Power corrupts the Left in South Africa

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Phansi Nohulumeni, Phansi or
Down with Government!

For any person who has hung around anarchists long enough, you must of heard us ranting on about how “parliament is not a means of stuggle” because “people who get their asses into parliament and all the money and power start to only worry about getting more money and power” or “society is run from the board rooms of the giant companies who control the economy and NOT by a bunch of liars sitting comfortably in Parliament” etc. etc. These people feed us a whole bunch of lies to get themselves elected and then for the next couple of years sit comfortably and do nothing about anything of relevance to us (except maybe how to get more money or labour out of us). Emma Goldman speaking about her time in Russia during the revolution had this to say about the “revolutionary government” of the Bolsheviks: “Government, whatever its form or pretences, is a dead weight that paralyses the free spirit and activities of the masses.”

Well, being the highly skilled investigative reporters that we are, we came across this delightful little quote from the mayor of Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) Local Council R.F. Haswell when he was installed as mayor on the 23 February 1995. It goes some way in proving our point. Speaking about two of his newly-elected partners in crime, he said:

“The irony that a trade unionist, who was so effective against the municipality in the past, now occupies the position of Chairperson of the Human Resources Committee, cannot go unnoticed. Likewise, that we have, as one of the two alternating co-chairpersons of the Executive Committee, a Councillor who previously exposed some of the iniquities of our rates system, also represents a remarkable turnaround. Thus, in commending and welcoming Councillors Frans Ntshangase and Omar Latiff, I look forward to seeing them deal with strikes, and setting the rates, respectively.”

So these scabs have gone from being fighters of and for our class to fighting strikes and screwing us out of the small amount of money we may be lucky enough to have. In other words they have become defenders of those with the money, privilege and power. Even sitting on the government council at a local level puts a person on the other side of the line between oppressed and oppressor / exploiter and exploited and that is why we say that it is only when we fully control our communities and workplaces ourselves will we be able to provide decent food, clothing and housing for ourselves and our families; good education that is not brainwashing; free health care, water and electricity for all; transportation etc. – government can play no role in this.

So, our struggle should not just be outside of the political parties but against the parties – it should an ANTI-political struggle. We should seek to replace all government with freely-elected councils in our workplaces and communities which are elected by those who work in the workplace or live in the community; councils that are instantly recallable; which work to strict mandates and who’s members are rotated on a regular basis to stop bureaucracy catching up.

As the saying goes:

Name one thing government does
that we, the people, cannot do ourselves!