01/30/12

RE: [CU] Mantashe, Manamela to speak on ANC and SACP, 16 February 2012, 17h00, Wits, organised by YCLSA

Comrade

Where, exactly, at WITS? Room number, hall name, please.

Regards,

Siphiwe Mbatha

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [communist-university@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Ngpola, M. (Mcebisi) [McebisiN@Nedbank.co.za]
Sent: 30 January 2012 12:24
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [CU] Mantashe, Manamela to speak on ANC and SACP, 16 February 2012, 17h00, Wits, organised by YCLSA

I will be there definitely !!!!

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Domza VC
Sent: 30 January 2012 01:38 PM
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: [CU] Mantashe, Manamela to speak on ANC and SACP, 16 February 2012, 17h00, Wits, organised by YCLSA

 

 



YCLSA Linda Jobane District Lecture


The ANC and the SACP:


A Shared History

 

  • Date: 16 February 2012 (Thursday)
  • Time: 17h00
  • Venue: Wits University
  • Speakers:

Gwede Mantashe: ANC Secretary-General, SACP Chairperson
Buti Manamela: ANC MP, YCLSA National Chairperson

 




Message received by SMS



 

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Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

Leadership.

It is not true that the current leadership of the ANC was elected by a
faction. The Constitution of the ANC makes provision and allows for
the open contestation of positions within the organization, lobbying
and so forth and fortunately due to elements of nature and the
fallibity of human beings that we are, it would be naive to expect
everybody to agree unanimously on one name for any position of
leadership within the ANC as we all know that this machine of an
organization is a well known contested terrain, I therefore see a
danger if comrades are going to see that as a factional process.

Perhaps the problem here is dealing with this thing of labelling each
other within the organization worse of all when we ourselves do not
understand the labels that we give each other.
Cde's must understand first what is factionalism because I have a
feeling that people within the organization are using these words
solely for the purposes of discrediting other Comrades and that in its
self is anti-revolutionary.

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[CU] Re: Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

Whilst cdes acknowledge that Factionalism was a bad tendency within
the ruling party is supposed to be seconded not only is cde SG points
out its tendencies he also explain its outcomes.

Obviously cdes are allowed to discuss organisational issues like we
do,asses the organisational performance etc. But when the different
view emerges and it dodges our understanding of freedom of
express,creating animosity amongst us it becomes an issue to be
scolded at.

The cde was spot on about resources but he also forgotten the voting
cows who will hate without course or content.

On Jan 30, 10:57 am, Serex Moriswi <se...@ymail.com> wrote:
> What the SG is pointing, is also happening in branches wereby members are loyal to a comrade who recruited them to the ANC. All members of the ANC must be govern by the constitution and the principles of the party to eliminate these faction tendencies.
>
> ________________________________
>
> Factionalism is 'bad tendency': Mantashe
>
> Sapa, The Times, Johannesburg, 30 January, 2012
>
> Factionalism was a bad tendency within the ruling party, its secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said, according to a report on Monday.
>
> He was speaking in Klerksdorp in North West province, where two mayors have been recalled and the regional secretary of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda ANC region has been suspended.
>
> "Factionalism is a problem... we talked about it here a great deal," Mantashe said, according to an SABC radio news report.
>
> "Factionalism manifests in a number of ways where people become loyal to a grouping instead of the organisation. We are repeating our message over and over, that factionalism is bad for the organisation.
>
> "It is intolerant, it is narrow, it never discusses the organisation, it discusses names of people. It is a bad tendency," said Mantashe.
>
> The Sowetan newspaper reported last week that police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of African National Congress members who invaded a meeting of the provincial executive committee in Rustenburg.
>
> This meeting was discussing the turmoil in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region.
>
> Dr Kenneth Kaunda mayor Boitumelo Moloi, his counterpart Maphetle Maphetle of the Tlokwe local municipality, and ANC regional secretary Aubuti Chika were fired by the regional executive committee in January amidst claims of corruption and maladministration.
>
> From:http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/01/30/factionalism-is-bad-tende...
>
> --
> You are subscribed to the "Communist University" e-mail forum.
> The group site is athttp://groups-beta.google.com/group/Communist-University
> The Communist University blog athttp://domza.blogspot.com/and our wikispace web site is athttp://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to Communist-University-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com; or e-mail dominic.twee...@gmail.com

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RE: [CU] Mantashe, Manamela to speak on ANC and SACP, 16 February 2012, 17h00, Wits, organised by YCLSA

I will be there definitely !!!!

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Domza VC
Sent: 30 January 2012 01:38 PM
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: [CU] Mantashe, Manamela to speak on ANC and SACP, 16 February 2012, 17h00, Wits, organised by YCLSA

 

 



YCLSA Linda Jobane District Lecture


The ANC and the SACP:


A Shared History

 

  • Date: 16 February 2012 (Thursday)
  • Time: 17h00
  • Venue: Wits University
  • Speakers:

Gwede Mantashe: ANC Secretary-General, SACP Chairperson
Buti Manamela: ANC MP, YCLSA National Chairperson

 




Message received by SMS



 

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Re: [CU] Mantashe, Manamela to speak on ANC and SACP, 16 February 2012, 17h00, Wits, organised by YCLSA


Correction: Buti Manamela, YCLSA National Secretary. 

Apologies.

VC



On 30 January 2012 13:37, Domza VC <cuvc2012@gmail.com> wrote:



YCLSA Linda Jobane District Lecture


The ANC and the SACP:


A Shared History


  • Date: 16 February 2012 (Thursday)
  • Time: 17h00
  • Venue: Wits University
  • Speakers:
Gwede Mantashe: ANC Secretary-General, SACP Chairperson
Buti Manamela: ANC MP, YCLSA National Chairperson






Message received by SMS



 

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Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

thanks cde mcebisi for sharing de same sentiments as i do, dey created a mess, failed to redress it, cos now mangaung is closer dey wanna lecture us abt unity, dats bollocks, cos its dem wu infiltrated de NW politics for deyr gains wc i wnt mention here. bt cum mangaung we shall redress al de mistakes done

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 1:50 PM, Ngpola, M. (Mcebisi) <McebisiN@nedbank.co.za> wrote:

Cde VC

I understand what you clarifying here and I would like to thank you for that political insight however you and I are well aware that what we do might be different from what is written down .

Of which this is the case even here . when we were going to Polokwane we were a faction , we were lobbying for Zuma as Pres.and Mantashe as SG and we were a faction.

The main issue is that Yes it is unconstitutional in the ANC however right after Polokwane , the question is, why didn't they go back to people and unite our ANC as elected leadership?

They only see now and only acting now after 4years  in the leadership ! and you have some people in this forum  who thinks the truth is anti-ANC and promoting factionalism.

I only see it as lack of knowledge .

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Dominic Tweedie
Sent: 30 January 2012 11:47 AM


To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

 

Mantashe was not elected by a faction.

 

The following is how it works (from the SACP constitution):

 

"6.4      Members active in fraternal organisations or in any sector of the mass movement have a duty to set an example of loyalty, hard work and zeal in the performance of their duties and shall be bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement. They shall not create or participate in SACP caucuses within such organisations and movements designed to influence either elections or policies. The advocacy of SACP policy on any question relating to the internal affairs of any such organisations or movements shall be by open public statements or at joint meetings between representatives of the SACP and such organisations or movements."

 

Communists are not factionalists. 

 

When we communists are in an organisation, we operate by open public statements and not by factions with a loyalty to individuals that is higher than the loyalty to the organisation in question. We are "bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement," or we leave. So long as we are there, we are there on the same non-factional basis as any other member.

 

VC

 

 

 

On 30 January 2012 12:30, <ziphilisejt@gmail.com> wrote:

If he was elected by faction does it means he must be quiet if there is faction amongst the organisation?

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!


From: "Ngpola, M. (Mcebisi)" <McebisiN@Nedbank.co.za>

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:03:08 +0000

Subject: RE: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

Mantashe was elected by a faction .

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Matela Mthwalo
Sent: 30 January 2012 10:56 AM
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

Cdes,

 

I am yet to see a political party that has no groupings. The problem is factionalism, but state resources. All grouping seek to have access to resources.

 

ANC has throughout its history had factions, its not a new thing. Another problem is that when others seek to portray others as factionalist whereas they themselves are products of slates, thats the problem.

 

Matela Mthwalo

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM, Domza VC <cuvc2012@gmail.com> wrote:





Factionalism is 'bad tendency': Mantashe

Sapa, The Times, Johannesburg, 30 January, 2012

Factionalism was a bad tendency within the ruling party, its secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said, according to a report on Monday.

He was speaking in Klerksdorp in North West province, where two mayors have been recalled and the regional secretary of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda ANC region has been suspended.

"Factionalism is a problem... we talked about it here a great deal," Mantashe said, according to an SABC radio news report.

"Factionalism manifests in a number of ways where people become loyal to a grouping instead of the organisation. We are repeating our message over and over, that factionalism is bad for the organisation.

"It is intolerant, it is narrow, it never discusses the organisation, it discusses names of people. It is a bad tendency," said Mantashe.

The Sowetan newspaper reported last week that police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of African National Congress members who invaded a meeting of the provincial executive committee in Rustenburg.

This meeting was discussing the turmoil in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda mayor Boitumelo Moloi, his counterpart Maphetle Maphetle of the Tlokwe local municipality, and ANC regional secretary Aubuti Chika were fired by the regional executive committee in January amidst claims of corruption and maladministration.

 

From: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/01/30/factionalism-is-bad-tendency-mantashe

 

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Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

Thanks Comrade VC for clarification as other comrades sounds confussed about Comrade Mantashe but its not suprising since some of the comrades sometimes they anti Communist.

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

From: Dominic Tweedie <dominic.tweedie@gmail.com>
Sender: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 11:46:59 +0200
To: <communist-university@googlegroups.com>
ReplyTo: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.


Mantashe was not elected by a faction.

The following is how it works (from the SACP constitution):

"6.4      Members active in fraternal organisations or in any sector of the mass movement have a duty to set an example of loyalty, hard work and zeal in the performance of their duties and shall be bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement. They shall not create or participate in SACP caucuses within such organisations and movements designed to influence either elections or policies. The advocacy of SACP policy on any question relating to the internal affairs of any such organisations or movements shall be by open public statements or at joint meetings between representatives of the SACP and such organisations or movements."

Communists are not factionalists. 

When we communists are in an organisation, we operate by open public statements and not by factions with a loyalty to individuals that is higher than the loyalty to the organisation in question. We are "bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement," or we leave. So long as we are there, we are there on the same non-factional basis as any other member.

VC




On 30 January 2012 12:30, <ziphilisejt@gmail.com> wrote:
If he was elected by faction does it means he must be quiet if there is faction amongst the organisation?
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

From: "Ngpola, M. (Mcebisi)" <McebisiN@Nedbank.co.za>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:03:08 +0000
Subject: RE: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

Mantashe was elected by a faction .

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Matela Mthwalo
Sent: 30 January 2012 10:56 AM
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

Cdes,

 

I am yet to see a political party that has no groupings. The problem is factionalism, but state resources. All grouping seek to have access to resources.

 

ANC has throughout its history had factions, its not a new thing. Another problem is that when others seek to portray others as factionalist whereas they themselves are products of slates, thats the problem.

 

Matela Mthwalo

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM, Domza VC <cuvc2012@gmail.com> wrote:





Factionalism is 'bad tendency': Mantashe

Sapa, The Times, Johannesburg, 30 January, 2012

Factionalism was a bad tendency within the ruling party, its secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said, according to a report on Monday.

He was speaking in Klerksdorp in North West province, where two mayors have been recalled and the regional secretary of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda ANC region has been suspended.

"Factionalism is a problem... we talked about it here a great deal," Mantashe said, according to an SABC radio news report.

"Factionalism manifests in a number of ways where people become loyal to a grouping instead of the organisation. We are repeating our message over and over, that factionalism is bad for the organisation.

"It is intolerant, it is narrow, it never discusses the organisation, it discusses names of people. It is a bad tendency," said Mantashe.

The Sowetan newspaper reported last week that police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of African National Congress members who invaded a meeting of the provincial executive committee in Rustenburg.

This meeting was discussing the turmoil in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda mayor Boitumelo Moloi, his counterpart Maphetle Maphetle of the Tlokwe local municipality, and ANC regional secretary Aubuti Chika were fired by the regional executive committee in January amidst claims of corruption and maladministration.

 

From: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/01/30/factionalism-is-bad-tendency-mantashe

 

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Regards,

 

Matela Mthwalo

 

 

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RE: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

Cde VC

I understand what you clarifying here and I would like to thank you for that political insight however you and I are well aware that what we do might be different from what is written down .

Of which this is the case even here . when we were going to Polokwane we were a faction , we were lobbying for Zuma as Pres.and Mantashe as SG and we were a faction.

The main issue is that Yes it is unconstitutional in the ANC however right after Polokwane , the question is, why didn’t they go back to people and unite our ANC as elected leadership?

They only see now and only acting now after 4years  in the leadership ! and you have some people in this forum  who thinks the truth is anti-ANC and promoting factionalism.

I only see it as lack of knowledge .

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Dominic Tweedie
Sent: 30 January 2012 11:47 AM
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

 

Mantashe was not elected by a faction.

 

The following is how it works (from the SACP constitution):

 

"6.4      Members active in fraternal organisations or in any sector of the mass movement have a duty to set an example of loyalty, hard work and zeal in the performance of their duties and shall be bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement. They shall not create or participate in SACP caucuses within such organisations and movements designed to influence either elections or policies. The advocacy of SACP policy on any question relating to the internal affairs of any such organisations or movements shall be by open public statements or at joint meetings between representatives of the SACP and such organisations or movements."

 

Communists are not factionalists. 

 

When we communists are in an organisation, we operate by open public statements and not by factions with a loyalty to individuals that is higher than the loyalty to the organisation in question. We are "bound by the discipline and decisions of such organisations and movement," or we leave. So long as we are there, we are there on the same non-factional basis as any other member.

 

VC

 

 

 

On 30 January 2012 12:30, <ziphilisejt@gmail.com> wrote:

If he was elected by faction does it means he must be quiet if there is faction amongst the organisation?

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!


From: "Ngpola, M. (Mcebisi)" <McebisiN@Nedbank.co.za>

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:03:08 +0000

Subject: RE: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

Mantashe was elected by a faction .

 

MCEBISI NGQOLA

Nedbank Credit Assessor

0860 103 582

mcebisin@nedbank.co.za

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

I  BELIEVE

 

From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [mailto:communist-university@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Matela Mthwalo
Sent: 30 January 2012 10:56 AM
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [CU] Mantashe: Factionalism is a bad tendency.

 

Cdes,

 

I am yet to see a political party that has no groupings. The problem is factionalism, but state resources. All grouping seek to have access to resources.

 

ANC has throughout its history had factions, its not a new thing. Another problem is that when others seek to portray others as factionalist whereas they themselves are products of slates, thats the problem.

 

Matela Mthwalo

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM, Domza VC <cuvc2012@gmail.com> wrote:





Factionalism is 'bad tendency': Mantashe

Sapa, The Times, Johannesburg, 30 January, 2012

Factionalism was a bad tendency within the ruling party, its secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said, according to a report on Monday.

He was speaking in Klerksdorp in North West province, where two mayors have been recalled and the regional secretary of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda ANC region has been suspended.

"Factionalism is a problem... we talked about it here a great deal," Mantashe said, according to an SABC radio news report.

"Factionalism manifests in a number of ways where people become loyal to a grouping instead of the organisation. We are repeating our message over and over, that factionalism is bad for the organisation.

"It is intolerant, it is narrow, it never discusses the organisation, it discusses names of people. It is a bad tendency," said Mantashe.

The Sowetan newspaper reported last week that police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of African National Congress members who invaded a meeting of the provincial executive committee in Rustenburg.

This meeting was discussing the turmoil in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda mayor Boitumelo Moloi, his counterpart Maphetle Maphetle of the Tlokwe local municipality, and ANC regional secretary Aubuti Chika were fired by the regional executive committee in January amidst claims of corruption and maladministration.

 

From: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/01/30/factionalism-is-bad-tendency-mantashe

 

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Regards,

 

Matela Mthwalo

 

 

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RE: [CU] NEDLAC is the Most Important Example of "Civil Society" Infiltration of Government

Comrade Sidney Horowitz

 

 

 

From the post you have just given, it is clear from the sections of the applicable law that NEDLAC must consider all the relevant legislation proposals made on the issues you have raised, and does not refer to any impeachment powers, or any statutory veto powers.

 

 

 

In your words NEDLAC shall:

 

 

 

"c) consider all proposed labour legislation relating to labour market policy before it is introduced in Parliament;

 

 


  (d) consider all significant changes to social and economic policy before it is implemented or introduced in Parliament;"

 

 

 

It is confusing from your position to answer, or even engage you satisfactorily. According to what you say, briefly, there is nothing wrong with the powers given to NEDLAC against Parliament.

 

 

 

Also, you do not give substance as to why you think that this Act is "preventing the majority of MPs from exercising their right to vote on legislation that they want to vote on". NEDLAC considers the matters you have you raised, and MP's have their right to exercise their votes when they are presented before it. Perhaps, for minnows, like me, you need to elaborate, and illuminate more clearly.

 

 

 

Best regards,

 

 

 Siphiwe Mbatha

 

 

 

 


From: communist-university@googlegroups.com [communist-university@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Sidney Horowitz [sidneyhorowitz.1@gmail.com]
Sent: 30 January 2012 11:16
To: communist-university@googlegroups.com
Subject: [CU] NEDLAC is the Most Important Example of "Civil Society" Infiltration of Government

Dear Members of CU:

Am I wrong in thinking that NEDLAC is the prime example in SA of so-called Civil Society infiltrating itself into the SA government and preventing the majority of MPs from exercising their right to vote on legislation that they want to vote on? Look below at the 1994 Act that created NEDLAC. (Google NEDLAC for the entire act.) It says that NEDLAC shall:

  "
c) consider all proposed labour legislation relating to labour market policy before it is introduced in Parliament;
  (d) consider all significant changes to social and economic policy before it is implemented or introduced in Parliament;
"

It's incredible to me that "civil society" (NEDLAC) has a veto power over what "labour market policy" can be introduced in parliament and. Just as incredible is that NEDLAC has veto power both over what can be introduced, and then again before it can be implemented  regarding "all significant changes to social and economic policy."

Maybe NEDLAC was a necessary compromise in 1994, but in 2012 it is an effective means of sidelining important legislation. It paralyzes the government.  It is big capital's veto power over majority ANC rule. It's the prime institutional block to passing legislation to implement pro-worker programs.

Can someone correct me? Am I wrong in thinking that it is time to amend the NEDLAC Act to ensure that it has no governmental or gatekeeper powers? To ensure that NEDLAC is like tripartite organizations around most of the world - meeting regularly to keep lines of communication open between opposing classes and groups. (Of course, with the 1994 NEDLAC law in place, how can Parliament even consider such legislation without NEDLAC's prior approval?)

Act No. 35 of 1994:
National Economic Development and Labour Council Act, 1994

Objects, powers and functions of Council

5.
(1) The Council shall-

(a) strive to promote the goals of economic growth, participation in economic decision-making and social equity;
(b) seek to reach consensus and conclude agreements on matters pertaining to social and economic policy;
(c) consider all proposed labour legislation relating to labour market policy before it is introduced in Parliament;
(d) consider all significant changes to social and economic policy before it is implemented or introduced in Parliament;
(e) encourage and promote the formulation of co-ordinated policy on social and economic matters.



On Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM, Alex Mohubetswane Mogale Mashilo <alexmashilo.ycl@gmail.com> wrote:
There's a long section in 'The selections from the prison notebooks'
(on state and civil society) by Gramsci. It could also be an important
reading in search of what actually is this thing called civil society
and how did the concept emerge.

If Hellen and Lindi create and association on an issue, are the only
two members in that advocacy group, get funding and media exposure
(likely because of opposition to the ANC-led government) in SA they
will be referred to as a civil society formation. So, let's not look
only in books and Europe to get a definition, let's read the reality
hear at home.



On 1/26/12, Domza VC <cuvc2012@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Umsebenzi Online
>
> *Umsebenzi Online, Volume 11, No. 2, 26 January 2012*
>
> *In this Issue:
> *
>
>   * *"Civil society"...or democratic popular power?*
>
>
> *_Red Alert_:
>
> *
> *"Civil society"...or democratic popular power?*
>
>
> *by Jeremy Cronin, SACP Deputy General Secretary*
>
> The dominance of neo-liberal economic ideology over the past three
> decades has had its counterpart in the re-emergence of liberal
> socio-political categories. Generally, the left has mounted a sustained
> critique of neo-liberal economic ideology - privatization,
> liberalization, and punitive macro-economic policies. But the
> re-emergent use of liberal socio-political categories has received less
> sustained critical attention.
>
> It was with this in mind that, in the last issue of Umsebenzi Online, we
> published a short intervention by the Brazilian Emir Sader ("Civil
> Society, NGOs, and the Public Sphere"). Those who read Sader's article
> will remember that he notes that in Brazil (just as in SA), over the
> past few decades the concept of "civil society" has been widely
> espoused. Yet, as Sader notes, Marx himself only became a Marxist for
> the first time when he began to critique the liberal notion of society
> as being constituted by two realms - the "state" on the one hand, and a
> distinct "civil society", on the other.
>
> This idea of a realm standing outside the "state", immediately places us
> onto the terrain of liberalism, the state starts to become a "necessary
> evil", at best confined to certain technocratic tasks and to limited
> welfare delivery. By contrast, "civil society" is conjured up as a
> positive realm of freedom, whose job it is to check, balance and
> generally hold accountable a state that is always hovering on the brink
> of authoritarianism.
>
> But "civil society" is really a wide range of different things -
> including social movements, diverse NGOs, business associations, media
> corporations, and even organized crime syndicates. To lump these all
> together behind the fig-leaf of "civil society" and to contrast them
> with "the state" obscures many things.
>
> In the first place, note how whatever the real challenges in government
> might be, just how unaccountable civil society formations themselves are
> - and yet they are those who gift themselves with the task of holding
> the state to account. As Sader neatly puts it: "they proclaim themselves
> to be representatives of civil society, but they tend not to be
> transparent in elections of their leaders, origins of their funds, and
> forms of their decision-making." This would apply to Standard Bank, to
> Paul Hoffmann's self-styled Southern African Accountability Foundation,
> or the Mail & Guardian.
>
> But what is especially hidden in the notion of "civil society" is the
> fact that, in a basically progressive, democratic but capitalist society
> like SA (or Brazil), real power within "civil society" is vested in the
> market (or rather in the dominant corporations). A progressive agenda
> cannot be about pitting "civil society" in general against the "state"
> in general. A progressive agenda has to be about building democratic
> popular power within and beyond the state in order to roll back the
> unelected, undemocratic power of the "market". The class struggle cuts
> across both the state and broader society.
>
> The relevance of all this to some of the contemporary challenges we have
> in SA should now be more apparent.
>
> In first place, it helps to ground our own SACP "deployment" strategies,
> which some forces have tried unsuccessfully to turn into a question of
> personal venality. As our medium term vision clearly notes, it is
> important for the working class to contest all key sites of power - the
> point of production, the economy at large, communities, the ideological
> front, internationally, and the state. Which is also why we should
> endeavor to create a communist presence in all of these sites - after
> all, as Sader following Marx asserts, the class struggle itself is
> everywhere.
>
> In the second place, and these things are all linked, interrogating the
> concept of "civil society" helps to ground our critique of the current
> anti-majoritarian constitutionalism. This anti-majoritarian liberalism
> treats rights almost entirely as rights of citizens/civil society
> AGAINST the state - and not, for instance, the right of a democratic
> state (and the right of a democratic majority to actively HELP that
> state) to vigorously implement an electoral mandate in the face of
> equally vigorous opposition from powerful class forces lurking behind
> the fig-leave of "civil society".
>
> In the third place, it helps to ground our engagement with a variety of
> workerist and leftist tendencies. As Sader correctly puts it: "This
> negative conception of the state abandons the path of democratization of
> the state." This calls to mind a debate I had a few years back with one
> comrade. He was arguing that the present state was a "bourgeois state",
> finish-and-klaar, (because it was clearly not the "dictatorship of the
> proletariat"). In essence this is a view that sees class struggle as
> being waged only in "civil society" - and whoever "wins" this struggle,
> then gets to run the state. This amounts to abandoning the path of
> democratisation of the present democratic (but class contested, of
> course) state in favour of a vacuous strategy of "smashing it". The
> bankruptcy of this perspective became all too apparent last year when
> the same comrade accepted a senior economic governmental deployment in a
> particularly corruption-prone province. When challenged, he shrugged his
> shoulders and said: "What can you expect? It's a bourgeois state."
>
> But, on a less personal note, the critique of the liberal "state versus
> civil society" paradigm also helps to ground the concerns that the SACP
> raised last year with our comrades in COSATU around the "Civil Society
> Conference". Obviously, the SACP expressed support for COSATU's right to
> convene a conference that mobilized a range of social movements and NGOs
> to address, amongst other things, corruption in the state. However, we
> believed then, and we still believe now, that it was a mistake to
> exclude COSATU's own party political alliance partners - as if there
> were something inherently pure about supposedly non-political "civil
> society" formations, and something inherently predatory about those more
> directly engaged with the state. It was a confusion that reflects the
> hegemony within our society of the liberal "civil society vs. the state"
> paradigm.
>
> In the fourth place, note that Sader's (and Marx's) critique of civil
> society is ALSO a critique of a particular conception of the state as
> standing above and outside of "society". To subvert this false
> dichotomy, Sader uses the concept of the "public sphere" and of "popular
> participatory" activism. As he writes: "To democratize is to
> decommodify, to affirm the public sphere to the detriment of the
> commercial sphere.To democratize is to strengthen the role of citizens
> to the detriment of the role of consumers."
>
> Again, this touches upon many issues that we have been raising. In the
> first place, the liberal version of the state standing outside of
> society becomes (apart from a "necessary evil") a "bureaucracy" that, at
> best, must "deliver" to otherwise passive "voters-consumers". This
> mistaken notion of the state also connects up with the SACP's
> "nationalisation of the mines" interventions. We correctly pointed out
> that it was a debate driven, at least initially, by indebted BEE mining
> investors seeking a bail-out. But (related to this) it was also based on
> a particular version of the state - a bureaucracy that could be
> factionally and parasitically captured in order to advance specific
> private accumulation agendas. This is why "socialisation" of all key
> resources and means of production (including socialisation of the state)
> is a better concept and a better objective. The idea of "socialization"
> emphasises the need for popular/working class power and activism in and
> outside of the state, versus an obsession with bureaucratic power (and
> bureaucratic ownership).
>
>
> *P.S.* On a wider note - notice how the dominance of the (neo-)liberal
> paradigm of "democracy" as "civil society" protected from undue state
> interference, and the state, at best, as a technical bureaucracy, has
> enabled a current European scandal to pass largely beneath the
> radar-screen of our local media`s attention, let alone outrage. While we
> are constantly told that democracy is "under threat" here in SA - how
> about what has happened in recent months in both Greece and Italy?
>
> There, elected governments have been dissolved and replaced, without any
> election, by technocrats from the financial milieu. These regime changes
> were wrought by "civil society", that is, in reality, by the European
> Central Bank, and German and French banking interests, in opposition to
> "civil society" in the shape of many popular movements opposed to the
> stringency measures designed to rescue capitalist banks guilty of
> extravagant lending behavior. Former Greek Prime Minister, Papandreou`s
> brief flirtation with the idea of a popular referendum to test support
> for the stringency measures (in what is supposed to be the home of
> "Western democracy" after all) was greeted with outrage in the business
> media, including our own.
>
>
>
>
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