Certainly the emergency and lockdown could not but compel all of us to shift gears in one way or another given the time of reflection it may have afforded us. If only if to maintain some sanity from the solitary confinement, for some, and from depression visited by confinement with those some may all the time been trying avoid. For me criticisms which have been floated as analyses in our media, against the administration of Dr Hage Geingob, since the advent of his first term in 2015, compelled me to shift in an ideological gear. A gear that nearly become rusted, thereby also rendering my whole ideological vehicle immobile. For better or worse as far as the wellbeing of the Namibian society, especially the masses, particularly the working class, is concerned.
Criticisms which, by any measure, have not subsided, let alone been showing any pretense at some point in the near future, it needs be it would be put in their proper ideological perspective. Worse such criticisms have been ideologically void, and/or at best only rudimentary and monotonously repetitive true to then nature on non-ideological discourse, hollow than thy.
Some of the criticisms, to say the least, have been no more than empty diatribes and verbiages, but pretended as academic analysis. Others no more than pure fantasies and opportunistic political hallucinations. Inspired post-independence neo-liberal opportunism, devoid of any ideology but generalist and meaningless as any ideologically ambiguous generalisation can be.
The just ended lockdown compelled me into an overdue and much needed retreat into my personal archival materials, unearthing few titles which has been gathering dust in the glory of independence. A booklet Fight my Beloved Continent: New Democracy in Africa by Issa G. Shivji, delivered at the University of Zimbabwe in 1988 when he was on a sabbatical; Internationalist Perspective, a publication of the International Communist Current dating to the Spring of 1986 (this is the year I came back from the UK and must have brought it along with me); Women and Class (Angela Davies); Social Analysis (Mandla Seloane); Rosa Luxemburg ( Peter Nettl); The Right of Nations to Self-Determination (Lenin); Towards A Socialist Ethos (C.S. Banan); Eurocommunism is Anti-communism (Enver Hoxha); The Second Phase of the African Revolution Has Now Began (Goabamang Kenneth Shololo Koma) last but not the least, my own hand scribbled notes titled: What Is To B e Done?
They came to be my constant companion, home alone given my status of a sojourn bachelor, during then trying times of the lockdown. They could not but reawaken the communist instinct in me prompting the idea of this column. With the ideologically void analyses alluded to earlier, foremost in my mind. Rekindled by these great ideological scholars, there and then I decided that now or never. It is time that ideology is elevated to its rightful place in the many presumed analyses. Because there has never been any attempt at ideological posturing in many if not most of the said analyses. More often than not analysts have been cataloguing the myriad of problems bedeviling the Namibian society in their own intrinsic self race-coloured non-ideological spectacles. Often in veiled support and entrenchment of the dominant classes, be they political or capital.
Yes, granted some of the problems, if not most, may be colonial inheritance, still the context and nature of the colonialism cannot and should not be ignored. Was colonialism in Namibia, as in any other colonised African country, ever intrinsic to itself? Likewise was the Apartheid system, itself a tool of colonialism, intrinsic to itself? Few ideologues have been daring to submit that they were an extension of Imperialism, which in turn was an extension of Capitalism. Thus deducted to own intrinsic self.
Unarguably, Namibia is to day free and independent. But can she be said to be free from the vestiges of Colonialism, or Neo-Colonialism if you wish, and Imperialism and Capitalism? We all know that Namibia’s independence was a negotiated settlement through UN Resolution 435, itself a settlement proposal of Western Contact Group. As a result of this the edifices of Colonialism, Capitalism and Imperialism, remains very much intact. Are these, the Colonial, Neo-Colonial, Imperial and Capitalism contours, really the very ones we expect the governors of this age to radically deliver anything from? And what is this we wish them to deliver and for whom if the exploitative capitalist system remains intact?
Still our analysts seems to have been perturbed that Namibia has been taking the developmental route it seems to, with its ugliest and latest manifestation, which may only the tip of the iceberg, the day light plunder of the resources of the people in the fishing sector. Capitalism at its best.
But which Namibians have never been questioning because the economic system which the country inherited at independence has never been put under the microscope but accepted as ancestors given. Let alone the political system, itself a product of a negotiated settlement with all its trappings of a Capitalist economic system, entrenched property rights of the Capitalist class.
Thanks to the settlement proposals of the Western Contact Group, Namibians been sweet-talked the world over for hammering out the best Constitution but which seems to have been a guarantor of continued exploitation of national resources for the benefit of foreign expatriates. As the fishing saga has lately amply came to amplify. Socialism vs Capitalism, has never been a debate at anyone point before, during independence and currently. Except during the liberation struggle when the leading movements at the time, Swapo and Swanu, politically toyed with Marxist-Leninism, thereby endearing self to socialist countries for support. Yet those with political power currently are expected to deliver, and to the masses of the impoverished Namibians.
What a contradiction? Deliver within the hybrid mixed economic system, whatever this actually means in Namibia, while inherently and intrinsically the system is capitalist and has never been intended and designed to work in the interest of the masses, especially the workers. Strangely our analysts conscious of this state of affairs, have been the ones at the forefront of the clarion call for delivery without ever introspecting and analysing the ideological bankruptcy of the capitalist system, never intended to deliver for the masses. Let alone ever subjected to an ideological introspection if it is capable to deliver for the masses. But it is not late and perhaps this is the juncture for such a debate before pointing fingers to the current cahoots of politicians for non-delivery.