19 July 2010

Development Is Ours

Development Is Ours

Introduction to 10-part Course: “Development, Rural and Urban

Some Relevant Quotations:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Marx/Engels, Communist Manifesto, 1848

Communism = Soviet Power + Electrification
V I Lenin, 1921

What we want is to combine in our process of inquiry the action of the forms of thought with a criticism of them. The forms of thought must be studied in their essential nature and complete development: they are at once the object of research and the action of that object. This is Dialectic, instead of being brought to bear upon the categories from without, it is immanent in their own action.
G W F Hegel, Shorter Logic (1830)

“When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master, that’s all.”
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871


“Development”, like many other powerful words, including Freedom and Democracy, had a meaning in revolutionary philosophy long before it had a vulgar bourgeois economists’ meaning.

Part of the purpose of our studies is therefore always and deliberately to reclaim the political language that our revolutionary predecessors pioneered and left us, and to take it back from the bourgeois demagogues who constantly try to steal it.

Development is the interior unfolding of a unitary phenomenon or system, propelled by the struggle of opposites within it. Development is the product of dialectics. It is dialectics in motion. It is the essence of change. This revolutionary meaning of the word “development” is the only one that has a clear definition and an intentional purpose.

The vulgar economists’ definition of the word “development” is a vague gesture in the direction of more infrastructure, lowering the cost of doing business, a higher GDP, and other such “indicators” or presumed generally-beneficial goods expediently selected to suit the occasion. In the US slang, it is “motherhood and apple pie”.

On the grander occasions, the brandished indicators may be an internationally-endorsed set of arbitrary “development goals”, which, though globally celebrated, nevertheless fail to rise above the ad hoc and the eclectic, because they continue to evade the dialectical meaning of “development”.

The obfuscation of the word “development” is deliberate. This is because in human society, development is class struggle, with winners and losers. There is no such thing as “win-win” class struggle. There is no such thing as a “tide that lifts all the boats”. Some of the boats are tied to the bottom.

Bourgeois economists, and Imperialism generally, although they have manifestly failed worldwide to employ people and to provide for them adequately, are obliged to pretend that there can be such a thing as generally-beneficial development that does not challenge the capitalist system. Hence they have stolen our word and hidden its meaning, in an attempt to deceive us. We must take it back.

This course

This new course is called Development, Rural and Urban, and it will be in ten parts. We will try to look at development historically, philosophically, and topically.

Our course begins just two days after the SACP Conference of the Commissars (15-18 July 2010) that deliberated on Local Government, including questions of Local Economic Development (LED) and of democracy. The latter includes re-organisation of the SACP into Voting District (VD) branches.

Some of the material from this course (as prepared for the Communist University) was given as reading material for the conference, and some of the conference’s products (papers and speeches) will likewise be fed back into this latest iteration of the course. As of this moment, the papers and speeches are not yet published electronically.

How to discover your Voting District 
  1. Go to the IEC web site Home Page.
  2. Click on “Where is my voting station?”
  3. Select your Province, then type in a search term such as the name of your township, suburb or village (e.g. Lombardy East). Click “Search”
  4. A list appears. It shows where there is a result (e.g. “Suburb (1)”). Click on the most likely one.
  5. Click “view”. Wait for the map to appear
  6. Look for your Voting District Number (e.g. 32850097) and write it down.
  7. Go back to stage 3 (above), select your Province again, and then put the VD number in as your new search term. Click “Search”.
  8. It should show “Voting District (1)” among the others. Click on that.
  9. Click “view” and wait. You will get a map that shows the boundaries of your voting district.
  10. Do a “PrtSc”, paste it into “Paint”, and Save.

 This is going to be the fourth course rolled out during 2010 on the SADTU Political Education Blog and Forum. The others have been Basics, National Democratic Revolution, and Lenin’s “The State and Revolution”. The first text will be posted tomorrow. See below for the status of all the courses.

Previous main Communist University posts:
Channel [members]
Course Archive
Last Posted
Development, Rural and Urban
18 July 2010
CU Africa [230]
CU [2905]

Courses completed in 2010 to date:
June - July

March - June

January - March
3 days
2-4 June
March - June

January – March


Cooperatve Computing said...

Amazing article.loved reading every bit.