Socialism Needs Those Who Really Need It – The Poor

Socialism Needs Those Who Really Need It – The Poor

Socialism is such a big word. It should belong to the people. It should be part of their living politics. But most times it belongs to those who want to define themselves as if they are the masters of everything. This is a serious problem because in socialism you can’t think that everything belongs to you. In socialism all the people need to be given a space. Socialism is not supposed to be like any other political movement. Socialism needs more participatory engagement. It does not need those who think that they can decide for the people on the ground. Socialism has no racial discrimination, no sexism and also no inequality. In socialism everybody is equal and no one is regarded as Mr., Mrs. or Miss know it all.

Socialism and its progress can’t stop if someone else who thinks he is the master is not there. The people are just there all the time to support one another and so socialism must belong to the people. Socialism is not about how big and good English words you are using. It’s about sharing views, irrespective of which race you belong to. The problems that we are all facing bond the people as brothers and sisters.

Socialism does not need those who are big headed because some within their social movement they regard him/her as a monarchy. There can be no kings and queens in the struggle for equality. Everyone has to humble themselves.

Some people have decided to talk two languages, the language of Capitalism and the language of Socialism. Why are these people begging others to come back to Socialism if they are busy enjoying the fruits of Capitalism? Why are they talking about socialism when they have spent their time becoming rich rather than associating themselves with the struggles of the poor? People are sometimes just using the shortest way to climb the trees. When people want to get somewhere in the Parliament, or wherever, they use the language that the poor are using. They know that sometimes the poor trust too much in such a way that they don’t see a difference between the really Socialist and the truly Capitalist. All those who are using the poor to define themselves will talk a different language when they find the place they were aiming to. There should be no need to be asked to come back to the struggles of those whom they have betrayed. We should only trust those who have never left the struggles of the poor. We should only trust those who are constantly with us in our struggles. Let me stop that because it will look like I’m fighting some very big political leaders.

There is a slogan that says: ‘Socialism is the future built it now’. How can the people get this slogan as reality? The people that are using this slogan are not in the struggles of the poor. In fact they are condemning the struggles of the poor from above! All this slogan really means is that we should trust the politicians even though things are getting worse and not better.

And how can Socialism go further if all these sub-socialist movements decide to stand away from each other instead of coming together and forming one strong voice of all the socialists? What I really notice is that if all these socialist movements don't swallow their pride and come into agreement of how they can work together they won’t pass. If they are continuously reacting the way that they are then Capitalism will dominate our lives for ever.

Capitalism is such a big Giant and the entire capitalist class are together irrespective of their political differences. If you fight the capitalist thinking and plan to stop it the entire Capitalist will unite to fight any resistance to their power. It does matter if those Capitalist came during the Apartheid era or afterwards but they are Neoliberals now and their wishes will be the same and closely equal.

I’m so concerned about the naive thinking of every socialist movement in S.A. without even choosing one. The fact and the reality is how can they stop capitalism while they are defining themselves separately whereas they have the same purpose? The only problems with the social movements is that people are too busy protecting their individual positions rather than seriously looking to find ways to join together to eradicate capitalism from its roots. I’m not fighting with the social movements but I have to use harsh words to show my dissatisfaction about their reaction against Capitalism.

However, I must appreciate the fact that over this weekend of the 13th and 14th of August 2011, the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA (of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape), the Anti-Privatization Forum, the Landless Peoples Movement in Gauteng and the Rural Network in KwaZulu-Natal met, along with the telephonic participation of the Unemployed Peoples Movement in the Eastern Cape, to discuss my criticism of the divisions amongst the Socialists in South Africa. Our meeting discussed various strategic ways in which we can build living solidarity and a real unity. Working together as opposed to competing with one another was a dominant theme of the two day meeting. In this meeting part of the conclusion was the commitment of the movements to also identify one national program in which all the movements will participate and to join hands to build a united front against all forms of injustices. If we can united all the social movements without interference from the NGOs that have always tried to control and divide the movements that will be a big step forward.

But I think that without the support from the working class socialist thinking will never go any further towards becoming a reality. The workers are the ones who can push the ideas of Socialism without fearing anything because the wealth of the country belongs to them. The Capitalists depend on the workers. It is therefore very hard and very disappointing to find that the workers of the country are supporting Capitalist thinking. It looks like the workers are betraying the poor people on the ground. When ever there is a major strike COSATU asks us for support. But when we are facing repression or campaigning on important issues they are nowhere to be found. This is a very sad reality of life in South Africa.

During the time of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) Socialism succeeded in making a revolution in Russia because the working class supported the struggles against the Tsarist regime. We all know that that victory soon turned sour because the people who want to be masters of all struggles seized that struggle from the people. The workers and other poor people should have kept control of their struggle after the revolution be insisting that the Soviets and not the Communist Party remained in charge of Russia.

Here in South Africa the workers are aligning themselves with the Capitalist thinking. So it means there is a need of a strong working class federation which really will support all the struggles of the poor irrespective of their political affiliation. We need trade unions that will support social movements even when they organise outside of the ANC. Some choose to organise outside of the ANC and some are forced by repression to organise outside of the ANC. But either way unions should be supporting the struggles of the poor.

In South Africa there are strong social movements and those social movements can drive this country into greener pastures but their problem is the way that they are handling their problems. Good thinkers decided to join Socialist thinking because they know that is where you can express yourself without fearing any feeling of being like you are fighting somebody who should be your comrade. Can all the social movements find ways to promote the spirit of togetherness and forget about plotting about other comrades? Yes I know that out there there are some social movements who are pretending like they are working for the people whereas on the other side they only need popularity. Some people are only exposing themselves to the public in order to be recognized as the peoples' martyrs.

I really don’t know what we can do because in some instances the true leaders of the struggles of the poor find that once the political parties notice their capability they woo them to join their political parties. Once they join them those leaders are very much warned that this is a well known organization with its polices and you can't just go and express your feelings in the media without the authority from the party. So that means that activists that were very strong now have very limited powers. This is one reason why the Socialist movements are not going any further. There is also another tendency where the political parties are even noticing the people like myself who are always busy writing articles. They can ask these people to join them but once you join the the party they are going to remote you and then you will see how sweetly you must write articles in their favour.

Also most of the social movements like to depend a lot to the NGOs and those NGOs sometimes they make sure that their views are being implemented by that social movement. This separates movements from their members because direction is coming from above and not from below. This makes movements to be weak. Also some NGOs are getting their power and their money from their relations to movements. This is one reason why they try by all means to retain control over movements and to divide movements from each other. They try to ban 'their' movements from working with movements that are guided from below and not from above by NGOs. Sometimes if you are in struggle there is a need of hasher decisions and some of those decisions will never be accepted by some of the NGOs. But if you want to set yourself free you need to call a stone a stone. It is understandable that some NGOs are not behaving the same as others. Some are supporting the struggles of the people and not trying to control the struggles of the people. But these NGOs are the exception. I know that there are people who are going to interpret my article badly but no comrades let's face the reality. Let’s stop what we are doing and also, if you notice that my views are not the same as yours, please let’s find ways to agree to disagree.

Also let’s stop doing silly plots and petty betrayals on a racial way. Let’s fight together because the capitalist system doesn’t care about our racial differences. They care about profit which is why they all support each other for the purpose of keeping their unity in order to keep exploiting the people.
Also I’m aware that some they are really desperate in such a way that they can involve themselves with corruption. I’m sorry comrades I know the truth is bitter but now is the time to speak the truth. There is no other way besides facing reality as bitter as it is.

Please let us be wise and think more about the enemy we facing. Let’s make sure that we all understand that each and every plot we are doing in our spare time against each other can haunt our capability to advance the struggle for socialism.

Also I want to warn all those who think that they have a right to make decisions for the people that we are poor but not stupid. We will not allow these people to continue to divide our movements, to weaken our struggles and even to criminalise them when they try to remain democratic and to take direction from their members. Anyone who wants to join the struggle for socialism is welcome but they must accept that power in our movements must remain with the members of our movements and that movements will take their own decisions in their own meetings. We want comrades, not masters. If you have some popularity in a struggle that does not give you the right to become the master of that struggle or even that town. If you are elected to a position that position is not for life. If you have some education and a job in an NGO that does not give you the right to become the master of any struggle. Those NGOs that want to control the struggles of the people must learn from the middle class comrades that have joined the struggles of the people as comrades, debating and discussing freely in our meetings, and not as masters giving instructions from outside. All people must count the same on every step of the way in a struggle for Socialism otherwise, even if we defeat Capitalism, we will end up with new oppressors.

Those are my words to encourage meaningful talks between the social movements. I don’t say that the people must change the names that they call their movements but there is a need to understand and to form a real alliance of the poor. Yes I know that there is already an alliance of the poor but the question is how can we make it work for all the people and ensure that all social movements are involved. We really need to put the idea of socialism and the struggle to make it real in the hands of the people. We can't do it if we are not united.

Lindela S. Figlan (Jama kaS’jadu)


Mathol’anyongande kukudlelana