5 November 2007

High Level

Ben Turok probably does not mean to do so, but by introducing his report (see below) with the words “high-level seminar”, he inadvertently fingers a problem that has grown up spontaneously all around. This is the problem of “High Level”. Meetings are “high level” when the doors are closed; when no illiterates are present; when no disagreements are expected, or tolerated; when obedience is expected. And so forth. What the heck did Ben think he was trying to say with these words? Anyway, it was only a seminar he was reporting.

Ben’s “New Agenda” seminar found that the public service, thirteen years after the democratic election, of which the RDP (in which Ben Turok had a hand) was the manifesto, is not yet ready to do public service! It has been designed not to be capable of assisting the country to develop, and who cares? Nobody has been watching this. Ben cares, but Ben is like Jonah. He keeps surviving, while one ship after another goes down under him.

A serious question that we will have to pursue is: if we get an Alliance Pact, are we not just coming full circle? Are we not just going to launch ourselves off again from the same RDP point we launched from in 1994, and with exactly the same results? We will have to go back to the Pact debate, and examine this question.

Meanwhile (second item below) here is another kind of “high level” – the so-called traditional leadership (with its companion, traditional followership), a continuing aspect of the class struggle in the political economy of South Africa.

Thirdly, as an assistance for the continuation of the Pact debate, see below the link to the (shortened) Political Resolution of CPI 19th All-India Congress, which shows that the Indians have been a lot more imaginative in dealing with a situation that is not so very different from ours.

We are sorry to hear of the death of Margaret Legum. She was somebody who never accepted that things had to turn out the way they have in South Africa. She was a living rebuke to patronising, smug, complacent, duplicitous characters like Trevor Manuel and Tito Mboweni, and others who, like them, are economical with the truth and who care less about the people than about the “indicators”. Or is it the “fundamentals”? Anyway, it is not the people. Margaret Legum did care about the people and she worked hard.

The Communist University meets tomorrow at 17h00 in the SACP boardroom, COSATU House.

Click on these links:

Public service not equipped for development, Ben Turok, S Times (830 words)

Traditional leaders back extra taxes, Wonder Hlongwa, City Press (346 words)

Political Resolution of CPI 19th All-India Congress, abridged (10149 words)


Post a Comment

Post a Comment