Mines and banks must be nationalised - David Masondo

YCL national chairperson says his organisation supports ANCYL calls for state control

Political Notes to SASCO National General Council presented by David Masondo, YCL National Chairperson, North West University, Mafikeng campus, July 4 2009

Introductory remarks

Receive revolutionary greetings from the leadership and membership of the YCL

In wishing you successful deliberation in your NGC, we would like to argue that, if SASCO is serious about free and transformed higher education as your congress theme suggests, as SASCO you should struggle for a socialist, ultimately communist society because socialism is cool and capitalism sucks

Why ideology and what is an ideology?

Ideology is mainly about what is a good society - what is the best way of organising society. To be more concrete, an ideology asks questions such as: is it OK for society to be organised along racial, sexist and class lines.

It is easy for fall and sundry in our contemporary society, including in SASCO, to agree that society should not be organised along racial and sexist lines

But it is difficult for many people to accept as it is abnormal for society to be organised along class lines - i.e. a society in which there are people who own the economic resources to exploit others. In our contemporary society this form of society is called capitalism.

We argue that SASCO cannot be neutral on the class. Is it OK for society to be organised along class lines.

We would like to humbly argue that no significant gain, including provision of free education is sustainable under capitalism. However, it does not mean free education is not possible within the limits of capitalism. To valid this claim, let's briefly show how capitalism works.

What is capitalism?

Under capitalism, business entrepreneurs produce for sale to get more profits.

So capitalists, invest economic resources for profits. They are forced to reduce production costs, including cheapening labour. Those who are inefficient are taken over by the stronger ones. And the stronger ones become monopolies.

Re-investment of economic resources enables the state to generate revenue.

Why free education is possible under capitalism.

The state revenue generated through taxation of both the capitalists and workers can be used to fund free education. The political leadership make choices. For instance, the state under Mbeki spent R30 billion on the arms' deal, instead of spending it on free education.

Why free education is is not sustainable under capitalism

When taxation affect the rate of profits, capitalists would politically act to reverse free education, or any other gain achieved by and for the working class.

What is to be done?

Under socialism, democracy is extended beyond electing political state leadership in the state. The majority under socialism is also about what is to be produced and how what is produced is distributed.

To have control over what is produced and how, we have to own the economic resources.

It is for this reason that we agree with the ANCYL that mines and banks must be nationalised in line with the Freedom Charter.

Ownership of the economic resources by the people means we will be in a better position to decide how we use the economic resources.  

We understand the cowardice of many of the ANC leaders because they nationalisation of the mines will serve as a blow for their class interests.  If truth be told, we have problems in our movement because there are many of our leaders and cadres is about who gets the mining rights, tenders etc.

Instead of implementing the Freedom Charter, in collaborating with white capitalists, the ANC has just transferred the our wealth to black elite such as Mzi Khumalo, Sakkie Macozoma, Motsepes of these world who have become vultures and bloodsuckers of the working class in the name of the BEE.

Of course nationalisation is not inherently socialist - socialisation is.

Surely, there is nothing with socialism. Socialism is cool and capitalism sucks.

Post-Polokwane period and the tasks

We need to understand the Mbeki leadership had been defeated, did not mean the underlying causes that generated discontent against his leadership are still intact.

In fact the current economic crisis will also be used by our class opponents to argue against free education. We will be told that free education is not possible because of the crisis.

In fact this crisis can be used to re-assert the neo-liberal market fundamentalism. When business gets money from the state from the bail-outs, they can still argue that they can only invest this money if the state put in place neo-liberal policy environment.

We should fight against this policy agenda, including for free education. But this progressive policy agenda based on redistributive measures will depend on the strength of the working class. In other words, the policy outcomes depend on the balance of power between the working class and the bourgeoisie. In fact, the bourgeoisie is always forced to make concessions to the working class. They never make concessions without any force.

Changing the balance of power will also mean changing the balance of power within the ANC itself.

ANC leadership and the ANC President's second term

Because the ANC is the organisational leader of the Alliance, the ANC must come to terms with the fact COSATU and the SACP will be interested in who leads

The tactics of how we express our leadership preferences of the ANC, is a subject for debate and conjunctural choices. In certain conjunctures, it may be appropriate for us, without seeking permission from anybody, to do so.

We cannot be expected to be lead and not have a say on who should the ANC.

We are impressed that since Polokwane Congress, the Alliance has improved significantly.

It is for this reason that we would like the ANC President, Jacob Zuma to avail himself as the ANC President and of the republic, for the second term.

We know there are people who are already discussing this matter in corners. It is therefore hypocritical for some of them to come out in public and claim that the issue is not being discussed. And opening up this issue will divide the movement. In fact lack of clarity on succession will generate more problems within the movement since some have already started divisive discussions on the matter. Laying this matter to rest as soon as now, will enable us to focus on issues of transformation of our country.

We would encourage those who differ with us, to say so, and stop bureaucratic and procedural arguments which hinge on who has the right to raise the matter and when. However, there are still major problems at the provincial level with the functioning of the Alliance, particularly in Western Cape and Free State.

People should understand that the SACP is not a begging party. The SACP is a working class party. Therefore, if the relations between the SACP and ANC leadership in these provinces, we will encourage our SACP structures to contest the next local government elections and the next general elections at the provincial level.

Closing remarks

We wish you well in your endeavours to become part of the South African working class movement for a socialist South Africa. Indeed, it only a socialist South Africa that we can attain sustainable free education.

Socialism is Cool! Capitalism Sucks!

Issued by: Young Communist League, Head Office

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter