Mbai started off with an explanation of the differences between capitalism and socialism as economic systems. He emphasised the importance of finding a ‘good balance’ between the two systems. However, at the same time, Mbai stated unequivocally that he is not a socialist. And he ends off by saying that for Namibians it is really all about the ‘right mental attitude’.
For us, the idea of a ‘mixed economy’ arose in the context of the Cold War and referred to a social-democratic system. Besides the fact that this debate excludes the political system, such a ‘mixed economy’ was supposedly a capitalist society with a well-supported public sector. However, the idea of a ‘mixed economy’ was really a misnomer, a red herring. It was an attempt to blow smoke into the eyes of the working class to believe that they are living in a mixed capitalist-socialist society. Of course, this is impossible since these two economic systems are fundamentally different. There could never be a ‘good balance’ between capitalist and socialist ideals.
Nevertheless, the main question should be what the dominant mode of production is in a society. The dominant mode of production in Namibia is without a doubt capitalist. There is no pure economic system anywhere in the world. Even the USA and Europe have remnants of feudal property relations. Namibia, quite simply, has a capitalist economy, not a ‘mixed economy.’ In answering this question, the nature of the ruling class is decisive in terms of characterizing the mode of production. And it cannot be disputed that Namibia has a capitalist ruling class.
The main task of this ruling class since political independence has been to further integrate the Namibian economy into the world capitalist system.
We should stop trying to fool the Namibian working class that they are living in a ‘mixed economy’ and by implication that they should therefore not struggle against capitalism. The fact is that the level of social inequality in this country is the highest in the world.
So even if there was something like a ‘mixed economy,’ there is simply nothing to boast about because the majority of the people do not benefit from this.