Tag: Socialism

Statement of the Socialist Party on the ideological issues raised by MDC

Statement of the Socialist Party on the ideological issues raised by MDC

The statements alluded to the Secretary General of MDC points to a political entity and a bunch of people that are ideologically dishonest and may be even bankrupt.

Talking about pursuing practices that borrow from both capitalism and socialism is not in the realm of ideology. For example, all capitalist countries, including the USA, apply some selected socialist principles in certain key areas of society or under crises situation – such as the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. But this is not the same as saying they pursue a socialist ideology. Neither is their overall goal the building of a socialist society! Far from it, socialist principles and practices are selectively applied to stabilise the system and provide a human face to an evil system.

The overall goal of bourgeois political parties is to entrench the capitalist system in which capitalists, the most economic powerful elite, have hegemony over the social, cultural, economic and political life of the respective countries.

In the same vein, a socialist country can never be pure socialist! By definition, a socialist society is transitional. It is built in a capitalist dominated environment. It has therefore to socialise specific aspects of life whilst others remain capitalist. A pure socialist society is therefore a misnomer – it would have to be called a communist society.

Today, we do not have a single country that has attained the status of a communist society. China is a socialist country whilst embracing aspects of capitalism. The political party in power has an overall goal to build a socialist and eventually a communist society. By allowing aspects of capitalism to grow, the Communist Party of China has not abrogated it’s overall goal at all. In a world dominated by capitalism, some spheres of life will for a long time to come still embrace capitalist principles and practices.

The sphere of ideology looks at the bigger questions of organising a class based society and it’s inherent contradictions. In a class society, the class that owns the critical means of production has huge control of the economic base. It also logically ensures that a supportive social, cultural, educational, legal, administrative, political and security superstructure emerge that protects it’s economic class interests. Understanding this interface between the economic base and superstructure is key to the positioning of ideology.

Socialists are honest about whose class interests they represent. The mission is to end class based exploitation of labour by capital. This is only possible through a revolutionary transformation where ownership of the economic base will be dominated by the working masses themselves. Where the masses get to have a dominant say about the management of their natural resources. Where the masses regain their human dignity from the slave-like conditions under which they live and work today!

To understand what the founders of the MDC believe in, one has to look at what each one of them has said and written over the past years! They are all unrepentant capitalist promoters! So why not just be upfront with it? Why hide under some eclectic and contradictory statements? The simple answer is that its is good PR to talk about a middle of the road approach. In a society where the masses of our people are marginalised and impoverished by the day, the MDC stand is tantamount to betrayal of the masses wanting transformative change.

The MDC is nothing other than a bunch of frustrated petty bourgeois politicians seeking for a piece of the evil capitalist cake.

Issued by
Dr Cosmas Musumali,
First Vice-President and General Secretary of the Socialist Party
Lusaka

Socialism is not a complicated concept – Dr M’membe

Socialism is not a complicated concept – Dr M’membe

FRED M’membe says socialism is not a complicated concept.
Meanwhile, Dr M’membe, the Socialist Party president, says he cannot be a burden-bearer for President Edgar Lungu.
Dr M’membe featured on Hot FM radio’s Red Hot breakfast show on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
He explained that socialism was simply giving a dignified life to citizens.
“Socialism is not a complicated thing as people try to make it. It’s not about bombastic words, bombastic concepts. Socialism is simply giving a dignified life to our people, by providing them with services that make life dignified,” Dr M’membe clarified.
“Our priority will be to give our children the education they need. So, we’ll socialise education and make it free from nursery, at the age of three, all the way to university.”
He asserted that a better society, in the modern world, could not be built with uneducated people.
“It’s not possible!” Dr M’membe argued.
“The more a woman gets educated, the lesser and lesser infant mortality rates you have, because they are able to look after children better. So, it will be compulsory for every citizen to go to school up to Grade 12.”
Dr M’membe added that under a socialist-oriented government, “the adults who are illiterate today, within two years, we’ll make them literate.”
“We’ll have a huge literacy campaign, which we have already started….” he said.
He also explained that Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) had been on the current capitalist path since 1891 when Cecil Rhodes and his company, the British South Africa Company (BSA), colonised the territory.
“We have been on that path to this very day from 1891. We know what capitalism has done to our country. If capitalism had succeeded in this country, there would be no need for any other system. There would be no need for socialism,” Dr M’membe noted.
“But capitalism has not only impoverished our people but it has also killed.

By Socialist Party reporter

Socialist Party launches manifesto

Socialist Party launches manifesto

The manifesto of the Socialist Party will be launched on 17th of June, 2020. No doubt, this is the document that many people across the country are eagerly waiting for. It is a crucial document that engenders the transformative process towards a Socialist Zambia. It is the first of its kind. It articulates the value system that at one time Zambians hoped to create for themselves, the values of equity, non-violence, a sense of justice and national unity. Under capitalism, these have become a distant vision. Instead, Zambia has become a shameful example of how neoliberal capitalism is producing and reproducing itself under conditions of extreme injustice, inequity and state sponsored violence. It is our collective duty to remedy this situation. Dr Fred M’membe rightly noted that the choice ahead for mankind is either socialism or barbarism. Let us give socialism our best effort.

Statement of the  Socialist Party on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Things are changing ceaselessly. As we witness the daily rise in the coronavirus cases recorded in the country, we must begin to acknowledge that the pandemic has and will magnify the structural dilemma our country is faced with.

But we must be reminded, that even though the pandemic may worsen these problems – it did not create or cause them.

The current government of our country has had no strategic plan to combat the pandemic. Their response to the pandemic has been poorly coordinated.

Necessary measures like closing borders, the provision of PPE for our health workers, confining citizens and reaching out to countries that have dealt with the pandemic better such as China and Cuba have not been prioritized.

Instead, the pandemic has not been taken seriously – gyms, casinos, restaurants, golf clubs have been reopened whilst our daily number of recorded cases is on the increase.

But at the center of this, our health workers are doing a tremendous job in the most difficult of circumstances.
They are being placed in the front line of this battlefield to provide a service to the community, yet they are not well protected, yet they are not well remunerated and yet they are not even well appreciated. They are risking their own lives and the lives and wellbeing of their own children to save us. We must protect them, remunerate them well and appreciate them.

And we must tackle this pandemic with the seriousness, tenacity it deserves. Our peoples lives are at stake.

It is also clear that the reality that this pandemic will leave our already limping economy in shambles has already dawned on our people – from street vendors to people who run their own small businesses to employees of big companies – they are all already feeling the pinch of it.

And this has been confirmed by projections that the Zambian economy for the first time in over 20 years, will experience negative growth this year, as it will shrink by at least 2.6 per cent.

We are already beginning to see many lose their jobs. This will increase with the prolonged pandemic, but again, we must not believe that this is a result of the pandemic alone. A stronger economic performance, prior to the pandemic, would have minimized job losses and forced pay cuts.

We have time and time again warned this government about the careless contraction of unsustainable debt – but we have not seen things change. Last year, our debt to GDP ratio increased from 35 per cent in 2014 to about 80 per cent in 2019. It was clear prior to the pandemic that servicing this debt will prove difficult for this country. But today, the government will blame the projected defaulting on loan obligations on this pandemic.

We must also remember that the failure to improve the standard of living of our people prior to this pandemic has endangered many lives. With over 60 per cent of our population living below the poverty line, over 350,000 people not having access to regular food supply, and an astonishingly high proportion of our fellow citizens in Kwa and villages not having access to clean running water.

Our people need a leadership that acknowledges that the coronavirus pandemic, has revealed to us, that poor leadership and continued reliance on the “each one for himself” way of life propagated cannot bring solutions for our people.

We must face the reality that pandemics will increase in the years to come, due to over population in many parts of the world, reduced animal habitat increasing the spread of animal diseases in humans, the increase in mega cities and the increased global and local movement of people.

We therefore, cannot continue not to prioritize our economic, health, social and environmental preparedness for these occurrences.

And based on the global and local response to this and past pandemics, it is evident that only socialist oriented solutions can be applied. All the countries are, to varying degrees, applying socialist solutions to try and deal with this virus.

We must therefore ask ourselves: why is it that when there is a crisis socialism comes in? Why not have socialism permanently? Why not all the time or permanently guarantee and provide all our people with free quality health care, decent housing and sanitation, free quality education, food and all the basic necessities for one to live a dignified life?

What has been exposed through the response of all the political representatives of capitalism is that workers and the poor cannot defend their conditions, their rights and now their very lives, through these organisations and under capitalism.

The coronavirus pandemic has expanded the spectrum of imaginable futures and political possibilities. And some of those possibilities have been a sight for sore socialists’ eyes. The virus has validated the core socialist tenet that we are all dependent on each other. When one nation lacks the public-health infrastructure necessary to contain an infectious disease, the public health of all nations is undermined. If thousands or millions of Zambians cannot afford to stay home from work or access health care when they are ill, the well-being of all Zambians is jeopardized.

The experience of the past months has presented the real face of capitalism – a system that constitutes the greatest threat to mankind. Workers, the poor, young people and professionals must fight for a socialist perspective, the only means by which we can make progress.

Without a huge scientific advance soon, the reality of us spending five or more years with high death rates and anemic economies is almost certain.

The coronavirus is indeed a likely major hinge point, but it is only an accidental vehicle to reveal more sharply all the internal contradictions of capitalism and the underlying character of its failed democracy.

It fully reveals its ineptitude, blind allegiance to survival of the fittest herd immunity ideology, hatred for the poor and old, gleeful thoughts of having created a new way to achieve permanent daily death and destruction benefits of traditional war that capitalism is so addicted to. The dangers are real. We now have the chance to choose:  barbarism or socialism.

This requires the building of a new socialist awareness and leadership among all our people.

I urge you to join our party, the Socialist Party today.

Statement of the Politburo of the Socialist Party issued by Fred M’membe

“For the humblest of the Zambian people, there is no other alternative to socialism”

“For the humblest of the Zambian people, there is no other alternative to socialism”

Presidential candidate Dr. Fred M’membe on the struggle for socialism in Zambia

The Socialist Party of Zambia was launched in March 2018 amid a tense situation of repression. Eight of the invited international guests were barred from entering the country and following the event, the Cuban ambassador in Zambia, Nelson Pages Vilas, was expelled from the country. Not to mention the constant and brutal persecution of the members of the party and the repression of their activities of political education, literacy courses and other community gatherings.

Despite these constant challenges, the Socialist Party of Zambia is committed to organizing the working class and poor of the country and taking on the struggle for socialism. Zambia is a country with high levels of extreme poverty, illiteracy and has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the world at 62.3 years. Leader of the party and presidential candidate for 2012 Dr. Fred M’membe, pointed out that for the Zambian people “there is no other alternative to socialism”.

Peoples Dispatch, along with the media team of the Socialist Party of Zambia, spoke to Dr. Fred M’membe about the struggle for socialism in Zambia, and across the African continent, as well as the attacks on the media by Edgar Lungu’s regime with the case of the brutal closure of the media organization, Post, in 2016.

Peoples Dispatch + Socialist Party of Zambia: Why was the party created and what work preceded its formation?

Fred M’membe: We have been working on this project for a very long time. The project appears to be new but we are not new and the ideas are not new. I grew up in the South African Communist Party; Cosmas Musumali grew up in the Communist Party of West Germany. We have more than 40 years of socialist experience – both in theory and practice.

PD + SPZ: Why was the party launched now?

FM: It is the right time. I don’t see any other better time. All the other options that were there had been exhausted and the only sensible thing left was to launch the party. And also, both the subjective and objective factors were favourable for the launch of the party.

PD + SPZ: What ideological agenda do you have for the party?

FM: Firstly, the party, as its name goes, is a socialist party; it’s a communist party with a socialist programme and that socialist programme entails fighting on the front for justice, fighting on the front for equity, fighting on the front for peace. Justice is in terms of local issues and on the global level. Issues of equity locally are in terms of access to education, access to health services, access to nutrition, access to decent housing and all the services required in an organized society. We have issues of peace locally and also at the global level. Capitalism cannot do without violence; capitalism cannot do without wars, without conflict. As long as capitalism exists, violence, wars and conflict will be there and we have a duty to struggle for a more peaceful, more just and more humane world.

PD + SPZ: What are the specific challenges within the Zambian context?

FM: The bourgeois democratic space is narrowing by the day. This is a regime that doesn’t respect its own laws, its own Constitution – they violate it every day. So, the operating space is very narrow. Even where your actions are legal, they are made to be illegal. The police is being used to brutalize the opposition.

PD + SPZ: How are you mobilising the party in the midst of the brutality?

FM: The party is operating in terms of mobilization and educating its cadres – it is more or less operating underground. They do not know what the party is doing but when they do come to know, they arrive to disrupt those activities. They did this some time back in April. I was holding a training session in one of the townships in Lusaka and they sent a truckload of police officers to come and disrupt the training programme. People had to scatter and some were arrested and spent nights in police cells. At the end of the day, they were released without any charge because they had not committed any offence.

PD + SPZ: What was the police’s justification for the attack?

FM: They never told us. This is the armed police coming up to beat people – they were just short of firing shots.

PD + SPZ: What’s the response of the Zambian society to the party?

FM: It’s extremely good. The working class have no problems with socialism; it’s instant coffee for the working class. You are talking about their daily lives. You are not talking about that which is utopian to them or something that is very far away from them. Socialism answers to all their daily problems – explains their daily issues, struggles and provides solutions to them. It gives them hope.

PD + SPZ: What are the kind of expectations? How are you going to be able to carry out campaigns with the police brutality and repression?

FM: We also don’t know comrade, but we will do it. The first task we have is to establish the structures of the party. We are a new party and there is no need to pretend otherwise. We are a new party without structures on the ground. So, our first task is to create those structures and we are moving very quickly. We are spending every day in the townships training people for those structures. And we are doing quite well. The job is tedious but we have to do it the right way, without pause and improvisation.

PD + SPZ: How do you think the State will accept your party?

FM: They can’t accept it. The first time it was announced, they acted – the first casualty was the Cuban ambassador in Lusaka who came to attend the launch of our party where those decisions were announced. They expelled him from the country for simply attending that meeting and offering a word or two of solidarity. He is still expelled!

PD + SPZ: What is giving you hope in the midst of all these challenges?

FM: Our program is the program of the people, by the people for the people. We are dealing with humblest of the Zambian people and for them, there is no other alternative to socialism. There is no other alternative to the Socialist Party right now if they harbor any hope of survival or progress in their lives.

PD + SPZ: How important is international solidarity to the Socialist Party?

FM: International solidarity is not only for the Socialist Party, it’s for everyone. Everyone of us needs international solidarity. Even the socialist parties in government need our solidarity. We all need each other. These are not isolated struggles or projects – they are connected struggles, projects – success in one means success in the other; defeat in one is a defeat for all. The struggles going on in Venezuela are our struggles; they are not for Venezuelans alone, they are all our struggles.

The attack on Cuba, the embargo against Cuba is an embargo against all of us. The easing of the burden on Cuba removes the burden on all of us. The challenges the Venezuelan people are facing today are all our challenges. Without those challenges, the work becomes much easier for us. So, we don’t look at those challenges in Venezuela, in Cuba or elsewhere as not being ours. The struggles in Brazil are all our struggles! The struggles in the USA today are all our struggles. The struggles of the working class in USA are our struggles. And we have to join hands with all those struggling for a better world. Sometimes, even if they are not socialists, we have to join hands with them. A better world is not only for socialists, it’s for all humanity in all its diversities and complexities.

PD + SPZ: Let’s go back a little in time. Could you talk a bit about The Post in Zambia?

FM: The Post was started in 1991, not necessarily as a socialist platform but as a progressive publication to help broaden the bourgeois democratic space, which was needed for us because at that time, we were just coming out of being a one party state. It meant that even if you had a socialist project, you could not implement it.

With the broadening of the bourgeois democratic space, we hoped we could be able to set up our own socialist organizations. We ran The Post for two-and-a-half decades and what we realised in the end was that the bourgeois democratic space we started to broaden was narrowing and political organizations were needed to stop that trend and hence, the formation of the Socialist Party and other organisations we have formed.

PD + SPZ: And what about the closure of The Post?

FM: The regime was vicious with The Post because the newspaper took a more progressive stance on many issues: on corruption, on misgovernance, on infringement of civil liberties and on the plight of the working class. So the regime made up its mind that The Post had to be closed, come what may. And we had been receiving information to that effect for over a year. When it happened, we were not surprised. What shocked us was the brutality with which they did it, the brazenness with which they did it, disobeying court orders to keep the publication open – they just ignored all the court orders we received.

We did not have state power, so we could not stop them. They controlled state power. We have moved on. They are remaining behind with blood in their hands and also guarding the grave of The Post that is haunting them. They are so scared of the resurrection of The Post in terms of the issues that The Post stood for.

Yes, they have buried The Post but the issues have resurrected in a new way and in a new time.

PD + SPZ: And you, yourself were victim of that repression?

FM: Yes, I led The Post and it could not be attacked without me being attacked. That’s part of the struggle. In any struggle that we engage in, if it is called a struggle, they will be such sacrifices, they will be such pains to endure.

PD + SPZ: What are your hopes and expectations for the Pan-African movement, in the context of the Third Pan-African today conference, and the struggle for socialism across world?

FM: The most important thing Nkrumah himself was seeking under the Pan-African movement was unity – unity of all the progressive forces, whatever their inclinations. If you look at this conference, it is not only a conference of people who are committed to socialism. It’s for all peoples who are struggling for improving the conditions of the working class in various forms. We need that unity; we need unity of all those who are advancing the interests of the working class in one way or the other. We also need unity of all those struggling for socialism and that’s why the Venezuelans are here, the Cubans are here and all who support those struggles. The Brazilians are here – these are joint struggles.

Like we said at Founder’s Day, celebrating Nkrumah’s birthday in Winneba, Ghana, the new wave is here with us, the progressive socialist wave is with us. We have had almost 4- 5 decades of reactionary politics on the African continent. To mention socialism was a difficult thing.

Today, socialism is increasingly becoming fashionable and there is no fear or shame in mentioning the word socialism. We are socialists, we are communists without hesitation. And we are proud to be so and our people receive us as such. We are not trying to lie to our people that we have another program when we have a socialist program. We are telling them we are socialists and our people are receiving us as such and want to be socialists. And we are making them socialists because by class, they are socialists – each class has its own ideology. Slavery was the ideology of the slave owners, it had no benefits for the slaves. Feudalism was the ideology of the feudal lords – it was not the ideology of the peasants, it benefited the peasants in no way.

Capitalism is the ideology of the capitalists and classes that serve their interests, which are the petty bourgeoisie and comprador bourgeoisie – it is not an ideology of the working class. Socialism is the ideology of the working class and its not at the service of capitalists and their agents and whoever embraces capitalism.