27 August 2014

ANC Strategy and Tactics, 2012 Preface

National Democratic Revolution, Part 10a

ANC Strategy and Tactics, 2012 Preface

This is the last item of the CU series on the National Democratic Revolution. It is the second in this final part, where the main document is SARS Chapters 4 and 5. The attached booklet-printable document, also linked below, is the Preface to the ANC Strategy and Tactics document. The new Preface was passed by the 53rd ANC National Conference at Mangaung, while the main document remains as it was passed at the previous, 2012 Polokwane Conference.

Static or revolutionary?

The ANC Strategy and Tactics has been amended several times since the original was adopted in Morogoro in 1969.

The ANC 52nd National Conference at Polokwane in 2007 was considered a victory for the popular forces within the ANC. But the “S&T” document launched at that Conference was arguably a revision of the previously much clearer understanding of class and colour in South Africa. It is somewhat ambiguous, or indeterminate, about the role of the various “motive forces”, which are what the communists would normally refer to as classes.

The current, Polokwane version of the S&T is characterised by a static and non-revolutionary conception of “National Democratic Society”. The theoreticians of the ANC felt compelled to propose an end-point to the process that is the NDR. The “National Democratic Society” or NDS is described as an ideal society, but it is not called socialist.

The new Preface elevates the NDS to headline status (“Decisive and sustained action to build a National Development Society”). The Preface also deals, among others, with Organisational Renewal and with the Second Phase of the Transition, as conceived of by the ANC.

The SACP continues to describe the NDR as the shortest road to socialism, but the ANC does not.

Yet the ANC remains exactly what it was intended to be, which is a liberation movement, and as such, a vehicle for class alliance within the National Democratic Revolution. It conforms perfectly to the vision that Lenin articulated in 1920, as seen in Part 2 of this course.

The ANC is a historic movement of intelligent, energetic people. It has its own view of what it is and what its goals are, which may be at variance with reality as seen by, for example, the communists. It could hardly be otherwise. Everyone should respect the sincere critique that is the S&T, and hope to learn from it.

Nevertheless, the NDR has to be more than a set of tick-boxes (united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous). It has to be alive, and be capable of more than the achievement of pre-conceived outcomes. That is what development means. We have not yet arrived at a closure of the NDR. The struggle continues.Hi

N.B., in the glossary at the bottom of the Strategy and Tactics document, a definition is given that recognises people’s power as the aim of the NDR. It says:

National Democratic Revolution: A process of struggle that seeks to transfer power to the people and transform society into a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic one, and changes the manner in which wealth is shared, in order to benefit all the people. 

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Preface to Strategy and Tactics, ANC, 2012.


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