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CONTENTS FEATURES 2 Marching to Pretoria 4 Observations 6 Remembering Carl Brannin 7 Internecine Star Wars Geoffrey Rips Ronnie Dugger James Ridgeway 9 Polish Populists Rick Piltz and Eric Hartman DEPARTMENTS 8 Dialogue 13 Political Intelligence 22 Social Cause Calendar Books and the Culture: 15 The Last Roundup Craig Clifford 16 The Return of the Western Hero Michael King 18 Yesterday’s History, Today’s Lessons Dave Denison 21 A Foundation for the Spirit of Resistance Stephen Bronner Afterword: 23 The Fire Next Time Geoffrey Rips Cover Art by Michael Krone S , sponsored song and dance: “The people pushing for divestment are hurting the people they are trying to help,” he solemnly said. ACCORDING to Kevin Danaher, in In Whose Interest A Guide to U. S. -South Africa Relations \(Institute investment in South Africa during the past century has meant anything but a liberalization of social policy in that country. A more accurate correlation can be drawn between increased business activity and more oppressive government policies. “The major components of South Africa’s racial system,” writes Danaher, “the bantustans, pass laws, labor bureaus, residency rules were instituted, not primarily to keep blacks and whites separate, but to secure white control over black workers. The history of South African development shows that modifications in the system of white supremacy were brought about by changing needs for black labor, not by white attitudes toward racial segregation. The uniqueness of South Africa’s racial system stems from the way that society was incorporated into the world capitalist economy: a white settler minority, with assistance from foreign capital, industrializing via the rigid control of a black majority workforce. . . . The goal of the apartheid government is not so much to separate the races, as it is to divide the black population in as many ways as possible. Africans, Asians, and Coloureds are separated. Africans are divided into ten ethnic groups, with the divisions institutionalized in the bantustans. . . . The primary objective of all this divide-and-rule manipulation is not to foster racial purity but to maintain political domination by controlling the African workforce.” The history of large-scale U.S. participation in the South African economy begins with that country’s gold mining in the nineteenth century the heart of South Africa’s industrialization and the focus of its apartheid legislation. By 1896, half that country’s mines were run by American engineers, and most of its mining equipment came from the U.S. In the 1870s, Singer Sewing Machine and Kidder, Peabody Co. began South African operations, followed by of National Cash Register, Armour and Co., National City Bank of New York, Prentice-Hall, Colgate-Palmolive, Firestone, B.F. Goodrich, American Cyanimid, General Motors, and International Harvester. More recently, General Electric, Honeywell, and Allis-Chalmers have helped South Africa establish its nuclear industry. Yet this century of American investment has meant no economic gains for the black majority. Between 1905 and 1969, for instance, the real wage for a black South African miner dropped by one percent. Before the 1913 Land Act, many blacks owned and operated large farms and ranches. The Land Act restricted blacks to the least fertile acreage in the country. According to Danaher, the enforced underdevelopment of black agriculture was necessary in order to provide a low-wage urban and industrial labor force. The Land Act was developed in response to the demands of the white business community, in which U.S. companies were increasingly involved. When economic downturns precipitated mass unrest and government repression in recent years, the U.S. government and business community pitched in to quiet the unrest and to stabilize the South African government. The March 1960 Sharpeville massacre shook international investor confidence. This confidence was restored by large investments by U.S. corporations and by the International Monetary Fund, at the urging of the U.S. government. When the South African economy was again shaken by foreign investor anxiety following the shootings in Soweto in 1976 and 1977, the Ford and Carter administrations supported International Monetary Fund emergency loans to South Africa to the tune of $464 million. So, there is little evidence to support the assertion that U.S. involvement in the South African economy leads to a liberalization of social policy. About one-third of the U.S. companies in South Africa have signed the Sullivan Principles pledging not to discriminate in the workplace and to improve conditions for employees on the outside. The 1982 report on the signatory companies reveals, however, that one-third of the companies failed to comply with affirmative action criteria, that the number of blacks in supervisory and skilled positions in these companies decreased, and that the gap in wages between white and black employees continued to increase. In response to Gib Lewis’s assertion that U.S. divestment would most severely hurt black workers, the evidence is to the contrary. In the first place, most U.S. investment is in capital-intensive business, which grows primarily through technological innovation rather than through greater employment and, if anything, contributes to structural unemployment throughout the rest of the South African economy. These U.S. firms employ a larger percentage of skilled workers than most South African companies and, not coincidentally, a larger percentage of white workers. Black workers make up 44 percent of the employees of the Sullivan signatories and 68 percent of all South African workers. Less than one percent of all black workers are employed by U.S. companies. In addition, the white workers in these companies are grouped at the upper end of the wage scale for these firms and would have more to lose. THE TEXAS OBSERVER