No more crazy the­o­ries, please C

CityPress - - Voices - Mondli Makhanya voices@ city­press. co. za

os­atu pres­i­dent Sdumo Dlamini went down fan­tasy lane this week, out­do­ing some of the world’s most ar­dent con­spir­acy the­o­rists.

This was not new, of course. These con­spir­a­cies are par for the course among those who pop­u­late South Africa’s up­per ech­e­lons.

In his speech to Cosatu’s Gaut­eng pro­vin­cial congress, Dlamini painted a com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of the crimes that im­pe­ri­al­ists were per­pe­trat­ing across the globe. It was like one of those bizarre il­lu­mi­nati-type the­o­ries you find on ob­scure loony web­sites. You know, the ones that tell you about how the Il­lu­mi­nati run the world? They will wax on and give you de­tailed ev­i­dence as to why celebri­ties such as Jay Z, Ri­hanna and An­gelina Jolie are mem­bers of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

In Dlamini’s world, the Il­lu­mi­nati are the im­pe­ri­al­ists who are sup­pos­edly be­hind ev­ery con­ceiv­able cri­sis in the world, from the Greek fi­nan­cial melt­down to the im­plo­sion in Cosatu.

Ac­cord­ing to Dlamini, the im­pe­ri­al­ists were at work in coun­tries such as Greece, which has been bur­dened with “res­cue poli­cies which were aimed at de­fend­ing the in­ter­ests of fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal by pro­tect­ing bond­hold­ers and other lenders, [and] pro­mot­ing the in­ter­ests of in­dus­trial cap­i­tal”.

They are also ac­tive in the Arab world where, in the post-upris­ing era, con­ser­va­tive par­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions have been on the as­cen­dancy and have taken over some gov­ern­ments. This is proof, says Dlamini, that “pop­u­lar strug­gles got hi­jacked by the im­pe­ri­al­ist forces”.

In Asia and Latin Amer­ica, the im­pe­ri­al­ists em­ploy “or­gan­ised chaos and end­less dis­rup­tion”, and make it “im­pos­si­ble for the ex­ist­ing gov­ern­ment to gov­ern”.

In eastern Europe, the strat­egy is mainly aimed at marginal­is­ing Rus­sia and im­ple­ment­ing the North At­lantic Treaty Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s strat­egy of “re­colonis­ing eastern Europe”.

No con­spir­acy the­ory is com­plete with­out media col­lu­sion, and the im­pe­ri­al­ists use “com­pli­ant media to spread their ver­sion of events”.

Hav­ing given a mas­ter­class in the work­ings of global im­pe­ri­al­ism, Dlamini brought it back home and gave it do­mes­tic rel­e­vance.

“In the South African con­text,” he ex­plained, “these ma­noeu­vres man­i­fest in the form of an of­fen­sive against the lib­er­a­tion move­ment, which comes from all sides, in­clud­ing from the in­sti­tu­tions meant to pro­tect democ­racy and to pro­tect the gains of our demo­cratic break­through.”

Cen­tral ac­tors in this of­fen­sive were the ju­di­ciary and the Public Pro­tec­tor.

“We have seen how our hard-won ad­vances se­cured since the demo­cratic break­through con­tinue to face threats from our own ju­di­ciary, which zigzags from mak­ing pro­gres­sive rul­ings that as­sert the new demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion to mak­ing rul­ings that clearly pro­tect apartheid priv­i­leges and, in many cases, con­sti­tute ju­di­cial over­reach and un­der­mine the doc­trine of the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers.”

He said the re­sult of the ju­di­ciary’s over­reach was to “un­der­mine the ma­jor­ity and im­pose set­backs on de­vel­op­ment which favour the ma­jor­ity of South Africans”.

The Public Pro­tec­tor, he said, “had been po­si­tioned as a role player in a po­lit­i­cal scene that is be­ing shaped against the lib­er­a­tion forces”.

“It is be­com­ing dif­fi­cult not to as­so­ciate the con­duct of the Public Pro­tec­tor with the cam­paign ... which is aimed at re­plac­ing the ma­jor­ity rule as part of the cam­paign to dele­git­imise the pop­u­lar demo­cratic gov­ern­ment.”

He went on to link the “chaos de­vel­op­ing in Par­lia­ment”, ser­vice-de­liv­ery protests and at­tacks on Cosatu in the media, and por­tray these as part of some big bad plot to “use the masses against their revo­lu­tion”.

Now this is not the first time such loony talk has come from se­nior lead­er­ship in South Africa. It has be­come stan­dard prac­tice to an­a­lyse prob­lems through con­spir­a­to­rial eyes.

In gen­eral, con­spir­acy the­o­ries are great fun. Crazy types spend half their lives try­ing to find an­swers to the world’s prob­lems by con­nect­ing un­re­lated dots. They make ar­gu­ments about the causes of plagues, wars and eco­nomic crises by link­ing them to shad­owy forces that seek to achieve world dom­i­na­tion.

But we have to be able to dis­tin­guish be­tween loonies and se­ri­ous de­ci­sion mak­ers. When a key player like Dlamini be­gins to sound like he has been wan­der­ing the streets of Mamelodi procur­ing that in­hal­able stuff that has Rat­tex and Jik as in­gre­di­ents, it is time to worry.

And when no­body in his lead­er­ship and gen­eral mem­ber­ship finds any­thing odd about the balder­dash and pop­py­cock, we should be even more con­cerned. For it means that in di­ag­nos­ing our ills, our pol­icy mak­ers and de­ci­sion mak­ers will seek the help of divin­ers and palm read­ers in­stead of look­ing at is­sues sci­en­tif­i­cally. Con­se­quently, the cures they have come up with will be as wacky as the di­ag­no­sis.

South Africa’s deep­en­ing po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial crises need ra­tio­nal anal­y­sis, not crazy con­spir­acy the­o­ries. So, to Dlamini and Co: Leave the Mamelodi prod­uct to those who have no greater re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Leave the wacky the­o­ries to those with noth­ing bet­ter to do.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.