I have never understood war. I am fascinated by the history of war and all of the intricate processes that lead to war, the ideologies that fuel war and the deals that fund war. I understand the capitalistic reasoning and gains for a select group of people but what I fail to comprehend is how people are willing to kill others, whom they have never met, on behalf of someone else. Let’s be perfectly honest, the authorities commissioning the war sit comfortably, far away from the frontlines, while others are killed and die on their behalf. Isn’t this a strange concept to fathom?
I guess what it boils down to is personal conviction. We all have our beliefs, even though it might be imprinted on us via dominant ideological propaganda. Some people are willing to go further, do more, in order to stand up for their beliefs. Sometimes there might be hidden agendas behind their reasoning but sometimes the sentiment is true and pure.
Take for example Julius Malema’s economic freedom march that took place at the end of last year. Walking from Beyers Naudé Square in Johannesburg to the Union Buildings in Pretoria is not a small feat. It is almost a Comrades Marathon distance. Like I said earlier there might have been ulterior motives for Mr Malema in his walk but for a lot of the people walking with him it was a desperate attempt to focus attention on their helpless situation. It might have been a case of the blind leading the blind but the fact of the matter is those marchers conviction of beliefs had them walk such a great distance.
The point that I am trying to reach here is that we have to start opening our eyes to the world around us. It is fine to have strong principles but what we need to do is question the authenticity, roots and motives behind the ideology that we hold so dearly close. There might be no arguing the validity of your beliefs but be careful of the person preaching the dogma. Some people preaching communism in South Africa are the biggest capitalists. Some religious factions are the greatest hypocrites. Some revolutionaries are fascist. History has a tendency to repeat itself.
Open your eyes and think for yourself.
Carel Willemse Editor-in-Chief