Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 06, 2013


He fought and won against apartheit, but neo-liberalism survived. Important parts of the The Freedom Charter remain unfullfilled. Thus the fight must continue.

Recommended: Tony Karon on Mandela: Free Mandela (From the Prison of Fantasy)!

Posted by b on December 6, 2013 at 8:19 UTC | Permalink


what americans and brits and israelis would prefer we forget:

and NOTE this rebuke by Mandela: 'Koppel said not only Jews would be offended, but so would Cuban-Americans, who don't share Mandela's views of Castro.

Mandela disagreed. He said it was wrong to base a policy on any one group's attitude.'

On his second day in the United States, Nelson Mandela showed why he is not only one of the world's most admired figures, but also one of the most controversial.

At a town hall meeting in Harlem televised nationally last night, the deputy president of the African National Congress praised Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He called them ``comrades in arms'' in black South Africa's struggle against the white minority government.

Mandela said the three leaders, viewed as enemies by the U.S. government, have been friends in need to the ANC, which is seeking to end apartheid's policy of racial separation in South Africa.

Mandela's comments, on the second day of an eight-city U.S. tour that is to take him to Washington Sunday, seemed all the more controversial because the rest of his New York visit has been wrapped in a cocoon of celebratory rhetoric and cheering.

Arafat, Gadhafi and Castro ``support our struggle to the hilt,'' he said. ``There is no reason whatsoever why we should have any hesitation about hailing their commitment to human rights.''

Mandela said his attitude toward any country is shaped by that country's support of the anti-apartheid movement.

``They fully support our struggle, not only with rhetoric, but by putting resources at our disposal,'' he said.

Mandela's support of the PLO has angered U.S. Jewish leaders and prompted demonstrations against him here.

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 8:57 utc | 1

All means to eradicate poverty, which was Mandela's and the ANC's sworn promise to the "poorest of the poor", were lost in the process. Nationalisation of the mines and heights of the economy as envisaged by the Freedom charter was abandoned. The ANC accepted responsibility for a vast apartheid-era debt, which should have been cancelled. A wealth tax on the super-rich to fund developmental projects was set aside, and domestic and international corporations, enriched by apartheid, were excused from any financial reparations. Extremely tight budgetary obligations were instituted that would tie the hands of any future governments; obligations to implement a free-trade policy and abolish all forms of tariff protection in keeping with neo-liberal free trade fundamentals were accepted. Big corporations were allowed to shift their main listings abroad. In Terreblanche's opinion, these ANC concessions constituted "treacherous decisions that [will] haunt South Africa for generations to come".

An ANC-Communist party leadership eager to assume political office (myself no less than others) readily accepted this devil's pact, only to be damned in the process. It has bequeathed an economy so tied in to the neoliberal global formula and market fundamentalism that there is very little room to alleviate the plight of most of our people.

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 8:58 utc | 2

How do you fight this kind of consortium?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2013 9:28 utc | 3

first Mandela interview : In the footage below, Mandela speaks with ITN reporter Brian Widlake about the anti-apartheid movement in May 1961.

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 9:35 utc | 4

'There was the Defiance Campaign in which Nelson Mandela was [a leader], he defied apartheid laws, he was convicted and an attempt was made to deprive him of his right to practice as an attorney because of his conviction. But it was successfully argued by leaders of the bar that there was no moral turpitude in what he had done, he had done it for political reasons, which was an important decision at that time. Political offenses were different from other offenses, which were committed for personal benefit.

Because of our friendship and because of our similar beliefs, we did many cases together. I even represented him in order to unseat a magistrate that would not recognise him as a lawyer - even though his picture was in the papers and everyone knew who Mandela was.

Al Jazeera: Mandela was one of only a few black lawyers at the time, right?

Bizos: Yes, it was an event. His admission [into the bar] was an event and we succeeded in the review court and the magistrate was forced to recuse himself from the case. Because [Mandela's] client complained that the magistrate behaved against his choice of advocate, and he wanted that lawyer to continue to defend him but the magistrate was making it impossible. The judge agreed.
Al Jazeera: Was there ever any sense that people were losing hope at any point along the way? Did you ever feel the government was too powerful, too oppressive to overcome?

Bizos: The spirit of eventual victory was there. I saw Nelson Mandela regularly in jail. Never once did he express any doubt that there wouldn't be freedom during his lifetime. … Characteristically, Mandela said, I want to be the last political prisoner that is released. I won't go out unless you release all prisoners. And I will do it in consultation with those who are in exile, and it has to be a peaceful settlement.

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 12:25 utc | 5

Judging by the praise heaped on him by foul excrement like Obama, Cameron and Oz's Tony Abbot, not forgetting that infamous waste of space, Ban Ki Moon, it would seem that Mandela was, at best, a dupe who facilitated more Bondage and Poverty than Freedom & Democracy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 6 2013 12:53 utc | 6

Why he is celebrated is beyond mine understanding of politics. The catch is there is nothing to be understand!
He served as a transitional cog in a wheel of neocolonial-westen politics in given moment and given time. He served SA oligarchy, i.e. transnational one. Divide between SA population has never been deeper and wider than it is today thanks to him - enabler of neofudal regime.

The aura and adoration that western media and political circles made of him has to make everyone suspicious of his deed and legacy. And there is none. What waste of life and political capital that he used to have. The White Man has made its Totem once more while Anglo-Saxons exploit wast mineral wealth and rent SA police to kill own people.

It would be interesting to see and read what ordinary the South Africans thinks about him!

My hope that will be someone from SA who will deface this guy and tell us try story, a sad chapter in endless inventions in neocolonial practice, helped by compradore class of that country.

“You cannot destroy slavery by becoming a part of your Master’s cultural incubator.” - Dr. John Henrik Clarke

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 6 2013 13:17 utc | 7

mandela was trained as a lawyer and was no dupe

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 13:25 utc | 8

Mandela is like Bitcoin, Superbrand. If a dollar is fiat currency than bitcoin is super-fiat, thus is the late Mandela. That's speaks for itself.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 6 2013 13:53 utc | 9

I omitted to mention that a Brands and a Superbrands, just like fiat currencies are based on nothing and nothingness. Ex nihilo nihil fit Social value equal zero, nothing. An essence of neoliberalism.

It is favorite tool of social-engineers in social spin based societies.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 6 2013 14:10 utc | 10

Nelson Mandela prison confidante speaks about South African leader

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 14:32 utc | 11

Dear Friends I share with you our thoughts and tribute on the death of Mandela. Fortunately we have had some time to prepare for this moment.

Nelson Mandela

Some are born great,

some achieve greatness,

and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Amandla does not believe in miracles. Mandela is not immortal. He has lived the fullest of lives. Amandla! stands with his family, the ANC (the organisation he lived and died for), his closest comrades, especially the surviving Treason Trialists and Robben Island prisoners, the South African people as well as millions of people around the world to mark the passing of a great man.

Yet Mandela was no God, no saint but a man of the people. He reaffirms that people born of humble beginnings can rise and achieve extraordinary feats. Victory is possible against all odds.

Mandela had all Shakespeare’s attributes of greatness. It is with this sense that the South African nation, such as it exits, in its divisions, polarisations and inequities pays tribute to a man that dedicated his life to the liberation of his people.

People who never knew Mandela have woken up to a sense of numbness, you only feel when told of the death of one’s closest. This is how most of Venezuela felt with the death of Chavez. Strangely in this divided nation, a nation still under construction and at times deconstructing, Mandela’s passing will almost universally be mourned.

He was loved by South Africans, black and white, poor and rich, left and right. He was loved for his honesty and integrity. He was loved because he was neither Mbeki nor Zuma. He was a visionary, he had a grand project. He was political. He had a great sense of strategic timing. Yet he was not Machiavellian. He was loved because he was neither Mugabe nor Blair. His vision consumed his life. He was gentle. And like a good father to be kind, he sometimes could be cruel.

He was dignified and above all he had an immense love for his people and for the project of building a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.

But above all he was an African man of conscience. He was a man of virtue. Virtue and conscience that made him so acclaimed globally since he led a nation at a time when virtue and morality were universally absent amongst global leaders. He slammed Bush and Blair for the war on Iraq: "What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight and who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.” For Blair he had these words: “He is the foreign minister of the United States. He is no longer Prime Minister of Britain."

He rose above bitterness and resentment. He was self-sacrificing and could reach out to his enemies and cross many divides. He was great because he was the great unifier. In many ways he was the architect of the New South Africa.

But for all this we must avoid myth making. Mandela was neither King nor Saint

Mandela was not alone. You only have to read Bertolt Brecht’s great poem to know. "Questions From a Worker Who Reads":

Who built Thebes of the 7 gates ? 

In the books you will read the names of kings. 

Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished, Who raised it up so many times?
In what houses of gold glittering Lima did its builders live? 

Where, the evening that the Great Wall of China was finished, did the masons go?
Great Rome is full of triumphal arches. 
Who erected them?
Over whom did the Caesars triumph? 

Had Byzantium, much praised in song, only palaces for its inhabitants?
Even in fabled Atlantis, the night that the ocean engulfed it, The drowning still cried out for their slaves.
The young Alexander conquered India.
 Was he alone?
Caesar defeated the Gauls. Did he not even have a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada went down.
 Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the 2nd won the 7 Years War. 
Who else won it?
Every page a victory. 
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every 10 years a great man. Who paid the bill?
So many reports.
So many questions.

The struggle to liberate South Africa was a collective effort. Moreover it was the power of the most downtrodden, the workers in the factories, the poor in the community, working class women and youth that brought the Apartheid government, if not completely to its knees – at least to negotiate the terms of the end of their racist system.

Every struggle needs a vehicle, a movement with a leadership that can give political direction, take the difficult strategic and tactical choices. Mandela’s ANC came to predominate. Yet Mandela was the first to acknowledge the role of a broad range of movements that made up the struggle for national liberation and the mass democratic movement.

And while Mandela was the one to initiate talks with the Apartheid government, he bound himself to the collective leadership of the ANC. He took initiative, he led but he did so as part of a collective. He was an organisational man. He was at pains to explain he was a product of the ANC He was a man of the black, green and gold but he could reach beyond organisational boundaries.

In the words of Fikile Bam, a Robben Island prisoner from the left-wing National Liberation Front:

“Mandela had this quality of being able to keep people together. It didn't matter whether you were PAC or ANC. or what, we all tended to congregate around him. Even his critics -- and he had them -- deferred to him at the end of the day as a moral leader. He still has that quality. Without him I can't visualize how the transition would have gone.''

Yes, millions of words will be spoken and written on Mandela’s legacy, now, in the months to come, next year and thereafter. And we will struggle to do this legacy justice. The most difficult part will be to capture the essential Mandela going beyond myth-making while accurately assessing the contradictory nature of that legacy.

For the present cannot be understood without understanding the past and not all that is wrong with current day SA can be put at the door of Zuma or Mbeki.

The negotiated settlement that brought about democratic SA on the basis of one person one vote will be regarded as Mandela’s greatest achievement. It avoided the scorched earth path of blood letting which we now see in Syria.

''His goal always was the deracialization of South African society and the creation of a liberal democracy, for that end he was willing to make compromises with people of different views. He was able to concentrate on his goal with utter conviction and lucidity, and he was a man of extreme discipline.''

And yet it is those compromises that are now coming apart at the seams. The unresolved social inequality that has given rise, in the words of Thabo Mbeki to South Africa as a country of two nations: one white and relatively prosperous, the second black and poor.

Mandela’s legacy will also have to be weighed by the fact that SA is more divided than ever as a result of inequality and social exclusion. The rich are richer and the poor poorer. The great unifier could undertake great symbolic acts of reconciliation to pacify the white nation but because, by definition, this required sacrificing the redistribution of wealth, reconciliation with the whites was done at the expense of the vast majority of black people.

Mandela was great but not so great that he could bridge the social divide rooted in 21st century capitalism that has given us the era of the 1 per centers. It is the unfortunate timing of SA’s transition occurring as it does in the period in which global power became rooted in the global corporation, empowered through the rules of neoliberal globalisation. Reconciliation required the abandonment of ANC policy as articulated by Mandela on his release from jail, “nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industry is the policy of the ANC and the change or modification of our views in this regard is inconceivable.”

Yet it is this abandonment of nationalization, nationalization symbolizing the redistribution of wealth, which was dictated by the needs of reconciliation not just with the White establishment but with global capitalism. In the words of Mandela in an interview with Anthony Lewsis: ''Private sector development remains the motive force of growth and development.'' His encounters with the global elite at Davos, the home of the World Economic Forum, convinced him that compromises were needed to be made with the financiers. It was also the late night encounters with the captains of South African capitalism such as Harry Oppenheimer that reinforced his belief that there was no alternative but the capitalist road.

In the words of Ronnie Kasrils: “That was the time from 1991–1996 that the battle for the soul of the ANC got underway and was lost to corporate power and influence. That was the fatal turning point. I will call it our Faustian moment when we became entrapped – some today crying out that we ‘sold our people down the river’”.

It is precisely this capitalist road that has proved such a disaster and which may ultimately destroy Mandela’s life’s work of the achievement of one person one vote in a united non-racial, non sexist South Africa. To do justice to Mandela’s life of dedication and sacrifice for equality between black and white the struggle must continue.

It now has to focus on overcoming inequality and achieving social justice. In this struggle we will need the greatness and wisdom of many Mandelas. We will need an organisation dedicated to mobilising all South African black and white for the liberation of the wealth of this country from the hands of a tiny elite. We will need a movement like Mandela’s ANC, a movement based on a collective leadership with the combined qualities of Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Fatima Meer, Albertina Sisulu, Chris Hani, Ruth First, Joe Slovo, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko, IB Tabata, Neville Alexander and the many greats that led our struggle for national liberation. But most importantly we will need the people who take their lives into their own hands and become their own liberators.

Is that not what Nelson Mandela fought for?

Brian Ashley
P.S. Look out for Amandla. - SA's new progressive magazine, covering politics and more.
Now stocked at more than 80 booksellers nationwide!
Tel 021 4472525
Cell 0820857088

Posted by: thomas | Dec 6 2013 14:45 utc | 12

Conglomerate (white) business, the aspirant black bourgeoisie, and black professionals have benefitted in the short term from the imposition of neo-liberal economic policies. The conglomerates have benefitted from the tax concessions, the lowering of inflation, and the privatization programme. They have also benefitted from steady exchange control liberalization (which has permitted the outward flow of increasing amounts of South African capital abroad) and from the opening up of new export markets and some new investment opportunities, especially in Africa and Asia. The aspirant black bourgeoisie has benefitted from the privatization of public enterprises, the voluntary asset swaps from domestic white companies, and from the partnerships established with foreign investors….Black professionals have also benefited from promotions and more open employment practices as companies scramble to fulfill affirmative action quotas.

"Life expectancy has tumbled by some two decades."

He might helped in removal of apartheid regime. He also helped in bringing back a slavery, i.e. working poor, wage earners.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 6 2013 15:11 utc | 13

Earlier this year, Ronnie Kasrils wrote with regret of the ‘Faustian moment’ in 1993 when the ANC compromised with the IMF and the interests it represents:

‘To break apartheid rule through negotiation, rather than a bloody civil war, seemed then an option too good to be ignored.
'However, at that time, the balance of power was with the ANC, and conditions were favourable for more radical change at the negotiating table than we ultimately accepted. It is by no means certain that the old order, apart from isolated rightist extremists, had the will or capability to resort to the bloody repression envisaged by Mandela's leadership.
'If we had held our nerve, we could have pressed forward without making the concessions we did.’

Posted by: Watson | Dec 6 2013 15:22 utc | 14

I'm glad to see that especially 2, 7, 13, 14 are getting to the point: the ANC sold out. Whether Mandela opposed the sell-out I do not know. There are three or four things obviously wrong with the Tony Karon article b links to, as you would expect from the post-marxist zone which Karon inhabits.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 6 2013 15:26 utc | 15

Moeletsi Mbeki is a brother of another compradore Thabo Mbeki

I can predict when SA’s "Tunisia Day" will arrive. Tunisia Day is when the masses rise against the powers that be, as happened recently in Tunisia. The year will be 2020, give or take a couple of years. The year 2020 is when China estimates that its current minerals-intensive industrialisation phase will be concluded.

For SA, this will mean the African National Congress (ANC) government will have to cut back on social grants, which it uses to placate the black poor and to get their votes. China’s current industrialisation phase has forced up the prices of SA’s minerals, which has enabled the government to finance social welfare programmes.

The ANC inherited a flawed, complex society it barely understood; its tinkerings with it are turning it into an explosive cocktail. The ANC leaders are like a group of children playing with a hand grenade. One day one of them will figure out how to pull out the pin and everyone will be killed.

A famous African liberation movement, the National Liberation Front of Algeria, after tinkering for 30 years, pulled the grenade pin by cancelling an election in 1991 that was won by the opposition Islamic Salvation Front. In the civil war that ensued, 200000 people were killed.

The former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, once commented that whoever thought that the ANC could rule SA was living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Why was Thatcher right? In the 16 years of ANC rule, all the symptoms of a government out of its depth have grown worse.

- Life expectancy has declined from 65 years to 53 years since the ANC came to power;
- In 2007, SA became a net food importer for the first time in its history;
- The elimination of agricultural subsidies by the government led to the loss of 600000 farm workers’
jobs and the eviction from the commercial farming sector of about 2,4-million people between 1997
and 2007; and
- The ANC stopped controlling the borders, leading to a flood of poor people into SA, which has led to
conflicts between SA’s poor and foreign African migrants.

What is failed to explain why is this "A flood of people", it did not happened by accident, it is planned policy of oligarchy how to lower costs or labor and fight the unions. To make economy more competitive - cheaper - and expandable, it is like German's Hartz IV.

Everywhere is a same story.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 6 2013 15:55 utc | 16

neretva @16
What are you quoting? What is the date and source?

As to Thatcher's prophecy, that was no more than standard British Imperialist guff from the "colonised people are like children, it will take them centuries before they grown up and a ready to rule themselves" school handily founded by Mill and the Utilitarians to justify the plundering of India.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 6 2013 16:41 utc | 17

should read
"they have grown up and are ready to rule themselves"

Posted by: bevin | Dec 6 2013 16:42 utc | 18

Thanks b, for the Freedom Charter link, never before read it. Lofty goals, worth chasing.

thomas @ 12: Thanks for that post. Objective.

neretva'43 @ 16:

"What is failed to explain why is this "A flood of people", it did not happened by accident, it is planned policy of oligarchy how to lower costs or labor and fight the unions. To make economy more competitive - cheaper - and expandable, it is like German's Hartz IV.

Everywhere is a same story."

Agreed, and the answer is?

Posted by: ben | Dec 6 2013 17:02 utc | 19

OT - things are getting more interesting in east Asia . . .

Haven't we seen this movie before?

Posted by: D | Dec 6 2013 17:13 utc | 21

Ooops - posted wrong ABC News link above - meant this one . . .

Posted by: D | Dec 6 2013 17:16 utc | 22

Also agree with 2,7,13,14,15 that the ANC was sold out. However I don't blame Mandela. Naomi Klein has a chapter on it in her book The Shock Doctrine, titled "Democracy Born in Chains" it shows how the ANC was effectively tricked.

Mandela himself was hugely overwhelmed. He has been in Prison, cut off from the outside world for 27 years, before being released and almost instantly thrown into negotiations with the Apartheid Nationalists.

Mandela, for his part, was suffering from such an epic case of culture shock that he mistook a camera microphone for "some newfangled weapon developed while I was in prison". It was definitely a different world from the one he had left twenty-seven years earlier. When Mandela was arrested in 1962, a wave of Third World nationalism was sweeping the African continent; now it was torn apart by war. While he was in prison, socialist revolutions had been ignited and extinguished: Che Guevara had been killed in Bolivia in 1967; Salvador Allende had died in the coup of 1973; Mozambique’s liberation hero and president, Samora Machel, had perished in a mysterious plane crash in 1986. The late eighties and early nineties saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, the repression in Tiananmen Square and the collapse of Communism.

Amid all this change there was little time for catching up: immediately on his release, Mandela had a people to lead to freedom while preventing a civil war and an economic collapse.

Source: Democracy Born in Chains

Thabo Mbeki, a then rising star in the ANC, was the chief economic negotiator and the one who was conned. While Mandela was gaining power in the political negotiations, the Apartheid government was putting its resources into consolidating and protecting their wealth. The apartheid government working with the IMF managed to get a deal classifying the Central Bank as an "administrative/technical post" handing its day to day running over to "impartial experts" from the IMF. They also gained control over trade policy by signing South Africa into the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). In one swoop, the ANC gained control of government, but lost control of its own Central Bank and Trade Policy.

What happened in those negotiations is that the ANC found itself caught in a new kind of web, one made of arcane rules and regulations, all designed to confine and constrain the power of elected leaders. As the web descended on the country, only a few people even noticed it was there, but when the new government came to power and tried to move freely, to give its voters the tangible benefits of liberation they expected and thought they had voted for, the strands of the web tightened and the administration discovered that its powers were tightly bound. Patrick Bond, who worked as an economic adviser in Mandela’s office during the first years of ANC rule, recalls that the in-house quip was "Hey, we’ve got the state, where’s the power?"

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 6 2013 17:19 utc | 23

Re: Thabo Mbeki

With respect, I think that Thabo Mbeki went into the post-apartheid arrangement with open eyes, and was not ‘conned’. Unlike his father Govan Mbeki, Thabo either believes in the desirability of neoliberal capitalism, or perhaps sees it as inescapable.

Posted by: Watson | Dec 6 2013 17:42 utc | 25

b has it right up top about neo-liberalism takeover.

Side issue: It appears that the Truth and Reconciliation committee failed. Only about a thousand were given amnesty, and all others were never prosecuted. I heard that only two prosecutions have taken place since 2003. (No idea if that is correct but in any case it was overall very few.) So a sort of blanket amnesty was - de facto - awarded. It is an old story I know. Nevertheless disappointing. Not that it is Mandela’s fault specifically (that is too complicated for me to address..)

The SA example is often quoted to prove that this kind of procedure cannot work, which is dismaying. It is brought up all the time. Again and again. As being useless and dumb, or needlessly contentious, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 6 2013 17:54 utc | 26

bevin | Dec 6, 2013 11:41:26 AM | 17

I agree, quoting M.T. isn't suitable in the context and indeed sounds and look awkward. I just saw that a guy is also "entrepreneur" which rings the bell given his relation to ex-president, but I just speculate.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 6 2013 17:54 utc | 27

Thanks neretva, I genuinely didn't know the source.
This is a good obit:

Posted by: bevin | Dec 6 2013 18:19 utc | 28

Agreed, the RSA Truth and Reconciliation Comission was pretty weak tea after centuries of brutal racist settler colonialism.

But by contrast, imagine how ‘radical’ it would have seemed if the Bush Admin war criminals or the Wall Street banksters had to face a T&R commission.

Posted by: Watson | Dec 6 2013 18:36 utc | 29

“The nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industries is the policy of the ANC, and a change or modification of our views in this regard is inconceivable." - Mandela, 1990.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 6 2013 21:10 utc | 30

" ...- In 2007, SA became a net food importer for the first time in its history;
- The elimination of agricultural subsidies by the government led to the loss of 600000 farm workers’
jobs and the eviction from the commercial farming sector of about 2,4-million people between 1997
and 2007; and
- The ANC stopped controlling the borders, leading to a flood of poor people into SA, which has led to
conflicts between SA’s poor and foreign African migrants."

neretva'43 @16
These are classic hallmarks of the transition into modern capitalism.
This set of observations would have come close to fitting England in the 1780s, Russia in the 1930s, Latin America or Indonesia in the 1990s or China today.
The consistent feature is the dispossession of the peasantry- used in the broad term of rural cultivators- the expulsion of "surplus" population to the cities (Mike Davis's 'Planet of Slums') and vast movements, internationally of unemployed people, either seeking work or being trafficked.
In the past we have seen not only the slave trade but the trade in coolie labour from China, India and the south pacific. These trades merged seemlessly with "voluntary" re-settlement (cf Ireland and Scotland) and emigrations. Today we see tides of the dispossessed banging on the doors of the imperialist countries which have plundered their livelihoods and lands.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 6 2013 21:21 utc | 31

But logically, what people should be saying in the USA is "Nationalize the Fed!" The only person I know who actually says that, in that he says, "The central program of our Party will be to nationalize the Fed," is Webster Tarpley, and he thinks it can be done 'democratically', 'by the will of the people,' as expressed through the popular vote. The Tax Wall Street Party will win crucial local elections, and then become a national force, and finally it will split the Democratic Party, absorb the left wing of it, and become an unconquerable force at the national polls. Or so Webster says. Naivety, or disingenuity, I don't know. I can't quite see him manning the barricades, but that doesn't mean he isn't capable of it.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 6 2013 22:03 utc | 32

world reacts to Mandelas passing:

world reacts to Gadafis passing

Gaddafi was Mandela without the compromise

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 23:29 utc | 33

@23...very useful info from Naomi....lets make it go viral

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 23:41 utc | 34

mandela and Mugabe: the good and bad liberation heros?

';It seemed almost inevitable that on the new day Western newspapers were filled with encomia to the recently deceased South African national liberation hero Nelson Mandela that another southern African hero of national liberation, Robert Mugabe, should be vilified. “Nearly 90, Mugabe still driving Zimbabwe’s economy into the ground,” complained Geoffrey York of Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Mandela and Mugabe are key figures in the liberation of black southern Africa from white rule. So why does the West overflow with hosannas for Mandela and continue to revile Mugabe? Why is Mandela the good national liberation leader and Mugabe the bad?

A lot of it has to do with the extent to which the liberation projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe have threatened white and Western economic interests—hardly at all in Mandela’s South Africa and considerably in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

The media-propagated narrative is that Mandela is good because he was ‘democratic’ and Mugabe is bad because he is ‘autocratic.’ But scratch the surface and economic interests peek out.'

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 0:00 utc | 35

Good Liberation Hero - Bad Liberation Hero
It seemed almost inevitable that on the new day Western newspapers were filled with encomia to the recently deceased South African national liberation hero Nelson Mandela that another southern African hero of national liberation, Robert Mugabe, should be vilified. “Nearly 90, Mugabe still driving Zimbabwe’s economy into the ground,” complained Geoffrey York of Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Mandela and Mugabe are key figures in the liberation of black southern Africa from white rule. So why does the West overflow with hosannas for Mandela and continue to revile Mugabe? Why is Mandela the good national liberation leader and Mugabe the bad?

A lot of it has to do with the extent to which the liberation projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe have threatened white and Western economic interests—hardly at all in Mandela’s South Africa and considerably in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.
etc, etc.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 7 2013 0:40 utc | 36

Great (and slow) minds think alike?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 7 2013 0:45 utc | 37

ichael Moore
Watch Nelson Mandela attack George W. Bush on the eve of the invasion of Iraq in January, 2003, saying "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care about human beings."
Mandela notes re US not caring about human beings: that '57 years ago when Japan was retreating on all fronts, they decided to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagsaki, killed a lot of innocent people....those bombs werent aimed against the japanese...they were aimed at the soviet union....'; describes Bush as a president who cant think properly!...........this is radical stuff!

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 3:44 utc | 38

two main items in one twitter: wanted: someone with PR skills: needs thick skin Job: train jihadis in basic PR
: jihadis of ISIS outraged Mandela never embraced Islam...they wouldnt like me any better either
Syricide ‏@Syricide 19h
#ISIS #alqaeda #alnusra #islamic extemist's remind us why they are not with the peoples of the earth #mandela

youd think theyd be aware their manners wont improve their reputation or cause

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 8:27 utc | 39

One cannot help but notice the stinking hypocrisy the very same Western politicians, who once labelled Mandela as "terrorists", now clamouring to shear in his life's achievements and glory.Pathetic!!!

OTH, has anyone been paying attention to the not-so-colored coup attempt in Ukraine??? The backers and sponsors of such nonsense don't even hide it any more.The German FM was there with "the people" - along with the former boxer, now turn politician, Klitschko (display all his puppet strings for all to see).

In short, the EU is f*cked!!! They were hoping to get Ukraine into the club in order to suck them dry. The Ukrainian government, OTH, went to China and signed deals worth over $7 Billion. My prediction is that the "protests" will eventually fizzle out.

Posted by: Zico | Dec 7 2013 8:35 utc | 40

Apartheid is very much well and live in today's world..It's happening right in Palestine and again, as before, these same Western "leaders" have labelled all Palestinians "terrorists" and giving all kinds of support to the racist occupying Zionists regime.

Posted by: Zico | Dec 7 2013 8:39 utc | 41

leader of last apartheid state bites lip and finally tweets Mandela

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 9:22 utc | 42

apartheids useful idiots

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 10:04 utc | 43

mandela invoked by arab springers: Hajer Mtiri (هاجر) ‏@MtiriHajer 17s
Remembering Mandela: Leader Inspired Tunisians Resisting Former Regime - Tunisia Live ................just as the jihadis invoke Mohammed....

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 13:00 utc | 44

lawrencia udife ‏@LawrenciaU 21m
Nelson Mandela Is Remembered At The 2014 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, + Full List Of Nominees Announced

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2013 13:24 utc | 45

brian | Dec 6, 2013 10:44:54 PM | 38

"Elementary, my dear fellow, quite elementary".

What he had supposed to say? To go along with war, which was totally unpopular? To put himself in the same league with Blair and Bush - bloodthirsty imperialists and liars?

Such statements couldn't possibly hurt his reputation, quite contrary it helps maintain aura that the "prisoner" who fought against imperialism whole life is still doing that. A perfect PR. As we can see he was a quite pragmatic individual. In the same time the ANC cloaked with his "legacy" impoverished own people and lowered life expectancy in SA, as we can see from a data.

But hey, somebody (so-called, investors, Wall street and City) will appreciate that South African Brewery (SAB) brought Czech Plzen's brewery, and SAB is second largest of its kind in the world. That beer isn't going to be enjoyed by people who lives in makeshift towns around Pretoria and Johannesburg; it is for people who organized spectacles such as FIFA's World Cup with disastrous financial effects for the organizer and domestic economy and population.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7 2013 13:27 utc | 46

In another words, he was and remained: Superbrand! The product of the western political marketing and corporate capitalism.

Bitcoin, anybody?

There are times when it is necessary to go back to Fanon:"The national middle class discovers its historic mission: that of intermediary".

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7 2013 13:38 utc | 47

"The national middle class discovers its historic mission: that of intermediary".

In China there are called: compradores.
In Central and South America: latifundists.

Now in the West they call them: oligarchy or whatever.

These are derogatory names for the servants of the western capitalism. This type of system an academics named with fancy name and euphemism: Indirect rule At this point one should read and reread Orwell's usage of English language in political purposes.

More often than not an "Indirectly ruled" countries are ruled again, by the Central Banks with the Currency Board in it. The only purpose of the Currency Board is to peg domestic currency with imperial one - dollar or euro, thus pumping out extra profit and anything of value from domestic economy and productive working force.

Example is so-called: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and their "currency" controlled by Paris CFA franc.

Mandela could be easily find its place next to Mobutu Sese Seko. To go with flow far easier than to be dissolve in acid like Patrice Lumumba.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7 2013 14:05 utc | 48

The current strident hype of honoring the deceased Great Leaders, quote unquote, with tremendous pomp, ceremony, and Extreme Media Hysteria is pathetic, not to mention *selective* as pointed out above in several posts, another issue.

Recall the jamboree at Reagan’s death? And then.. what?

Everybody goes on with their lives and the honored Great Prez cannot even attain Icon status in any way, he is dust and forgotten. Nobody is interested really (except a few historians and odd bloggers...)

The MSM use such events as a distraction.


~A sign that so-called ‘democracies’, US and France for ex, both Republics with inclusion (representation) so minor it is a joke, some might call it nil, are desperate.

Those in charge need to hype the personal status, intelligence, grandeur of some elected Leaders, to show the system is noble, righteous, morally impeccable, superior. Struggles to ‘free’ ppl will take place and succeed! Mandela is a stellar figure here!

The MSM complies or even creates those memes.

All these moves rest on an Elite perception that the poor, whom the PTB need to control, repress, and can do so, they think, as the poor are:

swayed by emotion - irrational - easily manipulable - only interested in their personal gain = thus need a strong leader to control them.

Dead leaders don’t hack it imho. Lot of empty show.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 7 2013 16:46 utc | 49

so...Noirette what is you message here. I am not able to "translate" it?

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7 2013 17:53 utc | 50

No answer?

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7 2013 20:09 utc | 51

foolish idea 'The Nation @thenation 3h
On Mandela, Mugabe and the need to end President for Life syndrome: http:// ...............why change a good leader for one who may not be? if the people want a leader to stay he should be able to stay; if the people want him to go he should go...BUT the Nation doesnt like good leaders, it prefers a carousel of leaders who can be controlled not to do too many good things

Change takes time: witness Venezuela...the bolivarian revolution would have been hardly begun after 4 years, and the next govt cold(and if US backed, would have) have reversed it.
the road not taken by Mandela: lets look at that: what didnt he do that made him a safe option compared to Mugabe?

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 0:06 utc | 52

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7, 2013 8:27:03 AM | 46

this is what comes when you give people an education...they think they are able to think!

Neretva may like to pay more attention to body language and tone as well as the mand words, before mouthing off"

'What he had supposed to say? To go along with war, which was totally unpopular? To put himself in the same league with Blair and Bush - bloodthirsty imperialists and liars?'

lets see, why didnt he go with the flow and not go to meet with Gadafi?

how to rattle an empire: Mandela mests Gadafi

so many worthless comments by persons who cant think

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 0:13 utc | 53


I do not have intention to challenge "collective wisdom", and "group-think", your default mode. Where did you pick it up? It must be that you have an "advanced" degree?

He, he..."Elementary, my dear fellow, quite elementary"

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 8 2013 1:35 utc | 54

Did you hear about what Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said about her ex-husband Nelson Mandela? What are your thoughts of her words?

Winnie Speak on Nelson Mandela:

"He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks," Madikizela-Mandela was quoted as saying. "Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much 'white.' It has a few token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded," She went on to say that she could not forgive him for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with F.W. de Klerk, the white South African president who released Mandela from prison in 1990.

Though the iconic Mandela is highly revered by blacks and whites in South Africa and around the world, Winnie is not the first to criticize aspects of his 1994-1999 tenure as South Africa's first black president. Many have complained that he devoted too much time seeking reconciliation with whites and too little improving the economic condition of black South Africans, who, 16 years after the end of apartheid, still remain mired in poverty. Sound familiar?

Indeed, many of the criticisms leveled at Nelson Mandela are similar to those now being fired at America's first black president, Barack Obama. Many here in the United States argue that Obama has spent way too much time courting Republicans, pushing bipartisanship and bailing out big corporations. They argue that he hasn't spent nearly enough time creating a "black agenda" to uplift the millions of African Americans who still lag far behind whites in employment, education, business ownership and just about every other measurable category of economic achievement. These inequities persist despite the great progress the United States has made in terms of ending racial inequalities in this country, best exemplified by Obama's election to the highest office in the land

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 10:13 utc | 55

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 7, 2013 8:35:44 PM | 54

hate to disillusion you in nevernever land,..... but i have no default mode

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 10:15 utc | 56

Mandela is the greatest puppet show the world has ever seen. The global enactment of sinner turned saint has been total and overwhelming, and completely inexplicable.
I don't particularly care much for things he said, because whatever he said was nothing more than a distraction for his friends our current rulers, who are thugs of the lowest nature. You can tell a man by the company he keeps.
Mandela's true legacy is the multi-billion rand arms deal, which opened the floodgates for bribery and corruption in business and government in SA. The policies and statutes have eroded away freedoms of every sort, civil society is being destroyed. The ANC never abandoned its goal to destroy South Africa, this way this small band of terrorists have looted the coffers for personal gain at the cost of everyone and everything else.
The govt's mantra of redistribution of existing wealth instead of creation of anything new is doomed. All of this while Sucking on the IMF's tit.
While the Mandela story was breaking, the Johannesburg Metro POlice were assaulting licensed traders and their lawyer in Johannesburg central, minutes after the constitional court had ordered that the trades be allowed to return to their positions.
Mandela did not bring freedom, he brought vicious black racism and stupidity with him, a legacy which is killing thousands more than apartheid ever did.
Apartheid was never as bad as people make out it was, and while wrong it wasn't the worst evil ever as portrayed. For starters, there was never any white on black genocide, as with every single other colony, australia, canada, the states, all wiped out the local population first. In the 1950's and 1960's the hated Hendrik Verwoerd was allocating tribal land, free of ANY interference. He was assasinated while entering parliment, and the bloodstain was never cleaned until the anc took power in 1994.
The prisoners on robben island weren't just political prisoners, most of them were complicit in violence. I don't appreciate people planting bombs in train stations, police / military targets sure. But they weren't innocent, they deserved their fate. They read books, and had gardens and a few other "human conforts". The ANC prisons like Quattro were bloody holes of misery. All prisoners were anc members who were under suspician. They usually died after being tortured, their bodies laid at the entrances.
While the ANC chose the path of violence, many many others were protesting and engaging with the aprtheid government over black rights, Mangosotho Buthelezi being one of the most prominent black politician, an equal to mandela in every way, except he never chose violence, and he never sacrificed his personal principles. The anc heaps vitriol on him every time he speaks.
Of course, South Africa hasn't been free for over a hundred years, since the british conquest by war, and the rise to prominence of a certain Jan Smuts, another enemy of the empire who turned friend, power and fame in exchange for something. All this talk of freedom is BS, and is a textbook case of marxist subversion.
Ok i'm done, i wish that people would forget, and stop yammering on with mandela worship, but i don't think that's likely soon.

Posted by: david | Dec 8 2013 10:30 utc | 57

zionist UNWATCH is also on Mandela watch, and syria watch:
1. what does zionist UN WATCH think of Mandela: Hillel Neuer @HillelNeuer 9m
Nelson Mandela was undeniably great but the first laureate of the "Qaddafi Human Rights Prize" doesn’t need a halo. .................Hillel Neuer
Executive Director of UN Watch.

Geneva, Switzerland ·
4 minutes ago · Like

more from U WATCH: Hillel Neuer @HillelNeuer 6 Dec
Cynical words of a murderer: “@JZarif: We in Iran join people of South Africa in mourning the death of Nelson Mandela who inspired humanity”
2 minutes ago · Like

2. israel upset at UN re Syria :
Israel Mission to UN @IsraelinUN 25 Nov
Prosor: It's inconceivable that while Israeli hospitals treat Syrians who escaped Assad; UN denounces Israel’s treatment of Syrians.
Retweeted by Hillel Neuer (of zionist UWATCH)
what 'syrians' is israel treating in its hospitals? why the 'syrian rebels'..the ones raping killing torturing lying their war thru syria for Ripleys: A Rothschild Humanitarian award/ i see a flying pig?

Hillel Neuer ‏@HillelNeuer 22 Nov
Congratulations! My law school prof @IrwinCotler honored by inaugural @CdnShaareZedek Rothschild Humanitarian Award:

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 11:49 utc | 58

Dalai Lama won't go to Mandela's funeral.

But the Dalai Lama was controversially denied a visa to South Africa in 2011 after being invited to give a lecture as part of celebrations for the 80th birthday of Mandela's fellow anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu.

It was the second time that Pretoria had denied the Dalai Lama entry after refusing him a visa in 2009.

Read more:

I do not know what behind this, but it is interesting that "freedom fighter" and SA regime have some issues.

Second interesting thing from a link:

President Jacob Zuma joined prayers in a Methodist Church in Johannesburg, while former president Thabo Mbeki attended a service in a synagogue.

Perfect example of the late Edward Said had said: "Imperialism is the export of identity.”

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 8 2013 13:32 utc | 59

Posted by: david | Dec 8, 2013 5:30:10 AM | 57
- Boilerplate right-wing propaganda.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 8 2013 13:54 utc | 60

Guardiola-Rivera depicts a continent held in virtual submission, languishing in invisibility, its natural resources extracted, for centuries, at the Import-Export coalition’s whim. He reserves his harshest criticism for President Richard Nixon, who, even as the flames of Watergate engulfed him, worked indefatigably with Kissinger to bring down Allende. Why? Because Allende was dangerously independent, irredeemably leftist, irresponsibly anti-business and — perhaps worst of all — because he openly thumbed his nose at the United States.

With its Manichaean view, Guardiola-Rivera argues, the Nixon administration hardly considered the subtleties of Allende’s political philosophy. True, Allende had visited Castro, befriended Che Guevara and won the Communist Party’s vote (along with that of its poet-candidate, Pablo Neruda), but he had also carved out an “ism” all his own. He had rejected the Cuban model as too extreme, Che’s revolution as too violent. He was adamantly against armed struggle. Winning the presidency on Sept. 4, 1970, he vowed to overturn Chile’s harsh economic injustices. He put forward a doctrine of “geo-economic sovereignty” and self-determination: a U.S.-free future, in which Chile would make its way alone. “The United States must realize that Latin America has now been changed,” he said during one of his campaigns. Once in office, he would try to prove it so.

Some die like Allende or Lumumba. Some like Sankara, Samora Machel, Dag Hammarskjöld. Did Nelson Mandela have this people in mind? Will never know, what we know is that he lived, after release, celebratory life, a carrot was his favorite veggie.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 8 2013 14:58 utc | 61


Sure, call it that. Historically true, either way. You got factual errors?

But um, it's not the right wingers who are manipulating international media, propanganda at its finest.

Posted by: david | Dec 8 2013 15:55 utc | 62

Noirette what is you message here. I am not able to "translate" it?

- neretva at 50.

The PTB and the MSM - part of the PTB - need to hype ‘great leaders’ like Reagan or Mandela, to show the public, the plebs and the poor, that Great Leaders in Democracies (elected and the like) are truly deserving of adulation, homage, respect, support.

Because in ‘democracies’ like the US and France (to take but two supposedly contrasted examples), the countries are run by very small cliques by a tiny, restricted class, finding or claiming their legitimacy in a ‘political party’ structure, votes, etc.

They resemble monarchies of old, and escape that criticism by ‘revolving doors’, in cahoots with Big Biz and Corps, different ppl occupy different posts, chairs, for a short while, move on to the private sector, etc. Joe6 can vote for one or another figure, presented as different, but same old.

Naturally a few plebs are incorporated, to show that the ‘ppl’ can rise up and have a voice, which soon becomes muted, as they become corrupted and YES men.

The PTB need to justify the system by showing that the system does select exceptional people, that the ‘Leaders’ are truly great, not just special, but stellllllar. It works! We da best!

In the OECD they feel the need to avoid the loving subservient bowing-down to a Leader (e.g. > Stalin) as that negates ‘democracy.’

Problem arises: Is it the system working, or is it the fact that Great Leaders do the Job? How to play both ends and reconcile the two....?

leads to adulation etc. after the figures have .. passed away!

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 8 2013 16:23 utc | 63

The ANC never abandoned its goal to destroy South Africa ... small band of terrorists have looted the coffers ... redistribution of existing wealth ... vicious black racism and stupidity ... killing thousands more than apartheid ever did ... Apartheid was never as bad as people make out it was ... complicit in violence...deserved their fate...They read books, and had gardens and a few other "human conforts"...ANC chose the path of violence... Mangosotho Buthelezi, an equal to mandela.

Utter garbage. But to be expected from someone who regularly comes here to defend the other heinous Apartheid state.

When in perhaps years or decades we are celebrating the Palestinian's Mandela - likely with many faults but with the one certain victory: the complete overthrow of the violent rule of one ethnic group over another - feel free to come down and lay down a similar line of bullshit.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 8 2013 16:31 utc | 64

Posted by: david | Dec 8, 2013 5:30:10 AM | 57

something has spooked Dave for this revision of history
1. Apartheid not as bad as it seemed....(tell that to the locals: you may want to watch Boormans film on Truth and Reconciliation: 'In My Country')
2. 'I don't particularly care much for things he said' like truth and reconciliation'
3. ' The ANC never abandoned its goal to destroy South Africa' south africa was destroyed with the white take over.
4. 'Mandela did not bring freedom, he brought vicious black racism and stupidity with him, a legacy which is killing thousands more than apartheid ever did,'
(black racism? such as? you do know that most native south africans still suffer the effects of the apartheid big scale theft of their land by the white apartheid regime you claim was not so bad: youd really hate Zimbabwe for their efforts to recover lost land)

seriously, you took a wrong turn coming here.....the 'Apartheid Appreciation Society' blog is to your right

what a wacko!

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 21:03 utc | 65

Posted by: david | Dec 8, 2013 10:55:33 AM | 62

Dave vs Madiba... this is good!
'Sure, call it that. Historically true, either way. You got factual errors?'

your twisted attack on blacksouth africa is despicable

Posted by: brian | Dec 8 2013 21:05 utc | 66

This is worth reading, the Irish Left Review is always worth monitoring. And Zizek has a piece in today's Guardian too

Posted by: bevin | Dec 9 2013 14:35 utc | 67

"But to be expected from someone who regularly comes here to defend the other heinous Apartheid state."

You have me confused with someone else. (i come here to learn, mostly)

Brian, calling me a whacko doesn't give you ANY credibility.

If you want to know who rules you, just find out who you may not criticise.

Posted by: david | Dec 9 2013 17:08 utc | 68

One has just to read the first line of the nearly 60 year old ANC freedom charter to measure David's delirium tremens on "vicious black racism"

'We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:

that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, BLACK AND WHITE, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people;'

really, really vicious indeed :D

Posted by: zingaro | Dec 10 2013 1:58 utc | 69

Warning Do Not READ this while stomach is full.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 10 2013 4:25 utc | 70

Asad Abu Khalil is a great guy just for this kind of posts.

Not exactly the kind of things we read in the MSM these latest days

Posted by: Mina | Dec 10 2013 11:04 utc | 71

Letter by Revd Canon Barney Pityana.

Brian @ 65, is this "one of the stalwarts of the anti-apartheid struggle" also wacko?

And of course Mandela's family legacy continues:

By their fruits you will know them.

Posted by: david | Dec 18 2013 9:45 utc | 73

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