Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Weekly Sneak: Pro-Government Conservatism

This week, I am being exceedingly conservative in The East African... please prepare for some very dry musings. I need a little time to make sense of what's actually going on under the nose and daily assault of information. Also, recent activities that placed me on the outer peripheries of several movement/activist type initiatives have got me recoiling into my staunch pacifist corner again:

"The reason it is worth raising these concerns now is that hand in hand with an escalation in violent conflict between Tanzanians and their government there there is a worrying trend in the forums of free expression that live online. Empty and not-so empty threats are not uncommon as more and more young men- why is it always the young men- are threatening to 'do anything' to liberate themselves from the state's oppression. Hate speech is creeping up on us. Trouble is, we are standing on the brink of deepening our democracy significantly in the next three years. The question is whether we will take our inspiration from the Obama school of social change, or have we already bred a generation of Julius Malemas?"

Beware the populist leader, I say.

Worse yet, I am actually heaping some praise on the Kikwete administration for its commitment to democracy. My Celebrident might frustrate the living daylights out of me from time to time but at the end of the day he hasn't given me reason to fear that he has gone rogue. The trickle-down effects of his Tanzania-first attitude have been beneficial and I believe in giving credit where credit is due. While I can never join the party, I have no trouble with appreciating it's utility and competencies:

"It is worth repeating here that the current President has remained staunch in his avoidance of straight autocracy. With a Party chairman willing to exercise a bit of authority in order to retain as much of the spirit of 'public good' as he can manage, CCM has proved itself to be the chameleonic, learning organization that is smart enough to follow the winds of change. And as long as it is willing to flex and adapt to the times, however small the adjustments may be, then Tanzania retains a fighting chance, which is entirely different from the chance to fight. There is something to be said for that, and it is a lesson that I hope opposition parties are paying attention to."

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