Dear Right Honourable Excellency Julius Sello Malema the First, Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Ruler of all the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of Colonialism in Africa in General and South Africa in Particular.
Or, in the parlance of the common people, heita Juju! Having said that, there shall come a time when political scientists will want to add an ism to your name. You need to drop a vowel. Malemism is easier on the tongue than Malemaism, which sounds more like a tropical malaise than a bona fide ideology.
People have been coming up to me and saying, “Who is EFF?” Sometimes they say, “Who the eff are you?” but their kind is best ignored. You put it rather nicely in your manifesto: “The EFF is a radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement with an internationalist outlook anchored by popular grassroots formations and struggles.”
That clears that up, then.
I predict that, before the end of the decade, Malemism will overtake Marxism as the predominant school of thought among a new generation of urban guerrillas. Compared to you, Karl Marx was a pussycat. Marxism is a theory. Malemism will be a fact. If anyone argues, have Shivambu stab them in the face. Oops. That was a Floydian slip. Have him talk some sense into them. An open dialogue is usually less messy than an open wound.
What ruined Marxism for me was the number of psychobrates Karl allowed in to the inner circle. Even though he was very bright for a white man, Karl made the mistake of encouraging other men with beards to get savagely twisted on Jägermeister and come up with all kinds of crazy things like dialectical materialism and economic determinism. The proletariat could barely spell their own names. No wonder Marxism never caught on.
Now that Dali Mpofu, the devil’s advocate, is a member of your merry band of brigands, your quota of intellectuals has been filled. Do not accept anyone else with a university degree. Too many revolutions have been ruined by some smartass at the back who puts up his hand and says, “But, commander in chief, if we are going to nationalise everything, throw farmers off their land and give everyone free health care, housing and education, where will we get the money to, you know, pay for things like roads and power stations?”
When the EFF takes power, you can do away with money altogether and use stones instead. This country has plenty of them. The Karoo could be the new Treasury, except there won’t be any security at the door. Or any doors. People could just drive out there, fill their boot with stones and be rich right away. Small stones could buy takeaways while rocks could be used to buy bigger things like tumble dryers and plasma televisions. A Mercedes would cost a small boulder, of which we have plenty.
It’s uncanny how much you and Marx have in common. Karl collaborated with Friedrich Engels. You speak Engels. Your insightful exchange of ideas with BBC correspondent Jonah Fisher in 2010, which included the phrase, “Rubbish is what you have covered in that trouser”, showed an admirable grasp of the subtle nuances of the English language.
Marx studied at the University of Bonn. You once drove past the University of Cape Town.
You sang ‘Dubula iBunu’. He sang ‘Lydia the Tattooed Lady’. No, wait. That was Groucho Marx. My researcher is drunk. I shall have him stripped naked and flogged at once.
By the way, I like your website. The colours of blood and canaries are very 2014. I also like your logo. A giant black fist dominating Africa, threatening Brazil with an assegai. Good for you. Those goddamn uppity Latinos need to learn that they aren’t the only ones who can cripple economies through poorly thought out socialist policies.
It’s also a smart move to invite people to donate R30 to the cause by sending an sms. Any idiot can send an sms. And I am nothing if not an idiot. I fired off an sms right away. Any chance of a receipt? When you finally deploy the 5th Expropriation Brigade, I want to be able to show them something that sets me apart from the neo-imperialist counter-revolutionary running dogs of capitalism that infest my suburb.
I see you are with FNB. Good choice. I like their slogan: “First National Bankie – How Can Weed Help You.”
I am also very impressed with your manifesto. Did you know that it comes from the Greek word ‘mani’ meaning ‘barefaced’ and ‘festo’ meaning ‘lies’? Of course you did.
I found it a tad long at around 20-thousand words, but that shouldn’t be a problem for your followers. By the time the economically disenfranchised have finished looking up words like heterodox and beneficiation, American helicopters will be evacuating the last of the capitalists from the roof of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the sangomas can move in. The fall of Saigon will seem like a stumble by comparison.
Nice touch kicking it off with a quote from Frantz Fanon, although one or two of your members might struggle to relate to a Martinique-born French Creole psychiatrist who dabbled in existential humanism on his days off. On the other hand, he did actively support the Algerian war of independence from France. As a result, Algeria today is in far better shape than France. And you, Julius, are in far better shape than Frantz.
The quote is, “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” Or, in the case of the ANC, and betray it. Do you like that? Have it.
The first point in your preamble reads, “Our decision is to fight for the economic emancipation of the people of South Africa, Africa and the world.” Nothing wrong with aiming high, comrade. But the world? I hope you have a passport.
One of your seven pillars for economic emancipation is to “build government capacity allowing the abolishment of tenders”. This is brilliant. Nobody need rely on the government for work because everyone will already be working for the government. Thirty million civil servants should get the job done in no time at all. Who cares if the economy shuts down over lunch every day? It’s a big, hungry thing, the economy is, and it can’t be expected to go all day without so much as a smoke break.
I love all the free stuff mentioned in your fourth pillar. Education, health care, housing, sanitation. I would go further and offer free booze. Having a roof over your head and knowing the square root of twelve would feel so much more satisfying if it came with a box of beer.
Pillar number five says there will be “massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs”. By protected I expect you mean that once the workers are inside, the factories will be sealed off with bladewire and minefields. Don’t let the bastards out. Ever. You didn’t say they would be paying jobs. Clever, that.
Your second pillar calls for the nationalisation of banks, mines and other sectors of the economy without compensation. You might need heavy artillery for the banks. I have been trying to get an appointment with my branch manager for months. You are going to have to winkle the swine out with howitzers.
The manifesto also says, “It is a crying shame that in the 21st century we are presided over by an elite system of power where only 400 members of the national assembly govern over 50 million people. The EFF shall agitate for the transfer of power to the people.”
You need to have teams visiting every home in every town. If the person who opens the door can sing the first stanza of L’Internationale and answer three questions about, say, the Babylonian revolt against Assyrian rule, he or she gets to make a new law right there and then. Parliament can be converted into a vegetable market.
And you say house repossessions will be illegal? Yeah! Fuck the bond. What are you going to do now, Sheriff? Shoot me? Oh. Okay, wait.
You also want to see “the scrapping of criminal record statuses of ex-convicts who were convicted of certain schedules of crime”. Nothing wrong in thinking ahead. That’s the mark of any good leader who might one day go to jail for certain schedules of crimes. Like tax evasion. Or money laundering. Or racketeering.
You warn that your policies might cause an “imperial backlash”. I wouldn’t worry about that. When the Mau Mau did their thing in Kenya, the imperial backlash extended to the madams of Happy Valley firing the servants and pouring their own gin and tonics. I expect our imperialists would do the same – right after they have shut down their multi-billion rand investments and repatriated the profits.
I like how your manifesto separates the race groups. It does away with all that simunye nonsense. For instance, you talk of the “Coloured question”, saying that the EFF will come up with revolutionary programmes to guarantee them fishing rights. I don’t know when last you were in Cape Town, but you should know that not all of them are fishermen. Many have diversified into the narcotics industry. It’s an important demographic. Don’t neglect them or they will be at the throats of the fishermen in no time at all and you will be to blame.
Still under the section titled “The Coloured working class”, you say, “The wine farms in the Cape should be expropriated and redistributed to the farm workers.” This is an excellent idea. Who cares if the chief financial officer of Spier has no front teeth and a touch of the old foetal alcohol syndrome? I certainly don’t. And I am all for buying cabernet sauvignon in five-litre plastic containers.
Under the “Indian/Asian working class”, you question whether Indians should be classified as a historically disadvantaged group. Should they benefit from affirmative action? You seem unsure. I tried asking around but the thing with Indian fellows is that you ask them one thing and they tell you another. And another. And before you know it the whole day has gone by and you’re lakka goofed and dronk.
When I came to the “White working class”, my sphincter snapped shut. I was expecting terrible things. But all you said was that white people who didn’t own land and the means of production would be allowed to live. Ha ha. Not really. Instead, we would benefit from the EFF’s struggle. Yay for me. I don’t own much more than a car and two surfboards, so I’m safe. Right, comrade? I am safe, aren’t I?
One thing is certain – the poor will send you to parliament next year. That’s R70 000 a month in your pocket right there. Sure, this is peanuts compared to what you are accustomed to, but it’s a start.
Anyway. Good luck, commander. If your dreams come true, we will all be living in one hell of a state.