13th of August 2015
Colonel Robert Helvey – Current president of the Albert Einstein Institution and long time disciple of Dr. Gene Sharp, the expert on strategic non-violent action, coined the phrase of the “Goose Egg Principle”.
Srđa Popović, the Serbian revolutionary whose "Otpor!" movement toppled the dictator Slobodan Milošević in 2000 talks about it in his book, “Blueprint for a Revolution”.
When a strategic Army general pores over a map and eventually identifies his ultimate objective, he doesn’t draw a neat circle around it. With a bold stroke he will draw and oval shaped “Goose Egg” around it and say: “There…that is my ultimate objective.”
He then looks at his resources and identifies the tactics and methods to be used to reach or achieve this “Goose Egg”.
Similarly, we should first identify what it is we are trying to achieve. What is our ultimate objective? What is our “Goose Egg”?
Failure to identify this goal, will lead to disaster.
Let us say your ultimate goal is to establish a true democracy with the rule of law, then the overthrow of the dictator is only one step towards it and NOT the ultimate goal. You cannot stop when the dictator is overthrown. Like a swing in golf you need to “follow through”. You continue your campaign until you have reached the “Goose Egg” namely a true and long lasting, stable democracy free of corruption and where the rule of law applies.
The mistake the Egyptians made
In the Egyptian revolution of 2011, they made the mistake of stopping too early. Once Dictator Mubarak was overthrown, the revolutionaries thought it was enough, job done and basically all went home.
They ignored the rise of the radical Islamists who filled the leadership vacuum. The country was in crisis. This resulted in a second revolution when Muhamed Morsi was overthrown in 2013 and General el-Sisi took over and brought some stability to the country. However they are now fighting an insurgency on the Sinai Peninsula with Islamists aligned to ISIS and the economy is still in tatters.
The Egyptians missed the boat. All because they didn’t identify the correct “Goose Egg” and didn’t properly follow through to achieve it. They stopped too early.
So from our previous exercise of how South Africa should be after the ANC is gone, we can see that we have a lot of different visions of tomorrow, but also have a lot in common in those visions. And that is a good thing, because we want a country where we can openly share different points of view.
So let us see if we can formulate a common “vision of tomorrow” that we can all strive for and live with. Let us hatch our own South African “goose egg”.
Below I have noted down some common themes from the question “How do we want South Africa to be after the ANC is gone?”
Please read it through carefully and give me your feedback. Is this the kind of country you want? It might not be perfect and it might not be your ideal, but is it a country you can live with?
1. We the people of South Africa...Want to live in peace with each other, our neighbours and the world.
2. We acknowledge that we are living in a country of diverse groups of people and cultures with diverse backgrounds and sometimes incompatible interests.
3. Therefore, we want a federal union, a federation of states with a small but effective central government, the amount of portfolios limited by law and a proper separation of powers.
4. We want a country where different people and cultures can vote for their own representatives to the federal government.
5. We want equal representation in the federal government for all groups and no group able to dominate another.
6. We want a country where different cultures can decide over their own destiny and their our own affairs.
7. We want a country with no cross subsidising of any one group by another.
8. We want a country where the right to vote is earned and those who vote are properly educated.
9. We want our constitutional rights respected and honoured.
10. We want a transparent government where officials are held accountable.
11. We want zero tolerance for corruption whether it is in politics, business, or otherwise and supervised by independent auditors and public protectors.
12. We want a country where the rule of law applies, equality before the law, justice is served and crimes proportionally punished.
13. We want a country where individual rights and minority rights are respected not a tyranny of the majority.
14. We want a country with a free market economy with no interference by government.
15. We want fair taxation for all.
16. We want a country where there is an equal share in the mineral wealth and other resources of the country.
17. We want a country where we have the freedom to apply our trades and professions as we wish, without exploitation and where an honest days work is rewarded with an honest day’s pay.
18. We want secure borders and a fair, but strict immigration policy.
19. We want the right to own and protect our property and the right to bear arms.
20. We want a country without fear of criminals and where all people can feel safe in their homes, workplaces and on the streets.
21. We want a society without burglar bars, alarm systems and armed response.
22. We want a country where people have the right to protest peacefully.
23. We want police and armed forces that serve the people of South Africa and that we can respect and be proud of.
24. We want a country in which there is equal opportunity for all in employment, business, studying, sport, etc.
25. We want a country where appointments are based on fairness and merit and not on race.
26. We want a country with a quality education system to world standards with a focus on technological development.
27. We want upliftment of the poor through education, training and employment, not through hand-outs, grants and freebies.
28. We want decent health care for all.
29. We want decent living standards for all
30. We want people to have a decent pension in their old age.
31. We want a country where the weak in society ( e.g. old people, the mentally ill, disabled and handicapped) are properly looked after.
32. We want a country where everyone has the freedom to live where they want and associate with whom they want and not be forced to by anybody.
33. We want a country where we have freedom of religion and freedom to worship the way we want.
34. We want a country where there is freedom of speech and expression.
35. We want a country where there is freedom of the media and no interference by government.
Do you think it is a South Africa you can live in, be happy in and raise your children in? Is it a country you are willing to fight for? If so then we have found our “Goose Egg”. If not then we have two choices. We continue to live under the ANC dictatorship until we find a Goose Egg that we can all be happy with...or we emigrate.