16 March 2007

Second Time As Farce

Next week there is a public holiday on Wednesday, so the Communist University will not meet. The next session will be on March 28th, in the SACP boardroom, 3rd floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein, at 17h00. The discussion will be based on the 1962 SACP “Road to South African Freedom” (linked below). This is the first in the set called “State Power”. Overall it has to do with the question of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and socialism.

It is true that what is commonly called the “State Power Debate” does not in the main deal with the question of the State. We will get closer to that basic and indispensable idea in the next following set, which is called “Bonapartism and Reformism” and finishes with (pictured) Lenin’s “State and Revolution”. See the entire programme, with links to the texts,

We have no new documents on Zimbabwe today. The newspapers are full of it but they are only taking up old postures, like human statues. The announcement that precipitated the present series of actions in Zim is temporarily and willingly forgotten. That was the
February 24th announcement by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) that there is going to be a general strike in Zimbabwe on the 3rd and 4th of April. This announcement is what concentrated the minds of all the other opposition formations to unite in the action at Highfields on Sunday, March 11th, creating the occasion for the police brutalities that have made headlines around the world.

A lot less, indeed practically nothing, is being said in the world’s media outlets about the subsequent
raid on the ZCTU Offices, on Tuesday, March 13th, when among other things the federation’s Financial Administrator, Galileo Chirebvu, was taken away by the Zimbabwe CID. But the strike call still exerts its dominant pull on the Zimbabwean polity. The topic will have to return to the headlines unless the bourgeois media has decided to retreat altogether into fantasy, as it sometimes does.

It is even possible that President Mugabe, Bonapartist that he is, will realize that the working class and not the peasantry holds the key to the future - and change alliances! That would be a “turn-up for the book” as they say in England.

In any case as the strike date approaches all the neo-colonial actors will become uneasy. This is because most of them (both “left” and right) have as little desire as President Mugabe currently has to see a rise in the power of the working class in Zimbabwe. Many of the voices raised in solidarity today disguise dreams of a new boom in NGO activity in Zim, with all the accessories such as 4x4s and game parks, but above all with unchallenged moral superiority. The working class is the fly in their ointment.

We’ve seen it all before. But it may not turn out like that. What neo-colonialism can look like in 2007 is shown by the second linked item, on Kenya and Somalia. This is the neo-con style of neo-colonialism. It involves “extraordinary renditions”, a military command over the entire continent (“Africom”), a “Secretary of State For Africa” (Jendayi Fraser) in Washington (or flying around), and no doubt a lot more as well. It may even be that the current instability of the Internet, and especially e-mail transmission, may have to do with the installation of new US surveillance systems. If so, let’s hope they get their work done quickly and get it properly stabilised, so that we can all go about our business without unnecessary and unexplainable delays.

US politics is thin gruel compared to what we are used to. It is deeply boring to have to spend time reading about the machinations of evangelical Christians in the USA and the shallow personalities who inhabit the venal purlieus of the Washington “Beltway”, and the even more banal state capitals and backwoods of the Anglo-Saxon colony in America. In case we may need to get used to it, the last linked item gives a slight introduction to the way “Africa” is dealt with in the USA.

Click on these links:

1962, SACP, The Road to SA Freedom (18552 words)

Kenya defends secret transfers of prisoners, S Bengali, McClatchy (687 words)

Neocons, Evangelicals and Africa, Con Hallinan, Counterpunch (1329 words)


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