11 August 2009

Democracy is ours

[CU for Wednesday, 12 August 2009]

We are still working through the CU’s Basic Communism series. We have dealt with workplace matters, with class politics, and with the crucial question of The State.

Exactly what is “Basic Communism”, and how far it extends, could be a matter of discussion. Part of any “basic” exercise is surely to keep things brief and simple. It does seem essential, however, to 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.

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, the 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 (it was also the first South African non-racial party) to call for black majority rule in South Africa.

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, or more) 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. Some of those means are false claims and plain, blatant, shameless lies. Some of these lies came from the mouth of US President Barack Obama very recently when he spoke in Ghana to the effect that Africa’s problems are self-induced. This is an old story, which we can say is just an attempt to blame the victims of Imperialist aggression, while the Imperialist perpetrators get to stand in the positions of judges and advisors, and even “donors”, as if they are not thieves, in fact.

As an example of one who has made the anti-Imperialist case very well in this regard, we use the Tanzanian professor Issa Shivji [pictured], to remind us that it is we who are the humanists now, and it is the Imperialists who are the barbarians, a message also reinforced by Kenan Malik’s short linked piece.

Click on these links:

The Struggle for Democracy & Culture, Issa Shivji, 2003 (5035 words)

All Cultures Are Not Equal, Kenan Malik, 2002 (1838 words)


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