2 November 2007

Human Development

“Development” can only usefully mean human development, i.e. the all-round development of the human being in human society. Its measure is not, eventually, a quantity of money or goods, but the quality of humanity itself. For this kind of development, the CU's analogy is the University: society as university. Today we will deal with some practical matters having to do with our own development, and then return to the general case. (The picture is Leonardo da Vinci’s “uomo vitruviano”.)

The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL) has had a Discussion Forum web site – a Google Group – for over a year. It is at:
http://groups.google.com/group/yclsa-eom-forum . Now the YCL’s National Committee has taken the decision to re-activate and expand this group as a major forum for continuous dialogue and debate among YCLers and their friends of all ages, everywhere. Part of this process will be the addition of about 600 addresses from the “Bottom Line” distribution list to the Discussion Forum.

At the same time, the Communist University of Johannesburg has also been feeling the need for a discussion forum of this type, where dialogue can catch fire and keep going. There are means for debate in the CU, but they don’t work very well. A Google group is the best way. But we do not intend to compete with the YCL one. It will be much better if we all join the same dialogue. So, comrades of the CU, please go over to
http://groups.google.com/group/yclsa-eom-forum and join it, i.e. subscribe; or e-mail a reply to this message to say you would like to have your name added to that list.

As of 1 November 2007 there were 1200 subscribers to our Communist University. Jointly with the YCL we can quite quickly create an international political discussion group of one or two thousand members. By the way, the CU itself is seriously trying to expand. Please assist us if you can. Send in e-mail addresses, and they will be added to the CU list. We want ten times our present number, at least.

On the YCLSA Discussion Forum site today you will find Floyd Shivambu’s excellent article in response to President Thabo Mbeki’s letter last week (which praised incrementalism). Cde Floyd traces the "development" argument down the years from the RDP (and even its predecessors), to which President Mbeki still pays lip service. Floyd’s article is also linked below.

South Africa’s Finance Ministry has become a huge Ministry of Micromanagement under the one who currently holds the purse strings. This week he issued a Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). NEHAWU and the People’s Budget Campaign were both quick to respond. See below.

Finally there is a long but very shocking article from Counterpunch making two charges. The first is that the US Army under General Petraeus cooked up their new Counterinsurgency Manual by plagiarising (stealing) the work of various anthropologists. The relatively trivial charge of plagiarism serves to reveal the evil designs of the makers of this manual. Because if they had given attributions, they would not even have got to the publishing stage. The scholars would have stopped them.

The major charge is that they are using this academic anthropological work for the purpose of targeting people for death. All human society is organised. Anthropology is the study of this organisation. It identifies the leaders and the organic intellectuals. The Imperialist US military people steal this knowledge and use it to identify those same leaders, so that they can go out and kill them. This is the absolute perversion of the idea of the university that we began with. It is the corruptest, most foul manifestation of what the educationalist Paulo Freire called “necrophilia”, the love of death. It is almost unbelievable, but if you read it, you will see that it is true. The US Imperialists are weaponising human science.

Click on these links:

Should we Giya for GEAR?, Nyiko Floyd Shivambu, 1 November 2007 (3037 words)

NEHAWU on MTBPS, 31 October 2007 (543 words)

Peoples Budget Campaign on MTBPS, 30 October 2007 (846 words)

Anthropology Weaponised, David Price, Counterpunch, 30 October 2007 (5407 words)

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