Friday, October 18, 2013

Opportunism in Patriotic Front
By Editor
Sat 28 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

There is indecision in the key leadership of the Patriotic Front that is helping to fuel and perpetrate the dismaying and disheartening anarchy that the nation is witnessing.

This indecision is not accidental. It is the result of opportunism. And as Lenin wrote on "Opportunism in Questions of Organisation", "When we think of fighting opportunism, we must never forget a characteristic feature of present-day opportunism in every sphere, namely, its vagueness, amorphousness, elusiveness.

An opportunist, by his very nature, will always evade taking a clear and decisive stand, and he will always seek a middle course, he will always wriggle like a snake between two mutually exclusive points of view and try to 'agree' with both and reduce his differences of opinion to petty amendments, doubts, innocent and pious suggestions, and so on and so forth."

It is clear that the key leadership of the Patriotic Front, for one reason or another, is not in a position to take a decisive stand on the anarchy that has rocked their party and is impacting negatively politically and economically on the whole nation.

For reasons, that we feel are opportunistic but may be presented as tactical, the leadership of the Patriotic Front does not seem to be in a position to take a decisive stand on the confusion and anarchy that has engulfed their party. There seems to be some appeasement of both sides to this issue. The side that is under attack is allowed to continue, to carry on as if nothing is happening. The side that is on the attack is also allowed to carry on attacking, while the key leadership turns a blind eye. Those under attack are allowed to continue in their positions as if all is normal. And those on the offensive are also allowed to continue as if what they are doing is in order and is acceptable to the key party leadership. Some of those on the offensive and who are perpetrating anarchy and confusion are even promoted or confirmed in their 'positions'.

What is the message that the key leadership of the party has been sending to the rank and file of the party over this issue? The message is not clear. It can be read in many ways. But one key aspect of this message seems to be that the leadership of the party has no problems with the anarchy that is going on; 'it is a democratic right' of those who are engaged in it. In a word, the key leadership of the party is not ready or willing to stop this anarchy or confusion because in its wisdom, this will be a violation of the 'rights' of those involved in this anarchy or confusion. This seems to be a muddled way and probably a dishonest way of looking at 'rights' and issues of intra-party discipline. These are the same people who for two years have not allowed the opposition political parties to hold rallies or demonstrations in Lusaka. What type of hypocrisy is this? What type of double standards is this? What principles about 'rights' can they claim to be defending or advancing? Would it be wrong for one to describe their behaviour as crass opportunism?

But we know that, and as James Hightower once quipped, "there is nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos". Being decisive is essential in life if one is to succeed in what they are doing or are engaged in. If you deny yourself commitment, what will you do with your life? Every accomplishment, great or small, starts with a decision.

Choice, not chance, determines destiny. You can't get a hit with the bat on your shoulder. Nothing great was ever done without an act of decision. Too many people go through life not knowing what they want but feeling sure they don't have it.

It is said that there is a time when we must firmly choose the course which we will follow, or the relentless drift of events will make the decision for us.

People often are like wheelbarrows, trailers or canoes: they need to be pushed, pulled or paddled. You are either moving the other people to decisions or they are moving you. Decide to do something now to make your life better. The choice is yours.

It is said that if you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you don't, you have achieved half your failure. And that if you don't make a total commitment to whatever you are doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting the boat to the shore with everybody rowing, let alone when someone stands up and starts putting his life jacket on.

It is said that God helps those who help themselves. The moment you definitely commit yourself, God moves as well. All sorts of things happen to help you that never would have otherwise occurred. It is said that every human mind is a great slumbering power until awakened by a keen desire and a definite resolution to act. There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you only do it when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

Lack of decisiveness has caused more failures than lack of intelligence or ability. You seldom get what you go after unless you know in advance what you want. Indecision often gives an advantage to the other person because he did his thinking beforehand. Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings.

Joshua encouraged, "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15). Don't leave a decision for tomorrow that needs to be made today. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile. Likewise, Joseph Newton discerned, "Not what we have, but what we use, not what we see, but what we choose - these are things that mar or bless human happiness."

It doesn't pay to be opportunistic, as Lenin has defined it. There are no rewards for being a middle-of-the-roader, because the middle of the road is the worst place to try to go forward. You can do everything you ought to do - once you make a decision. The Patriotic Front key leadership can save itself from further destruction or decimation by doing something definite about the anarchy and confusion that has rocked their party.

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