Wow, I’ve just spent a good few hours digesting the PDF. Firstly, thank you for sharing it provides valuable insight for anyone considering going down the thorny issue of politics. I would say that nothing is ever a failure it’s all feedback. I think it’s important for us all to share what we have learned so we can refine our process – find out what works and change what doesn’t.
As you’ve taken the trouble of documenting your journey I will take the time to share my experience for an awful lot resonates with me. I will not negatively name anyone as this is old history and I wish no one to be antagonized. I only wish to learn from past efforts.
After Michael first visited Australia last year a number of people got together highly enthused we looked at how we could promote Ubuntu down-under. I made contact with a few Ubuntu enthusiasts via The Ubuntu Australia FaceBook page and was glad to find so many like-minded people. We organized an inaugural Ubuntu meeting in Sydney which was attended by some 15-20 people. We had a wide range of topics to cover: community living, sovereignty, free energy, and the thorny topic of forming a political party. This meet-up provided networking opportunities and much food for thought.
We had a ‘core’ group of activists in 4 Australian states and most weeks we Skyped. We started with a rough agenda but invariably we drifted into various topics. We ‘thought’ we had a vision and that stemmed from core Ubuntu philosophy. However, what works for third world South Africa may not translate to a first world nation like Australia. For instance: should we start in rural Australia helping financially crippled farmers or could we do Ubuntu in our cities??
Week after week we rehashed the same topics and got stuck on how and what to start on. Some members got highly frustrated as we weren’t getting anywhere and wanted to press ahead with no solid foundation laid. A website was in the pipeline but again there was much frustration and a lack of cohesion. The website ‘key holder’ wanted to lock down roles such as the ‘council of elders’. Without having a community established this felt like putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Furthermore, no one could contribute to the site without signing a non-disclosure document. This sent a strong anti-trust message and this authoritarian message drove a wedge between the core group. In one respect I understand the need to protect the Ubuntu philosophy but this was not the way.
With any new group there is a period of orientation as members get to know one another. We ran before crawling and tried to force things to happen it did not grow organically. Our interests were diverse and our experience lacking. Eventually the energy dissipated as we were being led more from the head than the heart. Each of us decided to go our own path. Some of us started small scale community projects and as for a national Ubuntu movement things appear to be on hold. There is an Australian Ubuntu Party FaceBook page but there is a lack of membership. I really feel the toxic political system drives people far far away.
I was also involved in The Parliament for the Commonwealth. This most controversial movement assets that the Australian government since 1911 is acting in treason. There is so much to go into but briefly, Australia is a sovereign country as indicated by the League of Nations Treaty of Versailles and subsequently The UN. However, the fraudulent Australian government is still subservient to a foreign power (The UK and Elizabeth II). I went on a journey reading much of the historical events putting this into context.
Unfortunately the ego raised it’s ugly head. People were not transparent and the credibility of this radical movement was damaged. I still believe in The Parliament for the Commonwealth as it aims to bring the power back to the people through disbanding party politics and instilling truly independent senators. The thing is if The Australian government is acting in treason then by virtue all political parties are doing so as they must also aware allegiance to the same ‘foreign power’ and this is explicitly forbidden in the Australian Constitution. Oh what a tangled web we weave! So this has tainted my view of establishing an Ubuntu party in Australia.
I followed this for about 6 months however, these combined experiences have left me feeling very despondent. I have had my spirits raised by many people claiming they have a credible path only to be left disappointed.
I do take responsibility and have to question my role in all of this. The main thing I think we need to address is the people factor. We start new movements with the best of intentions but lack the people and management skills. We are so eager to change the world yet we don’t establish a solid foundation. Naturally, some all want to lead and that is good for else we would have a committee who achieve nothing but intellectual verbiage. However, as indicated by the dealings with Jeff assuming full responsibility without full transparency and adequate communication leads to mistrust. When mistrust sets in it will literally corrode any good works leaving a bad memory of the moment. This is hard to shift and in my experience leaves one running from anything to do with organized movements to change the world.
I believe that what’s lacking is cohesion. The Canadian party authority was obviously confused as the website stated The Canadian Ubuntu Party isn’t strictly political yet this jarred with the election submission. Proper due diligence and delegation of authority is needed to ensure that obligations are fulfilled in a timely manner.
I also believe that a core community project is needed for members to focus on. People are sick of political speak and need to see action! this is key. Build it and they will come and not the other way round.
In summary nothing is lost. You have made a start and have an interested people. So why not capitalize on this and look to start a project? Blog about it and promote Ubuntu in action not more philosophy. Once people see action and you are congruent they will naturally want to know more ad get involved.
Currently I am helping to crowd fund an urban permaculture education centre in Bondi. This is where we should start in our communities then Ubuntu will grow in it’s own time. I am also taking an NLP course and have also looked into personality types through the The Enneagram Institute and the Gallup Strengths Center. These help us to identify and best utilities our strengths, achieve better communication reducing conflict. I feel these are a really boost and I hope they will serve me when I work with people again.
Happy to hear others experiences,
Alex – a little greyer but still holding onto my sense of humour wink emoticon