LALIT website wishes everyone a very happy new year 2019
May we all have space in our hearts for a broad vision with long-term aims linked into our short-term struggles. May we all have the chance to be creative and playful, to live life to the full. May the struggle already be the freedom we work towards.
2019 will be a year, at planet-wide level, when important political resolutions will need to be taken – mainly to act collectively. We will all need to act with thought, and in accordance with an on-going program that we develop together. World-wide. And at our local and national levels. But internationally, too, we will need:
To act collectively:
- to take care of our mother earth by putting a halt to massive industrial-level pollution that is causing any number of irreversible dangers to the natural environment that we are part of;
- to act collectively to regain control of decisions on our daily activity on the earth, our work, thus becoming whole again as human beings; not just seeking better work conditions, but at the same time determining to control our work places democratically; we need to get rid of the class of bosses, no less.
- to continue to act collectively to challenge the rule of patriarchal hierarchies that have dominated women and children and most men for some five thousand years;
- to overturn the rule of minority class over the vast majority so that we can all one day be united as a single humanity without classes – that is to say classes defined by our different relation to the stocks of capital that have been built up in the past few hundreds of years by us collectively and which are until now controlled by a tiny minority that owns most of them;
- to learn and share our knowledge of the wisdom that has allowed humans to exist in harmony and with relative ease on the earth for a long and rich history of hundreds of thousands of years, starting with the first human societies that are our common history, societies in Africa, and which spread over the planet living in close relationships with each other and with nature, which we are part of;
- and to put an end to colonization, military occupation and imperial domination with all its wars, with the concomitant destruction, killing and maiming that has been so destructive in the past few hundred years.
And at the Mauritian national level, it will be a year for acting collectively
- to end the past colonization of Chagos including Diego Garcia with its military occupation, and calling for the publication of the treaty between Mauritius and India over Agalega, and doing this while stopping the new colonization of selling of all the arable land, and even renting the sea out, to individuals and corporations who have hoarded the wealth produced by others over the past few hundred years; LALIT draws together those with serious housing problems, no jobs, insecure jobs, and links their struggles to this broader struggle of controlling the land;
- to force the State to force the sugar cane barons to diversify out of cane and do so fast, and to stop concreting up arable land, and to halt selling land off to millionaires; LALIT does not see “the economy” as something out of bounds for politics: it is the very centre of politics.
- to unite working people, including the unemployed, the young without jobs, students without a future, women still oppressed by ancient forms of patriarchal hierarchies, older people, in a united program to do away with the old inequalities left over in modern labour laws from slavery and indenture, and left over in modern social relations from times of patriarchal domination;
- to put a halt to the increasingly repressive “surveillance society” that is developing, with cameras, ID documents, laws prohibiting old forms of social being – everything from camping at the seaside, to four men drinking a beer under a mango tree, to fishing in a stream or in the sea;
- to put an end to the obsessional classification, formal and informal, into so-called “communities” by so-called race, religion, and putative ancestry.
And to make this defensive struggle bear fruit, the only thing to do, is to develop a counter-offensive:
- to prepare together a socialist program, and to work on it continually, in the knowledge that with the vast developments in science and technology making plenty possible, it is, today, easier than ever before to put a socialist program into practice, and to imagine all of us having to work (as a pleasure) for only a few hours a day, and in the rest of our time to enjoy existence, to feel the freedom of being – something we have not really done for the past 5,000 years but which was our daily experience for hundreds of thousands of years. And so this socialist program, will need to aim to work:
- for peoples’ control, in particular with the control of all those with knowledge of planting and animal husbandry, over all large tracts of arable land; so we decide together what to plant and harvest, what industries that can flow from this, what work can be created for us all around this production, where the produce can be sold or bartered; to unite traditional knowledge and scientific know-how so that we can all get work, food security, and land for housing;
- for peoples’ control, in particular fisher’s control, of the lagoons and of all the high seas, Mauritius having huge territorial waters, totally left to international capitalism;
- for the development of the peoples’ language, Kreol, in all spheres of life, and in education to assure multi-lingualism based on the two mother tongues, Kreol and also, in the countryside, Bhojpuri.
- for a health service that is free of commercialism and bureaucracy.
- for education that teaches the love of learning, that nurtures broad thinking, philosophical approaches, creativity in art and music, a union of the body and mind – in intellectual and physical action.
And for this kind of program, we also need collectively to develop the democratic means by which we can better arrive at these aims – a more democratic National Assembly, with people getting much more power to control our elected members, and our elected members getting much more power relative to the executive (the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of ministers); -- more democratic trade unions that are under our control and not that of the State or the bureaucracies that the State nourishes; decentralized women’s’ rights and liberation groups, students and young people’s movements for more freedom; art and sports groups that meet under their own steam. All this without State funding, or State rules imposed by the hierarchies of its bureaucracy, without funding from NGO’s abroad, or worse still embassies, and without control by religious hierarchies either.
So, here’s a possible New Year’s resolution: to act collectively towards building this kind of program – and to work on all that you can do to bring it to fruition.
Humanity is nearing its end-game – for three clusters of risks:
1. Ruin of the planet
2. Lethal war (like nuclear war)
3. Civilization collapse; this will come from things like too much “economic growth” literally for no good to anyone, too much surveillance, repression, incarceration, and over-regulation of the broad masses while the exploiting classes do as they please (mainly wrecking the planet) without regulation.
So, we do need to act.
And we need ways of acting politically. Not just electorally. But also politically in more creative ways. In this pre-electoral year, it is more than ever important to prepare a program for coming elections, and to work out all the ways of being in elections without being electoralist -- i.e. resorting to doing things that are inherently against a socialist alternative, as if doing absolutely anything to get votes, like kuyoning people, using manipulative advertising type campaigning methods, pumping up a leader, spending a lot of money, raising money from people who do not support your program, and so on.
Anyone interested: please contact a LALIT member, and have a long chat with him or her about what aspects of this struggle interest you. We have branches you might want to join, commissions on subjects that may interest you (language commission, Chagos commission, trade union movement commission, electoral reform commission, women’s commission) you might like to participate in. You might like to join the bimonthly magazine team that writes and produces the REVI LALIT, or you might be interested in helping with documentation – digital and hard copy. Just let us know what aspect might interest you for the long haul. Starting January, 2019.