NUMSA launching the left party
NUMSA has been expected to fulfill the longstanding dream of South Africa’s toiling masses: a new movement for socialism. The crippled world economy in general and the South African economy in particular have been demanding a full reversal from, (in Jeremy Cronin’s words, “that structured to be looted”). At the present ‘nowhere to go’ juncture, a left party or a movement is needed (though people like us have the slowly fading hope of the SACP severing its ties with the giant ANC in the immediate or near future) to take the revolution forward. Though the recent NUMSA documents released before their special congress have given some hope to the hopeless masses, the difference between the ideological positions of NUMSA within the short period, i.e. between the 8th national congress and the special congress, is elusively alarming. What caused them to change their positions in a short time deserves a Marxist-Leninist understanding and approach. Of course, the NUMSA’s leadership must wash their dirty linen in public and accept the criticism of why they have played second fiddle to ANC in the 8th national congress and why they are stepping on ANC’s toes during, before and after the special congress. The prevailing silence too speaks a volume.
People do not have full faith in NUMSA and their promise of launching a movement for socialism as they proudly put in their report or a left party as ballooned in the hungry newspapers. However, everyone must be given freedom of imagination and creativity and of course Irvin Jim is not an exception to this concept of freedom of expression. If he truly is going to launch a movement for socialism that like David could kill the giant Goliath, he must answer the following questions.
· As for all left parties or any movements for socialism, they must be led by working class leadership- Thus, in what capacity does a man, (the general secretary of NUMSA and proclaimed newest savior of South Africa), who is paid around 1.1 million Rands per annum and an executive director of the NUMSA finance can be a working class leadership? Hopefully if NUMSA does have some understanding of DECLASS, they may reveal the fact that how working class out of capitalistic life style is possible? A NUMSA comrade who is employed as labourer is paid around R60 to R90 per day but his leader is paid around 1.1 million per year. On the contrary, the leadership is claimed as working class leadership and is going to launch a party or a movement for socialism. Lenin turns in his grave… (Just imagine comrade Jim is paid below R5000 a month and travels with us in taxis…it would be an awesome experience for both of us, certainly to him)
· Recently NUMSA has hosted the International symposium of Left parties/Movements. In this symposium, were the Revolutionary International movements and CCOMPOSA (Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia) invited? If so, why did they not participate? If not so, why were they not invited? The reason for not having invited them is already out on the streets. These two movements have topmost left parties like Revolutionary communist party led by Bob Avakian and Communist Party of India (Maoist) led by Ganapathi. NUMSA might have known the fact that if these parties had been invited, they might have exposed the true colour of NUMSA and their so called democratic socialism sponsored by a few petty bourgeoisie University academics.
· If NUMSA is going to launch the MFS or the so called left party, what would be their take on Nelson Mandela? Are they going to worship him as an icon without an iota of criticism or they are going to expose his reactionary roles that NUMSA believes Mandela committed against the mass psyche of the South African public? Marxist-Leninist understanding certainly demands this approach on the past history of South Africa from NUMSA which has portrayed itself as the only stock holder of ML principles.
YES, NUMSA may launch a party. In my opinion, it is even a certainty. However, is it going to be a left party or a movement for socialism as they proudly claim? I believe that to be laughable. Let NUMSA understand the concept of DECLASS first, and leave socialism alone.
Dr. G. Dharma RAJA is post-doctoral fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is currently working on his book on NUMSA titled, “MAY DAY! MAY DAY!!”