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Economic Policy from Below: an Anarchist Critique of the #COSATU Unions’ “Radical Reform” Project

South Africa. Centred on the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and within it, key unions like the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the unions developed an ideological and strategic orientation described by scholars (e.g. Eddie Webster and Glenn Adler, 2000) as “radical reform” or “structural reform.” The thinking of the main unions in South Africa remains, to this day, profoundly shaped by the “radical reform” (RR) model.

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Grave diggers: the grim tale of states, capitalism and #COVID19

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it often seems as if we are stuck in a dystopian movie. In this movie death is stalking us, hospitals overflow with the sick and dying, and the grave diggers are at work. We know more victims will soon die as the folly of millions of workers being forced by circumstances to return into cramped mines, banks, factories and warehouses is so evident. Those that are no longer needed by the billionaires who own the companies are marshalled daily by the police and military dishing out violence and on occasion, humiliation, to underline their power and the power of their bosses.

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Democratic Confederalism and Movement Building in South Africa

The ongoing capitalist crisis, and the impacts of COVID19, have made it clear that the capitalist and state system we live under is neither efficient nor just. Inequality has hit record levels and a small elite has more wealth than ever, while the very basics – such as a decent healthcare, water, housing, sanitation, food and electricity – cannot be effectively financed, run nor delivered. Politicians in every state abuse their power too and corruption is rife, only its severity varies. Parliamentary democracy is largely hollow with a majority of people having no real political power. The oppression of women and people of colour continues unabated and imperialism deepens everyday. Due to the ever-expanding nature of capitalism the ecology is on the verge of collapse. It is clear a movement for change and an alternative to capitalism and the state system is needed.

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Modes of politics at a distance from the state: A critical assessment

The crisis of the statist politics that dominated working-class politics — social democracy, Marxism-Leninism, and anti-imperialist nationalism — and the rise of neoliberalism, has aided the rediscovery of society-centred, anti-capitalist forms of bottom-up change “at a distance” from the state.

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From Below Podcast: Zabalaza! Interview on South Africa

This episode features an interview with Warren McGregor, an activist born in the townships of the Cape Flats and now a resident in Johannesburg where he is involved in working class and union education and a member of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF).

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Education for revolution: Anarcho-syndicalist pedagogy for South Africa

South Africa. The roots and principles of anarchosyndicalism are worth revisiting for the practice of worker education in movements inspired by these principles and traditions. Emphasising the democratic practice, working class rooted, organic and critical nature of the pedagogy, the practice seeks to intersect employed and unemployed women and men. Practically, the education provides a platform for post-revolutionary practice of direct democracy at the point of production and, thus, naturally included practical skills such as trades, accounting and sciences.

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Moving from Crisis in South Africa’s Municipalities to Building Counter-Power

Across South Africa, municipalities are in crisis. They are under-funded, anti-working class, anti-poor and anti-township, and riddled with corruption by elites. The working class is oppressed by the state – as well as the private bosses – and we say “Enough is Enough!”

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#Anarchism’s relevance to black and working class strategy: Dispelling ten myths

The anarchist tradition – including syndicalism,anarchist trade unionism – provides a coherent approach to issues of strategy, tactics and principle. It is a rich set of resources of the working class today, not least the black working class in South Africa, which remains, in important ways, not just subject to capitalist exploitation and state repression, but also racial/national oppression.

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A Case for Anarchist Class Analysis: Why it Works Better than the Marxist Approach and What it Means for Struggles

The purpose of this pamphlet is giving a coherent, comparative analysis on how anarchists and Marxists view the concept of “class,” and the political implications of each approach.

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Surviving #Zimbabwe: An anarchist critique

This article, with the guidance of anarchism as a theory,  provides a critical analysis of Zimbabwe and its current state, arguing against simple analysis and going beyond individual politics.

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