16 January 2008

Media Failure

When the organs of the mass media of communication such as the Sunday Times, the Mail and Guardian, and the SABC, use up all their best space running sectarian, anti-democratic campaigns, then at the same time they are failing to inform the general public of serious things that the public needs to know about. And that may also be part of their deliberate purpose.

All of the documents presented here today are of lasting importance. All of them originate from one part or another of the social democracy (small s, small d) of South Africa. They are the products, not of feverish editorial meetings, but of mass democratic structures built and maintained carefully over many years of struggle, and in the first place under harsh conditions of oppression and personal risk.

The latter-day knights of the bourgeois mass media like to put on the clothes of the defenders of righteousness, but their own daily practice, and especially their lack of respect for the mass organs of democracy in the country, betray them and mark them out, all too often, not as champions of truth, but as mealy-mouthed, dishonest, confidence tricksters with hidden agendas.

The Communist University brings you the full text of the first meeting of the newly-elected ANC National Working Committee, which includes details, among others, of the appointment by the NWC of chairpersons of sub-committees, and of convenors for deployees in the provinces. These are many in number, and each will very likely be in office for at least five years, so this is a document to keep and refer to in the future. It also deals with several more immediate questions.

The bold South African Communist Party minces no words on the question of the outrageous 40% rise in the price of bread. In doing so it demonstrates its service in the vanguard role, which is as the summariser and generalist of the great movement of movements that we have.

FAWU’s statement, in more detail, shows the great depth of our movement, FAWU being the oldest of COSATU’s affiliates and, at 65 years, much older than COSATU itself. In FAWU’s devastating denunciation of the bread industry in this country we can see how capitalism has latched on to the very means of survival and sustenance of the poorest people, and just like in the time of Karl Marx, as he described in Capital, it has found ways and means of adulterating the bread and frauding the people, as well as gouging them on the price.

Just when did the “crusaders” for free speech in the bourgeois mass media tell us about all this? They did not! It is our own media, in the form of the movement’s own statements, that have told the truth about this. (The logo at the top is
Private Eye’s, representing a crusader with a broken sword, to make the same point about the false pretensions of the capitalist mass media. Sorry about the size and image quality.) See also COSATU's linked condemnation of racist murder in rural Swartruggens, just north of Ventersdorp, heartland of the old AWB.

The last linked document below is a shortened version of the ANC January 8th Statement for 2008, “The Year of Mass Mobilisation to Build a Caring Society”. At four pages, it is about one-third of the length of the full statement (
which continues to be available, here). Since the SABC messed up the sound broadcast of this statement, and since the bourgeois print media are on a sectarian campaign of disinformation about it, it is necessary that we have means of propagating its message to the widest possible number of people. Click here to download this CU-prepared short version as an MS-Word document formatted ready for printing as a 4-page folding flyer.

In today’s simple assembly of documents directly produced by separate parts of our social democracy, the CU does as much as, or more than, the combined efforts of the bourgeois mass-media circus. There is no magic to it. Or rather, if there is magic, then it is in the constant struggle of millions of people to raise up these great instruments of democracy that we have, like the ANC, SACP, COSATU and FAWU.

Click on these links:

Statement of the ANC National Working Committee, Media Release (557 words)

Land, Bread, Work, SACP Media Release (503 words)

Rising bread prices immoral following bread price fixing, FAWU (527 words)

COSATU condemns racist murder, Media Release (170 words)

Mass Mobilisation, Caring Society, ANC 2008 Statement, Abridged (4 pages)

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