Your ego is how they hold you, while they gut you like a fish

In conversation with a very interesting DT commenter, this came up

To advance one inch…

My face was in South African newspapers around September 1999.  I had ‘dared’ to challenge the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), by questioning its privatisation programme. I was ANC regional leader and ward councillor for my area in Soweto. The press projected me as a victim of the ANC’s lack of democracy at a time when its hegemony was more or less unassailable. I did my best to use the attention to spread the message against neoliberal policy. I won public sympathy and maintained my immediate local support base.

But I failed to use the commotion to go back to the 200 or so ANC branches in the region and explain to ordinary members why I was opposed to neoliberalism as a socialist ANC leader. I should have gone there the same way I used to go there to build the ANC. I should have called meetings, visited people in their homes, distributed pamphlets, engaged in public debates and so forth. Instead I let the media tell my story while the ANC leadership did its damage control. I was catapulted from ANC leadership ranks into becoming the famous face of the then emergent anti-globalisation movement in South Africa. On reflection I should have ducked the fame and concentrated on advancing a thousand ordinary workers one inch, rather than the heady 10 mile revolutionary advance of myself and a few radical comrades. I was hero and centre of my political universe. I should have worked harder to make the masses their own liberators.

Trevor Ngwane was active in the ANC as an anti-apartheid activist in Soweto. He was later expelled from the ANC for opposing the privatisation of public services. Today, he continues the struggle in post-apartheid society

It’s what I call “the Star System”. Very effective; who can resist it? Who can keep themselves honest?  Remember Caesar, thou art mortal


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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3 Responses to Your ego is how they hold you, while they gut you like a fish

  1. Sam Gunsch says:

    “…make the masses their own liberators.”

    That’s it.

  2. Pingback: The Star System and Science… Harmful Myths and all that |

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