Motlanthe: Socialism needs fresh approach

2012-08-30 16:06

Cape Town - The adverse impact of capitalism on social and economic growth requires a mind shift in socialism, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Thursday.

"The global crisis of capitalism and imperialism, which is negatively affecting growth, widening social inequality, increasing levels of poverty and worsening (un)employment figures, needs a sharpened, radical shift in the approach the Socialist International takes," he said in Cape Town.

Speaking at the opening of the 24th Congress of the Socialist International (SI), he said debates had to focus on the reform of the organisation.

Poverty was no longer just a problem for developing nations, but also now becoming a crisis in the first world.

"Therefore this leaves us with no choice but to review, analyse and rethink the impact of the global economic crisis on society and the toiling masses of the world."

He said there were various concerns socialist parties needed to confront. These included a need to strive for conflict resolution, while securing conditions of development.

Motlanthe's sentiments were echoed by the SI's president and former Greek prime minister George Papandreou.

Innovative and alternative solutions were needed in a changing world, he said.

"This human ingenuity needs to be accompanied by political and democratic will to make these changes... That will, my friends, has been lacking in Europe and around the world."

Papandreou defended the SI's existence, saying leftist parties were important to achieve, among others, peace, justice, good governance, equality, growth and employment for all.

He warned against attributing blame for the global economic crisis.

"We point fingers at each other rather than reach out our hands and lift each other up."

Papandreou lamented the fact that immigrants were being held responsible for the economic troubles in several countries.

He said international coordination was needed now more than ever.

"We've seen this spectacular rise in nationalism over the years, and at the same time we've noticed a terrifying rise in racism, prejudice."

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  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-30 16:29

    Once a Communist..

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-30 17:17

      Love this story……….. A neighbouring couple (staunch democrats/socialists) and their daughter walk past my house and we start talking. I ask the little girl what she wants to do when she grows up – she says that she will help the poor, build them houses and give them food – the parents stand with a proud smile on their faces. I said to her that it is totally unnecessary for her to wait until she is older, she can actually start immediately. Her face lights up and she says yes – how can she do it. I told her I will give her $50 and she can clean my garden. When she is done, she can walk over to the garage and give the homeless guy lying around the area the $50. She says NO WAY, WHY CAN HE NOT CLEAN YOUR GARDEN. I said to her – welcome to the life of a capitalist young lady. The neighbours and I don’t talk anymore.

  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-08-30 16:31

    Confusing capitalism and corruption there

  • tin.can.501598 - 2012-08-30 16:34

    Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true. ......Polish Proverb

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 16:53

    Humanity faces a choice, socialism or barbarism, as Rosa Luxemburg correctly stated. Humanity must accept as correct the socialist hypothesis and revisit this difficult problem with a renewed vigor,in order to solve one of the most profound problems in human history. We can get it right. We will get it right. What is certain is that capitalism cannot - it is simply not a duty of its purpose. "Freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice... Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality." -Mikhail Bakunin

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 17:38

      Except that socialism and freedom are by definition mutually exclusive, which completely invalidates this last statement. And what could be more barbaric than socialism which denies a man the fruits of his own labour or the freedom to own his own property?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 18:13

      Do not forget that Russians or North Koreans were not socialist. They were/are communists. There is a big and vast difference there. Do not be fooled by the lies and distortions of communist (and their view of socialism). Capitalism defeated communism in the 20th century, allowing the large capitalist economies to marginalise, and force into isolation, any remaining socialist states.

  • jannie.kotze.7 - 2012-08-30 17:00

    South Africa has been a socialist governed country since 1994. The poor got poorer, more lazyness crept in. Handouts increased and there is an uncontolable level of corruption in the government(dictators) steeling from the poor, keeping tha masses uneducated. Start to think like a Capitalist and there is hope for every body in the country!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 17:36

      You perceive SA as socialist because of welfare policies which are an anathema to those who hold individualism and the concept of their exceptionalism dearly. Many disadvantaged people rise up to lead very useful lives when provided with support that empowers them to achieve.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 17:39

      And the ultimate irony is, despite being run by Marxists, education, healthcare and basic services are more scarce and expensive than they ever were. This is the natural outcome of socialist policy, always has been.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 18:07

      The reason SA is failing is because is it run by incompetent bufoons who know nothing about history, nevermind economics!

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 18:12

      @Fidel - well, I certainly can't argue with that.

      alastair.newman.52 - 2012-11-08 09:05

      @Aaron "@Fidel - well, I certainly can't argue with that." Do you not argue with that because you can't or because you agree? Fidel's point was that people need to learn from history, which your arguement clearly indicates you haven't!

  • cilliers.vanniekerk.1 - 2012-08-30 17:01

    The hard truth is that socialism and innovation are natural enemies: People innovate by themselves and in their own interest. Denied any constructive outlet in a socialist context innovation is suppressed, or takes the form of innovative corruption, or the pursuit of socio-political power. Rather extend access to means, both in knowledge and money, within the context of capitalism and free enterprise, if you don't want to help preside over South Africa's emulation of Greece, Mr Motlanthe.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 17:34

      Perhaps in the western culture, where individualism is placed above society. Western societies have been indoctrinated by the concept of individualism to the extent that they feel no social obligation to provide assistance to fellow citizens. It is this pathalogical mindset that allow a human being to exploit another one for his gain(profit). Individualism is a noble aspiration and should be rewarded but the value placed upon it should not mean that assistance is denied to those who need support.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-30 17:44

      Fidel, there is a massive difference between the "cannots" and the want-nots" I agree with you 100% that some people need assistance and it is our duty to help them. But it becomes SO difficult to distinguish between the two - especially when the "want-nots" know that they have a government who have no problem keeping them there - and socialism has a habit of creating such a society. I want to tell you - after the Haiti disaster - their own government asked the United States to stop sending support. Do you know why - they had fallen into a hand-out society - they stopped supporting the local people who tried very hard to get their businesses up and running again.

      alastair.newman.52 - 2012-11-08 09:13

      Christelle and Cilliers. The greatest exponent of your argument is the US. The US has had a fantastic opportunity over the past 100 years, provided by their involvement in two world wars without a significant infrastructural penalty. (bombed buildings, huge loss of life etc.) and the economic recovery of the worlds two largest economies (Far East and Europe). Coupled with a foreign policy which seeks to entrench their current economic superiority by refering to their success souley on the fact that they are the "land of the free", I think you should consider that socialism has a great deal more benefit than you think.

  • wwrer.ww - 2012-08-30 17:05

    He doesn't even know what capitalism is. If he did he wouldn't bash the system. It is his socialism that has Greece brought on its knees - Greece had the welfare state with generous government employment.

  • peg.vanark - 2012-08-30 17:15

    This is the MOST oft repeated delusion of the socialist, "we just haven't had the right people to implement it yet." Come on folks lets move on socialism is fundamentally flawed. Never has worked and never will work no matter how resounding the music for L'Internationale.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 17:42

      Which is why the only real solution is a free market. I believe that everyone has at least the right to a free education and healthcare, and any state has the resources to supply that. Beyond, that the most efficient way to grow national wealth is to remove as much regulation as possible while intervening only to protect free market principles.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 17:43

      The reason Socialism failed in most countries is that it was attacked from the outset by the USA, aka capitalism inc. Socialism was not perfect, but with the sabotage it endured and lies that were being told as to how bad it was by the ruling classes, it's amazing that people have the social institutions they have today that are barely surviving. Socialism - caring for all - has been destroyed by Capitalism because of human greed, and that shall be the fate of us all.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 17:48

      Socialism has never been about "caring for all". It's about politicians punting populist policies that steal from the productive to satisfy the lazy and thereby get enough votes to remain in power and build an elite. It's obviously never sustainable and history shows that it always collapses. The best way to care for everyone is to create a completely free market which allows everyone to prosper and to have sufficient resources to aid their fellow man.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 18:21

      Socialism and Communism are not the same thing. Communism and its theory of socialism does not care about the average person and worker whatsoever, that much I agree with you. Under any circumstances was Socialism ever allowed to develop as it should have, by being attacked or closed off by the outside world as much as it succumbed to power crazed individuals. Capitalism is a cruel system--even worse than feudalism. At least the serfs had a place to sleep and they could pilfer fruit when no one was looking. And there was no mortgage to get high blood pressure over.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 18:28

      On the contrary, I think capitalism is the most exciting, empowering and prosperous system possible, because in its truest form it grants absolutely everyone the freedom, with enough perseverance and self-belief, to start their own enterprise and contribute to their own wealth and, therefore, indirectly, that of their broader society.

      alastair.newman.52 - 2012-11-08 09:19

      Aaron. If you want to understand capitalism. Read about the French Revolution. Then consider where France is now. It happens to be a socialist state. If you want to live to work, then off you go. The rest of the people on this planet work to live. WHich means they draw a distinction between how commerce controls our personal conduct and how society controls our personal conduct.

  • michael.rampatla - 2012-08-30 17:18

    You must outcast that president with two heads,I mean showerman, the Spear, machine of mass destruction

  • john.jack.1612147 - 2012-08-30 17:21

    Only socialism can eradicate exploutation and poverty. Nelson Mandela's trickle down economics have failed the poor

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-30 17:28

    I do not agree with him, but what a pleasure to read someone who articulates clearly

  • aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 17:33

    Capitalism hasn't failed, the fraud of the banksters, however, has. I guess the Marxists will do their level best to paint this as a failure of capitalism, but it really isn't. The observable truth is that wherever there is a truly free market, prosperity ensues, but wherever there is state intervention, cronyism, fraud, back room price fixing combined with the failure of the state to regulate to protect free markets, there is the inevitable collapse. Socialism is not the answer. It has failed dismally and repeatedly, to the point that it beggars belief that sane individuals can still stand up and proclaim it's merits with a straight face.

      jacques.shepperson - 2012-08-30 17:50

      Aaron, you have more sense than most!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-30 18:27

      We are told there is no alternative because the ruling class own all the media, all the political parties, you and me. If you reject their ideology they attempt to corrupt you, destroy you and quite often kill you. There is no such thing as a Free Market, which is why countries impose trade tarrifs and go to war with other countries to secure access to markets and resources.

      Fidel - 2012-08-30 19:06

      John, there's an old saying "It's almost impossible to make someone see something when their paychecks depends on their not seeing it".

      ndanduleni.makatu - 2012-08-30 19:50

      The same banksters are the same people that approve your advocacy of Freemarket, and they have not failed they are testing the waters and my I remind u that they are the ones that started the HIGH pay check for CEO's so that is part of free market.Morgan chase.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 20:29

      John, I'm not interested in anyone's leftovers. I have the initiative to put food on my own plate, thanks. That's actually the beauty of a free economy - if you're prepared to persevere and apply yourself you will never go hungry.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 20:31

      ndanduleni, nothing the banksters did had anything to do with a free market. They are an example of what happens when the free market is perverted and are in fact an argument FOR free markets, not against, as they show what happens when crooks rig markets and how much worse it is when governments collude.

      alastair.newman.52 - 2012-11-08 09:23

      Aaron. Great ingenuity. Well done on putting food on your plate. Now to make you and your family sustainable see if you can stump up a bit more ingenuity by figuring out how to put a bit of food on someone else's plate. They might even provide you with some food when you're short on ingenuity. Like an insurance policy? Gedit?

  • nkabinde.emmanuelsanele - 2012-08-30 18:28

    Talks without plan, strategy and deadline is cheap, it's waste of time and falls promice.When and how this will be implemented.This is just to add on the archives without it coming to existence.Let's match and pair our talks with actions.

  • ndanduleni.makatu - 2012-08-30 19:22

    If you wish to enslave a man, make him believe that he is Free.Democracy is an illusion that is created to uphold you on slavery. Socialism was fundamental in Lybia until the intruders came and disband it. In all the countries that want/ practice socialism/communism they all encounter a problem of Sanctions that lead to the practice to be a non working process by who the Bielderberg commission that brought Globalization and free markets of today. In the case of South Africa which ever way they wish to pursue it doesn't matter is just lip-service the process is determined by Reserve Bank that approved your BEE along with Nedlac for a reason if you may take time and study the purpose.

  • ahren.adams - 2012-08-30 19:28

    Capitalism is letting you think you are in control. You really think the US is democratic and a capitalist society? These are all the same Human Inadequacies regurgitated over in a new guise.Communism is just the other side of the same coin control of human civilization. Illusion of autonomy

      ndanduleni.makatu - 2012-08-30 19:40

      That's why I say it doesn't matter who you vote for in the election they are only working for their masters period and we are the tools for service until we understand our own self,who we are not controlled/programmed human beings.

  • paul.s.desousa - 2012-08-30 21:25

    “Without calculation, economic activity is impossible. Since under Socialism economic calculation is impossible, under Socialism there can be no economic activity in our sense of the word … All economic change, therefore, would involve operations the value of which could neither be predicted beforehand nor ascertained after they had taken place. Everything would be a leap in the dark. Socialism is the renunciation of rational economy.” — Ludwig von Mises, Socialism, 1981, pp. 103-105.

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-09-03 06:58

    Sadly capitalists pay for the lazy socialists. My suggestion is bad capitalism and that way we can starve the socialists!!

  • KennySven - 2012-11-08 13:15

    Communism was dead and buried 20 years ago plus as it did not work.If you had any more brains you would be an IDIOT.Through away your red shirt,tee shirt and socks and go back to school to try and get some form of education.

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