Fwd: [BLACK-LEFT] SACP Speech to COSATU Congress

Workers World - Chicago wwchi at SPAMwwa.com
Fri Aug 20 11:11:41 MDT 1999

Thanks to Charles for posting this.

I think it demonstrates that the SACP has not in fact made itself a
hostage to imperialist ideology and bourgeois development in the way that
the Euro CPs have done.  Their roots in the working class and the poor and
toiling masses of South Africa, and their history of participation in the
armed struggle, militate against that.  The SACP clearly realizes that
there is a class struggle going on in South Africa, and that the ANC is
itself contested territory in that struggle.

What worries me, however, is the whole question of the state, in the
Leninist sense, that is, of the police and the armed forces.  So far as I
can see, they are the same old apartheid capitalist police and armed
forces. To what extent have the apartheid generals and officers been
purged?  To what extent has there been any attempt to reindoctrinate the
ranks (assuming this might have any effect) and who has been doing it?
These aren't rhetorical questions, I would truly appreciate a response
from anyone with reliable information about these matters.

And what is the
SACP's strategy been towards recruiting within / agitating among /
infiltrating the armed forces?  Becuse if it should happen that the
working class should win a decisive victory within the ANC and that an ANC
government should move decisively away from neocolonialism and toward
socialism, then the danger of a Chile-type scenario will become extreme.
Of course there are differences from Chile, one being that the South
African masses have such a heroic record of recent armed
struggle.  But the other side is that the South African bourgeoisie is
much more powerful, well organized, better armed, and politically
mobilized against socialism than the Chilean comprador bourgeoisie ever

I cannot believe that imperialism or the South African big bourgeoisie
will allow a "peaceful transition" from
the South Africa of today to a Socialist South Africa without doing its
utmost to make counterrevolution and civil war.  I don't say that such a
thing is ABSOLUTELY impossible.  MAYBE it will turn out, from a historical
perspective in the future, that the military struggle for socialism in
South Africa was fought in the period 1976-1994.  MAYBE it will turn out
that the bourgeois forces (in South Africa and in the imperialist world in
general) miscalculated badly when they suspended their military resistance
to the ANC's taking office, in the hopes that they could co-opt the ANC
and that in the post-Gorbachev era nobody would dare to talk of socialism
ever again.  MAYBE it will turn out that the ANC is so
firmly in control now, and that the military and political position of the
bourgeoisie is so weak now, that if the ANC government moves to the left
and begins to expropriate the means of production, the bourgeoisie will be
powerless to do anything but bewail their sad fate and bitterly blame each
other for the 'disaster'.  BUT I DON'T REALLY EXPECT THIS.  And if such a
thing is at all possible, it will only because the working-class forces
have prepared themselves politically and militarily for combat to such an
extent that the bourgeoisie are terrified to fight them.  The old adage
"if you want peace, prepare for war" is quite applicable here.

I don't blame the SACP for not posting their military revolutionary
strategy on their website, of course.  I just hope they have one.

Lou Paulsen
member, Workers World Party, Chicago

More information about the Marxism mailing list