This is Mbeki's conclusion from this week's presidential ANC letter:
As we strive continuously to advance the national democratic revolution, determined to achieve successive victories, we must pay the closest attention to, and understand with no illusions, the domestic objective and subjective conditions we face, and the related objective and subjective conditions in Africa and the rest of the world. In this regard, as the actual vanguard of the democratic revolution, we must fully understand the meaning of the expression - if wishes were horses, beggars would ride!
Lenin concluded his 1918 article, "The Revolutionary Phrase", with these words: "In the summer of 1907 our Party also experienced an attack of the revolutionary phrase that was, in some respects, analogous. In St Petersburg and Moscow nearly all the Bolsheviks were in favour of boycotting the Third Duma: they were guided by 'sentiment' instead of an objective analysis, and walked into a trap. The disease has recurred.
"The times are more difficult. The issue is a million times more important. To fall ill at such a time is to risk ruining the revolution. We must fight against the revolutionary phrase; we have to fight it; we absolutely must fight it, so that at some future time people will not say of us the bitter truth that 'a revolutionary phrase about revolutionary war ruined the revolution'."
A century after 1907, in 2007, we should not, and will not fall into a trap, as a result of being guided by ill-informed revolutionary phrases rather than objective analysis, allowing ourselves to become victim to seduction by the repetition of revolutionary slogans irrespective of objective circumstances, leading to the ruin of the national democratic revolution.
Rather, given what has been happening, affecting our movement and revolution, we may very well have arrived at the moment when, as Lenin said, questions must be raised sharply and things given their proper names, the danger being that otherwise irreparable harm may be done to the Party and the revolution.