BLF CELEBRATES MAO ZEDONG’S 125TH BIRTHDAY

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BLF celebrates this revolutionary force whose name has attained historic proportions. We note that a full appreciation and true appraisal of the merits of Mao Zedong’s legacy is yet to be gleaned  retrospectively via the lens of a future truly liberated world. Mao’s revolutionary personality was exceptional. He was a spokesperson for the oppressed peoples, a leader of audacity, courage, wisdom and of an extraordinary capacity to discern the will of the people. Mao had a tremendous capacity to appreciate knowledge and experience, to understand a situation in its totality while maintaining his eye for the details, an unwavering commitment to achieving the strategic objective of the revolution, the ability to politically forecast events, great capacity to unite and lead the people in action, deep love for the people, strong faith in the future revolutionary society and was instrumental in leading the people in creating the powerful apparatus of the Chinese Revolution. Continue reading “BLF CELEBRATES MAO ZEDONG’S 125TH BIRTHDAY”

POLITICAL EDUCATION 101 CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF KARL MARX ON THIS 197TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH

POLITICAL EDUCATION 101 CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF KARL MARX ON THIS 197TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH

Karl Marx’ thinking and works can really only be understood if it is considered in its entirety. For example, you cannot draw sound conclusions of Marx’ analysis of revolution simply by assessing his early works like “The German Ideology” and “The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts”. In this regard a proper conceptualization would require an enquiry into how his theoretical submissions in his early works developed when tested in practice. Marx understood and called for melding theory with practice as the ultimate test for theory. He saw the labor movement as the site for testing his theories. It is instructive to therefore see how the French Revolution  of 1848-49 and the Paris Commune of 1871 (the two revolutionary periods in Marx’ life) impacted on the evolution of his political thinking.

Of the two texts “The Communist Manifesto” and “The Civil War in France”, “The Civil War in France” is considered more important as it reflects Marx’s political maturity in respect of his theory of revolution. “The Communist Manifesto” which Marx wrote before the French Revolution is really more of a theoretical prediction of future revolutionary developments based on scientific historical research. “The Civil War in France” however was written after the class struggle there had produced a new system, the commune. But never in his wildest dreams did he or any other thinker ever visualize the commune as a possible state form. This new form of state had in fact developed despite the influence of “Blanquist conspiratorial theories” and “Proudhonist anti-statist anarchist ideas” of that time. The commune was conceptualized and developed directly and spontaneously from class struggle. It was created to respond to the people’s need for a new state form.

Marx himself regarded his most important contribution to be his identification of “the dictatorship of the proletariat” as the agency and core mechanism for the transition to socialism. Hence it is not surprising that Marx looked to the Paris Commune (as the first workers government and dictatorship of the proletariat) for inspiration. He referred to it as “a new point of departure of world-historic importance,”

The main theoretical questions raised in “The Communist Manifesto” were answered by the Paris Commune including: What would a government of the dictatorship of the proletariat look like? How would it use state power to deal with the former oppressors as opposed to the oppressed so as to further socialism? How would the other classes that formed tactical alliances with the proletariat against the previous system respond to the new worker’s state? Why did previous revolutions fail?

V. I. Lenin in “In Memory Of The Commune” points out that in spite its rather short existence and of the unfavorable conditions giving rise to and establishing it, “the Commune managed to promulgate a few measures which sufficiently characterise its real significance and aims. The Commune did away with the standing army, that blind weapon in the hands of the ruling classes, and armed the whole people. It proclaimed the separation of church and state, abolished state payments to religious bodies (i.e., state salaries for priests), made popular education purely secular, and in this way struck a severe blow at the gendarmes in cassocks. In the purely social sphere the Commune accomplished very little, but this little nevertheless clearly reveals its character as a popular, workers’ government. Night-work in bakeries was forbidden; the system of fines, which represented legalised robbery of the workers, was abolished. Finally, there was the famous decree that all factories and workshops abandoned or shut down by their owners were to be turned over to associations of workers that were to resume production. And, as if to emphasise its character as a truly democratic, proletarian government, the Commune decreed that the salaries of all administrative and government officials, irrespective of rank, should not exceed the normal wages of a worker, and in no case amount to more than 6,000 francs a year (less than 200 rubles a month).”

Ultimately, notwithstanding a call for the study of all Karl Marx’s works, it is the study of the actual Paris Commune which is key to understanding Karl Marx’ theory of revolution.

Selected Readings

1. Karl Marx, The Paris Commune in “The Civil War In France”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/civil-war-france/ch05.htm

2. V. I. Lenin in “In Memory Of The Commune”
https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1911/apr/15.htm

3. V. I. Lenin in “Lessons Of The Commune”
https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/mar/23.htm

We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For!
Long Live comrade Karl Marx

ISSUED BY SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO

Leader: Botsang Moiloa
Tel: +27 83 884 7787
6 May 2015

SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO CELEBRATES THE 145TH ANNIVERSARY OF COMRADE VLADIMIR IIYICH LENIN’S BIRTH

SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO CELEBRATES THE 145TH ANNIVERSARY OF COMRADE VLADIMIR IIYICH LENIN’S BIRTH
The struggle of the glorious  Socialist October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew Russian capitalism and landlordism was led by the Great Comrade Lenin who  displayed outstanding leadership skills and qualities as a revolutionary leader of the working class and of the oppressed people in  general.
Lenin was exemplary as a leader of the  masses and to this end demonstrated his grasp of Marxism which included revolutionary strategy and tactics as well as the building of the mass movement in the development of the struggle. His leadership was characterised by his ability to meld theory with practice.  Lenin maintained the liberating truth that there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory, and in this regard revolutionary theory delinked and in isolation from the  organized mass struggle is to no revolutionary end.
As a tribute to Comrade Lenins 145th birthday, the September National Imbizo, is re-issuing an offering by  Comrade Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin’s wife) “Reminiscences of Lenin”
On the Eve of the Uprising
On October 7 Ilyich moved to Petrograd from Vyborg. It was decided to keep his whereabouts a strict secret, and not even the members of the Central Committee were to know his address. He was put up at Marguerite Fofanova’s, in a big building on the corner of Lesnoi Prospekt, Vyborg District, tenanted almost exclusively by workers. It was a very convenient place, the family, including the servant, still being out in the country, where they had gone for the summer. Fofanova herself was an ardent Bolshevik, who ran all Ilyich’s errands for him. Three days later, on October 10, Ilyich attended a meeting of the Central Committee at Sukhanova’s apartment, where a resolution was adopted calling for an armed uprising. Ten members of the C.C. voted in favour of the resolution. They were Lenin, Sverdlov, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Trotsky, Uritsky, Kollontai, Bubnov, Sokolnikov, and Lomov. Zinoviev and Kamenev voted against it.
On October 15 a meeting of the Petrograd organization took place at Smolny (this in itself was significant). Delegates from the various districts were present, including eight from the Vyborg District. I remember Dzerzhinsky speaking in favour of an armed uprising, while Chudnovsky opposed it. The latter had been wounded at the front and his arm was in a sling. Deeply agitated, he argued that we would suffer inevitable defeat, that we should take our time about it. “Dying for the revolution is the easiest thing, but we shall only harm the cause of the revolution by letting ourselves be shot down,” he said. Chudnovsky, in fact, did die for the revolution, losing his life during the Civil War. He was no phrasemonger, but his view was absolutely wrong. I do not remember the other speeches. When it was put to the vote the resolution in favour of an immediate uprising was carried by an overwhelming majority. The Vyborg delegates voted for it in a body.
Next day, the 16th, an enlarged meeting of the Central Committee was held at the offices of the Lesnoi Prospekt Sub-District Council, which was attended also by members of the Executive of the Petrograd Committee, the military organization, the Petrograd Trade-Union Council of factory committees, the Petrograd Okrug Committee and representatives of the railwaymen. Two lines were discussed at this meeting – that of the majority, who stood for an immediate uprising, and that of the minority, who were against it. Lenin’s resolution was carried by an overwhelming majority of 19 votes, with 2 against and 4 abstentions. The question was decided. At a closed meeting of the Central Committee a Military Revolutionary Centre was elected.
Very few people were allowed to see Ilyich. The only ones who visited him were I, Maria Ilyinichna, and occasionally Rahja. I recall the following incident. Ilyich had sent Fofanova out on some errand; it was arranged in such cases that he was not to open the door to anyone or answer the bell. I was to knock at the door by a pre-arranged signal. Fofanova had a cousin, who attended some sort of military school. When I came that evening, I found the lad standing on the landing, his face a study. Seeing me, he said: “Someone’s got into Marguerite’s flat, you know.” “What d’you mean?” I said. “Well, I came and rang the bell, and a man’s voice answered me. Then I rang again and again, but no one answered any more.” I told him a tale about Marguerite having gone to a meeting that day, and that it must have been his imagination playing him tricks. I did not calm down myself until I had seen him get on a tram and ride off. I went back and knocked in the pre-arranged manner, and when Ilyich opened the door I began to scold him. “The boy might have raised an alarm,” I said. “I thought it was something urgent,” Ilyich pleaded in excuse. I was running his errands, too, all the time. On October 24 he wrote a letter to the Central Committee urging the necessity of seizing power that very day. He sent Marguerite with this letter, but, without waiting for her to come back, he put on his wig and went off to Smolny. Not a minute was to be lost.
The Vyborg District was preparing for the uprising. Fifty women workers sat all night in the council office, where a woman doctor gave them instructions in first aid. In the rooms of the District Committee they were busy arming the workers; group after group came up and received weapons. But there was no one to be put down in the Vyborg District; only a colonel and several cadets who had come to have some tea at a workers’ club were arrested. In the night Zhenya Yegorova and I went down to Smolny in a lorry to find out how things were going.
Long Live Comrade Lenin!
We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For
Issued by SNI
22 April 2015

EFF LEADERSHIP, STOP CORRUPTING FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES!

EFF LEADERSHIP, STOP CORRUPTING FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES!
We the concerned members of this Revolutionary Movement, the Economic Freedom Fighters, demand that our leaders account to our people who voted for the EFF! We have seen the following patterns of misconduct with EFF mis-leader’s:
1. Constitution
 
The Constitution of the EFF is under attack from those who wish to use it as an instrument to fulfill their own selfish needs. At the  NPA we watched in disbelief while our constitution was violated, when leaders did everything against our Constitution to elect the leaders they wanted in all positions from Top 6 to the CCT additional members, so they can hold our movement to ransom. The election of the top six as well as the additional members at the NPA was each a blatant act of voting according to the wishes of Malema. We witnessed how Malema’s will became the will of the people and in this regard how it was a case of election by a choir master. We watched too how the voting choices of Malema had his desired consequences. Those members that Malema did not raise his hand for did not make the threshold. It is clear to us that the reason for these underhanded irregularities is that Malema and Shivambu wanted to manipulate the results of the NPA so as to ensure that only loyalists to them were elected to the CCT.
2. Political line
 
The political line of the EFF is under liquidation. We see open attempts to appropriate Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, Thomas Sankara and Chris Hani into bourgeois state power via Julius Malema and Floyd Shavambu in the name of EFF and to this end get our people to consent to an order of things destined to relegate the black liberation project to the periphery. This must be rejected!   We cannot concede to our own demise. The politics of EFF (Marxism-Leninism-Fanonism) is against the containment of the liberation project within the anti black colonial project. We call on our members to be loyal to the political line of the EFF NOT to individuals.
3. Purges
 
Recently we witnessed how Fighters have been purged and expelled from the movement without any charges or proper procedures being followed. All Leaders and Fighters that question procedure in the EFF have been silenced. No one is above the constitution and the political line of the movement, not even Julius Malema. Any disciplinary action taken against any member in this fashion is unconstitutional and therefore a nullity.
4. Cardinal pillars
 
The non negotiable cardinal pillars of the movement are under attack! Cardinal pillar number 7 speaks of an “open, accountable, corrupt free government and society without fear of victimisation by the state agencies” yet inside the party we see how this pillar number 7 is being dragged through the mud by those who wish to use the EFF as a personal bank account. When informed by this pillar our members tried to hold our leader accountable, we were ridiculed, called names and our very lives were threatened. We see how our leaders have turned themselves into enemies of the people by their blatant disregard and disrespect of this 7th non negotiable pillar. They have used all sorts of threats to instill fear in those who dare to hold them to account!  Those who raise their voices continue to be victimized and even silenced via the use of the movement’s resources.
5. Thuggery and hooliganism
Our movement has been turned into a militia gang where fighters are commanded and thugs are hired to physically assault members who disagree with the leadership. We have seen a lack of leadership from those we have given the responsibility to lead. They call upon members to use violence against those who dare to question them. Furthermore this call to violence by leadership is strongly made by leadership during official EFF meetings. No one at those meetings dares to question such backward and reactionary comments mostly for fear of their own safety! As a revolutionary movement our leaders see nothing wrong in promoting black on black violence as long it will ensure their looting of EFF funds continues uninterrupted.
6. Financial Mismanagement
 
The funds of the EFF have been used for personal things by some of our leaders. President Julius Malema and the Deputy Leader Floyd Shivambu have proclaimed that the EFF belongs to them. Overnight EFF has moved from a movement of the people to a private corporaton. Leadership of EFF have consistently ignored member’s questions concerning the financial affairs of EFF including the misuse of the movement’s credit card. Leadership simply doesn’t answer! Fighters have been constrained to now approach the courts to force leadership to be transparent with their management of party funds. Registering a vehicle in the name of EFF is not a problem! The fact that EFF bought a vehicle which was not registered in its name but was instead registered in the name of a company that has nothing to do with the EFF is scandalous and smacks of theft to say the very least.
7. Land 
 
We have noticed how EFF which grounded it’s land policy on the expropriation of all land has reneged on that issue! It now encourage fighters to occupy “unoccupied” municipal land: we are concerned and convinced that this is a movement away from the radical land redistribution programme that made EFF different and rooted in radical revolutionary politics.The resolution of the land question has been corrupted! Since our NPA, EFF is no longer speaking about white monopoly capital but is now focussing on limited projects that openly avoids harming white interests. The programs for mining and land are now directed at black owned or controlled areas. The call for our people to occupy “unoccupied land” is an insult to the dignity and integrity of our people as it obviously only serves to send our people to go occupy municipality land so as to create more townships and shack settlements. This can’t be central to our struggle. We need to change the land ownership patterns in the country and land occupations is key for this. This can’t be done by building shacks. Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu and their loyalists post the NPA are not talking anymore about occupying land on farms obviously because  its white owned land. What about the land claimants who have not got land restitution in last 20 years? Why are we as EFF not focussing on those land claimants? On mining we now targeting mines of blacks for occupations and blockading. The exploitative practices of black mine owners notwithstanding why are we not focussing on white mine owners who are the biggest and longest beneficiaries of wealth theft.
We say to Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu stop derailing the movement from its revolutionary path. The EFF is here to fulfill the mandate of our people who voted for it in the interests of the black majority!
Land or Death! Victory is certain!