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Radicalism as opposed to moderate political theory

By Nkrumah Mushelenga
It is a fact that during the cold war between the East and West, the world community of nations was indirectly or directly forced to surrender its sovereign to either the West or the East. Most of our committed radical political leaders of that time, those who were critically questioning the intention of the West with regards to the total political decolonisation and economic emancipation of the African Continent, were classified as "terrorist or communist dictators."

Among them were Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, General Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Seku Toure of Guinea, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Julius K. Nyerere of Tanzania, Modibo Keita of Mali, Appollo Milton Obote of Uganda, Thomas Sankara of Burkino Faso, Oliver Tambo of South Africa, Augustinho Neto of Angola, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, the list goes on. All in all, this was carried out in the name of the "scramble for Africa's social and economic natural resources by the West."

In fact another cold war in the name of social economic "globalisation "is on the increase, this time, between the USA and the People's Republic of China. China-Africa Relationship is ever growing because of China's co-existence muntu approach to bi-lateral and international trade and investments. The USA and her colleagues in the West are notoriously known for their imposition and conditional approach to international trade.

Aristotle defines human beings as "Zoapolitika" (political animals).This is based on his view that people express themselves most fully and characteristically within the context of the Greek city-state, or polis - the word from which politics, is derived. Other political thought is that "If people did not habitually disagree about things, there would be no need for politics."

According to them, there is need to live politically because there is no general agreement about how the good things in life should be shared out; about who should have authority over whom, and how it is decided. According to the Chines revolutionary leader Tate Mao Zedong's observation, "politics is war without bloodshed: a means of resolving conflict without recourse to violence".

It is believed that the only common agreement, in a politically open society, is an agreement to tolerate differences, so "politics is the art (or perhaps science- views differ) of compromise," according to Ben Dupre (Oxford 2010). By the way, what is the definition of idea mean? Some synonym refer to "thought, philosophies" or concepts, while some dictionaries refer to "thinking and planning."

The core question is whether moderate and radical ideas are irreconcilable? No, they are compatible simply because radical ideas are born out of extremely moderate system where national leaders have adopted the culture of wait and see approach on policy-making and implementation processes. Yes, there are times when radicals hold strong diverge opinion, thus making them to differ with moderates on issues of national concerns.

The bone of contention is always indecisiveness on social economics issues affecting the living conditions of the disadvantaged community. One cannot adequately discuss this very important topic, without making references to some fundamental issues such as political theory, ideologies, the machinery of politics and the stuff or substance of politics. It is important for the readers to not only be informed about the struggle for power to shape the world we live in, but also to understand and know the fifty (50) political ideas which you and I need to know for better analysis.

Ben Dupre, in his book Titled "50 political ideas you really need to know" highlighted on five crucial issues under which he numerated on some of the political theory as follows; liberty, justice, equality, human rights, the social contract and democracy. On ideologies, he referred to anarchism, secularism, capitalism, liberalism, socialism and democracy. On the machinery of politics, he referred to the state, constitution, presidential system, parliaments, political parties, civil service, media and propaganda.

On the stuff or substance of politics, he referred to poverty, crime, security, intelligence, political violence, welfare, racism, corruption and finally, he referred to the world's stage as realism, war, nationalism, imperialism, isolationism, globalization and United Nations.

Both moderate and radical ideas are characterised by the desire for political power, simply because political power is the source of social-economic authorities, which in away reduplicates itself into cultural and human security assurances. In fact moderate in this context means reasonable, modest and sensible. Moderates often compromise the social economic reality at the expense of those they are supposed to protect. There is a lot of forgiveness, even when such a decision is in the best interests of the disadvantaged community.

Acase in point is that of Oshivelo Police Zone. Keeping Oshivelo for security reason is not a bad idea, but keeping it to prevent fresh meat from the north to enter the so-called "red zone" has business negative impacts on the majority of the upcoming black animal farming communities.

This is a moderate idea designed to continuously protect Namibian white commercial farmers from competing with those behind the "red zone" and continues to accrue more profit from the European meat market. The fact remains that thousands of tourists visit this country and they tour all regions inclusive of those outside the socalled "Red Line."

They eat local meat. They drink local beers. And no record about a tourist who has been reported to have been treated or died because he or she has eaten a contaminated meat in the north, north east of the country. What justification do we still have,not to remove the restrictions on fresh meat and fresh food from the north and north east into the "Red Line"?

The policy of willing seller willing buyers is a moderate concept again benefiting white community.The millions of dollars spent on acquiring land for resettlement is benefiting a small group of the Namibian population. Remember that Justice delayed is justice denied. What is radicalism? The first synonym means "fundamental."

What does fundamental mean? According to the dictionary, it is an adjective means "forming the base, from which everything else originates, more important than anything else: In essence, moderate and radicalism are inseparable.

Moderates adopt a wait and see approach, while radicals prefer quick solutions to any outstanding national issue. The moderates are less time bound, while radicals are extremely time bound. Yet the non-action on some of the social -economic issues is the bleeding ground of radicalism. This simple means that radical nationalists are people whose behaviours are consistently characterised by the past, present and indeed the concerns of tomorrow.

This does not mean that moderates do not dream about the past, present and future, but the difference is that, they have adopted a wait and see approach which again benefit the wealthy at the expense of the disadvantaged communities.

The danger of extremely moderation, which means too much sensitive, is that in most cases you will be hesitant to take decisions and indeed enforce such a decision even though it is in the best interest of the majority of the disadvantaged community. Government, through the Land and Resettlement Minister, Cde Alpheus !Naruseb, recently introduced "land tax plan." The Sun newspaper (21, 2013).

The implementation of the land tax plan, according to the article, could not see its way out because of the objections by about 2400 land owners. Who are these land owners and what is the purpose of introducing the land tax? If the issue is high land tax rate, what about the high willing seller willing buyer prize rate? The Namibian Agricultural Union (UNAU executive manager Sakkie Coetzee welcomed the postponement saying that the minister's decision was "very wise" in the light of the huge number of objections. Mr. Coetzee's opinion can be regarded as moderate opinion, exclusive of the interests of the black majority of this country.

Extremely moderate is characterised by indecisiveness, consistently postponing the enforcement of national based decision, and most importantly creating a motion of no confidence between the moderates and the radical groups.

On the other hand, some schools of thought believe that political radicalism "denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value system in fundamental ways." Radicalism is characterised by over reacting to issues, quick-decision, lack of natural discipline, short vision, lack of consultation and coordination, just to mention a few.

If the term political radicalism signifies political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value system in fundamental ways, than it is appropriate to believe that politics and radicalism is one issue of the same coin. This simply means that a successful functional political party is required to have among its members loyal, honest, long serving, dedicated, committed moderates and radicals. The role of moderates is to continue to provide leadership, while the radicals will serve as a whistleblower to remind moderates about the values for which Namibians sacrificed their youth'stime, shed their blood and, indeed, brought about independence and democracy.



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