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The Crisis of the Left in Contemporary South Africa

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Author(s): Dale T. McKinley

Journal: Mediations
ISSN 1075-041x

Volume: 24;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 68;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The left in South Africa, fourteen years into the post-apartheid era, needs to face harsh realities: despite a long and often courageous left history, there does not exist an anti-capitalist and socialist vision that has the potential to challenge fundamentally, and to change, South African capitalism and to unite left forces. The practical result is a strategic crisis in which an unnecessary dichotomy has been erected between anti-capitalist mass struggle and action, and the need for a socialist organizational form to give politically strategic expression to such struggles. Dale McKinley argues that it is the left’s responsibility to work towards a political alternative that emanates from, and is grounded in, the ongoing and linked struggles of the mass of organized workers and poor against the impact and consequences of neoliberalism. Not to undertake this task is to condemn class struggle and left politics in South Africa to the realm of cyclical mitigation and crisis.
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