Win­try wind of greed has killed our rev­o­lu­tion

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo busi­ness@city­

The golden an­niver­sary of the Chi­nese Cul­tural Rev­o­lu­tion passed by un­no­ticed last week, with that coun­try’s gov­ern­ment tac­itly dis­cour­ag­ing its peo­ple from cel­e­brat­ing it.

Like most grand pro­grammes, Mao Ze­dong’s rev­o­lu­tion had its ex­cesses, and he used them as a cover to ex­ter­mi­nate his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and ex­punge any dis­sent­ing ide­o­log­i­cal views.

There is no deny­ing that he re­mains the most in­flu­en­tial Chi­nese leader this side of the Christ cur­tain. He pro­vided the stilts that made China a mod­ern su­per­power.

Our fee­ble rev­o­lu­tion, sadly, could not with­stand the win­try winds of greed.

The pres­i­dency of Ja­cob Zuma will be looked at as the most di­vi­sive in our short demo­cratic his­tory. While he was at the helm, the 20th an­niver­sary of our free­dom passed by with­out a sin­gle fire­cracker ex­plod­ing, be­cause he was al­ready para­noid.

The con­di­tions for a real rev­o­lu­tion are ripe in this coun­try.

There are just too many things to re­volt against. The #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall move­ments are but the whirl­winds be­fore the hur­ri­cane.

We have a pres­i­dent who is a sym­bol of all that is wrong, and who has a vo­ra­cious ap­petite for money. We have ex­hi­bi­tion­ist Cab­i­net min­is­ters who are not shy to pa­rade their priv­i­lege in front of the poor.

The of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion (the DA) is per­ceived to be a haven for apartheid in­ter­ests, mak­ing it an amoral choice.

The Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF), which is the more vo­cal op­po­si­tion, is fall­ing into what I call the Green Party Trap.

When the en­vi­ron­men­tal rev­o­lu­tion fi­nally swept across Europe, about two decades af­ter Rachel Car­son had planted the seed with her sem­i­nal book The Silent Spring and af­ter Marvin Gaye had awak­ened the world with his roar­ing hit Mercy, Mercy Me, the Green Party was elected into Par­lia­ment.

Young and crèche-like, it was dis­tracted by the lime­light. It en­joyed the the­atrics and con­fused deco­rum with the sta­tus quo, and so it re­belled against the tra­di­tions of Par­lia­ment in­stead of the tra­di­tion of greed.

Soon a per­cep­tion was cre­ated that it had no agenda and no man­ners. There­after, the vot­ers left it. Like­wise, the EFF can­not be the “babes of the peo­ple” for­ever. Soon, it will have to of­fer an at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive be­yond looks and song.

There are three fac­tors that work against the cur­rent gov­ern­ment.

First, the rate of un­em­ploy­ment is too high, which pro­vides am­ple foot sol­diers for the rev­o­lu­tion.

Sec­ond, our sport­ing teams aren’t win­ning – when the flag of a coun­try flies high, it cre­ates a sense of pride among the peo­ple.

Third, our arts and cul­ture de­part­ment needs to go be­yond show­ing us the loot and shak­ing a booty.

If the ANC wants to re­tain its ma­jor­ity, at least un­til Je­sus Christ comes back, as Zuma once sug­gested (and, by the way, there are demo­crat­i­cally elected par­ties around the world that are well on their way to achiev­ing that), it needs to nom­i­nate an in­spir­ing pres­i­dent and a strong min­is­ter of trade and in­dus­try who has a whole new per­spec­tive on en­abling busi­nesses to cre­ate em­ploy­ment.

It also needs to at­tract cadres who are self­less, who love the peo­ple, have no tol­er­ance for cor­rup­tion and un­der­stand that if you want to be the rich­est per­son alive, you go into busi­ness and not pol­i­tics.

If you can find such peo­ple in our coun­try – if you ever meet some­one who is still pre­pared to make great sac­ri­fices for pos­ter­ity and the good of all – please mark that spot so we can build a shrine there, be­cause that is the sort of per­son who will save us from hell next time. Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive,

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