The Political Party System: No Friend of the Working Class

The question of state government elections and running a workers or socialist political party continues to be raised in the working-class movement and the Left globally. As we may know, there was excitement about the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party in Britain, about the successes of left political parties in certain parts of Europe and Latin America and, more recently, certain shifts to more centrist positions in the United States amongst a section of the Democratic Party calling themselves “Democratic Socialists.” In South Africa, many workers and some activists seem cautiously optimistic about NUMSA’s formation of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party that participated in the 2019 general elections, but did not manage to get a seat in Parliament.

With this in mind, we need to look at issues of social transformation within the framework of what we want to achieve and the relationship between the means and ends of struggle in pursuit of these aims. The historic and ultimate socialist end is a society characterised by collective democratic control of the political and economic systems and one without class divisions and oppression of any kind – in real terms, a society without the state and capitalism in particular.

If this is so, is this revolutionary transformation possible by means of state power and political parties that aim to capture this form of power?

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To Cure Africa’s Heart-Rending Misery, we Need Working Class/Peasant Counter-Power, Anarchism

Contributors: Bongani, Dikeledi, Khayalethu, Lucky, Mzee, Nkululeko, Nonzwakazi, Nonzukiso, Siya, Warren (TAAC)

Published in “Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective”, numbers 5/6, November 2015

strike“Africa today lies prostrate, bleeding, and embattled on all fronts, a victim of capitalist and, to a great extent, state socialist ambitions. The heart-rending misery of its peoples, the conditions of abject poverty, squalor and disease in which they live, exist side by side with the wanton luxury, rapacity, and corruption of its leaders.”

Sam Mbah and I.E. Igariwey, 1997, African Anarchism: The History of a Movement, Sharp Press: Tucson, Arizona.

Our vast continent, Africa, is the poorest in the world, host to dozens of wars and conflicts, and marked by instability and inequality. The root causes of the instability lie in political corruption and the profiteering system run by local and international elites.

The local ruling classes are interested in making profits and getting wealthy, by any means necessary. The elites are not promoting the development of the working class and peasants (small farmers), but only worsening our conditions. If the choice is between building a road in a poor area or pocketing the money, they will pocket the money.

Continue reading “To Cure Africa’s Heart-Rending Misery, we Need Working Class/Peasant Counter-Power, Anarchism”