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After Mubarak: What's Next?

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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After Mubarak: What's Next? - by Stephen Lendman

The line from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore relates well to what's going on in Egypt, perhaps elsewhere in the region as well, saying: "Things are seldom as they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream."

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Visceral street anger is real. What's orchestrating it, however, is suspect, especially its likely Washington impresario, implementing long-planned regime change for new faces continuing old policies, leaving deep-rooted hardships unaddressed. The script is familiar.

In his book "Freedom Next Time," John Pilger discussed Nelson Mandela's betrayal in post-apartheid South Africa, embracing what he called "Thatcherism," telling Pilger:

"You can put any label on it you like; you can call it Thatcherite, but for this country, privatization is the fundamental policy."

In 1990, two weeks before freed from prison, he was quoted saying: 

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"The nationalization of the mines, banks and monopoly industries is the policy of the ANC (and changing) our inconceivable. Black economic empowerment is a goal we fully support and encourage, but in our situation state control of certain sectors of the economy is unavoidable." 

In 1955, that view became ANC Freedom Charter policy. Its liberation struggle wasn't just political but also economic. White mine workers earned 10 times more than blacks, and large industrialists used security forces to enforce order by disappearing dissenters.

Post-apartheid, a new way was possible, Mandela  poised to lead it by rejecting market orthodoxy for economic justice. In 1994, ANC candidates won overwhelmingly. Nonetheless, despite transitioning peacefully, betrayal, not progressive change followed. Black South Africans became predatory capitalist hostages. They still are, worse off now than under apartheid. 

Even The New York Times noticed, writer Celia Dugger headlining on September 26, 2010: "Wage Laws Squeeze South Africa's Poor," saying:

"In the 16 years since the end of apartheid, South Africa has followed the prescriptions of the West, opening its market-based economy to trade, while keeping inflation and public debt in check (by following IMF diktats). It has won praise for its efforts," but at a price. "For over a decade, the jobless rate been among the highest in the world," exacerbated by the global economic crisis, "wiping out more than a million jobs."

Overall, the toll included:

-- double the number of people impoverished on less than $1 a day from two to four million;

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-- unemployment doubling to 48% from 1991 - 2002, currently even higher;

-- two million South Africans losing their homes while the government built only 1.8 million others;

-- in the first decade of ANC rule, nearly one million South Africans lost farms; as a result, shack dwellers grew by 50%; 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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