South Africa - Tensions and contradictions within the ANC- led ruling alliance

Jul/Aug 1999

Today, South Africa is one of the few countries in the world where there is a large communist party - which, so far at least, has not abandoned the hammer and sickle, nor references to its communist tradition. Moreover, the SACP is part of the country's ruling alliance, which is led by the African National Congress (ANC). In addition, this ruling alliance includes, unusually, the country's largest trade-union federation, COSATU, which plays in it a role similar to that of a political party.

All these unusual features are inherited from the country's recent past, since the ANC-led government was elected only five years ago. This government took over from the regime which, since 1948, had ruled over the country by enforcing the complex legal system of racial segregation which made up apartheid. The end of apartheid itself was the consequence of a series of social explosions involving large sections of the country's poor masses, and more specifically its relatively large working class. But these poor masses were given no say in shaping post-apartheid South Africa. On the contrary it was shaped by four years of negotiations between representatives of the white South African bourgeoisie and those of the organisations which had emerged as the leadership of the poor masses (that is mainly the ANC, SACP and COSATU). Having agreed on institutions and mechanisms which would protect South African and imperialist capitalist interests, the final political settlement opened the way to the country's first multi-racial election, in 1994. And the overwhelmingly black majority of the electorate handed over power to the anti-apartheid alliance led by the ANC.

In June this year, the second multi-racial election gave the ANC- led alliance an even larger majority. It increased its share of the vote from 62.65% to 66.36%. The political forces left over from the apartheid days were unable to mount a serious electoral challenge. The old ruling party of apartheid, now called the "New" National Party polled only 6.87% - compared to 20.39% last time round. Neither could the Democratic Party, which used to represent the liberal whites under apartheid, present an electoral challenge to the ruling Alliance. Having appropriated many of the NNP's reactionary themes - like the return of the death penalty and an overtly anti-trade union and anti-communist stance - the DP took a proportion of the NNP's vote, but even then its score was only 9.5%. In fact not one of the fifteen parties which stood in opposition managed to reach even 10% of the total vote.

That being said, the large poll for the alliance concealed considerable disaffection among the electorate.

One has to ask why there was such a huge decrease in the numbers who actually registered to vote - from 23.7m who registered in 1994, to just 18m registrations in 1999. Even the difficulties presented by the new registration procedure - the ba-coding of identity documents - cannot explain why near to 6m people - over a quarter of the potential electorate - went "missing".

The only conclusion one can draw, and this is borne out by the pre-election press reports, is that many, particularly among the youth, did not register because they saw no point in the exercise. Such a large section of the population failing to use their vote in a general election - only the second time in history that they have this possibility - can only be taken as a measure of the level of disillusionment amongst the population.

Discontent with the alliance leadership's policies has been expressed within the ranks of the alliance itself for several years. This is not new in itself. The alliance has had its "dissenters" in the past, particularly COSATU activists arguing that the working class needed to have its own voice, independent from the nationalist leadership of the ANC. But such "dissenters" had always been marginalised (or suppressed) in the name of the need for unity against the apartheid regime. Today, however, this pretext can no longer be used to stifle opposition within the ranks of the alliance. The recent re-emergence of criticisms of government policy from within the SACP and COSATU has only resulted so far, as far as we can see, in a series of internal factional struggles. However, these dissenting currents may also be seeking to express the discontent created among the poor population by the anti-working class policies implemented by the ANC-led alliance over the past years.

The making of the ANC-SACP alliance

The relationship between the ANC and the SACP is a very long-standing one, going all the way back to the 1920s, when the Stalinist leadership of the Third International instructed communist parties to woo nationalist forces in the colonised countries. In South Africa, by 1927, one of the first black South African communists was elected secretary general of the ANC.

However, it was after World War II that this relationship took an organisational form. In 1950, two years after the National Party had come to power on a platform which advocated the introduction of apartheid, the Suppression of Communism Act effectively made the communist party illegal. Its members, who set up an underground organisation, joined the ANC, which was still legal, under the auspices of the "Congress Alliance" (which included the small mainly CP-led Congress of South African Trade Unions). Then, in 1960, the ANC was itself banned, which led its leadership to embark in a more radical strategy. In 1961, the ANC launched Umkhonto weSizwe ("the spear of the nation"), as its armed wing, with Nelson Mandela as "commander-in-chief". Sabotage was to be organised, targeting government offices associated with apartheid and "economic targets" like electricity pylons. In this work, SACP activists played a decisive role. They were better equipped for underground activity due to their training, and they had a well-structured and disciplined organisation, which the ANC did not have. More importantly still, the SACP had access to the resources of the Soviet Union, in terms of finance, training and contacts with other nationalist movements in neighbouring countries.

Underground work, therefore, tightened the links between the SACP and ANC. By the late sixties the SACP had begun to play such a prominent role in Umkhonto weSizwe and the ANC apparatus abroad that it more or less operated as the ANC's organisational backbone, to the extent, in particular, of taking control of its military wing. Subsequently, it was its control over the ANC training camps in the African frontline states which allowed the SACP to recruit to the ANC, but also to its own ranks, many youths who escaped from the repression following the 1976 uprisings in Soweto and other townships. As a result, in the seventies and early eighties, while the ANC-SACP were still primarily operating in exile, the SACP represented the driving force within the SACP - a driving force which was totally integrated within its ranks and tended to dominate its leadership.

Of course, there were occasional anti-communist reactions and factional struggles within the ANC. But on the whole, even leaving aside the material advantages that the ANC got from the Soviet Union thanks to this arrangement, the policy of the SACP could pose no problems at all for the nationalist ANC. After all, ever since the degeneration of the Communist International in the 1920s, following Stalin's seizure of power in Russia, communist parties in the "colonial" countries had been defending the so-called "two-stage theory". In short, communist parties were to support the struggle of the national bourgeoisies against imperialism unconditionally in order to achieve a "national democratic revolution" (stage one). Only once the poor countries' national bourgeoisies were in power and in a position to develop the national economy and democratic institutions, should the communist parties begin to struggle towards socialism in the "name of the working class" (stage two). South Africa was seen as a particular case, where apartheid amounted to "colonialism of a special type". The task of the SACP was therefore first of all to defeat apartheid, leaving aside all other social objectives. This orientation meant that the SACP was to unite their forces with those fighting apartheid, that is the ANC. And of course this policy meant that the SACP effectively subordinated the interests of the working class to those of its future exploiters, the aspiring black petty- bourgeoisie.


COSATU was born out of the explosion of working class militancy in the eighties. The activists who led the struggles in this period had themselves been shaped by what had happened in the seventies, when the working class had been in a state of almost continuous mobilisation engaging in waves of spontaneous strikes and setting up multiple unions in almost every sector of the economy.

This militant wave had been strong enough to force the apartheid regime to grant trade unions limited official recognition by 1979 and many of the unions joined in forming one of the forerunners to COSATU, the Federation of South African Trade Unions, or FOSATU. These events happened outside of the influence of the ANC-SACP, who were building their apparatus in exile and were almost entirely absent from the South African scene on the ground.

The resurgent working class militancy of the eighties was even more determined. Thus, the early eighties saw the establishment of a National Union of Mineworkers, which in 1984 engaged in a wage dispute involving 45,000 workers, pitched battles with the police who killed nine strikers, and developed into a near general strike. It was almost entirely thanks to such struggles that the apartheid regime (under pressure from the mining conglomerates) made numerous significant concessions, including the abolition of the pass laws (which had imposed drastic restrictions on the black population's freedom to move around the country). And it was in the heat of this new explosion of militancy that COSATU was formed, in 1985, by bringing together the large new unions, including the now mighty NUM, and the smaller independent unions organised in FOSATU.

On the basis of the impressive demonstration of strength which the working class had just made, syndicalist ideas became widespread among the new generation of worker activists. These "workerists", as they came to be known, had seen what power they could wield through their collective fights and they saw no need for political organisations other than COSATU, specially when these organisations had played no part in the militant struggles. On the other hand they had a very strong sense of class identity and felt little common ground with the "professors" in exile who were flooding them with nationalist slogans and proposing to get foreign governments and the United Nations to isolate the apartheid regime. On both accounts they were suspicious of the ANC-SACP activists who had started to reappear on the scene. However, the SACP had an enormous advantage in their drive to gain influence within COSATU: they had an organisation and many activists trained in exile who they could send to work in factories and take positions in the mushrooming unions.

But more importantly, no political organisation proved capable of proposing a class perspective to the newly-politicised COSATU activists which would have been a real alternative to the nationalist perspective advocated by the ANC-SACP. Some did try to challenge the growing nationalist influence. There were few of them, mostly from a Trotskyist background - the "internationalists" as they were called. And the task they were faced with was certainly daunting compared to their real forces on the ground. But instead of defending the need for a workers' party capable of pulling the poor masses behind the working class in the fight to overthrow the apartheid regime and transform social relations, these activists ended up seeking the support of the workerists without challenging their ideas, thereby leaving the ANC-SACP to monopolise the fight against the apartheid regime.

When the apartheid government clearly began looking for a way out of the situation of permanent revolt amongst the black population in the mid-eighties and made moves to negotiate with the ANC, the very idea of such negotiations was bound to generate suspicion in the ranks of COSATU. A current opposed to any concessions to the apartheid regime emerged, advocating instead the seizure of power by the anti-apartheid organisations.

However, the revolutionary left, whose task would have been to offer a perspective to this opposition current, proved that it was itself full of illusions in the nationalists. As one contributor to the exile magazine "Free Azania" wrote in November 1989: "There could never in South Africa be a coalition government between the ANC and the bourgeoisie - though many ANC leaders might earnestly desire it. Put another way, we cannot conceive of conditions which would permit the creation of an ANC government on a bourgeois basis." And these activists found all sorts of "theoretical" justifications for this assertion - for instance that apartheid was a precondition for the South African bourgeoisie to make profits and that therefore the fall of apartheid would lead to the collapse of the capitalist class - no less. Of course, this was ignoring the possibilities offered by the world market to the big South African bourgeoisie. But above all it was underestimating the ability of the nationalist petty-bourgeois to turn their "nation" into a sweatshop for their own benefit and that of imperialist companies.

What followed from this line of reasoning, however, was that the negotiations project would collapse and the working class would then step into the breach. The only thing to do was... to wait. Once again, this failed to provide an alternative perspective to those who were suspicious of the negotiation process. At the same time, the absence of any challenge allowed the ANC-SACP to control the masses while the negotiations were under way. It was during that time that the SACP made its way into the leadership of COSATU and its main affiliates. Another opportunity to shake the hold of nationalism in the working class had been missed.

The Alliance in power

Through the protracted transitional negotiations, the ANC effectively dropped all its previous radical language, including objectives which had been part of its very moderate "Freedom Charter" such as its vague references to nationalisation and "land shared amongst those who work it". In other words the ANC emerged as the bourgeois party it really was. But the organic alliance between the ANC and the SACP remained, even though the SACP's constituency certainly still expected it to stick to its own programme of "eventual" socialism. There was a sort of division of labour between the two organisations. In the negotiations, they were indistinguishable. But outside the conference room, the SACP increased its organisational profile, consciously raising the red flag at all mass events, particularly the many funerals of its members killed in township massacres. The apparent radicalism of the SACP offered a focus for the radical youth and workers, who were watching what they saw as a "transformation" of the ANC with some alarm. The SACP provided the ANC with a convenient left cover. At the same time this made the SACP even more indispensable to the ANC, as the only force capable of keeping the working class and radicalised youth under control.

In the "Government of National Unity" formed by Mandela after the 1994 multi-racial election, the bulk of the positions were taken by the ANC itself - 29 out of 39 posts. But a fine balance was maintained between the various components of the alliance. Important SACP figures were given ministries like housing (Joe Slovo), defence (Ronnie Kasrils as deputy), and public works (Jeff Radebe) - some of the most politically sensitive posts, in fact. The former general secretary of COSATU, Jay Naidoo, was put in charge of the new economic programme - the so-called Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) - bound to involve problems with the unions. And in the national parliament, out of a total of 400 seats, 76 alliance MPs had been nominated by COSATU as ANC candidates among its officials, while 80 others were members of the SACP elected on an ANC ticket.

It is worth recalling what the RDP was all about. Particularly as it is now portrayed by those opposed to the current economic policy of the government as some kind of redistributive, if not socialist alternative.

The purpose of RDP was, first of all, to reintegrate South Africa into the world market, after the partial isolation of the last few years of apartheid. Self-imposed austerity measures akin to those forced on other Third World countries by the IMF were to convince international capital to invest in South Africa. The whole state sector was to be cut by 6% in the first instance. Certain minor state enterprises were to be privatised, but also, eventually, the big state utilities. Naidoo, however, opposed the privatisation of the latter, pleading with big business: "The common challenge to both business and labour is that we are reintegrating into a world economy that is both ruthless and competitive. And unless we face the challenge together, there won't be anything left to fight about." Ironically, two years later, he was to be put in charge of the privatisation of the post office.

There were certainly a lot of illusions about the social dimension of the RDP. It was meant to create jobs, build houses, electrify homes, bring clean running water and sewage systems to the townships and rural districts, and to bring free primary health care and education to a section of the population, But this was unachievable without a massive injection of cash. Even as it was announced the costing of its initial projects was estimated at £7bn when the available budget was only £300m. Naidoo had an impossible task, and he knew it. Therefore COSATU stage- managed a fervent campaign to promote the RDP, even pushing certain union delegates at their 1994 conference to make proposals for special contributions from members to the RDP fund.

While union officials were advocating further sacrifices from workers, the 1995 Labour Relations Bill banned strikes in all essential services and made strikes over dismissals illegal into the bargain. But the very fact that this was considered necessary was testament to the fact that workers were not taking the RDP's austerity lightly - strikes, if anything, increased in the first two years of Mandela's regime, as workers decided to get their due now that apartheid was gone.

By 1996, it was clear that foreign investors considered South Africa as too much of a "high risk". Instead of capital flowing into the country it was actually flowing out, facilitated by the removal of capital controls. So a new economic programme was introduced - the "Growth, Employment and Redistribution" strategy (GEAR).

The ostensible aim of GEAR was the achievement of a 6% annual growth rate by the year 2000 and the creation of 400,000 jobs. In fact the content of GEAR was not too different from what had gone before it, under the guise of the RDP, except that now it was a matter of speeding up the process of privatisation, deregulating trade and finance as well as the labour market. Above all, GEAR required severe cuts in public expenditure, particularly in the limited funds made available for social programme by the RDP. In fact, while Mandela insisted that GEAR did not put into question the social reforms promised by the RDP, the ministry responsible for its implementation was nevertheless disbanded.

But while social expenditure was cut, the rise of a new breed of black capitalists became extremely visible. Having no adequate funds of their own, the aspiring businessmen resorted to other sources with the wholehearted support of the regime and some of the country's big companies. One such source was the estimated £60bn saved by South Africa's 3.2m union members in various pension and provident funds. Many unions set up their own "investment arms" and the managers of these finance companies, usually former union officials began to line their own pockets, ostensibly in the interests of the union membership.

The NUM, under the guidance of the millionaire and erstwhile leader of this union, Cyril Ramaphosa, contributed £150m to buy a stake in Johnnic, a holding company belonging to Anglo American which offered black business a 35% stake. COSATU itself went into business with the Kopano ke Matla ("Unity is strength") investment company, which soon became a major player in Insurance, banking and tourism.

Ramaphosa put this all in a nutshell when he said: "This is a new era for all of us, what with unions going into business in their own right. (..) My own union, the NUM,is in business and in the Johnnic deal (..) it is playing a leading role.(..) So I have no misgivings about getting into this new terrain as I will be working with comrades and we will be accountable to certain principles. And let's not kid ourselves, in the process, of course, you make money. But at the same time we will also be saying, our unions must also be able to make money. The NUM now is going to be swimming in millions soon."

The SACP's twist and turns

The policy of the leadership of the SACP has been to criticise aspects of GEAR, but in the end to justify the development of a black bourgeois class.

In June 1997, for instance, the SACP journal The African Communist, criticised the government's policy of helping the development of a black bourgeoisie as follows: " This black bourgeoisie will, however, not necessarily play a progressive role. Indeed, black business tends to use very ruthless and paternalistic labour policies (..) which are inconsistent with the vision of the ANC-led government. But what makes this bourgeoisie an important force within our context is the fact that it relies on the support and protection of the ANC-led government to survive. (..) For our government to strengthen its position in the economy - and therefore its strength vis-a-vis the formulation of economic policies - it must address the white monopoly by encouraging diversity in ownership. (..) The "patriotic bourgeoisie" can be manipulated to achieve this objective. But this does not mean, as said earlier that these forces are necessarily progressive. This is a tactical move to give the government more autonomy and control over the economy and the formulation of economic policies."

Except that this "tactical move", to use the language of this article, is paid for at a very high price by the poor population. In order for a Ramaphosa to make millions on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, capital controls had to be removed, thereby allowing an annual £5bn to leave the country - the equivalent of the country's mineral exports in a year. And these billions are desperately needed to provide jobs for the 38% of the population which is officially unemployed, to build basic houses to provide a shelter for the country's three million or so homeless, to stop the catastrophic spread of AIDS in the country, etc.. For each new black capitalist climbing one step up the social ladder, hundreds among the poorest are footing the bill with increased destitution.

Besides, who is really in control? This new parasitic black bourgeoisie, or the old capitalist monopolies which have always dominated the South African economy and still do. Ramaphosa may be the big boss of Johnnic (thanks to Anglo-American), but Anglo still owns more than half of Johnnic's shares! And whatever efforts are made to diversify ownership in the South African economy, the capital will still have to come from somewhere. As workers' pension funds cannot finance everything, it will have to come from the only other available source of capital, the financial market - which is dominated, in South Africa and elsewhere, by a small number of very large groups. At the very best the new black capitalists will be the local instruments of these international groups - even if they are just as greedy as their masters. But this will certainly not give the regime any more control over the economy.

Not everyone in the SACP finds comfort in such contortions, however. One of the leading lights of the party, Jeremy Cronin, stated for instance: "At the end of the day there is no guarantee that a black bourgeoisie will be more patriotic than any other bourgeoisie. Generally the patriotism of the bourgeoisie is reserved for the Kingdom of Profit." However Cronin then betrayed his own criticism when he went on: "many entities, not only the state, need to exercise ownership in a socialised economy. We mentioned parastatals, provincial and municipal government, co-operatives, civics and other social collectives. Clearly there are progressive possibilities in the trade union bid for a stake in Johnnic." So Ramaphosa, who made millions by taking his cut on financial speculation using funds provided by the trade-unions (as in the case of Johnnic) would be a legitimate component of Cronin's idea of a "socialised economy"? But what is socialist about this kind of parasitism?

Contortions over GEAR and the election

The ANC's turn to an explicit pro-market stance, however, has led the SACP to tighten its links to COSATU. In 1997, at its sixth national congress, COSATU decided to contribute a percentage of its members' subscriptions to the SACP. However, the leaders of both organisations were quick to point out that this did not mean they intended to form a block against the ANC. Their justification was, according to Mbuyiselo Ngwenda (the leader of the metalworkers' union, the second largest in COSATU), that it was necessary to unite socialist forces within the alliance to define a transformation programme, adding "remember that the ANC is not socialist, but it's not anti-socialist either."

By coming out against GEAR, both the SACP and COSATU leaderships opened up a small hornets nest in their organisations, which led to a drive against the so-called anti-GEAR "left" on the one hand and a drive by these same "left" activists against the lack of action in their organisations against GEAR on the other. While the government set up its own witch-hunting committee to investigate the "young turks" in the SACP, in the best Stalinist fashion, COSATU set up a Commission to look into the grievances of their own members. In the end, while acknowledging that GEAR was problematic for the working class, the COSATU Commission merely argued for a strengthening of COSATU's influence in the alliance. However, this was not what the anti-GEAR activists had in mind. What they were actually putting into question was rather COSATU's continued participation in the ruling alliance. And for some at least, the real issue raised by the situation, once again, was the need for an independent workers' party.

In the run-up to this year's general election, however, all these debates were swept under the carpet. Although in 1998, COSATU's general secretary had argued that it would be incorrect to simply vote for the ANC "because we have a sense of history", even alluding to the possibility of COSATU standing its own candidates against the ANC, by the time of the 1999 election campaign COSATU decided to levy each member for the ANC election fund.

The SACP followed the same tortuous route. At its 1998 conference, its general secretary, Blade Nzimande had voiced what was considered as a serious criticism of the ANC policy in government, arguing that "the achievements of a deepening National Democratic Revolution cannot be sustained whilst the bulk of the wealth in South Africa is in private hands (...)" and that the "attainment of fuller freedom and liberation can only be realised under a socialist society". But shortly after this conference, the party leadership replied to the "young turks" who argued for the SACP to go into opposition: "The ANC, as a revolutionary nationalist movement, remains rooted among the poorest and among the broad popular classes of our society, committed to working class leadership and its anti-imperialist traditions represent an agenda for fundamental transformation of state and society. It could be argued that there is no left project in South Africa without the ANC." Soon after the SACP made its position clear on the election: "in calling on workers to vote ANC, the SACP is not sweeping under the carpet the fact that there are areas where we are unhappy with the government policy (like GEAR), or with government delivery. A vote for the ANC is a vote for ongoing, worker-aligned change." And in the election, SACP candidates stood as usual, on the ANC ticket.

The contradictions within the alliance

The union machineries are in a contradictory situation. On the one hand they are dependent on their remaining within the alliance, due to the many positions they have occupied in and around the state and government machineries since 1994. And the web of business interests they have built up has made them even more dependent on the benevolence of the regime. There is too much at stake for them to break away, as it would mean returning to the precarious position they occupied before 1990, although without the systematic repression - at least for the time being.

On the other hand, the union leadership knows that the ANC government will step up its austerity and its attacks on the working class once the election period is over. This inevitably means being put in the position of going against the spontaneous reactions of their memberships. While some COSATU bureaucrats would probably go along with this, it is a risky path. A rebellion within their ranks could well prove near impossible to contain. The South African unions are very young compared to British unions and the period when they were accustomed to a real level of democracy is not very long ago. Many of the members who joined in those days are still present in the ranks and will remember how to organise a real fight.

As for the SACP, contrary to what happened in the underground days, it probably needs the ANC more than the ANC needs it, at least as long as there is not a new explosion of militancy in the country. In the 1990s it claimed to be the fastest-growing communist party in the world, with a membership of 80,000. Last year its size was estimated at just 12-14,000 active members, most of whom are also active within the ANC. If these figures are accurate, and given the fact that the SACP is a party of activists, it is still a considerable force. Whether that membership would remain in the party, if it broke away from the alliance, is an open question. But what is certain, is that the SACP would lose all its elected positions in the national and provincial assemblies and governments, at least until the next general election. Indeed, breaking away from the coalition would mean leaving the ANC and the 1996 Constitution says explicitly that if anyone elected on a party ticket leaves this party, he has to resign his seat. This is certainly a major reason for the SACP leadership to be willing to go through so many contortions in order to stay on board.

On the other hand, there are activists in the SACP who seem determined to free the party from the bonds of the alliance. In the run-up to the 10th SACP Congress last year, a representative of the so-called "young turks" argued, that "Instead of organising and mobilising the working class against GEAR, COSATU and the SACP vainly attempt to arrive at a "gentleman's agreement" with the ANC. (..) The result is that the ANC government no longer feels compelled to make concessions to working class interests, for it knows, whatever it does, despite all the protestations of COSATU and the SACP, both organisations have no option but to remain tied to it. The emergence of a coherent, well-organised black parliamentary opposition party to the left of the ANC would go a long way to challenging the prevailing relations of power in South African society. Should such a party advocate a vision similar to the RDP, and should it constitute the official opposition with a sizeable minority support within the black population, the ANC would feel compelled to deal with this electoral challenge by implementing economic and social policies more sympathetic to the interests of the poor"

Of course, it is difficult from here to gauge what really lies behind such a statement - how genuine the concern is for working class interests which are expressed in it and what militant forces it might represent within the SACP and beyond. In and of itself, this statement merely amounts to a proposal that the SACP transforms itself into a parliamentary opposition party within the present social framework, nothing more. But even this would amount to a considerable change in the context of South Africa. For the first time, the political monopoly of the ANC among the overwhelming majority of the country's poor population would be challenged by a party which includes a significant section of the most committed working class activists. It would give credit to the idea that it may be possible, after all, for the working class to have a party of its own, independent from the ANC, defending its own class interests. This party would not be the SACP of course, nor any offshoot coming out of it on the basis of the political objectives quoted above. It would have to be a new party, based on a clear revolutionary programme making no concessions to the versions of nationalism promoted by the ANC and the SACP. Such a party would have to set itself the task of achieving the social transformation of society needed in South Africa (and worldwide), using the methods of the class struggle. And no doubt, faced with the attacks of the ANC-led government, such language would make sense to many South African workers who, after all, know better than anyone else, from their own experience, that no positive change has ever come to them without their direct intervention through the class struggle.

5 July 1999