Dangerous Fanatics in the EFF

2014-11-25 17:39

The formation of a political party captures the mood and the energy of the nation. That is the first phase of political party formation. It is 80% drama and 20% nuanced engagement.

The second phase is to establish the political party solidly on sound organizational principles. And sound organizational principles always demands choice of leadership. No matter how much we admire democracy but like all things in life it cannot be just free fall.

In the United States of America - the world's best celebrated democracy - not every American can be a congressman, senator or presidential nominee. There are powerful business and political coalition groups behind the scenes that do the preliminary selections. Nothing is left for chance.

The first phase of political party formation is like swimming in chaotic waters where you embrace and bring along into the fold every character. Your aim is to build the party and whatever comes along into the fold is accepted.

It is like fishing with a net where the net picks up all sorts of creatures, fish, sea monsters, crabs, sea snakes etc. And once the net has been drawn into the surface there must be a selection - a choice: taking the fish and discarding crabs and so on.

We should take these factors into perspectives as we look at the little drama that is currently playing out within EFF.

Like all sound political formation EFF was established through much fanfare and high tempo appeal, and in the process brought into the midst all sorts of vain fanatics. Some of these fanatics were ultimately installed into provincial command teams without sound critical assessment because the core leadership was in a hurry to get things going. And now the jury is out!

The notable author Eric Hoffer explains these fanatics in EFF as follows:

The danger of the fanatic to the development of a movement is that he cannot settle down. Once victory has been won and the new order begins to crystallize, the fanatic becomes an element of strain and disruption. The taste for strong feeling drives the fanatic on to search for mysteries yet to be revealed and secret doors yet to be opened. He keeps groping for extremes.

That is why most mass movements once successful then break up into violent disputes and clash of factions. It is because of these fanatics.

Hatred now becomes a habit among the party members. With no more outside enemies to destroy, the fanatic inside the party picks up the leaders of the movement as the enemies.

So says Eric Hoffer: the once blind migratory worker and philosopher who was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.

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