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southern africa / migration / racism Sunday December 15, 2013 23:39 byShawn Hattingh and Lucien van der Walt
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The destruction of the apartheid state form, with its odious policies of coercion and racism, was a major triumph for the working class in South Africa and elsewhere, showing that ordinary people can challenge and defeat systems that seem quite unbreakable. Mandela did play a heroic role, but was also the first to admit that “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants, the doctors, the clergy." And indeed, it was the black working class, above all, that through struggle tore down many features of apartheid by the late 1980s, such as the pass law system, the Group Areas Act and numerous other odious laws and policies.

The 1994 transition in South Africa was a political revolution, a break with the apartheid and colonial periods of state-sanctioned white supremacy, a “massive advance” in the conditions of the majority. It introduced a new state, based on non-racialism, in which South Africa was to be a multi-racial, multi-cultural but unified country, founded on human rights; welfare and social policy and legislation was transformed; capitalism was kept in place, but despite this, there were very massive and very real changes, political and material, that made qualitative differences in the daily lives of millions of black and working class people. And for millions, it is precisely the association of Mandela with that victory and with those changes that makes him so emotionally powerful.

Yet at the same time, Mandela’s policies and politics had important limitations that must be faced if the current quandary of South Africa, nearly 20 years later, is to be understood. Mandela never sold out: he was committed to a reformed capitalism, and a parliamentary democracy, and unified South Africa based on equal civil and political rights, a project in which black capitalists and black state elites would loom large. These goals have been achieved, but bring with them numerous problems that must be faced up if the final liberation – including national liberation – of South Africa’s working class is to be achieved.

The 1994 breakthrough was a major victory, but it was not the final one, for a final one requires a radical change in society, towards a libertarian and socialist order based on participatory democracy, human needs rather than profit and power, and social and economic justice, and attention to issues of culture and the psychological impact of apartheid.

As long as the basic legacy of apartheid remains, in education, incomes, housing and other spheres, and as long as the working class of all races is excluded from basic power and wealth by a black and white ruling class, so long will the national question – the deep racial / national divisions in South Africa, and the reality of ongoing racial/ national oppression for the black, Coloured and Indian working class – remain unresolved. And so long will it continue to generate antagonisms and conflicts, the breeding ground for rightwing populist demagogy, xenophobia and crime. By contrast, a powerful black elite, centred on the state and with a growing corporate presence, has achieved its national liberation.

international / the left Tuesday December 03, 2013 21:09 byJan Makandal
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Sectarianism is an ideological practice, a comportment, in the ideological realm. It is rooted in the social division of labor into classes, which originated with the emergence of a gender-based division of labor in hunter/forager social formations, which itself corresponded to and resulted from the development of various relations of gender-based domination and subordination.

The fundamental basis of sectarianism is the historical development of private ownership. All the historical tendencies produced at the level of the superstructure (the political and ideological systems) — especially in the ideological field — reproduce the social reality of private ownership. This is not always necessarily for directly economic reasons, but will still have economic effects (such as competition). Sectarianism has its roots in individualism, in the promotion of personification, self-identity and self-centeredness that capitalism relies on to divide the working class and stifle its collective strength.

north america / mexico / anarchist movement Tuesday October 22, 2013 06:22 byWayne Price
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Democratic Party politicians have denounced right-wing Republicans as "anarchists." Why? Are they "anarchists"? What about rightwingers who call themselves "libertarians"? Are "anarcho-capitalists" really anarchists? Are they consistent with the tradition of "individualist anarchism"?

Historically this is very unusual. Far-rightists have usually been called “conservatives.” (They are rarely called the more accurate term, “reactionaries” -- those who want to go backward.) Those in the center or the left may call them other names, such as “nuts” or “fascists.” (They are mostly not “fascists” in the sense of wanting to overthrow bourgeois democracy and replace it with a rightwing dictatorship — but they shade into such people.) But they were rarely, if ever, called “anarchists.” Why now?

italy / switzerland / culture Sunday September 15, 2013 18:44 byAnarchist Bookfair Biel/Bienne
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20th - 22nd September 2013, Biel-Bienne (Switzerland)

2010 was the first time an anarchist bookfair took place in the bilingual city of Biel/Bienne. With more than 500 visitors, more than two dozen exhibitors, and lectures on the theory and practice of anarchism, the event was a great success.

Due to this experience, the decision was made to organize another bookfair on the language border in 2011. In 2012, the bookfair became larger when it took place during the International Anarchist Gathering in St. Imier and took up a large part of a hockey rink. The stands were occupied by exhibitors from well-over a dozen countries, exhibiting in eight languages. The popular bookfair will take place again this year. This time, it will be at the same place in the heart of Biel/Bienne, but it will be held later in the year from the 20th-22nd September.

[Deutsch] [Français] [Italiano]

Programm (deu) Programme (fra)

north america / mexico / workplace struggles Thursday August 08, 2013 10:07 byPrairie Struggle Organisation
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After putting much of our efforts in the cross Canada Speaking Tour on Combative Unionism, a debate on Combative unionism took place inside and outside of Prairie Struggle giving way to PSO's first position paper. In this position paper we hope to contribute to the relevant work and theoretical development that has been done or is already underway. We salute our comrades within the revolutionary left that are active in undermining bureaucratic control over working class power.

As anarchists, we at the Prairie Struggle Organization have dedicated much time and effort to agitation within the working class and its labour organizations. Despite our various efforts, wins, losses and relationships created we still find ourselves questioning the most effective method to agitate on the shop floors, within schools and in our communities.

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Employees at the Zarfati Garage in Mishur Adumim vote to strike on July 22, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Ma’an workers union)

Employees at the Zarfati Garage in Mishur Adumim vote to strike on July 22, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Ma’an workers union)

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