14 February 2007

Class Struggles

Class Struggle: An Answer To Its Critics” was the unforgettable title of one of many of pamphlets published in Britain in the 1980s during the battle to save the Communist Party of Great Britain from the liquidationist Euro-Communists. The battle was lost. The Morning Star newspaper survived, though, and there is now a growing refounded British Party, the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), and a new British YCL.

Concerning the
Communist University, here are some various “Answers To Its Critics”:

  • Cde Floyd Shivambu was wrongly blamed yesterday and has received an apology. His prior meeting is at 14h30 and it may well be possible for him to make it to the CU in COSATU House by 17h00 today. Let’s hope so. He is very familiar with Clausewitz’ “On War” and we need his input.

  • The CU definition of Fascism is: the continuation of bourgeois class dictatorship by other than democratic means, including the suspension of the rule of law and its replacement by direct coercion.

  • The electronic CU is invariably a comment on some texts that are simultaneously archived and linked from the message. In the Freirean method of critical pedagogy there is no equivocation. Nor is there any presumption of dogma or authority. Categorical statements are made in the full expectation of categorical contradiction, which is frequently forthcoming. That is not arrogance. Arrogance deliberately kills dialogue, whereas the CU is a proven generator of dialogue.

  • Yesterday the texts were the extraordinary three from Moneyweb on the arrogance of J Arthur Brown, a young man who took hundreds of millions of rands from the mouths of widows and orphans of deceased mineworkers, and who is still at large. The CU’s assertion was that Brown’s kind of arrogance is commonplace in South Africa. He got “lucky”, but was stopped in the end because people, and especially one particular unpaid trustee, Frans Mahlangu, stood up to him.

It is clear after Fidentia that the professional “financial advisor” industry’s credibility is in tatters. The justification for their existence is that they supposedly protect the interests of lay persons and non-experts. In the event it was a businessman, Derek Sumption, and then the volunteer Mahlangu, who tripped up Brown’s vile career. The professionals were nowhere to be seen. This is why Alec Hogg called it “Our worst nightmare” (where “us” clearly refers to the financial services industry professionals).

When Sumption confronted Brown (and consequently pulled half a billion rand out of the Fidentia orbit) it was the beginning of Brown’s end. Yet it took a further 18 months before Brown was fully exposed thanks to Mahlangu’s brave sacrifice. The strong were protected while the weak were being plundered.

Nobody came back to the CU with any remarks about Brown, yet this was the main underlying matter of the CU post yesterday. Why do so many people read only the crib, and not the main texts? The CU’s implied contract is to give you the goods in full, plus a commentary if you want it.

Concerning the internal dynamics of the SACP before its Gauteng Provincial Congress next month and 12th National Congress in July, the CU regrets the absence of more texts. The situation is becoming difficult to comment upon. Although the SACP is a legal and not a clandestine party, and although any pre-Congress period is one of free debate, yet it appears (as Cde Dinga Sikwebu remarked at the last SACP Johannesburg Central BGM) that cell-phones are currently the medium of choice through which political matters are settled, as opposed to open debate, pamphlets, or Internet blogging. This is a pity.

Please note that the CU is not being muzzled but is going to be less frequently seen for reasons of lack of resources, mainly time. Today there is also a shortage of a certain text. The one we want is the South African Road to Socialism, from the last SACP Augmented Central Committee. The electronic version is strangely unobtainable. Instead, here below is Dominic Tweedie’s roundup of coming political events this year, published this week in the London Morning Star. Now that the CU has an opening to this internationally famous publication, how about us showing them some more samples of what we can do? Comrade Floyd? Comrade Castro? Anybody?

Click on this link:

The SA NDR and Socialism, Dominic Tweedie, Morning Star (1100 words)


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