"...the only time when a political group can represent the interests of a section of the community, without being a faction, is when the group fights to remove a grievous wrong from society. But then the differences, between this group and those responsible for the wrong it fights are fundamental; and there can therefore be no question of national unity until the differences have been removed by change. And 'change' in that context is a euphemism, because any change in fundamentals is termed 'revolution' “(Nyerere: 1974-196)
I spent the better part of my week, reading the EFF's election manifesto critiques from different writers, in different news articles. As expected, critics came in hard with their views, some terming the manifesto's aspirations "a pie in the sky", others "populist founded on demagogue", "empty promises" and so forth. What struck me the most was the recurrence of the same line of argument from these different writers; investor this, Zimbabwe like state-that, inflation, economic deficits, overspending, non-profit maximisation, and so on so forth.
Every writer I read kicked it out of reality space, calling it an economic disaster. I sat and wondered for a moment, why did these guys not raise "the people" in their line of arguments? Even if used to refute the ideas brought forth by the manifesto, but atleast the usage of the term "people". First thing that came into my mind; foreign welfare is highly regarded than the people's welfare. Foreign investors are the Marie Antoinette in our land, through our resources, in the same food in which our stomachs yearn, how could this be? I thought.
I was extremely revolted. So I took upon myself to start a dialogue, infact economic freedom is already a national discourse, mine is just to try tilt perspectives, offer rethinking and offer pseudo- intellectual analysis, hence this piece.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, a left orientated organization is diametrically opposed to the ruling party, in terms of policy and perspective. Both fundamentally and at face level. The Economic Freedom Fighters’ radical reform policies, very socialist in nature, reveal the extent through which socio-economic desperations run amok in Azania. To introduce the idea of Malemaism, let me first make use of two similar political beliefs that Malemaism is drawn from.
A new wave of social re-organization in Azania, a call to re-order society has begun to escalate itself to a national discourse; a necessary call to review the current national political dialogue. A rude awakening, some might say, which finds its inspiration from Africa’s two democratic socialist reformers, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi. A people's renaissance, that adheres to both philosophies of Robert Mugabe (Mugabeism) and Muammar Qaddafi (Gaddafism).
Mugabeism, is a political-philosophical ideal that appreciates that the only way to allow Afrika to reclaim its rightful place in the world, is to undergo the three stages of any African revolution; political, agrarian, and economic.
Gaddafism, like Mugabeism also is a political-philosophical outlook, an ideal, advocating for a strong, united Africa, which prioritizes the interests of the indigenous masses over those of foreign corporate bourgeoisie.
I tried to synthesis the two and what is already known to coin the idea of Malemaism. Malemaism is a political belief that advocates for economic emancipation by deconstructing Azania's wealth distribution patterns from the comprador foreign bourgeoisie to favour the people, the masses, the indigenous occupants of Azania.
In these three political ideals we find three similarities: (1) people over investors, (2) economic control by masses, and (3) people and Africa for beneficiation. In all these aspects, sharing amongst people is the most essential. Julius Nyerere, a subscriber of African socialism once remarked that 'there can be no African socialism without work', he believed that communal distribution of wealth, 'ujamaa', family-hood which is premised on sharing were only tools needed to rescue Africa from the shackles of neo-colonialism.
Fast track into 2014 in Azania, a slow resuscitation of the call to follow suit, to Gaddafism, Mugabeism and realise Nyerere's cry is beginning to break grounds. To re-order wealth distribution patterns in Azania, to re-order the country's neo-liberal economic policies that benefit the few, to re-order the livelihoods and personhood of the black child, to re-order the frame of mind, and ultimately a return to a pan-Africanist, socialist and democratic Azania.
The ANC is not necessarily the enemy, but it’s the agent of neo-liberal policies which makes it essentially the enemy, more like patriarchy and men, white supremacy and white people and so forth. Malemaism, offers us to relook and refocus our thinking which has been stereotyped by neo-liberal education, that capitalism is the only way. A time to re-order, Malemaism offers us that chance: NOW IS THE TIME FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM
(This article was written by Tshepo Goba. Tshepo is a nineteen year old, second year International relations student at the University of South Africa)
Follow Tshepo on twitter: @TshepoGoba