Happy Independence Day Nigeria #GetToKnowNigeria
October 1, 2015
Victimization of the Victim in a Chaotic State: A Woman and a Girl child’s Dilemma
October 19, 2015

We, The People

We the people is an opening phrase of the preamble to the United States constitution and the constitution of India. However it is not the intention of the writer to discuss herein the political connotations of this statement ,rather my aim is to shed a considerable amount of light on the impact of ‘people power’ and how we can use that power to negotiate our fate in the world.

We, the people vote governments into power, it is through the administration of our resources that the efficiency of these governments is judged. We enlist ourselves into national armies to protect our lands from any potential threats , start up revolutions to overthrow dictators and corrupt governments. We are agents of change. It is us that endorse, buy and consume the variety of competing products and services in the world of commerce. Research and science is inspired by us and upon our participation, social trends are set. We develop the diverse cultures that beautify the world, we inspire the norms and values that make the moral fabric that dress up the world into decency. The very same norms that influence human behaviour, the implementation of norms is a vital way through which individuals may be governed, influenced even controlled beyond formalised and institutionalised rules, laws and prohibitions. The world is our foot stool.

We, the people hold ineffable amounts of power in our hands, yet we have become so dependent on our governments, begging the very same people we voted into power to allow us to eat from the left overs from the tables. They deny us the same resources we entrusted in their stewardship. We have endorsed these products and services and services to which the ability to purchase them has now been used as a benchmark to measure our self-worth,prompting the emergence of social classes between those that can afford and those that cannot consequently declaring the former superior and the latter inferior. Through our stern efforts to bridge the gap, we have now been caught in the snares of economic dependency, crime, bankruptcy, low self-esteem, prostitution and all other problems to which further emphasis falls beyond the context of this article.

It becomes a matter of great concern as to how we managed to fall from the majestic heights of ‘people power’ .At which part of our journey did we loose focus and found ourselves at the cul-de-sac of subjugation? .The moment you elect someone to represent your interest anywhere, you are transferring your power to that particular person , leaving you the elector at possible risk of being victim to the misuse of power. According to the German-born Robert Michels ,best known for his book ’Political Parties’ published in 1991,”it is organisation that gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors ,of the mandatories over the mandators” a theory he called the Iron Law of Oligarchy. This is what is happening in issues of governance .Does this mean that I am advocating against democracy ,against the system or elections? NO. The irrationality of a thing is an argument against its existence but rather a condition of it. Power is ineffective in the absence of the object that recognise ,acknowledge and accept its source, the objects to whom the force of that power is exerted upon .Any force that exerts its power upon us does so only because we have accepted it( usually a subliminal process)

The system of governance depends on our participation, democracy cannot be exercised if we do not vote. Products and services will not be sold if we consumers do not endorse, buy and consume them. The world of commerce would come to a literal stand still if workers do not report for duty, buyers do not come forward to make purchases. There is no art without an audience, trends can never be set without our participation. Such is the fate that awaits the world if ever we choose to withhold our participation, therefore we can use that power to determine how activities are run, for the benefit of the people.

As we come to the realisation of our indomitable strength, I hope we acquire the shrewdness of exercising the dynamics of using ‘people power’ by knowing when and when not to offer our contribution, participation or endorsements. Having the wit to realise when our needs , interests are not being represented and having the courage to do something about it ,hence forth   we shall be able to alter negative perceptions about ourselves and do away with the victim attitude that we have come to exhibit as a people.

Tafadzwa    Tafadzwa Fazenda is a writer, founding member of Poetic Justice, poet, Business developer and community development practioner who is passionate about the arts and the development of the youth.