How the EFF spells out its non-negotiable policies
There is the increased prospect of the EFF in some government role after the 2019 elections.
To most but the more vengeful and vituperative, this is probably cause for concern.
The EFF may slip in through the front door, as outright winners of the election (which is hard to see), or it will slip in as part of a coalition government – if the ANC gets below 50% of the vote.
This is much more plausible, but it is still unlikely.
The best-case scenario for the EFF is that it would become the official opposition, as the DA sheds votes to the ANC, on the left, and the Freedom Front Plus, on the right.
Let us consider the worst possible scenario, for those of us who are constitutionalists, and would prefer to live in relative harmony, stability and a shared prosperity, community safety and well-being, with high levels of trust among the population. Let us ignore the EFF’s threats of violence, its incendiary statements, fear and hate-mongering, the thuggery of its leaders.
We may recall that EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu called one female journalist a “white bitch” and physically abused another.
By some accounts, Shivambu is, also, a rather noxious fellow, based on accounts that emanate from Wits University…
For his part, Julius Malema has spoken of cutting throats and of bloodshed, and has generally been a nasty person.
If we ignore all of these, what, in terms of actual policies, does the EFF represent?
The land issue has been dealt with extensively.
We can set that aside. Looking at the EFF’s actual policy documents, it presents itself as Marxist-Leninist and Fanonian.
Members are, in other words, good old-fashioned communists who, by their own admission, want to overthrow the (current) state because it is capitalist and “anti-black”.
The EFF’s prime objective is: “to capture political and state power through whatever revolutionary means possible to transform the economy for the benefit of all, in particular Africans, [and] to establish and sustain a society that cherishes revolutionary cultural values and to create conditions for total political and economic emancipation, prosperity and equitable distribution of wealth of the nation”.
The totalitarianism is clear. The EFF’s constitution presents what it describes as seven “non-negotiables”.
In other words, things that it will do and over which the population has no say.
This is totalitarianism which, according to German philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, found its greatest expression in the polities established by Adolf Hitler (the anti-communist) and Joseph Stalin (the communist).
This apparent contradiction is evident, also, in the EFF.
But let us return to the EFF’s “non-negotiables”.
The first is the expropriation of land without compensation “for equal redistribution” – presumably by the state.
The second is the nationalisation of mines, banks “and other strategic sectors of the economy”.
The third is “building state capacity” which, the EFF contends, would eliminate tenders.
Fourth is “free quality education, healthcare, houses and sanitation”.
The fifth is “massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs” which is coupled with a sixth, “massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice”.
The seventh non-negotiable is “open, accountable government and society without fear of victimisation by the state defence, police and other agencies..
It places the state at the centre of all human endeavour.
At first take it all sounds straightforward, until one starts to reflect on evidence of where these non-negotiables have been applied and where they have worked over an extended period.
While we still have a free press, we may reflect on evidence of where mass nationalisation, mass industrialisation and total loyalty to the party have led to dictatorship and/or mass violence.
Section 6 of the EFF’s constitution demands absolute loyalty.
Clause 6 of Section 7 explains that “unity is a paramount principles of the EFF”, and “the sowing of disunity within the ranks of the EFF and the oppressed will be severely dealt with”.
It is general knowledge that the Soviet political economy collapsed, and that in their time Pol Pot and Mao Tse-Tung led many people to their deaths.
And while the EFF and its followers may insist that they are true leftists, there is a huge contradiction that emerges upon closer scrutiny.
The EFF has remarkably right-wing fascist tendencies.
The arch-fascist, Benito Mussolini, demanded unity from members and, also, dealt severely with those who “sowed disunity” within his movement.
Mussolini’s synthesis and unity of all values, that interprets, develops and gives strength to the whole life of the people (the state and party take primacy over the individual) has powerful echoes in the EFF’s “vow” that members have to take.
This vow includes accepting the “individual”, the “minority” and the “lower level” as subordinate, with decisions of the upper structures being binding.
This smacks of Italian fascism’s process of “internal cleansing and external expansion”, and the use of violence to rid society of minorities and opponents...