Perhaps, it all doesn't matter
Life is not about politics all the time. Maybe the people are not ready because the political economy doesn't matter that much.
These things don’t matter, as long as the mind is over the matter. What is the mind? That question doesn’t matter. Because the mind is over the matter. Any situation can be overcome as long as the mind is over matter. This is why we can bear all sorts of horrible environments and horrible physical existence. Those of us obsessed with development, progress, rights, and freedoms don't really get to understand this. The things we value might not be that important to others. Having a different order of priorities doesn't automatically mean that people are stupid.
Perhaps, these things don't really matter as we would like to think they do. Economic development doesn't matter. Equal rights and justice don't really matter. Human rights are overrated. Creating a just and equitable society doesn't really matter. Corruption is part of our fabric and rooting it out is not really that important.
If something is important to you, you work hard towards attaining it, no matter how hard it is. You focus on it, even though the odds might be stacked against you.
Truth, justice, equal rights, democracy, development, progress, service delivery, and freedom. Do these things matter to us? Do we value them? If we did, we would pursue them. The reason the majority doesn't really pursue these ideals might be because they don't really matter that much.
Life is the greatest thing after all. Is it worth it losing your life for a viewpoint, for an idea, for a belief in how the economy should be managed and how resources and opportunities should be distributed across the population?
Perhaps, Bob Marley was wrong. You don't really have to stand up for some rights. You don't really need to get up and stand up all the time. Some things are better left to time. Time will heal the wounds. Time is the master. Time will introduce change. Time will correct the wrongs. Change takes time, but change will eventually come.
Democracy is an idea. Pure democracy is an idealistic non-existent thought. It does not exist. So why pursue it? Imperfect democracy is the reality. Instead of pursuing perfection, we can settle somewhere along the democracy-autocracy spectrum. We can make compromises. We can accept a system leaning towards autocracy but with a few bits of democratic rights here and there. We can also compromise on individual and human rights, as long as there is economic development.
We can choose to passively accept the system as it is. We take it as a given. Perhaps, the system is a variable we cannot change. Perhaps it's not really within our control. Whoever planted the idea that the power is within us was lying to us. The power lies with them that hold powerful positions. The democratic idealist told us that the people are the real government. The government is nothing without the people. Maybe, this was an exaggeration. The government is something with or without the people. Perhaps, the people don't really matter. It's all about the government. That's what matters.
Our people are treated as second-class citizens in other countries, the greener pastures where they emigrated to. They are hunted for deportation in the UK. They are despised in Botswana. They face Xenophobia in South Africa where the Kwerekwere is essentially a recent lowest class citizen in a new apartheid structure characterized by whites plus ANC officials and BEE boys as one class at the top, followed by coloreds, then the rest of black South Africans, and “black African foreigners” right at the bottom.
Black South Africans are so pleased not to be foreigners. The joy is that at least there is a class lower than me at the bottom of the societal structure, and that class should not rise above me. Do these things really matter? Seriously, they don't. It's just societal evolution. Its societies evolving. That's all. Not really worth reading much into. Zimbabweans in other countries always have an option to go home and find a way to make a living there, no matter how difficult it is.
We cannot be fighting all the time. Fighting for democracy. If we cannot resolve our differences through peaceful processes, then we have to wait until such a time when we can. War and fighting are not going to make things better. Demonstrations destroy the little productivity that there is. A week of demos takes away at least 1/52 of the GDP, not to mention the destruction of property if demos turn violent. Is the squeeze worth the juice?
If the junta regime that sanitizes its reign by conducting shambolic elections does not remove itself from power, what are the people going to do? Is it really worth it fighting against the junta? Should the people take up arms to dislodge the junta from power? Is the squeeze worth the juice? Perhaps, it's not. Perhaps, the autocratic and repressive style of governance doesn't really matter, as long as we have peace.
At the individual level, is it worth it fighting for something that will be enjoyed by everyone? The fight for democracy, if successful, will reap rewards that will be enjoyed by all. The rewards are not exclusive to the fighters. Would you plant an orchard by the wayside for the public to enjoy? Every passerby can pluck fruits from the trees. It's the battle of the individual versus the collective.
If the benefits are not exclusive to you, they are not really yours. They are for everyone, and of course, that includes you. But the risks taken are fully yours. The risks are not equally shared by everyone.
Perhaps, your parents were right. They warned you about politics. They said you will die for nothing. If you die for the people, you have died for nothing. Your wife, your sons, your daughters, and your parents will be left to bear the pain when you are gone, but the public won't even remember. They won't even continue the fight or cherish that which you fought for. So, you essentially die for nothing. It's not worth it.
Thousands died fighting for liberation during the war for independence. They fought for freedom for the people only for the people to be chained again by the revolution leaders. They were fighting for the people, for self-governance, for the land, for one-man-one-vote, a free and fair voting system, for the development and progress of the black Zimbabwean. Only the black governance part materialized (but will slowly erode as Chinese influence takes over). The rest of the ideals have not materialized. The fight wasn't worth it.
The people they fought for are not free. They are terrorized by CIOs, CIDs, traffic police, VIDs, secret police, soldiers, political thugs, and all sorts of legalized miscreants. The people cannot even talk about politics on the bus. People are denied basic civil rights such as a fair trial. Villagers are laboring under a repressive political system. The majority (14.5 million out of 15 million) people are not free. The 500,000 that are free are the oppressors and those close to the oppressors. Teachers, doctors, and nurses cannot even organize themselves in peace. They are persecuted. If 96% of the people are not free, what freedoms did the freedom fighters fight for? Was the fight worth it? Did the fight really matter? Perhaps, it didn't.
Millions of Zimbabweans still don't have land. If they occupy land, they don't hold title to that land. The land doesn't belong to them, they are just occupying it. This includes the 99-year leases given to those close to Mugabe circles during the land redistribution process. If the people still don't have land, after independence and land redistribution, then what was the land fuss all about? The question still hasn't been addressed. What did the fighters fight for?
Millions of Zimbabweans are struggling to own a piece of land as small as 250 square meters. The struggle is so real. Millions fall prey to land barons and scams, which wasn't the case before both independence and land reform. Millions are fighting a personal struggle to own a small piece of land. The ideals of the liberation war have not been realized. The fight wasn't worth it. Did the fight really matter? Perhaps, it didn't.
The freedom fighters fought for black people to be able to vote under a free and fair one-man-one-vote system. Has this been realized? You be the judge. Are the elections free? Are they fair? Are we under a one-man-one-vote system or under a one-man thousand ballot papers system or one-man thousands of punched-up numbers in the server system? Was the fight for electoral democracy worth it? Did it matter? Perhaps, it didn't.
Freedom fighters were fighting for economic freedom. Millions are not economically free. They don't have land, they don't have jobs, they don't have access to opportunities, and whatever they try to do economically is heavily suppressed by the state. The ones that have land to farm such as tobacco farmers are heavily exploited by the system via currency and price manipulations.
Gold panners are chased away from claims. Ghetto youths driving commuter omnibuses are treated as a menace to society. They have to work very hard to cover the bribes and fines demanded by the traffic police. They don't have economic freedom. Vendors are chased and beaten by municipal police on a daily basis. Manufactures are taxed heavily and have to pay expensive electricity rates. Importers have to pay very high import duties and taxes. Exporters are disadvantaged via the mention ratios.
Every other economic activity requires a license and a permit. The rules and regulations are worse than in the colonial days. Access to capital for starting a business has been cornered and monopolized by a handful of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
Costs of doing business in Zimbabwe are higher than anywhere else in the world. That means the freedom to do business in Zimbabwe is the lowest. The question is was the fight for the economic freedom, development, and progress of the back child worth it. Did it matter? Perhaps, it didn't.
Will the fight for the same rights, freedoms, and ideals matter now? Perhaps, it doesn't. This is a reality we have to face. History rhymes with itself. It doesn't necessarily repeat, but it rhymes. Collective ideals in a dysfunctional place are rarely achieved. Maybe they are not even achievable. The individual incentives for those who are elected to lead the charge on the collective ideals are too strong. They quickly overpower the collective ideals. It's hard to fix a broken country. That's why some things are better left to time. Actively trying to change the system might be a waste of time.
Prioritizing the individual (the I-self) over the collective is often regarded as cowardice, even though that self-interest action is regarded as the basic building block of capitalism and life. In politics and governance, the opposite is true. Sacrificing yourself for the collective is heroic. But being a hero doesn't wash away the basic questions; is it really worth it and does it really matter? Perhaps, it doesn't.
Maybe, just maybe, politics and governance are not all that important. At the individual level, what profiteth a man to lose his life whilst fighting for his country. You won't be able to enjoy a better country when you are dead. Your kids and their kids might but not you.
Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.