Any citizen can tell you that idealists are dangerous, that idealists have radical, almost dangerous ideas, that could shake the fabric of the status quo. That Idealists are petty thinkers with no grasp of politics. But maybe, just maybe, that is the reason we need them.

On the other side of the fence, we have politicians: self-styled servants of the people who are not only stereotyped as sleazy, power-hungry thieves, but really are. Everyone with even the slightest bit of free thought knows what a politician does, and if they had a stitch of morality, would oppose it.

So why then, are we going after the idealist rather than the politician? One is a thinker, the other a thief, and to me, it should be a simple choice. But as most things often are, it isn’t as simple as that. People, no matter their intellect, feel comfortable with stagnation – even negative stagnation. When the status quo is damaged, they feel slighted, even if they were the ones harmed under such status quo.

Politicians, however, are a part of our current status quo. I mentioned earlier some of the stereotypes of politicians, and even though they may be negative and make fun of said ‘profession,’ that may very well be the problem. What placement in society do you need to get someone to make a stereotype of you, a stereotype which has entrenched itself into our daily lives so much that everyone knows about it?

The problem is that negative politics has become too enforced into our culture, households and our lives. Hate them as we may, we still feel they are necessary and anything which goes against them somehow makes us feel uncomfortable. Even if we hate them, people still cling onto their concept, voting in more and more of them even though they can easily surmise the results.

So what is an idealist? An idealist is someone with an idea, as the name implies, an idea which seems radical to some, but generally an idea that implies change. Throughout history, it was the idealists who drove our society onwards. They were the inventors, the philosophers, the heroes. They made history.

Then why in our modern society do we oppose them, especially oppose them now when what we really need is change? The answer is quite simple, and can be linked to the earlier explanation of politicians. People are too uncomfortable with change, so uncomfortable with it that they will even start supporting the very system they hate to prevent change.

Some say that the destruction of politics in our nation is due to idealism in our top parties. A close look at said parties would say otherwise. An idealists first and foremost goal is to advance their ideology, in fact, the foundation of democracy is idealism. The reason to get elected is not for a salary, but to advance your ideals in government.

Both leading parties of South Africa are anything but idealists. They compete to gain government itself, not to seek reform. They are blank slates with no political leanings besides self-progress. The DA has forsaken its classical liberal leanings and I don’t think I need to say how communist the ANC really is.

When someone goes into politics without ideas for reform or ideals, they are in it for one thing: power. They care not for a nation, as they cannot even care for an ideal. These are what we call politicians; people who are running our nation for their own self-interest, utilizing other people’s money.

It is they who cause the problems in society. The idealess are the corrupt, the power-hungry and the incompetent. When one does not have a goal, a true goal, one will always fail, and that is what we have seen in this nation. Our country is falling into a downward spiral due to a blatant disregard for ideas. We have fallen into the trap that our salvation will lie in the same idea, rather than that of a Reform.

I, and any other person who has grown to see what has become of our nation, should know that South Africa needs nothing short of a Reform. We need change, not only in government, but in the very system under which the government functions.

South Africa needs a Blue Reform

Nicholas Woode-Smith is co-founder of the Rational Standard and its Technical and Marketing Director. He is a student at the University of Cape Town, with majors in Politics, Philosophy and Economic History. He is the youngest council member of the Institute of Race Relations in history and the Regional Director of Southern Africa for African Students For Liberty. He also writes science fiction – prominently, the Warpmancer and Cape Zero series.