South Africa, the Barnesites and the 'national democratic re

Patrick Bond pbond at
Wed Jun 20 01:55:17 MDT 2001

> Date:          Sun, 17 Jun 2001 14:58:54 +1200
> From:          Philip Ferguson <plf13 at>
> ... Nor is their any acknowledgment
> that Barnes and Co. were *totally wrong* in the 1980s when they postulated
> that a 'national democratic revolution' was the only revolution possible
> and needed in South Africa and that a socialist revolution was not a
> possibility and belonged to a subsequent period of historical development.
> Barnes' stagist theory of revolution in South Africa - which separated a
> national democratic revolution and a socialist revolution into two
> different historical periods, with, of course, the socialist revolution
> some indefinite time in the future - is in tatters.

Agreed, but more importantly, the US SWP simply looked loony for its
uncritical analysis of the ANC during the early 1990s. Their
small group of followers here (and I don't know the correspondent who
filed the piece) were terribly anxious to avoid the buildup to the
anti-neoliberal movement that is now humming along nicely.

For instance, it seems that (while I was off in Zimbabwe on
Saturday) the comrades in Soweto led by Trevor Ngwane and the
Anti-Privatisation Forum ( and Soweto
Electricity Crisis Committee did a vibrant protest at Hector
Peterson's memorial when Thabo Mbeki arrived for the 25th anniversary
of the June 16 1976 intifada. That made him cross, I would guess (a
short while later he very physically, publicly pushed Winnie
Madikizela-Mandela away when she gave him a comradely kiss on the
main speakers' stage at the stadium).

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