[Marxism] SACP-ANC and South Africa

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 13 03:31:41 MST 2007

So often here we come back to the same familiar red-baiting. We see this
happening over and over and over again because it's an emotional appeal
to a chord deeply engrained in all of us who've been politically educated
and trained in anti-Communism. Anti-Communism was a sub-religion in
the United States active from about 1917 until the early- to mid-1990s,
but one which doesn't often re-surface in the United States. Thanks to a
kind of political nostalgia, it comes back from time to time here in the 
fantasmagorical world of the Internet discussion  forum, Marxmail.

The reason why all of these commentators are desperate to prove that
capitalism exists in South Africa, which IS clearly the case, or that there 
are class divisions and poverty in the South Africa of our times remains 

Having diplomatic relations with Havana is a GOOD thing, not the BAD
thing which some of the critics, and it places those who have such
relations in a better light than the countries who refuse to have
such relations, participating as they do in Washington's blockade of
the revolutionary island. Here in Canada I can see in a hundred ways
how different it is in a country which maintains normal relations
with Cuba today. It's a great deal better. Some day I hope and trust
that the United States of America will rise to the political level of this
country (Canada) or to South Africa, in these regards.

To go to Cuba today, all one must do is to go to a travel agency and
purchase a ticket. One can purchase Cuban commodities at any store.
And one can read articles describing life in Cuba in a mixed range of
tones: from favorable to unfavorable, the journalism on Cuba runs the
gamut. Meanwhile in Disneylandia abuse, distortion and hostility is
the norm, conformed regularly by the rare exception to that rule.

Some writers on Marxmail sneer at diplomatic relations with Cuba, but
Cubans don't, can't and won't. Cuba struggles permanently to end the 
diplomatic isolation Washington seeks to impose on it. Mine is but one 
voice, not that of a political party, group, league, tendency, faction or 
anything else but myself and the positions for which I openly discuss.

Note, too, I don't attack the motives, courage or character of anyone
who holds views different from mine. I assume the critics are sincere,
though we don't agree, and I assume it's OK to hold divergent views,
minority views, even here on the Marxmail list. I don't accuse anyone
here of being dishonest, of being cowardly. I simply hold another point
of view.

For readers' interest, back in the sixties and seventies I used to hold the
same negative views toward the African National Congress which the
majority of those posting here now hold. Trained in the politics of the
Socialist Workers Party at that time, our preference in those days was
for the leftist or purported leftist alternatives to the ANC, such as the
Pan Africanist Congress, the Unity Movement of I.B. Tabata, and such
other forces which have played their role in history, but which today
are rather less influential then they were back in the day. We helped
organize speaking tours for Tabata, and for Franz J.T. Lee campaigning
for the defense of Dr. Neville Alexander and so on. It was all good work
in the anti-apartheid struggle. I like to think I've learned a thing or two 
in the succeeding four decades. As it turned out, the African National 
Congress led the struggle against apartheid to a successful conclusion.

Apartheid was abolished, black majority rule was instituted, and today
the people of South Africa confront a new range of challenges and of
contradictions in their society. The fact that the majority of blacks in
South Africa continue to support the ANC, and the fact that, unless 
something isn't apparent, no left alternative has arisen, as yet, to 
challenge the ANC to its left, seems not to register with the eloquent 
Internet-based critics. I suppose they can blame the ANC also for the
fact that no left-alternative to the ANC has arisen in South Africa.

Walter Lippmann
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I usually make a point to ignore Walter's one-man-comintern
communiques, except when they blunder into African history and
politics, which, for some mysterious reason, is when my irritation
with his manichean pandering and kow-towing to any and all parties
that have diplomatic relations with Havana, and to the black
nationalist nouveau rich compradors, becomes uncontainable.

Lajany Otum

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