Racism /Marxism

Ron Press anclondon at gn.apc.org
Sun Apr 9 21:24:27 MDT 1995


The question of support or no for national liberation movements,
and for anti-racist movements or what I understand about AA, is a
question of strategy and tactics. I understand that there is no
firm distinction between these two categories but separating them
is useful.

In broad terms I suppose we are, on the list, all working and
theorising about some socialist future, (Whatever that term means,
we do have an emotional attachment to it). Socialism is our
strategic objective, However let us be realists there is no
prospect of us achieving this objective at the present time in any
of the major capitalist countries. There is even little prospect
in the third world. And even where some form of socialism has been
established such as in Cubs, China, Vietnam, there are those who
would deny that these regimes are even akin to what they imagine
socialism to be. However do we wait until that utopian moment when
the overthrow of international capital is imminent, or do we try
to do something in the interim? And what tactics do we adopt.

Whatever the theorists, the socialists, the capitalist apologists,
in spite of the potential sell out of the workers by the ANC, Tell
the people that the establishment of the first democratic
government in South Africa was a waste of time. Tell the black
people in the USA that the struggles against slavery, the civil
rights movement, were for nothing. I am sure that nobody on the
list is saying this.

The choice of "socialism or Nothing" has always been before the
populace. There have been various forms and brands advocating
this. In South Africa they have been free to operate both within
and outside of the liberation alliance. (In so far as the
apartheid regime would allow before the un-bannings, and they
benefitted from the election of a democratic government
thereafter).  They have failed to make an impact even in a small
measure. Fine let them try some more.

Tactics demand that we fight for and win such victories as are
possible before we win the fight for socialism. It is only on the
road to socialism that we will be to build up an idea of what
socialism is. The reforms of today are the building blocks of the
future if we have the wit to see them.

I get quite emotional when the sacrifices of so many throughout
the world who fought were tortured and died are put at nought
because the future is uncertain. I do not think of the leaders but
of the millions of ordinary people, be they communists,
socialists, catholics, jews, black or white. And the millions
throughout the world who helped us in SA. The Transport and
General workers membership in the UK for example gave the ANC over
100,000 for the elections.

It seems to me that we will not find socialism on any political,
social or theoretical map.. It is only by struggle we find where
we are going. All human struggle adds a bit, larger or smaller to
that map. We have to take note of the history of the USSR, China,
Cuba, and so many others. Not the least the history of the
struggle of the reformists, the petty bourgeoisie, and others make
it possible for us to be where we are. The victory of the ANC
makes the struggle for socialism easier than it would otherwise
have been.

Knowledge comes not only from books, it comes from action and
experiment as well. In 1955 I was proud to serve under Gert
Sibande who at that time could not read or write.I am not sure he
could define socialism but by god he knew what it meant to
struggle for justice.

Ron Press.

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