By pointing out the mistakes, weaknesses and even abuses of those ruling our country today, we have not turned ourselves into enemies of our people.
Our opposition to the third term bid by those in government today doesn’t make us unpatriotic.
Socialists are patriots and we wish to see our country succeed, with or without us.
You will never see us gloat over national reverses, nor talk down the achievements of those running government. We wish to see the economy recover and do well. We do not look to defeat those running government today on the back of national failure. There will be sufficient grounds without that to argue for their removal. We will not win merely by default, but by our ability to capture the public mood.
Those in government today seem to be guided by the wish to destroy any meaningful opposition; by the determination to have a third term of office for their supreme leader. That is not a recipe for governing well. Theirs is a political party held together by the fear of losing power and its benefits. That will to retain power is the one idea they hold in common. But with the passage of time, that will prove an insubstantial glue. The wheel of fortune turns and that which once appeared fresh, with the passing of time goes to seed.
For us, there’s no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. We should win because of what we believe in. A new and complex era such as this requires principles more than ever. It requires a lot more awareness.
This awareness is built by adding experiences of the past and present together with a vision of an anticipated future. It has to be built by adding together all the revolutionary thoughts, the best ethical and humane ideas of all authentic religions, the sum total of the preaching of many political thinkers, of many progressive schools of thought. And political ideas are worthless if they are not inspired by noble, selfless sentiments.
Likewise, noble sentiments are worthless if they are not based on correct and fair ideas.
It is our principles and values that make us a party of compassion; of social justice; of struggle against poverty and inequality; of liberty; of basic human solidarity; and the day we lose those things is the day we keep the name of the Socialist Party but lose the reason for its existence. And ours is a simple enough vision. But it will require supreme national effort. It is a task for a whole people, and not one fixer, genius or MacGyver. Great challenges. But great rewards for all of us if we can rise to them as we can.
We need the good that is in the heart of each of us to serve the good of all of us.
Politics without principles, values or standards seem to be engendering a tendency for our politicians and their supporters to jettison long-term goals for immediate gains.
This forgetting of the great, the principal considerations for the momentary interests of the day, this struggling and striving for the success of the moment regardless of later consequences, this sacrifice of the future for present, may be ‘honestly’ meant, but it is and remains opportunism, and ‘honest’ opportunism is perhaps the most dangerous of all.
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali