'The ANC is a bit lost'
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 7:21 AM
The ANC is unable to put its "national democratic revolution" (NDR) into practice but it is capable of destroying the country, a Russian academic said on Wednesday.
"The ANC cannot implement this [NDR] policy," said Irina Filatova, a former head of African studies at Moscow State University.
"But there will be one aspect it can do, and it can destroy this country. There could be partial land reform, partial nationalisation of mines...."
But ultimately there would be control of the country by the state, and the control of the state by the party, she said.
Filatova was speaking in Johannesburg at a discussion hosted by the FW de Klerk Foundation on the recent African National Congress policy conference.
She said the ANC "obviously believes in this ideology" as it spoke of the unique nature of its developmental state.
"I think that the ANC is a bit lost about the second stage of the revolution," Filatova said.
"In the 1980s it was so obvious what would happen."
Apartheid would end, and it was assumed that capitalism would also end. But then came the collapse of the Soviet Union.
She said the more the economy failed, the deeper the ANC was going to dig in its heels.
"The more failure[s] there are, the more they will try to use various means, both constitutional and unconstitutional, to keep their following," Filatova said.
"And their following has been promised a great socialist future, and they would want it."
Earlier, John Kane-Berman, executive director of the SA Institute of Race Relations, said the NDR was the "glue which holds the alliance together".
It had its origins in political theory by Vladimir Lenin, who believed the wealth of imperial powers arose only from exploitation of their colonies, not from capital risk or good management.
South Africa had not been a colony since 1910. The white settlers remained but they were seen as the equivalent of a colonial power, and blacks as the oppressed, said Kane-Berman.
"So, it follows that white wealth arises from exploitation, and is therefore illegitimate and immoral," he said.
The NDR was taken on by the party after it was introduced to it by the SA Communist Party.
He said the ANC had been accused of betraying the NDR, but it had reached some milestones.
"The supremacy of Luthuli House over Parliament and Cabinet has been very firmly established - the party overrides the state," he said.
More centralisation was also underway, in terms of control over provinces.
Kane-Berman said this was a long process marked by more interventionist policies, cadre deployment, weak civil servants and more party control.
De Klerk, the last apartheid head of state in South Africa, was scheduled to be the closing speaker at the event titled "National Policy at the Crossroads".
The conference is examining policies in the ruling ANC and current political developments.
Sapa – Sourced from: news.iafrica.com
JOHN KANE-BERMAN: SA’s communists are still in denial about Marx and murder
The issue then is whether one can adopt Marxist economic policies without willy-nilly buying into the political ones
Published: 2012/07/23 07:45:46 AM
IF ANYONE in SA went around sporting a T-shirt swastika, regurgitating Mein Kampf and demanding a return to Nazi doctrines, they would be excoriated, reported to the Human Rights Commission, charged in the equality courts and condemned the world over.
Our ruling tripartite alliance would mount a demonstration that would attract more support than the one it organised in protest against the Zuma penis painting.
Yet the hammer and sickle is ubiquitously displayed in SA, Lenin is adoringly quoted, and more and more people here and abroad are urging a return both here and abroad to Marxist policies in light of the alleged failure of the capitalist system.
This is despite the fact that communism murdered four times as many people as did the Nazis — 100-million against about 25-million-30-million.
Apologists for the communist system generally blame its mass murders on Stalin — a case of unfortunate pilot error, as it were.
Yet Stalin did nothing that Lenin had not already perfected, from shooting trade unionists to murdering people in slave labour camps to starving millions of peasants to death in state-sponsored famines. Nor did the crimes committed by communists take place only in Russia and China.
Communist bosses in other countries, among them Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, Afghanistan, parts of Eastern Europe, and parts of Africa and Latin America, eagerly followed the ideology and the practices of the Leninist prototype. Like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong, they turned the governments they controlled into instruments of criminality.
The most intriguing question about the history of the western intelligentsia is why the crimes of communism have not been given the same treatment in the media, academia and on stage and film as those committed by the Nazis. Until they are, the beguiling but evil doctrine of Marxism will keep on surfacing as if it were some kind of acceptable alternative to, or way out of, the current global economic crisis.
In its recent draft five-year plan, titled The South African Road to Socialism, the South African Communist Party (SACP) says it will not "become denialist about the grave errors and crimes committed in the name of ‘communism’". These include "dogmatism, intolerance of plurality, and above all the curtailment of a vibrant worker democracy with the bureaucratisation of the party and the state". Moreover, "millions of communists were among the victims of Stalin’s purges".
This sanitised account is a perfect example of the very "denialism" the SACP claims to deny. It is like talking about the Third Reich without mentioning Auschwitz.
Scapegoating Stalin, as the SACP and other apologists do, neatly lets Karl Marx off the hook. Yet it was Marx who invented the ideas that, implemented by others, caused states to become criminal.
That this happened not sometimes, but routinely, tells us that criminality is a logical outcome of Marxism, not just an aberration.
Marx believed in the use of both dictatorship and terror, while Lenin positively relished the use of terror.
It is no coincidence that terror has been so widely used ever since by communist regimes, including those still in power in Cuba and North Korea.
Forcing nations to conform to a preconceived paradigm necessarily involves both economic and political coercion if your paradigm is wrong, and if you believe that the end justifies the means.
Moreover, if you destroy private property ownership and the rule of law, you render the individual defenceless against the state. It might seem inconceivable that any country would today return to communist criminality. Zimbabwe, however, has done just that. Arguably, so has Russia.
Communists always deny that there can be any separation between the economic and the political.
Much of the recent debate about the "second transition" in discussion documents for the recent policy conference of the African National Congress revolves around this point.
The issue then is whether one can adopt Marxist economic policies without willy-nilly buying into the political ones. History shows, however, that the one comes with the other.
Kane-Berman is the CE of the South African Institute of Race Relations.
Sourced from: www.businessday.co.za
And to top it all…
President Jacob Zuma has approved a 5.5 percent salary increase for top public servants, backdated to 1 April 2012. This latest increase has pushed Zuma’s annual pay package to R2.6-million. Cabinet members annual pay is now just above the R2-million mark. Premiers will take home R1.88-million a year, mayors just over R1-million and Members of Parliament R889 383… Full story here.
This work explores South Africa's "Struggle" Liturgy, concluding that the fight against apartheid has metamorphosed into a governing ideology that serves the interests of an inept, largely corrupt and ideologically atrophied elite. Buttressed by 20th century socialism, communists high up in government and a powerful trade union movement, the ruling party's tenure remains secure pending the intellectual maturity of South Africa's voting public. But growing economic hardship and potential collapse could precipitate one or some of many scenarios - from grand tragedy at one extreme to the onset of genuine democracy at the other.
Paperback Version - ISBN: 978-1-4628-5180-5
Hardcover Version - ISBN: 978-1-4628-5181-2