South Africa ANC

Ron Press anclondon at
Thu Apr 27 22:19:36 MDT 1995

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> From: Tom Meisenhelder <tsmeisen at>
Subject: Re: Bombings/globalisation?Question for Ron

Ron, Thanks for your informative comments about RSA.  Cany you
think out loud a little about the relations --if any-- between the
current direction of the ANC government (away from Socialism?) and
their strategy of focusing the struggle on race rather than

Hey is the above interconnected with globalization?  How?

Thanks. Tom

South Africa is an extreme example of an almost universal system.
Race is used to advance the capitalists domination over the rest
of the population. The third world is by and large black (Brown,
Yellow but not white). Clearly this is the result of the
domination of the whites in ages past. They had the guns, they had
the technology, they had the organisation.

In South Africa the very specific factor was the relative numbers
of whites and blacks. Not such a small number so as to render
direct domination impossible. China, India. Where they had to
govern with the aid of local rulers. Not like much of Africa where
they were in a similar position but it was a bit easier since
there were no great organised civilisations such as in China. Here
they ruled directly with the occasional assistance of local

In South Africa a unique system developed.

A) The whites ruled generally and were a fairly substantial

B) Industry developed on the basis of the discovery of gold and

C) The colonial power,  Britain, lost the war of liberation
against the white Boers, Nationalists.  Well they won but gave in
because it was not viable and a tactical retreat was in order.

1) This left an independent capitalist  state, governed by a
substantial white minority.

2) The working class was divided along racial lines. This was
codified after the 1922 strike. It became the state system. White
workers were by law privileged. Black workers were paid less, were
disadvantaged by law.

Thus the peculiar system arose which could best be characterised
as a state within a state. The white state was the imperialist
power with all it's trappings. But is coexisted within the same
country as the colony of black people. So it was at one and the
same time a anti-colonial and an anti-capitalist struggle. With a
divided working class, and capitalist being almost exclusively

Thus the struggle was a struggle against racial discrimination, an
anti-colonial struggle and a class struggle at one and the same

In crude terms the ant-racist struggle has been won. The
anti-colonial struggle is not yet determined. Is it going to turn
into a form of Neo-colonialism?  The anti-capitalist struggle for
socialism begun decades ago is only beginning to mature.

To say

>>>>>>>> direction of the ANC government (away from Socialism?)

Is to misinterpret the ANC altogether. It never had socialism as a
policy or objective. The SACP has always had this objective and
has sought to educate the ANC and the general populace on the need
for socialism to really solve the economic problems of the black
majority and the white workers. Remember it is not an ANC but a
government of national unity.

Because democracy in SA is fragile the SACP has a difficult
balance to assess. Some signs are good some are not too good. The
balance of forces are still weighed against the firm assumption of
the socialist road.


This is one of the major factors that weighs heavily against the
turn to socialism in SA.

The other point I was making was. The right wing fascists saw that
democracy even if it was still capitalism and the whites would not
suffer too much was coming. They resorted to indiscriminate
killings to destabilise the country. Within the chaos (I do not
use the word anarchy) that would develop they saw a better world
than under an ANC government. Fascists are worse that spoilt brats
who would puncture the football rather then loosing the game.

ron Press

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