In political parlance, the Movement is a spontaneous awakening by a people to liberate themselves from social, economic and political problems. By doing this, they lay an irreversible foundation for a modern and progressive society. People aren’t able to do this unless they are guided, like a ship on high seas, by a small rudder called Ideology. Ideology is a set of beliefs, norms and conventions that guide behavior of an organization, keeping it focused on its core purpose for existence. In business speak, ideology states the reason why a business exists and the picture of things (vision) when it succeeds on its goals. We continually refresh this ideology in business by teaching its core elements and values to new staff that join an organization but also to retool the old and remind them of the journey and the destination. Good ideology allows an organization to adapt to a changing environment. A dysfunctional or retrogressive ideology such as that of apartheid or using religion and tribe as a basis for organizing society, cannot survive when it is exposed to the forces of progress.
We paint a picture of ideology for a common person to understand by comparing an organization to a lone traveler at night. Assume a traveller is lost in the middle of a forest and the sky has no stars, the moon isn’t shining. It is a pitch black night. If this traveler suddenly sees a flicker of light across the hill, he will out of necessity, run to the light. The light will re-orient him to his direction and allow him to rediscover his way. Like wise, if an organization faces danger in form of incompetence, corruption, intrigue or even low morale, the people in the organization must necessarily turn to their founding principles, their core values encapsulated in their ideology to chart a new course that will take them to their desired destination.
To understand the ideological disposition of the Movement, we have to step back in history to gain some depth. There are ingredients that shape societal formation, growth and development. Social and economic modernity is a marathon not a sprint. It is a journey that can be mapped and the territory charted.
Science teaches that our planet was birthed into a fiery existence some 13.8 billion years ago. As soon as the first microorganisms could be supported by atmospheric oxygen, the process of life formation on earth begun. About 1.4m years ago, the early human being known as the Hominid, walking on all fours, was in East Africa. Fossil Excavations in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa support this theory. Over time this man evolved into one walking on two legs, aptly named a Homo-Erectus. He discovered fire. Fire as his first invention, helped him chase snakes from caves and occupied them instead of trees. He also roasted and cooked his game, ate soft meals and this changed his jaw bone structure giving him a straight face. To not offend the people of faith, I need to state that science does not disprove our faith. The smallest fundamental layer of matter inside an atom that forms the cell is called a ‘quark’. Inside this quark, lies ‘sound’. We like to assume that there can never be a fundamental building block of life called sound unless God’s very voice in Genesis 1:3 said “Let there be…..!” This shows God gives all races the same brain cells, capabilities and opportunities to exert themselves, exploit resources and change their world.
By 10,000-7000 ago, man was able to begin domesticating animals, live in communities and learned division of labour. The first spot of civilization,interestingly was Africa. We were able to make canals, irrigate crops, make bread and beer and build houses along the Nile in the larger kingdom of Egypt. That we couldn’t sustain this early lead, I assume was because leaders spent resources not on building new knowledge but instead emphasized power without purpose. They, for example, built humungous burial grounds called pyramids in which they buried live human beings along with dead kings and tons of precious metals. Decadence always destroys civilizations.
Africa didn’t hold ground and we let the baton drop. Other parts of the world picked this. For this analysis, ignoring other civilizations before it, the most important change in medieval history begins with China. By 102AD, China had created wood block printing for Chinese characters and they went on to invent a compass and a clock. A man who creates a compass and clock is trying to grasp where he is the world. He is fully self aware of his capabilities. These three key invention were taken by the west beginning in the 10th century, and used for discovery and invasion of new lands. But the most Important invention from china was Gun powder from a mineral called potassium nitrate. Gun powder has shaped economic and political relations in our modern world. By the 11the century, Genghis Khan of the Mongol empire, had taken control of the potent weapon and used it to conquer India, the Middle East and Asia Minor (mid Europe) as it was called then. By the 15th century, guns were common battle technology later was used in construction and exploration and exploration industries. It is this weakness, among other things, by Africa first and later China, the failure to keep what you invent (which is the basis of our modern day battles over patents and copyrights) that eventually led to centuries of domination by the west over rest. Gun powder defined who would be a slave or a remain a free man, who had power and who lost it, which civilization would be destroyed and what would remain. Even the arrangement of knowledge, what should be studied or discarded from other societies, is based on the domination of the weak by the strong. Gun powder accounts for this early lead by the strong today. By the 17th and 18th century, almost all the emerging nation states of South America and Africa at the time, were colonized.
It is this backdrop of domination and the soil of resistance to this domination that the early doctrine of the Movement which eventually informed our ideology, values and tenets, came from. Next we will speak about the process of liberation and the crucible from which the four principles of the Movement ideology came from.
MARCH 9, 2017