Skip to main content

View Diary: Borrowing a page from the anti-Apartheid fight (102 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  exactly- OWS should be consulting the history (37+ / 0-)

    of that struggle more closely since it did have a profound effect on the ANC's efforts to liberate South Africa

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:36:26 PM PST

    •  i went to camp obama in 08 (28+ / 0-)

      and in a circle discussion, the facilitator asked "what inspires you, what do you think has worked?"  and my answer was the anti-apartheid movement.  nelson mandela.  

    •  Everybody should also read (7+ / 0-)

      the chapter on South Africa in Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine.  How the end of Apartheid became the beginning of disaster capitalism.  Being forewarned is being forearmed.

      •  Marie, I would really like to interview (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie

        Naomi Klein.  My main question for her would be:

        "How do you sleep at night?"  I have a hard enough time when I am too close to all this stuff.  Taking the 'blue' pill brings insomnia.

        thanks for the ref.

        I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

        by SeaTurtle on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:55:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Suspect that she's very emotionally (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeaTurtle, annieli, ladybug53, Matt Z

          healthy.  Valued, etc. as a kid by loving and competent parents.  Continuing the pattern by choosing a loving, talented, healthy man to marry.  Paying it forward with their young child.

          •  her mom was also a crusader despite some health (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, Matt Z, SeaTurtle, Marie

            issues

            I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

            by annieli on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:45:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Made my comment without ever (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              annieli

              wondering or knowing anything about Klein's parents.  Or grandparents.  She comes by her intelligence and activism honestly: (excerpts from Wikipedia)

              ...
              In 1942 her grandfather Phil Klein, an animator at Disney, was fired after the Disney animators' strike,[4] and went to work at a shipyard instead. Klein's father grew up surrounded by ideas of social justice and racial equality, but found it "difficult and frightening to be the child of Communists", a so-called red diaper baby.
              ...
              Her parents had moved to Montreal from the U.S. in 1967 as war resisters to the Vietnam War.[2] Her mother, documentary film-maker Bonnie Sherr Klein, is best known for her anti-pornography film Not a Love Story.[3] Her father, Michael Klein, is a physician and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her brother, Seth Klein, is director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
              ...

               
    •  as I tell all my young colleagues in the Occupy (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LEP, SoCalSal, claude, TexDem, SeaTurtle, DSPS owl

      movement, the movement for social justice has a long history, and some of us were around for parts of it. There is an African proverb that says "when an elder dies, the village loses a library". Those old folks amongst us who were around back then, are our library.  Use it.  Pick our brains, learn from our experiences. There's no need to reinvent the wheel.

    •  kos, great minds think alike (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TexDem, ladybug53

      seems like this idea is bubbling up all over, w/several people getting the same idea at the same time.  Must be the "Time" for it!

      Did you notice this diary?

      Divest now. Using public records to empower personal divestiture.+

      which was published on DailyKos by RvgAqs on Monday, in which he said:

      One of the most potent weapons used  to bring about the end of South Africa's horrible Apartheid regimes was the power of divestiture. Public demands that corporations, performers, and pension funds doing business in South Africa atop supporting the regime through their investments in that country.

      We have a similar opportunity to make that personal investment in pushing back against the 1% and those who enable and support them in our own lives.

      All it takes is a little gumshoe work, most of which can be done from the laptop you are holding in your hands.

      I really think this is a good idea.  Money talks.  And it is THE ONLY WAY corporations listen.

      As well as your 'move your money' movement.  (that's catchy alliteration!)

      I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

      by SeaTurtle on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:35:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  btw, if you want to see some little known films (0+ / 0-)

        which are in my opinion the best in actually depicting what was going on the Apartheid era:

        about what the blacks endured:
        In My Country:
        http://www.amazon.com/...

        and this one really demonstrates how the whites suffered in South Africa as apartheid was getting established, watch:
        A World Apart:
        http://www.amazon.com/...

        Watch these movies (with a big box of Kleenex) and note some similarities to what is going on today.

        And shudder.

        I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

        by SeaTurtle on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:14:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  But you're S.African history is completely wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackNGreen, FrankAletha, MrJayTee

      My comment has nothing to do with the merits of taking your money out of large banks.

      But if you say, let's base this on history, especially the history of the divestment movement, and then get that history completely, completely wrong, you're kind of doing a disservice to history, to South Africa, to the ANC and the divestment movement.

      The divestment movement and its rationales were complicated and singular.  The point certainly was not to "cripple" the South African economy.  

      I could give a thumbnail sketch of why the ANC chose divestment as a strategy, although I suspect it might make a lot of DKers uncomfortable.  

      The ANC asked the international community to divest from South Africa because it had a very complex and sophisticated view of South African politics, which I'm not sure is transferable to other contexts.

      To simplify it greatly, the ANC and many internal critics, who were overwhelmingly Marxists and neo-Marxists were familiar with South African history and the strange relationship between its 1%, its captains of industry, mines and bankers, and the apartheid state which represented the bottom 50% or so of white South Africans.

      The idea was to split off the 1% (actually more like 20%) and form an alliance with them, which had existed previously, against the over protected white working class.

      Shortly after the end of the Boer War, after the mines restarted, the mine magnates decided to desegregate certain aspects of mining employment and allow black miners to work their way up into supervisory roles (the main criteria being whether one was allowed to obtain a "blasting certificate").  

      The mine magnates were overwhelmingly English speaking South Africans.  The workers were poor Afrikaners (Dutch speaking rural to urban migrants) as well as foreign immigrants from Australia and the US, other countries with white supremacy as policy.

      The white working class, under the leadership of several communist parties, rebelled.  This was not too many years after the establishment of the Soviet Union, and the white workers of Johannesburg declared a "Johannesburg Soviet."  The rebellion was called the "Rand Rebellion," and the slogan was "Workers of the World Unite and Fight for a White South Africa."

      The government of Jan Smuts crushed the rebellion, but after that, successive governments caved into white working class demands and instituted ever more stringent racial discrimination in employment in order to protect white workers.  The South African government relied on poor white voters and was explicitly Afrikaner nationalist, so it had to comply with the wishes of Afrikaner rural to urban migrants, as well as Afrikaners still on the farms who relied on black slave labor.

      The result was segregation and then an intensified form, apartheid.
      White labor was protected at great expense to the economy, but above all, at great expense to black workers.

      The ANC and other Marxists believed that apartheid was merely a means of creating cheap black labor for the capitalists and protected employment for the white working class, but that the capitalist class could be split off, if apartheid ceased being a bargain to them.  

      One way to make apartheid expensive was to get foreign companies to divest from South Africa, depriving the capitalists of investment, foreign exchange and technology.  An added benefit would be that the technology needed to run the system -- the computers that were used in the pass system, the motor vehicles and aircraft engines used in armaments industry -- would not be available.

      But the key thing to remember is that the ANC was not trying to destroy the economy -- but to get its mostly English speaking capitalists, managers and professionals to look at it rationally.  It would be cheaper to have 10 times as many potential supervisors if apartheid were gotten rid of.

      Because many of the ANC were Marxists and the partner of the ANC was the (reformed, non-racial) South African Communist Party, most of them strongly believed that South Africa needed a "bourgeoise democratic revolution" as a first step toward a longer term goal of creating a socialist economy.

      As for Naomi Klein, I've read what she has to say about South Africa, and frankly, she might as well be writing about Mars or Pluto.  Her knowledge base was approximately zero, and her thesis depends in part on Nelson Mandela being a sort of shell shocked zombie who didn't know a gun from a microphone after decades in prison.

      Well, Nelson Mandela was not a shell shocked zombie and was in fact extremely brilliant at being part of the team that managed the transition.

      •  Another insightful post. (0+ / 0-)

        Many thanks.

        Please start a regular series of diaries on African politics.

        Please?

      •  thank you for your comment (0+ / 0-)

        I like Naomi Klein. I even had dinner with her, lovely lady.  But she does have a particular view and classically Canadian.  Candians love to stamp their feet at corporations until it bumps up against the Tar Sands revenues from Alberta.

        "How quickly these kids have affected the public dialogue. So proud of them." Clarknt67

        by TexMex on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 01:04:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site