Satire: Zambia’s youth - lambs or lions?
The ushering in of a new government brought a new and healthy dynamic to Zambia’s democracy. The encouraging views expressed by President Barak Obama, the UN Secretary General – Ban Ki Moon and others across the continent and the world have shown this. In short Zambia has been seen to be a shining example of a democratic country.
But in truth - what is a democracy? Well - a democracy is the competition of ideas between various interest groups on how resources are distributed, who benefits from the distribution of the resources and who is responsible for distributing these resources.
Given the results from the recent elections that the Patriotic Front won – it is clear that the issue of who was benefitting from the distribution of resources and who was responsible were areas which determined the electorates vote.
Nobody can run away from the fact that regardless of the level of economic growth experienced – Zambia had and still has a gross level of inequality embedded in the economic system. Given this context as young Zambians – many have talked about an ideology. We are the next generation and few realise we do not want to be caught up in the traditional Western or Eastern philosophies which we consider dated and no longer applicable.
We want an ideology founded on the concept that defines our times.
African Renaissance as a Political Philosophy and Ideology for the Zambian Youth
In our history few African leaders have proclaimed an indigenously African political philosophy. We have been too busy singing from the Marxist hymn sheet, or recycling the philosophy of the French liberals. We have never owned the economic and political ideology that determines our development. The consequences are plain -. no people can get very far without, for once, staking their claim on history and in this era, what we need is to learn from our own history and define a philosophy of governance and economic development that meets our needs. Field Ruwe recently echoed similar sentiments expressed by Former President Thabo Mbeki that the youth must rebel! As young Zambians we understand this as a revolution of self consciousness. We must understand and define ourselves in our times. Among the reasons given are the older generations are simply out of touch with the rate and extent that the global world is developing. With perseverance and commitment a critical mass of Zambian intellectuals can ignite a fiery excitement around an African Renaissance but will need great character and desire. If only Zambia’s intellectuals can articulate the African Renaissance as a political philosophy – there will be an “ideal” for all to aspire to. They will need the African Renaissance as a political philosophy to be the vehicle that gives them the opportunity, guidance and direction to convert this great energy into transforming Zambia into a country that truly lives up to it’s potential.
The principles of this ideology encompass and acknowledge the following;
We believe that as we live in the complex rapidly ever changing global era of diverse culture and understanding. There is a great need to appreciate and respect one another’s views without one view or one group dominating over another. We believe that the experiences and education and exposure one has in their lives defines and shapes their views. We believe this will lead the country to being able to continue living in peace and avoid the unnecessary drawback of conflict. We believe that the utilitarian view where evil is necessary for good or it is acceptable for one to suffer while a hundred benefit is a wrong philosophy. We believe in the Ubuntu philosophy that defines a moral and ethical obligation in every decision we make.
- Default rules
We believe that our society is shaped with intangible automatic sets of variables that make people more able to benefit than others. We therefore believe that positive interventions through policy are required to address this social imbalance. For example, there may be some people who are practically more gifted through hands on experience as an artisan, than an individual who may have technical college papers. Therefore, there must be available tools or measures that can be adopted to ensure that they are afforded similar or equal opportunity as one with papers.
- Framing effects
Again we believe that there are certain physical social impediments to addressing social, political and economic rights. For example, the basic concept of the concentration of decision making by individuals based in capital cities. This limits the participation and role people play in the development of society and reduce the capacity of being able to hold the entrusted custodians accountable. We therefore believe that the concept of subsidiarity where decisions are made as close as possible to the people to be affected be a measure adopted in the process of decision making.
- Starting points
Everybody has a different starting point that either places them at an advantage or disadvantage. Policy interventions need to be made to only intervene where there is a clear moral and ethical ground on which one group is being placed at an advantage over another. This does not necessarily mean taking away from one group to give to another but instead increasing the access of participation or benefit of one group to the same resource.
The importance of recognising that the security of ensuring the playing field is level and opportunity to participate is always available without prejudice against Zambians.
We believe in a Zambia where the role of government will be to guide choice through policy to be promoting the welfare and security of Zambians but note that it should not be limiting the rights and freedom of society. The Zambian youths do have aspirations, the Zambian youths do have dreams, the Zambian youths want to work, they want to own business. The Zambian youths want to be proud to be a Zambian and walk in their country with their heads high and chests out knowing that they truly have a stake in their country – mother Zambia.
In the next few years will Zambian youth be lambs sheepishly cowering the land or lions proudly roaming their plains..........it is up to YoUE (Young Unemployed Educated) Zambians!
Signed by: The Liberators