[DEBATE] : Re: Zim sanctions and social justice!
hypercube at telkomsa.net
Thu Jun 8 07:17:48 BST 2006
According to Frantz Fanon, there are no innocents and no onlookers.
One way of taking this is to say that it is useless to apportion blame when
the task is still to be done.
The Zim debate is not stalled. What is stalled is the founding of the
(necessary, but not sufficient) mass solidarity movement of South Africans
One must hope that Patrick and Tapera's article will assist towards this
process. Naturally, how we perceive the political economy of Zimbabwe
conditions the kind of Zim solidarity movement we might have. It will be
different the Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS), for example.
If the solidarity movement is conceived as a stick to beat the government of
the day in South Africa (in other words, to pursue a South African political
agenda, in South Africa) it will fail. People have plenty of other and
better means for that general purpose.
The point is to concentrate attention on what is the position in Zim, and
not on what Thabo Mbeki or any other South African did or didn't do.
In my opinion the first problem in Zim is that the organised working class
does not have a vanguard party, or any kind of autonomous political
formation. Hence, to the extent that they are a component of the opposition,
they are there as foot-soldiers in a bourgeois-liberal campaign.
Most of the population is bourgeois (as peasants, traders, civil servants of
the bourgeoisie, or formal business people) so the overall content of the
struggle is determined that. But the subjective direction of it is
disastrously affected by the absence of a clear proletarian guiding line of
march. Petty bourgeois en masse have never been able to succeed without
The proletariat must lead in Zim. A successful South African mass solidarity
campaign would have that objective in the forefront. Instead, all what we
have is patrons from the ranks of the "great and the good".
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From: debate-bounces at lists.kabissa.org
[mailto:debate-bounces at lists.kabissa.org]On Behalf Of Tinashe Chimedza
Sent: 08 June 2006 05:47 AM
To: debate: SA discussion list ; pbond at mail.ngo.za
Subject: [DEBATE] : Re: Zim sanctions and social justice!
The Zim debates seem to be stalled by reference to the 'fact' (?) that there
is no 'mass democratic movement' in Zimbabwe and as such any engagements on
the deepeing of solidarity will always be limited. It might be interesting
to note here the historical develelopment of the anti-apartheid movement,
the limitations, divisions and challenges that the movement faced, unless
they are reactionary, cdes will agree that mass democratic movements take
time to organically evolve, in the meantime global solidarity (as PW likes
it) must be built, imagine the evolution of the a Zim movement that has no
global solidarity links: this will be suicidal.
I have been reading the paper that Tapera and Patrick are still working on
and I think that the sooner they avail it to this forum the better it will
be for cdes to clearly understand the intricacies of South African capital
and global capital and how this play out in the (oft violent) class dynamics
One can not ignore, in Zimbabwe, the deepening of the social action throug
the social forum process that one hopes is informed by the political
economics of the Zim situation ---
Russell <grinker at mweb.co.za> wrote:
"Patrick Bond" wrote:
> So Dominic sadly misses the most basic point, which is that
> imperialist Western intervention and subimperialist Pretoria
> intervention will not happen,
Maybe not from Pretoria but how can you be sure about the West? No doubt the
same was once said about that well-known former Western surrogate Saddam
Hussein. After all in his day he did the dirty on behalf of the West and
physically eliminated virtually the entire Iraqi left. That didn't stop
later US presidents from turning on their creation when realpolitik demanded
it. These days it's a cheap option for a Western leader to invade some
lesser-known country just to improve pre-election poll ratings. Let's not
give them any encouragement.
>hence any genuine sanctions would be
> popular-based, just like during the anti-apartheid movement.
As I recall (despite Dominic's rather different and somewhat rose-tinted
reminiscences) the aim of AAM sanctions campaigns was to pressure western
governments to turn against their friends in the SA regime. The initative
remained with these governments not with the masses. The aim of building
grass roots solidarity a la Jolly George (when Brit sailors mutinied to stop
imperialist intervention against the Russian Revolution) was seldom even
mentioned by the social patriots who ran the show. Either you have mass
solidarity (this is an abstraction in the absence of a mass popular
solidarity movement) or you have campaigns for imperialist sanctions. It
seems to me that the two are mutually exclusive as calls for the latter
imply loss of any independent mass outlook. Unfortunately in the absence of
the mass approach, there is a tendency to gravitate towards the other option
and start sending delegations of worthies off to London and Washington.
> we'd recognise that the legitimacy to call for such sanctions comes
> primarily from those to be affected, in Zimbabwe. That's the process
> we're trying to explore, largely by supplying some basic info about the
> corporate game in play.
Legitimate - maybe. But since when has that determined whether a strategy is
practical or not? Surely we can't merely say: "Comrades you're asking for us
to build a campaign to pressure the West to intervene to help rid you of
Mugabe. Although we know that replacing him with some western-dominated
arrangement will probably be no improvement, and that what remains of
Zimbabwean sovereignty will be eliminated, we'll do what you ask."
> Thanks again, if Tapera agrees, we'll run some more of the argument
> (which he has really been pioneering) by you comrades in coming days.
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