Tag: Capitalism

Are these shortages of mealie meal a produce of Socialism?

Are these shortages of mealie meal a produce of Socialism? Featured

Mr Hakainde Hichilema once attributed the shortages of essential commodities like cooking oil, and luxury items like Coca-Cola under the Kaunda era to socialist policies. He linked the shortages of basic commodities to socialism. He said, “communism and socialism failed, It did not just fail here it failed even in the heart of communism, so when I see advancement of those issues, sometimes I say, ‘do we want to go back to shortages. We heard of the cooking oil, queuing for cooking oil’… The Coca-Cola you take for granted today, was not there…”

Today, we have very serious mealie meal shortages that the country has not witnessed in a while in a very capitalist Zambia of Mr Hichilema! How does he explain this ideologically, and these shortages?

Our response to Mr Hichilema’s claims at that time was as follows:

IN DEFENCE OF OUR SOVEREIGNTY, DIGNITY AND SOCIALISM

By Dr Fred M’membe

It’s very sad that some key political leaders of our country don’t know or understand what caused shortages of cooking oil and other essential commodities during the last part of Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s reign.

These leaders are out of ignorance attributing the shortages of many consumer goods under the Kaunda era to socialism.

Firstly, the Kaunda government was not a socialist government. At most, Dr Kaunda can be said to have been a social democrat. And these were extremely honest leaders who cared more about their people than self enrichment. They had opportunities to enrich themselves like their colleagues did in Kenya and other African countries who robbed their people of land.

The period of shortages was at the height of the liberation struggle in southern Africa when the country was totally blockaded – with no dealings with South Africa, Namibia, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Angola, Mozambique, and Botswana was not the prosperous Botswana of today.

Tanzania was also not the Tanzania of today. And oil prices had shot up worldwide. They had to start companies to produce their own cooking oil and other essential commodities. And these were the companies some of these leaders denigrating them today came to privatise at very exorbitant fees or commissions and enriched themselves.

Thanks to the very high sacrifices our leaders and our people had make that made it possible for our leaders today to go to liberated South Africa and do deals with representatives of corporations that colonised, exploited and humiliated us for centuries.

People who claim to be economists should have a better understanding of things than this. This is really an exhibition of crass ignorance and dishonesty.

Socialism is not about, or synonymous with, shortages of mealie meal, cooking oil and other essential commodities.

How can someone in this era and age think having or drinking Coca-Cola is a big achievement, an indicator of economic and social prosperity? What is Coca-Cola anyway? A mixture of carbon dioxide, water, sugar and caffeine! Of what nutrition value is Coca-Cola anyway? It is actually dangerous and harmful to the human body.

And what is wrong with our people coming up with their drinks?

Is this how empty and pro imperialist they are? What will remain of this country at the end of their rule? Coca-Cola will be everything! They will own everything. What will remain under the ownership of our people?

Socialism is about a better and dignified life for all our people anchored on equity, solidarity, humility and honesty and sovereignty of their homeland.

And socialism has shown how poor nations can get out of poverty in the shortest historical times. Look at the achievements of Cuba – a country fought and blockaded for over 63 years. Without the minerals Zambia has, Cuba in 2020 had a GDP of around 107.35 billion U.S. dollars. GDP is an important indicator of a country’s economic power.

GDP in Zambia was expected to reach 24.00 USD Billion by the end of 2021. In the long-term, the Zambia GDP which has been pursuing unbridled neoliberal capitalist policies for more than 30 years is projected to trend around 27.00 USD Billion in 2023, according to some econometric models.
India’s socialist state of Kerale is leading in many economic and social indicators and scientific achievements.

Whatever their attempts to credit China’s achievements to capitalism, that is a great socialist state pursuing socialism with Chinese characteristics. And this what its leaders say. They attribute their economic successes to socialism.
We also have the successes of Vietnam.

The ignorant attempt to smear socialism and socialists to hide their greed and corruption quest to become billionaires won’t do. No matter what they say or do socialism will one day triumph in our homeland.

Capitalism has for centuries failed our people. Let them show us where capitalism has succeeded in Africa?

And more interesting is the fact that the most achievements scored in Zambia can be attributed to certain socialist inspired principles that were implemented in the country. The creation of free education, infrastructure development, creation of state owned enterprises that employed many and some which still stand today are as a result of having a human face towards national economic development which in itself is socialism.

Most leaders today who are a product of free education and other socially oriented programmes want to ridicule a system that moved them from poverty and then support imperialist policies that only benefit a few foreign interests.

Zambia definitely needs a citizen led economic development agenda which under a socialist government will be attained.

We want a Zambia where Zambians can have genuine businesses and not these crooked dealers, tenderpreneurs calling themselves businessmen.

Like China, Zambia will manage to free its people from poverty through socialism with Zambian characteristics.

It’s socialism and only socialism that can guarantee our sovereignty, dignity and prosperity.

Fred M’membe

Why Socialism?

Why Socialism? Featured

Exactly 66 years ago Albert Einstein passed away. Einstein wasn’t just one of the greatest scientists in history, he was also a socialist.⁠

In his 1949 essay “Why Socialism?”, he wrote:⁠

“[Capitalism] as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules.⁠

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion.”

Source: Redfish

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

Morning reflections from the village

Morning reflections from the village

It’s impossible for capitalism to exist without exploitation, humiliation and degradation of some human beings. It is impossible for capitalism to exist without inequality, injustice, unfairness and inhumanity.

It is impossible for capitalism to exist without marginalising some people.
Capitalism cannot operate without exploitation. There has to be an exploiter and the exploited. If you are economically weak, you are the exploited.

The exploitation of the masses is, in fact, the basis on which capitalism has won the accolade for having solved the problem of production. There is no other basis on which it can operate. For if the workers ever succeeded in obtaining the full benefits of their industry, then the capitalists would receive no profit and would close down the enterprise.

Fred M’membe, Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali