Red Flag Newspaper
International Communist Workers Party
October 28—South African students have once again shown their rebellious spirit. We call on rebellious students to join the fight for a communist world without money, where education and everything workers need will be free and accessible.
The uprising against the Government’s raising of tuition fees began at the University of Witswatersrand (“Wits”). On October 21 tens of thousands struck, occupying the administration building, marching, and blocking roads with burning tires. The cops attacked with rubber bullets and teargas. The rebels stood their ground.
The rebellion quickly spread across the country, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Tshwane University of Technology and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. Thousands —black, white and Indian united—demonstrated at the parliament in Capetown. Several hundred burst into the building, interrupting finance minister Nhanlhla Nene’s speech.
The next day a huge, militant crowd gathered in front of the seat of government in Pretoria. President Zuma then felt he had to cancel the fee increases, but not the fees.
Now many want to escalate the fight to demand abolishing fees altogether. Despite mass protests, the reformist leadership has made a deal with the government to try to end the protest.
But while free education sounds good, this is still capitalist education. It is inherently anti-working class, anti-communist, racist and elitist whether it’s sold or given away.
We Need Communist Education
Communist education will break down barriers between learning and doing. Study and work will be combined from early on. Students won’t have to wait decades before contributing to society. And workers will continue to study throughout their lives.
Communist education will also break down the barriers between mental and manual labor—between the desk and the (work) bench. Everyone will do both mental and manual work.
Finally, communist education will abolish the informal racial/ethnic apartheid found in schools throughout the world. Everyone will be encouraged to develop to their full potential serving the working class in many fields.
All this will require a revolution for communism.
The South African student rebellion is a huge movement with very modest demands. We need a mass armed uprising with huge goals: the abolition of capitalism. Such an uprising, including masses of students, will be led by the communist working class and its Party and Red Army, and have as its goal building a communist society based on collectively meeting the need of all workers.
Under communism, there will be no fee increases and no fees. Money will be abolishedimmediately. The masses mobilized for communism will guarantee not only education but basic needs like food and shelter. Everyone will contribute what labor and thinking they can to make this possible.
In South Africa today, apartheid is gone but racist capitalism is still here. As a result, money and profits rule. Everything, including education, is for sale. To try to get a decent job you have to buy an education (and there are no guarantees).
Clearly the fee increases are racist, hitting poor, mainly black students especially hard, forcing many to drop out. Hundreds of academics signed a letter supporting the anti-elitist aspect of the student protests. Earlier this year there were protests against racism in the Universities.
The students organizing these protests need to mobilize for communism. The way to end racism and elitism and guarantee that everyone’s contribution is appreciated is with a communist revolution and a communist society.
The students’ justified fear of unemployment drives the rebellion. The global crisis of overproduction is suffocating the South African economy. Whole industries (like steel) are threatened. As production shrinks, so do government revenues. Governments cut spending, imposing austerity, as Nene’s speech revealed.
In communism, the challenge will not be to make do with a scarce supply of money but to make the most of an abundant supply of labor (the whole working population).
There will be no unemployment; no one will be forced to stay idle. We can always redeploy the resources to produce something else we need.
The fear of the rebellion spreading to the working class caused the ANC government to back down. And rebellion could spread not only to the South African workers, but elsewhere too. Think of the impact of the original Soweto student rebellion of 1976, of the rebellion in France in 1968 and the student uprisings that set off the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960’s.
Students can start things; but it takes workers and soldiers to finish them. Revolution will not happen without a mass communist party—the ICWP—mobilizing communist industrial workers and soldiers to mobilize the masses for communism.
The party is just starting out in South Africa but struggles like these give us an opportunity to grow there and around the world. Join ICWP to put an end to racist capitalism and give the masses the education they deserve. Students should spread Red Flag to mobilize their fellow students for communism. They can also join the ranks of industrial workers and soldiers to hasten the end of racist capitalism and the dawn of a communist world.
Red Flag: We are building one party around the world. We hope you can join us and help build it.
HS: It would be delightful for me to be with such a party, which we have been longing for. I think each member should know about each other, so that we could feel a strong bond among us. Thus we feel as a family across the world. What’s your opinion, dear Comrade?
Needless to say, I’m very inexperienced in this particular field, so please feel free to give me your ideas. Any time, about anything. I would like get any kind of dialectical advice, which may help me be a true, concrete Communist indeed.
RF: Thanks comrade. Together we can change the world and get to know each other. When you get some time, comrade, would you be interested in translating some of our documents into Bengali?
HS: Wow what great news for me! In fact at this very early stage I have the intention of doing that. But I need to read fundamental writings based on Dialectical Materialism, not by the capitalist thinkers, but, of course, by Communists.
RF: What kind of work do you do?
HS: Here, many workers are going to the Middle East, under the GCC’s GAMCA. (Gulf
Countries’ Committee’s Approved Medical Center Association). I’m working in one of these medical centres, which is authorized by the GCC (Gulf Countries’ Committee). Everyday people wanting visas come to us for their medical checkups. Before and after the doctor’s direct part, we have to do the whole proceedings to inform them, about the papers, rules and regulations, bindings of the GCC, and about the doctors’ views about their fitness for getting a visa.
And also a crucial thing is for us to help those workers ruled “unfit” realize and improve their situation, as these extremely needy labourers have spent a lot of money. You know this is a very corrupt country we live in. Here every step to do anything with others, no matter whether it is the State or the private support centre, needs a bribe. For four years I have been dealing with these workers who are seeking a job abroad.
You can easily understand, as I myself think, as a Communist, my feelings in dealing with these situations for so long. At this stage I realize very clearly the role of capital, of the capitalists’ grandeur, how they grind us down! But the only remedy is to fight against them with our combined force. Otherwise we will be destroyed within very short time; individually we can’t do anything.
RF: Thanks so much, comrade, for explaining the situation. You are right, we can’t do anything individually. We need to organize the international working class to destroy the rule of capital and replace it with communism, a society where there are no bosses, no profit, no borders…a society where every worker contributes according to his or her ability and everybody’s need is met. I ask again if you would like to join ICWP and help us build such movement.
HS: Why not? From the core of my heart, I want to be a member of such a party in the world. What can I do to be a member of ICWP?
RF: We welcome you as a member of ICWP. You can do many things – read, write and distribute Red Flag among your friends, workers and neighbors. You can organize meetings with those who are interested in our ideas, form study groups to understand the ideas of Red Flag and ICWP. Massively distribute our literature, especially Red Flag and Mobilize the Masses for Communism and, as you have already offered, translate them into Bengali, hopefully with other comrades like you.