• June 3rd, 2020

Socialism with a Namibian flavour

The end of 2018 was a time to be remembered. I do not remember any other time towards the end of the year during the 28 years of our independence where we had lively debates like what happened during the SWAPO extraordinary congress.

Although the extraordinary congress passed numerous resolutions there was one resolution which caught me by surprise and that was the resolution on socialism with Namibian characteristics. 

When I saw this draft resolution I thought I was dreaming and I immediately pinched one of my hands and then realised that this was a reality.

Although we had enough of what happened in the past and now is the time to concentrate seriously on thinking about what we have to do for the future development of our country, my mind immediately went back to the time when we were about to get our independence. What came to my mind was what the South African colonial regime and their Western allies did in their desperate efforts to prevent any socialist economic system to be introduced in Namibia which was about to be independent. The colonial foreign minister “Pik” Botha is on record of having undiplomatically said that South Africa could not allow Marxist terrorists to overrun the Territory (meaning SWAPO). The five Western countries all of a sudden certain came into play and rushed into preparing the so-called constitutional principles. Those so-called principles were intended and designed to preempt a radical and revolutionary change in Namibia. What was perceived by the Western countries as extremist and revolutionary policies of some parties such as SWAPO and SWANU were to be diluted and watered down in favour and interests of some moderate and reactionary groups. Some of these Western countries preferred that decisions to run our country could have rather been made and taken in other countries instead of by ourselves. With this in mind they would have liked our leaders to always consult the Western capitals before taking any vital decisions, in order for our country to adhere to Western values but not to what we believe is in the best interests of our people. What the Western countries succeeded was to impose the economic system which predominantly is a capitalist system. Now that we have been politically independent for 28 years, the masses of the people should now introduce an economic system of their own choice which will improve their living standards. It is against this background that I believe that adopting the resolution on Socialism with Namibian Characteristics is indeed    a progressive and timely development. Those who perceived of this idea deserve our overwhelming support and praise.

Some people may wonder why we came with this resolution only 28 years after independence. We have to accept the reality that at independence the situation was difficult, complicated and we had to go through trying times. We were either to decide that there could be “all what we want and no compromise” and that could have led to prolonged struggle at the detriment of independence. Even the socialist countries which were helping us to fight against the South African colonial regime became victims of the big traps laid by international monopolists. This situation negatively affected not only the liberation movement but also the working classes of the former socialist countries. The South African colonial regime supported by bureaucratic capitalists and comprador bourgeoisie saw the change in former socialist countries as good opportunity for them to suppress the Liberation movement which they perceived to be communist terrorists. However that as it might have been, the people of Namibia as revolutionaries uphold a correct and progressive policies. Accepting some of the colonial laws, including the constitutional principles, was, indeed, not a sign of capitulation and did not mean that the Liberation leaders had abandoned radical principles of the struggle, neither did they agree to end the armed struggle without commitment  by colonizers to leave Namibia. But at that time it was absolutely critical and logical for negotiating parties to seek ways and means to speed up the Liberation struggle and end the war.
Now 28 years after independence time has come for us to achieve the aims and objectives of the Liberation struggle without compromise. 

The time is now for Namibia to seriously implement the resolution of the extraordinary congress which concerns the introduction of Socialist System with Namibian Characteristics. 

It is obvious that the implementation of this new policy may require some drastic changes in our laws, including some provisions of the Namibian Constitution. Such changes should surely not be retrogressive but progressive, since they are intended to bring about good life and equal benefits for the masses of our people. One thing for sure, we as revolutionary people cannot just stick to something even if that thing has become an intolerable albatross. I really hope that the system of Socialism with Namibian Characteristics will address the burning issues which affect the masses of our people and level the economic playing field where all stakeholders will feel that they are benefiting equally from the economic resources of the country.

The extraordinary congress has adopted the resolution just as a policy instrument, therefore there must be a special committee which will work out details of what we mean when we are talking about Socialism with Namibian Characteristics. This is, indeed, a mammoth task.

Time is now that we have to resist the pressure from those countries which want us to believe that it is only through capitalism that we can develop our economy. Hence the need for all of us to support the resolution.
One vital fact that we must have in mind when we talk about Socialism with Namibian Characteristics is that we should not fail to analyze Namibian society and identify the class forces. If we cannot do so we can just rely on phrase-mongering, and whatever resolution and actions we shall adopt and take will be doomed to lead to confession. We shall also not be allowed to use imperialists’ money to promote and build socialism because this cannot be in the interest of capitalist classes. But the intended Socialism with Namibian Characteristics may enable the State to reduce the unemployment rate, thus improving the living conditions of the working class.

We have to understand that good and wonderful phrase-mongering will not change the capitalist mentality of the capitalist classes. Moreover, we must seriously consider to have revolutionaries with ideological grounding in positions of power. Right now eclecticism prevails amongst us and this allows pseudo-revolutionaries and pseudo-socialists to push and direct the perceived party ideology. Proper principles of socialism can only be upheld and be achieved in our party and its country if the party structures are headed by cadres armed with a scientific ideology. Fake leaders in positions of power therefore are just likely to drive the party and its country into political and economic demise. 

It is therefore clear that it will be difficult for party and State machinery which is serving the interest of the bourgeoisie to adjust and serve the interest of the laboring classes.

Now that we are entering an era of introducing Socialism with Namibian Characteristics the ideological struggle will go on.  Therefore we must find a clear and constructive way forward, instead of trying to impress and please those who will never shed tears if we happen to fail. 

Finally the party must avoid to have people in leadership positions who are just in those positions to use phrase-mongering for their own political and economic interests. The ideological clarity and revolutionary commitment will be the only ability which will help the party cadres to understand where they are leading the people. Aluta continua is not only meant to continue the struggle with military equipment,  but more so with clear revolutionary and progressive mindset which is going to liberate people from evils of poverty and a miserable life. But military equipment  must always be there to protect our hard-won independence and freedom, without that we cannot maintain our peace and stability. 

New Era Reporter
2019-01-18 10:32:25 | 1 years ago

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