[Marxism] Cosatu statement on SADC/Zim; police brutality in South Africa

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 27 22:31:34 MDT 2007

I'm not raising these questions to give anyone a hard time, but
it's a puzzlement as to what glue holds South Africa's government

It's not like Australia, which is an advanced imperialist country.
It's rather more like India, which remains a third-world country,
and one with Communists in the national government. But no unions
in the government. So I think South Africa is unique at this time.
It's called a tripartite alliance because that's what it is, and

Still, while there's tension in the alliance in South Africa, as
their is tension in the alliance in India, so far, there isn't an
indication that the alliance in South Africa is likely to break up.

As to India, I don't have a feeling as to if the tension between
the parties of the nuclear deal is enough to break the coalition.

These are nationalist coalition governments. They could also be
called class collaboration governments, or popular front regimes.

But unless I'm mis-reading the situation, the parties in South
Africa's government remain together, perhaps somewhat like an
unhappily-married couple. They're not ready as of now for any
plans to see a divorce lawyer. 

What is the glue which holds these parties together? Why are
we seeing, as yet, no movement to break the alliance? I will
say that what holds them together is fear. Or perhaps better:
fear and uncertainty. Fear and uncertainty as to what would
take its place if the alliance were to break up. Some people
seem to want this alliance to break up, and the sooner the
better. Apparently, none of the leaders of the constituents
are in such a hurry to see it broken up.


Walter Lippmann

First or all, I don't think COSATU's alliance with the ruling ANC
party is as unique as Walter believes. As far as I know, there are no
COSATU members in governent ``explicitly as representatives of the
labor movement''. There are no ``COSATU'' ministers or ``COSATU''
MPs. There may be some former COSATU officials, but they all under
ANC caucus discipline, as are SACP members. There are none directly
representing COSATU. (Perhaps that would be a step forward.)

I don't think the situation is fundamentally different to the
situation in Australia, where the majority of trade unions are
affiliated to the thoroughly capitalist Australian Labor Party (or in
Britain, NZ and many European countries where capitalist ``social
democratic parties are ruling parties or seek to be). I might even
venture that it not is not in essence that different to the US
unions' relationship with the US Democrats.

Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
writer - photographer - activist

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