Young people should be liberated from the new tendency of anarchy, hooliganism and barbarism
By Dloze Matooane
Recently South Africans have witnessed the new tendency of burning important public infrastructure that should be utilised to improve the working masses and the poor. Young people are found at the centre, advancing this new tendency. From the burning of the university infrastructure in the Mafikeng campus of the North-west University, to the burning of schools in Vuwani, Limpopo and most recently the burning of infrastructure at the Vaal University of Technology.
Education is in its nature a tool of liberation; which enables a person to liberate his life and equally the society economically, academically and socially. A Marxist revolutionary by the name of Antonio Gramsci once said that education should not be used as a tool to build machine rather than man.
The new tendency of anarchy, hooliganism and barbarism which is seen through recent protests seeks not to liberate young people but to imprison them. No conscious movement or leader would seek to liberate anyone by burning their source of development and liberation. It is clear that the agenda is to paralyse young people and frustrate them, so as to hijack South Africa economically, politically, academically and socially. This tendency delays curriculum and frustrates students so as to defocus them from their studies.
In order for the imperialists to capture South Africa, they need to paralyse the future. It is the same technique that was used by the oppressors during the apartheid regime. The oppressor was very strategic; to being able to champion the project of subjecting all social, economical, political and environmental activities to the ideologies of the system and the type of society it wanted to create. The Bantu Education Act, which designed a separate education system for black students specifically, mainly designed to reduce black young students to study so as to become mere labours, and live as a labouring class, is a result consequence of the current situation of illiteracy amongst elders in the society. The law was to advance white children to become superior to the disadvantaged black students.
Many are paid to influence masses in strategic sectors of the society. It is difficult for imperialist forces to destroy or capture South Africa from outside, hence they have captured individuals to try and enforce anarchy and disruption in the society. It pains the imperialists forces that our education system is not biased towards the western agenda, yet all it does is to equip young people with the necessary tools of liberating the economy from the hands of a few and the control of the west and its allies.
The recent burning of infrastructure in the Vaal University of Technology has resulted in the conclusion by the management to pause academic activities, hence delaying the academy and the advancement of young people. VUT as an institution of higher learning is a reliable resource to students as a strata in progress, and young people in general as a social strata; which equips them with the necessary skills of participating in strategic sectors of our economy, to liberate it from the hands of a few and deplete the footprints of the past which oppressed the majority socially, politically and economically.
The new tendency must be condemned and harshly combated as it does not seek to create but to destroy the South Africa envisioned in the freedom charter. It must be confronted at this stage before it erupts into something that will cause more problems and bigger challenges. Workers must speak against this type of ill-behaviour which will result in their tax money being used to repair damaged infrastructure rather than advancing strategic programmes that will help reduce this great burden of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
These are the actions of those who are not psychologically liberated. These are the actions of a few individuals who feel that their course is more important than the majority of our people. The education of young people cannot be delayed nor be affected and oppressed by bureaucratic hypocrites and neo-fascist individuals who portray themselves as liberators or student revolutionaries.
A socialist society is found in the womb of capitalism itself. We must make it difficult for the capitalists to try and abort.
We must challenge it until it gives birth and liberate the economy. Latin America is a great example of such.
Cde Dloze is a DEC member of the YCLSA in the Sedibeng District
Class Struggle and the role of the Working Class: Lessons from the Cuban Revolution
By Thulani Skosana
Karl Marx in the communist manifesto centuries ago proclaimed that “Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. “Proletarians of all countries, Unite!” Perhaps it would be correct a view that Marx was not only expressing a political maxim but was insightfully exemplifying the actions of the greedy parasites who, even today, continue to lash workers into serfdom and would crush them with their might at will with no consequences. The statement should also be seriously considered as a correct political directive to subsequent generations of the working class to realise that with outmost conviction, there is absolutely no power greater anywhere beneath the sun than their capacity to organise, unite and fight. The late former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party [Amakomanisi], comrade Joe Slovo, through his writing “The South African Working Class and the National Democratic Revolution” published in 1988, elaborated further on the role of the working class in the broader class struggle. Despite the fact that contextually his thoughts were being expressed in relation to the South African working class, it is politically correct to appreciate the symbiotic interconnectedness of the international working class.
To weigh in on the ongoing discussions and debates around the fundamentals of class struggle and the role of the working class, one would perhaps approach the debate from a practical viewpoint following a historic visit to the world of the Cubans to form part of the historic international workers day celebration. In this revolutionary part of the world, May Day celebrations are not only held to denounce the exploitation of workers worldwide. The event also serves as a pulsating point of re-affirming the ideological commitment of the ordinary Cuban citizens first to the Cuban revolution as a significant component of the working class struggle, secondly, re-affirming their commitment to the class struggle itself. Joining distinguished but revolutionary visitors mainly from Latin American and the rest of the world, ordinary citizens, combatants of the armed forces of the people and workers symbolised a perfect act of international solidarity to the Cuban revolution, as well as the revolution of Latin American and the Caribbean. The precision of the parade leaves even the most hardened pessimists in awe of the Cuban revolution but most importantly, it is the address by the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba led by the General Secretary that provides a revolutionary well to replenish one’s revolutionary and activism reflexes and further deepen the understanding that indeed the struggle continues.
Significantly, this year’s event received a very strong message from the recent 7th congress of the Communist Party which reaffirmed the Party as the only organisation to lead the Cuban revolution into socialism. In this regard and in the main, the message emphasised the commitment by the Party to continue building a socialist state despite the intensified liberal offensive led by the imperialist United States of America and allies. Furthermore, congress steadfastly reaffirmed socialist policies towards Cuba’s revolution. As expected, the selfless attitude of the Cubans was also displayed when they committed their steady and firm in purpose support for the Latin American revolution with specific support to the peoples of Venezuela, Argentina, Brasil, and all third world countries who are under constant imperialist anti-revolutionary offensive. The visible bright and breezy mood of the workers in the parade showed the strong determination they have to emerge victorious against the US economic blockade, which is often not fully understood. The working class in Cuba is undoubtedly the main recipients of this illegal but formal national policy of the US. They bear the unnecessary persecutions, imposed hardship, destitution and hunger. It is very impressive and satisfying to note that the strength and determination of Fidel Castro resonates well with the rank and file. However, despite these impressive occurrences, the will and determination of the Americans to destroy the foundation of Socialism in Cuba can never be neglected and the working class must unite and fend off any attempts to reverse the already attained gains of the revolution.
Joining other revolutionaries for the International solidarity meeting was another eye opening event. From Palestine to Argentina workers and progressive organisations confirmed that the intensity of the capitalist crisis since 2008 is a rude awakening to the stark reality of an irreversible decline of a single power domination of the world by the United States, a process dating back as early as the late 1960’s. The American hegemonic decline has reached a point in which it has consequently resorted to intensifying the liberal offensive to reverse the gains of workers and the working class. Following the emergence of the right wing government in Argentina it is not by accident that 150 000 jobs have been lost in just a ridiculous 120 days! Venezuela has been joined by Brasil among other Latin American states as a target for the offensive.
In the essence of Vladimir Lenin’s famous question, what are the lessons to be learned from these historic moments in order to inform the next step for the peoples camp in South Africa. The real question is; what is the role of the South African working class towards the international class struggle? In the context of the lessons drawn from the Cuban experience and the challenges facing the trade union movement in South Africa we have no alternative but to go back to basics of building the working class hegemony and strong work place organisations as part of our proletarian internationalist heritage drawn from many decades of active participation of the South African trade union movement in building the class-oriented, uniting, modern, democratic and independent international trade union centre. Organised labour must further intensify its role and ensure that it fulfil its mission as the prime mass organisation of the working class to unite, on an industrial basis, all workers and to defend and advance their economic conditions.
Joe Slovo has taught us that “The working class cannot play the key role by merely leading itself and sloganising about its historic mission. It must win popular acceptance on the ground as the most effective champion of the democratic aspirations of all the racially-oppressed groupings”. This is important for the working class if we are to successfully win the battle against the capitalist-led global offensive against the most exploited class and its organised labour formations and this fits the historic mission of our beloved South African Communist Party. As a vanguard party, the SACP must continue to attract the most advanced representatives of the working class; mainly professional revolutionaries with a greater understanding and unconditional dedication to the worker's struggle and socialism
The solidity of the Cuban revolution surely prompts us to ask ourselves hard questions such as, given the offensive against the working class, which goes with the marginalisation of COSATU and SACP in the Alliance, we need to clarify ourselves as to who are the friends and who are the foes of the working class within the movement. We must provide better clarity as to what is the way-forward for the working class. This is more so because the current correlation of class forces within the movement underscore our shortcomings in building working class hegemony.
Indeed it is very obvious that La Lucha Continua! For the Working class and the progressive organised labour formations and we dare not fail our mission of ensuring that “the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution” and the working class must be at the forefront of this revolution. The Cubans are leading the way.
YCLSA National Committee Member, Head of Secretariat: NEHAWU
Writing in his personal capacity