1 February 2007

Last Stage Of Imperialism

The Communist University stands corrected. Concerning what was written about the book Executive Pay in South Africa - Who Gets What and Why, by Ann Crotty and Renée Bonorchis, Ms Bonorchis writes:

‘I need to point out that Ann and I at no point in the book ever just 'put it down to greed'. The statement you have made is, I am afraid, a complete fabrication of what the book says and is trying to say. We looked at the lack of independent directors, the lack of clear disclosure, the lack of shareholder activism, the growth of cronyism, the lack of transformation and much much more in order to try and explain growing levels of wealth in the top echelons of the corporate world.’

In view of this challenge we had better not say a lot more about this until the book has been read more thoroughly. Meanwhile, there is a review of it
here. The book does seem to be a success for the two authors, both of whom are excellent journalists writing for the Business Report and the Business Day respectively.

An article of Ann Crotty’s from yesterday’s Business Report is linked below. It is about “private equity”. What is that? The term refers to private companies as opposed to those whose shares are traded publicly in a Stock Exchange. Is this new? Not really. It is an old bourgeois tactic, one among many. It is enjoying a season of popularity, especially among capitalists with “serious money” to play with.

There is only a short distance between the fat world of the bourgeois deal-makers and that of the “Africa Command” and the Secretary of State “for Africa”, mentioned yesterday. Big-money capitalism is the ground from which Imperialism grows. In that connection, Jean Bricmont wrote the following in Counterpunch (see the full article below):

‘Westerners do not always appreciate the fact that the major event of the 20th century was neither the rise and fall of fascism, nor the history of communism, but decolonization.’

Bricmont’s new book,
Humanitarian Imperialism, Using Human Rights to Sell War, will be published by Monthly Review Press in February 2007. Such a book could be a very good antidote to the Desmond Tutus of this world. He concludes his article by condemning:

‘…the ideological misrepresentations that have spread widely throughout the left during the period of imperial ideological reconstruction that followed the end of the Vietnam war, specially concerning the "right" to "humanitarian intervention."’

Peter Vale, in a splendidly brief letter to the Business Day, writes in similar spirit against South Africa’s perennial pundit of Imperialism (these days directly funded by the Oppenheimer interest through the Brenthurst Foundation) Greg Mills. The latter’s article “reads like a poorly written guide to installing a cupboard”, writes Vale. See the text of his letter, linked below.

The Communist University had a great kick-off yesterday evening, with SACP National Organiser Cde Solly Mapaila opening the first discussion of the year. Next week’s session will be on Wednesday, February 7th, when we will discuss the SACP Constitution (linked below). YCL National Organiser George Raphela will open. The outstanding feature of this constitution, different from other Communist Parties that we know of, is Rule 6.4. This is the rule that underpins the successful relationship between the Party and the mass movements in South Africa. In other words it is the blueprint for the relationship of unity in action that liberated this country in the past, and can continue to do so in the future.

Click on these links:

Private equity moves offstage, Ann Crotty, Business Report (954 words)

The Decisive Clash of Our Time, Jean Bricmont, Counterpunch (1726 words)

Time to say sorry, Peter Vale, Letters, Business Day (96 words)

2005, SACP, Constitution (5637 words)


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