The 1789 French terms “left wing” and “right wing" in political leanings are slowly dying a much-needed death in modern politics.
Born out of the French Revolution and referring to how members of the French parliament were seated in relation to their support of the king, it has become a term used to show ideological divides within societies. It was initially used to indicate those in favour of reform or revolution during that Revolutionary period.
Later, it took on a much broader ideological focus, dividing the world into Eastern and Western blocs, and in some cases capitalist and communist camps. Those who supported the maintenance of old orders were largely regarded as conservative and right-wing and those who supported the upheaving of unjust orders were largely regarded as left-wing.
Modern politics has since moved into states of enormous fluidity on such strictly margined political orders. South Africa, also, has moved beyond those traditional ideological divides.
The current political conflict in South Africa is more a case of the perpetuation of micro orders of enrichment. Our political establishment does not seek any of the traditional reform, revolution or even the reset ideological positions anymore, despite its RET rhetoric.
Notwithstanding the states of inequality and the absence of comprehensive justice and prosperity, those ancient lines that divided us into right wing and left wing no longer have the same sense-making powers.
It is exactly here that the DA’s moonshot pack is going to fall apart. The best example of a modern-day moonshot pack was the formation of the UDF in 1983. Until it dissolved in 1991, it held a politically, ideologically and psychologically diverse collection of movements and masses together around the common goal of defeating apartheid.
The parties invited to the DA’s moonshot pack are ensconced in cultural, regional, tribal and religious ideological trenches. There is no justice, peace and equality mandate they are pursuing. Defeating the ANC in an election requires more than a bunch of parties to be in alignment to do so.
How power will be distributed, how government will do justice and how 30 years of injustice and corruption will be undone is what should be on the agenda. It is not the coming together that matters. It’s the working together and staying together for the next five years and for the greater good that matters.
I can see a Meshoe, a Buthelezi, a Zille and a Holomisa all queueing up to be installed into positions of power. These ancients will want their reward for helping the moonshot pack obtain its power.
I fear the collapse of the moonshot pack within one week after the 2024 elections based on the “additional demands” that members of the pack will table post the 2024 elections. Our experience with Codesa, the GNU, floor-crossing and multiple coalitions over the last 29 years have taught us that nothing is impossible when it comes to human greed and demands for power.
How will a future national collation government move beyond these ideological demands within the moonshot group? How will they manage to advance a justice framework and dispense with selfish demands, to mention just a few initial stumbling blocks?
The uncanny maturity that formed the UDF was its sacrificial and selfless leadership at the time. A comrade and a community member had the same value and the same voice on any podium. The UDF captured the hearts and minds of millions of voiceless people. The current moonshot pack is simply a bunch of ageing and opportunistic politicians smelling power.
I expect an election strategy from a cornered ANC that is full of remorse and repentance, opening the taps of morose visions of the future and tapping into the national sympathy of an all-forgiving South Africa.
The big hairy audacious idea the moonshot group is not wrestling with is: you can take the ANC out of power, but have you thought of how you take power from the ANC?
* Lorenzo A. Davids.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.