In the 16th century political treatise, The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli postulates that, “Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.”
Taking Machiavelli’s argument into consideration, one can assume that the current status of Namibia’s socio-economic environment has created a perfect recipe for unscrupulous political conmen and their gang of uniformed minions and simpletons, to insert themselves in the running for the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Machiavelli was right; whether in the 16th Century or the 21st Century, man’s nature does not change. Evolution does not take place over centuries, not even over millennia. Evolution is a process that takes place over millions of years. This is why, despite the technological advancements that human beings have achieved during the past two centuries, in reality, there is no difference between the behaviors of people living today to that of people who lived during Machiavelli’s time. We are still susceptible to the same deceptions, once our basic needs are under threat.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which categorizes human needs within a five tier pyramid model, lists physiological needs as the primary needs of human beings, followed by safety needs. This makes sense, because without air, water, food, shelter, which are physiological needs, humans cannot survive. Once one has met one’s physiological needs, then safety needs become the next priority and this includes personal security, employment, resources, health and property. Only when a person has met his/her physiological and safety needs, can that person pursue love, esteem and self-actualization.
Given the fact that physiological and safety needs are the most pertinent needs of a human being, it is safe to assume that they are also the most vulnerable needs since any negative change in a person’s socio-economic status immediately threatens their sustainment. This is what Machiavelli meant when he said we are dominated by our immediate needs. Our immediate needs guarantee our survival and if they are under threat, we become desperate. In times of desperation, conmen and psychological manipulators, masquerading as saviors, thrive. They take advantage of the fragile human psyche in order to shore up their own delusions of grandeur.
The 20th century tyrant, racist and demagogue, Adolf Hitler, was one such individual. He was a master manipulator who preyed on the uninformed, scared, insecure, ignorant and gullible members of the German population to set in motion, the creation of the most nefarious and murderous political and military regime in the history of mankind.
Hitler, as all psychological manipulators do, used pain to achieve his objective. He used the humiliation of Germany’s defeat in World War One and the economic situation in Germany at the time, to create much needed scapegoats in order to set his strategy in motion. Thus, those perceived to be responsible for Germany’s defeat on the battlefield, and the Jewish people, became targets for a barrage of vitriol. The rest, as they say, is history.
But as it is also said, if we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it and here we find ourselves days from the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Namibia, which has been buffeted by the strong headwinds of an economic downturn on one side, and an unprecedented drought on the other, is in the middle of a political storm.
We have a Swapo Party that is at odds with itself. A Swapo Party that has allowed the spectre of tribalism to find fertile ground within its structures and give rise to a so-called savior, the independent candidate. The scapegoat is Comrade Hage Geingob, who from the rhetoric and vitriol of his tribal inclined enemies, seems to be responsible for all Namibia’s economic woes. The rampant corruption, misappropriation of funds and dubious public sector appointments that dominated the previous two administrations have been rendered to the back of people’s memory. According to his enemies, Hage is the cause of everything bad in the Land of the Brave.
Why is this the case? President Geingob’s enemies have used the desperation of the people, especially the uninformed and gullible youth, who spend too much time on social media and may struggle to point you in the direction of the nearest library, to form a movement against the President, from within Swapo and through proxy movements that are comprised of bitter, defeated and vindictive former Swapo members.
These factions have rallied behind the Swapo independent candidate, fuelled by personal hatred of Geingob and driven by an entitlement of the ethnic majority, to try and cause disarray within the ranks and pull of a clandestine, well-orchestrated and “legitimized “coup d’état.
Those of us with discernment can see these individuals for who they are. We can see what really motivates them. It is clear from their vitriol on social media platforms. It is clear in their unashamed use of tribal slurs to describe the president and other Namibians who support him. It is clear that they are not interested in a united Namibia. They are only interested in a Namibia in which they consolidate power and rule indefinitely.
These are people who have never bought into the concept of One Namibia, One Nation. They do not want to live in the Namibian House. They want to live in the house described in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where after the animals had defeated the farm owner, the pigs took over and all the other animals were second-class. This is what these individuals want. They believe in a Namibia where only a certain ethnic group can rule and where the anomaly of a “kwangara” president should be rectified with immediate effect. This is the true motive behind this so-called movement to save Namibia. This is the well-orchestrated deception.
Enlightened and peace-loving Namibians need to reject this Nazi-like rise in tribalism within the borders of Namibia. We are aware that the economy is reeling. We are aware that there are corrupt individuals within the corridors of the public and private sectors, conniving and scheming at the expense of the man and woman on the street. However, we are also aware that we can only solve our problems as a united people, as Comrade Geingob has always advocated, before and after his ascendancy to the Presidency.
Those charging Namibia’s current misfortunes to Comrade Hage Geingob need to be rebutted. When a malignant tumour spreads from a person’s leg and ends up in the brain, eventually killing that individual, one does not attribute the death to the brain.
Corruption and financial skullduggery is a cancer that existed before and after independence. It is only together, as Namibians who are united, that we can really tackle these issues. Let us not use the suffering of people as a ladder to climb to the lofty heights of political power or as a flame to ignite words of hatred, aimed at our political opponents.
Let us take the words of Pan-Africanist icon Marcus Garvey, as a warning. “You at this time can only be destroyed by yourselves, from within and not from without. You have reached the point where victory is to be won from within and can only be lost from within.”
At this point in time, Swapo can only be destroyed by Swapo members, from within and not from without. Namibia can only be destroyed by Namibians, from within and not from without. Let us not give our enemies the satisfaction of achieving what they have always craved since our independence. We can either choose to win from within or lose from within. Our choice should be victory. Our choice should be unity. Our choice should be nation building and working towards prosperity. Therefore, our choice should be Hage G. Geingob.
2019-11-25 07:17:58 | 10 months ago