[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Cosatu crits WSF for Morocco venue
ecopeace at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 18:08:13 GMT 2009
It may be that Unions should be included within 'civil society' in regard to
WSF, however governments certainly are not and since Cosatu is part of the
ANC govenment then a case can be made that it should not be in the WSF.
On Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 2:14 PM, Dominic Tweedie
<dominic.tweedie at gmail.com>wrote:
> Thanks, Peter, for the useful answers. I will forward them to the
> person from http://www.wsrw.org/ (Western Sahara Resource Watch) who
> wrote to me.
> Concerning "Civil Society", Doug, IMHO my brother:
> In Marx, "civil society is bourgeois society". This is how he
> introduces and uses the term civil society, from early on.
> Meaning that all society is class-dominated, current society is
> bourgeois-class dominated, and the motive force of history is class
> struggle. In other words the term "civil society" is in the basic Karl
> Marx tool kit, but not as we now know it.
> The generally intended sense of the current use of "civil society", at
> least in South Africa, is something separate from class struggle,
> separate from political parties, and separate from trade unions.
> In the mid 1990s I once asked Gail Gerhart, wife of the late former
> head of the Ford Foundation in SA, if trade unions were part of "civil
> society", according to her. She said: No.
> The US amabassador not long afterwards published an article in The
> Star newsapaper saying that business should run the economy,
> Government should make sure that business had everything it needed to
> run the economy, and civil society should clean up the mess. For him,
> this was a neat troika needing little further elaboration.
> Things are changing. I don't see much sign of any "civil society"
> these days that wants to stand off from the organised working class in
> general and COSATU and the SACP in particular, while the latter two
> organisations have always kept their doors open for the "civil
> society", a.k.a. "social movements".
> Domza "Old Social Force" VC
> 2009/3/22 Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com>
> > On Mar 22, 2009, at 7:18 AM, peter waterman wrote:
> >> South African civil society more generally
> > I'm still vague on just what this "civil society" thing is. In Hegel, it
> was a brutal place dominated by market relations. It's not government, of
> course, which despite being dominated by a bourgeoisie is nonetheless
> subjected to some kind of accountability through elections. It seems mainly
> to refer to a bunch of self-appointed spokespersons operating through NGOs,
> many of which are accountable mainly to their foundation funders. Am I being
> too cynical?
> > Doug
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