Archive for Africa

No Woman, No Revolution

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2009 by Umer

From Communist University [South Arfica]

Feminism, particularly in the field of politics itself, has often proved to work to the advantage of the bourgeoisie. Examples would be the elevation of Helen Zille, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright and Hilary Clinton to leadership.

What happens in those cases is that agitation leads to a correct requirement that more women be promoted to leadership. But then, at the critical moment, no female candidate appears, except the well-prepared female candidate of the reactionaries. The result is a catastrophe for all, and especially for the women

In the Umsebenzi Online of 6 August 2009 the SACP General Secretary, Dr Blade Nzimande, wrote that the majority of the membership of the Young Communist League at present is young black women.

This remarkable achievement ranks alongside of the achievement of the 52nd National Conference of the African National Congress which elected a National Executive Committee that consists of 50% women and 50% men.

This indicates that there is now an established stream of women cadres at an equivalent scale to men, and that their placement in leadership is happening. These achievements are the result of consistent work and determination over many years. They cannot be regarded as extra, or simply “nice-to-have”. They are necessary building blocks of Socialism.

The proletarian revolution is inconceivable without the involvement of the more than 50% of the population which is female. That is the general situation.

But the particular situation is that the working-class movement and its allies must be able to find winning female candidates at all levels and must never again be put in the position of seeing a reactionary being elected because she is a woman, only because there is no working-class woman candidate.

Alexandra Kollontai understood all this very well. In 1908 she wrote: The feminists seek equality in the framework of the existing class society, in no way do they attack the basis of this society.” (the full document is linked below). “Where, then, is that general “woman question”? Where is that unity of tasks and aspirations about which the feminists have so much to say? A sober glance at reality shows that such unity does not and cannot exist,” wrote Kollontai.

This text will be followed in coming days by others relating to women, under the general series title of “No Woman, No revolution”.

Click on this link:

Social Basis of the Woman Question, abstract, Kollontai, 1909(6619 words)

The Communist University (CU) holds live sessions weekly in Johannesburg, South Africa. CU – the wiki – is the interactive archive of education, organisation and mobilisation that is our main base on the Internet. CU – the Library – has many classic texts and study courses. The CU is not a constitutional structure of the South African Commnist Party.

Defend Comrade Mengistu!

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2008 by Umer

On the struggle of our Ethiopian brothers

by

Ahmed Khan

Comrade Mengistu Haile Mariam, a prominent opponent of colonialism, whose regime provided invaluable assistance to the liberation of Zimbabwe from the colonialist white supremacist regime of Ian Smith, now faces an uncertain future within the very country he helped liberate. Since 1991, when the Derg regime was overthrown and replaced by the neo-colonialist regime of Meles Zinawi, Comrade Mengistu has been in refuge in Zimbabwe. Seldom has a historical figure been maligned on the scale that comrade Mengistu has been. On December 2006, the Federal High Court in Ethiopia tried Mengistu and 24 other members of the Derg regime (1974-1991) in absentia. This kangaroo court brought forward charges ranging from genocide, homicide and illegal imprisonment to illegal property seizure. Mengistu and 11 other members of the Derg, including Legesse Afsaw, former Ethiopian vice-president Fisseha Desta and former Prime Minister Fikresellassie Wogderes, were sentenced to death. However, the ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, appreciative of the historical role of this great man and the progressive regime he headed, has refused to extradite him to Ethiopia, where he faces certain torture and death at the hands of a vindictive regime representing the interests of the very classes he waged a titanic struggle against. However, with Zimbabwe itself the victim of an insidious policy of regime-change, the future for the revolutionary looks increasingly uncertain. True to its nature, the pro-imperialist opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has included as part of its future policy the extradition of Mengistu back to Ethiopia. One can only remark that this is a shameless example of utter ingratitude.

To understand why Comrade Mengistu remains such a threatening figure for Zinawi’s compradorial regime, we must go beyond the historical re-writing of Ethiopian history that the Imperialists and Zinawi’s regime have attempted and reclaim the progressive, indeed revolutionary, legacy of the Derg regime.

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On the Burkinabe Revolution

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by Umer

by Ahmed Khan

“It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.” -

-Thomas Sankara, 1985

In august 2008 when ex-Liberian warlord Prince Johnson (now a `respectable’ senator in Liberia’s U.S-modeled congress) testified in front of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation commission investigating the horrors of its 14-year long civil war, that former ally Charles Taylor, under trial at The Hague for crimes against humanity was complicit in the overthrow of the Sankara regime in Burkina Faso, it scarcely caught the attention of anybody outside the African continent. This led me to read up on the brief period (1983-87) that was the Burkinabe Revolution, what confronted me was a glorious period in the history of a truly great people, tragically cut short thanks to imperialist intrigue and the complicity of neo-colonial regimes, in a fashion all too familiar on the African continent.

As a representative of a party that follows Marxism-Leninism, that is heir to all the revolutionary struggles of mankind, I believe this episode carries poignant lessons for our society, and I daresay, coming revolution as well.

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Background of events in the DRC

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2008 by Umer

by Ahmed Khan.

Located in central Africa, the Congo is one of the largest, most populous countries in the continent. Strategically located it borders nine countries; Angola, the Congo-Brazzaville, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia. Economically, the Congo is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of resources, with the western Capitalist countries obtaining seven percent of their tin, nine percent of their copper, forty nine percent of their copper, and sixty nine percent of their industrial diamonds from there in 1959.

Belgian colonialism witnessed the intense exploitation of this resource rich country, dominated by Belgian-owned firms. Apart from mining these resources, large latifundia and commercial farms produced cash crops destined for Brussels such as Cotton, rubber, coffee, tea and cocoa.

With the intensification of the freedom movement spearheaded primarily by the Mouvement Nationale Congolaise (MNC) founded and led by the leftist Patrice Lumumba, Belgium was compelled to abandon its colony in the Congo, however it reserved the right to play a major role in its subsequent history. To review the character of the major parties up to independence, the MNC was “the patriotic party enjoying most influence among the population…it stands for complete independence and unity of the country”

In alliance with it, stood the Parti Solidaire Africaine and the centre du regroupement Africaine which apart from independence called for the nationalization of plantations and industrial undertakings along with the participation of workers in the management of industry. The appeal of the MNC as opposed to its competitors can be explained largely by the fact that it was the only national party claiming to represent all Congolese whereas the other parties represented the interests of specific ethnic, tribal and regional groupings.

The largest party antagonistic to the MNC and its allies was the Association des Bakongo (ABAKO) led during the crisis by Joseph Kasavubu to represent the Bakongo ethnic group. Close to the Catholic Church, ABAKO “well known for its separatist tendencies became obedient executors of the will of the Imperialists”

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