Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dangers of Having Two Centres of Power in One Country

France has more need of me than I have need of France”, this was a statement uttered by Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military and political leader. Napoleon has had many quotes in his life and career. One of the outstanding ones is; “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making mistakes.” All my readers will appreciate this last one more appropriately for our country.

What are the functions of centres of power? Centres of power are meant to consolidate ones hegemonic influence in the following; political, economic and military. There can never be two centres of power in a country unless if it’s a failed state.

People who believe they are more important than their own country go around trying to establish such and that is simply recycled gossip plus fantasy of the best order. But Africa is never in short supply of such idiotic thinking to a point where someone can utter words such as; “I sacrificed a lot to rule this country.

Before coming home to Africa, let us look at how centres of power work globally. Similarly, centres of power globally will have a very close resemblance of how it is played within a given country. Those competing for the stage to bring out a more dominant centre of power, they target their influence in three areas. These three are as mentioned are politics, the economy and as well as the military.

It is critically important that the state has full control of the three, not for manipulation, but for purposes of being able to steer the country to a desirable direction. This is the bottom line.

The Cold War that lasted for more than half a century was a time of fighting for world hegemony. This was a war that was never fought yet the East and the West battled for hegemony and as we know it, the Americans have had an upper hand. Putin’s Russia is trying to reverse the gains that the Americans made since WW2 and these attempts come in many ways, conventional and unconventional.

During the Cold War, the Americans established geographical military commands that continue to be effectively functional. These commands are primarily functioning to protect the economic interests of the United States of America. In a similar manner, the Americans have promoted democracy as it is the best form of rule that can enhance their hegemonic political influence on populations they are linked with economically.

China has become the greatest threat to American global hegemony. This country’s economy is growing exponentially and they seem unstoppable in that regard. China is the world’s second largest economy after overtaking Japan in 2011 and inching closer to the US each year.

The US has immunised its political, economic and military global hegemony by creating alliances. The greatest if these alliances are in NATO which has become a military pinnacle of Europe.

Two centres of power are mainly created in Third World countries and they mainly serve the individuals or establishments outside the country. Take it from me; anyone who creates another centre of power in Africa is always acting in the interest of foreign powers.

In most parts of the world, former colonial masters continue to dominate the so called independent countries through their economic influence which automatically runs down to influence the country politically and militarily. This is why it is important for the subject people of a former colony to continue studying in universities of their colonial masters while their military officers attend military academy with their former colonizers so that they are kept in synch.

The litmus test for determining the existence of another centre of power within a country state is by arresting a former president. If this is not possible in a particular country if it is done through an independent judicial system, then there is another centre of power in the country and that is very dangerous.

Is arresting a former prime minister of Britain or former president the US including Donald Trump possible? The answer is simply yes. Is it possible to do the same in our own country and anywhere else in southern Africa? Former statesmen that create an alternative centre of power always do so for powers outside of their country.

The second centre of power is created to cause instability. Individuals that participate in the process of creating an alternative centre of power are usually actors who are proxies for other individuals, countries and establishments outside that particular nation state.

Foreign actors inflate the ego of certain individuals within the citizenry and that inflation makes them feel overrated and above the law. They would feel the same way Napoleon felt about France two centuries ago.

Foreign actors usually fund none state actors to create an alternative centre of power so that they are assured of continued access to resources of the country. This alternative centre of power serves to destabilize the country by causing the government of the day to look weak.

An alternative centre of power causes confusion and has high potential in causing civil disorder and retards development. It is designed to make the incumbent government look weak and to take away confidence and place it on the third state.

People who participate in the creation of the alternative centre of power usually become too confident and think they have monopoly to power. In certain instances, state power can be suspended by the existence of an alternative centre of power and that is the most dangerous situation for any country.

There can only be what is known as balance of power within a region of countries. It is healthy to have multiple centres of power in a region such as southern Africa because it promotes strong economies and political unity to deal with common problems. But to have a state within a state is the most undesirable situation and is detestable.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper