Article on the Workers' Party

Alan Bradley alanb at
Thu Nov 25 18:25:17 MST 1999

Forwarded by: Carlos Eduardo Rebello <crebello at>
Among us, it was taken as granted that we live
in a democracy, albeit the overwhelming majority of the population has
no elementary rights respected, such as the right to employment, to
personal security and to a life minimally corresponding to accepted
standards of contempoarary civilization. Democracy is reduced to the
political-institutional sphere, notwithstanding the fact that we live in
a non-democratic society.
To we, however, who
are relegated under the Equator, not even that: we are stuck with
excluding, unequal, cruel societies. To humanize them would be a sad
caricature, a farce, that has already lead Social-democracy to adhere to
neoliberalism, thereby reproducing the worst social injustices generated
by the market.

This is the critical contradiction.  For that good thing, democracy, for
which masses will fight and die, even when they sneer at the thought of
communism, is, in truth meaningless and empty under capitalism, and
particularly in the "South".  (In the North, there is still a
pseudo-substance to it, in that relative privileges can be enjoyed by
sections of the working class, who can then be coopted into the support of
Capital, under the banner of Social Democracy, plain national chauvinist
reaction, or even the "mainstream" conservative parties.)

This poses a choice for the left, and any masses who chose to follow them:
either limit your demands to those possible under Capital, or fight on
beyond what is "possible", that is, towards Socialism.  Inevitably, there
will be those who make the former choice, and in the current world
situation, these will usually be the majority.  But it is those who make
the second choice who are the interesting ones.

This contradiction will appear in East Timor.  It has certainly appeared in
South Africa, and Indonesia, and perhaps at the moment most interestingly,
in Zimbabwe.

Alan Bradley
alanb at

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