Robert Kennedy’s Message in South Africa,And the Call for Global Revolutionary Change


The Past Speaks to the Future

Robert Kennedy’s Message in South Africa, And the Call for Global Revolutionary Change

On behalf of my nation, South Africa, proud member of the BRICS alliance for peace and development and the host of the BRICS summit next month, I send greetings to you who are gathered in New York City under the auspices of the Schiller Institute to discuss and organise the fight for the New Global Paradigm.

While we can see the progress being made in that direction, I urge you to double your efforts, as we have yet to secure victory against a dirty and determined, British Imperial elite and their assets around the globe, who will not yield their power over international finance, and with it, their ability to slaughter and subjugate much of humanity. They cannot win, but the world can lose, as they continue to light the flames of discord and war, to topple governments, including their attempt to topple the government of President Trump in the United States, and to promote confrontation with the leading standard bearers of the New Paradigm, Russia and China.

For the sake of Africa—whose populations the racist leadership of the British Empire seek to eliminate—and for the rest of the world, I say, ‘Do not yet declare victory, even as that victory is in sight.’ As the LaRouches, Lyn and Helga, have repeatedly instructed, the change we seek is revolutionary, one that throws off the entire monetarist system of the Empire of Money, and replaces it with a system that understands that only creative human labour—physical and mental—can produce wealth, a system that insists on investing in that which increases the productivity of human labour. The creation of money-valued ‘wealth’ is not our objective; our objective is to increase the number of creative human beings living on this planet, to drive progress everywhere.

The brutish, British-run system—the old paradigm—cannot be reformed; its problems are not structural, but are derived from its anti-human monetarist principles that use calculations of the cost of maintaining human lives as a justification for genocide. Such calculations—‘bankers’ arithmetic’—have turned nations, and continents such as Africa, in the recent past into death-dealing cauldrons. Only now, through policies promoted by the BRICS, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) do we see this changing.

Only the foolish, or those professional liars who work for the dying Empire and its media sewers, could imagine that these two divergent views of Humankind could coexist. The Empire’s system must die, because it has reached the limits of its self-cannibalisation. But unless we throw it off, its death agony can kill us all.

So the burning question of the day is how to build a movement for revolutionary change that can bring the world to embrace, and that quickly, the policies and principles of the New Paradigm.

I believe a speech given by Robert Francis Kennedy in South Africa, on June 6, 1966—two years to the day before his assassination at British instigation in as yet unclear circumstances—provides us with some insight into how this can be done. As did Lyndon LaRouche, in the founding of the movement for which I am the spokesman in South Africa, RFK insisted that revolutions are organised not by amorphous masses of angry people, but by initiatives of individual personalities, alone and in concert with each other.

In discussing this in the context of resistance to the evil, British Empire–inspired Apartheid system in South Africa, as well as the civil rights struggle in the United States, Robert Kennedy said that change is not brought about through violence of unthinking mobs or individuals, but through the spread of ideas that cause a creative challenge to the old order. He stressed that it is the responsibility of the younger generation to lead the way to change, against the resistance of older generations who might cling, unnecessarily, to the failed ways of the old paradigm.

But let Kennedy himself speak directly to us today, from the past.

First let us set the stage for his remarks.

He had been invited to South Africa by Ian Robertson, the president of the National Union of South African Students, to speak at their annual Day of Reaffirmation of Academic and Human Freedom. The apartheid-burdened South African government was hesitant to let Kennedy speak, but eventually granted him a visa for fear of snubbing a future President of the United States.

Two weeks before the scheduled event, Robertson himself was banned by the government from participating in social and political life for five years, and so was unable to attend. An empty chair marked his absence. Visas were denied to 40 news correspondents that were to cover the event. A crowd of 18,000 white students and faculty packed the hall in Cape Town. Banners hung in protest of the Vietnam War. Following a ceremonial procession, led by a student carrying an extinguished ‘torch of academic freedom’, Kennedy made his entrance.

When he finally had the audience’s close and silent attention, he opened by employing ironic misdirection. He said:

I come here this evening because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on a hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which was once the importer of slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage. I refer, of course, to the United States of America.

This drew laughter and applause, and released the tension. After thanking the student union for the invitation, Kennedy discussed individual liberty, apartheid, communism, and the need for civil rights. He emphasised inclusiveness, individual action, and the importance of youth involvement in society. At the climax, he listed four ‘dangers’ that would obstruct the goals of civil rights, equality, and justice. The first is futility, ‘the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills’. Kennedy countered:

Yet many of the world’s great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. ‘Give me a place to stand’, said Archimedes, ‘and I will move the world’. These men moved the world, and so can we all….

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice. He sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance.

The second danger is expediency, the idea ‘that hopes and beliefs must bend before immediate necessities…. [T]here is no basic inconsistency between ideals and realistic possibilities—no separation between the deepest desires of heart and of mind and the rational application of human effort to human problems’.

The third danger is timidity. ‘Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world which yields most painfully to change’.

The fourth and final danger, comfort: ‘The temptation to follow the easy and familiar path of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who have the privilege of an education’. But comfort is not really an option:

[Comfort] is not the road history has marked out for us. There is a Chinese curse which says, ‘May he live in interesting times’. Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind. And everyone here will ultimately be judged—will ultimately judge himself—on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort.

I suggest to you that Robert Kennedy’s voice speaks great truths across history to us—we who must organise a global movement of individuals for revolutionary change. He tells us that we must reject expediency, pragmatism and easy answers. I would add that these are often offered by British agents and provocateurs, often on the payrolls of organisations affiliated with the pro-Nazi financier, George Soros.

We must also stay focused on the ‘big picture’. It is a global change that must be organised. We must never let ourselves hide in some local or even national fight that takes us away from our objective.

And, we also must accept that it will be those who are young in both spirit and mind, and embrace change, who must carry the greatest burden and responsibility for realising the change we seek. The change we seek is not ‘change for the sake of change’ of the London-run, rock-drug-sex counterculture which, after the assassinations of the Kennedys and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, led so many down to many counterproductive back alleys and dead endings. Ours is a fight for a principled change, which the LaRouches have led for the last 50 years.

Robert Kennedy believed that with proper leadership, such change can take place. So do I.

He concluded his Reaffirmation address in Cape Town by quoting his slain brother, President John Kennedy, in his inaugural address. So will I:

The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world…. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth and lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane 8 June 2018

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