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The solid alternative to Capitalism: wishful thinking! Reflections of a Trade Unionist.

30 Oct 2016 at 18:46hrs | Views
Graduation Day at last! Wits University's GLU administrators, lecturers, professors and GLU students pose for one! @PhotoCred- #GluAdmin
Without a shadow of doubt, I am a rooted cosmopolitan who is of sound and sober submissions that the precariet is a class, not just a class, but a dangerous class.

Equipped with a hard to get law degree, I packed my kiddies gloves as I reasonably assumed that the Global Labour University's Engage (hereinafter referred to as #GLU-Engage) course was a de minimis non curat lex. It is my humble submission that a person in my shoes would have acted in like-manner.

In addition to this, I had completed my articles of legal clerkship. Contrary to the Senior Counsel's orders, I sat for two grueling days and wrote four examinations. I passed the dreaded attorney's admission board examinations, notwithstanding the legendary failure rate which is said to hover around sixty percent in South Africa.

I saw nothing orgasmic about the #GLU-Engage course; it appeared as just one of those. I concluded that surely my appetite for learning would not be that intrigued by the course; of course from a distance.

After judging the course by its name, I quickly realized that the best things in life indeed come from the least expected. After day one, I slid out and went for the well sought after China-price to get a fake 'adibas' boxing gloves!

I mistakenly took the GLU-Engage as one of the traditional trade union 'meet-eat-and-drink-sleep-in-a-hotel-mix-and-mingle-workshop'. To my surprise, we only had three well deserved 'meat-and-greet' escapades, there was just no time.

For the record, I have been hugely transformed by the prodigious philosophy efforts of multi-qualified personnel and administrators of the 2016 class; let alone being an ambassador for the GLU-10th Anniversary Conference in Johannesburg South Africa. I rubbed shoulders with great trade union movement minds.

As a result, I am a reformed, and probably a transformed cosmopolitan. Quoting from a young 'triple E' militant leader, with Engage, I have been Engaged, Equipped, and what is left is to Execute! The capitalists of course!    

My ears and eyes of understanding have been opened. There has been a capitalistic trend of acquiring natural, resources for the benefit of the few at the expense of the majority citizens.

Anyways after all is said and done, the class struggle continues!

The dilemma of the twenty-first century is engraved in class struggle spiced up by race—racism, domination for purposes of exploitation which does nothing but everything to benefit the bourgeoisie class.

I have invested my time watching, criticizing and encouraging social, political, economic activists, sportsman, academics and so forth. I have hunted and gathered useful tabloids for personal use and enjoyment. I have sharpened my skills and kept abreast of development in my areas remotely related, and of course in areas related to my life.

This is out of my understanding that no one will change and develop my sphere of influence without my consent. Needless to say that I rightfully choose to take a proactive approach in life and continuously applied my mind as I ran the risk of being spoon fed a diet that I am allergic to. With such abilities, I am able to analyze the problem prone world better.

The Exponents, scholars, professors and doctors have all given their input in the school though that states that there is an alternative to capitalism, but I beg to differ as there is no current alternative to capitalism.

Team #Engage after an engagement with the International Labour Organization at Wits University. @2016PhotoCred-@GLUadmin

If the truth is to be told in the movements of social-developmental-macro-economic-philosophical-sociological-political-and-ethical-interests, there is no alternative to capital. Without fear of an academic whiplash from post doctoral fellows, professors and other theorists, any notion that suggests an alternative to capital is like waiting for a pizza at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet; Might as well vote for Margaret Thatcher in the next US elections!

Academic mafias have made claims which in my view are an act of academic treason. I would presume such as counterfeit, non-conformist and optimistic perceptions to class struggle reality.

An alternative to a landline telephone is a portable mobile cell-phone. An alternative to the ancient sms and mms (short message service and multi-media service respectively) is Whatsapp, Twitter and other multi-dimensional new internet means of communication.

An alternative is a substitute.

Is there an alternative to capital?

Currently capitalism is like Robert Mugabe. There is just no alternative from the current. For his demise we have fasted for forty days and forty nights, but at 92, Robert Mugabe has defied age and is as fit as a fiddle! They have come and gone, but the 92 year old devil is still walking and reading unaided. Robert Mugabe has died and resurrected more than Jesus himself. That is the same with the co-devil called capitalism! When you expect it to die because of economic forces, it manifests itself in other forms.

Are there any other means of production that are remotely related to capital?

It is inevitable to conclude otherwise hence the answer is NO!

It has become so fundamental to unpack the notion that there is an alternative to capitalism. The irony of it is that the Exponents of this theory are nevertheless within the system have conformed to the standards of capital.

The labour movement which has been so fundamental in efforts to fight capitalism is in fact cementing capital. Demanding for better working conditions, better wages and fights for decent jobs all conclude that we want a soft, better and less brutal capital system.

This is a conflict of interest. This is a reformist mentality towards capital. There is no sign of a transformation of capital. But of course there is everything that points towards reforming capital.

Trade Union movement has chosen to be reactionary and defensive rather than be offensive in attempts to fight the capital. There is empirical evidence that the labour movement in its fragmented state has been advocating for just bread and butter issues and therefore turning a blind eye to the revolution.

Having alternatives to capital will entail elements of at least revolutionary tendencies. The tabloids of the respected Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels at or about the year 1847 in the Manifesto of the Communist Party are still relevant today and tomorrow. This entails that the more things change, the more capital remains the same.

A conflict of interest and ideologies was also manifested by the opposition party in Zimbabwe which never recognized Robert Mugabe as the legitimate president of Zimbabwe, but had demonstrations to demand the 2 million jobs which were promised by the ruling party. The extensively rigged July 31 2013 General Election is enough to discredit the presidency of the aged leader.

Such an initiative to demand jobs in the liquidated state of Zimbabwe where unemployment is rife is awesome, but one would conclude that such demand blindly endorses the legitimacy of the presidency of Robert Mugabe. We can only expect service from a legitimately elected head of state. I have my reservations over Robert Mugabe, but in short, Robert Mugabe has overstayed his welcome.

On the same token, the movements are negotiating with capital for better wages, gender equality, better and decent working conditions. This is an acceptance of the superiority of capital. Such is my conclusion. From the evolution of capitalism up until now, there is no physical empirical evidence of an alternative.

The essence of capital is domination for the sole purposes of exploitation of mankind and the environment. By the time another alternative is found, the world will be inhabitable due to global warming. Any form of development from the capital should be put under the microscopic eye.

There are rubbish claims by the capital that suggest that under developed countries, especially those in Africa have better living conditions than before. Of course capital has brought electricity, roads, schools and houses, but access to them is close to impossible as the precarious class can't afford these services which cost an arm and a leg. These exorbitant prices are prohibitive and they drain the worker the little money that he has.

Other examples of white elephants are the soccer stadiums which were constructed in 2010 in South Africa. The workers who toiled on these stadiums couldn't afford to even buy a ticket for the match yet it was termed development for the community. Which community? The precariet or the capital community?  

In addition to this example are the resource management plans of dams whose focus is mostly on the primary and secondary water use. They totally ignore the water rights and supply to the community which is either near the dam or which gets displaced. What is interesting is that such plans do not falter the capital mining company and huge irrigation farms that are 40 kilometers away!

In addition to this, the elite enjoy leisure activities and loads more yet the community near the dam is prohibited from casting a fishing rod. Like really? Who does that? Such is the hypocrisy of capital! Down with capital!

So with this in mind, notions of an alternative to capitalism are there to serve an ill-fated purpose that is there to cheat and send hope into an overdrive. Pointers of an alternative to capital are the same as taking the headlamp of a train as light at the end of the tunnel. The alternative will come, but not yet!

The trade union movement has been weak and this has sent the worker into an abyss of capital regime. The substitute to a capital regime theory has been assisted by the pursuit of a quick solution to the movement politics under the convenient but utterly false cover of alternatives.

It is very mischievous and objectionable in the extreme that the capital-regime-change-seeking scholars along with their partners have through academic space deceitfully put up theories that suggest an alternative.

The fact that trade unions still negotiate with the capital is unacceptable and treacherous. The negotiation of workers' rights simplifies that the truth of the matter is that there is no alternative to capital.

It would appear that negotiating and the persistent fight for better working conditions, and better wages are nothing than just a solid act of recognition of capital as supreme. There is no revolution from capital. The only tangible evidence is biased towards reforming and fighting for a better and less brutal capital. A reformed capital is just a better devil than an alternative to capital.

For now, there is no alternative to capital, but rather a negotiation of a reformed capital which is devoid of a revolution! Despite having casually expressed my view, the case remains the same.

The only alternative to capital is nothing more than wishful thinking.

At least for now.

Down with capital!

Create equal opportunities for all!


Tapiwa Diamond Chadya is a rooted cosmopolitan, a Trade Unionist for MIWUSA (Migrant Workers Union of South Africa), a GLU-Engage2016 Alumni, Labour and legal Practitioner, a Researcher, and a Political Analyst-cum-Activist. He read law the University of KwaZulu Natal and is Researching towards SOLID ALTERNATIVES TO CAPITAL. He concomitantly lives in the Natal Midlands and Johannesburg. He can be contacted on 27 (0)84 566 2756 or email him at, or twitter @mantronieqscie. He writes in his own personal capacity.

Source - Tapiwa Diamond Chadya
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