Rascism/ South Africa!

Ron Press anclondon at gn.apc.org
Sat Apr 22 08:46:03 MDT 1995


>>>>>>> From: boddhisatva <foucault at eden.rutgers.edu>

Were one to substitute the word "capitalist" for the word "Jew" in
Mr. Farakhan's

An aside. In the early days the SACP brought out its manifesto
translated into Zulu. There was no Zulu name for capitalist. They
though long and hard and had to come up with the only word which
would explain to the Zulu speakers the essence of capitalism to
their minds. They ended up with the word "Ama Juda."

Zulu now has a word for capitalist.


Justin Schwartz

  I wonder whether Ron could say a bit more about the rationale,
prospects, advantages, and disadvantages of the South African
government's strategy in the current situation.

1) The balance of forces has changed radically. The changes were
really the response of the apartheid regime to this fundamental

 2) We are in the stage of working to complete the democratic
revolution. The ANC and it's allies have political power. But the
police, the army, the judiciary, the media, are by and large still
in the hands of the old ruling class.

3) There has been no real shift in economic power.

4) Forces for further change are powerful but not yet fully
mobilised. The leadership is in the process of readjustment to the
new situation.

A) Forces.

For Change

The ANC, as a mass organisation. Great potential but suffering
from the sudden transfer of leadership from grass roots struggle
to local and national governmental tasks.

The Trade unions(COSATU). The best organised and lead sector of
the people. About one and a half million members. Good policies.
But a difficult environment. It is their government but the old
bosses. This makes strikes sometimes appear reactionary. Indeed
some of the forces of the old regime are fomenting strikes (Civil
servants) which are counter productive.

SACP. Similar problems about lack of experienced and trained
personnel. Not a large organisation. I do not have the latest
figures, but strategically well placed. Many of the local
activists in the Trade unions, the ANC, and the NGO's are members.
Because of the political situation as in 1) 2) &3) it is a tight
rope waling task to have a socialist message which does not
impinge on the main job of completing the democratic revolution.

Civics SANCO. (South African National Civics Organisation).
Getting stronger. Mobilises at local level for local services and
control. Good policies, being non party political in the UK sense
of the phrase. In a loose alliance with COSATU, ANC, SACP.

Various forums, civil rights organisations, and other NGO's.

Opposition to further change.

Capital local and international. Suddenly they have openly
confessed that money does not have a colour label attached to it.
As long as they have got it, it matters not.

The remnants of the old regime, the Terbalanches, the backward
thinking farmers and some of the old white trade unionists.

The media.

So what to do?

There are still 30 millions poor mainly blacks. There are 5
million rather better off mainly whites.  There are the bosses.

The alliance even before the elections initiated a extended
discussion on how to redress the legacy of apartheid. It could not
be a simplistic redistribution of wealth. We do not have the
forces, the international climate does not allow it, (No USSR, and
so on.)

But common justice demands that the wrongs of the past are not
allowed to continue into the future. ( The Truth Commission is a
fascinating case in point)

So The Reconstruction and Development Plan was born. It has become
in a modified form government policy.

The thrust of the RDP is that ways and means must be found for
South Africa to be run so that all the people get the fruits of
the national effort and not the few. Now in South Africa this
takes on the flavour of the redress of racial wrongs, and a
socialist future.

The bosses have realised that they cannot openly oppose it. So
they are trying to subsume it.  Make it their own and distort it
to their money making enterprise. The Party sees it as the
beginnings of the political realisation that socialism is

The battle rages. To win the hearts and minds of the masses to the
realisation that the RDP can be a way forward to their expanded

That is the plan. Its execution will depend on so many things.

The main thing is the mobilisation of the masses for the
underlying aims of the RDP. If they can be mobilised and organised
then with the help of the government we can move forward.

You will notice I do not put the main force for change as the
Government of National Unity. The new government is made up of a
broad spectrum of political perspectives, ranging from self
seekers and gravy train riders, to sincere socialists, from old
time apartheid supporters like De Klerk to nutters like Butelezi.
But to build a house sometimes one can even use cow dung, as any
peasant will tell you.

Ron Press.

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