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Eye on Civil Society


Local elections a thunderous rebuke for ANC
ANC polls less than 60% for first time since end of apartheid
Weizmann Hamilton, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI in South Africa) 12 August 2016

Nothing could have captured the full dimensions of the ANC’s humiliation more resoundingly than Zuma’s presidential address at the official announcement of results ceremony. Four young black women, courageous anti-rape activists, stood in front of Zuma’s podium facing the entire ANC establishment, holding up placards reminding the country and the world of the rape accusations Zuma was acquitted of ten years ago.

2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio Eclipsed By Controversy

Dave Zirin the author of Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy says, it's the perfect opportunity for the anti-democratic forces in Brazil to market themselves as if they are the saviors of the country
Dave Zirin on the Real News Network 2 August 2016

The Great Rip Off

South Africa loses billions in export misinvoicing
Brian Ashley and Dick Forslund (AIDC)small>1 August 2016

“Export underinvoicing is not due to underreporting of the true value of gold exports, but rather to pure smuggling of gold out of the country. In other words, virtually all gold exported by South Africa leaves the country unreported.”

Mega-philanthropy: Charitable deeds or monopoly tyranny?
Liepollo Lebohang Pheko (Rolling Stone) 29 July 2016

How can a small club of extremely rich white men who have bullied markets, governments and competitors in the most undemocratic ways, now be looked upon to decree on democracy and accountability merely by the size of their bank balances and trust funds? This perhaps is the most insidious form of state capture.

Budget Failures, Displacement, Zika
Welcome to Rio’s $11.9B Summer Olympics
Dave Zirin (The Nation ) 27 July 2016

There’s an old expression in Brazil: “it is for the English to see.” This means the country’s elites will construct, when necessary, a veneer for Global North outsiders. This veneer displays a more attractive version of Brazilian society than what actually exists. Northern tourists and investors have long been happy to enjoy the fantasy on display as long as they could extract their pleasures or profits, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro could have been another chapter in this long history of facades for foreign consumption.

Brazil: Government to attack labor rights
Zé Maria (PSTU) 21 July 2016

The Government Fear (PMDB) repeats the same steps of President Dilma, EN. First, with the pension reform, which has been postponed to the end of the year, due to the rejection that generated among workers. Now, announces that he wants to change the labor laws: allow widespread outsourcing, flexibility to working hours and wages, allowing labor laws can be changed or eliminated in collective bargaining.

India’s Heart of Darkness Exposed by the Crackdown in Kashmir
Radha Surya 21 July 2016

The facts speak for themselves. There is no escaping the implications of the horrors with which innocent, mostly unarmed civilians of India-held Kashmir have been bombarded ever since the present crisis erupted. The ongoing crisis in Kashmir has laid bare the palpable darkness that resides at the very heart of what is often perceived as a vibrant and successful democracy. As a mighty surge of mass resistance to Indian occupation welled up across Kashmir in the wake of the killing of beloved militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8, the Indian state unleashed a crackdown of which the savagery knew no bounds. Kashmiris are accustomed to sweeping as well as limited and less visible crackdowns by Indian forces. This is an old story. Still the current crackdown is of a different order of magnitude. Its ferocity may be without precedent in recent years. It is possible that repression on this scale was witnessed in Kashmir only in the nineties when India launched a brutal counterinsurgency operation to crush a rebellion against Indian rule. Now the no holds barred strategy has returned to a land which has been turned into a war-zone by Indian forces. Hardly surprising then that Kashmiri novelist and writer Mirza Waheed was moved to declare that something unimaginably dark, something sinister, has happened in India. Too many people here have called for more Kashmiris to be killed (

Why is the Capitalist West Fighting with Capitalist Russia?

Alexandr Buzgalin and Paul Jay discuss the antagonism between Russia and US despite the former adopting 'Jurassic Park capitalism' since the demise of the USSR
The Real News Network 18 July 2016

Bill Gates’ silver-bullet misfiring at the Mandela Memorial Lecture
Patrick Bond 15 July 2016

On July 17, Bill Gates will deliver the annual Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg, justifying his philosophy of market-oriented, technology-centric philanthropy. Last year, French economist Thomas Piketty’s speech on inequality attracted healthy debate, with even business notables endorsing his concerns, given South Africa’s intense social conflict.

To illustrate, South Africa’s Gini Coefficient measuring inequality is the world’s highest (at 0.77 on a scale of 0 to 1, in terms of income inequality from employment). Since 2000, social protests have numbered an average of 11 per day. From 2012-16 the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report category measuring worker militancy ranked South Africa’s proletariat as the angriest on earth, while PricewaterhouseCoopers Economic Crime surveys awarded the gold medal for world corruption to the Johannesburg bourgeoisie in 2014 and 2016.

SA must take to streets or will pay billions in nuclear bribes
Feinstein (BizNews) 11 July 2016

Andrew Feinstein has come full circle – a young ANC Parliamentarian in South Africa’s first democratically elected Government, he resigned and left the country after discovering his colleagues had accepted $300m in bribes when initiating the country’s unnecessary R70bn Arms Procurement Deal. But even those numbers are paltry compared with the plundering which will happen if President Jacob Zuma gets to implement the proposed nuclear power build programme he is so obsessed about. Feinstein reckons the nuclear deal will generate tens of billions in bribes – and the only way to stop it is for South Africans to once again march in the street. In this fascinating interview in London, he told me his journey from politician to investigator and now a best-selling author whose latest book has been turned into a 90 minute documentary by Hollywood star Danny Glover. Feinstein is using this movie to warn South Africans that their country’s sovereignty is at risk – and unless they stop the nuclear build, as with the Arms Deal, they will repent at leisure. – Alec Hogg

Land Question and the Socio-Economic Crisis in India!
Sajith Attepuram (CWI-India) 20 May 2016

As the outcome of the state assembly elections are discussed extensively, it is important to relook at the causes for the persisting social crisis and the indifference of the political parties over it, particularly the ‘so called left’ in allying itself actively once again in political opportunism!

China’s economy: ‘Dead panda bounce’

China Worker 4 July 2016

Has China’s economy turned a corner?
Has China’s economy turned a corner? Premier Li Keqiang and the Chinese government certainly want us to believe that. The reality however is continuing weak growth despite a series of major stimulus measures that revive memories of Beijing’s mega-stimulus package in the wake of the 2008 global capitalist crisis. The build-up of debt, which is the inevitable result of these policies, is increasing the risk of a financial collapse or as a ‘best case’ scenario Japanese-style economic stagnation. This is something that even senior Chinese officials are now openly warning about.

Flight of corporate profits poses biggest threat to South Africa’s economy
Patrick Bond 22 June 2016

Last week the South African Reserve Bank Quarterly Bulletin confirmed that foreign corporations are milking the economy, drawing away profits far faster than they are reinvested or than local firms bring home offsetting profits from abroad. Can anything be done to stop the haemorrhaging?

Regime change in Latin America: Why Russia is concerned?
Russia Today 18 May, 2016

A Russian diplomatic call to outlaw the US-sponsored policy of “regime change” is timelier than ever following recent events in Latin America.

The developments there are now routinely described as ‘institutional’ coups d’état, with popular presidents removed from power and replaced by neoliberal functionaries, enjoying almost unhidden support of the US government and American financial capital.
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