[Marxism] self determination for oppressors

Marv Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Mon Oct 19 06:10:15 MDT 2009

Artesian writes:


> No, I don't consider the end of apartheid a joke-- never said any such
> thing-- but the sort of Mandela-de Klerk deal does not bring democracy, or
> secularism, or socialism.

Thanks for clarifying.

> Does anyone think the Afrikaners made this deal out of the goodness of
> their
> hearts; a sudden burst of Christian morality?

Not I. :)

> The deal was made for
> economic reasons-- greater access to the world markets; eliminate the
> considerable financial burdens of running an apartheid state; and most
> importantly pre-empting the possibility of actual revolution and
> expropriation of property by a movement who's real strength was in the
> organizations of the miners and workers.

It either a) pre-empted the possibility of revolution, as you opine, or b) 
reflected the military stalemate and the willingness, even enthusiastic 
support, of the black masses, including the miners and other workers' 
organizations, for a political settlement which gave them the vote and other 
democratic rights, ended white rule, legalized their institutions, and gave 
their party control of the government.

Even today, I doubt you'd find very few if any allies among the miners and 
South African workers who - despite their disappointment with the slow pace 
of progress and of many with the ANC - share your despairing view of that 
agreement as, in effect, a counter-revolutionary one rather than an historic 
advance which provided them with an institutional framework for further 

Truth to tell, if a similar deal was struck in Palestine - the release of 
Marwan Barghouti, the dismantling of the Zionist state, the unbanning of all 
Palestinian parties and popular organizations, the enfranchisement of the 
Palestinian masses under a new constitution, a general election throughout 
Israel and the occupied territories, and the formation of a government based 
on the Arabic-speaking majority - I'm certain the Palestinian masses and the 
international left would similarly hail these developments as an historic 
victory, even were it to be accompanied by an amnesty for the Zionist 
leaders, continuing social inequality, and no immediate or appreciable 
improvement in living standards.

Of course, the Palestinians, confronting stronger opponents with weaker 
leadership, can at this stage only dream of a negotiated end to Israeli 
apartheid, but were that to be improbably realized, I think we can agree 
that you, Brasky, and Pollock would still be there denouncing it as a 
sellout "pre-empting the possibility" of socialist revolution in the 

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