a decommodification agenda by capturing state power?

so after reading Patrick Bond’s Strategies for Social Justice Movements from Southern Africa to the United States fpif.org/papers/0501movements_body.html

Bond is thinking about circular state measures that eventually weaken local communities, and talks about fundamental change that doesn’t rely on state power, when he writes:

…South Africa’s independent left fully understands the need to transcend national-scale capitalism. One step along the way is the strategy of decommodification.

The South African decommodification agenda is based on interlocking, overlapping campaigns to turn basic needs into genuine human rights including: free anti-retroviral medicines to fight AIDS, at least 50 liters of free water and 1 kilowatt hour of free electricity for each individual every day, extensive land reform(…..)

so I think, if Rachleff is sending out something, there’s gotta be something new in there. The “measures”, as I reade them, of decommodifying services into basic human rights seems to require state intervention, and as he describes local movements in environmental justice, I thought he would provide some sort of theoretical framework to understand these processes. But then., the conclusion comes back with a reliance on state-administered reform:

The latter [change that advances a nonreformist agenda] would include, for example, social policies stressing more generous and universal state services, controls on capital flows and imports/exports, and inward- oriented industrialization strategies allowing democratic control of finance and production in order to meet social needs.
We must capture state power through elections in which a democratic political party amasses community/worker/peasant support by generalizing the sorts of struggles discussed above, eventually contending with those elites who remain locked into neocolonial power relationships.

so I have never taken a polisci course, and so I have always trouble figuring out the influences of macrogroups, hierarchies, and unequal relationships. In other words, when dealing with historic processes, I always started with the little practices and observable phenomenom. am I missing something in Bond’s analysis of how to materialize a “nonreformist agenda”? at least when put into words, doesn’t it look like another developmental rhetoric?


also: what was this NEPAD business? Because the new president of Kenya about a year ago had made some strong statements about NEPAD that made the party of the outgoing president rave. It’s been a while since the news went out, thoguh







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