A Love Letter To The Many - Arguments For Transformative Left Politics In South Africa (Paperback)


With its impressive tradition of left politics, South Africa was the hope of the world. At the heart of post-apartheid politics was a revolutionary nationalist ANC, the oldest Communist Party in Africa, the SACP, and one of the most militant labour union federations in the world, COSATU. Yet South Africa’s democracy-making project has gone horribly wrong.

This has been happening over three decades through deep globalisation and inordinate power given to business to prevail over everything. A criminalised market democracy, predicated on an unviable society of deepening inequality, climate disasters and eroding state capacity, is now moving further to the extreme right. These conjuncturally situated writings highlight the pushback against the neoliberal turn, Zumafication, emergent neofascism, the fraud of the National Democratic Revolution and the normalisation of the dangerous climate contradiction. This collection contributes to explaining the degeneration of national liberation politics and the polycrisis of post-apartheid democracy.

Globally and within South Africa, old left politics (revolutionary nationalist, Marxist-Leninist, Trotskyist and social democratic) has failed. The world historical defeats of Soviet socialism, social democracy and revolutionary nationalism also became South African leftism defeats. These writings, grounded in a consistent transformative intellectual praxis and against the grain of defeat, affirm the necessity of left renewal. Its praxis-centred arguments document 27 years of working with grassroots forces and the global left to reconstruct the left imaginary beyond the traditional left binary of reform versus revolution.

The experimental epistemology at work in these writings provides critical decolonial resources for a new transformative leftism politics, informed by an ethics of care, while pointing to new horizons for further elaboration.


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With its impressive tradition of left politics, South Africa was the hope of the world. At the heart of post-apartheid politics was a revolutionary nationalist ANC, the oldest Communist Party in Africa, the SACP, and one of the most militant labour union federations in the world, COSATU. Yet South Africa’s democracy-making project has gone horribly wrong.

This has been happening over three decades through deep globalisation and inordinate power given to business to prevail over everything. A criminalised market democracy, predicated on an unviable society of deepening inequality, climate disasters and eroding state capacity, is now moving further to the extreme right. These conjuncturally situated writings highlight the pushback against the neoliberal turn, Zumafication, emergent neofascism, the fraud of the National Democratic Revolution and the normalisation of the dangerous climate contradiction. This collection contributes to explaining the degeneration of national liberation politics and the polycrisis of post-apartheid democracy.

Globally and within South Africa, old left politics (revolutionary nationalist, Marxist-Leninist, Trotskyist and social democratic) has failed. The world historical defeats of Soviet socialism, social democracy and revolutionary nationalism also became South African leftism defeats. These writings, grounded in a consistent transformative intellectual praxis and against the grain of defeat, affirm the necessity of left renewal. Its praxis-centred arguments document 27 years of working with grassroots forces and the global left to reconstruct the left imaginary beyond the traditional left binary of reform versus revolution.

The experimental epistemology at work in these writings provides critical decolonial resources for a new transformative leftism politics, informed by an ethics of care, while pointing to new horizons for further elaboration.

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