22 August 2014

The Brutal Side of Capitalist Development

National Democratic Revolution, Part 9b

The Brutal Side of Capitalist Development

The third document in this part of our NDR course, wherein the main text is Joe Slovo’s “SA Working Class and the NDR”, is David Moore’s 2004 article, “The Brutal Side of Capitalist Development” (attached, and linked below).

This article can stand as a representation of the growing realisation in broader South African circles that the class struggle is still the engine of history, including historical “development” in any useful sense of the word, and that class struggle has winners and losers, so that the idea of “win-win” development is an illusion.

By 2004 the promise of a beneficial New World Order following the collapse of the Soviet Union a decade-and-a-half previously had proved false. Instead, the USA and its “coalition of the willing” had mounted monstrous, plundering, Imperial wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, which are referred to briefly in the attached article. There was clearly to be no holiday from class struggle at any level.

In South Africa, the YCL had been re-launched the previous year (2003) and the SACP was undergoing a growth phase which is still continuing now, in 2014.

The ANC NGC in the following year (2005) showed that the ANC had become mature and democratic in its legal form, reborn since 1990.

COSATU’s affiliates had mostly stabilised into strong working-class negotiating machines capable of taking on any employer.

Moore’s article in the short-lived Johannesburg newspaper “ThisDay” was a groundbreaker. It reminded readers that development is class struggle. For practitioners of the National Democratic Revolution, this was a moment of return to class clarity after a period when all sorts of strange and non-viable flowers had bloomed.

This was not a total change. The 2007 Strategy and Tactics draft, for example, was arguably even more of a “balancing act” than previous documents of the ANC. This, and the 2009 discussion document for the SACP Special Nation Congress of that year, will form the last part of this 12-part series on the NDR, next week – not for “closure”, but rather as samples of the state of the national-democratic-revolutionary debate as the struggle continues.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: The Brutal Side of Capitalist Development, 2004, Moore.


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