Forces of Change Movement in the ANC: The Struggle Continues

2012-12-19 15:24

The essence of the emergence of the Forces of Change movement within the ANC has always been about bringing dramatic positive change within the ANC. That was the driving force and the rallying point. That was the energy that saw the ANC Youth League going on a coalition course with the mother body at Luthuli House where a brutal fight was waged that eventually saw the president of the ANC Youth League Julius Malema brutally dealt with.

The Forces of Change movement in the ANC has always argued for "economic freedom in our life times" for the rest of the South Africans. They have pronounced a new path of salvation for the poor and down trodden. The movement is proposing drastic measures to deal with the chronic sickness of unemployment  depression and deep seated poverty.  Today the majority of university graduates fails to get jobs and the skills they have accumulated through hard work are rusting up as they have no place to put them  to use. And the majority of the youth that can not even go to university are simply the lost generation. It seems there is no remedy in hand.

And so the Forces of Change put their hopes to Mangaung. But it was increasingly becoming clear as days marched on to Mangaung that things were bound to remain the same. They change was effectively dealt with and crippled throughout the ANC. And now Mangaung has come and gone and we are left with the status quo. The old order remains entrenched.

It seems that the Forces of Change have failed. Have they failed? It will depend how those driving the Forces of Change movement will view the happenings in Mangaung. Will they view what happened in Mangaung as Waterloo - the end or will they only see the whole turn of events as just a setback and therefore they have to brush it off - learn from it and forge ahead with determination that has the audacity of hope?

There might be a silver lining from this storm that has struct the movement. One of the factors that we can count to be in the favor of the Forces of Change is the fact that we are living in the age of change - and innovation. That people are heartily sick of the old order and therefore anything that represent change and renewal is appreciated. The people that are going to vote during  the 2014 general elections are young people who are burning for change and renewal.

We can - in seeking the way forward -  derive case examples from the United States of America. The forces that capitulated Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008 was not just Democratic party. The hope and change movement in fact took shape during the time when President George Bush was soliciting support to take America to war in Iraq.  This was called the peace movement  driven by the United States citizens seeking to oppose George Bush and his politics of war.  Ultimately these forces of peace failed as Bush determined and won the support of congress and what he called "the coalition of the willing". Simply put President George Bush won through mischievous ways. But even though the peace movement lost its opposition to the war - they never gave up - the movement went on and existed on the internet in the form of blogs and social media. Through these platforms structures and forums were created that solidified the movement and the idea  of change. And in the process of time the movement emerged as Organizing for America.

This was the time when Barack Obama's book the Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream was published. And in launching the Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream Barack Obama went on a mass meeting crusade through all the states that forms the US. As he traveled and people attending the book launch rallies and listening to the inspirational speeches Barack Obama made about having an audacity of hope the movement that was silent and operating only through the internet began to catch on fire. Many people began to see in Barack Obama their hope and aspirations.They saw in Barack Obama someone that can defeat the cronyism and the corruption in American politics and therefore bring in change that they can believe in. Here was a young political leader just emerging from his 40's with the powerful message of hope not just hope but the hope that has an audacity in it.  And so Organizing for America became the hope movement, the yes we can movement, the change we can believe in movement and had a face in the name of Barack Obama. And through Barack Obama they crest the storm and won the White House.

The people that elected Barack Obama were young people, the Latinos and the African Americans. over 70% of the white population voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. And so change happened just because people had the audacity to hope! On the main was African Americans who on the main, as we know, are influenced and inspired by the philosophy of Dr Martin Luther King jr, the demagogue and the fiery fist waving rubble rouser Malcolm X, the defiant rage of the Black Panther Party and the Black Theology of James Cone

The audacity of hope was really an inspirational message that change the American political landscape for good. From now on it is hard to view America as a white country but rather a country of all the human races. The change came by people daring and facing off with the status quo and never quitting but brazing off in the midst of obstacles.

The election of Barack Obama back in 2008 was a bombshell that no one knew it coming. Already experts were predicting that the Republican Party will rule America for the next 20 years. The experts from different think tanks did research and found that the Democratic Party was a shrinking party. But what the experts could not consider was the majority of Americans on the sidelines along the boundaries of the democratic Party and the Republican Party - the young people who have no convictions of party worship or adherence -  and those were the people Barack Obama appealed to and he succeeded!

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