18 March 2010

National Democracy

 National Democracy

We meet in the UJ Doornfontein Library. The next session will be as follows: 
  • Date: 25 March (Thursday)
  • Time: 17h00 sharp to 18h30 sharp
  • Venue: The Library, University of Johannesburg, 37 Nind Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg (former Technikon Witwatersrand). Cars enter from the slip road to the left of the bridge on Siemert Road.
  • Topic: The Struggle for Democracy.

In the last of the CU Basic Communism set we touch upon the single biggest historic task of the Communists in the period since the founding of the Communist International (a.k.a. Third International) in 1919: National Liberation (decolonisation).

In 1920 the Comintern organised a Congress of the Peoples of the East. It was the first international anti-colonial congress. The Comintern recognised Communist Parties in many countries (including South Africa’s CPSA in 1921). In 1928 the Comintern and the CPSA adopted the “Black Republic” policy for South Africa, making the CPSA the first South African party to call for black majority rule in South Africa. The CPSA was also the first non-racial party South African in terms of its membership.

This is some of our part in the story; but the worldwide story of the past century, under the impetus of the Communists more than any other single political component, has been a story of political independence of the former colonies worldwide. The masses of the world have risen time and again in National Democratic Revolutions, with the invariable support of the Communists. Our internationalist duties still continue. Any “Basic Communism” series must mention this.

Since the victories in so many (150-plus) countries, constituting the vast majority of the population of the globe, that set them free of direct colonial rule, the Imperialist powers have sought to re-impose themselves by other means.

One who has made the anti-Imperialist case very well in this regard is the Tanzanian professor Issa Shivji [pictured], to remind us that it is we freedom-fighters who are the humanists now, and it is the Imperialists who are the barbarians, a message also reinforced by Kenan Malik’s short, included piece about culture.

African Socialism

From the time of Eduard Bernstein and his 1899 book “Evolutionary Socialism”, and Rosa Luxemburg’s 1900 response to Bernstein, “Reform or Revolution?”, the same question has been put, in one way or another.

In the history of the struggle for liberation from colonialism in Africa, the question “Reform or Revolution” was again put. To sound better and to deceive the people more easily, false “Socialism” was dressed up as “African Socialism”, and was widely used as a smokescreen for neo-colonialism from the dawn of African Independence in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr Kwame Nkrumah spoke out firmly against this false so-called African Socialism more than forty years ago. See the linked article below. Although Kwame Nkrumah and his adversary Leopold Senghor are both long gone, yet Nkrumah’s words appear to carry as much relevant meaning as they did when they were spoken in Cairo in 1967.


Further (optional) reading:


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