Amandla! a plural platform of a thinking left

by Aug 1, 2011All Articles


Welcome to the first ever edition of Amandla! The Amandla! collective puts forward this magazine as a forum for critical reflection and debate, for solidarity and collectively building strategies for the fight at hand and the road ahead. We hope it will be built and owned by a wide range of individuals
and movements.

The idea of Amandla! as a non-sectarian space for the broad left is shaped by the current political situation in our country and the world. As the left we are not strong, or on the ascendancy but neither are we dead, nor are we without ideas,
perspectives and strategies. Most importantly, class struggle is intensifying.
As the first edition went to press, we saw public sector workers launching the largest public sector strike ever in our history. Private sector workers too
are mobilising given protracted wage negotiations in many sectors. Almost every province is affected by regular service delivery protests. Class contradictions
are sharpening in the ANC-SACP-COSATU alliance. We see new struggles too: resistance to displacement of people by mining conglomerates in Limpopo and exposure of pollution by Durbanbased petrol refineries.

These struggles and the unmet aspirations of workers and other dispossessed classes cry out for greater levels of organisation, co-ordination and direction.

How do we do this? This is one question. There are many associated questions and issues: How do we understand the capitalist restructuring we have experienced? What consequences does it have for organising and working class communities? How
has the state accommodate or constrained the reorganisation of capitalism in SA?

The end of apartheid saw profound changes within a capitalist dominated international context which continues to shape economic, social and political
change in our country and region.

We aim to build on the inspiring tradition set by New Age, Work in Progress, Frank Talk, New Era, and others that have gone before. We wish to contribute to the rebuilding of progressive and alternative media networks working with the
SA Labour Bulletin, the Shopsteward, the Debate journal and listserve, Agenda, New Agenda, the Khanya journal, the AIDCís Alternatives, the SACPís

Umsebenzi, the Centre for Civil Society publications and listserves, and many still to come.

In this first edition we start a critical discussion on left strategy by reviewing perspectives in relation to the SACP Congress. Future editions will focus on other components of the left. We invite our readers to respond to the issues raised, not just in the form of letters but contributions that will be
posted on our website. This issue of Amandla! reviews ANC perspectives ahead of its National Conference in December and by examining recent policy documents and profiling the views of Joel Netshitenzhe our readers may be better placed to asses where the ANC is headed in the coming period.

Amandla! will focus on building a plural project for left renewal and defining the contours, frontiers and coordinates for a post-national liberation politics.
We will especially engage with, deconstruct and go beyond the ideological forms of the South African left including green politics. ìI am too red to be greenî ñ this is what Alec Erwin, the Minister of Public Enterprises, is reported to have given as a reply to a journalist at a press conference earlier this year. This ill-informed attitude about the ecological question is widespread.

ìClimate changeî and ìcarbon footprintsî have become big buzzwords in executive boardrooms and leading capitalist governments. Major seminars are convened to work out the ìbusiness caseî for capitalist enterprises to mitigate the effects of climate change. Can capital extricate its appetite for fossil fuels and poisonous carbon emissions? Our feature on climate change explores these and
other questions and has hopefully opened space to integrate the ecological question into Left thinking. We will sustain this focus in our later editions so
that even Erwin will be forced to acknowledge: we cannot be too red not to be green! As section 24 of the countryís constitution suggests, the ecological
crisis arising out of capitalism threatens not only future generations but the task of rolling back the poverty and under-development crisis we face in
the here and now!

These and many other pages focusing on culture, social security, book reviews will entice our readers to become correspondents in this exciting new space.
Amandla to rigorous dialogues and debates on these pages!

Amandla to rigorous dialogues and debates on these pages!

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