Ideas are timeless. They float like clouds within the brains of individuals. Within the individuals who conceive them, these ideas remain dreams: unknown and untapped. These ideas are only born when they are spoken of and spread to other people.
There are more ideas than there are people alive. However, over 99.9 per cent of these ideas are stillborn in the brains of those who conceive them and in the mouths and ears of those who speak and hear them. This is true in science, literature, arts and music as it is in politics.
Politics is not governed by moral principles but by power. When people are fighting for their existence, when the question of “to be or not to be” has to be answered, aesthetic considerations are set aside. A revolutionary political idea can only have one purpose. One goal. One adversary. Control of state power, government and the nation.
Its mover must consolidate the attention of the people towards a singular vision, taking care that nothing splits the attention of the people towards that purpose, that goal, that adversary.
Even if there is more than one purpose, more than one goal, more than one adversary, the mover of the movement must have the genius to consolidate and focus the eyes of the people back to attaining control of state power, government and the nation.
Stoked to higher levels
The more militant the energies of the people are directed towards that purpose, that goal, that single adversary, the more new people will join the movement, attracted by the magnetism of its unified action, and adding to the fires of its striking power.
Such enthusiasm and passion becomes an intoxication and must be kept in that form and stoked to higher levels to endure the stamina required to take control of state power, form government and lead the nation.
When the enthusiasm and the passion of the people is dampened, nothing will rekindle it again should the necessity of such enthusiasm and passion arise again.
It is said that legends are not written of the conquered but of the conquerors; the scrolls of history are penned by the victors not the losers.
Of what benefit is a political idea if the pages it remains written on are current newspapers, social media and manifestos? Of what weight is a political idea that never attains stature or mention even in the footnotes of history?
The art of an advertisement lies is in its ability to attract the attention of a large crowd. An advertisement poster announcing an exhibition should have no other aim other than to convince the public to attend the exhibition. The better it does that, the better is the art of the poster. Regardless of the number of people the poster attracts to the exhibition, the poster itself can never take the place of the artistic objects displayed at the exhibition. A revolution that doesn’t attain control of state power, government and the nation is the revolution that never was.
The test of greatness of a political leader is the success of his plans and his enterprises and his ability to reach the goal for which he sets out. The doom of a nation can only be averted by a storm of glowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others. The nation will never be possessed by the faint-hearted.
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party started in a dingy dark room in a tavern in 1919. He joined in as member number seven.
Singularly, he envisioned, crafted, transformed and perfected a movement so monstrous that it brought not just the nation but the world to its knees, if only for a moment.
- Kethi D Kilonzo is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. [email protected]