[Marxism] Barnes on South Africa

Philip Ferguson philip.ferguson at canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Feb 14 14:41:32 MST 2007

Fred wrote:
>By the way, as is just about always the case with Philip, he got Jack
wrong on South Africa.  No complete disconnect between the democratic
socialist revolutions in South Africa - just a recognition that they
not be and could not be simultaneous -- no relegation of the socialist
revolution there to another "historic epoch," etc. I have come to the
conclusion that Philip never reads anything actually published in
name,  but simply follows the gossip columns about it and goes from
I don't blame him for not reading the stuff, but he shouldn't proclaim
expertise about what is in it if he is unwilling to actually suffer
a turgid document.

As I pointed out in that post *I read the whole thing at the time*.

At the time I was also pro the SACP-ANC and regularly read both
'Umsebenzi' and 'The African Communist'.

I have come to the conclusion that Fred has the habit of simply ignoring
stuff that doesn't fit in with the picture he wants to paint of people
he is debating with, such as Lajany or myself.

Barnes argued that a socialist revolution was not on the agenda in South
Africa in the current epoch.  It struck me at the time as a bizarre
position.  Of course, South Africa is a great example of what happens
when a socialist revolution is objectively possible but is held back in
the name of "a national-democratic revolution".  You get neither a
national-democratic revolution nor the facilitation of a transition to

I will be interested to see if he bothers trying to take up the argument
against the wealth of info that has been posted on this subject by
others in the past two days, notably Patrick Bond who is on the ground
in South Africa and having to deal with the reactionary SACP-ANC in

The attitudes of himself and Walter to the SACP-ANC read rather like the
supporters of the Provisonal Government in Russia in 1917.  Lenin would
be spinning in his grave.


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