RE: Dear Jeremy Cronin on behalf of Irvin Jim
15 March 2013
I read your open letter to Comrade Irvin Jim, the General Secretary of NUMSA and thought that before he responds, I should respond on my behalf because he might not respond or be mild for fear of victimisation, banishment and isolation. Many people I know, including those you work with everyday have been fearing to dismiss your poetry and so pseudo-Marxist views because of the fear of isolating conforming “minorities” in both the Communist Party and the ANC. You remember when you spoke about the Zanufication of the ANC (as if Zanu PF is not amongst the most trusted ally of the ANC), you weren’t taken to a disciplinary hearing, but ordered to apologise despite the fact that you continued to say in SACP Central Committee meetings that you stand by your views.
Let me first deal with obvious issues. Firstly, I know you and the rest will treat my views with disdain because of my refusal to renew my membership of the Yong Communist League (YCL) because they were going to charge me for calling you racist and saying the SACP Senior leadership is conspiratorial in a national committee of the YCL in Pietermaritzburg and well, my suspension from the ANC. I also know that you will consider me a non-factor because I am not part of the drum majorettes that have killed the SACP of Chris Hani and ushering the ANC into the lowest level of ideological confusion, directionlessness and corruption symbolised best by the unjustifiable and unthinkable Northern KwaZulu Natal private residence expenditure the department you are a Deputy Minister of is embarrassingly justifying.
Secondly, I have no approval of Comrade Irvin Jim to respond on his behalf, and do not agree with everything NUMSA says, particularly some of the odd resolutions they took just before the ANC 53RD National Conference. I must also clarify that I have never met Comrade Irvin Jim privately anywhere and do not have his number/email, because I know your 2nd or 3rd Deputy General Secretary will suggest we are friends and work together. You know that part of the reasons I was approached to work for the South African Communist Party as Head of Policy and Research in 2007 was due to my frankness and ideological consistency. I carried that throughout my political life and will not change to humiliate myself in parliament by justifying reactionary and anti-working class phenomena even if I can be appointed Minister of Public Works.
With that cleared, let’s now deal with the real issues you feebly raised in your open letter to Comrade Irvin Jim. Firstly, all Marxist-Leninists accept that in all class societies, the State is nothing but an instrument of the ruling class for class oppression. In a capitalist society like South Africa, the State is obviously an instrument of the capitalist class and it rules on behalf of that class. The South African State on many occasions and more vividly in the Marikana massacre of workers (Vigilantes in your language) has been acting on behalf of the ruling class. The South African State which you are part of is a capitalist State and majority if not all who constitute it are agents of capitalist masters.
Like in all class societies, the State is and will forever be contested, hence components of the working class representatives will time and again contest political power because even in the struggle for socialism, political power is the route towards capturing of State power. Cde Irvin Jim will possibly give a nuanced response, but I do not see anything inconsistent with NUMSA’s criticism of the State and its violent treatment of the working class whenever they rise against bosses. NUMSA’s ideological telescope is correctly Marxist-Leninist.
In your open you say, “the confusion thickens when, later in the same statement, economic policy matters are discussed. The statement calls for “strengthening of the stat in mining in particular...”But we have just been told that the post-1994 state and government’s “strategic task and real reason for existence is the defence” of the capitalist “Minerals/Energy/Finance Complex”! If there is any logical consistency in all of this, then NUMSA must be calling for the mines to be taken over by a state that operates in the interests of mining capitalists! (Which I don’t think is NUMSA’s intention – but it was certainly the motivation behind the “nationalisation” rhetoric of certain ex-ANC Youth Leaguers)”.
Now this is a sad reflection because you once again are trying to banish the Nationalisation of Mines debate, which the ANC National General Council in 2011 developed greater consensus on whilst you and fellow neoliberals like Trevor Manuel, Pravin Grodham, Rob Davies, Frans Baleni, and Ebrahim Patel dismally failed to convince 98% of the Commission of Economic Transformation that Nationalisation is not the way. Do you remember that Cde Irvin Jim was amongst those who dismissed you and Frans Baleni when you argued neoliberal politics?? Do you remember that the Economic Transformation Commission was more than two-thirds of the National General Council? (for the first time since the unbanning of the ANC in 1990)
For your memory’s sake, do you remember that out of the 148 people who spoke in the commission on economic transformation, it was only the 7 of you who spoke against nationalisation of mines, hence we wrote a resolution that said “there was GREATER CONSENSUS ON NATIONALISATION OF MINES AND OTHER STRATEGIC SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY” (check the 3rd NGC resolutions for you memory on www.anc.org.za). Do you remember that in the Resolutions Committee which we were both members of, you sided with Trevor Manuel and Jesse Duarte trying to change what the resolutions of the economic transformation commission said until then Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said no resolution committee can change resolutions of the Commission? Do you remember me saying in front of everyone that you should keep quite because you mislead the Communist Party and now want to mislead the ANC? Do you remember throwing tantrums and writing a statement on behalf of the SACP during the procession of the NGC accusing the ANC Youth League and more than 90% of NGC of being bought by black capitalists? Do you remember that after you wrote that statement, the NGC Steering Committee instructed you to apologise to the ANC Youth League and to the NGC for your tantrums???
I just thought you must be reminded of all those recent past developments because you have potential of going around claiming that the nationalisation of Mines debate was defeat through a democratic debate whilst you know that banishments and isolation of true fighters for economic freedom gave you a free ride in Mangaung. For your information Mr. Cronin, there is no properly constituted meeting of the ANC, with no threats and with no narrow tribal/ethnic networks that can reject nationalisation of Mines because that is a Freedom Charter principle and superior logic under current circumstances. You can claim hollow victory, but your inner soul will always remind you that progressive forces had to be banished, isolated and treated with disdain in order to have a different outcome.
An absolute majority of ANC branches have endorsed nationalisation of Mines, and this was affirmed when the suspended/expelled leadership of the ANC Youth League was in office and when we were not there in the 2012 Policy Conference in Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. Branches of the ANC said nationalisation of Mines is the way to go even after the second transition ideological confusion was presented in plenary. The manipulation of the resolutions committees happened in our absence, and you know that such was not going to happen in our presence. You tried on several occasions to manipulate resolutions and failed dismally.
There are many things I can remind you of including those we exchanged emails about when I was Policy Co-ordinator in the SACP, but the one that haunts me to this day if when you said Hugo Chavez is a Populist who must not be taken serious by anyone. You tried to retreat on this position when one of the SACP great Internationalists objected to your description of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 21st century, Cde Hugo Chavez. I nevertheless stopped taking you serious and campaigned unsuccessfully for your replacement as Deputy General Secretary of the SACP.
I am currently serving my three years suspension from the ANC, a suspension which I think came at the right time and correct moment because of so many things one has to learn and understand better. I was suspended for releasing a statement that said that there are reactionary forces that co-operate with forces of imperialism, hence their defence of Botswana imperialist controlled government. I was also suspended for saying “Fuck you” to a Journalist I do not know and have never met and will never meet in the foreseeable future, despite the fact that I solemnly apologised to him and apologised to the ANC and ANC Youth League and made a commitment to the National Disciplinary Committee and the National Disciplinary Committee of Appeals that I will never say “Fuck You” to any other person. I stand by that commitment and will stand by it for the rest of my life. But with your level of hypocrisy and undermining people Mr. Cronin, I doubt I would have apologised to you or to the ANC if I had said those words to you. I honestly doubt. Unfortunately or fortunately I have made a commitment to never say those words again and I will never be tempted to.
Please write articles about your defence of the Northern KwaZulu Natal private residence expenditures by your department, so that we can understand the “Left’s” view on it.