SACP and Cosatu are just tinkering on the margins

THE SACP and Cosatu are becoming the shop stewards of capitalism - which is based on greed and exploitation of the majority for the benefit of a few.

THE SACP and Cosatu are becoming the shop stewards of capitalism - which is based on greed and exploitation of the majority for the benefit of a few.

Essentially, it's an evil system that breeds hunger and violence. It has reduced democracy to a joke: elected leaders don't serve the electorate but the interests of capitalists who bribe and bully them into submission.

But capitalism is at present experiencing a serious global crisis and wants to be saved.

Cosatu and the SACP, instead of building socialism, are busy bailing capitalism out. They agree with the government on giving taxpayers' money to companies in trouble. Apparently if we don't save these companies more jobs would be lost.

This is blackmail; they say bail us out or more people would lose jobs! What a blatant lie. The majority already live in poverty whether the economy is performing or not. The poor and their governments have no business saving capitalism.

First, it's not the poor who created this crisis but the greedy managers of capitalism.

The second reason why we shouldn't bail out companies in trouble is that they never share profits with us, so why should we share their self-created troubles?

Third, even when there is no crisis capitalism doesn't serve the poor. The system exploits workers and survives by creating high unemployment for cheap labour.

Clearly, Cosatu and the SACP stand exposed as false socialists.

How can they push for measures to safeguard the bosses and not the workers?

In his state of the nation address President Jacob Zuma said the government's bail-out package would be provided in exchange for a moratorium on retrenchments and the retention of workers facing retrenchment.

We would expect a government that claims to be for the poor to demand more than just a temporary halting of retrenchments. Why can't these companies be taken over for the benefit of all of society?

Now is the time for a genuine Left to provide anti-capitalist alternatives, such as the nationalisation of all companies in trouble and the placing of these under community and worker control.

Such a move would not only ensure that we all share the profits - but would also help reverse the massive privatisation of assets undertaken by the ANC government in the past 15 years.

Furthermore, such a move would democratise and transform the economy better than any BEE deal could.

So why is the Left not making these demands? What happens when the crisis deepens?

It's possible that Cosatu and the SACP will even lead the attacks against workers who are already being told to fasten their belts.

Cosatu hopes to control society so that no one makes demands that go beyond its own limited capitalism saving processes.

But this is not going to work. The Zuma administration can't give the workers what the Mbeki government couldn't deliver through the same policies.

Cosatu and the SACP are involved in tinkering on the margins, they don't want to make a fundamental break with capitalism.

Soon the ANC's left wing is going to either attack the poor and marginalised as unpatriotic - or break with the system.

I predict they will attack the poor. They are now too invested in the capitalism they were meant to oppose.