A message to all Socialists and Communists in South Africa

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July 6, 2017
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July 25, 2017

A message to all Socialists and Communists in South Africa

Compliments are in order, as the working class continue to celebrate Worker’s day, in solidarity with the workers of the world. And it is so unfortunate, that unmeployed people also continue to be marginalised by these celebrations. It will always be remembered, that as a result of your endless struggle for worker’s rights in this country, the working class is now able to enjoy more worker’s rights than ever before. The question that I wish to pose to yourselves, as the van guard of the Socialist and Communist revolution, is as follows: Does this tendency to want to gain more worker rights, helpful enough towards achieving Socialism and Communism in this country? And is the struggles for more worker rights for you, a beginning to an end, or an end in itself? Karl Marx has since died, and buried with his knowledge.

But I am sure that if he were to be alive today, he would be extremely dissapointed. Disappointed with the fact, that his long-standing theory has still not been vindicated by the working class. As as result of your stewardship, the working class in this country have instead diverted, and taken a different direction towards assimilation with Capitalism. Let me come back to explain this point of view or yourselves further, below. And I am sure, that youwill be able to take this criticism as constructive, rather than anti-revolutionary.

To begin with, the recent reshuffling of the cabinet and subsequent dismisal of the Minister of finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mr. Mcebisi Jonas, should have been hailed as an achievement Socialism and Communism. Mr. Jacob Zuma, as the President of South Africa, has been empowered to appoint Cabinet Ministers, as well as to dismiss them as and when, it is necessary for him to do so. Whether the President Zuma has consulted yourselves or not, it would not have made any difference in as far as the nature of Capitalism, is concerned. And there-fore, your resultant efforts from both within the broader alliance of the ANC, including the EFF, UDM, DA, PAC, IFP, BLF, FF, COPE, AZAPO, and social kovements such as Save SA, to oppose President Zuma’s constitutional right to dismiss, were so immature and unfortunate.

In the first place, these very government ministers in question, did not have to apply for their respective posititons, as it is generally expected. So, Mr. Gordhan, appointed as Minister of Finance, did not have to go through any frustrating process of responding to such an advertised post in a newspaper. He was never shortlisted, in order to attend any formal interview to qualify for the position. And in the public eye,his appointment was not effected through any bureaucratic process. And similarly so, his removal was in line with such a similar understanding, that he had to be removed, on the spot. The President as the employer in this case, did not have to go through what an ordinary business in this country, is expected to do.

The historic event to fire cabinet ministers, was an mportant development for both Capitalism, Socialism and Communism. This was one of the classic cases of Laizzes Faire, affording Capitalism an opportunity to rear its fundamental nature. Generaly described, as the hiring and firing of employees, on the spot. This is, as you should have known, the hall-mark of true Capitalism. An economic system that functions to its optimum, under an environment where there is no single form of market regulation, and worker’s rights.

So, President Zuma has done exactly what it would be expectedfor any business organization under capitalism, to do. He hired and fired his cabinet ministers on the spot, with none of the affected parties activating sections of the LRA, and resorting to the CCMA and the Labour Court. To come back to the point that I  raised earlier above, this unfettered power to dismiss on the spot should be what business in this country is allowed to do. This power of hiring and firing, is to business under Capitalism what saliva is, to the mouth. And as such, it is unfortunate that as a result of your efforts, business in this country has been denied this fundamental right. Marx himself, would have cherished to see how Capitalism went about displaying its fundamental nature. As you should all know, the natural tendency for Capitalism to exploit the working class, in order to make profit, should in as far as Marx is concerned, ignite a sponteneous worker’s revolution, against itself.

But unfortunately, your current role in leading the working class, will not make this a measurable possibility . I will continue to argue that, all self proclaimed Socialists and Communists coming after Marx, and in particular, Socialists and Communists in South Africa, are making sure that none of us will have the opportunity to see Marx’s prophesy vindicated in our life-time. Your unauthorised abilities to frustrate Capitalism in the course of its nature, calling for a meriad of endless demands, has in the opposite, rendered this economic system to be much more dynamic. And so, these bizzare calls for worker’s rights, welfarism, better working conditions, nationalisation, minimum wages, radical economic transformation, Capitalism to have morals, etc, has in-fact been a strategy for yourselves as the van guard of the working class, to also ensure that you survive from the very basket of priviledges, brought about by Capitalism. It is not supprising, that many of you are in one way or the other, share-holders in business ventures. Others are shop-stewards for that matt , who are on the pay-rolls of their employers. I have real stories of how many shop-stewards have sold their own members, to their employers. And many more amongst you, are also using this opportunity to be nominated to go to parliament. In-fact your worker struggles, genuine as they seem, have got nothing to do, with the realisation of Socialism and Communism in this country.

The guard of the working class fails to remember, and I dont know why, that when Karl Marx was writing so passionately, about Capitalism, he was himself at that time, unemployed. He was an unemployed philosopher, who was essentially interested by what was unfolding before his eyes. He defined a teleological path, for an economic system that was in conflict with itself. The Das Kapital, is there-fore an important class perspective, which Marx would never have shared with the world, had he been employed. He did what many of you fear to do today, analysing the industrial revolution unfolding from a point of view, of being an unemployed person. This is also a view that many theorists and academics, fail to appreciate. This infact, is also what made Marx’s writings, to be more objective, as well as effective. This should also be an indictment to yourselves, and to anyone who espouses Socialism and Communism. In order to become a a real philosopher, or theorist, or academic of Socialism andCommunism just like Marx, then jettison every hypocrisy that you have. You cannot want to become another Karl Marx, analysing and denouncing Capitalism, whilst at the same time enjoying many of its priviledges and benefits. A message that I would love to convey to Blade Nzimande, Sdumo Dlamini, Irvin Jim, Solly Maphaila, Gwede Mantashe, Zwelinzima Vavi, Jeremy Cronin, Buti Manamela, Julius Malema, Christopher Malikane, Haroon Bhorat, Patrick Bond, Andile Mgxhitama, and every other nationalisation and radical economic transformation proponent, is that Das Kapital can never be written more than what Marx had prescribed for Capitalism. Your role as the van guard is nothing more, but to allow Capitalism to display its nature.

Feel free to be exploited, in the same way as the working class is being exploited. Your only duty is to ensure that he workers are mobilised, educated about Socialism and Communism, preparing them to take up arms in order take over their factories. As you would have realised, your efforts in criticising Capitalism more than what Marx dictated, have not been helpful to the cause. A general principle is that, allow this global economic system to exploit all the working class, without limits.

Just before I can conclude, remeber that Capitalism, is just Capitalism. It does not matter under whose control it is. Whether it is the Guptas, whites, Africans, or the Chinese, it is still the same. And, hypocrycy under Socialism and Communism, is about cheating the system, wanting to benefit under Capitalism, whilst at the same-time being critical of its fundamental nature. The leadership of the SACP, COSATU, SANCO, SACTU, PAC, AZAPO, BLF, NACTU, continue to enjoy many of the benefits under Capitalism, to the detriment of the working class. They are generating their special kind of class ddivisions, amongst the working class. Taking control of factories by the working class, is not the same as giving yourselves an opportunity as the leadership, to idle in structures such as in NEDLAC, SDA, employee benefit schemes, boards of companies, equity committees, health and safety committees, and related committees.

The effect of such committees if not used in line with Marx expressed in Das Kapital, is that they create a sense of distrust amongst the working class. And as such, this unbecoming conduct denies this global economic system, its historic opportunity to unfold and eventually collapse in itself. Should your efforts continue to go, in the current trajectory, then Capitalism will forever triumph, and become more and even more dynamic, over Socialism and Communism.

Plaatjie Mashego

An independent analyst on unemployment

Author of the book Designed unemployment and the Gauteng province (2009, unpublished).