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Legalized apartheid is finally dead for the first time in 350 years Black South Africans are not ruled by a racist dictatorship but by a democratic parliament. Along with this capitalist democracy came a whole series of rights we never had before. We have guaranteed freedom of association and speech. We have the right to strike and protest. We have some protection from racist and sexist practices. These changes did not come from the benevolent hand of the National Party. They are the result of decades of struggle. We broke the pass laws. We broke the ban on African trade unions. We broke the racist education system. We broke the Land Act of 1913. BUT FREE AT LAST? However, the legacy of apartheid is still with us. 2.3 million South Af... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Capitalism and the State continue to fail the masses. Yet at the same time, key elements of the socialist tradition are in irrevocable crisis. What we need to do is to reclaim and identify with the tradition of anti-authoritarian, anti-State, socialism from below: anarcho-syndicalism. Exploiters Capitalism and the State have failed the majority of the world’s population: the workers, poor and peasants. According to recent reports 358 billionaires have more assets than the combined incomes of countries home to 45% of the world’s people. the richest 20% of the world’s population gets 85% of the world’s income. Capitalism and the State are based on the rich exploiting the poor. They cause poverty, une... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Opposition to capitalism and all states as structures of domination and exploitation by the ruling class of capitalists and rulers. Opposition to all forms of oppression: racism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, environmental destruction etc. The State and capitalism are the primary causes of these special oppressions. Opposition to coercive authority. Support for individual freedom so long as this does not limit the freedom of others. Mass action and revolution by us the workers and the poor is the way to defeat capitalism and the state and all forms of oppression. Only the working class, the working peasants and the poor can create a free society because only we do not exploit. The trade unions and democratic... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Q. Most readers of Red and Black Revolution will be familiar with the main organizations on the left in South Africa, such as the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP). Can you tell us something about the tradition of libertarian ideas and struggle? A. Anarchism and Syndicalism do (or at least did) have an important place in South African history, although this is typically hidden or obscured by official and “radical” versions of the past. Before the founding of the SACP in 1921, libertarian ideas were common on the revolutionary left. A section of the US syndicalist union, the Industrial Workers of the World, was established here in 1911, growing out of an organization called the Industrial Workers Union . The Indus... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
At the present moment socialism is in crisis both in the West and the East. This is despite the need for a real alternative to capitalism. After all racism, — mass unemployment ,homelessness and poverty show that capitalism has failed to provide for the majority. This crisis of socialism affects the Western reformist Social Democrat or Labor Parties. It also affects the various groups of Marxists/ Leninists/ Trotskyists. They are paying for their betrayal of socialism in this century. What they conceived socialism to be has been- totally discredited. What we need to do is to reclaim the revolutionary and anti authoritarian socialism represented by anarchism. LABOR PARTY BLUES The large ‘socialist’ tradition of Social... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Briefly stated, Anarcho-Syndicalism is a working-class political ideology that opposes all forms of exploitation and domination. We think that all people are fundamentally equal, and should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not harm the freedom of other people. We oppose capitalism because it is a vicious profit system that is based on the exploitation of the workers and the poor to the benefit of a small class of bosses and top government figures. We do not think that the government (courts, army, bureaucracy) is there to look after everyone, instead its role is to keep the ruling class in power. Racism and other forms of special oppression are primarily the product of capitalism and the State. In Sou... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Bakunin Mikhail Bakunin, the founder of Anarcho-syndicalism, entered politics partly as an activist in East European anti-colonial struggles. As a result he was imprisonment and internally exiled within Russia. After escaping in 1861, he abandoned nationalism for Anarcho-syndicalism but maintained his anti-imperialism. For Bakunin Third World revolt was inevitable and desirable, but a successful struggle required an internationalist anti-authoritarian social revolution against the State and the class system. Cuba The Anarchist/Syndicalist movement took up the challenge. In Cuba, the Anarcho-syndicalists, who had a massive working class base, took part in the struggle for independence from Spain. They were active in the Ten Year War (... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Because so few people bothered to register for the upcoming local elections, the deadline has been extended to the beginning of June. But its not surprising that there is so much apathy. The government has not delivered. Only 800 houses have been built so far! Meanwhile the police have been used against strikers (at Pick n’ Pay, truckers Blockade, Spar etc.), squatters (Johannesburg, Zevenfontein), and students (Cape Town, OFS Technikon). NO ACCIDENT The State is not some neutral tool at the disposal of voters. The State always serves the bosses. Look at the South African State: this was built in the course of 350 years of genocide and capitalist colonialism. It won’t change just because we put some ballot papers in a box... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
By imperialism we mean a situation of external domination where the ruling class of one country dominates the people and territory of another country. The key imperialist powers are the Western States (USA, West Europe, Japan) and their ruling classes, and the dominant States of the former Soviet bloc (Russia and China). Roots of imperialism Imperialism has been a central part of capitalism and the modern State since these structures of oppression emerged 500 years ago. Two factors account for this. Firstly, the imperialist ruling classes wanted to obtain cheap labor and raw materials and new markets for manufactured goods in the Third World (Africa, South Asia, Latin America, Middle East, East Europe). Secondly, the Western States and ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
THE VICTORY OF a seemingly militant ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) in Zimbabwe’s 1980 independence elections, following a long guerrilla war (the Chimurenga”) against White colonialism, was greeted with jubilation. Today, the hopes raised have dissipated; modern Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) is marked by continuity with colonial social and economic structures. This article examines, from a radical perspective, why the national liberation struggle failed to achieve its basic goals, and the lessons this holds for struggle today. FAILURE OF THE GUERRILLA WAR Land, central to the war, remains in the hands of White commercial farmers and a Black elite, whilst most Zimbabweans are condemned to a life of poverty. Independen... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
I would like to thank the Socialist Caucus for extending an invitation to a speaker from the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa. I would also like to thank the University of Zambia for hosting me this evening. I am a member of the Workers Solidarity Federation. Let me start by saying what the WSF is not. We are not a political party that runs in elections. Nor are we a trade union. We are a libertarian socialist (anarcho-syndicalist) political organization. We believe that socialism must come from below through the direct action of workers and peasants. We support all forms of struggle against privilege and oppression. However our main focus is on the trade unions, which we see as a crucial mechanism for bringing about rad... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Last year students from universities and technicon protested against racism on campus, fee hikes and financial and academic exclusions. But if the government goes ahead with its plans to cut funds for higher education, students will be facing even worse problem in 1997 NO MONEY? OR NO COMMITMENT TO CHANGE? The government says it has very little money for education in general. The government says that if they give any more funds to higher education the government will have to take money away from the other levels of education (primary and secondary education) The argument that there is no money for education is a lie! We know that this country does have wealth. Every year we see the bosses make record profits. Telkom made R6 billion pr... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The world is facing a very serious environmental crisis. Key environmental problems include air pollution, the destruction of the ozone layer, vast quantities of toxic waste, massive levels of soil erosion, the possible exhaustion of key natural resources such as oil and coal, and the extinction of plants and animals on a scale not seen since the death of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago. We think that this crisis is likely to have catastrophic effects in the future. Even today, the negative effects of the crisis are evident in the form of growing deserts, increased rates of cancer, and the loss of plant species which could hold out cures for diseases for diseases such as AIDS etc. What caused the crisis? We disagree with those enviro... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism ... has always fostered an intense interest in the proper ecological management of the Earth, and its history, theory and practice contains valuble clues and suggestions as to how we might overcome the ecological crisis that presently confronts the human species. Graham Purchase, Anarchism and Ecology: the Historical Relationship of Anarchism to Ecological Thought, Black Swan, 1992. 1. General Introduction 1. The Earth is facing an environmental crisis on a scale unprecedented in human history. This environmental crisis is already responsible for high levels of human suffering. If the crisis continues to develop at its current rate, the ultimate result wil be the extinction of human life on the planet. 2. We call for act... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarcho-Syndicalists fight all domination and exploitation. The fight against racism is a central part of our program. We believe that all human beings are fundamentally equal and alike. We do not think that racism is a natural or inevitable part of society. Instead, racism is rooted in the class system, capitalism and the State. The roots of racism Racism developed alongside capitalism and the modern State since these emerged 500 years ago. It justified the conquest, slaughter and enslavement of indigenous people in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Later racism was used to divide and rule the working class majority, and to super-exploit and repress sections of the working-class. Racist arguments said colonialism, slavery and Black worker... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“What do we mean by respect for humanity? We mean the recognition of human right and human dignity in every man, of whatever race [or] color ...” Mikhail Bakunin, 1867, Federalism, Socialism, Anti-Theologism, reprinted in S. Dolgoff (ed) Bakunin on Anarchism, 1971, Allen and Unwin, p147 “...Equal rights for all without distinction of sex or race...” From the Pittsburg Manifesto, 1883, founding charter of the International Working Peoples Association, historic mass U.S. anarcho-syndicalist organization. quoted in P. Avrich, 1984, The Haymarket Tragedy. Princeton University Press. Princteton, N.J. p. 75. “Your revolutionary duty is to stifle all nationalist persecution by dealing ruthless with t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We workers must support the struggle organized by COSATU against the bosses. Only mass action will make Mr FAT CAT boss listen to our demands. In the end, socialism remains the only road. The workers solution is revolutionary industrial unionism- implement workers control over the land and factories through trade union action. COSATU calls for double pay for Sunday work, six months paid maternity leave, four months of which must be paid, a 40 hour work week, and an end to workplace apartheid. COSATU calls for reconstruction and development. The BOSSES call for lower pay, less paid maternity leave, low wages, less safety regulations, and other forms of so-called “flexibility”. The bosses stand for exploitation and continued pov... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We Anarchist-Syndicalists believe trade unions are a mighty weapon in the struggle for improved conditions, and against racism and oppression. We also believe that unions can organize workers to destroy capitalism and the State, by organizing the revolutionary seizure and democratic control of the factories, land, and offices. However, we also see the importance of organizing other sections of the working class such as women, youth, unemployed and the community. Our ideas on unions have had a massive impact on the international struggles of the working class and poor. This fact is conveniently ignored by most history books. First International These ideas were developed by the powerful Anarchist faction in the First International Worke... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The housing crisis in South Africa is massive. About a fifth of the population live in squatter camps. Millions more live in broken down hostels, or in overcrowded formal housing . By contrast, the rich live it up in houses which are far too large for their needs. The housing crisis also reflects the effects of capitalism and the State, particularly in their brutal Apartheid form. Low-cost urban housing was deliberately neglected by the State in the 1960s and 1970s. The aim was to prevent African people from settling in the cities, the idea was that African workers’ “real” homes were in the homelands and that they were thus just temporary visitors to the towns and did not “need” proper housing. Secondly, the c... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Greetings to our fellow workers, We have heard of your struggle against the attacks by Metro. We send solidarity greetings. We wholeheatedly support your struggle. Across the world, workers are under a concerted and brutal attack. Union-bashing, casualization, wage cuts and longer hours- these are the hallmarks of capitalism in the 1990s. Against the “globalization” of business, and the economic rationalism of capitalism and the governments, workers must fight for the “globalization” of resistance, and international solidarity in defense of basic rights. All workers, in all countries, have the same needs and the same interests. Evry time the bosses and rulers defeat a single workers struggle, we all lose out. W... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
AGAINST CAPITALISM AND THE BOSSES The struggle of the Black working class in South Africa is a struggle against the slave bondage of Capitalism. Capitalism is based on the ruling class minority (Capitalists, Generals, top officials, professional politicians) exploiting and oppressing the working class majority (workers of all grades, their families, rank-and-file soldiers, the unemployed, and the rural poor). The two classes have totally different interests — they are locked in class struggle. APARTHEID BUILT CAPITALISM Capitalism in South Africa was built through apartheid oppression — land dispossession, the compound system, migrant labor, the pass laws, and denial of basic worker and human rights to Black workers. THE... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The State budget will be passed on Wednesday, 12 March. At present, the budget cuts spending on universities and technikons. This means retrenchments of workers less educational resources exclusion of Black working class people from higher education a halt in transformation of higher education TO FIGHT THE BUDGET CUTS WE MUST MOBILIZE NOW Support The Actions On Monday And Wednesday TRANSFORMATION NEEDS MORE MONEY, NOT LESS. (Source: Retrieved on 29th October 2021 from struggle.ws.) (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“The Emancipation of the toilers can be the work only of the toilers themselves.” Declaration of the International Working Mens Association. Marx and Bakunin were both members of “The International”, but how far apart do they stand? This declaration is a central claim which Anarchists make, and a major difference separating us from the Marxists. Bakunin argued that the Marxist idea of a leadership of the proletariat, through a vanguard is counter-revolutionary. The basis of this idea is the Marxist notion that the workers and poor can never free themselves, or create revolution by themselves. Marxists believe that the workers are necessary for revolution, but need a vanguard to force them to do what they be... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
ONLY THE WORKERS CAN FREE THE WORKERS! MAY DAY IS OURS 110 years ago workers started May Day- the international workers day. Today, across the world billions of workers, of every race and nation, are celebrating May Day. We are one class of people, with a common struggle for freedom and equality. May Day is ours. We have fought and bled and died for a day when we as workers can come together in our millions and say NO! to the bosses, NO! to the fat cats who bleed us dry, NO! to the low wages and the misery of our existence. THE BOSS — THE ENEMY We workers build everything. Every building, every road, every farm, every factory, every factory. We make the wealth, yet everywhere we have nothing. Workers build cars, but never o... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Remember the Revolution The 19th of July 2005 marked the 69th Anniversary of the Spanish Revolution. For a brief time, capitalism and the State was replaced by solidarity, mutual aid, and respect for others. Workers and peasants, who were deeply influenced by anarcho-syndicalist ideas, ran society collectively and gained control over their lives, industry and land. A central part of the revolution was the struggle against a fascist attempt to take over Spain. We must remember both the magnificent triumphs and tragedies of the Spanish revolution and attempt to learn from our comrades' mistakes. Workers and Peasants Organize Libertarian socialist (anarcho-syndicalist) ideas had deep roots among Spanish peasants and workers. In 1911, a ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In the Last Issue of UNREST we reported on the situation in Nigeria shortly after the termination of the results of the first civilian election since 1985 by the military dictatorship of General Babangida. Much of this update comes directly from our comrades in Nigeria, the Anarcho Syndicalist Awareness League (AL). After the annulment of the June 12 Presidential election, waves of strikes and violence erupted in Nigeria’s principal cities. The military stepped up the repression, with mass arrests and the banning of publications. Babangida promised to hand over power to a civilian government on August 27th and then appointed a wealthy businessman and friend, Ernest Shonekan. Babangida also arrested the winner of the June elections... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Police unrest made news in the first quarter of 1995. Many of the protests were organized by the South African Police Union (SAPU), which was established in 1993. SAPU demanded a 40% pay rise across the board, and a R350 allowance for all police members (and not just shift workers and detectives). To back up its demands SAPU organized police go slows and work to rule. By early April, for instance, at least 5 stations in Soweto were barely functional. SAPU also marched on government buildings At Tuynhuys Thabo Mbeki promised SAPU delegates that he would discuss police grievances with the Ministers of Police (Sydney Mufamadi) and Finance (Chris Liebenberg). So far the SAPU members have had a relatively sympathetic reception from governmen... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In early December 1995, the government announced that it was going to privatize many State assets. It wants to sell off part of SAA, Telkom and Airports Company, and all of Autonet, Sun Air and Transkei Airways. This was met by opposition by the unions, spearheaded by the 1,6 million strong COSATU federation (Congress of South African Trade Unions). Mass actions were organized in the postal and public transport sectors. COSATU also called a general strike for January 16 1996. This strike was called off at the last minute when the government agreed to halt its privatization plans and enter into negotiations with the unions over economic restructuring. Privatization Means Job Cuts! The government says privatization will “create new... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
PART 1: THE POLITICS OF THE WSF WORKERS STRUGGLE AGAINST BOSSES The WSF believes that at the moment we live in a capitalist society in which there are two major classes : the ruling class: bosses/capitalists, generals, top Sate officials, professional politicians the working-class: blue collar workers, white collar workers, workers in the service sector, the poor, the unemployed, the marginalized youth, rank-and-file soldiers. There is also a middle class of professionals, small business, and middle management. Overall the middle class tends to stand with the bosses, although a minority supports the workers struggle. The bosses own the factories, banks, mines, shops, etc. Workers don’t. All that the workers have... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Men! Comrades! Brothers! YOU are in the Army. So are WE. YOU in the Army of Destruction. WE in the Industrial, or army of Construction. WE work at mine, mill, forge, factory, or dock, producing and transporting all the goods, clothing, stuffs, etc., which make it possible for people to live. YOU ARE WORKING PEOPLE’S SONS. When WE Fight to better OUR lot, which is the lot also or YOUR FATHERS, MOTHERS, BROTHERS, AND SISTERS, YOU are called upon by your officers to MURDER US. DON’T DO IT! YOU know how it happens always has happened. We stand out as long as we can. Then one of our (and your) irresponsible Brothers or Sisters, angered by the sight and thought of their loved ones’ misery and hunger, commits a crime on p... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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