South Africa and the Changing Possibilities for the Left

Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 1370 (first on Pambazuka, by Leonard Gentle, Feb 16, 2017.

With the claims that a new trade union federation will be launched in March 2017, it is appropriate to draw up a balance sheet of the labour movement in South Africa, and ask whether the optimism of many that a new Left force is going to be unleashed is justified. Or whether the possibilities for a force of revolutionary working class politics lie elsewhere … //

… State of the Unions: … //
… State of COSATU: … //
… The Sources for COSATU’s Demise: … //
… How Should We Regard COSATU’s Demise? … //
… It is not a given that the building of a mass working class movement privileges trade unions: … //
… Self-Organization and Struggle is the Key: … //
… The Organizing Role of Capitalism Itself and New Questions for the Movement: … //

… In these senses, and others, neoliberal capitalism is organizing the class, objectively, differently to that of most of 20th century capitalism. And so the forms of organizing within the new movement will also be different.

But, seeing that the victory of neoliberalism was predicated on a profound defeat of the dominated classes since the 1970s and 1980s, the existential question arises: How does the class which is being organized differently, objectively, out of defeats by this form of capitalism yet find ways to forge a movement which is an expression not of defeat, but of new capabilities able to turn the historic defeats into new victories?

To do this the class is experimenting with new ways of organizing. But this is not a “pure” organizing question, but a political one of finding within these experiments new ways of how to re-assert the need for unity, for political power and for emancipatory practices, both as a vision for Left politics, for movements as well as practices within movements.

Any Left worth its salt needs to be part of these processes – grappling with the strategic, tactical, organizational and political questions that they throw up.

(full long text).

(Leonard Gentle is a long-time South African political activist and trade unionist, and is the retired director of the International Labour Research and Information Group


Thilo Sarrazin über Donald Trump, 10.32 min, hochgeladen von Freie PropagandaNEO, Feb 16, 2017 … bei Maischberger am 15.02.2017;

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