The hypnotic pull of having power PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 November 2017 14:09

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

Power and wealth are  highly sought commodities in our world. And they usually live side by side,  like twins in a mother’s womb.  If you have one it follows that you will also have the other. Rare are the people who become content with having only wealth or power and have no interest in seeking the other.

A timely example of this general observation is unfolding in our news channels’ reports  on what is going on in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is the latest incarnation of the African country which was known in the past as Rhodesia. The current president of this African country is Robert Mugabe who came to power 37 years ago when he became its Prime Minister and later on its president. He  has held the position all these years and in spite of his age, 93 this year, he shows no inclination to step down.  His second wife, Grace Mugabe, took over the position of Vice-President when the elected VP was booted out by Mugabe.  On  November 14 this year Zimbabwe’s military confined  Mugabe to his home and although the military’s action was not called a coup de etat  effectively the wings of power of Mugabe have been clipped. The latest news is that he has been forced to resign.

It is claimed by seasoned political watchers that authoritarian  country leaders never willingly give up their power and are usually then   forced from their positions by extra judicial  means.

Think Fidel Castro of Cuba who gave way only to his brother Raul. Vladimir Putin was president of Russia but when term limits kept him from continuing as president he exchanged positions with Dmitri Medvedev and when he could legally run for his earlier position he did so and he is now back as Russia’s president.

How about our own PRRD? Right now he is talking about transforming our government to a revolutionary one. What is his objective in titillating us with this idea? Is he perhaps testing the waters for a possible extension of his present position which is supposed to last only till the next presidential election in 2022? I am  uncomfortable with PRRD because of his penchant to say things in public which need to be translated to the public by a spokesperson. It appears to me that his play on words is done to see how the public reacts and when this reaction comes out as opposed to the idea then someone else can always say that PRRD was only joking. But a good number of the  Filipino public  are not used to expressing their private opinion in public and the silence can be taken for assent. This can be quite dangerous.