Building Working Class Unity in South Africa: Lessons from United Fronts in Germany, Italy and Russia

Building Working Class Unity in South Africa: Lessons from United Fronts in Germany, Italy and Russia cover

Authors: Jonathan Payn, Jakes Factoria, Tina Sizovuka and Warren McGregor

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This pamphlet is a collection of articles exploring the concept, history and anarchist/syndicalist approaches to United Fronts – and their relevance and potential for building working class unity in South Africa – written in the context of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa)’s resolution, following its historic 2013 Special National Congress, to break with the ANC-led Alliance and form a ‘United Front against neoliberalism’

First Zabalaza Books edition, July 2019

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From Union Renewal to a Self-Managed Society: Towards an Anarcho-Syndicalist Project

From Union Renewal to a Self-Managed Society: Towards an Anarcho-Syndicalist Project - Lucien van der Walt

Author: Lucien van der Walt

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Trade union renewal is high on the agenda in many countries, but we need to think carefully about why we want it. Union renewal is a profoundly political and ideological issue.We need to have a clear understanding of how we got into the current mess where many unions are bureaucratic, inefficient and struggle to respond to urgent issues. We need to think carefully about what we want to achieve, not just in terms of how we organise – but what we aim at in the long run.

First Zabalaza Books edition, July 2019

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Alternatives from the Ground Up: Anarchism/Syndicalism and (Black) Working Class Self-Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Alternatives from the Ground Up - Lucien van der Walt

Author: Lucien van der Walt

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This commentary, an input at a Globalization School debate in Cape Town, engages current labour and Left debates on building alternatives, drawing on the experiences of the radical wing of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and on anarchism and syndicalism. It argues for a strategy of bottom-up mobilization based on debate and pluralism, and building structures of counter-power and a revolutionary counter-culture that can prefigure and create a new social order. The aim is to foster a class-based movement against exploitation, domination, and oppression, including national oppression, that can win reforms through self-activity, unite a range of struggles against oppression, and develop the capacity and unity needed for deep social change. This should be outside parliament, the political party system and the state. The outcome, ultimately, would be the replacement of capitalism, the state, and social and economic inequality, by a universal human community based on self-management, the democratization of daily life, participatory economic planning, and libertarian socialism.

First Zabalaza Books edition, 2019

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Only the Workers can free the Workers

Only the Workers can free the Workers - WSF (2nd ZB edition)

Author: Workers Solidarity Federation

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We anarchists believe that at the moment we live in a capitalist society in which there are two major classes: the ruling class and the working class. The bosses own the factories, banks, mines, shops, etc. we don’t. All that we have is our ability to work. The workers and our families need to work for the bosses in order to earn a living. We workers create all the wealth. We build the roads, the schools, the buildings, the goods in the shops. We transport and work in the shops. But we do not control the wealth that we create. We make cars, but very few of us ever own one. We clean the university offices, but we do not receive a decent education. We grow the food on the land, but we starve. We build the houses of the rich, but live in shacks and one room buildings. The bosses suck up the wealth that the workers make. Everything that we make is owned by the bosses. If we build cars, the cars belong to the company. The bosses sell the goods. The bosses use a little bit of the money from the sales to pay us. They keep the rest for themselves. Workers dig gold from the ground, but we earn only a few hundred Rand a month. The bosses sell the gold, and make millions of rand. This is how the bosses exploit the workers. We get a low wage, and so becomes poor. The boss gets a high profit, and so becomes rich. The wealth of the bosses is stolen from the working class.

First published by the Workers Solidarity Federation, 1997 printing. Johannesburg. South Africa.
Second edition, 2003 by Zabalaza Books and Bikisha Media Collective
This edition 2018 by Zabalaza Books

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People’s Power, Workers’ Control and Grassroots Politics in South Africa: Rethinking Practices of Self-Organisation and Anti-Apartheid Resistance in the 1980s

People’s Power, Workers’ Control & Grassroots Politics in 1980's South Africa

Authors: Lucien van der Walt, with Sian Byrne and Nicole Ulrich,
Jonathan Payn and Daria Zelenova

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This special section (#) features three lightly edited transcripts of presentations at a workshop hosted by the International Labour Research & Information Group and the Orange Farm Human Rights Advice Centre in the Drieziet extension, Orange Farm squatter camp, south of Soweto, South Africa, on 24 June 2017. It was attended by a hall full of community and worker activists, including veterans of the big rebellions of the 1980s.

# This piece originally appeared in the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, No. 71 (Fall 2017)

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Spanish Anarchism and Women’s Liberation

Spanish-Anarchism-and-Womens-Liberation-Temma-E-KaplanAuthor: Temma E. Kaplan | File size: 291 KB

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One of the chief ideological disputes between the Spanish anarchists and communists during the Civil War was the anarchists’ insistence that social revolution should not be postponed until the war was won; without the social revolution (by which they meant the defeat of authoritarianism and the transformation of all social and economic relations and institutions to permit maximum individual freedom, self-expression, and spontaneity), the war would be just another changing of the guard, so familiar in Spanish history.

Source: Journal of Contemporary History,
Vol. 6, No. 2 (1971), pp. 101-110.
Originally found at: the Zine Library, http://zinelibrary.info/
(attempted access on 12 September 2015, showed the site to be down)

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