[Marxism] Letter to Desmond Tutu concerning President Robert Mugabe

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 6 13:24:12 MDT 2008

It's hard to read the mind of another person, but it's easy to see
that the ANC's struggle against apartheid involved a mixture of
mass action and military action. The two forms of combat were just
not enough to win the struggle, even when combined and seen as one
single form there. The ANC's assessment was that, like the FARC
in Colombia, and the IRA in northern Ireland, an all-out victory
was simply not possible. Furthermore, there's a great deal more
water and electricity in South Africa today for the masses of
the people than there was during apartheid. Even if there are
water meters, you can't have meters unless you have water there
in the first place. I'm sure there's more water in the townships
today than there was under apartheid.

The ANC concluded that since it could not win the struggle on the
political and military basis on which it had been fought, that 
it had to accept less than a complete victory. It further made
the decision that it would try to avoid driving the whites out
of South Africa. It was that less than full victory which led
to the current situations in South Africa and Zimbabwe where a
black government controls the government apparatus, but economic
power remains in the hands of the old white capitalist class.

Even today, though apartheid may not be the law of the land,
racist hatred of and abuse of blacks by whites in South Africa
is still a fact of life. Furthermore, South Africa's history as
a magnet for Africans from other parts of the continent, both
black and non-black, remains a fact. Even under apartheid, 
many blacks went to live and work in South Africa despite all
the harsh restrictions and privations even under that system.
Today that remains the case because South Africa is STILL more
developed economically than the rest of the African continent.

In fact, we're seeing today that South African blacks are just
as normal as anyone else in being able to express racist hate
for other blacks, if they happen to be undocumented immigrants
from other countries on the continent. This is sad, but it's a
sign that black majority rule, while a giant step forward, is
still far from sufficient to build a qualitatively new society.

For that a socialist revolution would be necessary. But as we
can see by looking at Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, that's 
not easy do when you come in through the capitalist electoral
process. Today's ANC government has come into power and has
remained in power through bourgeois democracy, a system with
immense limits on what can be done. They are certainly fully
responsible for what they do and don't do, but they cannot be
blamed for the decades of history which preceded them.

They did not make a socialist revolution in South Africa nor
in Zimbabwe. I'm sure that there are more things which the ANC
might have done, but as to whether or not they lacked political
will as Louis declares, I'm not prepared to make that statement.

Walter Lippmann
Olympia, Washington
South Africa still strives against racial discrimination

In an interview for Juventud Rebelde, South African ambassador 
Thenjiwe Mtintso commends Cuba’s contribution to her people’s struggle.

The way that this could have been achieved was by mobilizing the
masses as had been the case up to the abolition of apartheid. After
apartheid ended, the ANC brass decided that it was in their own
interest to stop short of social liberation. This was not because it
didn't achieve a "military victory" but because it lacked the
political will.

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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