By: Phatse Justice Piitso
The much publicised political lecture by the anarcho syndicalist and revisionist Jeremy Cronin, dedicated to the living memories of the late General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, comrade Thembesile Chris Hani, makes one to ponder and discover more about the unraveling political theatre in our country. Bourgeois phantasies can often shape the way we think and dream.
The theoretical foundations of his revisionist lecture titled ‘the two struggle on two fronts- against state capture and neoliberal austerity’, is nothing else but giving expression to the worst forms of the tendencies of European communism and ideological curse. The mendacious phrases that so flippantly abounds in his political lecture have absolutely nothing to do with the revolutionary theory of our struggle for the attainment of our socialist future.
What seems to be what he does not want to know, in his imaginary chauvinism – I mean the mantra of his philosophical phantasies – is the deep seated malice, vulgar and theoretical distortion of the core theories of our struggle. In the realms of the absolute truth, and it is not be far-fetched, that his are ideas of a typical mercenary of imperialism, the principal enemy of our historic mission to attain an independent native republic.
His exaggerated demagogary, and tendencies of white chauvinism, of leading a plunder against African intellectualism, picking on and trying to nail all our leaders except himself, and yet masquerading as a true communist, is not what the apostles of the South African socialism would ever have stood for. They would not have agreed to defend the moribund forces of imperialism, which are still determined to build a colony on the foundations of our democratic republic.
The founding fathers of the South African Communist Party were surely not philosophical askaris of imperialism, but a battalion of true revolutionaries, whose historic task, was to bring a fundamental change towards the resolution of the South African question. They were indeed a special mould of internationalists, who correctly so, referred to the objective realities of our country, as a British dominion of a special type.
On the historic eve of the centenary of the birth of the South African Communist Party, we salute the heroism of these true guardians of the struggle of the working class, the true apostles of the South African road to socialism. The guardians who for their tomorrow, have given us our today.
These true apostles of the revolutionary struggle of the South African working class, who upon understanding the notion that political struggle grows in the womb of class struggle, ostensibly declared, “here we plant the flag of the new Internationale in South Africa”, and further that, ”internationalism which does not concede the fullest rights which the native working class is capable of claiming, will be a sham”.
The epic founding generation of our party, denounced the participation of South Africa in the First World War, they declared it as a war which could only benefit international arms manufacturers and other enemies of the working class. This was despite the fact that leadership of the African National Congress at the time, supported the war, with the hope that their brotherhood with the British empire, would pave a way for the participation of the majority of the people, in the Union of South Africa.
This saw our movement working together with chiefs across the length and breath of our country, recruiting black men, to serve in the army in support of the imperialist war. During the war the black soldiers were armed with broomsticks whilst the white soldiers were armed to the teeth with rifles and other military hardware.
At the end of the war, the white only government, continued to oppress the majority of our people on the basis of racial segregation. The white soldiers returning from the war were awarded with massive portions of land, whilst the black soldiers were awarded with bicycles.
The necessity to resolve the South African question, saw the pioneers of the South African road to socialism, supporting the resolution adopted by the executive committee of the Communist International held in 1928, which said:
“South Africa is a Black Country, the majority of its population is black, and so is the majority of the workers and peasants. The bulk of the South African population is the black peasantry, whose land has been expropriated by the white minority.
Seven eights of the land is owned by the whites, hence the national question in South Africa, which is based upon the agrarian question, which lies at the foundation of the revolution in South Africa. The black peasantry constitutes the basic moving force of the revolution in alliance with and under the leadership of the working class.
South Africa is a British dominion of a colonial type. The country was seized by violence by foreign exploiters, the land expropriated from the natives, who were met by policy of extermination in the first stage of colonisation, and conditions of semi-slavery established for the overwhelming majority of the native masses.
It is necessary to tell the native masses that in the face of existing political and economic discrimination against natives and ruthless oppression of them by the white oppressors, the Comintern slogan of a native republic means restoration of land to the landless and land -poor population”.
Later, the seventh Congress of the Communist Party of South Africa, which was held on the 1st of January of the year 1929, adopted a Programme of Action which, among others, on the question of the repeal of the Native Land Act, demanded as follows:
“In view of the extreme land hunger of the native population, immediate provision of vastly increased areas of land for natives. Expropriation of big estates, large farms and land held by big trusts or companies and all land lying idle, and throwing open of Crown land , for redistribution amongst landless squatters, poor peasants and labourers, black and white”.
The question we ask is, on the eve of such a historic occasion, of the centenary celebrations of the birth of our vanguard party, what would have our two former General Secretaries Cdes Moses Kotane and Chris Hani said about the unfolding events within the South African political and socio economic landscape?.
What would have the great pioneers such as W.H. Andrews, David Ivon Jones, S.P. Bunting, Alfred Nzula, Johannes Nkosi, Thabo Mofutsanyane, Yusuf Dadoo, J.B. Marks, Alpheus Maliba, Flag Boshielo, Lawrance Phokanoka, Mark Shope and many others said about the leadership role of the South African Communist Party in the current epoch of our struggle?.
Would they have really accused President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family of the so called state capture?. That the state capture had its head-office in Saxonwold , and its major subsidiary in Nkandla and its external mission in Doha.
Did President Zuma and the Guptas really appropriated to themselves all the land, mines, banks, factories, and the culture and the value systems of our country? Who is fooling who, is it President Jacob Zuma or the white South African bourgeoisie?
On the contrary, the South African state has been captured centuries ago with the arrival of white settlers at the Cape of Goodhope, with the arrival of imperialism and colonial powers, with up to today its headquarters remaining in London, under the auspices of the British crown, its major subsidiary in Stellenbosch and its external mission in Washington DC. In the belly of the bourgeois war, the Gupta family was just little a fish in a swamp, trying their luck to fiddle with the South African white bourgeois establishment.
I am sure the pioneers of our vanguard party would have asked us as to what all the fuss is about! They would have asked as to who owns over eighty seventy percent of the land in our country, the banks, and all industries. I mean the land, the air and the sea, the beautiful flora and fauna of our country.
History is the mother of all lessons, that as part of the ideological warfare, mercenaries representing the interests of the bourgeoisie, who over time perfected the art of perambulating themselves as true revolutionaries, would always elevate the secondary question at the expense of the primary question. The reason for the perpetual falsehood to elevate the alleged criminal activities of the Gupta family into supposed ‘state capture’.
The strategy is to hamstrung the true meaning of the concept of state capture from the class point of view. State capture is fundamentally about the base and the superstructure of society.
It is about the ownership patterns of the productive relations and the extent of influence of the dominant forces over the cultural and value systems of society. This is essentially the heartbeat of politics, which is the economy in practice.
What would they have said about the current situation in our country, based on their understanding at the time, that our economy was predominantly in the hands of the British monopoly imperialism, which was exploiting its fortunes with the assistance of the few white South African bourgeoisie? That imperialism continued to occupy the principal commanding heights of our economy such as land, mining and the financial sector.
I am certain, that they would have understood that what they are dealing with here, today, is the creation of an independent native republic, not as it has grown on its own foundations, but on the contrary, as it emerges from colonial domination by the British dominion, with the help of the Dutch imperialism, which thus in respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, is still stamped with the birthmarks of the old colonial society, dominated by Apartheid colonialism of a special type, from its womb it emerges.
They would have said that the present South African society, that has sprouted from the ruins of the apartheid colonial relations, has not yet done away with the productive relations based on class and racial antagonism, that instead, the South African white bourgeoisie, has established itself into a new arrogant class, new conditions of oppression and new forms of struggle to consolidate its privileges.
They would have said that twenty seven years after our democratic breakthrough, the social structure of the South African white monopoly capitalism, which is based on the exploitation of the working class by the few white oligarchies, still remain unaltered. This is basically so because in a bourgeois society, the past dominates the present, and in a Communist society the present dominates the past.
It is evident that for obvious reasons, Jeremy Cronin has conveniently opted not to tell the youth of our country that a revolution is the highest form of class struggle. That it is about the fundamental change of society and its socio and economic relations.
A revolution is about the support of human life, it is about what is produced, how it is produced, and how products are exchanged. It is about how wealth is distributed and how society is divided into classes.
Vladimir Lenin said: “In the course of a successful liberation struggle, colonies stop from being the most important reserve and source of power for imperialism and turn into the most important reserve and great camp for peace, democracy and socialism”. The vast majority of the people of our country, the African people in particular and the black people in general, yearn for peace and tranquility.
What we need is an extraordinary courage from our young generation to take the bull by the horns, and to demand what duly is belonging to them – economic freedom during their lifetime. A battalion of a young generation of revolutionaries who will be there not fearing what ought not be feared.
They will not fear anyone if they can take the happiness to themselves to know how abundant our motherland is. We need the courage to salvage our people from the centuries old oppression and exploitation from imperialism, colonial and neo-colonial domination.
No siren songs of the enemy will take what belong to the overwhelming majority of the people of our country. No amount of the siren songs of the enemy of our national democratic revolution will take from us what belongs to our future generations, namely an independent native republic.
The struggle for the attainment of the native black republic is the task we all have to achieve. We do not have the precious time to preoccupy ourselves with a mantra of philosophical phantasies!
Jeremy Cronin has distinguished himself to be an outstanding prophet of falsehoods, I mean especially his unequivocal falsehood on the principle of working class discipline and morality. His political lecture in memory of the outstanding son of the soil, was a complete distortion of the theory of our struggle for the liberation of the South African working class.
We are indeed thankful to be witness to the beautiful eve of the centenary anniversary celebrations of the life of our vanguard party. Our humanity is our future, we shall overcome.
*Ambassador Phatse Justice Piitso is presently the chief of staff of the office of the Secretary General of the African National Congress. Writing this article on his personal capacity.