NUMSA is cutting ties with the ANC and SACP

In a bold and historic move, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has cut ties with the ruling African National Congress and the South African Communist Party . With 340.000 members NUMSA is the biggest trade union inside COSATU, the federation of South African trade unions. After supporting the ANC/SACP  government for 19 years, the NUMSA has declared that the ANC and SACP are not working in favour of working class people. This is a historic moment as the biggest trade union in South Africa cuts ties with the party of the late Nelson Mandela. With this move other trade unions should follow, because since 1994 the ANC has done nothing but serving the needs of South African capitalism. The South African Communist Party has supported every ANC government and is therefore guilty of supporting a capitalist regime that has not brought socialism!

Not only is the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa cutting ties with the ruling ANC, it is also cutting its donations to the South African Communist Party. Until now the NUMSA has donated money to both the ANC and the SACP. This is now finished, the trade union for metalworkers now calls the communist party a ''ideological bankrupt party''. Finally after 19 years of betrayal, the largest trade union in South Africa understands this. Because the SACP has indeed been ideological bankrupt since the collapse of the USSR and stalinism. The communist parties of China and Vietnam were the ones who told Nelson Mandela to follow a capitalist road in 1994, the SACP agreed with them!

NUMSA general secretary Irvin Jim has called for the formation of a new socialist party for working class. Such a party is already created by mineworkers and revolutionary socialists. The Workers and Socialist Party was born out of the struggles of the mineworkers and bases itself on the working class; WASP stands for the nationalisation of the mines, the banks, the commercial farms, the factories and other big business on the basis of workers control as part of the struggle for a socialist society. NUMSA and the WASP can became a powerful weapon against the rotten ANC government and its capitalist allies. 

With the NUMSA opposing the ANC it is very likely that the Congress of South African Trade Unions will collapse. Because there are still some trade unions who remain loyal to the capitalist ANC and its bankrupt SACP. For years we have seen conflicts between the pro-workers trade unionists and the pro-ANC trade unionists. The right-wing of South Africa has allied itself with the ANC leaders, against those who have criticized the capitalist road of Nelson Mandela since 1994. 

Now the first steps are made. The working class of South Africa is on the move and the ANC could face a huge defeat in 2014. They might look at 50% of less during the elections. Until now the ANC has won always more then 60% of the votes. This could change in 2014 if the NUMSA and the WASP can unite for socialism and workers rule. A victory for the WASP in the coming elections will send a shock wave across South Africa and the world. It will show that the ANC is no longer almighty and that socialist opposition is possible!

We revolutionary socialists welcome this move of the NUMSA, because trade unions must support political parties that support the working class. The ANC and SACP have betrayed the South African workers since 1994 when they choose capitalism over socialism. Let the massage of the NUMSA be a wake up call to all trade unions. Because too many are still allied with old national liberation parties or social democratic ones. Both the national liberation parties in Africa as the social democrats in Europe have betrayed the working class. They supported capitalism while in power, betraying the millions of workers who vote for them every time there are elections!

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
stands now in opposition to the ANC and the SACP! 

The left, between social democracy and stalinism

Both Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin never knew how far some parts of the left-wing would go in betraying socialism. Marx died before the major social democratic parties, turned reformist and pro-capitalist. Lenin saw the betrayal of many social democrats, when they supported their imperialist governments during World War One. But he could not foreseen the degeneration and betrayal of his communist supporters. Social democracy finally betrayed socialism, after most workers parties choose to oppose the Communist International and the new USSR. Social democracy turned from anti-revolutionary socialism to pro-capitalism. They started to support the bourgeois democracy and the capitalist system. Stalinism took over the revolutionary communist movement after 1927 and would dominate the communist parties until 1991. The left-wing was then dominated by totalitarian stalinists and capitalist social democrats. These two ideologies would fought over the leftist vote, only to betray the working class they claimed to represent!

There was a third road between totalitarian stalinism and capitalist social democracy. But the third road was small and only few socialists were genuine anti-Stalinist and anti-capitalist at the same time. Most socialists/communists were either supportive of the USSR or against the USSR. Those who supported the reformist social democrats were called ''traitors'' by the communists, while the social democrats would call the communists ''totalitarian and dangerous''. As Stalin took command of the USSR after Lenin's death, he forced the Communist International to expel all who opposed his rule. Social democrats were called ''red fascists'' and from 1928 until 1933, the communist parties were told that social democracy was a form of ''red fascism''. 

Social democrats abandoned most of their socialist principals by working in capitalist governments. They hoped they would improve the living-standards of workers, which they indeed did. But the price for this was huge, the workers parties were forced to accept capitalist barbarism and imperialist exploitation, all in the name of compromises with the parties of capitalism. After World War Two, most social democrats became very anticommunist and joined the western crusade to destroy communist parties. Social democrats supported undemocratic laws to attack communists and to limit their freedom of speech!

But the generation born after 1945 was not pure anticommunist. Many young people searched for ways to rebel against their conservative societies. The Stalinist communist parties were able to use their revolutionary idealism, for their own propaganda. After 1968 many young boys and girls joined revolutionary parties who based themselves on the teachings of Mao Zedong. This Chinese Stalinist leader became popular in the 70's. He promoted revolution and rebellion, many youth in the western world felt seduced by this!

The right-wing lost the ideological battleground in the 70's, but was able to use the totalitarian ways of stalinism and maoism to attack socialism and communism. This happened in the 1980's under Ronald Reagan. This US president attacked the Stalinist world and soon became loved by most members of the ruling class. Reagan was not the only puppy of the right-wing. British prime minister; Margaret Thatcher was also a conservative anti-socialist. She and her American ally were able to reconquer the lost battlegrounds. Because the left-wing was not able to stand up to their dogmatic anti-leftism, the fight was soon won by the ruling class. It all started in November 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. 

With the collapse of one Stalinist regime after another, the capitalist media portrayed it as the end for socialism. Social democrats and stalinists were not able to stand up to this lie. Most stalinists were shocked when almost all ''socialist'' nations collapsed in only two years. Social democracy ( while never supported stalinism ) accepted the right-wing lie, that the state must not regulate the economy. When social democrats capitulated to this, neoliberalism was born. The ideal of no regulations and full market rule!

What is neoliberalism? 

The main points of neoliberalism include:

THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.

PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, rail-roads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

Few Americans have ever heard of it. This is because in the USA, liberalism is called a leftist ideology. Only because its supports individuals freedoms over conservative traditions. Liberals in the USA are not anti-capitalist, but are called leftist and sometimes socialist ( by conservatives ) because of their support to issues like gay marriage and woman rights. But in Europe, liberalism has always been a right-wing ideology. Because when it comes to the economy, liberals oppose regulations of businesses. Social democrats used to support strong state regulations and state ownership over some sectors of the economy. But this died after 1990, when almost all social democratic parties accept the market economy and the rule of capitalism!

Many leftists choose to abandon their struggle for socialism. Some embraced the power of the dark side and became supporters of capitalism. Others remained silent, only to be attacked and forced to confess that ''socialism failed''. Those who supported the Stalinist; German Democratic Republic are still attacked by the German capitalist media. Members of Die Linke are still called ''supporters of communist totalitarianism'' by the Christian Democratic Union, the ruling conservative party in Germany. The right-wing conservatives call Die Linke ''undemocratic'' although their party took on many ex-Nazi's after 1945. Supporters of socialism in Germany still get the German Democratic Republic pushed in their faces by the capitalist media!

As social democracy and stalinism betrayed the working class, the right-wing was able to rule almost unopposed. Capitalists enjoyed more freedoms as state regulations were lifted. In 1992 the European Union was founded, a single European market zone was created. This allowed the capitalists easy access to all European nations. When Eastern Europe joined the EU after 2004, many western enterprises choose to move their production to Poland. Because Polish workers are cheap and work very good. The minimum-wage in Poland is close to 300 euro's a month. This is why many Polish workers went to western Europe to work. In the Netherlands, the minimum-wage is 1400 euro ( before taxes ), for many Polish workers this is big money. While Polish workers would work for Dutch minimum-wages, many Dutch workers feel anger. They lost their jobs, because the capitalists use cheaper workers from Eastern Europa. This anger led to the rise of right-wing populism, who blame immigrants and foreign workers. Although the main enemy remains the capitalist system!

After the collapse of stalinism, new leftist forces emerged. Some of these leftists stood in the shadows of social democracy and stalinism. But since those ideologies betrayed their socialist principals, the new leftists could not fill the vacuum. The new left-wing parties are a mixture of former maoists, leftist social-democrats and democratic socialists. One party who rose after 1990 is the Dutch; Socialist Party. Founded in 1972 as a dogmatic Maoist party, it abandoned Mao's teachings and Marxist socialism after 1990. In the 1990's it was a protest party, very active in protests against the liberal-social democratic government in the Netherlands. The SP was led by Jan Marijnissen, a reformer who ended Stalinist dogmatism in the SP. Marijnissen became an icon of the Dutch left-wing. He stood up to neoliberalism and challenged the establishment. Yet the SP started to lose support after he retired. Their propaganda grew more moderate and more social democratic, in a desperate move to turn the now neoliberal; Party of Labour back into the leftist camp! 

In Germany, the Party of Democratic Socialism was created after the Stalinist; Socialist Unity Party of Germany gave up their constitutional right to rule the GDR. The SED changed its name to PDS and abandoned stalinism. Although now a democratic socialist party, the PDS was never able to win the leftists votes in West-Germany, who still saw the old Stalinist SED in the PDS. The party fused with a West-Germany leftist social democratic group and became Die Linke in 2007. Today Die Linke is the biggest leftist opposition party in Germany!

Communist parties lost many members after 1990. Blinded by years of dogmatic loyalty to a state that betrayed socialism since 1924, most communist parties entered a deep crisis. There were those who wanted a social democratic ideology. This we see in the Communist Party of the Netherlands. In 1982 the CPN was among the first communist parties who abandoned dogmatic stalinism. But instead of returning to genuine leninism, the CPN became reformist. The old Stalinist wing of the party tried to move back marxism-leninism ( stalinism ). But they failed as the new leadership of the CPN was no longer dogmatic. A downside of this change was that the CPN moved also away from Marxist socialism and more towards social democracy. By 1989, the Communist Party of the Netherlands was down to 6.500 members, three year later only 3.500 remained in the party!

In Africa the national liberation parties all betrayed socialism. Between 1975 and 1990, many African nations were govern by national liberation movements who declared loyal to Marxist socialism. But their regimes were based on single party states and dictatorial rule. Workers who criticized this were called ''counter-revolutionaries'' and arrested. Many African nations also fought against anticommunist groups supported by the USA and western imperialism. In both Angola and Mozambique, the civil war between the national liberation party and the anticommunist opposition led to the death of many!

The collapse of the USSR turned many national liberation parties away from Marxist socialism. In South Africa, the African National Congress of Nelson Mandela choose not to follow its socialist ideals. Because both the Chinese and Vietnamese communist parties had told Mandela in 1992, to embrace the market economy and capitalism. This is why the ANC choose to keep South Africa capitalist. Poverty remains as black workers remain exploited and poor, thanks to the betrayl of the ANC leaders including Nelson Mandela himself! 

Neoliberalism led to the economic crisis in 2008. Suddenly the governments of the world, started to nationalize banks and enterprises in order to save them with public money. Revolutionary socialists opposed this kind of nationalizations. We support socialist nationalizations in which the workers take control and govern through democratic elected workers councils. This did not happen, the capitalist managers kept their jobs. The tax payers were paying for the failures of the speculators and big capitalists. Workers were again on the losing side, as always. While the capitalists enriched themselves and their executives, many working class families struggled to meet ends!

Revolutionary socialists are positive about the growth of new leftist movement. However we also realize that many of them remain limited to a leftist social democratic platform. More regulation of the markets is what many want. Take the SP in the Netherlands for example. Jan Marijnissen never called for a socialist state ( after his SP abandoned Marxist socialism after 1990 ). He and his party are supportive of the monarchy, NATO and don't oppose the capitalist system in general. They only oppose the neoliberal model which is ultra-capitalistic. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez ruled on a mixture of leftist nationalism, classic social democracy and few elements of Stalinist dogmatism. Chavez died in March 2013 and his successor is struggling against a growing right-wing opposition!

Today there are few genuine workers parties with a socialist program. This is because the left is still dived. Social democracy has turned its back on the working class. The old workers parties have now fully embraced the dark side of politics ( neoliberalism ). New leftist movements are stuck in old social democratic demands, like more state regulation and less markets. But we revolutionary socialists say that this will not solve the problem. A social democratic system will not survive for long as capitalists will do anything to move politicians to the right-wing. They pay them good money for pro-capitalist politics. In the USA this is common, as most politicians are on the payroll of the ruling class. Both the Republican Party and Democratic Party are nothing more but parties of the establishment!

We revolutionary socialists call for mass parties of the working class. In South Africa the mine workers and revolutionary socialists have created the Workers and Socialist Party ( WASP ). This party now challenge the rule of the ANC. After the massacre at Marikana in which 44 strikers were murdered, those who survived realized that a new workers party was needed to fight those who ordered the police to murder their comrades. The WASP has a good chance of winning votes, because many workers feel betrayed by Jacob Zuma the president of South Africa!

But in order to build workers parties, the left must stop thinking like social democrats and stalinists. Social democracy has betrayed the working class and stalinism is death. But many leftists are still limited by social democratic ideals and Stalinist misinformation. Many communist parties have joined capitalist governments and are responsible for supporting the politics of the bourgeoisie. Communist parties in the former USSR have a pro-Russian position and support the Kremlin in conflicts against the western world, although the rulers of Russia are not socialist or internationalist. Both the Communist Party of the Russian Federation as the Communist Party of Ukraine have a pro-Russian agenda. Not only is this totally anticommunist, it also alienates workers who oppose Russian imperialism. The stalinists in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are not able to win support among the working class. Their supporters come from Soviet war veterans, old bureaucrats and elderly people who are nostalgic about the Stalinist system!

Nationalism is part of stalinism. After 1928, Stalin forced his ''socialism in one nation'' down on all members of the Communist International. This resulted in turning the communist parties into national parties who stood for the working class of their own nation. Some call it ''national-communism'' although this is alien to both Marx and Lenin, who were internationalists. Stalinism is a nationalist ideology as it focus on the creation of socialism in one nation. Stalin could not change the colours of the Soviet flag back to the colours of czarism. But other Stalinist states used flags of previous bourgeois regimes. The government of East Germany first wanted to use the flag of the German Empire. In the end they choose the flag of the bourgeois 1848 revolution, for their German Democratic Republic. Other Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe kept the banner of their nation in order to boost patriotism. In Romania, the communist party boosted nationalism and favoured the Romanian people. Again this stands in complete opposition to the internationalist ideals of communism!

Because of Stalinist betrayal and the anticommunist propaganda, we revolutionary socialists do not call ourselves communists. This is because we don't want to be associated with the regimes that ruled between 1945 and 1990 in Eastern Europe. Also we believe that the USSR was never socialist, but a degenerated state that served the needs of the party bureaucracy instead of the Soviet working class. As long as the remnants of the old communist parties remain loyal to this lie, that the USSR was ''socialist'' the ruling class will always be able to use this against us! 

Die Linke is a new leftist party founded in 2007 after the 
fusion of the Party of Democratic Socialism with leftist social democrats
The new party however is limited to classic social democratic demands!  

An “employers’ paradise”

“Power of employers is unassailable”. No, these are not the words in an obscure Marxist publication, but the headlines of a remarkable article in the Dutch national daily paper, De Volkskrant, on 30 November. Normally, these truths are carefully hidden in the capitalist media, as they might lead to undesired conclusions. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that a major newspaper has made this fact public knowledge. The fact that they can be so open about it shows that they think there is no chance of any opposition arising. It is an irony that the date of publication was also the day of one of the first protests of the trade unions in the Netherlands against the government’s austerity, attended by about 10,000 people. The situation in the Netherlands deserves some further explication.

By Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative ( CWI in Netherlands )

The headline “employers’ paradise” is genuine, and the article in the national daily offers a series of arguments. It explains that all political parties, except the racist PVV and the opposition Socialist Party, favor the rule of the employers. Any coalition government is subservient to them. The Labour Party, which won the elections in September 2012, is solidly on their side. Municipal and European elections in 2014 might stir up some trouble and show the lack of support for the present austerity coalition of Labour and Liberals, but the election results pose no real threat to the government on a national level.

It must be noted that the previous government, which included the PVV, also favored the employers and their cuts. It must also be said that a coalition government including the Socialist Party would not pose any real dangers to the employers. The Labour Party, which would inevitably be included in such a coalition, would see to that. The SP leadership is entirely convinced of “the need to compromise”.

The article in “De Volkskrant” goes on to explain that as far as taxes are concerned, the employers have nothing to fear either. Taxes on companies make up only 6% of state income. And next year, it will go down to 4.8%. The government is offering tax breaks to companies so they can write off their losses after the credit crisis through tax deductions. Businesses’ profits are at a high level. They have a total of €162 billion in savings according to the central bank. The Netherlands is the world’s second largest international tax haven. This is why major companies like Starbucks, Google, and the Rolling Stones have their headquarters in the Netherlands. Their money is safe in this country.

The third reason for Holland being an employer’s paradise, according to the article, is that trade unions have been weakened. After an internal struggle in the Dutch Trade Union Federation (FNV), and a major reorganization, bureaucrats loyal to the Labour Party gained the upper hand in the summer of 2012, just before the Labour Party’s election victory. But the position of the unions as a whole has been weakened. The employers had a choice: finish off the unions or restore some credibility by negotiating with the new leadership. After a long period of deliberation, they opted for the second option and reached a so called “Social Agreement” with the unions and the present government. For the employers, it is important to secure ‘moderation’ in the trade unions and to have a leadership that they can do business with. The opposition in the unions, which sympathizes with the Socialist Party, is being pushed into the background. The employers ensure that the “social peace” of the previous thirty years continues.

The fourth factor is wage “moderation”. In the early eighties, the employers and the unions concluded the Wassenaar Agreement. Its essence was that the unions would keep wages down in exchange for jobs that the employers would create. Of course they only jobs that employers created were part-time jobs (for women) or low paid jobs in the service industry. Jobs in industry with decent wages and facilities like pensions were massively destroyed. The success of thirty years of wage moderation is now a major problem for the Dutch economy. The export sector has recovered to a limited extent, but the internal market is a disaster. With credit limited, and huge cuts in public services, the low level of wages means permanent depression for the market inside the Netherlands, the main base of the economy.

Some bourgeois economists argue for higher wages to solve the economic problems. They point out that the recovery in the thirties was quicker than at present. But the employers remain opposed because, as they say, it would hurt the export sector. Minor growth in the export sector was recently responsible for a ridiculously small GNP increase of 0,1%. The government declared the end of the recession immediately, but of course nobody believed it. Especially, as the OECD predicted a new decline of the Dutch economy in 2014 the next day. The “Volkskrant” article concludes that “the political and ideological hegemony of the employers is so deeply rooted that it is almost self-evident”.

It must be admitted that it is hard to present a more realistic picture of class society in the Netherlands than in this article. Like other European countries, the economic prospects are dismal. Years, perhaps decades of stagnation and mass unemployment lie ahead on the basis of this system. The rule of the employers in the Netherlands may be unassailable at the moment, but this is all they have to offer. They may have ‘total victory’ right now, but lack of growth and prospects will erode their authority. They are the emperors of an economy that will only revive when zombies come back to life.

In the Dutch media, there is limited criticism about the situation. Sometimes, they point out that cuts hurt the economy, there is a certain amount of criticism of open racism, there is some attention given to the situation of foreign building workers who build tunnels for the state and the media have recently paid attention to the rise of poverty. In the major cities, 15% of the population is poor. 850,000 people in total are poor (43% of these have a job) and there are an additional 400,000 children in poverty. But reporting these situations does not change them. Unemployment is set to peak in 2018 at around 10%. This would mean that mass misery continues for more than ten years after the beginning of the crisis.

The left in the Netherlands is isolated at the moment. The unions and the Socialist Party are the object of ridicule and declared of irrelevant. However, despite expulsions and many activists leaving the party, there are some pockets of resistance inside the Socialist Party. The left in the unions has suffered a setback, but the co-operation at the top with the Labour Party is eroding as the government is implementing new cuts that violate the “Social Agreement”. This has forced the trade union leadership into a campaign for real jobs and higher wages. The Socialist Party could not stay aside when a small demonstration against austerity was called by several minor organisations on the left. That demonstration gathered 5,000 people in September. The trade union demonstration to start the campaign for real jobs and higher wages gathered 10,000 people on 30 November. This was the largest trade union protest in years.

At this protest, recent trade union successes were highlighted. There have been victories by cleaning workers; the position of distribution workers in the retail industry has been strengthened; there was a wage increase in the metal sector after several strikes and workers in home care have avoided being sacked massively thanks to union action. This means there is an increase in working class activity. Though it will take time to rebuild the labour movement, actions for higher wages and better conditions point the way forward for the unions. These will in turn inspire others to fight back and to turn the tide on the race to the bottom. Socialist ideas and a socialist program can play a crucial role in developing resistance. The employers fall from paradise is about to start!

The liberal-social democratic government spends
4,5 billion euro's on 37 JSF fighters, while cutting 
social security and enforcing huge austerity plans!

Stalinist show trials

Eric Cartman of North Korea has followed Joseph Stalin's footsteps. If people don't know Eric Cartman, then they must watch South Park on Comedy Central.  Kim Jong Un plays the role of Eric Cartman, the little fat boy with a big lust of personal power. The 30 year old leader of the ''Democratic'' People's Republic of Korea, has just eliminated his mentor and uncle; Jang Sung-taekv. On 13 December 2013, the North Korean state media announced that Jang Sung-taekv was executed for ''counter-revolutionary'' crimes. Jang was the uncle of Kim Jong Un, he married the sister of the late Kim Jong Il, who died in December 2011!

North Korea is a very classic Stalinist nation. Unlike the reformed regimes in China, Cuba and Vietnam, North Korea has always remained loyal to the totalitarian ways of Joseph Stalin. Although Kim Il Sung moved away from classic stalinism, his dictatorship remained very much based on the Stalinist system. You only have to look at North Korea and think back to Stalin's regime. The culture of the North Koreans is based around a massive cult of personality. Until December 2011, only Kim Il Sung was the only true god of the Juche religion. But after the death of Kim Jong Il, the founder of the DPRK has to share the godhood with his son!

Joseph Stalin began with show trials that would become common for Stalinist states. The most famous are the Moscow Trials of 1936 and 1938. Stalin used these trials to murder the old Bolsheviks who led the November 1917 revolution. Most of these old Bolsheviks had capitulated before Stalin, so they did not pose a threat to his regime. Stalin's biggest opponent was exiled and his Left Opposition jailed in the new Gulag camps. Since 1928 is was forbidden to criticize the rule of Joseph Stalin, anyone who spoke out was called a ''trotskyist'' and a ''counter-revolutionary''. Trotskyists are supporters of Leon Trotsky, a leader of the 1917 revolution and founder of the Red Army. He fought against the degeneration of the revolution and tried to oppose Stalin. When he failed, the stalinists exiled him to Turkey!

Between 1928 and 1934, Stalin purges the All-Union Communist Party of all Bolsheviks who once opposed him during the struggle against Trotsky. Members had to swear loyalty to Stalin or face explosion. Famoues Bolsheviks like Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoview and Alexei Rykov all had to capitulate before the ''Great Leader''. In August 1936 the trials against Kamenv and Zinoview began. Both agreed to confess on condition that they receive a direct guarantee from the entire ( Stalinist ) Politburo that their lives and those of their families and followers would be spared. When they were taken to the supposed Politburo meeting, they were met by only Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov.  Stalin explained that they were the "commission" authorized by the Politburo and Stalin agreed to their conditions in order to gain their desired confessions. He then used these ''confessions'' are proof of their guilt. The Soviet Courts ordered their execution and Kamenev and Zinoview were the shot!

Next trial was that of the supposed ''Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Centre''. This fake organisation was created by Joseph Stalin. 17 members of the party, state and military were arrested and charged with treason. Mikhail Tukhachevsky was among those who were arrested. He was the first army marshal of the Soviet-Union and seen as dangerous by the paranoid Stalin. Tukhachevsky was tortured so much that he finally ''confessed'' to Stalin's fake accusations. When the Soviet Courts were reading the accusations, even the judges could not believed what they just read. But Mikhail Tukhachevsky had ''confessed'' to his ''crimes'' and was found guilty. The criminal Stalin said; "It's incredible, but it's a fact, he admit it''.

Tukhachevsky was executed by Vasili Blokhin, a man who would later murder the first and second NKVD leader on Stalin's orders. Blokhin would become the main executioner for Stalin's terror regime. In 1939 he shot 7.000 of the 22.000 Polish prisoners at Katyn personally. Vasili Blokhin was a bloody counter-revolutionary mass murderer and a true Stalinist criminal. After the death of Stalin, he was forced into retirement. Fearing he would be arrested and executed for his crimes, Blokhin took his own life on 3 February 1955!

Alexander Mikhailovich Orlov was the NKVD agent who worked in Spain for the republican government. He was the man who ordered the mass arrests of revolutionary socialists, like those of the Workers Party of Marxist Unification. Also Orlov made sure that the Spanish Communist Party remained Stalinist and loyal to Moscow. Although loyal to the Stalinist government of the USSR, Orlov soon found out his friends were all arrested and shot. Fearing for his life, he and his family fled to the USA. There he told that Stalin used the murder of so many loyal agents of the NKVD, as a cover to hide the fact that the agency found out that Stalin once was a spy for the czarist secret police. With this knowledge the NKVD leaders wanted Stalin arrested and jailed. According to Orlov this is the reason why Stalin murdered the leadership of the NKVD between 1934 and 1938!

Orlov wrote two letter before fleeing Spain for France. One letter was for NKVD leader Yezhov and the other for Stalin. He promised to keep all things he knew a secret if Stalin would spare his family. Since his family was never murdered, Orlov kept his word and did not published anything about NKVD secrets until after Stalin's death in 1953. Although his works have a ring of truth in them, the reader should remember that some of the stories were told second-hand and that Orlov himself was deliberately dishonest about his own complicity in these affairs. Because he himself was a Stalinist killer too, murdering revolutionary socialists and anarchists in Spain for the NKVD! 

Stalin wanted to eliminate military leaders like Tukhachevsky as early as 1930. He said to his supporters that these early Red Army officers were a danger to his plans. Killing the Red Army generals was not enough. Thousands of officers and arrested and executed, leaving the Red Army very weak and disorganized. The Stalinist purges between 1934 and 1938 were the reason why the USSR lost the Winter War with Finland between 1939/1940. Had Stalin not killed his generals and officers, then it is very possible that Finland would have collapsed and be transformed into a Stalinist republic of the USSR!

During the Moscow Trials, western observers were present and watched the trials. They believed the trials were free and fair, because the accused ''confessed'' to their ''crimes''. Soviet judges gave them a full list of all ''confessions'' so the western observes believed these trials were fair and balanced. They did not knew that most ''confessions'' were giving after weeks of torture and abuses by sadistic prison guards. It is now known that the confessions were given only after great psychological pressure and torture had been applied to the defendants. From the accounts of former NKVD officer Alexander Orlov and others the methods used to extract the confessions are known. Repeated beatings, torture, making prisoners stand or go without sleep for days on end, and threats to arrest and execute the prisoners' families. For example, Kamenev's teenage son was arrested and charged with terrorism. After months of such interrogation, the defendants were driven to despair and exhaustion!

Leon Trotsky said that the Moscow Trials were not work of socialism or communism, but the work of criminal stalinism. The work of a dictatorial bureaucracy that ruled over the people. Trotsky stood up against the false accusations and was found not guilty by an independent court in the USA, who looked at the Soviet accusations against him. Unknown to Trotsky, Stalin would succeed in his plan to kill him. In August 1940, Trotsky was assassinated by a Stalinist agent in his own house. Although his guards came quickly, Trotsky was wounded and died in the hospital!

After World War 2, Stalinist nations used the same methods of Stalin. Show trials were very common in Eastern Europe and in the People's Republic of China. The ''Democratic'' People's Republic of Korea is founded in 1948 and has always remained a closed nation. While China and Vietnam opened up to the world in the late 80's, North Korea remained closed for most people. The show trial of Jang Sung-taek is not unique for a Stalinist nation, but since North Korea is so closed we know very little about who get's purged and jailed. Jang Sung-taek was a high ranking North Korean, the mentor of Kim Jong Un. He was charged with; e was accused of having committed "anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts", including illicit affairs with women, harbouring "politically-motivated ambition", weakening "the party's guidance over judicial, prosecution and people's security bodies", and obstructing "the nation's economic affairs".

With the execution of Jang Sung-taek, it is now clear that Kim Jong Un has established himself as the Supreme Leader of the DPRK. Almost two years ago when his father died, it was unclear if Kim Jong Un was ready for his job. Jang Sung-taek shared a lot of power with the youngest son of the late Kim Jong Il. It is possible that the young Kim now wanted his old mentor and uncle gone. It could also be seen as a warning to all those inside the ruling caste, that Kim Jong Un is now leader and that he alone rules now. These dictatorial purges and show trials are typical for Stalinist states!

Jang Sung-taek shares the fate of many Stalinist henchman who never believed that they would be arrested and killed by their masters. All NKVD leaders lost their lives because of purges and executions. Two were killed by Stalin and the final NKVD leader was killed by the reformed Soviet leadership after Stalin's death. We can only hope that some day a reformer stands up and ends the totalitarian dictatorship of Kim Jong Un!

Jang Sung-taek was mentor and uncle 
of Kim Jong Un. He was purged and executed 
by his nephew!

Islamic rebels outnumber secular rebels in Syria

With the formation of the Islamic Front in 2013, the Islamic rebels have outnumbered the Free Syrian Army ( FSA ). Between 2011 and 2013, the FSA was the main rebel force in the nation. They are fighting against the Ba'athist government of Bashar Al-Assad who's government is responsible for oppression and dictatorial rule since the 60's. The secular rebels were mostly former soldiers of the Syrian Armed Forces, who defected to the opposition. But soon radical Muslims created their own combat groups to fight the Syrian government. Al-Nusra joined Al-Qeada and is now their Syrian base of operations. The newly created Islamic Front unites more then seven Islamic groups, which gives them about 60.000 soldiers. Secular rebels have lost many soldiers and material. Now they can only number between 30.000 and 45.000 troops. It seems that Islamic rebels will now led the fight against the dictatorial Al-Assad regime! 

100.000 Syrians have died since Bashar Al-Assad ordered his troops to shoot at unarmed demonstrators. The killing of his own people triggered defections from soldiers who opposed killing innocent civilians. Out of these defectors came the Free Syrian Army ( FSA ). Although some young Syrians joined its ranks most of its fighters were former soldiers. By 2012, radical Muslims with money from Saudi-Arabia, created Islamic combat group. A ruthless and cruel group is the Al-Nusra Front. These fundamentalist Muslims want to create an Islamic Emirate of Syria, must like the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under Taliban rule ( 1996-2001 ). Al-Nusra does not care about civilians, they murder anyone who is not supporting their Islamic theocracy. Like the Afghan Mujaheddin, they want to destroy the secular nature of Syria and replace it with an theocracy that favors Sunni Islam!

This civil war is no longer about freedom and dictatorship. Although it started as a popular uprising it degenerated into a civil war, which turned more sectarian every day. The criminal Al-Assad regime is using a secular mask to fight the rebels. Claiming that the government is secular and fighter for a none-theocratic Syria. Meanwhile Shia Islamic forces are joining Bashar Al-Aassad to fight the Sunni Islamic rebels. The civil war is now a sectarian Islamic conflict between Shia Muslims loyal to Bashar Al-Assad and Sunni Muslims who have always been oppressed by the Syrian government!

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been an ally of Syria since the start of the civil war. Like the tribe of Al-Assad, the government of Iran is Shia Islamic. This is why the Islamic world is not really supportive of the theocracy in Tehran. Because 2/3 of all Muslims are Sunni Islamic, only in Iran, Azerbaijan en parts of Iraq do Shia Muslims they make up the majority of religious people. Not only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is active in Syria, the Shia Islamic party called Hezbollah is sending its militia to aid Al-Assad. Hezbollah means Party of God, they are a fundamentalist right-wing party, that wants to create a Shia Islamic theocracy in Lebanon. Although the militia's of Hezbollah entred Syria to fight for Al-Assad, it is reported that the party suffered many casualties. By October 2013, Hezbollah moved 1.200 troops out of Syria! 

Sunni Islamic rebels sometimes behaved very cruel and downright evil. On You-Tube they posted video's about the capture and killing of government soldiers. But not only government soldiers are murdered, innocent civilians like truck drivers are halted and shot in the face by these reactionary criminals. A You-Tube video shows a group of Islamic rebels halting a convoy of three empty trucks. The drivers are forced out of their vehicles and seem to talk with the commander of the group. After a few minutes the men are forced to lay on the ground and then get shot by the Islamic rebels. This is only one story of the killings carried out by reactionary forces in Syria!

Some Muslim teenagers from Europe have joined the Islamic rebels in Syria. These young teens have been indoctrinated into fighting for Jihad against the Syrian government. Many Muslim boys face racial hated and discrimination from none-Islamic Europeans. They feel isolated and ''not wanted'' in Europa. Because of their isolation, many search for comfort inside their religion. This is how they are recruited into fighting for Jihad in Syria. Norwegian police thinks that at least 40 young Norwegian Muslims, have joined the Islamic rebels in fighting the Al-Assad regime!

But Bashar Al-Assad and his Syrian Armed Forces are not less cruel. They however do not film their cruelty and killings. Unlike the Islamic rebels, the SAF likes to keep their crimes a secret. Syrian State Television is only broadcasting the crimes of the rebels, which is made easy thanks to You-Tube were the reactionaries posted their crimes for all to see. Also because the Islamic rebels are paid by Saudi-Arabia, the Syrian government can use its old anti-imperialist rhetoric. Because the western world has declared that the Syrian National Council is the only legitimate government. Many leftists have embraced the lies of Bashar Al-Assad because his government used to be against the western world. But after the death of Hafez Al-Assad, his youngest son turned towards capitalism and deregulations. Capitalist reforms led to poverty as many Syrians could not work under market demands. It is this poverty that also fuels the uprising!

Revolutionary socialists oppose western intervention. We think that NATO nations only serve the needs of the international ruling class. This why they did not attack Syria, unlike Libya were they rushed to aid the Libyan rebels in their fight against Muammar Gaddafi. Now after two years, Libya remains a failed state. Armed militia's kidnap ministers and government officials to enforce their demands. Frustration is growing in Libya because of the chaos and poverty. This is the result of the 2011 NATO intervention!

If someone asks us what is the side we choose, the answer is simple: that of the working class and poor masses! The role of socialists is to support the creation of independent organizations of the working class and poor, their self-control and defence, fight against the Al-Assad brutal dictatorship, but without having any illusions in the ruling class and western imperialism or in the Islamic rebels, who have nothing to offer to the working class, except more death and misery!

What we say:

No to imperialist intervention! Withdraw of all the foreign troops from Syria and the region!

Against all oppression, the people should democratically decide their own destiny!

For the building of united defence committees, to defend the workers and the poor against sectarian attacks from both sides.

For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly in Syria!

Implementation of democratic and nationality rights for all, acknowledging the right of self-determination of the Kurdish people.

For the building of independent trade unions

Build a worker’s party, with a programme that fights for land rights and socialist programme of public ownership and workers’ control of the key sectors of the economy

For a democratic and socialist confederation of the Middle East and North Africa.

Islamic rebel forces as of November 2013
The Islamic Front has united most Islamic rebels!

Special treatment in Stalin's Gulag

The anticommunist media loves to portray Stalin as the ultimate ''communist'' villain. ''Communism always leads to concentration-camps and mass executions'' ''Communists love to kill innocent people'' this is what their propaganda is yelling since Stalin began with his Gulag camps in 1930. Members of the Left Opposition were treated extra cruel by the sadistic prison guards, since they represented the anti-Stalinist communist opposition to Joseph Stalin. More then 14 million Soviet workers entered the Gulag camps between 1930 and 1960!

Joseph Stalin was already a powerful man by 1923. But he could not rule for himself yet. After December 1922, he had to share power with Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoview. Vladimir Lenin got his second stroke in December and was forced to leave state matters to Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoview. Because of the civil war and the isolation of the USSR, Lenin introduced a market economy called NEP. Stalin supported the NEP against the Left Opposition led by Leon Trotsky. He got support from Nicolai Bukharin, who represented the right-wing of the communist party!

Lenin tried to fight Stalin, because the sick Soviet leader knew how brutal Stalin behaved in Georgia. The Georgian Affair and Stalin's great Russian chauvinism had opened his eye's to the danger. Lenin wanted Stalin removed as general secretary. This he wrote in his last letters also known as Lenin's Testament. Unfortunate for Lenin, he got a third stroke in May 1923, which left him muteness and paralysed. Stalin's allies made sure that the final letters were not made public to all party members. Only members of the Politburo and those in the Central Committee were giving an edited version! 

The Left Opposition lost the struggle and was expelled from the party in 1927. Stalin then removed Kamenev and Zinoview, who had turned against him a year earlier. Both men would later capitulated before Stalin and were re-allowed entry in the All Union Communist Party. Two years later, Stalin removed Nicolai Bukharin from the Politburo. With Bukharin gone, the Politburo was now fully under Stalinist control!

After removing both the left-wing and right-wing opposition, Stalin started with his brutal industrial plans. The economy of the USSR from 1922 till 1929 was state-capitalist, but Stalin knew this was bad propaganda. So he began with forced collectivisations, betraying his state-capitalist principals he held since 1921. Trotsky ( from exile in Turkey ) opposed the forced collectivisations. It led to desperate resistance by the peasants, notably the massive slaughter of livestock. Also it was accompanied by a systematic underdevelopment of investments, in agriculture as much as in the service sector ( stockpiling, transportation, distribution ) and a fluctuating price policy. Stalin's collectivisations would led to a human made famine in Ukraine, which would kill 8 million farmers!

By 1930 the old czarist labour camps were growing fast. After the expulsion of anti-Stalinist Bolsheviks, Stalin started with dogmatic laws that could arrest many people if they were not loyal to what he called: ''MARXISM-LENINISM''. Until 1924 nobody spoke of something like ''Marxism-Leninism'', it was Stalin who made it a state dogma. Who criticized Stalin was called a ''counter-revolutionary'' or a ''trotskyist''. Article 58 of the Russian SFSR Penal Code was put in force on 25 February 1927, to arrest those suspected of ''counter-revolutionary'' activities. Thanks to this article, the now Stalinist government started to arrest all critical members of Soviet society. It was Article 58 that allowed the arrest of anti-Stalinist communists!

The labour camps were soon expanded and put under NKVD administration. The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs ( NKVD ) used to a part of the government, that dealt with police matters. Stalin fused the NKVD and the Soviet secret police into one mighty all-union security force. NKVD soldiers were among the most cruel and sadistic of all Stalin's henchmen. Genrikh Grigoryevich Yagoda was their first leader, but Stalin did not liked his work. At the start of the Great Terror, Yagoda was arrested and executed, although he was a loyal Stalinist. Next leader was Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov, a cruel man who would order the execution of many old Bolsheviks on Stalin's orders!

In 1934, the Great Terror started and the camps flooded with people called ''trotskyist fascists''. By now more then 500.000 Soviet workers were jailed in the Gulag. Compare that to the 30.000 that were imprisoned in 1927. Between 1934 and 1953, 600.000 communist party members would die because of Stalin. Famous victims of the Great Terror were Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoview and 2/3 of all Soviet leaders!

Yezhov served his master well. But the paranoid Stalin feared the popularity of the NKVD leader among the party members. When they praised Yezhov with the same respect as they did with Stalin, the paranoid dictator became very suspicions. On 22 August 1938 a Georgian Stalinist was appointed deputy of Yezhov. This man became the Heinrich Himmler of the Stalinist Reich, his name was Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria!

Beria and Yezhov did not liked each other. Both men fought for popularity and Beria finally won. Although both cruel and dogmatic Stalinist, it was Beria who won the struggle. Stalin made him NKVD leader and ordered the arrest and execution of his loyal Yezhov. After a typical show-trial, the man who loved Stalin as a god, was told he would be executed for ''crime against the Soviet people''. Like a baby he was weeping and begging for mercy. But the cruel guards took him to a special execution chamber and shot him. In a twist of irony it was an execution chamber, Yezhov had build only a few years ago as NKVD leader! 

Supporters of the Left Opposition who were not murdered during the Great Terror were send to the Gulag camps. Since they belonged to the ''traitor'' Trotsky, the sadistic NKVD guards gave them ''special'' treatment in the form of daily torture and beatings. From March 1938, the guards would take a group of 30 to 40 trotskyists out of a camp. After a short walk they were executed. This was done almost every day until the June 1941 German invasion, when slave workers were needed. It is said that one large group sang The Internationale, while the NKVD marched them towards their death. Dutch revolutionary socialist and anti-Stalinist leader; Henk Sneevliet did the same thing when he and his group were about to be executed by the Nazi's in April 1942!

If communism is all about terror, then why did Stalin ordered his NKVD to give the supporters of Trotsky extra cruel treatment? Although the NKVD was cruel to most prisoners, the trotskyists were treated extra cruel. The anticommunists have no answer, because they are blinded by their own dogmatic believe, that Stalin was a communist and that all communists are killers. The supporters of the Left Opposition were seen as dangerous to Stalin and he was right to fear them.  Because they were the true Bolsheviks, this is why they had to be murdered!

Stalin realized that the Gulag camps could also be used as forced labour camps. Before 1930 the prison guards had opposed this, but these guards were gone and replaced by sadistic NKVD guards. Stalin told Beria that he wanted to use the prisoners as slave workers, so the NKVD put the prisoners to work under cruel and harsh conditions. Right before the war, forced labour provided 46.5% of the nation's nickel, 76% of its tin, 40% of its cobalt, 40.5% of its chrome-iron ore, 60% of its gold, and 25.3% of its timber. The NKVD build special factories were slave workers would work almost 17 hours a day!

By January 1941, more then 300.000 out of 1,6 million Gulag prisoners were now slave workers. Working conditions were so bad that many died. The NKVD guards limited the food rations in order to boost production. This policy remained until 1948. When the Germans invaded, some prisoners were recruited into the Red Army. But most were kept inside the camps. A few camps were captured by the Germans, who used it for propaganda. The Germans however behaved very cruel and showed no regards for the needs of the population. So most people in Belarus and Ukraine choose to oppose the Germans. Only in 1944 did Hitler allowed the formation of the Russian Liberation Army ( POA ), made up of former soldiers and prisoners ''liberated'' from the Gulag!

But before the Germans came, the Stalinist government carried out mass arrests in the Baltic states. These republics were forced into the USSR. Baltic people who opposed the ''Great Stalin'' were soon arrested and put on transport towards the Gulag. When the Germans invaded the western Soviet republics, the Kremlin left the camps to deal for themselves. Food and medicines were not longer send. This resulted in the death of almost 500.000 prisoners between 1941 and 1943. Only when the war turned towards a Soviet victory, did the government looked at the camps. Most Gulag camps were forced to survive by themselves for almost two years, win-out government support!

When the Germans invaded, not all camps could be evacuated in time. In panic the NKVD gaurds started to execute prisoners. In the first weeks after June 1941, it is said that over 100.000 prisoners were killed by panicking NKVD guards. But they failed to kill all prisoners and some camps were ''liberated'' by the German Army. Had the German not been racist, they could have used the prisoners against the Red Army. Many hated Stalin and the communist ideology. But Adolf Hilter failed to see this, his own racism prevented him from seeing the opportunity to recruit many Russians prisoners to his side!

After the war more then 2,5 million people were now living in the Gulag camps. They NKVD had build almost 476 camps and more then 2.000 colonies with slave workers. The death-toll was catastrophic. Between 14 and 20 million Soviet workers died because of Stalinist barbarism between 1930 and 1953. Few members of the original Left Opposition survived the end of the Gulag camps around 1960. By order of Nikita Khrushchev the Gulag camps were closed, but many prisoners were forced to say because they had no to place to live. The last forced labour camp was closed in the 1980's, this camps was called Perm 36. Today it is a memorial site for the victims of Joseph Stalin and his criminal empire that killed Lenin's dream of a union of socialist soviet republics!

Forced labour remains a part of the Russian Federation. Capitalist enterprises benefit from slave workers because they are very cheap. Some members of the feminist group; Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years of forced labour, because they entered a Russian Orthodox Church and denounced the regime of Vladimir Putin. We revolutionary socialists oppose forced labour and call for an end to the current labour camps in Russia!

A map of all prison camps in the former USSR
Not all camps were operational between 1930-1960

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95. He outlived WW1, WW2, the Cold War and the Apartheid regime in South Africa. A hero for many South Africans, a fighter for a none-racist world and feared by the ruling class of the former Apartheid regime. Although called a ''communist'' he never created socialism. Instead, his government adopted capitalist economic policies designed to promote foreign investment, adhering to the "Washington consensus" advocated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This is why the capitalist media remains positive about him. Had he remained a genuine socialist, then the capitalists of the world would not have liked him! 

Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo. He was five months old when World War One ended in November 1918. The young Mandela was the first child of his family that ever went to school, there he got his British name; Nelson, as a child he did not understand why he was giving this name. In 1937 he went to the Methodist college, were its headmaster was a white supremacist. There he found out how the white ruling class looked down on the black working class. Like the Nazi´s in Germany, the British were racists and believed in the superiority of the white European race. This racism would not die after WW2 as it did in Europe. In South Africa racism was called Apartheid, a Dutch world which can be translated as separation!

At age 26, Nelson Mandela joined the banned African National Congress. Studying at the University of the Witwatersrand to become a lawyer, he made friends with liberals and communists who opposed the racist laws of South Africa at that time. Mandela became involved in the ANC Youth League and opposed working together with the communists of the South African Communist Party. He believed that the ideals of communism were un-African and not suitable for South Africa. In 1947, Mandela was elected to the executive committee of the Transvaal ANC, serving under regional president C.S. Ramohanoe. When Ramohanoe acted against the wishes of the Transvaal Executive Committee by co-operating with Indians and communists, Mandela was one of those who forced his resignation!

The parliamentary election in South Africa on 26 May 1948 represented a turning point in the country's history. The United Party, which had led the government since its foundation in 1933, and its leader, incumbent Prime Minister Jan Smuts, were ousted by the Reunited National Party, led by Daniel Francois Malan, a Dutch Reformed cleric. From that date on the National Party would rule South Africa, they made things easy because they banned the ANC and the South African Communist Party. During elections only whites were allowed to vote, blacks had no voting rights. The National Party was a racist party that promoted Apartheid, the separation between whites and blacks!

In 1952, Mandela spoke out against Apartheid at a mass rally of 10.000 people. He was arrested by the racist police, but his speech made sure that the ANC grew from 20.000 to 100.000 members. The Apartheid regime panicked and ordered mass arrests of ANC supporters. Thousands of blacks were lifted out of their beds and arrested for supporting a banned political party. A year later the Public Safety Act was enacted by the South African Apartheid government. This Act empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law!

With the involvement of the South African Indian Congress, the Coloured People's Congress, the South African Congress of Trade Unions and the Congress of Democrats, the ANC planned a Congress of the People, calling on all South Africans to send in proposals for a post-apartheid era. In this document a new South Africa would be none-racist, democratic socialist with the means of productions nationalized. More then 3000 people attended the Congress of the People. Yet the racist police raided the meeting and arrested its members. Again a peaceful gartering was disrupted by the criminal Apartheid regime!

On 5 December 1956 ( 56 years before his death ) Mandela was arrested by the racist police. They accused him of ''high treason'' against the state. The trial would last almost six years and was a huge defeat for Apartheid when Nelson Mandela was found not guilty. But the racists would soon find another reason to arrest the ANC icon. In August 1962, Mandela was arrested and charged with inciting workers' strikes and leaving the country without permission. The racist police soon arrested the other ANC leaders which lead to the Rivonia Trial!

During this famous trial, members of the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party put on trial for ''221 acts of sabotage, public violence, and bombings''. Two were acquired, but Nelson Mandela was sentenced to lifetime in prison. While been trialed, Mandela spoke his famous speech that would make him a hero among the black working class of South Africa. He said: ''During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die!''

The western imperialist world was happy with the arrest of the ANC and SCAP leadership. Nations like the USA and United Kingdom supported the Apartheid regime, because it was very anticommunist. Western imperialism also declared the ANC to be terrorist. This was a result of the armed struggle led by the ''Spear of the Nation'' or Umkhonto we Sizwe ( MK ). The armed wing of the ANC was founded in 1961 when it became clear that the racist regime would never allow a peaceful ending of Apartheid. On 16 December 1961, the MK launched its first attack on government buildings. Both South Africa and the United States of America then declared the ANC and the MK to be a ''terrorist'' organisation! 

In its manifesto the Umkhonto we Sizwe said: 

"Our men are armed and trained freedom fighters not terrorists.
We are fighting for democracy—majority rule—the right of the Africans to rule Africa.
We are fighting for a South Africa in which there will be peace and harmony and equal rights for all people.
We are not racialists, as the white oppressors are. The African National Congress has a message of freedom for all who live in our country."

Off course the racist government and their anticommunist allies saw them as terrorist and not freedom fighters. Mainly because the MK used bomb attacks on civilians targets. Also there was widespread torture among captives in ANC detention-camps. Like the Viet-Cong the MK used terrorist methods in order to put fear into the minds of the white ruling class. We revolutionary socialists think this was a bad idea, because it alienated the white working class from the black workers who supported the ANC. Why would a white South African support the ANC if their armed wing was attacking white people?

Nelson Mandela spend 18 years in the Robben Island jail. There he was forced to work each day. Working in the heat of the sun, he was not allowed to wear sunglasses, this caused the glare from the lime permanently damaged his eyesight. In his small cell he was physically harassed by several white prison wardens, who loved to bully and intimidate the ANC leader. Unlike Felix Dzerzhinsky, Nelson Mandela never developed a deep hatred for his opponents. Although harassed and bullied Mandela did not brake!

Living conditions improved after 1967 with black prisoners given trousers rather than shorts, games being permitted and food quality improving. In 1969 an escape plan for Mandela was developed, but this was abandon after the South African secret police had infiltrated the group who hoped that Mandela would be shot. A year later a new prison director started to increase the physical and mental abuse of prisoners. Only after many complains by Nelson Mandela did the prison replaced that sadistic director!

In the 70's he wrote his autobiography which was smuggled out of prison. After the guards discovered some pages he was banned from witting for almost four years. Mandela also supported the 1976, Soweto Uprising. Students from numerous Sowetan schools began to protest in the streets of Soweto in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools. An estimated 20,000 students took part in the protests. The racist police attacked the students and killed at least 175 of them. Many of the radical student  leaders were jailed on Robben Island, were they met Nelson Mandela. He supported their radical activism, although he was critical about their hatred of white people in general!

Fearful of the Mandela's influence on the younger South Africans, the Apartheid government moved him and the other ANC prisoners, to Pollsmoor Prison. Mandela and his comrades were kept there for six years from 1982 till 1988. Living conditions were better then on Robben Island, but Mandela missed the camaraderie and scenery of the island. Unlike his previous prison directors who hated Mandela, the director of Pollsmoor Prison was more sympathetic. He allowed Mandela a rooftop garden and he was also allowed reading voraciously and corresponding widely, now permitted 52 letters a year!

During the last 10 years of Apartheid, the slogan ''FREE MANDELA'' became the battle-cry of many anti-racists. By now many people started to oppose the South African government, but thanks to the USA and the United Kingdom, the Apartheid regime was kept into power. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher both called the ANC a ''terrorist'' organisation. Both leaders wanted to keep Apartheid because of its anticommunism. So the National Party remained in power thanks to the USA and the UK. Yet South African capitalism was facing an international boycott as foreign banks refused to invest in the nation. Now that the white ruling class was feeling the pressure they ask the National Party to think about releasing Mandela. But Apartheid president Pieter Willem Botha refused to free the ANC leader. He was a ''dangerous Marxist'' the Apartheid president told his capitalists!

In 1985, the government offered Nelson Mandela a deal. He could be freed if he ended the armed struggle against Apartheid. Mandela refused and said;  "What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.". Since he refused to end the struggle, the ANC remained banned and Mandela stayed in jail. But the white ruling class could not longer keep up with the criticism and the boycott of many South African enterprises. After another five years it became clear that South Africa needed to change!

After the opening of the Berlin Wall, some inside the white ruling class now called for the release of the ANC leader. Still many members of the National Party opposed anything that would free Nelson Mandela. But their racist way of thinking was no longer supported by the capitalists. With the collapse of stalinism in the world, the US government had no reasons to support Apartheid any-more!

On 11 February 1990, the world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally freed after 27 years in prison. He spoke of national reconciliation with the white minority, but made it clear that the ANC's armed struggle was not over as long as the racist government remained in power. The next day Mandela spoke to 100.000 people at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium. Soon both the ANC and the SACP were legalized. Some inside the white ruling class now feared a civil war and a socialist revolution as the Freedom Charter of the ANC spoke of a nationalized economy!

Nelson Mandela faced a new personal drama when he separated from his wife Winnie Mandela. Both were married since 1958, but their relation after his release grew cold. Winnie Mandela had done things that were unacceptable for the ANC. She took part in the capture, torture and murder of 14 year old; James Seipei also known as Stompie Moeketsi. He and three other ANC boys were kidnapped by Winnie Mandela's bodyguards called the Mandela United football club in 1989. The four boys were accused of being spies for the Apartheid government. James Seipei was tortured and then killed on the orders of Winnie Mandela. His murder would become a cause célèbre for the apartheid government and opponents of the ANC and Winnie Mandela's iconic status was dealt a heavy blow!

She was also found out to be unfaithful to Nelson Mandela. The fact that she betrayed him, took part in the murder of a 14 year old boy and used violet rhetoric against ANC opponents, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela separated in 1994. Although this was not made official until 1996. On 24 April 2003, Winnie Mandela was found guilty on 43 counts of fraud and 25 of theft. She was sentenced to five years in prison, this later reduced to three years. Winnie Madela resigned from all of her ANC duties after this! 

On 7 September 1992, the ANC faced another mass murder. This time their supporters were killed by black supporters of Apartheid. Oupa Gqozo was the military dictator of the Republic of Ciskei a black homeland. During Apartheid the black people were giving land to live in. These black states were govern by people who supported the racist politics of the National Party. Oupa Gqozo was one of them, he became military leader of the Ciskei Defence Force. When 80.000 ANC supporters marched to Ciskei, Gqozo ordered his soldiers to open fire. 28 ANC members were killed in the shooting!

Mandela also face opposition from radical white separatists. Led by Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement ( AWB ) attacked ANC members with violence and terror. Terre'Blanche was a true believer in Apartheid and did not believe in peaceful coexistence with the black majority. On 25 June 1993, the AWB attacked the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park. The WTC was the centre of the venue for multi-party negotiations to end the apartheid system through the country's first multi-racial elections. The AWB opposed multi-racial elections and stormed the building with 300 of their members. South African police forces could do nothing when Terre'Blanche drove his armoured car through the building. Some officers tried to stop the racists but they were soon outnumbered. Terre'Blanche and his AWB took the building, they painted racist slogans on the walls, urinated over furniture and harassed delegates. Damage was estimated at more than 67.000 US dollars!

Nelson Mandela began meeting with big business figures and played down his support for nationalisation, fearing that he would scare away foreign investment. Although criticised by socialist ANC members, he was encouraged to embrace private enterprise by members of the Chinese and Vietnamese communist parties at the January 1992 World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The South African Communist Party too supported capitalist economic politics, so the ANC leader abandoned the socialist agenda of the Freedom Charter and embraced the neoliberal model set out by the Washington Consensus! 

With the ANC now moderate and more social democratic in outlook then genuine socialist. The white ruling class was ready to allow free elections for all people of South Africa. On 26 April 1994, the first multi-racial elections were held. The African National Congress won 62,65% of the votes. Although the National Party feared a socialist takeover, the white ruling class knew this would not happen. The ANC promised to keep capitalism intact, this was also supported by the communist party. In order to appeal to white voters, the National Party was asked to join the ANC in a coalition government! 

The presidency went to Nelson Mandela who became the first black president of the country. As a sign that this was a new South Africa, the flag was changed. Until 1994 the banner of South Africa was a tricolour, made up of orange, white and blue. These Dutch colours were taken from the flag of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, the Dutch republic that existed from 1581 till 1795. South Africa's Apartheid flag was however an insult to the black majority who lived under Apartheid for 70 years. the new flag has a horizontal bands of red ( on the top ) and blue ( on the bottom ), of equal width, separated by a central green band which splits into a horizontal "Y" shape, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side ( and follow the flag's diagonals )!

Many black workers had very high hopes when Nelson Mandela became president. But by 1999 it became clear that the ANC was just another capitalist party. Although social spending increased the problems rose faster then the government could handle them. Crime rose very high as the police forces were now limited by democratic reforms. The new freedoms that came after 1994, unfortunate led to a rise in crime. 

White supremacists abuse this fact by claiming that the ANC government does nothing to protect the white against what they called ''black terrorism''. Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche and his AWB claimed that the black majority government would still hate whites and look the other way when blacks committed crimes against whites. Terre'Blanche himself would become a victim of violence. He was murdered on 3 April 2010 on his farm by two black workers, allegedly over a wage dispute. The AWB used his murder as proof that black people love to kill white people! 

In 1995 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up to investigate crimes committed by both the ANC and the Apartheid regime. For the first time people were told of the injustice that was Apartheid. But the ANC was forced to accept that they too were guilty of crimes against humanity. Some whites claim that the ANC has not denounced its crimes and still glorifies those who murdered innocent farmers and their families. 

By May 1996 a new constitution was created. The National Party opposed this and left the government coalition. This would mean the end of the party that endorsed Apartheid. The National Party renamed itself New National Party in 1997 in order to distance itself from its racist past. But this failed and in 2005 the NNP was dissolved. The party of the racists, anticommunists and right-wing conservatives was gone. Opposition to the ANC was now led by the Democratic Party who became the Democratic Alliance in 2000. The DA is broadly centrist, though it has been attributed both centre-left and centre-right policies!

Nelson Mandela left the office of president in 1999, he was 81 years old. Mandela also stepped down as chairman of the African National Congress. The party elected Thabo Mbeki as its new leader. Mbeki would start with neoliberalism as the markets demanded. Instead of helping black workers the ANC helped black capitalists, who were seen as the ''creators of wealth''. Although Mandela kept South Africa capitalist, it was Mbeki who began with the neoliberal reforms. Because of this the black working class remained poor!

In February 2007, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation was contracted by the South African government to carry out a study on the nature of crime in South Africa. The study concluded that the country is exposed to high levels of violence as a result of different factors, including:

- The normalisation of violence. Violence comes to be seen as a necessary and justified means of resolving conflict, and males believe that coercive sexual behaviour against women is legitimate.

- The reliance on a criminal justice system that is mired in many issues, including inefficiency and corruption.

- A subculture of violence and criminality, ranging from individual criminals who rape or rob to informal groups or more formalised gangs. Those involved in the subculture are engaged in criminal careers and commonly use firearms, with the exception of Cape Town where knife violence is more prevalent. Credibility within this subculture is related to the readiness to resort to extreme violence

- The vulnerability of young people linked to inadequate child rearing and poor youth socialisation. As a result of poverty, unstable living arrangements and being brought up with inconsistent and uncaring parenting, some South African children are exposed to risk factors which enhance the chances that they will become involved in criminality and violence.

- The high levels of inequality, poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and marginalisation.

It became clear that poverty was the main reason for the rise in crime. But the ANC did nothing to end it. Mbeki remained committed to capitalist ideals and the old Nelson Mandela did not criticize the politics of the government. Both the Congress of South African Trade Unions ( COSATO ) and the South African Communist Party ( SACP ) remained loyal to the ANC government, totally abandoning the working class!

Although the western media was positive about Mandela's government, they did not liked his friendships with Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi. Both Castro and Gaddafi supported the ANC against Apartheid and Mandela kept friendly relations with both Cuba and the former Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Western nations criticized the former ANC leader, they played the role of hypocrites. They were the ones who kept Apartheid in power almost 40 years after the experience with Nazi racism! 

After 2004 the now 86 year old Nelson Mandela choose to limit his public appearances. He celebrated his 90 birth day in 2008, but by then he rarely appeared in public. Still he remained loyal to the ANC even after the disastrous era of Mbeki, who was replaced by Jacob Zuma in the same year. After the year 2010 his health started to decline each year. In September 2013 he entered the hospital and few believed he could come out alive. But he did and lived for another two months. Nelson Mandela died after a lung infection on 5 December 2013 around 20:50 hours!

Mandela was an icon, the Lenin of South Africa. But when he finally got the power he fought for, he betrayed his Freedom Charter and Marxist socialism. Nelson Mandela choose capitalism, because he wanted ''foreign investment'' in his nation. The collapse of stalinism and the advice to follow capitalism from both the Chinese and Vietnamese communist parties, must have turned him into the camp of capitalism. This was his biggest betrayal and something the media of the western world and that of South Africa will not tell you. Because it is a historic fact that the economic ideals of the Freedom Charter were ignored, by Nelson Mandela and his ANC!  

Socialism was never established in South Africa 
Because of ANC and SACP betrayal! 

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism