Party of reform or Revolution?     

Our principle is revolution not parliamentary elections                                       21.3.2013 www.workersinternational.org.za

The draft principles of the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) are based only on parliamentary elections. Our principle should be to do everything possible to advance the Socialist revolution. To us elections are a tactic, not a principle. The 1st WASP principle is rejection of corrupt politicians and parties; in other words, it implies if politicians are honest then this parliament will lead us to workers’ demands. This is not true. No capitalist parliament has ever brought about Socialism. Our fight is to oppose and expose this capitalist parliament.

We need a workers’ government based on grassroots workers’ committees

The Marikana uprising with the mass strikes, occupations and setting up of independent workers’ committees that united workers irrespective of union and political affiliation, shows the type of independent organization needed to lead the working class to take power and is indeed the embryo of how a workers’ government would look like, uniting delegates from mines and workplaces with delegates from the working class communities. The Marikana uprising shows the masses are turning away from parliament, not turning towards it. Marikana shows the need for disbanding the police, the need for workers’ self defence committees and the perspective of arming the masses.

Only a workers’ government can expropriate the mines, commercial farms, banks and big business

The first point of the WASP Manifesto talks about nationalisation. Let’s be frank, even the Cosatu and SACP leaders talk about this in speeches on public holidays. Who is going to nationalise? The ANC government? Only the working class, establishing its own government, through revolutionary means, will expropriate the commanding heights, without compensation to the capitalist and place these under workers’ control.  Against the current dictatorship of the capitalists we need to counter-pose the dictatorship of the working class through its own organs of self-rule, which will suppress the imperialist counter-revolution.

We need a real preparation for a General strike, not a 1-day token action

What is the objective of mobilising for a 1 day strike? What happens after this? Cosatu leaders do this all the time for workers to blow off steam and then they sit with the bosses and the government and sign away the demands of the masses. The calling of a general strike must have a definite aim, namely preparing the ground for the working class to take power into its own hands. It is not to be called at the drop of a hat but needs careful preparation and examination of the conditions and balance of forces. A Workers’ party should have as a principle, the participation in and attempt to win leadership of any, even partial struggle of the masses. It is out of this groundwork and the ongoing politicization of the masses, the building of structures of the Party, that the ground is laid for revolution.

We need real proletarian (working class) internationalism, not nationalism

Anglo American dominates the entire Southern Africa. There can be no question of fighting for the expropriation of Anglo American only in South Africa. Our struggle is immediately linked to the struggle for workers’ power and Socialism in the entire Southern Africa. At the same time our fight is inextricably linked to the working class taking power in the imperialist centres such as the USA and the UK. The SA regime sends troops to the DRC and Central African Republic, among others, to assist imperialism in exploiting and looting these countries. SA mercenaries fought in Iraq and in Libya to prop up imperialism. Anglo American sends most diamonds from SA, Namibia and Botswana to Israel. The high food prices, the high unemployment, the low wages, the privatization of electricity, health, social services, schooling, etc, are part of the global capitalist attack on the masses. We are part of the world working class battalions and we need to take our place in this global class war. We need a clearly defined revolutionary programme, then we can consider our tactic of the coming elections and how to expose it.