April 19th, 2018
Response to NUMSA’s call to set up a Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party
* The ANC of AngloAmerican’s partner, the millionaire black bourgeoisie launches a fierce attack against the working class
In the face of hunger, the looting of minerals, water and land
The South African working class confronts ANC and the regime of its executioners
NUMSA’s leadership, in a new year’s salutation of its general secretary Irvin Jin addressing the affiliated and the working class in general, called to build a “Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party”. For this to happen, it proposed a course of actionwhich included a denounce on Zuma (who was president back then) and on Ramaphosa (who at that time was preparing to be the future president and who later ended up taking up this place after ANC and the parliament removed Zuma after the fear of the ruling classes of a mass revolutionary uprising that overthrows him).
As the workers can see, NUMA’s denounces Ramaphosa (the new president) as a "capitalist multimillionaire committed to those whose hands are stained with the blood of the 34 miners of Marikana" killed by the state. This call is decidedly a brave cry of the working class because it not only takes as its task the struggle for “trial and punishment”of the killers of the 34 Marikana mine workers, but because it also denounces that the state and AngloAmerican were which killed them. And it also raises as its own the fight flag of the Marikana miners for wages of 12,500 rands per month for the entire working class, a necessary demand that must converge with the struggle for the "sliding scale of wages and hours of work", with the reduction of the working day hours and one more shift in all factories for all the unemployed to enter work.
Undoubtedly, the comrades propose a course of action that expresses the feeling and predisposition to fight of millions of workers in South Africa and throughout the region. NUMSA is fighting to obtain full rights to the temporary and contracted workers, not only through judicial presentations, but in the streets.
The revolutionary socialists cannot but make this proposal known to all the workers of the world. But it is also our obligation, based on the fact that we are united by this call of the workers of NUMSA to join in the struggle, to present our point of view, our program and our contributions to this appeal because the South African and international working class need this call to be concreted in real life so a true instrument of revolutionary struggle of the workers of South Africa emerges, to advance along the road of socialist revolution, the only solution for the working class to solve all their needs and put an end to the imperialist looting.
We will intervene in this debate because the internationalist socialists are part of the fight of the Marikana workers and their widows and their demand for justice. We intervene in this call because from black Africa, from Zimbabwe, we fight alongside the teachers, the railroad workers, the health workers and today also the Hwange miners, calling for the Marikana program of 12,500 rands and the fight against the union bureaucracies to be a combat of the entire working class of the region, who are punished, suffering and a thousand times enslaved by the white imperialist masters. We intervene in this debate with our contributions, to help this appeal to fulfill its objectives because we actually believe that COSATU collaborationist Stalinist bureaucracy, which has sustained this infamous regime of the ANC of bourgeois black millionaires stockpiling their fortunes amidst a sea of black slaves, has not done anything more than to guard the same imperialist interests that the white bourgeoisie and the Boer defended with Apartheid.
We also are to make this appeal known because –for sure, it is clear for the entire world working class that with the treacherous leaderships that we have at our head, we can no longer fight. They divide our struggles; bleed them away leaving them isolated, while the bosses and their governments concentrate their forces to defeat them one by one. They are paid with the coins thrown at them by the capitalists, the same coins that trickle down from the fortunes created through the super-exploitation of the working class; the paid bureaucrats sell the exploited just like Judas. This happens in South Africa, in Zimbabwe with the ZCTU, in Latin America with the "Bolivarian" trade union bureaucracies, servants of the native bourgeoisies, in USA with the AFL-CIO, as also happens in imperialist Europe, where most of the trade union centrals are controlled and manipulated fiercely, under control of the state, by the communist parties that yesterday handed over the USSR, China, Cuba, Vietnam and other former workers states to imperialism and today surrender each of the workers' conquests, creating the workers the worst conditions for their struggle. They preach class collaboration, as they have done in South Africa with that infamous government of subjugation of the workers to their executioners, while the capitalists have launched a brutal class war. For this the latter have been concerned not only about having more than enough police and other repressive forces and the sabers of their generals, opening real massacres as we see today in Syria, Palestine, Tunisia and the whole Maghreb and the Middle East; they have also coopted the unions to the bosses’ state and corrupted their leaders, with the help of a “left” completely sold out -"Socialist" in the words and traitor in the facts-; with their laws they regulate those unions, corrupting them, and creating and recreating traitorous bureaucracies permanently.
A revolutionary workers party is built through the struggle for the socialist revolution and fighting for it every day, fighting at every step to set up self-determination and self-organizing associations of the masses that coordinate their struggles and their demands; only then the working class will be able to get rid of the leaderships that betray them and to really set up the revolutionary leadership the workers deserve.
That is why we consider the call of the NUMSA to be a step forward to set up a movement for the construction of a new revolutionary party so that the workers have at their head the leadership they need and deserve to succeed.
To deepen the process of rupture of the working class with the ANC and the bourgeoisie, the NUMSA should call COSATU and all organizations that speak on behalf of the working class to break with the government and the bosses' politicians
The NUMSA, which has just called to build a Revolutionary Workers' Party, together with the SAFTU and other unions opposed to the government and the regime, has called to a general strike for next April 25 against the labor reform and the ruthless attack of the capitalists on the poor people. It now has in its hands the possibility of fighting to unite the working class, beginning by calling all workers' organizations to break with the bourgeoisie and its politicians, including in this call even COSATU, to conquer the workers' political independence and confront the Ramaphosa government, the regime of Reconciliation and its Anglo-American leaders and other imperialist butchers.
As expected, the bureaucracy will oppose to any worker's movement or action that breaks the limits and conservatism of the state-ized unions. But a courageous voice that summons the whole of the workers’ base to conquer their assemblies, defend them with pickets and vote in it to their most representative rotating delegates for the current political struggle that the workers' movement needs, would break all barriers erected by those bureaucrats sold to Capital that keep us in isolated struggles and partial economic demands, putting us on our knees before the Ministry of Labor or the justice of those at the top. As if each of our particular demands could be obtained without breaking with the employers' institutions, and without elevating them to a unified political struggle of the entire labor movement against the government of the ANC and the infamous regime that act in a centralized manner to defeat us sector by sector!
We must conquer the road to the revolutionary general strike!
The NUMSA, which has enormous authority before the most courageous of the South African workers and youth vanguard, can become a lever for the workers to conquer their organizations of direct democracy, self-determination and armament, for the mass political struggle against the Black bourgeoisie and the imperialist plunderers who are the most important bourgeois fraction in every semicolonial country, since it handles the main springs of the economy and "national" politics.
The immediate task is no other than to set up a congress of employed and unemployed workers, of militant students, to vote a unified plan of struggle and to conquer the general strike, which puts the fall of the government and the dismantling of the political and military apparatus of this infamous regime of transnationals and imperialist bankers on the order of the day.
Participation in this congress of the committees of the unemployed, immigrants and those who fight for water for the people, becomes decisive to raise a unified list of demands of the working class and the exploited.
Out with Ramaphosa! Down with the regime of Reconciliation!
Down with the labor reform! For a wage of 12,500 Rands as demanded by Marikana miners! Reduction of the working day! Decent work for all! Free water for all the poor people!
Those on the top come for all
The militant workers' vanguard, which seeks to regroup its forces under a revolutionary program, is fighting today in a South Africa convulsed by the crisis of the BRICS (those countries that the imperialist media presented to the world as the new "emerging markets" that would counteract the effects of the crack of the world economy), which forces the bourgeoisie, as decided at the 2017 G20 meeting in Hamburg, to deepen its brutal attack on the working class and the great exploited masses, taking away their conquests, freezing the wages, leaving public services such as health and education in ruins, with disinvestment in the mining sector, imposing a regime of labor exploitation that makes workers work in subhuman conditions, equal to or worse than in the nineteenth century, where we cannot even have water due to the privatization offensive on this and other natural resources.
This recipe for labor flexibility is the same applied by Hollande, and today deepened by Macron to get the 36 hours workweek out of the French working class, and the one Temer imposed in Brazil by decree. It is one of the plans of the transnationals and the world oligarchy to make the workers pay for the former two’s crisis, their theft from the people and their plundering the world.
The world working class has not surrendered. Today a general strike takes place in France, reminiscent of the combats of the 1968 "French May", where workers and students took the streets in barricade combats against the French imperialist republic and its hunger plans.
The class war is here. The trade war between the imperialist powers and the looting of the semi-colonial world by them includes, as a premise, that they have already begun a speed race to see which one defeats its own working class first and thus is given a free hand for their adventures as “world conquerors”.
But bankrupt capitalism is sustained because it buys a minority composed of labor bureaucrats and aristocrats in all the countries, who act as a real police within the unions and the organizations of struggle of the masses. The treacherous trade union bureaucracy of COSATU is of the same ilk of and as treacherous and surrenderer as the union bureaucracy of the rest of the world.
In South Africa, the working class engaged in a battle against this plan. In October of 2017 the workers went to the General Strike trying to sweep away the hated Zuma government and all the institutions of the Reconciliation regime. But this struggle was diverted by the COSATU to a march of pressure on the parliament to sack the president. The parliament ignored this "request" from COSATU, whose only interest was to prevent the masses with their independent actions from overthrowing the government and opening the way with their battles towards the workers' and socialist revolution. At that time the NUMSA, unfortunately, did not call the workers' rank and file to conquer assemblies in all the factories and other workplaces and vote a national struggle committee that organizes the fight because for the workers to defeat the government with their struggle. So NUMSA stayed thus powerless to dispute the leadership of the workers movement to the COSATU bureaucracy. This is a lesson we must draw in order to strengthen our struggle for the general strike on April 25th.
NUMSA leadership has said a great truth: Ramaphosa is a murderer
Months later, when 2018 has already started, before the hatred that continued to grow in the ranks of the exploited, Zuma was led to resign by his peers and instead the office was assumed by his then Vice President, Ramaphosa. Thus imperialism and the black bourgeoisie tried to patch up the regime of Reconciliation to advance their plans of hunger, misery and super exploitation. Irvin Jim (general secretary of NUMSA who called for a Revolutionary Workers Party) said that "NUMSA shares SAFTU's view that Cyril Ramaphosa is a deeply compromised capitalist multimillionaire, with his hands stained with the blood of the 34 victims of Marikana who were shot in cold blood by the state to shield White Monopoly capital in general and Lonmin in particular." Then, the revolutionary socialists add to this, we have to prepare the working class so that they can defeat him in a revolutionary way with their organizations and actions of struggle.
The general strike called for April 25 is a great step forward in that sense, which is why, in addition to the call for all workers' organizations to break with the bourgeoisie and constitute a Committee of National Struggle, it is necessary for the NUMSA to include in its call the imperative need that workers and exploited have to fight to put an end to the government of Ramaphosa in order to get their demands... a government that was voted for by no one but that puppet parliament where they conspire at the back and against the poor people and all the laws against the workers are voted, previously agreed in the embassies of the dominant powers between the CEOS of the AngloAmerican and other imperialist gangs, and their smaller partners of the local bourgeoisie.
For a program of revolutionary action to unify the workers’ ranks throughout the whole Southern Africa
Against the power of those at the top, the power of the exploited must be upheld. The demands that unify us are those that are heard in the clamor of each demonstration: Down with the labor reform! Free water for all the poor people! 12,500 Rands of minimum living wage, moving according to the escalation of inflation! Jobs for all the unemployed! Enough of temporary workers! Equal pay for equal work! Everybody must have a stable job with the wage of the collective agreement! Open the accounting books of all companies! For the workers' control of the mining industry, with workers' board of state owned companies, in mining and all the key branches of the economy!
A revolutionary workers party in South Africa needs
There can be no room for misunderstandings. Mandela and the ANC’s “Freedom Charter” was no more than a deception by which the black bourgeoisie submitted the working class. This question is decisive because it has to do with the strategy, the program, the struggle of the working class and the construction of its revolutionary party.
Because it is not about maintaining the same program as the ANC. Stalinism, Mandela and the black bourgeoisie did not betray the "Freedom Charter" but instead ruled with it, enriched themselves with it and strengthened the submission of our nation to imperialism with double and triple chains.
What revolutionaries cannot do is to betray socialism, that is, the government of the working class and their allies: the rural and city workers and poor, which constitute 90% of the nation.
We insist. Those who call to set up a Revolutionary Party, cannot reiterate the formulas of "The Freedom Charter" (adopted at the People's Congress, Kliptown, June 26, 1955), which states that "all men and women will have the right to vote and stand as candidates for all bodies that make laws; All persons shall have the right to participate in the administration of the country; The rights of the people will be the same, regardless of their race, color or sex; All the organs of the minority, advisory councils, councils and authorities will be replaced by democratic self-government bodies." Actually, the only freedom that the workers in the republic have from the Freedom Charter is the freedom to die of hunger. It is in those “democratic organs of self-government” that the new black bourgeoisie regrouped their forces to plunder business and to starve the people.
What the Freedom Charter says is a lie. It is a deception. No serious worker with a class conscience can believe it. The "rights of the people" are not the same for all, neither in South Africa nor in the world. The workers, the slaves, the unemployed, the immigrants do not have the same rights as the bourgeois and rich of this country. They do not have the same rights as the managers of the transnationals, the corrupt politicians and the white generals of Pretoria under the orders of the Pentagon and Wall Street.
The revolutionary socialists affirm that when the black bourgeoisie had the first opportunity to govern, usurping the power that was given to it by the working class whose vanguard was at the heart of the struggle against Apartheid -as the NUMSA comrades say very correctly-, they agreed with imperialism on the new ways of plundering the nation and exploiting workers. The reason is the black bourgeoisie knows very well that their class interests are contrary to the interests of the proletariat; that is why Stalinism was responsible for making the workers movement swallow the lie that there could be a nation with "equal rights" without defeating imperialism and its junior partners of the native bourgeoisie by the way of revolution.
The autochthonous bourgeoisie -as demonstrated by Mandela- is incapable of confronting imperialism, because it has one and a thousand ties that bind it to the imperialist bourgeoisie in all the businesses of plundering and looting the nation. The local bourgeois are "brave" when repressing the workers, but totally cowardly when it comes to even imagining having to fight in a struggle against imperialism; because they know that for this they must mobilize the masses, which in the dynamics of the struggle will not only attack the imperialists’ private property and expropriate them, but will do so against the whole of the capitalists, including the perverse and black bourgeoisie. What Stalinism and the reformist left propose is an alliance of the working class with the bourgeoisie, which means that workers give in to their demands and stop fighting against the bosses. The workers fight for the worker and popular alliance, where the proletariat rises as the leader of the oppressed nation, gaining that place through the street combat against the bourgeoisie.
We must break with the Communist Party, which has betrayed all of our struggles;
In other of his sentences, Irvin Jim states the following: "... Furthermore, the ANC has been enabled in its corruption by the leadership of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the trade union federation COSATU who actively continue to mislead members of the working class into supporting their worst butchers, for their own selfish narrow political agenda.” Starting from this point of coincidence, then, the revolutionary socialists affirm that it is necessary to call the whole of the working class, and the COSATU base in particular, to break with Stalinism and the Communist Party; what would lead the workers to sweep away the ANC and its government, since the PC and the bureaucracy are part of it. Because we are not facing "selfish narrow politics" -a question in which we differ with the comrades of NUMSA-, but the main counterrevolutionary leadership together with the social democracy. It is a traitor of the WORLD working class; for the Communist Parties are the surrenderers of the greatest conquests of the international proletariat, such as the USSR and the working states of Eastern Europe. They are who handed over China as a sweat-shop of millions of workers for the sake of the export of the imperialist transnationals. They are the ones who have given Cuba to Obama and the US establishment who today with Trump can see the star spangled banner flag fluttering in Havana. They are the ones that have supported all the regimes and governments of the black bourgeoisies that expropriated the anti-colonial struggle from us; THEY ARE THE ONES THAT WITH THE PKK BROKE THE MILITARY FRONT OF THE SYRIAN MASSES AND SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN GENOCIDE perpetrated by Al Assad and Putin, on behalf of the USA and other ruling powers.
The emergence of the "New Left" in South Africa must be prevented!
Against the postulates of the New Left and its vile deceptions of the workers' and youth's vanguard, the revolutionary socialists affirm that the question of power, of insurrection and revolution on the part of the working class leading all the exploited in South Africa, is a fundamental point in any program of a "Revolutionary Workers Party". Without considering this objective there will be no "Revolutionary Workers Party", because it will not be anti-imperialist or anti-capitalist, it will be a party that prepares for times of peace and elections and not for the class war that the bourgeoisie and its agents have declared to the workers' movement and the exploited.
Open the way to militant internationalism!
In South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Congo, etc., the working class of southern Africa is standing up, facing imperialism and the governments of the "liberation movements" that gave up the anti-colonial struggle to become minor partners and employees of transnational imperialist corporations. It is urgent to centralize the forces of the rebellion of the Black working class throughout the south of the continent: For a congress of workers' organizations from all over Southern Africa! To break with imperialism, to overthrow the Black bourgeoisie, recover the land and national independence and to make emerge the true Black, workers’ and socialist republics of Southern Africa.
The forces for this have already emerged; they are in the streets, in the mines, in the countryside, in those who fight for water, and especially in the dock workers of South Africa, who against the direction of COSATU refused to embark cargo for the Zionist state of Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian masses and their struggle. There, deep within the working class is the true tradition of the struggle against Apartheid, that regime of opprobrium that supported the Zionist state of Israel.
To take steps towards the unity and internationalist coordination of the working class, from the NUMSA it is necessary to call CONLUTAS and the Trade Union Network with 80 unions from dozens of countries to carry out coordinated actions in support of the Syrian masses, who suffer from brutal genocide on the part of Assad and Putin, under the command of Trump and other imperialist murderers. It is not possible that representatives of dozens of unions meet and do not call at the same time in different parts of the planet for an international plan of struggle to confront the imperialist pirates, the native bourgeois and the traitorous bureaucrats who tie our hands country by country and prevent us from fighting to defeat the capitalists. The example to follow is the strike of the stevedores of the Spanish State that beat the bosses with the help of the coordinated struggle of the workers of all the European ports in their support. Or that of the thousands of young people and workers from Libya, Tunisia and all the Maghreb and Middle East who left their countries to go and fight with the Syrian people against the genocidal tyrant and the imperialist octopi.
From the FLTI that is fighting together with the Syrian,the Maghreb and the Middle Eastmasses; the workers of Latin America, the Pacific Rim, Europe and South Africa, we want to make the NUMSA workers receive our contribution to the debate established around their appeal to the construction of a "Revolutionary Workers Party". Well, we want to make known among the fierce South African working class and against "The Freedom Charter" and its policy of class collaboration, the program of Trotskyism -the revolutionary Marxism of our time that many pseudo leftists have long since abandoned to become nurses of capitalism-. In its “Permanent Revolution” theory/program Trotskyism affirms that,"With respect to the countries of delayed bourgeois development, and in particular the colonial and semicolonial ones, the theory of permanent revolution means that the integral and effective resolution of their democratic aims and their national emancipation can only be conceived through the dictatorship of the proletariat, where the latter is wielding power as the leader of the oppressed nation and, above all, of its peasant masses.
Collective for the Refoundation of the
Workers International League (WIL),