Again and again, the African workers, youth and oppressed have demonstrated the utmost of heroism in their struggle against exploitation and oppression. But they suffer – like their brothers and sisters on all other continents – from the terrible crisis of leadership.
Just look what has become of those who took power in order to liberate our countries! They have become dictators grabbing wealth and privileges for themselves and their clan! They have become lackeys of old and/or new imperialist powers like the US, EU or China! This is the real nature of the ANC leadership in South Africa, of Mugabe in Zimbabwe, of Kabila in DRC, of Gaddafi in Libya, etc.
The so-called "Marxists" like the South African Communist Party are a similar example of a leadership which has betrayed the working class and acts as an administrator for the capitalist class, with ministers sitting inside government since 1994, and as servants of Chinese imperialism. We will never forget when this government attacked the heroic miners of Marikana in August 2012 and encouraged the police to smash this workers’ uprising!
Compared with these old traitors, new forces like Julius Malemas' Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in South Africa look like fresh and healthy alternatives. True, the EFF rallies thousands of dedicated fighters for a just cause who can, in fact, play an important role in the liberation struggle. But, unfortunately, the EFF leadership is following a petty-bourgeois populist program which is orientated to becoming part of the capitalist parliamentary game. In order to get posts, the EFF leaders, who are fighting white monopoly capital in words, are actually collaborating with the Democratic Alliance, i.e., the traditional party of white monopoly capital! Similarly, while the EFF's program talks about socialism, it calls for support for black business, which is an enemy of black labour!
Among the worst examples of misleadership are Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIL/Daesh in general. While pretending to be radical opponents of the ruling class, they in fact direct their struggle not against the oppressors but against innocent civilians. They are a cancer which must be eliminated by all authentic liberation forces.
This does not mean that we advocate sectarian abstinence from popular struggles which take place under wrong leaderships. This would be doctrinaire nonsense. The RCIT calls for a united front of struggle composed of all mass organizations of the workers and oppressed. However, revolutionaries will reserve the right to criticise the petty-bourgeois misleadership when they fail in the struggle.
For the same reason it is necessary to work within the mass organizations even if they are led by bureaucratic leaderships instead of creating new trade unions or peasant organizations which, however, remain isolated from the masses. Revolutionaries should work inside such organizations but build their own fractions. They support efforts to build rank and file opposition movements inside trade unions and similar organizations in order to challenge and finally replace the corrupt and privileged bureaucracy at the top.
However, the most important task of Marxists is the creation of revolutionary parties throughout all African countries as part of the struggle to build a revolutionary world party. Such a party should be based on a revolutionary program in the tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. Likewise it will build upon and be inspired by the spirit of self-sacrifice and dedication of the heroes of the struggle for Africa's freedom like Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, and Thomas Sankara! It will have the task of organizing the working class for the struggle for power, i.e., to overthrow the bourgeoisie and to build a workers’ and peasant republic.
There is no national road to the building of a world party, only an internationalist one. Hence, a true revolutionary party, as well as pre-party organization, must from the beginning exist as an international formation. Without an international organization, national centeredness and finally nationalist deviations are unavoidable.
In most African countries, there is not only no revolutionary workers’ party but not even a reformist, i.e., a bourgeois, workers’ party. In those cases where such a party does exist (e.g., the South African CP) it has become so degenerated that it repels the workers’ vanguard, as we witnessed in the post-Marikana period. In such situations – when the working class has no independent party, but at the same time does not yet understand the necessity of creating a revolutionary party – revolutionaries call for the formation of a new Workers’ Party (or “Labour Party”), founded by the workers’ vanguard and mass organizations. This party should advocate an action program outlining the road to the working class’s taking power into its own hands as well as inner-party democracy to avoid bureaucratic degeneration. Otherwise there is a real danger that such a party will degenerate into a reformist force (as was the fate of the Zimbabwean MDC in the early 2000s, for example).
The RCIT is fully aware that the creation of revolutionary parties – nationally and internationally – is not a simple task, given the weakness of revolutionaries in numbers and their insufficient roots in the working class. But great accomplishments in the history of humanity are never gifts from heaven, but rather are achieved by hard and systematic work. Forming an organized international unit of determined revolutionary workers and oppressed, based on a common program and a joint understanding of their practical and organizational methods, is the most important prerequisite to the building of such a new, revolutionary International. It will be instrumental in the winning over of additional, broader sectors of the workers’ vanguard at a later stage. This is the project that the RCIT is dedicated to. We call African revolutionaries to join us in advancing this struggle!
We want to unite with all who can identify with the program presented here and who are willing to seriously dedicate their lives to the liberation struggle of the working class and oppressed. We have no time to loose. We have everything to win. Our struggle against the ruling class will neither be easy nor short-term. It will take years and it will demand great sacrifices from us all. But can there be a higher purpose for one’s life than dedicating it to the struggle for universal emancipation; to save the future of humanity?!
We call African revolutionaries to unite around this Manifesto and its five pillars:
* Foreign Exploiters – Out of Africa! Expel All Great Powers (US, China, EU, etc.) from Africa!
* The Wealth to Those Who Create It! Economic Freedom Now! Nationalization of All Big Corporations and Banks under Control of the Workers! Nationalization of Large Estates so that the Poor Peasants Can Decide How Best to Use These Lands! Down with all forms of pollution of the environment and the people by imperialist corporations! Protect the health and the future of the people!
* Down with the Capitalist Dictatorships and Corrupt Pseudo-Democracies! For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!
* For a Government of the Workers and Poor Peasants! For a Socialist Revolution!
* For Pan-African Unity! For the United Socialist States of Africa!
No future without socialism! No socialism without a revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
Long Live the Revolution! Aluta Continua!
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We encourage organizations and activists who share the general outlook of this Manifesto to contact us so that we can discuss joint work for the liberation of the workers and oppressed: firstname.lastname@example.org
The RCIT is an international revolutionary organization which unites sections and activists in 14 countries on the basis of a joint program and the organizational principles of democratic centralism (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Tunisia, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Britain, Germany, and Austria).
For a more extensive overview of RCIT viewpoints, we refer those who are interested to our website www.thecommunists.net. We want to draw particular attention to our programmatic documents:
RCIT: Theses on Capitalism and Class Struggle in Black Africa, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/africa-theses/
RCIT: Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation. The Tasks of the Liberation Struggle against Decaying Capitalism (adopted by the 1st Congress of the RCIT in October 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/)
RCIT: The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto, April 2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/