Re: [DEBATE] : FRAMEWORK FOR SOUTH AFRICA’S RESPONSE TO THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CRISIS
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Sun May 10 21:41:47 BST 2009
Thanks for having a good dig around this document. I hope you keep on
doing that. An article would be good. I don't think I need to argue
with you about the document. You have rightly treated it as something
that needs to be made a reality, or otherwise to be given a more or
less decent burial as a dead letter.
Right now it is what we have got. Did I "advance it as a left
advance"? Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. I think what I meant to say is
that it is close to EP's thinking, and EP is now in the cabinet in a
potentially key role, partly on the strength of it (but also because
of the high respect he personally has earned over many years, which I
am sure you share). If I am not wrong, EP is a special appointment,
who is not an MP, one of two possible such appointments to cabinet
that are permitted under the constitution. What we are primarily
trying to do at this empirical stage is to try to understand the
intentions behind the cabinet appointments. It's a limited exercise.
The eating of the pudding will be a better proof.
My only quibble would be with your use of the word "corporatist".
Apart from Eddie Webster at one stage long ago in an article in the
M&G, if my memory serves me well, the only other one who ever notably
embraced this term was Mussolini, for whom it was his preferred
definition of fascism. We are certainly not looking at fascism here.
"Corporatist" also does not do as a pejorative form of "Big". There is
nothing wrong with "Big". Socialism is "Big". It is a "vast
association of the whole nation" (KM/FE, Communist Manifesto, 1848).
Without "Big", you can't get to socialism.
It is true that the document is not an agitators' manual. Nor does it
pose agitation as a bad thing. That business is not processed by this
document. Nor is it cancelled by the document.
Tripartism has a long history, elsewhere, as a compulsory alternative
to class struggle. It was sold on that basis to Kenya more than 45
years ago. Before that it had an earlier existence as Mondism, or
Mond/Turner doctrine, in Britain. There may be people in NEDLAC who
pine for such a role, as the compulsory alternative to class struggle,
but it has never in fact been achieved by NEDLAC. Not remotely.
So whichever way you look at it, the bogey of corporatism that you
raise is no more than that, in my humble opinion.
Domza "Educate, Organise, Moblise" VC
2009/5/10 Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za>:
> Dominic, this is corporatist pseudo-Keynesianism, without substantive
> targets and utterly incapable of dealing with the seriousness and
> opportunities presented by the capitalist crisis. As far as I can tell it's
> already passe, having missed its own deadlines. Manuel has contradicted it
> regularly, on matters ranging from sectoral bailouts to job creation to
> G20/IMF coddling. It is a sign of desperation that you advance it as some
> sort of left advance.
> One indication of its corporatist (Big Gov't, Big Biz, Big Labour) bias is
> that it makes no mention of - or connection to - the mass of service
> delivery protests (water/sanitation, electricity, housing, land, education,
> healthcare) that so many South Africans engage in to express grievances. For
> the authors of this document, these protests and the problems they represent
> simply do not exist. Instead, it provides only a few promises about
> industrial intervention, public works jobs and welfare payments, all of
> which are welcome if they were to be seriously followed up, but of course
> they won't be.
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