It is no longer useful to ask the question, “Who governs Britain?” Discuss. (Exercise in Stephen Cotgrove)S.Cotgrove. (1967). The Science of Society’s.181.George Allen & Unwin, London.
The wake of democracy began when the wielding of the axe against the divine right of kings drew blood. Today; democracy is the authority to carpet bomb in regime change, to occupy a land for resource extraction, to establish war economies, to divide and rule through social engineering, to generate UN mandates for annexations, to allow genocide for power control, to approve ethic cleansing for land grabs and to use the fear of nuclear warfare for brinkmanship. All of this in the name of human rights and peace. Most alarming, we embrace it with religious conviction in all its ‘sound a fury’. This transition from Kings to Democracy is a journey paved in blood.
South Africa, the marvel of the world that transitioned from Apartheid to Democracy without civil war, is today at the crossroads of survival or entropy. Therefore today, it is very necessary to ask the useful question, “Who governs South Africa?” However, the same question in Britain today, will be very interesting to ask. Certainly, the students of Britain in 1967 could never fathom that Britain will be on the ‘stonehenge’ of BREXIT yet, still powerful enough to beat the drums of war, go to war on lies and still have the most powerful currency even though it has but less than a third of South Africa’s natural resources. How then, is South Africa not the rainbow nation it was? It is not because we have come to a geomatic truth, “Two straight lines cannot enclose a space” – the people and the leaders are like two parallel lines it seems. Until we don’t search for some congruency, we will remain diagrammatically opposed and yes, we will cry for this beloved country.
This beloved country, South Africa, has got a peppered history of colonisation, land expropriation, oppression and Apartheid which makes it interesting because it can argue against the occupation of Palestine yet, at the same time be in the ranks of the most crime and corrupt ridden countries of the world. Countries around the world have a geo-political makeup for expediency like that of the UAE and other Gulf states normalising relations with the Occupying power in Palestine so that it is not drawn in for war crimes if Yemen for example, were to take its plight to the International Court of Justice primed for African leaders. South Africa has to poise itself for the next century now because it will, like Malawi end up with an embassy in Jerusalem which will be a kick in the teeth for the stalwarts of Apartheid crowned with late Mr Nelson Mandela. Whatever the stalwarts of Apartheid championed, resulted in a free but, divided country making it one of the most unequal in the world in relation to the have and have nots. This dichotomy still exists today and its even more visible in light of how SoE (State owned Enterprises) are bankrupt and riddled with corruption amounting to billions of Rands whilst municipal services grind to a halt. The halt of municipal services led to the volley of rocks, stones and burning tyres illustrating the anger of a people who feel totally disenfranchised with their vote for the ruling party. Has democracy shamed our country or is it the quixotic society we creating? The society where ideally the crooks get away like in a movie and society is left to fend for itself waiting for Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Bat-woman, Superwoman or the Avengers.
Superman and the likes exist in our utopia because leaders have failed society. It is interesting to think on Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis to understand the utopia he perceived a world where ‘generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit” are the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of the mythical Bensalem’. The New Atlantis tells a story of a crew on of a European ship that is driven off course in the Pacific Ocean. They find themselves in the mythical island of Bensalem. New Atlantis is an unfinished work published in 1626 and it gets you thinking of man’s desire for an ordered society away from the tyranny of oppression, power struggle, killing, rape, pillage, plunder, looting and human right violations. The elections in South Africa in 1994 came on the horizon like the New Atlantis except that the journey was from Apartheid to Democracy reaching out for Truth and Reconciliation and it gave South Africans hope because, we witnessed prosperity when many countries in Africa were on the slippery slope of internal strife, war, conflict, corruption, failing economies and dictatorships.
Utopia: Cape Town, South Africa. The corruption is no squib or a thimbleful on the landscape. Corruption is the rapid diffusion across the country. ‘Cry, the Beloved Country.’
The New Atlantis did not happen and we did not find Bensalem even with the self claimed Prophet/Shepard Shepherd Bushiri in our midst amongst others like the DOOM Pastor however, what we found after 26 years of Democracy was the birth of the Leviathan. What is the Leviathan? According to Wikipedia it is described as: Leviathan (/lɪˈvaɪ.əθən/; Hebrew: לִוְיָתָן, Livyatan) is a creature with the form of a sea serpent from Jewish mythology.
Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible as a metaphor for a powerful enemy. Has the state become our Leviathan?
Leviathan is Thomas Hobbe’s book, published in 1651, that explains the structure of society and legitimate government wherein lies no greed but the greatest good for humanity. It does pivot the view that man can be understood through science and therefore, sees man as matter in motion and therefore everything can be explained materialistically. Interestingly it reasons that society tends towards entropy or self destruction when the motion towards greater good lacks vitalism. Wikipedia sums Hobbes Leviathan in the following way: “However, Hobbes states that there is a summum malum, or greatest evil. This is the fear of violent death. A political community can be oriented around this fear.”
The fear of death of South Africa is gripping South Africa. Death for South Africa is a paranoia characterised by growing scandals, corruption crescendos, failing SoEs, killing of farmers, crime, cash in transit heists, bankrupt municipalities all disguised as the aftershocks of Apartheid, lack of transformation and redress by political word poets. The fear is sold as a Black Friday special that Apartheid can return if the ruling party is not voted in. Fear is not the Hobbesian choice of a commonwealth but, it is an innate condition of a body in motion to die if it stops therefore, fear is a driving force to keep moving forward. Cry, the Beloved Country that we have a government moving on with no real and credible justice for the common good of the commonwealth therefore, ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’. While we hover through the fog and filthy air, the arena is set for Macbeths and Lady Macbeths to usher in daggers and smite the kings of order.
Alas! how will natural order be resorted when the plot is vague, the characters are in the main dubious, and the commonwealth divided on emotion and not reason? It is difficult. Like the 23 stab wounds that killed Caesar on the Ides of March, South Africa seems to be in a grip of a sinister plot where too many stab wounds have already bled the state. The echo of the likes of speeches at Caesar’s funeral, ‘I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.The evil that men do lives after them…’ becomes the rhetoric of politicians to give us the same drama therefore, we feel part of a bigger scheme of events. We are let into all where just the tip of the iceberg is shown and we behave as if we know it all yet, we don’t fill the public space with hue and cry on the open injustice. No doubt racism is an absolute injustice and, decades into our democracy, we are still fighting it and at the same time ignoring the rouge element in the socio-economic-political sphere like a fly on faeces. For political expediency party leaders sit like flies on the filth to take what they can and, they do nothing about the filth whilst they have the power to flush it down.Why this facetious attitude? We have compartmentalised problems and not seeing them like the same particles that inflate a balloon. The entropy of a balloon is faster than the speed of sound therefore, our leaders of parties attempting to eradicate racism without the rest are just blowing hot air in an already inflated balloon pregnant at the seams. The appreciation of commissions allows for some deflation but, it is not enough, Commissions will come and go but, will justice be served is a the mighty question of the hour.
The Zondo Commission which is an inquiry into allegations of State Capture is startling and very revealing on the foul corruption that stains the credibility of government. Therefore, it appears that the Leviathan has become the government. As citizens we are caught in the jaws of taxes with so many tithes not for Church but for State. Our taxes are been used to pay for all these commissions, court cases, full pay of suspended state employees to such an extent that we feel trapped in the Leviathan because the Utopia of the Rainbow Nation was just that – a Utopia. Waking up from the Utopia is what we need to do otherwise, like the Americans our children will be lost to wars we don’t benefit except the powers behind the mirror.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?” goes the question of the Queen jealous of anyone more beautiful than her. Her authority hides her sinister plot but many don’t see it. The mirror knows the truth. The truth about leaders are known to the masses but, leaders are so so close to the mirror that they don’t see beyond the apparent. The leaders are holding the mirror facing the people and we see the stone throwers, the blocked highways, the burning tyres and lament the hooliganism. What we don’t see is the fight against the Leviathan. It is a struggle against the momentous grip of power over peoples lives and freedom. The stone hits like a squib on the vastness of Leviathan’s body making no injury but angers it even more. As the only weapon in hand it gives strength to the resilience and the resistance never crumbles frustrating the Leviathan. Power, force and draconian measures trump the authority and the Leviathan becomes invincible for a time again.
At the time of elections all parties look like the lion in the mirror that hides the Leviathan.
Looking like the lion in the mirror when you are actually a domestic cat indicates high confidence or brazen stupidity. Would you go to war war with a 1000 sheep or just one lion or just one domestic cat? You would go with the ONE lion and that’s a fact. South Africa is truly the lion of Africa but to remain that lion the hunt and the pride must be established. The Judiciary has to begin its work like a lion on the hunt and start taking down the prey that scavenged the resources of the country. In particular, let the Zondo Commission be like the savannah. We have herd mentality like the wildebeest and zebra for example that must cross the gauntlet of the river that is invested with crocodiles, the fear is intense, real, palpable and nerve wrenching but, instinct drives them to cross. The gauntlet must be the Judiciary laying in wait with an awe of presence. The instinct of the criminal is to run and keep on running. It is the law of nature that you can run but you cannot hide therefore, like nature should the judicial system of the country be. It must be that which the criminal cannot run away from. South Africa, the country, not the banana republic, must use the long arm of the law bring to book all those who chose to crook.
The crook thrives on the idea and reality of a clean getaway and I think South Africa is well poised to take action and if it does not, it will be a lost opportunity. Not like the lost opportunity of the hunt of lion because the lion will hunt again fearlessly haunting the hyena too. South Africa will be the carcass scavenged by hyenas if it does not take this crest of hope to jail culprits and chase political opportunists away from the hopeless opportunism because if it does not, the land will be torn apart like a carcass by hungry hyenas. I believe in the political will of the Presidency and the judiciary and its my hope that gives me the frame work of this articulation. It lends credibility to a fight the State can take on and prove to the masses that it is not the Leviathan. When this happens and pupils are asked the useful question, “Who governs South Africa?” Discuss. They will begin like this:
South Africa is governed by great leadership who seeks justice to be the harbinger of peace only to save itself from being the Leviathan...
You, the reader, may I ask how would you answer the question? It is no longer useful to ask the question, “Who governs ____(your country)____?” Discuss. It will be interesting to read the essay of the immigrant, legal or illegal in South Africa as to why you would criticise it or love it. Even more interesting would be the South African in another country writing the essay too. While the imagination will meander greatly begin with yourself and see if you are the catalyst of change or, the change you want to see. If not, perhaps the Leviathan is growing within you and you know not. Democracy, in its wake in South Africa beckons hope and its on us to give each waking moment a sense of appreciation because we are still better off than more than a billion people. The utopia we want is not in our hands all because we have still not envisioned it but, the present moment is in our control. Make it the utopia. The utopia is that moment when you live the moment consciously with contentment, happiness and courage to take on the new day.
In closing I found this evidence from the Holy Quran as the source to solve the Leviathan we see arising from the depth of the political sea.
﴿١١﴾ لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ وَالٍ.
He has a succession—in front of him, and behind him—protecting him by Allah’s command. Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. And if Allah wills any hardship for a people, there is no repelling it. And apart from Him, they have no protector. (Holy Quran 13:13)