No future under capitalist principles and practices

By Opinion Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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Julian Kunnie

CAPE TOWN - We still mourn Steve Biko 44 years later because his clarion demand for justice and liberation was met with deaf ears by the ruling ANC.

Not only that, but his legacy has been conveniently and deliberately squelched to the point that even a public holiday honouring him is off the cards, as the ANC insisted on being part of the global capitalist monstrosity, and impoverishing South Africa’s people except for the privileged ruling economic elite and land and property owners, mostly white.

Capitalism always lies and never tells the truth, Kwame Ture taught; and the people of South Africa and the world, particularly the indigenous, colonised, exploited, landless, and impoverished, must work consistently and determinedly to destroy this edifice of suffering, pain, and enslavement, so that future generations might live. There is no future under the capitalist predatory economic principles and practices, albeit coated under the veneer of “economic success” and “foreign investment.”

These ideological mythologies must be firmly abolished. While the ANC now considers the possibility of “Covid-19 vaccine passports” in imitation of the capitalist countries of western Europe, people still languish in overcrowded townships, slums, and dilapidated shacks and shanties with little chance of decent housing, let alone going anywhere, and suffer inadequate health care, many of whom are women, children, and the young.

The facts speak for themselves.

If Cuba can limit the deaths of those infected from the Covid-19 virus to just 5,881, Vietnam, with a huge population of over 100 million to 13,701, almost all after July 2020, and amazingly, China, with the largest of all, 1,408 billion people, to 4,636, even without widespread vaccines administered (and where 850 million people were lifted from deep poverty over the past 20 years), surely the fundamental problem and solution is starkly and markedly clear: Capitalism is the real and leading cause of the spread of the Covid-19 virus through ill-health in most capitalist countries including the US, the imperialist centre of capitalism, where 40% of people suffer from chronic illness and millions from lack of adequate nutrition and free health care; and where 625,000 people have died from the virus, at least 2,000 per day presently.

The solution to this state of capitalist-generated world of disease, ill-health, and impoverishment is unquestionably socialism, grounded in the cultures of the African continent, and in the South African context, the diversity of South African culture.

The lockdown of South Africa’s economy including the informal sector where millions, particularly women, eke out an existence to support needy families, has brought suffering and death.

The gross irony is that the people who are at the foundation of South Africa’s “booming” capitalist economy, the miners, generally live in overcrowded hostels, often two or more, up to 12, in a room where social distancing is impossible.

The ANC-government’s feeble and unsuccessful attempt to construct alternative housing facilities (TRU’s) has stalled since July 2020, with many of the 1,000 planned houses in Mamelodi hostel, for instance, only possessing metal or wood frames, to the point that hostel residents rebuked the government. And one, Maxwell Maseema, told journalists a few days ago that they were not interested in voting because “…the government has failed us…” and that surviving during the lockdown was very painful life because many lacked adequate money and food.

He complained that, “We had to ask family members to help us survive during the lockdown. We were told about food parcels but up until today, there are no food parcels. We tried to apply for the R350, some got them but others didn’t.”

What a shameful and humiliating experience for black miners carrying the core of South Africa’s “growth-oriented” economy.

Steve Biko formulated the principles, practices, and culture of Black Consciousness precisely to permanently arrest this condition of black degradation.

His merciless, brutal, and torturous death and the spirit of his sacrificial blood can never find peace and a resting place, in a capitalist and black-humiliating South Africa.

For those in government and the black elites to engage in such persistently and knowingly anti-black exploitative and lying behaviour, and ways of living, makes them the enemies of black people as Biko powerfully and correctly declared.

Sooner, rather than later, the truth will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and graves of the martyred women and men who sacrificed their all for a truly democratic, just, liberated, and socialist South Africa. People like Steve Biko, Mapetla Mohapi, Muntu Myeza, Onkgopotse Tiro, Chris Hani, Mangaliso Sobukwe, Wellington Tshazibane, Nimrod Sejake, Fort Calata, Elmon Malele, Matthews Mabelane, Ahmed Timol, Ashley Kriel, Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge, Andrew Sibusiso Zondo, Nokuthula Simelane, Hector Pieterson, Vuyisile Mini, Ruth First, Neil Aggett, and thousands of others.

Biko and these heroines and heroes live on yearning for their final resting place: a just and decolonized and socialist South Africa/Azania and Mother Africa.

*Kunnie is an internationally-renowned educational activist and researcher. He has taught and lectured at colleges and universities on all continents.

Cape Times

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