Eskom’s class agenda
There never seems to be a dull moment when it comes to Eskom.
There has been load-shedding; huge managerial salaries; and scandals around tenders and coal-supply costs. There has also been Eskom’s claim that it faces a funding short-fall and that it needs massive tariff increases.
Then there have been sections of the ruling class again clamouring for its full privatisation. The ANC too says it is thinking of selling equity in Eskom to state-owned and private pension funds.
While all this had been happening, selling electricity has remained very profitable: Eskom in the last year recorded a R 7 billion profit. Yet in this context too, the working class – and the black section in particular – has been facing cut-offs, pre-paid metres, and tariffs up to 400% higher than those paid by some corporations.
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EXISTENTIAL CRISIS OF THE KURDISH IN TURKEY AND ELSEWHERE: NATIONHOOD OR AUTONOMY?
The Kurds are a nationality concentrated in a territory that straddles four states: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. For months Kurdish militia have been fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in Kobane on the Syrian and Turkish borders and have been subjected to ongoing attacks by the Turkish state.
The Kobane conflict is one episode in the longer struggle by the Kurdish national liberation struggle. It is also increasingly associated with a revolutionary reconstruction of society in the region of Rojava in Syria, influenced in some ways by anarchism, that is, the tradition of Bakunin and Kropotkin. Indeed, left-wing ideas like anarchism, and, Marxism-Leninism, have a lengthy history in the region, of which developments in Rojava are one part.
National liberation struggles have historically taken many forms. Evidently, nationalism– the doctrine that the whole “nation” must unite across class divisions, to secure a nation-state that can express the “national” will – has played a key role. But nationalism is only one of a number of possible responses to national oppression, and it has only sometimes achieved dominance.
Read more: EXISTENTIAL CRISIS OF THE KURDISH IN TURKEY AND ELSEWHERE: NATIONHOOD OR AUTONOMY?