File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-07-31.055, message 134

Date: 30 Jul 96 19:32:50 EDT
Subject: SACP on tasks for 21st century

Ron Press, whom some of you may remember, sent me a copy of 
a statement the SACP (South African Communist Party) 
distributed for their 75th anniversary which they have just marked

 It is too long to type up, but I thought perhaps this l'st
might give more thoughtful attention to some of the conclusions,
the last 1/4 of the document,
bearing in mind this party is wrestling with how to chart a socialist
path in a world dominated by finance capital. Some of the formulas
seem to me to be Gramscian but also rather new. 

I would be interested in comments

Chris Burford


* Challenging neo-liberalism -

the offensive against the majority of the world's population is
today led by those forces upholding a neo-liberal order 
(monetarism, privatisation, labour flexibility, export-orientation,
drastic public spending cuts, liberalisation). It is an 
order that is designed to reinforce the absolute dominance of the major
multinationals, extending their free-hand in exploiting the resources
of the world, and their ability to rove unhindered across the globe
in the search for greater profits.

The impact of this order is devastating. In the advanced capitalist
countries this agenda has seen rising unemployment, the dismantling
of welfare gains, and the increasing casualisation of labour.
In the South these policies result in massive dislocations. On the 
one hand there is the reality of growing proletarianisation 
associated with uneven development and export orientated production,
usually in sweat shop conditions. On the other there is mass 
starvation, growing social instability, and the increasing loss of 
political sovereignty - resulting in the effective recolonisation of 
large parts of our globe.

The policy packages of neo-liberalism are resisted in countless 
ways by grass roots communities, by indigenous minorities, by 
trade union movements, by (often conservative) fundamentalist 
religious movements, and many other forces.

Both in our country, and internationally, it is our experience
that only a consistent socialist perspective is able to 
get to the roots of neoliberalism, uncover its logic, maintain a 
consistent and clear critique of it, and develop coherent answers to
its challenge. 

This is one of the great challenges of the new millenium. The SACP
intends to build on its capacity in this area, and thus play a 
leading role in the unfolding of S African, Southern African, and
global struggles for development, democracy and national 

* Progressive political movements in the new century -
in the past six years, after the dramatic 1989/91 collapse in 
eastern Europe, left and socialist forces have been regrouping and 
reasserting themselves. There have been some significant electoral
gains - from Nepal to Italy.

However what is important is not just that the left is making a 
come back, but also the MANNER in which it is making this come-
back. The rebuilding of the left tends to be not in the shape of a
single, unique party - but rather in the midst of broad left and popular
fronts, in the midst of a pluralistic politics. 

The world of the new millenium will be more complex than the 
situation in the advanced capitalist countries of 100 years ago.
The activism of citizens is often expressed in a variety of social 
movements and local issue organisations. The old electoral 
political party structures are characteristically in crisis
in many parts of the world.

Here in SA, the SACP has developed a unique and very rich 
experience over 70 years, working in alliance with the ANC 
and other broad mass democratic movements. The alliance and the 
broader MDM [Mass Democratic Movement] in our country is not some
hang-over from the anti-apartheid past. It is not a nostalgic
alliance based on realities that have now disappeared. In fact,
the broad front, alliance and mass democratic political 
experience that we have developed here in SA is the shape of 
progressive political organisation of the new millenium.

* Socialism is the future, build it now!

Finally, and above all, we are a party of the 21st century
because socialism remains the only enduring and sustainable 
hope for the great majority of the world's population.
Capitalism has failed humanity, and continues to fail humanity.

In our 9th Congress the SACP began to elaborate important 
new themes in regard to struggling for a future socialism here 
in the present. The major themes of our Strategic Perspectives
document must be explained and elaborated - they include -
the rolling back of the market ("decommodification"); the building
an effective public sector; and generally socialising the economy.



     --- from list ---


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005