…even the marginalized have to participate – Dr M’membe

Lusaka, Thursday, November 2, 2023 (Smart Eagles)

President of the Socialist Party (SP) Dr Fred M’membe has argued that it is impossible to have democracy without the participation of the masses.

Dr M’membe has explained that democracy entails the participation of everyone including the vulnerable.

He said this when he and the party General Secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali had a conversation around socialism and other issues affecting the affairs of the country today .

“It is not possible to have democracy without the participation of so many people. Democracy entails participation of people, the greatest level of participation of the masses. We had Greece, we are usually told about the old Greece, the Greek Agora, and it is given to us as the architype or prototype of democracy,” he said.

“We are told of the meetings in the city halls where everybody gathers and they decide. But that story is not complete because they don’t tell us that the old Greece we are talking about had over 30,000 slaves. But the slaves never went to the city hall. They were excluded from the democratic process.”

He argued that the democracy in Greece that is being talked about is incomplete.

“So the democracy we talk about in Greece is part of democracy, it is not complete democracy. Capitalist democracy is also partial; it is just for the well to do. Those with money and they use their money to gain power,” he said.

“If you are poor you cannot be an MP, unless a rich man sponsors you, or a rich company sponsors you. So it means a poor person cannot set themselves a political agenda, a political goal and attain it. They can only do so when they come together and struggle in a revolutionary way. When that happens there is a revolution.”

The opposition leader said it doesn’t matter how the revolution happened.

“And it doesn’t matter how it happens. That is why even in America, when they were under the imperial rule of the British and others, they had to take up arms and liberate themselves. There was a revolution in 1876 that triumphed in America, and it was a violent revolution because it was an armed struggle,” he said.

“People forget that the USA liberated itself through the use of arms. And there was a revolution. Power changed from imperial powers.”

Meanwhile, Dr Musumali said there is no democracy for the masses.

“Building on the concept of democracy, so the capitalist, for the fewer people that control, they have democracy amongst themselves. For the masses out there it is dictatorship, it is not part of them. They are just used as a pawn, they are just used as validation, but it is not really their democracy,” he said.

“And that is what this project is about. Those who were excluded, those who were marginalized, those who were overlooked, we want them to come together. But in this process we are not going to exclude the small minority that governs today, we are simply let everybody participate.”


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