Saturday, 18 August 2012

Whose Liberation? A Partly-Forgotten Left Critique of ANC Strategy and Its Contemporary Implications

By Steven Friedman, 2012

At the beginning of the 1980s, a group of left intellectuals and activists sought to press the then-exiled African National Congress (ANC) to adopt a change of strategy which would have given priority to the organized collective action of workers and the poor: they were expelled and their proposed remedies ignored. But, while it had little impact on political practice at the time, the implied debate between the dissidents and the ANC raised issues crucial to understanding the challenges which face South African democracy today. Although the dissidents’ approach was based on a flawed analysis of the processes which produce social change, it did highlight an aspect of anti-apartheid resistance strategy which has made achieving a more egalitarian and democratic South African more difficult.

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