Believe that politics combine certain scientific and artistic skills blended into a specific type of intelligence known as “P0LITICAL INTELLIGENCE”. It’s not given to everyone. The world has known many political fools (including myself) and very few political geniuses. What is the main function of politics and how are its goals achieved?
Politics refer to a series of activities involving the maintenance, organisation and transformation of society and to achieve the goals that are decided upon, the protagonists must conquer state power. To fully grasp the true nature of politics, let us ponder over this maxim: “War is simply the continuation of politics by other means (Carl von Clausewitz).” Is it surprising that many military terms or near-synonyms are used by politics? Strategy, tactics, attack, defence, bastion, soldier, lieutenant; politburo/war cabinet; leader/general; second in command/deputy leader, etc.
Doing it otherwise
We often hear of people wanting to do politics otherwise (faire la politique autrement). They should explain what they mean. Most importantly, they should explain how they mean to conquer state power to have the means of doing what for them is right. Great political thinkers and leaders like Machiavelli, Napoleon, Lenin, Mao Tse Toung or General de Gaulle have been great and successful tacticians and strategists.
Should we not learn from them? Political decision making is ruled by a militarylike logic, based on seizing the time at the right time; based on expediency and the ability or political intelligence to choose the path to success. Great politicians have excelled at this and mediocre ones in their half-hearted and pusillanimous approach are ultimately driven into oblivion.
The november 2019 elections
The snap elections have taken many by surprise. Some argue that the Prime Minister should have waited for examinations to be over; others argue that the power to choose the election date should be removed from the PM and handed over to Electoral Commission; some more think that the Indian model (India is a federal state made up of more than 24 states), where the general Lok Sabha elections are run over a period of 5 weeks concurrently with different state assembly elections, should inspire us. They have suddenly forgotten that Mauritius has always followed the Westminister model which gives full power to the PM within the bounds of law and democratic principles.
A general does not choose the decisive moment in a haphazard way. The right moment for attack is chosen if it guarantees success. This is the logic which also drives a skilful Prime Minister. He who was pooh-poohed as Pinocchio and “Lenpos” by his opponents has taught them a lesson which they cannot digest. A good friend of mine (N.S.) who is a shrewd political observer rightly said that if the November elections were delayed by two weeks the results would have been totally different. We may or may not like the MSM leader – I for one have no sympathy for him for we are poles apart – but we are forced to admit that he took the right decision which led his ‘‘army’’ to victory leaving his opponents behind, licking their wounds. The PTr and the MMM are now in shambles and total disarray and instead of introspection and self-criticism, they are looking for scapegoats. The next time will be worse.