[DEBATE] : Support the March against Xenophobia-Saturday 24th May
p.waterman at inter.nl.net
Fri May 23 08:37:05 BST 2008
I appreciate the emotional shock and the intellectual honesty with which
you, Dominic and others have been responding to this upheaval from the lower
depths of South African society. But I cannot follow the logic between the
beginning of this paragraph and its conclusion:
'I get the sense that people on this list are in deep shock at what's
happened - the moving piece sent by Dominic expresses it well. And I suppose
we should be shocked. No matter what government and party spokespeople and
the paid bean-counters and statisticians have to say, the explosion of anger
and destruction we're seeing is the most accurate expression of 'public
opinion' on the failure of the post-1990 project - what might be termed
"decolonization of a special type". But it's also sadly, if we admit it to
ourselves, an indication of the abject failure - or at least irrelevance -
of much of what people on this list hold dear and continue to cling to, some
sort of alternative political project.'
I would have thought that, given the barbarism from below responding to the
barbarism from above, 'some sort of alternative political project' was even
more relevant. That does not mean that that such an alternative already
exists, nor that those who have been arguing for such on this list have
Yet my impression is that the list is - as I would have expected - providing
one of the spaces for dialogue about what is to be done. Not THE space,
since there are clearly several, but it is also indicating these others.
And to all involved in such a search, now or in the time to come,
Love and guts,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell" <grinker at mweb.co.za>
To: "'debate: SA discussion list '" <debate at debate.kabissa.org>
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 6:16 AM
Subject: RE: [DEBATE] : Support the March against Xenophobia-Saturday 24th
>I get the sense that people on this list are in deep shock at what's
> happened - the moving piece sent by Dominic expresses it well. And I
> we should be shocked. No matter what government and party spokespeople and
> the paid bean-counters and statisticians have to say, the explosion of
> and destruction we're seeing is the most accurate expression of 'public
> opinion' on the failure of the post-1990 project - what might be termed
> "decolonization of a special type". But it's also sadly, if we admit it to
> ourselves, an indication of the abject failure - or at least irrelevance -
> of much of what people on this list hold dear and continue to cling to,
> sort of alternative political project.
> Seldom has Luxemburg's old aphorism "Socialism or barbarism!" been brought
> to life in such a ghastly and graphic way. A leadership that once promised
> to bring forth a new era of equality and restore the country's wealth to
> toilers, has succeeded only in generating a system that imposes equal
> sharing of misery: joblessness, grinding poverty, disease, crime, violence
> against women and deprivation, in the margins of our cities. The glorious
> new era of socialism that was promised by a once radical-sounding
> has turned out to be only the "anti-capitalism of fools" where hapless
> foreigners and refugees must substitute as the targets of the bitter
> disappointment and anger of millions of have-nots. Of course as the
> elites -
> old and new - in their gated fortresses tut tut the excesses of the great
> unenlightened and unwashed, they also quietly and cynically nudge each
> other and heave a collective sigh of relieve that they are not yet the
> targets of this terrible convulsion of bitter frustration.
> So comrades, the rainbow experiment has pretty much reached its sell-by
> and its failure is expressed in a particularly terrible and bloody form.
> what of our project? Is this not what we should really be discussing on
> list in an open and honest way?
> Understandable though such things are in the circumstances, Debate
> really be the forum for discussions on the best ways to distribute
> and food - there are already people and organizations who do that far
> than we can hope to and they have their networks and web sites. We need
> instead to ask if there's anything left of our project of social change
> if so, where can we best focus our energies to start building something
> effective and appropriate to the current situation - but also something
> can survive and have impact in the longer term. To his credit I think
> began to appreciate at least some of these realities in his recent
> assessment of the situation.
> Is there any future at all for a 'left' in the midst of this leaderless
> chaos or do we pack up and go? If there is, what should be done to begin
> rebuild networks that can have some real influence with a new generation
> well as helping sustain those structures that remain effective? Petty
> tactical discussions somehow seem out of place in the midst of such huge
> convulsions. As well as being an extremely depressing time for most of us,
> this period has thrown up many young people who are totally new to
> and are asking important questions. Who will provide these people with
> answers? Do we have any role? Is there any room for real debate about this
> on Debate?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: debate-bounces at debate.kabissa.org
> [mailto:debate-bounces at debate.kabissa.org] On Behalf Of Azwell Banda
> Sent: 22 May 2008 08:05 PM
> To: 'debate: SA discussion list '
> Subject: RE: [DEBATE] : Support the March against Xenophobia-Saturday 24th
> Comrade Peter, you have in fact perfectly demonstrated my point: you and I
> now are busy talking about how the so called Left in this country can
> rather than, in these instances, spending our energies thinking about how
> best in all our different organisations and even as individuals, we can
> the ability for people born out of South Africa to defend themselves
> the ongoing savage attacks against them from all sorts of quarters,
> including from the poor workers of SA.
> That there will be, and must always be, those who must criticise the
> ANC/SACP/COSATU alliance is in fact a point you surely need not bother
> reminding me about? This is not my concern.
> The "left" in this country does not need xenophobia to bring them
> together -
> I am not even sure anymore why you actually want them to come together,
> considering some of their fundamental,irreconcilable differences.
> If they can, they certainly must work together to mobilise against
> xenophobia - but I am not fixated on this point.
> It is simply time for each of the left organisations to show the world
> they are made of, vis xenophobia.
> Huge hugs,
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