9 February 2008

Reform or Revolution?

At this time it would be wrong to say that people are not expressing themselves in politics. For that reason alone, the plague of “analysts” is certainly unnecessary. They are redundant, or worse. They waste precious time that could better be spent reading original documents, instead of the artificially re-heated leftovers they mostly offer.

Today, when we carry the State of the Nation (SoNA) speech, there is so much competing (original) material that it is not even our main item.

That pride of place must go to the new ANC Strategy and Tactics document, which becomes the first linked item below.

Passed at Polokwane, it is the third revision of the
1969 Morogoro-conference document. A cursory look indicates that the new version is not so blatantly corporatist as the pre-conference draft was. Consequently, it reveals more starkly than before the difference between reform and revolution. The earlier more class-collaborationist wording had more-or-less contrived to conceal this contradiction.

A more exact and thorough critique of the new S&T is now both possible and desirable, since this document is now a sitting duck for at least the next five years.

Polokwane has proved once again that the most powerful mass media of communication are what SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande calls “our tried and tested ‘media’ and ideological weapon”, meaning the work of our cadres in direct contact with the popular masses, educating, organising and mobilising. See the second item, the “Red Alert” from the latest Umsebenzi Online. So let’s do as he says and “intensify the direct interface with our mass base”.

The State of the Nation speech, in full, is linked below in third position. Another CU post will carry responses to this typically banal Thabo Mbeki offering. Notable among them is that of the DA’s Helen Zille, who said that Mbeki’s was “the speech of a manager, not a leader”. It is not often that our official opposition has fashioned such a sharp missile, or aimed it and timed it so well.

In the afternoon following the “SoNA”, ANC Today came out with a major, signed, Jacob Zuma letter on the late John Gomomo (whose funeral takes place in Uitenhage today), and on the general “dialectical link between the trade union movement and the ANC”. See it linked below.

Also in the same ANC Today is the fourth of its summaries of Polokwane resolutions, this time about international relations. It is rather general, and it reminds us that the specificity of each struggle is the key to international solidarity. The broader and more sweeping statements are, and the longer the laundry-list litanies are, the weaker the case becomes.

The YCL was bold enough to issue part of its critique of the “SoNA” before the President’s speech was actually delivered. It also covers the recent YCL Lekgotla; the disbandment of the Scorpions, and the question of a Youth Development Agency. See the sixth linked item, and don’t forget the “Coming Events”.

Click on these links:

ANC Strategy and Tactics, adopted at 52nd Conference, 2007 (17525 words)

Umsebenzi Online, V7, 2, 6 February 2008 (2382 words)

State of the Nation Address 2008, Thabo Mbeki, Parliament (7273 words)

Ndlelanhle Nyelezi, Jacob Zuma, Preslet, ANC Today (1431 words)

A united Africa begins at home, Polokwane Resolutions IV, ANC Today (1024 words)

The Bottomline, Issue 3, Volume 5, 7 February 2008 (1190 words)

Coming Events


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