3 January 2007

Rule Six Point Four

In the film Breaker Morant, the Breaker is asked what rule he applied in dealing with the Boers. He replies: Rule 303! The 303 was the standard-issue rifle in the British army at the time. We will return to questions of rules in a moment.

The following is a quote from George Sand: Combat or Death: bloody struggle or extinction. It is thus that the question is inexorably put.

Karl Marx used this latter quote to fortify the conclusion of his first mature work (as Lenin called it),
The Poverty of Philosophy, published in 1847. George Sand was a woman and a writer in the French language in the early 19th century.

In the following year, 1848, in the last paragraph of the
Communist Manifesto, Marx, collaborating with Frederick Engels, wrote: The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of all countries, unite!

There is a necessary violence in revolution because revolution means taking without permission. It is a big violence because the revolutionaries take everything, or everything that matters, except human life. Revolution does not require the taking of life or the bodily harming of people. On the contrary, war is the main threat to revolution. The revolutionaries are impelled away from illegal and towards legal operation. They are compelled to move from conspiracy towards open leadership, as epitomised by Rule 6.4 of the SACP Constitution. These will be the main themes of the
Communist University in the first weeks of its 2007 programmme.

In an article in The Star yesterday (see the first link below), the liberal Patrick Laurence rehearsed a whole suite of ancient delusions concerning the Communists of South Africa. It is as if the bourgeois press is giving notice of its intention to bash away at the SACP with repeated use of the same old nonsense. The job of the CU is to raise up the truth in the face of the tide of bourgeois propaganda. A letter was immediately composed and sent by e-mail to the letters editor of The Star, but it did not appear today. See the second linked document below.

Let us admit that this letter is too long. Three hundred words is a more reasonable length for a letter to the editor of a newspaper. But still it is not bad as a response to Mr Laurence. Reading the 1962 programme of the SACP,
The Road to South African Freedom, one finds similar points made, and printed there in bold. They are:

However democratic it may appear on the surface, every capitalist state is in reality a dictator­ship of the capitalist class.

No ruling class in history ever bowed itself gracefully off the stage.

Headed by the Marxist-Leninist Party and in alliance with most of the peasants and other working people, the working class must destroy the state of dictatorship of the capitalists, and replace it with the dictatorship of the working class, offering the widest democracy to the great majority of the people. Attempts at counter­revolution by the reactionary classes and groups must be suppressed.

Led by the Party, the working class aims, not merely at reforms of the capitalist system, but at the revolutionary overthrow of the system itself and its replace­ment by socialism.

Click on these links:

Critical year ahead for SACP, Patrick Laurence, The Star (1147 words)

Letters Editor re Patrick Lawrence (892 words)


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