14 January 2007

Way Forward

President Thabo Mbeki gave an address on the 95th Anniversary of the ANC yesterday in Witbank, Mpumalanga. The broadcast version did not seem to be identical to the statement that is up on the ANC web site. The President's, which we do not have, was shorter, but substantially the same in content. See the link below, and note that there are some typographical errors (typos) in the document.

Also linked below is the COSATU 2007 year planner in a small PDF, thanks to COSATU’s wizard of graphics, Vincent Masoga.

Yesterday in the Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein there was a launch of a list of principles, a book, an idea, and a
web site, under the name of ANSA, standing for Alternatives to neo-liberalism in Southern Africa.

The idea that was put forward is that there should be an alternative offered to neo-liberalism. The idea that neo-liberalism itself is a reaction to revolutionary politics was not put forward. On the contrary, the academics were happy to agree with neo-liberalism that the revolutionary politics it opposed should be buried.

All this is derived from funded research that has been going on under various professors and academics since 1996, according to the documents and the web site. Some of these academics are now unfortunately themselves deceased, never having seen their non-revolutionary, alternative promised land.

So the question of the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of a socialist proletarian state did not feature at the launch, although much was made of the trade union credentials of some of the leading participants.

The question of the necessity of peace as a condition for development also does not arise in these documents. Nor does the question of Imperialism as the source of war, invariably resorting to war as the primary means of exerting its power. Nor did the actual and present war, in Somalia, get a mention.

Some reference is made by ANSA to an undefined abstract Empire, associated with the institutions of the IMF, WTO and World Bank. But the concrete historical anti-Imperialist struggle for peace, independence and freedom is in practice traded here for an eclectic shopping list of good intentions such as “autocentric development”, and “dynamic, participatory and radical democracy”.

ANSA seems to be an attempt to take politics outside the actual discourse of the historic anti-Imperialist freedom struggle and away from its existing revolutionary institutions, such as the SACP, COSATU and the ANC.

It seeks to start again with the clean slate provided by the funded academics, plus an ambitious new group of politicians. Some of the latter were present at the launch and they were not at all shy to declare their ambitions.

If all this is the case, then the ANSA initiative itself is no better than another piece of political Imperialism of the liberal variety. Judge for yourself. The linked document below contains the so-called ANSA principles, plus a link to the ANSA web site.

Click on this link:

ANC January 8 Statement 2007 (9880 words)

COSATU 2007 year planner (60 KB PDF download)

The ANSA alternative (list)


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