Workers are their own liberators

Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

Concerning the drive towards a true and meaningful radical socio-economic transformation, to herald the Second Phase of the Namibian Revolution, which in Namibian political parlance has been hailed as the phase of the economic struggle or emancipation, Yours Truly Ideologically believes after 30 years of independence, and the obvious decadence and blatant ideologically retrogression, the jury has been out who can lead the Second Phase of the Namibian Revolution.

The State or Namibian government, if any of its previous the self proclamations on socialism by some but few of the leaders, foremost of the leading liberation movements of the time then, notably Swapo of Namibia and Swanu of Namibia, must by now expectedly have taken the lead in spearheading this second journey. Of course together with the labour movement. Alas this has not been the case. It is not difficult why not. Because pronouncements on socialism by these movements and their leaders during the liberation struggle was purely for political convenience and ideological expediency. They never ascribed to Marxist-Leninism, nor believed in socialism. The workers on their part, and the labour movement at large, perhaps were too much pre-occupied with their exploitation, and the unchaining of the colonialist shackles, to engage in an ideological discourse and thus provide ideological clarity as to the next phase of the revolution.

Granted, but 30 years plus after Phase 1, the discourse must by now have matured in this regard. Meaning the objective conditions must now exist for meaningful transition this time around led by the workers themselves. The workers must by now have learnt hard lessons to no more leave the Second Phase to chance and to capitalist apologetics and opportunists. But to lead it themselves all the way until the system has been torn asunder. Because of the disposition towards the capitalist system, and the retention of the status quo, by all if not most political leaders, and the pretense of the would-be labour leaders, themselves aspirants as much of the capitalist system and its imaginary sweetness, workers can no longer trust anyone else but themselves.

Given this, the workers cannot but revert and resort to the age-old revolutionary maxim that they are their own liberators. Because workers is the social class that currently in capitalist Namibia, as has been elsewhere in the world historically, has been, and is still carrying the brunt of capitalist oppression and exploitation. In today’s Namibia, the foremost face of the workers, and their terms of endurance, is none other than the sprawling tin-house residential areas in most of our urban hinterlands. Not only this but virtually every house in most of the previously black residential areas all over the country, in one way or the other, has a couple of these tin-house structures. A telltale of the poor whose numbers have been increasing all the time. People who are daily struggling for survival. A fact laid bare by the outbreak of Covid-19 that has exacerbated their plight with scenes of thousands and thousands scurrying for food parcels. Hence, there can be no question as to who should lead the advance t
owards radical socio-economic transformation in Namibia. This being the workers.

It is important to note and point out that workers, in this regard, is generically used to refer to a class of people who all in a capitalist Namibia, are alienated from the production process and whose product, their labour, has been commoditised. There are the urban workers, the agricultural workers and the lumpen or deprived workers. Under this class are workers in factories, mines, fishing, and even in offices as unskilled, semiskilled and even skilled manual labourers. They are the core class and/or in essence should be the core class in any meaningful agitation towards radical socio-economic transformation.

The pertinent question at this juncture is whether both the requisite subjective and objective conditions for agitation leading towards a movement for a radical socio-economic transformation in Namibia exists or not? There can be no denial that in deed workers in Namibia, subjectively, meaning in terms of consciousness, have advanced. A consciousness and conscientiousness predating independence when they equally formed an important, if not the most important and cardinal element of the Namibian revolution. But since, it seems such consciousness and conscientiousness have been usurped by the petti bourgeoisie influences, both among and within politicians, and labour activists and leaders alike. To the extent that some of these leaders have literally sold out the workers in the name of patriotism. Patriotism that has been coughed in such ambiguous and irrelevant jargons such as unity, nationbuilding and development. Plus of course the luring and entrapping decadence of capitalism. Meaning as far as the subjecti
ve conditions are concerned, there is a need for reeducating and reconscientising the workers ideologically. But regarding the necessary objective conditions for the Second Phase of the Namibian revolution, all the signs are there in modern day Namibia that the workers remain the wretched of the Namibian capitalist system. So what more objective conditions need to prevail?

But can the workers realistically do this by themselves. Certainly, not. As much as historically no single class has been a sole agent of transformation in any part of the world. Alliances in this regard just like with the First Phase of the Namibian Revolution are of essence. But with the workers in the forefront in every respect and aspect.

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