The world of politics is generally split into two broad categories based on our social outlooks. In many ways they may not in today’s world be clear cut . However what one sees is a grouping of people who advance or have certain beliefs and norms . The determinants of this will be a combination of genes and social characteristics that can be acquired from the culture of a people and social environment. For a long time it led to the polarization of the world into the eastern and the Western blocs . But even in these general blocs or societies we still have persons who will because of their thinking be involved in activities from the other side . So what am I talking about?. It is conservatism as opposed to liberal /progressivism . Let us examine the definitions of the two
Conservatism is defined as a
Disposition to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
2. Disposition to be cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
3.Disposition to be traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness
4.Lastly of or pertaining to a Conservative party.
1 .Progressiveness is moving forward; advancing.
2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or
methods: a progressive politician; progressive business leadership.
4 A person who actively favors or strives for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government.
The situation is we have parties all over the world that subscribe to these two broad philosophies . In the UK and Germany we have the Conservative parties and in the USA, the Republicans and in Ghana the UP’s grand child the NPP
. Let us look at some of their political manifestations and what they fight for
Xenophobia , racism , tribalism , propensity towards violence and very war like . Usually they are individualistic and so selfish , which means they do not look out for anyone. They have limited understanding of religion and fight to impose their ideas on others. They do not tolerate opposing views and mostly are illiterate to semi literate . In the UK , USA or, Germany under conservatives, governments are tough on immigration, aliens, as they practice discrimination out of fear of the unknown , the new comers. They form the back bones of the KKK , tribal zealots and religious fundamentalists . Wherever they settle they make laws to impede others from coming in.. In the USA you do not hear about the Native Americans but the White settlers and their descendants , and that is what is repeated in Australia and the worst was in South Africa where the original people were disposed and had to get permits to get into “ South Africa. . What are some of their other effects . ?Women were not allowed to go to school and hence work , now a common sight,. Blacks could not vote and were dished with second class education , now we have a Black president ., but what was the cost? People like Martin Luther King Jr were murdered in the fight for what should have been obvious right .A severe form was in South Africa where apartheid was practiced and Blacks suffered severe suppression South Africa has been under majority rule since 1994 .In the US when John Kennedy was a presidential candidate his faith Catholicism was a big factor . Now it does not really matter
Violence . The KKK did not hesitate to use violence on Blacks and progressives who sought equality . The NLM did not hesitate to throw bombs on people of opposing views Margaret Thatcher did not hesitate in going into the Falklands war , the Boers in south Africa used brutal force to suppress dissent. George Bush, in fact both father and son were quick to go to war . Did it solve or preserve the order they fought for except in the Falklands?
Science & Technology Galileo first proposed that the world is round and revolves around the sun. It was viewed as heresy and he was killed on the gallows . Today we know that he was right
Darwin proposed the theory of evolution , and he was labeled an atheist . Has Darwin not been proved right?
China . Nkrumah was friend s to China and wanted us to follow the steps they were taking. He was labeled a communist, whatever that means . , China’s experiment has been proved a success . That is what vision is about
Ford invented the motor cars , and that was a progressive move , and so were the Wright brothers who started to fly . We still use hoes and cutlasses to cultivate the soil and grow food . We still do not cultivate fish nor animals in a big way with our resultant food insecurity the basics of human needs. The UP and its followers felt threatened by collective farms , and silos that sought to ameliorate shortages and scarcity of food . What are their attitudes towards scientific productivity and ways of increasing production today? Change is necessary as when one stands still one moves backwards and change will be forced on you. .
This is the era of progress and change so the choices are clear . Do we want to move forward or do we want to stay stationary or retrogress?
Just as the NPP does not look at persons from other tribes as humans the racists did not view people of color as humans , hence, equals. Just imagine labeling a whole group of people as having a “herd mentality.” Just because he abhors a person JJ Rawlings and expects me to do the same. If I do not then it is a herd mentality . My grandfather voted for Nkrumah against his nephew Modesto Apaloo, just because” he could see Nkroful from his patio in Anloga” (apologies to Sarah palin) . Meanwhile their grandfathers were on a killing spree against anyone who dared to show dissent to its tribal based NLM . Who then has a herd mentality.?To them then it becomes an offence for a Voltarian to vote NDC because its founder happens to be a Voltarian . But The EGLE party has a Voltarian founder ,Dr Aggudey and Mills is not from the region but Voltarians still voted for Mills and also rejected Dr Asamoah , unless some one tells me Likpe is not part of the Volta region. May I ask why they voted Victor Owusu and Kuffour instead of Limann, or Paa Willie ? Let us have a truce , no one should vote for a candidate from his or her region of origin. Then also when the Black Stars play we should cheer for the opposing team to show we are not tribalistic
Religion . Democracy prescribes a separation of Church and State. As such my religious beliefs are my private affair. But where ever you find these conservatives of which the NPP is a part we see religious prescription . Do these people want to tell us that their forefathers had no religious worship before the White man came? Where is their history ? No wonder they can accept that their ancestors came from caves, and this written by Prof Adu Boahen . How could cavemen be able to organize the society so well, create a kingdom, have such silky high class kente and footwear ?Does it matter to anyone if I practice a religion called trokosi , or Confucianism, or Buddhism This religious prescription led to unnecessary wars in the middles ages . Where did God say “ Kill in my name? I thought their bible said “ Love your neighbor and your enemy’ Then again it said” Judge not”, so why are you so judgmental
Sexism . Conservatives still look at the females as sex objects that must be used. That is why women could not go to school and could not old certain positions . Those attitudes still continue and is it not a shame that a Flag bearer can still talk about “ wosso , wosso, ‘ the sexist cry that used to ring out on the Varsity campuses when females dared to visit their boyfriends in the male halls . Women have gone to space and have come a long way , but what has the NPP conservative party got in store for us .Can we ask what meaningful role you will have for the females in the future or should we expect more “ groping” and shouts of “wosso ,wosso’
Financial and national Development . So far we are colonized financially. “ he who pays the piper calls the tune’ . Your Flagbearer has been silent on issues like gay rights calls from the UK, USA and the UN . I guess your silence has more to do with not upsetting the apple cart , your pay and colonial masters . They are needed to fund the short falls in your budgets should you win . The question is are you going to remain a puppet or do you have any policies that will drive Ghana forward to balancing her budget and hopefully generating a surplus. The last two times you were in government you had no idea about economics so you closed the enterprises started by our Founder Nkrumah creating a mass unemployment and to reduce this expelled the so called aliens which resulted in no labor on the farms giving rise to our fall as the world No 1 cocoa producer and with fall in revenue you went for a cheap money policy ‘ devaluation. The latest was HIPC which allowed you more scope to borrow , which you did but left no assets. By the way you call the Universities, schools , hospitals, factories Nkrumah built “ white elephants.’ Mr Minttah wants them in his zoo , so where will you start ?You see in accounting when you create liabilities they need to be balanced by assets. When you borrow for current expenditure then you are in trouble , and that to me is what you are good at. The last time I checked conservatives are supposed to be adept at money management but you are always found wanting . So I ask again, where do you stand?
Corruption . We have had a government that for 8 years could find NONE of its office holders involved incorruption. Surely they must be a group of saints. Even in Nkrumah days we saw the government discipline its members for corruption and after the coup there were thousands of probes to uncover corruption. We know there is corruption in Ghana from policemen taking bribes to civil servants asking for something “ small” before your file can be found. . Now we have people like Agyepong who do not even know the extent of their wealth and people who with contracts worth $750m were being paid from plastic bags by the CEO himself. So is it not a mystery that all these people go scot free and then behave like saints ?
Justice and the system We have CJ who accepted State lands and whose appointment was clouded in nepotism . How can they then fight corruption and dispense true justice. On technicality , many were left off the hook. NDC foot soldiers fought with the then AG Betty Mould. Now when it comes to Woyome , NPP sings a different tune. We then tribalize it and then wash it under the carpet. We need to clean up these systems and strengthen them .
Fellow Ghanaians ( I know some will say I am Togolese as they are more Ghanaian than others. Is that not familiar with conservatives?) Some one wrote the other day about a mass revolution. That revolution should start with the mind . Let us begin to think differently. Let us unite to fight injustice. There is no culture that condones injustice so let us stand up against it irrespective of out political affiliations . Our success lies in innovation which translates in s doing things differently and better. We cannot do that through insults and being stagnant but being pro active . The choices are clear , traditionalists or innovators
Forward Ever, backward never . Africa shall unite
The writer is a Pan Africanist , who believes Africa unity is the ONLY solution