same arguments and advocating a system that a) doesn’t exist and b) shan’t exist unless and until someone nukes someone else and the peoples of the world are left naked and shivering.

    And I don’t see that happening, even after a holocaust, people will organise and select leaders and create systems and rebuild. Anarchy will never be the rule.

  26. Joe,
    a) Anarchy societies exist, just because you are lazy to do a bit of research does not mean it’s not possible. I find it hard that you are quick to acknowledge something that is 200 years old and not something that is 4,000 years old. The Israelites coming out of Egypt and living in Canaan, lived under an anarchy society, until they copied other tribes to instil a King, the first of which was Saul. It is written God was against the idea of them having a king, and warned them that a King would result in unprecedented strife and chaos. Guess what, it was unprecedented strife and chaos, with the Israelites arguing that life under a king is no different from cows under a yoke. Unfortunately the kings became all to powerful to topple and killed any dissension,(sound familiar?).

    B)Anarchy does not mean leaderless. But rather absence of a coercive coterie of bandits. Anarchy acknowledges that leaders will emerge in any society and the natural leaders are those that do so under a meritocracy. And even then, a leader does not have coercive power over society.

  27. Some peeps don’t live in Zimbabwe.
    Some peeps don’t live in the real world.
    Some peeps comment theoretically.
    Some peeps live actually.

  28. Firstly, to claim that anarchies exist, calling ME lazy to do research, and then giving NOT ONE EXAMPLE … well, that speaks for itself.

    Secondly, if you want to make an argument with me, don’t involve God or the Israelites or Saul or whoever. We’re having a conservation in the real world, don’t bring superstition into it, that means f***-all to me.

  29. Yeah! Exactly what He said! Seriously, pulling the Bible card?! Talk about laziness. Besides, ACM, you just implied that anarchy is not a long term model, but rather, a transission stage. And speaking of meritocracy, ain’t that kinda like democracy. Bet that’s what they thought in 1980 when they voted you know who what.

    Anyway, ACM, I’m bored of your name calling and rhetoric.

  30. Joe and Tara. the story of the Israelites is not superstition. A cursory study of your history books would bring to foe all the characters and events i have talked about. circa 2500bc.

    I have talked of the ancient Chinese societies, Irish, and even the state of Pennsylvania in itself original construct as an anarchy.

    I am rather surprised all you know of is democracy and even that your understanding is chimerical.

    “But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom”

  31. About the Israelites, you would have sounded better if u hadn’t invoked your God. Read yr comment again.

    Your examples are all ancient history, right? So by yr own admission you’re advocating a form of society that is extinct and consigned to the scrapheap of history. We have evolved, societies have evolved, so anarchy is behind us.

    What then for your argument? Yes all I know is democracy, if you have been alive for hundreds of years and know anything else, do tell your secret.

    LOL

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