in the country develops or heightens, leading to new authoritarian regimes. Kenya is at the crossroads now. It must re-create a shared normative order for the day-to-day renewal of trust in the promises of democracy if the populist-authoritarian cycle is to be broken. This entails the forging of new institutions and the restructuring of the socioeconomic system. And the fundamental question which must be raised is whether Kenya is any less neo-colonial economically, culturally and intellectually as a result of the reintroduction of the multiparty system. The economy is being managed according to the dictates of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But for political stability to be sustained, free market policies alone are inadequate: a frontal attack on poverty is essential. Hence, there is a desperate need for more social policies aimed at fighting poverty.
Also, there is a need for mass participation in the political process. At the moment, the 'national conflict', embodied in the rivalries for the executive power among the élite in the various political parties, takes priority over 'social conflict', concerned with the interests of most of the inhabitants of the country. It is a democracy of the élite, for the élite and by the élite. This yawning chasm between the élite and the masses must be bridged.
Culturally and intellectually, the élite of all parties continue to compete for the favours of the West, whose leaders and thinkers act as the reference group, the originators of concepts, models and paradigms and the final Court of Appeal. A new 'civilizing mission' by the West has been launched in Africa.