19 January 2007

Trust The People

Both the SACP General Secretary, Cde Dr Blade Nzimande, and the SACP Deputy General Secretary, Jeremy Cronin, have hit the ground running this year and set a good pace for the rest of us. Cde Blade’s Umsebenzi Online statement, relayed here yesterday, brought forth comment in the press (see below).

Jeremy Cronin’s Joe Slovo Memorial lecture, done for the Chris Hani Institute, was packed out yesterday and he did not disappoint. Once again the press paid attention, some staying until the last end of a long session. See below for the text, which was given very much as written.

The crux of the debate that followed Cde Cronin’s presentation seemed to turn around the concepts of party, of class and of masses in general. Those who conceive of politics in terms of party as the principal operative factor, tend to see other parties as enemy. This can manifest not only as hostility to the DA, but also the ANC, although the ANC was, as Cronin reminded us, from 1928 onwards built by non-sectarian communists in alliance with non-sectarian non-communists.

Cde Cronin several times returned to a conception of politics as a question, not of capturing position for party, but of mobilising the power of the masses. This is the true and indispensable democracy that we have to build and to defend, both in bourgeois times and in socialist times.

The YCL rejects apartheidification and lottering! See the link below. The YCL is close to the masses.

Lastly for today, Professor Virginia Tilley lives in Johannesburg. Writing in Counterpunch, she points out the steady march to war by the USA and Israel against Iran, and also what she thinks is necessary to reverse this march. Her view is summed up as follows:

The challenge to the US political system is therefore now extremely grave: somehow to retake rational control of US foreign policy, from people known to be lying criminals, within as little as two months, yet with no precedent for doing so. It should not be impossible. Insider Washington pressures must now become ultimatums. But insider operations require political backing that can only be obtained through a pincer strategy: rapid public revelations of White House criminality by serving officials, with responsible headline coverage by the national press sufficient rapidly to cripple White House foreign policymaking. This political rebellion would require rare political will.

What is clearly absent from the Professor’s prescription is mass action. She relies instead on a wishful
Seven Days in May type scenario. In that film, heroic action by individual insiders (played by Kirk Douglas and Ava Gardner) foils a coup d’etat on the USA planned by a scary fascist group called ECOMCON, led by a wicked General played by Burt Lancaster.

Ours is the politics of the ordinary people, not the politics of giants and superheroes. Prof Tilley is right to be, as she calls herself, an alarmed US citizen, but her remedies are not sufficient. Nor will the palace politics preferred by some of our comrades be sufficient in South Africa. Only the education, organisation and mobilisation of vast masses of ordinary people will succeed in imposing peace and rejecting Imperialism and taking us forward to socialism.

Click on these links:

Slovo, democracy and socialism, Jeremy Cronin at CHI, 070119 (6866 words)

SACP stakes claim as alliance equal, Karima Brown, Business Day (419 words)

We reject apartheidification and lottering of justice, YCLSA (334 words)

Steady march to war on Iran, Virginia Tilley, Counterpunch (2068 words)


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