Round 2: Solutions
The Gamemaster appeared to our players in the form of a dilapidated and pleading rainbow. The players answered it’s call. Presented with a world buckling under intergenerational debt, xenophobia, civil unrest and police and military brutality and surveillance. Check out the video and text responses below to see how our players tried to save the country. Some of their dreams and plans include; police defunding and prison abolition, debt justice, global solidarity oil mining and free internet.
You have the power to make one of their vision’s an immediate reality. Join the council to vote for the world you’d like to live in.
Possible World 1
Dear Rainbow – once the quintessential symbol of South Africa’s transition to a post-apartheid, aspirational but defunct political economy built on the promises of social cohesion and a rainbow nation as the ultimate purveyor of economic justice. I empathise deeply with your pain, knowing full well that we cannot live in denial that Rainbowism has failed the working class, especially black womxn, who will bear the brunt of these loans we have taken out – much like they have carried the care economy, subsidized the rich, fed the nation and still found time to organize and be a part of these local community forums. Which, by the way, are not new phenomena, but represent decades-old womxn’s movements during apartheid that kept and continue to keep the nation alive. The truth we have to confront is that there can be no rainbow nation, without equity and social justice.
Despite what the state has said to us, We are not all in this together and social cohesion will not lead to economic growth, much like taking the loan was putting a bandage on a plaster.Can’t we all see that we exist in an intimately connected system of extraction? That the indigenous womxn activists defending the Amazon, are intimately linked to the Movement for Black Lives in the USA, and are intimately linked to the anti-extraction, land exploitation feminist movement in DRC, who are intimately linked to our local, South African, attempts to make human an economic system that dehumanizes us and end violent misogyny. Of course racism and misogyny would emerge, the system has brutalized our bodies and even as we have now grown our local hubs, we need to build solidarity globally.We can choose to default on this loan, but we cannot do it alone – much like the capitalist extraction of our bodies cannot function alone. I propose that we first stop, for a day or two and rest, our bodies are tired of carrying this work. And then we take another week to build connections across our local-based community fora, mapping their existence and their work in South Africa.Identify the areas of greatest need and share the load of the organizers and connectors.
We then need to connect to other movements, create secure channels of engagement and safe feminist spaces across the world, which centres on community care and not just self care. We continue to prioritize food security, but move food production locally, those who are working and have resources use their surplus to support the building of secure stockpiles for when we implement our strike – we know that there is a surplus of food in our country, but maximized profits on that food make it inaccessible. We have to force a systems change. We need to relearn how to feed ourselves.
This will take some months, with lots of trial and error, tears, pain, fatigue and hope. But we do it as part of a global sisterhood.We have done this before, the memory of this work is in our bodies. And we plan for how we will force our governments to collectively default on their loans. We build alliances with unions, grassroots movements, civil society, narrative campaigners and orators around the world, and we because we have ensured a local system that provides access to food, we down our tools for a week, we do not work. We protest online and in person – around the world, and it stops. The greatest fear of the rich is that we would be made aware that they cannot accumulate wealth without us, that we would finally recognize that their need for us is greater than our need for them. I hope this brings you some rain in the form of social justice.
Possible World 2
We should face the realities of State violence and corruption head-on and install a people’s lockdown. The majority of South Africans should no longer be willing to work to enrich others. The only businesses that thrive should be those owned by the workers. People should stop paying any form of tax until the laws and policies dictating who owns the country’s wealth is overalled and the government is replaced with an unpaid and streamlined management team free of political posturing and bureaucrats.
The violent attentions of the crippled and increasingly fascist State will be focused on crushing the populist protests, while a small group of thinkers, growers and makers are busy off the radar. A low-tech network is being established across the borders of southern Africa that is gradually extending. The revolution will not be surveilled.
Major retailers should go bankrupt as the middle class shrinks, and corner stores should thrive. Imports should grind to a halt and shelves should be restocked with local products and produce. Unemployment will all but disappeared as a new understanding of work (and not jobs) takes hold. The grumblings of the previously advantaged will slowly disappear along with the gaudy neon signs of international businesses who should leave the country in their droves as people stop supporting foreign capital’s new imperialism.
The population will be healthier because we will no longer be forced to survive on a lethal diet of processed foods. The country’s mental health will improve as we begin to heal from past trauma and more and more people will begin to realise that their belief systems are keeping them enslaved. More and more religious buildings should be converted into community centres where libraries for books and tools must be established, with workshops and play spaces.
Throughout the world people will wake up to the fact that they no longer need corrupt governments to be standing over them and the new, new world order will emerge from the ruins of the global neo-liberal Rainbow delusion.
Possible World 3
Dear Rainbow. You have painted a very dire situation and firstly I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you are fading and will soon disappear but I also recognise that you weren’t meant to last. You served your function on this earth and helped us imagine a new democracy post-apartheid. However, the imagination you sparked was only temporary. No rainbow can hang in the sky forever. And your time too has come. As will mine and everyone’s time listening to this. It is the impermanence of being that makes every moment alive more meaningful.
But while we are here, let’s look at the crisis. The global neoliberal system that you the Rainbow helped to prop up in South Africa didn’t work. Regarding the loans, don’t pay. Who says you have to pay the money back? We need people to mobilise around this and pressure our leaders to advocate for scrapping the debt. Let’s call this a gift to humanity.
On a community level we need to respond the fear within and across communities by using social media and digital tools to remind us that there are processes that are dividing us and these constructs are not real, but the human spirit and resilience is. This is not to say that different doesn’t exist, but building relationships across difference is how we overcome these prejudices. Storytelling through video is a great way to build some kind of a relationship to those we don’t know.
Defund police and close prisons. We need to fix inequality and give offenders opportunities out of their cycle of violence. Maybe we can ask them what they would rather be doing than committing crimes to survive. We need to start to reimagine other rehabilitative models other than incarceration. It isn’t working. It hasn’t worked. There are people who have been researching this and proposing other models. Let’s listen.
Regarding listening, let’s visit Hangberg in Hout Bay and talk to the members of that community who used their carpentry skills and their own resources to build wooden homes (sometimes called bungalows and wendy houses) that stood valiantly on a mountain that hangs into the sea. Many of these houses were violently demolished by the City of Cape Town due to (long story short) the legacies of colonialism and land dispossession. Decriminalise these people and have our universities’ architecture schools spend a semester in Hout Bay and do some real research for a change.
Like the debts, we will organise a rent strike. As my friend Masello says, why pay rent “on stolen land.”
Re: the COVID crises, we need to create communities of care. No-one who is an “at risk” demographic should work and we should ALL pressure employers to keep paying them. This could be an opportunity to restructure companies to a more horizontal payment structure. Why should the CEO of Checkers earn millions for zooming from home while the person to who keeps their whole business model running (large amounts of people buying many things) is braving the odds during a global pandemic?
Dear rainbow, I don’t know what else to tell you, but “we got it from here… thank you for your service.”
Possible World 4
Biological warfare. Organisms against humanity. Currently majority are Utilising technology as a filler for social interactions. Instead it can be a part of healing and establishing some harmony.
Access to internet is imperative. Through municipal drains (something every scheme and suburb has). No codes. No access barriers. Just free, flowing, uncapped, high speed connectivity for all. Data Must fall!!!
Cause and effectual look at this situation : Besides global reactions and implications on trade, the individual psyche must be considered. Citizens must be able to log in and list, frankly the conditions of their present livelihood. Key questions will be used to establish the basic conditions of living space, physical wellness, mental health and sense of understanding about the virus. By collating this data, this user will be ranked on a scale from 1-5. 1 Being : Fatal situation due to lock-related factors and 5 Being – comfortable during the time of Corona.
Cellular phone app designed to rate and rank people. Using locating triangulation software, The necessary resources and emergency services will be deployed to needing citizens.
Possible World 5
Council, hear me, we call on the elected officials to reign in on the terror. Desperate the situation profit shouldn’t be over people in our response we must find ways to beneficiate the minerals that are beneath our ground. Oil has just been discovered off the coast of KZN and we need to raise International investment and use the proceeds of selling that oil to establish a sovereign wealth fund that will employ tens of thousands of people and pay them decent wages to fix and sustain our economy.
Possible World 6
The first thing is, I ‘d go back to the basics. Like a rainbow nation, all about working together towards one positive good of the country.
I would also strive to find local solutions for local problems and move away from centralized uniform solutions.
I would engage openly with the investors to negotiate reduced interest rates, possible extension repayments periods on the loans. I will really assure them that all sectors of society are working are together to rebuild the country and will be able to pay off the debts.
Government will engage ports and mines to explore zero-carbon recovery plans that are also labour intensive and community centered. Mines will be assisted to explore local processing and beneficiation opportunities that will boost our exports while creating new jobs and opportunities for unemployed youth. This will increase confidence amongst our investors.
Working with the people to find local appropriate solutions within our rainbow nation is crucial to ensure that they feel a part of the Covid19 recovery plans.
Policing and law enforcement should involve the local policing forums to ensure the the civilians are protected and thus limiting police brutality and racial profiling. I will remove the army from the streets and make put them in charge of relief efforts to distribute food, water and other forms of aid. I will focus on building a nation that works together despite race, class, age or gender. Create more ways for people to gain trust with the police or any law enforcement agencies by working shoulder to shoulder to rebuild the country.
I release everyone arrested for Covid19 lockdown violations, commit them to community service in the food relief centers, shelters and hospitals. I will then involve various sectors of society to address this overcrowding in jails and find ways to work with prisoners to get them involved in rebuilding the country post Covid19. Jails will not be privatized.
In terms of housing, I will engage the communities to find innovative ways and solutions to ensure that everyone including non-South Africans have access to decent shelter. I will encourage a bottom up strategy to allocate the houses.
I would call meetings between landlords and tenants to discuss viable and appropriate win-win solutions and recovery plans. I will not impose any solutions from government.
I believe everyone is able to make a contribution and no one should feel like they are a charity case of anyone. Government should facilitate redistribution and access to land, productive energy and building of worker and consumer cooperatives. Strengthen policies that ensure worker and community shareholding schemes in various corporates, mines, etc.
Possible World 7
Imagine it was possible to solve world problems within 24 hours. If snap decisions could be made and fixed everything. These were problems we were born with, and problems that will we will die with. We are not the generation that will change humanity, but we are the generation that will pave the road for the generation that will. As much we can wish for no fighting, no killing, no harm unto anyone, or anything, it can only happen once free will is taken from humanity. We’re already halfway there, but it doesn’t have to end like this. The choices we make today will linger on the lips of future generations. Some failures, but all leading to finding a reality we can all live comfortably and free in.
Most countries are in debt, this is how the small minority keep their power. Keeping countries in debt keeps them happy. We won’t make more debt, we come to an agreement containing different resources, we barter and keep good political ties (within our morals and ethics- we don’t support wars, we don’t support genocide, we don’t support evil). If we keep making debt we’re going to eventually be giving our land to them on a silver platter without having any say in it. We already know we’ve made a deal with the devil, it’s only time that will tell when it will come to collect. We were already in debt to begin with, adding to the number didn’t really make a difference at first it’s not like we could have paid it back anyways, survival for the weakest was first priority. We don’t need more. We can make this work. If we tank, they lose their investment, their interest, and their natural resources. We don’t budge. We know they are making a play at our land. They already looted our land of precious resources, their trillions were made on the backs of our people They already have a stake in everything. We take their money and silently give them the middle finger knowing we can’t pay it back. We are just “borrowing” our own back. Haha, jokes on them.
The culture of violence is something unique to our land, as is the history that caused it. It’s natural that survival instincts take over. Some cower in fear and others thrive in resistance. To understand where we are going needs understanding about where we come from.
There aren’t many places to hide, those leaders are found and brought forward and made to account for where they have steered wrong. Individually and collectively accountable, what they can fix they are given a time limit to fix, what they need resources for they reach out to other areas for assistance. We understand that this has nothing to do with being uncivilised. We didn’t create that word, we didn’t create the society that expects us to be civilized. That narrative left us when the world hit crisis, We don’t know if we’re going to live or die so why not die living for something. The future depends on us right now, and we need leaders, we pick new committee members and new leaders. Without anyone being accountable or leading, no one will be accountable for making sure things get done, but this time, committees play a more passive role. They don’t control and make decisions for the people, their purpose is to ensure everyone is doing their part. Committees are meant to be collective efforts to bring voices to problems and problems to solutions. With immediate accountability in place, people are hesitant to take up committee roles, but the fighters for freedom stand tall and take charge, this is the chance to make a difference.
So why the xenophobia? Don’t Stand for our foreign brethren and not for our neighbours that are just as African as we are. Our so called “foreigners” didn’t come from fantastic lives to steal our jobs. She came from being a doctor. He came from being a chemical engineer, to work for minimum wage. They don’t want to steal anything from us. They want to survive, just like we do. They make our economy and societies better. We exist from multiple ethnicities and cultures blended together, what’s a few more? No more xenophobic violence. No one listened when we tried to teach Ubuntu. We try again. This is new, it will take years to get this right and pass it on to our future generations. We involve everyone, including religious heads, to help close the divide. These new committee members know what they stand for, and scream it till all understands. We need to look after each other, we need to help each other or our communities will fall. We give the elderly the reigns to help provide the nurture needed to teach and grow our people. They have the collective wisdom of culture and tradition passed on from their ancestors. They experienced life, they know what mistakes were made, they have answers on how we can fix them.
We have never had functional prisons. Let the prisoners work, but not for cheap labour. Our prisons have never been about reform and second chances. We change this to make people who serve their time more easily integrated into society. Everything they get to learn comes at a cost to them. Their labour pays for their education. They work to gain their trust back.
Don’t worry Rainbow, as a phoenix rises from the ashes, you emerge from behind the grey skies and the rain, just as often and just as bright. We enjoy you while you’re here and miss you while you’re away. We will show gratitude and embrace your colour and beauty as long as you’re around. With the rain comes new rainbows, and we will embrace them like them we did you.