LETTERS, CRITICISM AND SUGGESTIONS
Cyril Ramaphosa—ex-trade union organizer, current capitalist
In the last edition, Red Flag wrote about Cyril Ramaphosa, who was recently elected the President of the African National Congress. We said that this is not a victory for the working class. Ramaphosa is a capitalist who was on the Board of the Lonmin Mine Company when 34 striking miners were murdered at Marikana in 2012.
We also said that many people in South Africa, including the unions, are celebrating Ramaphosa’s election. Readers outside of South Africa may not know Ramaphosa’s history and why the unions would call this a victory.
The fight against Apartheid, the racist system of extreme separation and exploitation that ruled South Africa from 1948 to 1994, was largely begun by student protests. In the 1980s, it spread to the industrial working class. The National Union of Mineworkers, led by the lawyer Cyril Ramaphosa, shut the country down with a general strike for both economic and political demands in 1987.
The involvement of the organized working class was the beginning of the end for the apartheid regime. Ramaphosa became the main negotiator who helped the ANC sell out the fight of the working class. The ANC dropped demands for nationalization of the farms and mines and the government agreed to end the legal structure of apartheid.
Capitalism is intact in South Africa, with racism, poverty, extreme exploitation, and murderous police. Comrades in South Africa and around the world are mobilizing the masses—not to reform capitalism, but to replace it with communist revolution. We’re building a mass party, not one which relies on union officials, lawyers, or capitalist politicians. We’ll fight for workers’ power, and abolish private ownership, money, profits and exploitation. We’ll create a society where we cooperate to produce for need.
—Comrade in another country
Sexism kills, and kills brutally
Recently in El Salvador a violent act was committed where a woman was beat unconscious by her life partner which later resulted in her death. Her body was riddled with bruises and her neck was covered in scratches and other marks. After beating her unconscious the man went and altered the scene of the crime, by moving the woman’s body to make it seem as though her death was a result of her falling down a stairway. Then he proceeded to clean the scene. Police are holding the man in custody as of right now and if convicted he could face up to 40 years in prison.
The way she was left was something one would expect to see in a horror movie, but unfortunately this was no movie, just the reality all women face. To make matters worse, the headlines regarding the murder of the Salvadoran woman have been downplaying the event by stating things like, “He was just a little heavy handed”.
This woman from El Salvador was someone who friends referred to as being caring and unselfish, but now she is just another statistic. A statistic that reflects the state in which El Salvador is in right now in which 1488 women have died in the last three years as a result of violent acts against them similar to the one mentioned above.
Acts like these happen far too often because capitalism has allowed for them to become commonplace, but we must reject the notion of sexism and must struggle to end acts of violence caused by it.
I am beyond furious and this most recent case has only served to solidify the idea in my mind that the only way for woman to escape these acts of violence is through communist revolution where sexism will no longer exist and where working men and woman will no longer die unnecessarily.
Let us work together and fight for communism because it is the only system which eradicates the system of oppression known as capitalism.
Do we have gay members?
A couple of issues back, a comrade in South Africa asked: “whether there is space for people who are gay in communist society because it speaks on how people will live.”
We want to answer that with one word: Yes.
There are gay people and straight people in every society now and in our party. Of course there will be gay people in a communist society. We fight now against discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and queer people and we will continue to do so in a communist society.
And we agree, the question speaks on how people will live when we eliminate class society.
We want to refer the reader to the article we published in August, 2015, after the US Supreme Court said that same-sex couples have the right to marry, which is the wedge issue in US society today.
We went beyond that question to deal with the way that marriage today is a capitalist institution and how communism will transform all social relationships. Here’s the url:
We invite you to read it and send your comments.
—Los Angeles comrades
We need action against sexual abuse
In my opinion, the #MeToo movement has done nothing but, once again, create a trend that will eventually die off until the next trendy topic of discussion or # arises. How then will these empty words have any change without action? While I marched in solidarity with the women and men of all races, genders, sexualities and ideals on life and society, I wondered how much weight these two words really carried. I believe that unless discussions with both women and men are had which analyze why women are devalued in this capitalist system, then saying Me Too doesn’t do anything but create an atmosphere where these attacks will further continue.
As I sat my little ones down, two boys and two girls, I had the tough conversations with them about gender and the different ideas and expectations that are set on them. I also had the tough talk with them about sexual abuse and the course of action that should be taken. I let them know that they do not have to remain silent. I told them they must understand that in me that they have someone to confide to because often times victims of sexual abuse feel that they don’t. These are the real material actions that need to happen more. This is what I, as a young black male, see as action behind words.
Women’s March, Los Angeles, January 2018