To March or Not too much…

capitalism is fascism

The arrogance of the so-called activist of the 21 century is based on the grand delusion of being of some iconic impact to the shape of things to come. What a wank! Malcolm X didn’t have activist on his resume; he was only top of the class among students who were under a master teacher. He was taught nothing special from the others in his class. The circumstances which partly produced Malcolm Little were not unique to him, but the time and what must be done has a remarkable way of unfolding breakthrough opportunity for those adequately prepared.

Once we operate from the realisation that preparedness is a ceaseless state of cut-throat, relentless self-improvement there’s automatically a  revolutionary gland which pumps combatant blood throughout our veins that upgrades our motives from survival to utter dominance. Obviously involuntary at times, we do however get blindsided by the cortisone (C21H28O5) hormones which are released by the adrenaline gland in response to stressful ghetto conditions mixed with a tinge of inherent African humility that gets passed from one hopeless generation of glorified peasant class to the next.  This great humility makes us the only specie which fights and even sacrifices their lives for the purpose of teaching the very enemy which preys on us some grand moral lesson – what a waste, if we gave half our brain capability to another species which is less inclined to self-deceit and self-righteous idealism we’d probably begin to fathom the true power lying dormant inside us. Anyway, as a member of the working class you find yourself often wondering what the hell a march or a strike action is meant to achieve when we know that this type of petitioning to power is already ensured and budgeted for. No amount of damage caused to property nor looting will affect the balance of power, the means of production will remain in the control of capital after all that song and dance, this is what common sense tells me as I stand outside Dobsonville Shoprite talking to a defeatist youth who witnessed the violent response by armed security forces. Shoprite South Africa workers

Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption and Disposal, a cycle we believe our modern world relies on for its subsistence and advancement. The labour, the humans forced to relocate from rural habitat by the destruction caused to their ecosystem by the extraction process of industry, they are the cogs and key parts of all these costly points in the global economy – or the machine. They aspire to a quality of life too, one reminiscent of the primitive existence, simple, no frills. That’s not good for business though; they must have a raging lust for the very goods they and their counter-parts all along the mechanized food chain produce in exchange for their life’s vital time and energy. This my dear friend is the new colonisation, when the interests of international corporations and their mother nations become subversively merged with the interests of their host nation. Cultural exports of the West which maintain their superstructure are far more important a feat than Columbus, Sir George Grey and Cecil John Rhodes could’ve ever imagined in their bloody adventures, but the two phases are part of the same design which was conceived centuries prior to Engels, Marx and even long before their greatest source of inspiration Mr Ludwig Feuerbach himself was born.

Some call them PsyOps, the well-calculated and social engineering operations preceded by generations of psychological, human behavior experiments and the study of hormones in relation to our social profiles. These are among a vast artillery at the employ of the US military industrial complex machine which is today more entrenched across all territories of human existence than it ever has been. If for one pseudo-revolutionary moment you think you’re outside the sphere of their influence you’re actually more bamboozled than the ‘savages’ in remote tropical jungles who’ve not had contact with any foreign invader, and they’re actually far more closer to themselves than you and I.

What’s interesting is that most revolutionary theorists and great thinkers in the fray of social justice we’ve seen and been inspired by in the last five centuries were all outputs of the same academic system which upholds the very colonial civilisation we seek to dethrone. Think about this in relation to Einstein’s words; “You can’t solve a problem from the same mind-state which produced it.” Those who were/are self-taught or are agents of divine inspiration will not be popular subjects of our attention even among black intellectuals since the system which determines the diameter of our thinking already determines the circumference of our activity. The Most Honourable Elijah Muhammad is a classical case, no one can point to a more influential black man in the last 1500 years than him, king Shaka was a monumental  visionary and could’ve been, Honorable Marcus Garvey had the numbers but not the effect Mr Elijah has had. Religion aside we must disabuse ourselves from western standards and look at the way he organised Black Men and Women to an unparalleled state in all areas of life. Mentally, Spiritually, Socioeconomically and otherwise the world witnessed the literal remaking of the Blackman from Nigger to God.  In the West Martin Luther, Medgar Evers, Kwame Toure, Nat Turner, Du Bois, Noble Drew Ali and others contributed immensely to the advancement of Negro liberation no doubt. None achieved what was and is being achieved by Elijah Muhammad’s Nation Of Islam, I emphasize this point because none has been more deliberately vilified or blacked-out from popular culture and contemporary history than Him or Louis Farrakhan.  He was not a product of Yale, Harvard or any of their prestigious institutions and none of their best products has ever been able to refute a single idea in the scholarship of Master Fard Muhammad. The best journalists and thinkers of that time couldn’t even intellectually handle a boxer (Ali) who went through less than 2 years of study under Mr Elijah Muhammad. When we talk about de-colonisation we must look at one of the Blackest movement there’s ever been for modelling our work. CHE.jpegIntellectualisation and “robust dialogues” are activities the colonial social scientist per-empted even within the design of the contrived native post-colonial experience.  We are mindless in our degree-induced arrogance to think we’re so unique in our recycled analyses, in our topical engagements with feminism and intersectionality, racial injustice as it relates to class, dialectical materialism, etc. all these buzzwords come from the same opinion dispensary you’re dreaming of overthrowing but are too entrenched in to ever fully realise that pipe-dream.  For example, when we remove the contradictory existentialism of Sartre from Farnon and Biko only what can be attributed to an educated response to their era and culture remains.

Cris-hani-with-Joe-Slovo

Great Marxists, Chris Hani and Joe Slovo of SACP

So, let’s stick to drinking their wines, smoking their weaponized weed and other recreational drugs whilst arguing in their tongue, enjoying social status conferred upon us by the amount of products we’ve amassed, by the value of our labour in relation to the quality of education we’ve been privileged to get. The sad part of this very education which causes us to raise our noses at those without it is that it isn’t transferable, we find it hard to share what we’ve been taught to others of our kind. No, it is purely for serving the owners of the means of production, who determine your value, which gives you a taste of a higher class than the one you’re desperately handing on to by a wage-thread.

Marching has a positive in Marxist thought

The proletariat in protest action is a means and not an end unto itself, a means of beginning the great work of uniting the working force across the industry, across the geographical and social arena where the political and economic power of capital is entrenched. The March and strike by the labour force seeks to instil the spirit of resistance, the spirit of hope, the will to change the status quo, and if we as the labour force achieve some gains in our petition this naturally activates the will to organise more efficiently and form some type of quorum which can influence legislation. Thus labour Unions are born – but none have been really true to their purpose for a while now. Maybe because they’re also a result of capital organisation, not organic, not formed by communities seeking to build their own instead of desiring integration.

satre

French Philosopher, big influence to Biko, Cabral and Farnon among others  – Sartre

So we might think capital power will never be shaken over a strike action, a march or the words of my beloved Cic Julius Malema when they’ve heard the same words verbatim from greater men and women many a times before. Every dime lost to them is reimbursed with more losses of our land, minerals, humans, and even minds. Theirs are losses calculated. Whilst ours are losses in life, martyrdom.

So what

Colonial class exploitation prevails also through the proletariat’s ignorance of their power, the constant fear of loosing their means of livelihood, the defeatist attitude sustained by institutional dis-empowerment of the worker through conditions which reinforce the idea of tools and profit being more valuable than their life and illusion of a life which relies only on money.  I was of the view that marching and protest doesn’t achieve nearly as much as‘Economic withdrawal’ can, but if we look at the distinct purposes of the two actions we’d be able to appreciate the different yet important goals each have in the radical dismantling of capitalist organisation of society.

However, the technicalities involved in the work of true liberation is no small feat and nothing on our current popular political landscape has the qualifications to effectively manage this program. All the degrees and accolades we have only deliver us at the feet of European theorists and philosophers, we are yet to see what real Black Excellence looks like, the West knows it. That’s why Jesus, Muhammad, Moses and all those great revolutionary ones had to be white-washed.

@Yemyem9

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Tokoloshe > Technology

daliwonga afrikan drum maskThese phones rob us of natural functions we should be developing and sharpening daily. Actually, all technology serves that function – to render natural ability redundant and replace it with a commoditized solution which you end up overly reliant on, to the benefit of its makers and sellers. This is the problem with capitalism and the psychological messaging from marketing agencies which ride on the foundations set by sociologists who were commissioned by political power at the turn of the century to increase consumption of products using emotional triggers as opposed to the utilitarian purchase culture of ascetics and communists.

Anyway, be that as it may we’re here now all sold to the idea that technology makes our lives easier. Globalisation is at levels imagined only in science fiction 20 years ago, we are closer to people across the globe than we are to our physical neighbours, real communities are virtual and that good stuff many tech jounos and evangelists have preached is all lovely until you drop your iPhone in the toilet. Until your Macbook dies on you, until you’re without internet for a week and life ends.

#OFFLINE

Some of the areas of improvement I realised during my unplanned digital sabbatical were memorisation of telephone numbers, reading of books, print media, use of hand writing, drawing, art of conversation with strangers and family members, the process  of information consumption and conversion of it into knowledge through experience and proper understanding which results from in-depth interrogation of ideas. There’s something classically special about writing something whilst you’re offline and have zero hope of being online in the foreseeable future.  Not to assume that all books authored on typewriters and handwritten scrolls automatically became sacred simply because of the medium of their production. I think I am not alone in the belief that the value of some things is inimitable, no matter how advanced society may be.

afro futurism credo

Mkhulu Credo Mutwa, the Sanusi

I recently began to read the 178th issue of the African Communist Journal, Mk Vet Ronnie Kasrils elaborates on the life-threatening conditions of keeping this monumental contribution to the political consciousness of Africa’s liberation struggle going without a single lapse in publishing cycles. What I found amusing was how each copy was made, duplicated and distributed in a time when resources were scarce and the content could get you arrested or killed. The people involved in this great feat in liberation history were real giants, not by accolades or some celebrity stature but through their excellence in genuine human qualities such as selflessness, sacrifice, discipline and loyalty.  The Govan Mbeki, Ruth First, Joe Slovo, Michael Harmel, Jeremy Cronin, Ben Turok, Kader Asmal, Rusty Benstein, Andrew Mlangeni, and others who managed to globally circulate compelling socialist analysis of current political climate without internet and helped shaped the ideological character of many a soldier of the African liberation struggle ubiquitously.

I got carried away, my point is that I believe the few who hold the monopoly on innovation and developing breakthrough technology like telephones, televisions, computers, etc., they are afforded this opportunity by the proletariat who spend all their lives working so that few can focus on thinking about human advancement and “discovering” solutions. Instead of attending to the mundane labour of home chores, driving buses, building, and other crap that’s the lot of the cellar dwellers.

One of their favorite secret exercises which foster innovations is to study natural human capabilities and mimicking them with tech, more especially our extra sensory perceptive abilities which an average person can’t readily articulate. In doing so I believe tech designers and engineers rob us of our evolution, we develop backwards or maybe are forced to make evolutionary leaps in some respects. The former is my current concern.pexels-photo-288621

We have telepathy, and were well on the way to developing that into a reality until they mimicked it with telephone. We had a healthy storytelling and imagination developing until television came and forced us to adjust it according to some bastardized templates and formats. The list goes on, all you have to do is investigate your innate human capabilities you’ll definitely find something they’ve invented to replace them. It’s like the question of whole organic foods and processed foods.

So what

Nothing must rob you of solitude, no man-made product will ever be superior to uninterrupted expanses of contemplation, we can’t lose the battle to be purely ourselves, undiluted, regardless of what you own, we must disabuse ourselves  from the narcissistic self-indulgent  delusion of the world needing our brain farts and contrived humor to rotate.  You’ll meet your real self when this social persona which burdens you dies from insignificance.

Yemyem Red

 

In the name of all things sacred and good, in the name of all those who sacrificed their lives for us to be here today talking to the Internet. From the depths of Afrikan townships without running hot water.

Today was another day some men decided to step out of their routine and step in unison and solidarity with the plight for true women’s liberation. Femicide hurts the universe.
In Pretoria the #NotInOurName March was staged, I pray Allah helps those men reform their homes and communities beginning with self. In Soweto a small group of young men also decided to take to the two most busy malls in the south west of Soweto. Jabulani mall and Protea Gardens, we suspect there we sporadic spots of this action in other areas.

Literacy reduces Poverty

“If you can’t afford to travel just read a book.” 

If a book isn’t something you’re trained to save for, or can easily pick up. Then you’re screwed. 


The unemployment rate in South Africa has been fluctuating between 31.20 and 21.50 per cent between 2003 and 2008. In the fourth quarter of 2016 the unemployment rate was at 27.1%, with a reported 45% of our population earning below the R3500 estimated minimum wage. There are approximately 55 million people in South Africa as I write this, this means just over 25 million people can’t afford three wholesome meals a day. This is either you or me. 

I stay in a community where there are more people who are at home during the day than those who commute to work in the morning. This minority spends most of their vital energy working toward liberating their entire family out of the circle of poverty. Sadly, in most cases the same jobs only further entrench these miserable people into a more sadistic poverty of debt slavery. I grew up in a household led by a rural matriarch who was of the early generation of migrant labour force, so luckily most of her traditions of self-sufficiency were still intact during part of my turbulent childhood. She baked bread, grew vegetables, fruits, sold fried fish and offered tailoring services to the locals. These instinctive activities saved an average of R300 and pulled R200 of tax-free income monthly. The death of my grandmother’s generation was the death of that culture of self-sufficiency, the erosion of our relationship with land and relinquishing of personal responsibility to our wellbeing. Dentists, General Practitioners and hospitals weren’t as inundated as they’ve become nowadays. It is common knowledge that majority of all sickness could be prevented with our diet, and this includes the type of foods we feed our brains. A malnutritioned body is just as weak as a malnutritioned mind. Although we might have land, water and other resources to start living healthier but without a nourished mind that knows how to learn and is being fed wholesome knowledge there’s no hope. This is the knowledge which made grandma more of a producer than a consumer, the knowledge which made her thrift, skilled her in the supply & demand of her community’s basic needs. 

Academic reports state that about 8 out of 10 kids who graduate from high school don’t know how to learn. Children absolutely love learning at elementary level, we know that as humans we learn faster as kids but something sad happens in high school which switches most of us off . The school happens.  

There’s evidence that critical thinking and the faculty of reasoning aren’t developed by the current standard of the public schooling system as a skill.  A movement for the revolution of academia has been going on for over a decade now, from outside and from within. As a result more alternatives and supplementary solutions have developed through technology in more developed countries. These technologies have opened up the elitist world of academia and democratized resources which were previously limited to prestigious institutions; this innovation has also made the education experience much more interactive. This is all great but it still doesn’t mean anything if the people who need it the most can’t access it. In most cases the infrastructure might be there but the literacy skills to access information and consume it in a meaningful way is what lacks.

 This is another fault of an education system that was designed to produce labour force instead of entrepreneurs and self-sufficient innovators. Almost everything we learnt in township schools is irrelevant to true human development. Not to mention detrimental. 


There was no emphasis on what is now called foundational Literacies. Numeracy (not just the ability to count), scientific literacy, cultural literacy, financial literacy, and even with the eminent need for tech skills in the market township schools aren’t equipped to inculcate ICT literacy. Literacy in the aforementioned opens up one’s world to so much more. 

 The sooner one is adequately skilled in these foundational literacies the sooner a person is able to navigate the world more meaningfully. The development of some core competencies which inform how we approach complex challenges like communication, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving rely deeply on foundational literacy. It’s possible that some good teachers will get the ball rolling in the right direction but without community-based literacy programs and activities at home there’s a high likelihood of the child not making it out of the circle of poverty. In most functional societies institutions of learning aren’t limited to the academic system and its skewed admission requirements which let only a few in. There’ no denying the great vacuum of moral qualities which often go beyond the dimension of any public school to inculcate. The vacuum echoes at churches, homes, schools, politics and all spheres of township society. 

If I don’t romanticize black people’s ability to survive harsh poverty in the townships I’ve lived in, the bankruptcy  of characteristics and qualities such as leadership,community, initiative, social and cultural awareness, empathy and persistence has made them immensely valuable due to their higher demandA school curriculum is not a magic wand to the problems of learning, but some substantial leadership in education would help. 
Literacy programmes aren’t just about ability to read and write. It has to do with cultivating of minds to independently function, create or identify opportunities and explore their potential. It’s no secret that the gap between the rich and poor is maintained by the sanctioned ignorance of the majority. We must be kept preoccupied with the most basic of concerns that anything besides food, clothing, and shelter is a luxury. 

 In the book How Marxism Work, Chris Harman shows how necessary it is to keep the majority illiterate for a capitalist state to thrive. 

“The majority of the earth’s population were too busy scratching the soil for a meagre living to have time to develop systems of writing and reading, to create works of art, to build ships to trade, to plot the course of the stars, to discover the rudiments of mathematics, to work out when rivers would flood or how irrigation channels should be constructed. These things could only happen if some of the necessities of life were seized from the mass of the population and used to maintain a privileged minority which did not have to toil from sunrise to sunrise.”

Where to from here:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts”. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society. Source: Wikipedia

Okay, with this above definition in mind the UNESCO rates 770 million adults as illiterate in the world, 20% of whom are in Sub-Sahara Africa. South Africa & Zimbabwe score above 80% in adult literacy, whilst the region of Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, and Ethiopia, have adult literacy rates below 50%

One of the indicators of human development has always been literacy, but with the global illiteracy being halved between 1970 and 2010 from 40s to 80s in percentage other studies have begun to inform the broader scope of indicators. There’s definitely much more opportunity for the less developed world to improve literacy rates due to the effects of globalization, this has also increased the demand for knowledge-based workers. I do believe that the bulk of the work rests on the public education system but still acknowledge that our governments are grossly incapacitated to carry such a burden, and therefore must explore nonconventional literacy initiatives to prepare more people for the skills demand of future economies.

The literacy improvement project is the responsibility of non-governmental organs, the first and most important being the family. If the family is dysfunctional the next best option should be an organ which is driven by forces within the community. The idea of community has changed to groupings based on interests more than demographics, so this makes for greater opportunity for peer education channels to be created. For example if 20 of us living in different parts of Soweto are interested in reading it’s easier to form an organisation around that interest than canvassing for members from one geographic area which might yield less than 20 people. 

There’s greater access to skills transfer than we think, a bunch of courses available online and organisations offering training and mentorships at no cost. This only needs champions to curate these resources according to an identified need per region or community. 

Our government departments can’t be left out of the equation, the quality of education taught at township schools must be challenged, and the methodologies must be rid of. E.g. Afrikaans being used as the only secondary-additional language in “good schools” is a colonial exclusion tactic that must be addressed. 

Professor Ken Robinson suggests that the archaic hierarchy of subjects which put maths and science at the top and creative subjects at the bottom must be completely done away with. Simply because in the last 3 decades evidence shows we’ve needed more creative solutions to problems created by the less creative people at the top. 

South Korea according to the world economic forum is a starling example of how early literacy program investments have direct impact in the economy. They’ve broken it down to a measurable science, ensuring a national return on investments by ensuring that children and young adults are fully literate for them to contribute much to society and participate in the economy productively. 

 We must rid our countries of the old capitalist rule of keeping people stupid so they’re easier to use as tools. The violence, deaths, disease and general instability which always results from this fascist way doesn’t make for a sustainable governing of a country. The wellness of a people is directly linked to the wellness of the country and how women, the first teachers are treated. 

Copyright Daliwonga Pantshwa