Sijui, in a comment at Ory’s blog says:
One thing I particularly like about the aftermath of the Kenyan election is that the average low income mwananchi fought back, and in my opinion they fought less for their civic freedoms……I think that is obvious by the nature of the blood letting………but more for their naked self interest, as blatantly parochial and regressive as that might be. I now have far more respect for people acting on their suspicions and resentments than the cowardly, complacent and self absorbed ‘middle class’. And I don’t want to make the mistake of painting the ENTIRE Kenyan middle class with the same brush, that would be dishonest and clearly there are many who fought the good fight however my point is, things would not have changed HAD THE VAST MAJORITY of the working class and low income not brandished their pangas.
And yes, Kenya has come to the point where disputes will have to be settled violently. I’m glad the average mwanachi has disavowed the pretense of a stable, functional society. And are dealing with the ethnic, social and political fissures head on, albeit violently and disastrously…..atleast they’re dealing with them and don’t have their head up their arses.
My personal position on all of this is let the chips fall where they may, and let’s all be forced to dealing with the price of stitching back together a disintegrating country.
This is not quite the stupidest thing I’ve heard since the election: competition has been far too stiff for that. But it’s close.
Ignore the blithe assumptions that there’ll be pieces left to pick up if we continue as we have been (evidently, he hasn’t read any Paul Collier or paid careful attention to the way civil wars in Africa proceed); that ethnic violence constitutes an acceptable means of conflict-resolution (regardless of its effectiveness!); or that Kenya was not a stable, functional society.
Turn, instead, to the question of how to get our country back. Kenya already had very low levels of inter-ethnic trust. The recent slaughter guarantees that we will not see even those absurdly low levels for a generation. Inter-ethnic trust is absolutely necessary for rational politics in Kenya; we will not have rational politics in the near future, and quite possibly, during my lifetime. If Sijui’s assumption that the vast majority of working-class people particpated in the ethnic violence is correct, then they deserve nothing but the deepest possible contempt (he does too, for endorsing the violence). The assumption, is in fact false, but that needn’t trouble us here.
The thing to note is the corruption in Sijui’s thought: ethnic hatred and murder as therapy. Welcome to the new Kenya.
(X-posted at KenyaImagine.)