30 October 2007

Then Came Feinstein

Andrew Feinstein’s book, called “After the Party”, is published by Jonathan Ball and is to be launched this week. Who is Feinstein? He used to be in Gauteng politics in the early 1990s. Then he became an MP and the leader of the ANC group in SCOPA (the parliamentary public accounts committee) when the IFP’s Gavin Woods was its chairperson. With others, they tried to probe the Arms Deal, but they came up against all sorts of hobgoblins including Essop Pahad and Frene Ginwala. Some of the tatty rogues and scoundrels Feinstein had to face will no doubt be at Polokwane for the ANC’s 52nd National Conference, but Feinstein will not be there. He is an ex-MP these days, and seems to live in London.

Feinstein has plenty to say about President Mbeki’s attitude to AIDS, and how Mbeki generally conducted business. Hannah Arendt said that fascism demonstrates the banality (ordinariness) of evil. Mbeki’s presidency has been the mirror image of this. It has demonstrated the evil of banality. Not so much a “triumph of the will”; more like a mafia of mediocrity.

Fascinating excerpts from “After the Party” have been published in the Sunday Independent and The Star. See the links below. They are well worth reading. If a “codification” is a slice of life, then these are very good “codifications”.

Also linked below are a review of Feinstein’s book, by Donwald Pressly, and a recent article by Feinstein from the Mail & Guardian commenting on the appointment of Frene Ginwala to head the inquiry into the circumstances of Vusi Pikoli’s suspension from the job of National Director of Public Prosecutions. Feinstein knows quite a lot about the Scorpions, as you will find out if you read the excerpts from his book. Jacob Zuma is also mentioned.

Neville Alexander is talking, or debating (but who with?), tomorrow at 13h00 in Room A2 in the John Moffat building at Wits University, about “Affirmative Action and the perpetuation of racial identity in South Africa”, as he puts it. This man is a veteran and he lives in Cape Town. A lot of people might want take advantage of the opportunity to see and hear him in Johannesburg, whether they are going to agree with him or not. Read more details about this and other events by clicking on the “Coming Events” link at the bottom of this post.

The Communist University meets this afternoon at 17h00 in the SACP boardroom, 3rd floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein. Our main “codification” today is to be Lenin’s “
The State”.

The picture above is a poster from the US “Wobblies” (Industrial Workers of the World, IWW, slogan “One Big Union”), founded just over a century ago in 1905. There is a Russian version of this cartoon known as the “Czar’s Wedding Cake”. The words are, reading from the top layer down to the bottom: Capitalism. We rule you. We fool you. We shoot at you. We eat for you. (The bottom layer of the pyramid or wedding cake is made of the workers and peasants who support all the rest): We work for all/We feed all.). This picture can serve as a supplementary “codification” of the State for us this afternoon.

The small picture is of Andrew Feinstein.

Click on these links (your Feinstein library, plus Coming Events):

All over bar shouting for comrades in arms, Andrew Feinstein, Sindy (2339 words)

Dying of Politics, Andrew Feinstein, The Star (1268 words)

Feinstein recounts arms deal conflicts, Donwald Pressly, B Report (796 words)

Party before nation, Andrew Feinstein, Mail and Guardian (876 words)

Coming Events


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