What is it about politics we don’t understand?
POLITICS is made with the head, but it is certainly not made with the head alone. In this, politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective.
Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible.
But to do that, a man must be a leader, and not only a leader but a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word.
And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes.
This is necessary right now, or else Zimbabweans will not be able to attain even that which is possible today.
Only he who has the calling for politics is sure that he shall not crumble when the world from his point of view is too stupid or too base for what he wants to offer.
Only he who is in the face of all this can say “In spite of all!” has the calling for politics. It is such comprehension that is wanting in most of my people today.
You failed to asses Evan back then and you indeed are failing to analyse Advocateman-of-the-cloth when he ensnared you to subscribe to his populist channel; you muddled politics of religion with the role of religion in politics. It is such schizophrenia that crushed your civil optimisms to pulp. Next time remember what I said.
This lecture, which I give at your involuntary request, will necessarily disappoint you in a number of ways. You will naturally expect me to take a position on actual problems of the day.
But that will be the case only in a purely formal way and toward the end, when I shall raise certain questions concerning the significance of political action in the whole way of life.
Now to our subject matter. What do we understand by politics as a vocation? Politics, just as economic pursuits, may be a man’s avocation or his vocation. One may engage in politics, and hence seek to influence the distribution of power within and between political structures, as an “occasional” politician.
We are all “occasional” politicians when we cast our ballot or consummate a similar expression of intention, such as applauding or protesting in a “political” meeting, or delivering a “political” speech, etc. The whole relation of many people to politics is restricted to this. Politics as a vocation is today practised by all those party agents and heads of voluntary political associations who, as a rule, are politically active only in case of need and for whom politics is, neither materially nor ideally, “their life” in the first place.
The same holds for those members of state counsels and similar deliberative bodies that function only when summoned.
There are two ways of making politics one’s vocation: Either one lives “for” politics or one lives “off ” politics. By no means is this contrast an exclusive one. The rule is, rather, that man does both, at least in thought, and certainly he also does both in practice.
He who lives “for” politics makes politics his life, in an internal sense which is what most nationalists depicted in the past years since our liberation.
Either he enjoys the naked possession of the power he exerts, or he nourishes his inner balance and self-feeling by the consciousness that his life has meaning in the service of a “cause”.
In this internal sense, every sincere man who lives for a cause also lives off this cause. The distinction hence refers to a much more substantial aspect of the matter, namely, to the economic. He who strives to make politics a permanent source of income lives “off ” politics as a vocation, whereas he who does not do this lives “for” politics.
Let me confirm to you how these parties, like social movements are in business and the populace is the market commodity. However, a new wave of entrepreneurship has emerged, new ideologically starved ones rob the masses of their hard acquired reasoning, making them believe that permanently failing models are miraculously changed only to realise that politics is a way of life, that those who are not called to it, do not survive, they serve a temporary mood and disappoint followers. It’s a trend in opposition politics. They selectively or perhaps are ignorant, that it’s a matter of devotion and calling, just like priesthood.
“Every evil belongs to Zanu-PF”; is the avowal on every opposition politician’s lips. It is absurd how every opposition failure has been attached to Zanu-PF interference. I said it in 2016 in one of my writings, and I still say it a couple of years later.
When they fail to make credible decisions as a party, they blame Zanu-PF, when they succumb to competition pressure, they blame Zanu-PF, when their leaders misguide them they blame Zanu-PF, every failure is alleged to be Zanu-PF machinations. I think its high time opposition joins Zanu-PF once and for all because there is no essence in competing in a plateau where you already assume that your competitor will out-do you.
The problem is we use stomachs to think than our brains.
When you are hungry you cease to rationally think, all you think about is how to satisfy that grumbling stomach and not use your head to make decisions that will feed you, your family and generations to come. Whenever a new political phenomenon emerges, people throng with allegiance, assuming its redemption for them, but redemption from what, is my question.
My people do not take time to evaluate their redeemer who in every case fails and they turn to blame Zanu-PF for mechanising that failure.
I then wonder why one would continuously not join Zanu-PF, if it is that good at thwarting opposition. The height of naivety is when your party fails and you create conspiracies of how Zanu-PF has a hand in it; 1) assuming that its true; you are confirming that Zanu-PF is that good in competitive terrain that your party was out-done again; 2) because it’s a lie, the fact that you think that Zanu-PF is capable of doing it confirms that you consent that they are good at doing it, either way you consent that Zanu-PF is a political headlock against its competitors.
When you think of it being able to do what you allege, you do not deny the weakling of opposition, the fact that you thought of it is consent enough. Bvuma! Zanu-PF is that good!
It is at this point that you hear pedestrians and even esteemed political “mavericks” blaming Zanu-PF for allegedly planting its people to disengineer opposition politics. Well, since opposition participates in a multi-party democracy where the political space is competitive, they should admit that they have been outdone. Again!
My gist is to enlighten my fellow comrades that opposition politics, whether we call it a social movement should refrain from its political hypocrisy and bigotry.
When you adopt democratic culturalism, do not forget that it’s a competition and stop assuming that people cannot think on their own without being paid. Because you are paid, it doesn’t mean we are also paid to think this way.
Last but not least, let us not fool ourselves that Patriotic parties have lost support. Politics does not happen on Facebook and in chat groups.
Deep in the heart of Muzarabani, Madabe, Siansundu, the electorate does not subscribe to Twitter, the only social media there is radio, whose reception is a pangolin.
This is where people are. This is where real politics happens.
Politics is made with the head, not with the other parts of body. The most effective politician is one who can excite the emotions of the people who follow a leader with a balanced head.
I am tired of sentimental quandaries by day dreamers. Let us wait for 2023.