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A turbulent change of the guard



There is a turn in the hands of time, and the season has to come to the end to make way for the next. However, some of the changes in the era are not readily accepted, and the resistance or reluctance to accept the changes leads to the chaos that we see across the world at this point in time. Before the Corona virus outbreak were the Hong Kong protests, then the controversial Donald Trump speeches on the virus’ origins in the midst of the most crippling lockdown in modern history. The poverty that came with the virus outbreak is of Depression-era proportions, and the best we see is that it might just last longer than we think. The election of Joe Biden adds to the conversation, and we have seen the celebrations by the Democrat hordes, making us forget that we are in the midst of an outbreak for a while. The changes this year have all been unexpected, perhaps as shocking to us as Donald Trump is by his defeat. The Malema EFF hordes are keeping us busy on television with their thinly-veiled racist antics and chants about black land that should be returned without compensation. We have all seen these discussions about land expropriation without compensation before; and we have seen what they did to Zimbabwe, the former breadbasket of Africa. Trump’s howls of protest that he was cheated out of office are normal day-speak discussed at office and in speakeasies; there is nothing unusual about his mewling: it is part of political speak in the circles of the defeated. It happens every time a regime has to make way for another across the world, and Malema’s horde’s moering by white parents at a Cape Town school was a long way coming. Human resistance to change is primal, because for some reason that is instinctive, we have an affinity to the so-called ‘comfort zone’. It is with reluctance that change is accepted in human society, because the people usually prefer to stick to the tried and tested. Whether the future promises better if we change is never enough inspiration for us to accept the new changes that come with the passing of a season, a regime or an era. What usually happens in these instances is that we begin to formulate new conspiracy theories about the new changes, often denigrating the new and reminiscing on the past with a sense of attached nostalgia. The reality of human history is that changes in thought and behaviour will definitely come regardless of the resistance the novel idea or ideals may encounter on their ascent to the podium of the celebrated and the accepted. Literary writers and authors often do observe the trends and offer their perspectives and predictions which are accepted if understood or rejected if they are misunderstood. It has come to be noted that change is presented as many entities and phenomena in literary and other written works, but we often fail to understand that the characters which we read about in the works actually represent change in human form. Change can come to us as a Frankenstein with many different interpretations, as the present era seems to us. One moment there are guns in the Congo, the next there are #blacklivesmatter protests across the globe followed by service delivery protests and campaign speeches. It is a strange beast coming to life right in front of our faces, but the main vexing factor is that the components thereof are so many, different and diverse that we cannot make sense out of them. This is change in action, a figure with many different faces that we may never get to understand until we accept the fact that it is occurring to us in the middle of the confusion of its metamorphosis. The metamorphosis in human behaviours of interaction is often accompanied by violence, for every new era and regime seeks to assert its authority on all those that are watching and listening to the speeches associated with it that are stuck somewhat with the past and the familiar. Change is occurring at this point in time, like it has come before and as will surely come again in the future. There are trendsetters that we have had to follow from the past. They changed this year with the Corona virus being the lead topic of the year, but America as always will have the last word. In 1991, just before the now famous Persian Gulf campaign, George Bush, then US president, spoke about “the possibility, for ourselves and for generations to come, of forging a new world order, a world in which the rule of law, and not the law of the jungle, governs international behaviour.” One sees the same sentiment shared by other regimes in the world today, leading one to question whether international organisations actually benefit anyone other than their host nations. God gave us freewill, but I doubt that this freewill meant that we humans should be stuck to the idea of control to the extent that we think controlling the world is right. This type of thought drove the imperialist thoughts of Napoleon Bonaparte, and he lost. They drove Hitler into megalomania and led to the hanging of Mussolini by his people at the end of the Second World War. The kind of thought pattern we have at this point of history are those of people that want to control others through the use of The Big Brother (Eye in the Sky) mindset. It is a thought pattern seen in Orwell’s 1984 where the devices we have in our hands have become not only tools we communicate with but also spy contraptions meant to invade our privacy. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but Donald Trump’s tweets just opened a window into the real depth of the power of social media in influencing the minds of the people. A ranting tweet actually has more of a following than a well researched report these days. An article in a Jehovah’s Witnesses magazine states briefly that: Today, millions of people are in bondage to false religion, and many choose to remain that way. At the same time, more and more are demanding political freedoms. We have become a religion unto ourselves, worshipping the gods of the small smart-phone and computer screens, speaking of change whilst in the same breath being servants to the god of the social media that is ensuring that we forget the world at our immediate periphery. The reality is that the change will come from within even though the gurus of the social media preach that we shall be changed by whatever opinions they share on the web. These figures are similar to the new type of politician that knows not when to shut up, especially if they have been defeated in elections, meaning that the lobbying of the pre-election only finds continuation in defeat. We have seen it with the opposition parties of the world and we are seeing it unfold in the United States of America at this point in time. There is demand for political freedom, but the fact of the matter is that the world has since World War II proved that it knows not what to do with freedom. One would have thought that the speed with which the two world wars followed each other would have taught humanity to be a creature more sublime. The reality however reveals that we have actually become more conniving, more scheming, more controlling, and more condescending when it comes to relating to one another. How then shall we embrace the changes that come from here to the future? Will it be on an equal footing or will it be on the same basis as that of the feudal lord and the plebeians? We are yet to figure out exactly how the current era will pan out given the circumstances. The situation was given another level of complexity by the pandemic, meaning that the prevailing hardships have been made even harder by the spread of the virus. The current problems cannot be solved by politicians, it will take individual will united with similar wills of other individuals to deal with the aftermath of the Corona virus. We have seen before that even if previous human efforts resulted in fewer weapons and freer forms of rule, true freedom really exists only if the whole community benefits from the efforts of government and industry. The two spheres benefit the people if there is no element of self-interest in the form of corruption and self-enrichment. The reality at the moment is that corruption has taken centre stage even in the middle of a pandemic. There are increasing cases of corruption heard when it comes to PPE tenders, bringing into question the integrity of the governments we have elected into power. There is an increasing trend of political governments that somehow seem to hold the notion that they are above the law and can therefore do whatever they wish because they will not face prosecution at the end of the day. This has led to more violent reactions by the policing authorities whenever there are incidents of protest by the public, meaning that the people are being forced into silence whenever they feel the need to air their grievances. There is the constant reality of the appalling problematic conditions that exist and seem to be increasing in all nations. This includes the so-called democratic states, where it would naturally be assumed that the numbers of the poor would never increase or that millions would struggle to survive economically. It is a sad latter day reality of revelation proportions that is exposing modern leadership as only a tool of self-interest. It is only the powerful, the rich and the politically connected that seem to be making it these days. This will surely lead to an uprising by the masses of the people and the only way the states will be able to deal with the general uprisings will be through the use of batons, teargas and bullets. This raises the question of whether we are progressing as a human race or whether the final solution is being formulated that will see the state forcing the citizens into servitude through the use of brute force. It has been suggested by currently trending social media views that even the Corona virus is a hoax, bringing into question the real purpose of the lockdowns that have impoverished the world. Hungry people cannot listen, and the world leadership should well be aware that they should deal with the maladies of poverty before making any decisions to force people into submission when hunger and poverty are the more urgent problems. A United Nations report states that in spite of advances in science and medicine, worldwide an average of 40,000 children die from malnutrition or preventable diseases on a daily basis. An expert in this field said: “Poverty is taking on structural characteristics that really threaten the future of humanity.” There are now more people falling victim to crime as the levels of poverty increase and the viciousness with which they are executed leads one to wonder whether the real causes shall ever be addressed because the number of grievances increases with each passing day. There are increasing incidents of racial, political, and religious hatred that are fragmenting various countries in the world today and the real concerns that affect us all at the end of the day are being forgotten. In retrospect, the situation one sees panning out these days is not that far from that future time described in the Book of Zechariah when people will be “so confused and afraid that everyone will seize the man next to him and attack him.” In the lockdown, one has personally had their belongings stolen because the defence was that the pandemic and the lockdown had increased the levels of poverty. Did lockdown mean that it is right to steal? No! But it is the mentality that is gaining momentum as the poverty and the hunger become realities in these harsh times. The bad conditions that we now see have previously existed, but people still protected the rights and the characters that kept true freedom in sight; because the change of the guard was an awaited affair however uncomfortable it would turn out to be. All of us would still be in bondage if we listened to the elitist speeches of politicians whining about getting out of office or forcing their point of view across. The case of the leader that is reluctant to leave office illustrates one fact: self-interest rather than national interest takes over in every decision-making process they are involved in. It is a malady that is spreading across the world that we should keep in check, otherwise we will be dealing with dictators that enslave every person on earth and murder them all in the name of political freedom. The reality is that no government officials, scientists, or doctors anywhere can free us from the curses of sickness, old age, and death. No one but ourselves can eliminate insecurity, injustice, crime, hunger, and poverty: only we can do this if we accept that change will surely come and we therefore have to embrace its advance. Tšepiso S. Mothibi

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