When Gizachew Tiruneh tackles Is social revolution a passing phenomenon, he defines social revolution as ‘a popular uprising that transforms an existing socio-economic and political order’.
This then begs for a series of questions such as, what causes or leads to such transformations or rather, why do people pursue such transformations? When they are set in motion, what catalyses them? Addressing these questions will provide a comprehensive understanding leading to a more vigorous pursuit.
As it stands, there are talks of national reforms in Lesotho. The first inclination that pops up is, why now and if they are to be deemed successful, what can the citizens look out for? Even in this regard, poor understanding of reforms can hinder their intended outcomes which is what this piece aims to address.
In a bid to implement its mandate, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is currently investigating government ministries’ expenditure. These investigations stem from economic development issues which in turn surmises that economic development acts as a catalyst in social revolution.
PAC and Participatory Initiative for Social Accountability (PISA) whose terms of reference are raising awareness amongst citizens on issues surrounding their rights and responsibilities as far as national finances are concerned, through their findings have made it clear crystal clear that the country’s economic development is in tatters. Due to these findings, one can safely assume that social revolutions were undertaken to ensure change.
According to Tiruneh, economic development changes traditional societies to a modern way of life. This has been particularly true since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which started in Great Britain in the 18th century.
With modern way of life, people tend to become more educated and are more aware of their political, social, and economic conditions. This means that the values that have sustained traditional societies for hundreds of years would start to change. With the ongoing chase for national reforms, the hopes of the masses stand as improved lifestyles and socio-economic situations for all.
It would be amiss to disregard the influence government or politics attributed to the national reforms conversation. However, this has resulted in a great majority of disgruntled citizens as many continue to face economic hardship and hopelessness.
To sum it up, discontent amongst citizens, state ineffectiveness and a non-democratic regime catalyse social revolution. Political instabilities and citizens’ loss of faith in political leaders all give a sense of the beginning of social revolution as people demand change.