Students and other people have been taking part for a week in mass protests in S. Africa against the high fees charged for access to Higher Education. President Zuma climbed down and announced no fee increase for 2016. This hasn't satisfied the many who demand free education for all.
What! Free education? Laugh out loud! What do they think capitalism is: a merry-go-round of freedom and jollity with free gifts thrown in? They must be mad,
Student leader Mcebo Dlamini, a key organiser at the University of Witwatersrand, said students had not caused any violence. “There is no violence here. We have seen students reacting to the brutal system of the ANC [the ruling party].”
Stephen Grootes, a political commentator, said the success of the student protests posed a headache for the ANC. “What this does reveal is the ANC’s inability to deal with a multiracial, multiclass and multiparty group of people who refuse to buy into the old political narrative, he said.
In fact there has been a lot of violence at these rallies. Some say it's the students; others unwelcome interlopers like workers! and many indicate the police who have been busy with truncheons, tear gas and the rest as usual. Some trace the violence back to the ruling ANC.
Stephen Grootes remark is interesting when he refers to the ANC's inability "to deal with a multiracial, multiclass and multiparty group of people who refuse to buy into the old political narrative."
It made this reader ponder what the "old political narrative" might be exactly. Surely he wasn't referring to democracy capitalist style? Not a Guardian journalist? But what other political narrative do we have at the moment other than the tired, worn out and dreary old clap trap of bourgeois democracy with the voting booths wheeled out every few years for the farce of an election for a capitalist government few want.
And then there's the "multiracial, multiclass and multiparty" people who don't like the old political narrative. To deal with the multiparty group first. To say that they don't like the current political narrative is wrong. In fact they love it. All those fancy bourgeois political parties, with fancy names and fancy personalities to front them, and all with the same bourgeois political program at base.
Then there's the catch-all word "multiracial". It's odd that the ANC can't cope with a multiracial society being born itself out of the death of apartheid. Why, even England is a multiracial society now. And even , almost, multi religious. What capitalist societies in their declining years really can't cope with isn't problems of race but problems of immigrants and refugees who may suddenly appear on their national door steps looking for jobs, housing, education, health care and the like, which pressurise a nation's financial systems and stability. S. Africa suffers much from black migrants from other countries to its north coming looking for jobs and a better life. This isn't a racial problem at all. (And why "multiracial" not "multiethnic" from the liberal Gaurdian?)
So we are left with "multiclass". Is there a multiplicity of classes to equate to the bourgeoisie's multiplicity of political parties? I think not. And for certain there's only one class around that refuses knowingly to buy into the old political narrative mentioned by our Guardian reporter and that he doesn't want to name. It is of course the working class. The revolutionary class. The old political narrative has no intention in identifying the classes that make up class society. This would not serve its class commitment. And while the Guardian may be liberal in its sympathy for the down trodden, the unemployed and repressed, it's sympathy has a firm ruling class basis, and is sustained by a firm belief in the old political narrative.
So what have we learned from the Guardian's analysis of the student revolt in S. Africa? Not perhaps as much as we might think. We have been told that the ANC can't deal with society as it is because it is incapable of dealing with those protesters who refuse to buy into the old political narrative. This might be said of an increasing number of countries, though it isn't actually said. The group of people who don't buy into the old politics are disguised as being multiparty and multiracist. Yet what they are if they did but know it is the working class rubbing against its chains. This is what the Guardian subtlety presents as "multiclass". But then the Guardian has nothing to gain from speaking truthfully.