[Marxism] South Africa - response to Fred

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Mar 29 23:15:08 MST 2004

Fred (with whom I often agree these days) wrote:
> And there is also an example of this in the leadership provided by
> Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress in the struggle against
> apartheid.  Which, no matter what leftists think, was never likely to be
> or extremely rapidly become the same thing as the struggle for
> socialism.  Getting rid of apartheid was a precondition to the struggle
> for socialism, and we are all stronger as a consequence.  

Well, South Africa in 1990 was probably more advanced than Russia in 
1917 and certainly had a far bigger working class.

The Barnesites had a thoroughly Menshevik approach, separating out the 
stages into historic epochs.

The result is an ANC government which is *economically* to the right of 
the old apartheid regime and which has been involved in attempting to 
defeat the black working class in a way in which the old apartheid 
regime could never have hoped to do.

So, yes, it is great that apartheid is gone.  But the possibility for a 
great deal more existed and was defeated.  And that defeat was cheered 
for by the US SWP leadership.

The underlying connection of their politics in relation to South Africa, 
Ireland, Venezuela, Haiti (and elsewhere) is hostility to the actual 
movement and potential of revolutionary workers or workers moving in a 
revolutionary direction.

Philip Ferguson

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