kagablog

January 23, 2015

the ontological flaw

Filed under: andile mngxitama,athi mongezeleli joja,philosophy,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:36 am

“In the weltanschauung of the colonised people, there is an impurity or a flaw that prohibits any ontological explanation. Perhaps it can be argued that this is true for every individual, but such an argument would be concealing the basic problem. Ontology does not help us to understand the being of the black man, since it ignores the lived experience of the black man. For not only must the black man be black; he must be black in relation to the white man. Some people will argue that the situation has a double meaning. Not at all. The black man has no ontological existence in the eyes of the white man. From one day to the next, the Blacks have had to deal with two systems of reference. Their metaphysics, or less pretentiously their customs and agencies to which they refer, were abolished because they were in contradiction with a new civilisation that imposed its own.”
FRANTZ FANON – black skins white masks (1967)

January 22, 2015

professor steven jones on what really happened at 9/11

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:29 pm

January 21, 2015

beware of the white man

Filed under: andile mngxitama,music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 8:07 pm

January 16, 2015

another da development…

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:08 am

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January 11, 2015

third world war – preaching violence

Filed under: music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 1:00 pm

January 10, 2015

burning spear – cry blood africa

Filed under: music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 9:55 am

carina venter answers six questions about art in south africa after marikana

Filed under: art,Carina Venter,politics,six questions — ABRAXAS @ 9:36 am

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1. Do you think art can be didactic in a good way?

The answer is yes, not because the answer is yes, but because the answer has to be yes. Partly delusional, partly idealised, partly corrupted, and partly sheer faith in a belief that I might be wrong about the afore-mentioned conditions in a sovereign sense. At least for the present, I have no other way of thinking about the possibility of aesthetics as a didactic force.

2. What is this “need to document”? Of what use is it?

This need to document, indeed the incessant need to catalogue, review, reconstruct, catalogue our reconstructions, review our catalogued reconstructions, reconstruct our review of the catalogued reconstruction: this need to archive is both cumulative and productive, but not linear in an ontological sense. Which leads me to the conclusion that the need to archive is a sign that the present of linear time (understood as always following what came before and opening onto what comes after) is mutilated, so much so that we must go somewhere other to warm our shivering lives. We return to the past, to the archive, at times to seek consolation, to enunciate our present as a reconstruction of the documented past or to respond to something other than the linear present. Psychoanalysis is, I think, one way to understand the immense psychic need to archive: it is only when we have understood our most intimate archives, or rather, when we have reassembled those archives into something with which we can live — albeit momentarily — that depression (the experience of the present, not as fleeting and finite but as what is irrevocable and infinite) yields to the warmth of a moment in which we feel able to be present. This also means that the archive and its modern derivatives are abstractions that mostly exclude those monitory subjects without money. In other words, it is a space for those of us who have been fed, clad, rested, cared for, and then find that there is still time left.

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3. Can art be a means of historical elucidation, a means of constructing truth?

The day that a consensus is reached on this question will be the day that art becomes nothing other than what we think it is. Art can be anything it wishes to be. And perhaps herein resides its only hope. Art is ephemeral in the sense that its total undoing is always still possible. It is the only realm in which it is possible to dream new beginnings, even if those dreams are themselves never untainted.

4. Is South Africa a productive field for art today? In what way? How would you describe the art scene here?

I am not qualified to answer this question. I am too young, I haven’t lived very much, I have seen too little of art, and I have lived apart from art for the first 18 years of my life. In my own writing, South Africa is a principle, the intensity of which—often violently—refuses distance. For me, writing has become a threshold, a bulwark against my own falling silent. I write about what resists writing, in order not to fall silent. There is another type of art-making in which I choose to partake, whilst convincing myself that participation is not a matter of choice but of coercion. This type of art-making is akin to a game of Monopoly: through hard work, good luck and a bit of bluffing, I buy houses, streets and sometimes entire cities, individuals, traditions, nations, histories, with the sole aim of playing the game, inasmuch as it is possible, on my own terms.0

5. What is the role of music in film?

I honestly don’t know, but I would like you to put the same question to me ten years hence.

Night is Coming – a threnody for the victims of Marikana from Stephanus Muller on Vimeo.

6. What can art tell us about Marikana? What can art do with Marikana? With “democracy” after Marikana?

This question, too, is beyond what I feel I am able to answer. Or rather, I think that you have yourself proffered one answer which is what occupies my mind and body at the time of responding to your questions. Allow me, then, to quote (almost verbatim) something you wrote:

The title of this film is inspired by the geography of the physical landscape in which a massacre that forms its backbone, is set. It is a new South African fable featuring two “characters”, a Massacre and a Blind Musicologist, played by Gertrude Magrietjie in her haunting debut role. And it recounts their adventures, or rather misadventures in the arid parts of Marikana. Having teamed up, our protagonists, a Massacre and a Blind Musicologist Bible Thumper, set out on a journey to secure spiritual food in order to sustain themselves during a period of spiritual drought. They arrive at red and green pastures, and the Massacre, knowing that these belong to a moody Lonmin, encourages his Blind colleague to gaze. Retribution is inevitable and it takes the form of a Massacre that leaves 34 dead, many of them shot in the back by Police Tactical Response Team members. The Blind Musicologist, unable to swim, drowns.
Night Is Coming: A Threnody for the Victims of Marikana is a fugue in four voices. Two of the voices relate to foreground material (comprising fingers, hands and faces in extreme closeups) and background material (consisting of landscape spaces and plans sequence which both frame space – plastically and architectonically – as well as to operate within the landscape’s frame.
The other two “voices” of the fugue are sound and speech respectively. Particularly Billie Whitelaw’s performance of Samuel Beckett’s text Rockaby lends itself to a fugal setting. Sound design is a crucial part of the success of the fugal approach, and this is already built in to the film from the opening salvo that heralds the Tactical Response Team’s not very tactical response to the striking miners being herded by large armoured vehicles to their own massacre.
The sound of this salvo of bullets is used like a goema drum as a warning, a memory from the Chthonic subconscious built into the DNA, the cellular structure, of generations of people derived from slavery but denied their memory of self by hundreds of years of forced forgetting under colonialism and apartheid.

January 6, 2015

jackie shandu on the ongoing niggerization of so-called black people in south africa today

Filed under: Jackie Shandu,politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:37 pm

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read the background story to this post here: http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/what-happened-when-a-black-family-tried-to-make-reservations-at-a-post-cape-town-restaurant/?fb_action_ids=10153004620249328&fb_action_types=og.likes

January 4, 2015

louis moholo-moholo – sold

Filed under: athi mongezeleli joja,music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:19 am

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December 31, 2014

SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO 2015 NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE

Filed under: andile mngxitama,politics — ABRAXAS @ 4:50 pm

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The year 2014 was a great year in the calendar of events towards the liberation of Black People in South Africa, Africa and the world. September National Imbizo (SNI) celebrates these developments and urges our people here and abroad to continue with the struggle for the emancipation of black people till blacks are allowed to breath freely and not anticipate bullets against their bodies for no reason other than that we are BLACK.

We witness with great jubilation the march of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to the colonial, racist, compradorial National Assembly in South Africa. We salute EFF for refused to bow to reaction and to the indignity of empty platitudes and dishonour of politicians who insist on being called “honourable” when there is no honour about ruling for 20 years in the interests of the oppressor. The dishonorable members who have imposed on our people landlesness, joblessness and the dishonor of poverty and violence of exclusion from the economic benefits that comes from the riches of our land.

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There is nothing honourable about the South African parliament! Only EFF has brought honour to the house by asking the right questions and by adopting the correct attitude. The arrival of red overalls in the national assembly shall forever be etched in the psyche of our people and be celebrated by the millions who have been rendered a powerless majority by the ANC. The millions who have been rendered landless in their own country now raise their voices with the EFF and shout Asijiki!

2014 was the year of #paybackthemoney! A simple slogan that demands accountability and clean government. This slogan is against corruption and is for upholding of the seventh cardinal pillar of the EFF that demands an end to corruption. It’s a pillar that seeks to turn the state into the instrument that serves the people instead of serving the politicians.

2015 must be the year of #ZumaMustGo! The people of our land can no longer defer to parliamentary committees and courts of law to expedite this call. Zuma refuses to account, refuses to pay back the money, Zuma defies the courts and the constitution of the land upon which he has sworn to serve. 2019 is too far, the people want justice NOW!

SNI joins the call that #ZumaMustGo! At the same time we will agitate for the extension of that call to #BothZumaAndANCmustGo within the historical frame-work of “21 years is enough!”. This will be in line with what we have been saying all along, “the problem is not who leads the ANC, the problem is the ANC!”

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EFF emerged from its historic National Peoples Assembly with two clear resolutions: Land Occupations and Blockading certain mines. SNI supports the call for land occupations and our birth right. We call on our people to occupy ALL the Land not just municipality land. Our people must take the land that is held by white farmers, our people must not wait for goverment but must go back to the lands they were removed from!

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SNI supports the occupation of mines by our people and mine workers. But we say focus on white-owned mines. Focus on the mines owned by the two white men who have wealth that is more than 26 million of us. The enemy remains white monopoly capital. We must mobilise our forces of revolution against white-owned mines and enterprises. The main enemy remains Nicky Oppenheimer and Johan Rupert! We must not focus on the body guards only, we must go for their master too. We must not be seen to be enacting a black on black violence. In 2015 let’s focus our attention again on White Monopoly Capital. Our people are ready!

SNI congratulates and is inspired by our people who have started land occupations in 2014. SNI salutes the brave people of Malemaville! SNI salutes the resolute people of Dali Mpofu View! We say you have set a brilliant example and you have inspired us all! In 2015 we carry forward the mandate of land occupations, in our villages, on white-owned farms, on municipality land. ALL of the land in South Africa belongs to the people! ALL of the land in South Africa is stolen property! SNI rejects the liberal and racist media for calling land occupations “land grabs”. Land occupations is correcting the colonial and apartheid land grabs. We are simply re-occupying that which belongs to us! SNI echoes the magnificent voice of EFF and says, “Land Occupations NOW!” Our people are ready!

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2014 saw the people of Burkina Faso rise after 27 years of oppression. The brave people oppressed for that long rose as one and declared: Thomas Sankara Lives!!! Their voices rose to the black heavens and hell fire descended upon the house of parliament which served as the stock exchange of lies and deceit. The parliament that hid the truth about who murdered Thomas Sankara and why? The people burnt it down with all the evil it covered and the dishonour it brought to the land of the upright people of our brother, father and leader Thomas Sankara. We remember the Sankara Oath (http://www.bodedolu.com/thomas-sankara-oath-politicians-public-servants/#sthash.ui1kSILH.dpbs), we remember the People’s Manifesto (http://newfranktalk.bookslive.co.za/blog/2011/04/20/the-peoples-manifesto/) and 2015 is the year we escalate our efforts to educate one another and the SA public about the Sankara Oath so that a new government that puts people first can emerge.

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The 2016 local goverment elections must be fought on the Sankara Oath. We can’t allow local goverments to become places of excessive perks, corruption and theft in service of white monopoly capital while the people suffer! We must insist! Serve the people first! We salute the great Burkinabe’ people for chasing out of office the rogue and murderer Blaise Compaore who murdered our brother Thomas Sankara to serve imperialism and white supremacy. We call on the people of Burkina Faso to demand without delay the implementation of the programmes of Thomas Sankara! Don’t wait for elections! Don’t wait for politicians! You have waited for too long already! SNI salutes the young people of Burkina Faso, the revolutionary artists, rappers, poets and singers who keep the name and example of Thomas Sankara alive! We draw inspiration from you! We echo your voices, Liberty or Death!

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2014 saw the explosion of brilliant Black Resistance in the USA! First in Ferguson, then in the whole nation with the cry #WeCantBreathe! This cry has become the galvanising clarion call for blacks for freedom! Slavery has never ended in the USA. Black people are on a daily basis faced with death and destruction from a state that prides itself on being the home of the free. Black people in the USA are governed not by laws but by bullets! The sad thing is this genocidal life has been normalised. The victim has been projected as the source of violence and the whole world looks the other way.

SNI notes with great sorrow how the movements and goverments in the African continent have up to now turned a blind eye to the systematic oppressions and terrorism against black people in the USA. The silence of all these movements and political parties about the conditions of black people in the USA shows that these movements themselves are colonised by anti-blackness. Our silence in the African continent has de facto made us accomplices to the ongoing genocide against black people in the USA. This is a betrayal of our collective responsibility towards Black people in the world. We refuse to forget how some Africans had helped the slave catchers. We must refuse to allow our silence to again betray black people in the USA. There is no excuse! African movements and political parties have always engaged in acts of solidarity with oppressed peoples of the world. Why not black people? Is it because we can’t see the suffering of those who look like us? Is it because we hate ourselves that much? Or is it because we have accepted the white man’s lie and believe oppression is freedom because it comes from the White House?

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In 2015 we break our silence. In 2015 we shout from under the suffocating weight of the whole evil USA that is strangling us denying us the right to breath God’s oxygen. We shout with the millions in USA that #WeCantBreath! We shout till the evil grip on our collective wind pipe is freed and our necks are left alone and our lungs allowed the free flow of air. We want to breath!

SNI salutes and celebrates the resistance for black liberation and life across the USA. We are inspired and wish to add our weight behind the brilliant radiation of black resistance that confirms BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. We affirm the right to self defence by black people, here in occupied Azania and in the USA, to use any means necessary to defend and free themselves. We echo Malcolm X! Whoever touches us must pay!

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We note the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the evil Empire the USA and the revolutionary Island of Cuba. We celebrate and salute the steadfast revolutionary internationalism of Cuba in refusing to surrender our beloved warrior leader sista Assata Shakur. We are reassured that Cuba shall remain the refuge for liberation fighters and the country of peace and freedom so hard fought by its people and ably led by the selfless sons of Jose Marti, the bearded brothers Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra. Assata Shakur is not a criminal. Shakur is a freedom fighter against the criminal government of the USA! Assata doesn’t belong in jail. She like her people, like us, must be allowed to breath the air of God. We salute Cuba for the great example it sets as a revolutionary government.

Black life continues to be cheap here in South Africa and in the world. Anti-black racism is suffocating black people everywhere on earth. In 2014 we stood up more! We stood up to join the resistance that never stopped since slavery. We are not protected by laws or governments anywhere on earth. We continue to be colonised, stolen from and be murdered with impunity.

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We note the case of our brother Mike Steinbank in South Africa and the legalised theft of his property and creation. We are angered by his victimisation by the South African court system. We are energised and inspired by the young people who have screamed: #JusticeforMike! In 2015 let all freedom loving people join in. We oppose the imminent jailing of Mike Steinbank for speaking the truth in court. The SA courts, like parliament, have banned any black truths. We are gagged!

We call on our people in 2015 to declare it the year of loving black people! Yes we deserve love too after so many years of hate and hurt. We proclaim with rage that #WeLoveBlacks! We know to live and to love we must fight! In 2015 take care of each other, take care of the revolution.

Vuka Darkie coz ’94 Changed Fokol.

We remain the Ones we have been waiting for!
ISSUED BY THE SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO
31 December 2014

Rirhandzu Baloyi (Leader)
Cell: +27 71 444 7473
Mail: rlbaloyi@gmail.com

GIANT STEPS from Stephanus Muller on Vimeo.

December 30, 2014

the best of 2014 – “pay back the money”

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:25 pm

December 29, 2014

jackie shandu on structural white violence in south africa today

Filed under: Jackie Shandu,politics — ABRAXAS @ 4:20 pm

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December 27, 2014

a structure of dissent

Filed under: politics,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 10:10 pm

“One has to remember that each and every ideology has to have built into itself a structure of dissent.
That is what makes it strong, impregnable even.
To see such dissent as anything other than part of the ideology, is an error of logic.”

stephanus muller
Nagmusiek Pg.397

December 25, 2014

siyabonga mviko – Race, Land and Law- A Constitutional Hill to Climb

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:13 pm

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Often the question of land ownership in South Africa is kept out of public consciousness as it stirs division; feelings of fear; anger; shame; and I argue, guilt. In a country the politics of which are shaped by race discourse; with a history soiled with the blood of liberatory martyrs, reconciliation is a necessary treaty and perhaps by leaving questions of justice; race issues; and whatever divides us; the public unconsciously hypnotises itself with the mantra ‘let the sleeping dogs of land owndership and accountability for the crimes of accumulating wealth through oppression now almost half a millenium in operation. Perhaps we feel that we achieve genuine brotherhood by not engaging in discourse that is uncomfortable when we are honest with each other. Perhaps we do it to to preserve the fickle health of our rainbow nationalism and reconciliantion. The law has been copular and an auxiliary in the reluctance to perform redress. The word is constition.

The constitution is a system of laws and basic principles that a state, a country or an organization is governed by, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. This compilation is basically the supreme set of prescriptive codes. South Africa is governed by a constitution adopted in 1996. This document, often hailed as the most progressive in the world, is actually one which leaves a distatesful impression when looked at through the lens of justice or morality. I do not wish to be thought a conspiracy theorist but one wonders why a document which makes okay the dispossession of a people is so often touted as a miracle and very progressive.

Progressive means in favour of new ideas and change, yet put bluntly, our constitution smuggles in historical continuity, nothing that matters really changes. It is in favour of the Land Act of 1913 when the indigenous peoples were formally dispossessed of their land and subsequently confined in ‘homelands’ or Bantustans as they were called. The irony here is that the people were moved from virtually all arable, mineral rich land – all part of their homeland – by a settler population who actually do not have a homeland on this continent. These ‘Bantustans’ were actually big townships, big rural spaces, a sociospatial device designed to evaporate all and any intimate relationship the colonised had with the land and ipso facto the economic infrastructure.

The constitution as a pivotal and ancillary component of the imposed superstructure, the attempt to imposed Afrikaans in the 1970′s as the medium of instruction being an explicit example, focalised what we may think of as contingent violence in that it prescribed the obligatory carrying of dompasses for black people with the promise of imprisonment if one broke with the ruling discursive codes. It focalised power within the police force and thus could magnify their violence, and as well as within the army. It made it alright for state ancillaries to come into the homes of black people in the townships and kick around whomever they found in the house, say on suspicions of their comradeship with liberatory organizations.

Fast forward to 1994, South Africa born afresh; a new flag; a new regime; even some new statues and some new statutes governing social matters. Black people could now share the same social space as white people, interracial dating became legal, but somehow the horrors of the past were mingled in.

Professor Mogobe B. Ramose in his African Philosophy Through Ubuntu writes that “law could be law at all if the legal subject were permanently deleted from its vocabulary”, and I share his observation. The significance of the South African constitution is its unchallenged position as supreme. The constitution evidently pro-imperialism in that it, by legalising property the ownership and thus the possession of which is contested, had successfully created what Hortense Spillers calls ‘historical stillness.’ Nothing changes in this space, the injustices of the past become okay. The constitution has no conscience to bug it, and through it South Africa feels no remorse. It was never an act of reconliation. This document never documented what activists for total black liberation and economic emancipation recklessly dub ‘white theft’, which I hold to be rather violent robbery.

A friend who works within the legal framework once observed that theft and robbery are two different crimes even though they share the goal of illegally possessing the property of another. On the one hand a thief banks on his not being caught (red handed) or his identity not revealed once awareness concerning missing property is achieved. On the other, a robber may or may not mask his identity. One thing is for sure, he does not bank on his not being seen performing his evil act. He uses force and violence to grab someone else’s property to make it his own. A robber may even rape and sometimes murder to accomplish his goal. The story of black dispossession is characterised by the latter.

The significance and role of the concepty of legal is that it tells us ‘rightfully’, ‘justly’, ‘lawfully.’ The constitution does not have impetus for revolutionary redress because not only did it accept as legal the lawless declarations pertaining to land, it smuggled in property obtained through the brutal rape, pillaging and murder, and then actively protects it. Just because someone is in possession of another’s house and passes it on their descendants while arguably adding some value to it does not transfer legal ownership to recipient of this stolen property.

In South Africa it apparently does. In South Africa, lawlessness is protected under the legal framework and enforced through courts. Today white people live far better than black people and the rest of society. They have estates, golf courses, and control the means of production, as well as the rights to tell others to piss off on ‘private’ property which they may sell for a profit, desecrate, shut off, and do as they please, because it is within their legal rights to do so. These rights the constitution stipulates into law and protects them however unjust and immoral they are. I am personally left in confusion as I attempt to understand how the ownership of property acquired through illegal means is somehow legally transferred just because the robbing party has had possession for close to half a millenium or does ownership expire at some point?

By: Siyabonga Mviko
For Black Wednesday.

December 23, 2014

dj nova – point of order

Filed under: 2014 - Black Skins Wits Masks,andile mngxitama,music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:39 pm

leon trotsky – “Morality of the Kaffirs”

Filed under: 2014 - Black Skins Wits Masks,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:47 pm

It is impossible not to agree with the moralists that history chooses grievous pathways. But what type of conclusion for practical activity is to be drawn from this? Leo Tolstoy recommended that we ignore the social conventions and perfect ourselves. Mahatma Ghandi advises that we drink goat’s milk. Alas, the “revolutionary” moralists of Neuer Weg did not drift far from these recipes. “We should free ourselves,” they preach, “from those morals of the Kaffirs to whom only what the enemy does is wrong.” Excellent advice! “We should free ourselves Tolstoy recommended in addition that we free ourselves from the sins of the flesh. However, statistics fail to confirm the success of his recommendation. Our centrist mannequins have succeeded in elevating themselves to supra-class morality in a class society. But almost 2,000 years have passed since it was stated: “Love your enemies”, “Offer also the other cheek …” However, even the holy Roman father so far has not “freed himself” from hatred against his enemies. Truly, Satan, the enemy of mankind, is powerful!

To apply different criteria to the actions of the exploiters and the exploited signifies, according to these pitiful mannequins, standing on the level of the “morals of the Kaffirs”. First of all such a contemptuous reference to the Kaffirs is hardly proper from the pen of “socialists”. Are the morals of the Kaffirs really so bad? Here is what the Encyclopedia Britannica says upon the subject:

“In their social and political relations they display great tact and intelligence; they are remarkably brave, warlike, and hospitable, and were honest and truthful until through contact with the whites they became suspicious, revengeful and thievish, besides acquiring most European vices.”

It is impossible not to arrive at the conclusion that white missionaries, preachers of eternal morals, participated in the corruption of the Kaffirs.

If we should tell the toiler – Kaffir how the workers arose in a part of our planet and caught their exploiters unawares, he would be very pleased. On the other hand, he would be chagrined to discover that the oppressors had succeeded in deceiving the oppressed. A Kaffir who has not been demoralized by missionaries to the marrow of his bones will never apply one and the same abstract moral norms to the oppressors and the oppressed. Yet he will easily comprehend an explanation that it is the function of these abstract norms to prevent the oppressed from arising against their oppressors.

What an instructive coincidence: in order to slander the Bolsheviks, the missionaries of Neuer Weg were compelled at the same time to slander the Kaffirs; moreover in both cases the slander follows the line of the official bourgeois lie: against revolutionists and against the colored races. No, we prefer the Kaffirs to all missionaries, both spiritual and secular!

It is not necessary in any case, however, to overestimate the conscientiousness of the moralists of Neuer Weg and other cul-de-sacs. The intentions of these people are not so bad. But despite these intentions they serve as levers in the mechanics of reaction. In such a period as the present when the petty bourgeois parties who cling to the liberal bourgeoisie or its shadow (the politics of the “Peoples’ Front”) paralyze the proletariat and pave the road for Fascism (Spain, France …), the Bolsheviks, that is, revolutionary Marxists, become especially odious figures in the eyes of bourgeois public opinion. The fundamental political pressure of our time shifts from right to left. In the final analysis the whole weight of reaction bears down upon the shoulders of a tiny revolutionary minority. This minority is called the Fourth International. Voila l’ennemi! There is the enemy!

In the mechanics of reaction Stalinism occupies many leading positions. All groupings of bourgeois society, including the anarchists, utilize its aid in the struggle against the proletarian revolution. At the same time the petty bourgeois democrats attempt, at least to the extent of fifty percent, to cast the repulsiveness of the crimes of its Moscow ally upon the indomitable revolutionary minority. Herein lies the sense of the now stylish dictum: “Trotskyism and Stalinism are one and the same.” The adversaries of the Bolsheviks and the Kaffirs thus aid reaction in slandering the party of revolution.

first published on the web here: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/morals/morals.htm

malaika mahlatsi on what is afrikan

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:16 pm

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December 22, 2014

postcards from the revolution #4: Julius Malema on land occupation

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 1:50 am

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keep reading this interview here: http://m.timeslive.co.za/politics/?articleId=13523809

December 21, 2014

postcards from the revolution #3: Thomas Sankara

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 4:26 pm

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stacy hardy answers six questions about art in south africa after marikana

Filed under: art,literature,politics,six questions,stacy hardy — ABRAXAS @ 3:59 pm

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1. Do you think art can be didactic in a good way?

I guess the kind of art I like, the books I like to read, the music I like to listen, feels like it has something at stake to it, that there’s some necessity to its having been written rather than it being a replication of patterns or traditions that have come before or brain fodder.

I think there’s a growing urgency for art and writing that shakes us out of our complacency, reminding us that we are alive, really alive and that things don’t have to be the way they are, reminding us that anything is possible, that everything is possible, despite the fact that we routinely convince ourselves that things are just as they are—the way we’ve inherited them.

So yes, I’m interested in art and music and fiction that works against society’s indifference. That challenges the world we live in, the world we have inherited. I love work that shakes up our stable view of the world, work that trips us up or surprises us, that forces us to see the world differently. I love work that grapples with the self as a transient gossamer thing, easily obliterated and readily rebuilt. I’m interested in sex, in desire and the body, an art that champions the vulnerable, the fractured, the disenfranchised, the fucked-up.

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2. What is this “need to document”? Of what use is it?

Well I think there’s a real sense that our that language has failed us, is failing us – that we no longer have the tools or even the words, the sentence structures to give voice to our present realities, that all too often the language we use has been compromised by history or co-opted and emptied out of meaning by our late capitalist reality.

So it’s about how we document and how we speak about our reality that’s the pressing concern. How do we capture the complexity, the beauty, the horror, the inventiveness of life here and now now?

I have little interest in documenting unless that document subverts or challenges accepted views of reality or allows us to really see not simply to recognise. Recognition occurs when we look at things without seeing them—when racism in Cape Town has become so familiar, we tune it out. Seeing, in contrast, happens when something makes us to look again, and regard a thing as though we’re encountering it for the first time.

When it comes to the documentary impulse I gravitate towards work that defamiliarises reality. Work that plays with is disastrous commingling of fact and fiction, blur the borders between artists/ viewer, author/ character in order to disparage authenticity where self is put at risk by naming names, becoming naked, making the irreversible happen. The writer/artist becomes exposed and vulnerable: you risk being foolish, silly, pathetic, wrong. The writing comes too close to reality, to the body, to the bone. This challenges the safe distance between the text and the world, the writer and the reader.

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3. Can art be a means of historical elucidation, an apparatus for constructing truth?

I’m always wary of grand ideals of truth. Maybe I’ve just been poisoned by the homoglossic realism I’m encountering in so much writing today – a mode that privileges the power of language to reveal truth, the essential fullness and continuity and coherence of a self by which is built, rather than destroyed, by conflict. Much of this work assumes a position not too close, not too far away, a narrative structure which seems to me to covertly mirrors SA white suburbs where everything is contained and segregated, neatly walled off. It wants to offer us the authentic story of a self. But is this really what having a self feels like? Is it really the closest model we have to our condition? Or simply the bedtime story that comforts us most?

At the same time, yes, art can definitely operate as an apparatus for constructing personal truth. The best art is often its own adventure, a way characterized most definitely with error yet also with discovery and potential originality, which in time may well prove significant.

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4. Is South Africa a productive field for art today? In what way? How would you describe the art scene here?

I’m kind of wary of categorisations like South African art or a South African art scene. Having grown up in South Africa under the Afrikaner Nationalist government and then lived through the rainbow national mythology of the present government, I’d rather not embrace any prescribed national identities. I have no interest in the South African art scene… I think part of the fuck up was how readily we adopted the existing prescribed models. This was a colossal fuck up in politics. It’s a colossal fuck up in art. So many fantastic brave subversive improvised models and strategies were developed during the apartheid years – both to resist the system of oppression and to challenge the horror of apartheid, but also to simply get by, to get work out there, to communicate. Artist, writers and musicians worked together; artists showed work on book covers and album covers; the pages of literary magazines became impromptu galleries; private book collections became public libraries; writing collectives were formed; improvised spaces became concert halls. Now it seems we’re all fighting to be part of or to be charge of the very same oppressive system that was resisted for so long. This is not a nostalgia for the apartheid era – god forbid! But more a call to recognise that the oppression hasn’t ended; a call to embrace and build on those strategies we have already developed and to develop new strategies that allow us to act and think, to be and yes, to breathe differently.

I’m humbled and grateful to be able to work with incredible, talented, smart, beautiful people right here in Cape Town who are doing that, who are creating a fantastically productive field to work in.

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5. What is the role of music in film?

I think it’s a very powerful tool to perform precisely the kind of defamiliarisation I was talking about… so it can be used to provoke us to see differently, to see images differently and maybe even anew. Of course it might also allow us to dance or at least dance in our seats.

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6. What can art tell us about Marikana? What can art do with Marikana? With “democracy” after Marikana?

I don’t really know if I can answer this.. I don’t really see Marikana as some kind of turning point, some kind of cataclysmic moment or disaster or event or “accident” to quote Paul Virilio. It seems to me that happened long before Marikana, that Marikana is but one of many terrible tragedies that happen in the aftermath.. or maybe its more that we’re at a tipping point, an event horizon, an ongoing accident?

I’ve just been reading Connie Willis’ fantastic science fiction short story, “Schwarzschild Radius.” I hope you will indulge me if I quote a long passage?

“When a star collapses, it sort of falls in on itself.” Travers curved his hand into a semicircle and then brought the fingers in. “And sometimes it reaches a kind of point of no return where the gravity pulling in on it is stronger than the nuclear and electric forces, and when it reaches that point, nothing can stop it from collapsing and it becomes a black hole.” He closed his hand into a fist. “And that critical diameter, that point where there’s no turning back, is called the Schwarzschild radius.”

Travers paused, waiting for me to say something.

He had come to see me every day for a week, sitting stiffly on one of my chairs in an

unaccustomed shirt and tie, and talked to me about black holes and relativity, even though I taught biology at the university before my retirement, not physics. Someone had told him I knew Schwarzschild, of course.

“The Schwarzschild radius?” I said in my quavery, old man’s voice, as if I could not remember ever hearing the phrase before, and Travers looked disgusted. He wanted me to say, “The Schwarzschild radius! Ah, yes, I served with Karl Schwarzschild on the Russian front in World War I!” and tell him all about how he had formulated his theory of black “holes while serving with the artillery, but I had not decided yet what to tell him.

“The event horizon,” I said.

“Yeah. It was named after Schwarzschild because he was the one who worked out the theory,” Travers said. He reminded me of Müller with his talk of theories. He was the same age as Müller, with the same shock of stiff yellow hair and the same insatiable curiosity, and perhaps that was why I let him come every day to talk to me, though it was dangerous to let him get so close.

“I have drawn up a theory of the stars,” Müller says while we warm our hands over the Primus stove so that they will get enough feeling in them to be able to hold the liquid barretter without dropping it. “They are not balls of fire, as the scientists say. They are frozen.”

“How can we see them if they are frozen?” I say. Müller is insulted if I do not argue with him. The arguing is part of the theory.

“Look at the wireless!” he says, pointing to it sitting disemboweled on the table. We have the back off the wireless again, and in the barretter’s glass tube is a red reflection of the stove’s flame.

“The light is a reflection off the ice of the star.”

“A reflection of what?”

“Of the shells, of course.”

I do not say that there were stars before there was this war, because Müller will not have an answer to this, and I have no desire to destroy his theory, and besides, I do not really believe there was a time when this war did not exist. The star shells have always exploded over the snow-covered craters of No Man’s Land, shattering in a spray of white and red, and perhaps Müller’s theory is true.

“At that point,” Travers said, “at the event horizon, no more information can be transmitted out of the black hole because gravity has become so strong, and so the collapse appears frozen at the Schwarzschild radius.”

“Frozen,” I said, thinking of Müller.

“Yeah. As a matter of fact, the Russians call black holes ‘frozen stars.’ You were at the Russian front, weren’t you?”

“What?”

“In World War I.”

“But the star doesn’t really freeze,” I said. “It goes on collapsing.”

“Yeah, sure,” Travers said. “It keeps collapsing in on itself until even the atoms are stripped of their electrons and there’s nothing left except what they call a naked singularity, but we can’t see past the Schwarzschild radius, and nobody inside a black hole can tell us what it’s like in there because they can’t get messages out, so nobody can ever know what it’s like inside a black hole.”

“I know,” I said, but he didn’t hear me.

tshepo goba on the freedom charter

Filed under: politics,Tshepo Goba — ABRAXAS @ 11:19 am

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December 19, 2014

landed

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 9:41 pm

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first published here: http://drum.co.za/news/afriforum-lays-charges-against-malema/

December 18, 2014

mngxitama on the land question

Filed under: andile mngxitama,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:57 pm

Screen shot 2014-12-18 at 10.53.57 PM

tshepo goba on the dress code

Filed under: politics,Tshepo Goba — ABRAXAS @ 8:33 pm

Screen shot 2014-12-18 at 8.32.12 PM

postcards from the revolution. #2 – the revolution’s birthday : steve biko

Filed under: politics — ABRAXAS @ 9:27 am

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full interview with steve biko is here

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