Articles by SA Anarchists

The Crisis, Bailouts, Quantitative Easing, Tapering and Class War

Posted on Updated on

The Crisis, Bailouts, Quantitative Easing, Tapering and Class Warby Shawn Hattingh

Since 2009 the US state has been undertaking Quantitative Easing (QE), which has involved the US state creating $ 85 billion a month, effectively electronically printing money out of thin air, and linking this to the “purchasing” of paper assets like US government bonds and also more importantly mortgaged backed securities from banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, and asset management companies, which lost their value when the capitalist crisis hit hard in 2008. Through this, these financial institutions and banks have been given up to $ 85 billion a month for the last five years. Much of this money has been used by these corporations to increase their speculative activity, including speculating on government bonds sold by the likes of the South African, Brazilian, Argentinean, and Turkish states. Now the US state has been looking to start tapering QE and speculators as a result are exiting these government bond markets. As this article explores it will probably not be the ruling class (capitalists and top state officials) that suffer the worst convulsions associated with tapering, although they may be affected, but the working class in countries such as South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Argentina and Turkey. This article examines why and how this could take place, how ruling classes from different countries are trying to protect themselves; and why and how the working class will in all likelihood be worst hit. In order to, however, understand how the class war around QE is unfolding it is important first to look at the role states have played during the crisis, along with the competition that exists between states.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mandela, the ANC and the 1994 Breakthrough: Anarchist/Syndicalist Reflections on National Liberation and South Africa’s Transition

Posted on Updated on

Nelson Mandelaby Shawn Hattingh and Lucien van der Walt

Since Nelson Mandela’s death, thousands of articles and millions of people have paid tribute to him. They have rightly praised him for his stance against the apartheid state, which saw him spend 27 years in prison, his non-racialism, and his contribution to the struggle in South Africa. For much of his life Nelson Mandela was indeed the most prominent figure in the liberation struggles in Africa that were waged in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anarchism/Syndicalism as a Vision, Strategy and Experience of Bottom-up Socialist Democracy: A Reply to Daryl Glaser

Posted on Updated on

Anarchism-Syndicalism-as-a-Vision-Strategy-and-Experienceby Lucien van der Walt

Politikon, 2013, Vol. 40, No. 2, 339 – 349

ABSTRACT Examining the theory and practice of ‘mass’ anarchism and syndicalism, this paper argues against Daryl Glaser’s views that workers’ council democracy fails basic democratic benchmarks and that, envisaged as a simple instrument of a revolution imagined in utopian ‘year zero’ terms, it will probably collapse or end in ‘Stalinist’ authoritarianism—Glaser also argues instead for parliaments, supplemented by participatory experiments. While agreeing with Glaser on the necessity of a ‘democratic minimum’ of pluralism, rights, and open-ended outcomes, I demonstrate, in contrast, that this ‘minimum’ is perfectly compatible with bottom-up council democracy and self- management, as envisaged in anarchist/syndicalist theory, and as implemented by anarchist revolutions in Manchuria, Spain and Ukraine. This approach seeks to maximise individual freedom through an egalitarian, democratic, participatory order, developed as both means and outcome of revolution; it consistently insists that attempts to ‘save’ revolutions by suspending freedoms, instead destroy both. Parliament, again in contrast to Glaser, from this perspective, meets no ‘democratic minimum’, being part of the state, a centralized, unaccountable institutional nexus essential to domination and exploitation by a ruling class of state managers and capitalists. Rather than participate in parliaments, ‘mass’ anarchism argues for popular class autonomy from, and struggle against, the existing order as a means of winning economic and political reforms while—avoiding ‘year zero’ thinking—also building the new society, within and against, the old, through a prefigurative project of revolutionary counter-power and counter-culture. Revolution here means the complete expansion of a bottom-up democracy, built through a class struggle for economic and social equality, and requiring the defeat of the ruling class, which is itself the outcome of widespread, free acceptance of anarchism, and of a pluralistic council democracy and self-management system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wake Up the Power of the Working Class and Poor

Posted on

by Lucien van der Walt
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

South Africa shacks residents protest for lack of servicesOur country is in a mess. Hunger, poverty, exploitation and injustice stalk the land.

The working class and poor face, at every step, the high walls of injustice, the chains of unemployment, and the bullets and batons of the police.

Conflicts shake the country, and hopes that shone in 1994 are fading, rusting under the waters of greed, oppression, and inequality; those hopes seem like a dream that fades when you awake to a grim reality.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pre-Paid Electricity Meters or Power to the People?

Posted on

by Pitso Mompe
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

eskom-candleIn 2000 the South African government announced its policy was to provide “free basic services.” The free basic electricity  policy was released in 2003 and claimed that it would ensure that a “basic supply” of electricity is made available free of charge to poor households.

In practice, the amount provided in the “basic supply” is very limited, and soon runs out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Evictions, Stop the State, Defend the Working Class and Poor

Posted on Updated on

By PITSO MOMPE
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

B0856D149945CA9BB73B6286345D8BForced evictions are a violation of human rights that requires urgent global attention. In 2008 between 30 and 50 million people in 70 countries worldwide lived under constant threat of being forcibly evicted (according to the International Alliance of Inhabitants).

Those that are most affected are working class people and peasants living in poverty. It’s always the poor who are evicted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Download Issue #2 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective

Posted on Updated on

Tokologo 2

Download Issue #2 of the Newsletter of the
Tokologo African Anarchist Collective here

Editorial

Welcome to the second issue of Tokologo, produced by the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective.

Why do we publish this? We publish it because our country is crying out for an alternative. And that alternative is anarchism, which stands for a free and democratic society, run from the grassroots, in communities and workplaces, and based on equality and freedom. In such a society, wealth like land and factories would be collectively owned; production would be directed to meeting basic needs and ensuring environmental sustainability. In such a society, everyone would have a say in all matters that affect them; poverty and deprivation would be abolished; hatred and competition would be replaced by cooperation and mutual aid by all peoples.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eskom’s tariff hikes cannot be avoided

Posted on

By Nthabiseng Motahane
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

eskom-stranglesWe, the people of South Africa, are suffering from the tariffs of Eskom. Electricity prices  are increasing every three years. This process is called a “multiple year pricing determination.” Eskom started borrowing money from the World Bank and others as a loan. We, the poor and working class, are the ones who are going to pay the interest through the rising prices. In 1994  we thought that we had access to everything in South Africa – housing, electricity, service delivery, health care – but that was wishful thinking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nationalist politics does not work for the working class

Posted on

By Lawrence Zitha
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

nationalismWhat is a  nation or a nationality?  A nation or nationality is the a group of people with the a common culture, history and background.

What is nationalism? This is the idea that your nation is more important than your class. You have more in common with other members of the nation, regardless of their class position and therefore must unite as a nation. This nation should represent itself through its own national state. The state is seen as representing the will of the nation. (Nationalism is not the same as nationalization, which is when the state takes over industries).

Read the rest of this entry »

The System of Voting for Leaders is Killing Us

Posted on Updated on

Voting copiaby Lekhetho Mtetwa
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)

It is clear that the rights of the working class and poor people on the ground are not recognised by those in power, and will never be. After the 1994 elections, ordinary people thought that they will feel and enjoy real democracy. But to their surprise, things didn’t work the way they thought. People are being demoralised, threatened and killed when they stand up. It is now difficult for people to exercise their democratic rights.

It’s clear that voting won’t bring any change in people’s lives. The whole system is run by a small ruling class.  Voting does not change the system. By voting we are just fooling ourselves about our rights. People voted in 1994  because they thought their votes will bring complete changes in their lives. No one thought of suffering after voting in the first elections. Promises were made by so-called leaders in order to be voted into power. Their promises were a big lie.

Read the rest of this entry »