[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Coleman v Phosa on the ANC majority
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri May 1 08:14:00 BST 2009
Dominic Tweedie wrote:
> Thanks for telling us that the "standard lefty view" is to split the
> ANC (who knew?)
No, I said standard independent-left, not standard left. You knew/know.
> , and that you don't think you need any mass support for that idea
No, I said that it is *only* with the trade unions and a large chunk of
the SACP doing the split that there would be a viable left alternative
> because you are going to fashion the "viable left alternative" from
> the split, like Eve out of Adam's rib. I seem to remember that Cope
> had a plan rather like that one.
> Thanks also for giving notice that the denunciations are scheduled to
> begin on 9 May, when the names of the individuals who are to become
> ministers will be announced.
No, I said there'd be tears that day.
> No thanks for the weasel word "many", which is just as bad as
> Russell's "we".
> Your Economism is as explicit as it could be. So thanks for that, even
> though you refuse to "reify" and debate it.
Well aside from name-calling, why don't we take an explicit issue and
see what's at stake, and how the balance of forces can be shifted? I
think 'economism' (or what I'd call rudimentary class analysis) would
give us some ideas about the transport industry, a forthcoming run on
the rand, municipal services decay, the impact of fiscal conservatism on
the health system, worsening job massacres, etc etc. So pick an issue
and tell us how the new government can overcome screaming
contradictions, comrade Dominic.
> You take it for granted that we are all Economists now (but we
> aren't), as when you say: "people will naturally ask once May 9
> cabinet minister appoints disappoint Cosatu and the SACP, what
> accountability, what punishment, what strategy?" Thanks for the
> explicitness, but not for your refusal to discuss Economism when we
> had the chance.
Sounds like you're refusing to project even eight days ahead. That's ok,
not expecting you to. (Back in Dec '07 you could at least see the
writing on the wall, Dominic. And it's not faded. Only your eyesight
> The bourgeois democracy is your political market-place, and the only
> possible one according to you.
Huh? Just because I'm interested in what reforms Cosatu/SACP will
propose, and the forces that will slap these down? On the contrary, once
bourgeois democracy shows that it will not - for political/class power
reasons - fulfiill the reasonable demands of oppressed people, then all
sorts of more interesting options open. Making such demands in a
consistent, serious way, is the task for the period ahead. A few such
demands are hinted at above, sector after sector. Linking them together
is the task of some sort of socialist project, one not yet apparent.
> The argument you dangle in front of Neil Coleman assumes that he
> shares your reformist, gradualist Economism, and only differs with you
> in market terms as to the price, and the deliverables, in the "social
> Whether Neil is an Economist or not is something for Neil to answer.
> Unfortunateloy you will never, and I cannnot, put that question to him.
I bcc-ed him and will pass along his reply if he sends one and consents.
> Domza "Little Red Hen" VC
> 2009/5/1 Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za <mailto:pbond at mail.ngo.za>>
> (We have a serious disjuncture in our textbox, below. Is the 66%
> majority 'highly-politicised, mobilising in their own interests' -
> or instead 'moral', 'conservative'? Is Neil Coleman talking left
> to the progressive petit bourgeois ANC-naysayers; while Matthews
> Phosa talks - and prepares to walk - right to the London banksters
> who regularly loot SA and Africa, on bended knee? The first is
> eloquent, but my concerns here are that cde Neil ignores the
> standard indy-left line on the Alliance, which is that there needs
> still to be a split left given that the structured power of
> capital over government will trump the union and communist bloc, a
> problem we hope not - but yet are prepared - to witness on May 9
> when the Cabinet is announced... and hence a third explanation -
> where Neil says there are just two, here: * - for the ANC's vote
> arises: there's no viable left alternative yet, not until an
> Alliance split. All the parties running on 22 April beyond the 2%
> popularity mark said they'd retain Trevor Manuel and his
> 'conservative' economic policies, the same 'conservative' policies
> that in reality have made SA the single riskiest country amongst
> emerging markets, according to The Economist. A shame that this
> fairly common argument was not addressed head on by Neil, below.
> After all, everything in the second piece should signal to Cosatu
> and the SACP that they are not going to get the macroeconomic
> change they want, especially if Phosa has the momentum he appears
> to. I chatted with him in Joburg airport's haute-bourgeois lounge
> a few days ago, and was nearly courageous enough to mention that
> when he so very strongly supported water privatisation in
> Nelspruit by a nasty London firm, Biwater, as Mpumalanga premier a
> decade ago, he'd forever lost my respect. As for Neil, the other
> elision ** is the dubious way Venezuela is brought in for
> comparison purposes. First we had Manuel and Suresh Roberts doing
> comparisons of social spending and inaccurately claiming SA
> outpaced Chavez's government; then we had Mbeki comparing Nepad to
> Alba! last September; and now we get Neil's amnesia regarding how
> much SA capital loves ANC economic policies compared to Vz capital
> which hates several of Chavez's concrete policy changes since
> around 2003: tight exchange controls, creeping nationalisation,
> strong support for worker takeovers of factories, genuine
> commitment to socialist conscientisation, a lefty international
> geopolitical stance, municipal cooperatives, new community banking
> strategies, much much more dramatic funding flows to the poor
> through impressive health and education missions, etc etc, none of
> which are really thinkable objectives in Pretoria in 2009. On the
> other hand, this phrase from Neil is an extremely promising line
> of argument, but people will naturally ask once May 9 cabinet
> minister appoints disappoint Cosatu and the SACP, what
> accountability, what punishment, what strategy? "... many workers
> view this as the ‘last chance’ for the ANC to implement the RDP
> mandate on which it was elected in 1994, a mandate which is
> revived in the 2009 Manifesto, subsequent to the Polokwane revolt,
> and that workers intend to hold the ANC leadership accountable to
> these commitments.")
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