Mandela - The "Great Statesman"
Mandela with SACP boss, Joe Slovo
"Nelson Mandela is a symbol, an icon, one of the world's most
famous statesmen, recognised and revered by all. He dines with royalty,
associates with the world's great leaders and his opinion is sought and valued
on all weighty matters. He has achieved an almost divine status in the world,
equal to that of the Pope or the late Princess Diana."
Most people on the left of the political spectrum would agree
wholeheartedly with the above quote. But they run into an unexpected problem
when someone asks "why is he considered such a great statesman?"
The problem is that Mandela, apart from having a likeable personality,
has achieved next to nothing in his relatively short political career which saw
South Africa rapidly decline to the status of the world's most violent and
crime-ridden country, and, to add to the confusion, his greatest friends are
communists and dictators like Fidel Castro, Moammar Qaddafi, Yasser Arafat and
Saddam Hussein. His ex-wife Winnie Mandela, whom he quickly jettisoned when it
became clear she was a considerable embarassment to his political career, is a
self-confessed advocate of terrorism and violence and has even committed murder.
In his public statements and speeches Mandela is always critical of the
democratic countries of the west, but has nothing but praise for the remaining
communist dictatorships of the world. He condemns mistakes and controversial
policies of the west, but refuses to publicly condemn the genocides and brutal
repression of current or former communist countries; he is supposedly a
"champion of freedom and democracy", the "hero of oppressed people everywhere"
but considers dictatorships like Cuba and Libya shining beacons of freedom and
Perhaps this is what makes Mandela such a revered statesman -
chameleon-like he can advocate democracy and freedom as the highest ideals one
day and hold up Cuba or Libya as shining examples for the world to follow the
next day. And his admirers do not even notice the contradiction, or worse, they
agree with him...
Many of his apologists optimistically claim that Mandela may well have
had "communist leanings" in his past, but that he has since put all that behind
him and become a moderate in his political beliefs. They are perhaps unaware of
his fulsome praise of a communist dictatorship as late as 1991 when he and
Winnie went to what they called their "second home" - Cuba - to celebrate the
communist revolution with Fidel Castro. In his speech Mandela said:
"Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live
comrade Fidel Castro... Cuban internationalists have done so much for African
independence, freedom, and justice. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban
people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a
vicious imperialist campaign designed to destroy the advances of the Cuban
revolution. We too want to control our destiny... There can be no surrender.
It is a case of freedom or death. The Cuban revolution has been a source of
inspiration to all freedom-loving people."
Mandela's adulation of Castro and Cuba almost outshines that
of his own admirers. In May of 1990 Mandela, visiting America, went on record,
referring to Cuba:
There's one thing where that country
stands out head and shoulders above the rest. That is in its love for human
rights and liberty.A week later in Libya, he lauded
Committment to the fight for peace and
human rights in the world.While in America Mandela also made
public statements that amounted to support for violence and terrorism in the
furtherance of political aims. In a speech in Harlem, referring to four Puerto
Rican terrorists who shot and wounded five US Congressmen in 1954, he said:
We support the cause of anyone who is
fighting for self-determination, and our attitude is the same, no matter who
it is. I would be honored to sit on the platform with the four comrades you
refer to.Suitable "comrades" for Mandela indeed. He was
himself originally incarcerated, not for his political views, but for
involvement in 23 different acts of sabotage and conspiring to overthrow the
government. He and his fellow conspirators of the ANC and the South African
Communist Party were caught by the police while in the possession of 48,000
Soviet-made anti-personnel mines and 210,000 hand-grenades!*
It is also interesting to note that in later years Mandela was offered
his freedom by none other than the South African President Botha if he would
simply renounce the use of terrorism, but Mandela refused to do this.
Winnie Mandela has been equally fulsome in her praise of Communism and
violence. In 1986 she was reported in Moscow's communist party newspaper
Pravda as saying:
The Soviet Union is the torch-bearer for
all our hopes and aspirations. We have learned and are continuing to learn
resilience and bravery from the Soviet people, who are an example to us in our
struggle for freedom, a model of loyalty to internationalist duty. In Soviet
Russia, genuine power of the people has been transformed from dreams into
reality. The land of the Soviets is the genuine friend and ally of all peoples
fighting against the dark forces of world reaction.and again
at Munsieville, on April 13, 1986, she said:
With our boxes of matches and our
necklaces we shall liberate this country.referring here to
her own specific brand of democratic political activity whereby anyone who
opposed her would be bound hand and foot and then burned to death by means of a
tyre filled with gasoline being placed around the neck and set on fire.
Has Mandela since changed his tune in any way?
In September, 2002, Mandela gave an interview to "Newsweek" and the following
summary gives his views on the situation with regard to the Iraq crisis:
You will come to the conclusion that the
attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace…. It (war
against Iraq) is clearly a decision that is motivated by George W. Bush’s
desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of
America…When there were white (UN) secretary generals you didn’t find this
question of the United States and Britain going out of the United Nations. But
now that you’ve had black secretary generals like Boutros Boutros Ghali, like
Kofi Annan, they do not respect the United Nations. They have contempt for it…
It is the men around him (Cheney and Rumsfeld) who are dinosaurs, who do not
want him (President Bush) to belong to the modern age… The only man, the only
person who wants to help Bush move to the modern era is Gen. Colin
Powell.No-one will deny Mandela the right to hold views
opposed to a war on Iraq, but he is here revealing his own racist attitude to
world politics - only white leaders are a threat to peace, and especially so
when there are black secretary generals of the U.N. And in case we don't get the
message he singles out the black member of the US administration, Colin Powell,
as the only exception! (And, one could add, when it suits Mandela's argument,
the Egyptian Boutros Ghali, suddenly qualifies as a "black" man...) The
race card is one that is always brought out by Africans when they lack valid
arguments, and it has always been a standard ploy of Communist rhetoric. To
Mandela's way of thinking, it is capitalist greed that is preventing a one-world
U.N. Government - in February 2003 he was reported as saying:
"if there is a country that has committed
unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America...Iraq
produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of
that oil."Apart from displaying his Communist sentiments,
Mandela here also reveals his ignorance of world economics - Iraq produces only
5% of world oil exports, not 64%. He also makes no mention of the huge debts of
money that Iraq owes France, Germany and Russia, and that it is just possible
that they are opposed to the war because they would like those debts paid.
If Mandela's opposition to the United States comes as a surprise to some,
or are dismissed as an expression of particularly strong feelings about the Iraq
crisis, we should note that Mandela is nothing if not consistent. His views are
always anti-American and pro-Communist, and always have been. In his book
"The Struggle is My Life", a collection of his writings, we read in a piece
...the people of Asia and Africa have seen
through the slanderous campaign conducted by the U.S.A. against the Socialist
countries. They know that their independence is threatened not by any of the
countries in the Socialist camp but by the U.S.A., who has surrounded their
continent with military bases. The Communist bogey is an American stunt to
distract the attention of the people of Africa from the real issue facing
them, namely, American imperialism. (pp 76)
* The full list of munitions and charges read as follows:
• One count under the South African Suppression of Communism Act
No. 44 of 1950, charging that the accused committed acts calculated to further
the achievement of the objective of communism;Source: The State v. Nelson Mandela
et al, Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division, 1963-1964,
• One count of contravening
the South African Criminal Law Act (1953), which prohibits any person from
soliciting or receiving any money or articles for the purpose of achieving
organized defiance of laws and country; and
• Two counts of sabotage,
committing or aiding or procuring the commission of the following acts:
The further recruitment of persons for instruction and training, both within
and outside the Republic of South Africa, in:
(a) the preparation, manufacture and use of explosives—for the purpose
of committing acts of violence and destruction in the aforesaid Republic, (the
preparation and manufacture of explo- sives, according to evidence submitted,
included 210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time
devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminum powder and a ton
of black powder);
(b) the art of warfare, including guerrilla warfare, and military
training generally for the purpose in the aforesaid Republic;
(ii) Further acts of violence and destruction, (this includes 193
counts of terrorism committed between 1961 and 1963);
(iii) Acts of
guerrilla warfare in the aforesaid Republic;
(iv) Acts of assistance to
military units of foreign countries when involving the aforesaid
(v) Acts of participation in a violent revolution in the
aforesaid Republic, whereby the accused, injured, damaged, destroyed, rendered
useless or unserviceable, put out of action, obstructed, with or
- (a) the health or safety of the public;
- (b) the maintenance of law and order;
- (c) the supply and distribution of light, power or fuel;
- (d) postal, telephone or telegraph installations;
- (e) the free movement of traffic on land; and
- (f) the property, movable or immovable, of other persons or of the
Text of the handwritten Manuscript:
HOW TO BE A GOOD COMMUNIST
A Communist is a member of the Communist Party who understands and accepts
the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism as explained by Marx, Engels, Lenin
and Stalin , and who subjects himself to the discipline of the Party. (See notes
1, 2, 3 & 4)
The goal of Communism is a classless society based on the principle: from
each according to his ability and to each according to his needs. The aim is to
change the present world into a Communist world where there will be no
exploiters and no exploited, no oppressor and oppressed, no rich and no poor.
Communists fight for a world where there will be no unemployment, no poverty and
starvation, disease and ignorance. In such a world there will be no capitalists,
no imperialists, no fascists. There will be neither colonies nor wars.
In our own country, the struggles of the oppressed people are guided by the
South African Communist Party and inspired by its policies. The aim of the
S.A.C.P. is to defeat the Nationalist government and to free the people of South
Africa from the evils of racial discrimination and exploitation and to build a
classless or socialist society in which the land, the mines, the mills, our . .
. . . . . (unreadable)
Under a Communist Party Government South Africa will become a land of milk
and honey. Political, economic and social rights will cease to be enjoyed by
Whites only. They will be shared equally by Whites and Non-Whites. There will be
enough land and houses for all. There will be no unemployment, starvation and
Workers will earn decent wages; transport will be cheap and education free.
There will be no pass laws, no influx control, no Police raids for passes and
poll tax, and Africans, Europeans, Coloureds and Indians will live in racial
peace and perfect equality.
The victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., in the Peoples Republic of China,
in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Rumania, where the living
conditions of the people were in many respects similar and even worse than ours,
proves that we too can achieve this important goal.
Communists everywhere fight to destroy capitalist society and to replace it
with Socialism, where the masses of the common people, irrespective of race or
colour, will live in complete equality, freedom and happiness. They seek to
revolutionise society and are thus called revolutionaries. Those who support
capitalism with its class divisions and other evils and who oppose our just
struggles to end oppression are called counter revolutionaries.
Comrade Liu Hao Schi, member of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of China, says:
we Communist Party members are the most advanced revolutionaries
in modern history and are the contemporary fighting and driving force in
changing society and the world. Revolutionaries exist because
counter-revolutionaries still exist. Therefore, to conduct a ceaseless
struggle against the counter-revolutionaries constitutes an essential
condition for the existence and development of revolutionaries. If they fail
to carry on such a struggle, they cannot be called revolutionaries and still
less can they advance and develop. It is in the course of this … [that] ...
members change society, change the world and at the same time change
To succeed in conducting a ceaseless struggle against the
counter-revolutionaries, and to be able to play the vital role of being the most
advanced revolutionary and driving force in changing society and the world, one
must put all else aside and seriously and faithfully undertake self-cultivation.
THE PROCESS OF SELF-CULTIVATION
The process of self-cultivation involves two elements:
(a) One’s steeling in the practical struggle of the oppressed people,
(b) the cultivation of one’s ideas.
To become the most advanced communist revolutionary, it is not enough to
understand and accept the theory of Marxism-Leninism. In addition, one must take
part in the practical struggles of the people against oppression and
exploitation. A person who is isolated from the people’s struggles, an arm-chair
politician however deep his knowledge of Marxist theory might be, is not a
It is only in the course of such practical struggles that one’s advancement
and development is stimulated, that one acquires the necessary experience to
guide the masses of the people in their political battles and the art and skill
of being a driving force in changing society and the world. It is precisely for
this reason that SACP requires its members to participate fully and without
reservations in such issues as the Anti-Pass Campaigns, the struggle against
Bantu Authorities, against job reservation, the Group Areas Act and in all other
By consistently taking part in such struggles, Party members who may ………
whatsoever, gain valuable knowledge and get hardened for the stern mass
struggles that are part and parcel of the life of every Communist revolutionary.
(a) ONE’S STEELING IN THE PRACTICAL STRUGGLES OF THE OPPRESSED
Participation (in) practical mass struggles does (not) in itself enable a
Party member to raise his revolutionary qualities, nor does it help him to
understand the (aims) of the development of society and the laws of the
revolution. Progress in one’s revolutionary qualities and knowledge of the laws
of social development and the laws of the revolution will be achieved by a
thorough understanding of the meaning of Marxism.
It is thus absolutely imperative for all Party members to have to make a
serious study of Marxist philosophy and to master it completely. Only in this
way will Party members become the most advanced revolutionaries. Only in this
way will they advance and develop.
The aim of studying Marxist philosophy is to enable us to direct more
effectively revolutionary mass struggles. To put it in a nutshell, Marxism is a
guide to action.
Communist Party members must undertake self-cultivation whether they are new
members in the Party or old ones, whether they are workers, peasants,
businessmen, professional men or intellectuals, and whether they are conducting
difficult or easy revolutionary mass campaigns; in victory or defeat.
Finally, self-cultivation must be imaginative and practical, and must be
used to eliminate from one’s outlook and conduct unhealthy tendencies which
local conditions may give rise to.
South Africa is a country where the Whites dominate politically,
economically and socially and where Africans, Coloureds and Indians are treated
as inferiors. It is a country torn asunder by racial strife and where black and
white chauvinism finds fertile soil in which it thrives and where efforts and
appeals for working-class solidarity very often fall on deaf ears.
The pamphlet compiled by the S.A.C.P. to mark the fortieth anniversary of
the Communist Party of South Africa which preceded the S.A.C.P. and which was
declared illegal in 1950 correctly points out that, in spite of all the
formidable difficulties that face it, the C.P.S.A. had in its existence brought
about profound changes in the thinking and political outlook of the oppressed
people of South Africa. These achievements are being expanded and further
developed by the S.A.C.P.; the worthy successor of the C.P.S.A. In spite of
these advances, however, there is still the danger that the historical problems
and prejudices produced by capitalist society in our country may infiltrate into
our Party and influence the political outlook of our Party members.
In cultivating their outlook, our members must consciously strive to remove
these particular weaknesses and shortcomings as well.
This is what we mean when we say Party members must undertake
(b) THE CULTIVATION OF ONE’S IDEAS
At the beginning of these lectures, we defined a communist as a member of
the Communist Party who understands and accepts the theory and practice of
Marxism, Leninism as explained by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
Any person may become a member of the Communist Party if he accepts the
Programme and Constitution of the Party, pays Party membership fees and
undertakes tasks given to him in one of the Party’s organisations. These are
called the minimum qualifications that every Party member must possess, but
every one of our members should not be content to be a member of minimum
qualifications He must strive to become a member of maximum qualifications.
Every Party member should raise his revolutionary qualities in every respect to
the same level as those of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
Some say that it is impossible to acquire the great qualities of
revolutionary geniuses like Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and that it is
impossible to raise our own qualities to the same level as theirs. But as long
as Party members work hard and earnestly, never allow themselves to be isolated
for one single moment from the day to day struggle of the people, and make
serious efforts to study Marxist literature, learn from the experiences of other
comrades and the masses of the people, and constantly strive to steel and
cultivate themselves, they will be perfectly able to raise their qualities to
the same level as that of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
There are two ways of studying Marxism. One is to learn it by heart and be
able to repeat mechanically the information learnt without being able to use
this information for the purpose of solving problems. The second is to try to
master the essence, spirit and methods of Marxism. In this second category
belongs those comrades who read over and over again Marxist literature, who pay
special attention to the concrete conditions existing in the country where they
live and draw their own conclusions, their …… activities, their attitude towards
other comrades and the masses of the people, and the whole of their lives are
guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and aimed at one thing - national
liberation, the victory of the working class, the liberation of mankind, the
success of Communism and nothing else.
To reach this goal calls for a supreme effort and an iron will. It means
complete dedication to the struggle for the removal of oppression and
exploitation and for lifelong dedication to the study of Marxism.
2. HOW TO BECOME THE BEST PUPILS OF MARX, ENGELS, LENIN AND
Cultivation must be carried out in all aspects in the course of the long and
strenuous struggle to free the working class and the masses of the people from
capitalist exploitation. Cultivation is needed in studying Marxism and in
applying it to answer questions and to solve practical problems, in sharpening
one’s class outlook and political thinking, in shaping one’s moral character and
behaviour; in hard work and ability to withstand hardship, in preserving the
unity of the Party and conducting inner party struggle; in loyalty to the Party
and complete dedication to the cause of the Communist Revolution.
The life of a Communist revolutionary is no bed of roses. It consists of
serious studies in Marxist literature, of hard work and of constant
participation in numerous and endless mass struggles. He has no time for worldly
pleasures and his whole life is devoted to one thing, and one thing only, the
destruction of capitalist society, the removal of all forms of exploitation and
the liberation of mankind.
A Communist revolutionary always combines thought with practice. He studies
for the sole purpose of putting into practice what he has learnt. He regards
Marxism, as ….. action and takes part fully and without reservation in mass
struggles directed by the party or by other political organisation outside of
In South Africa, a Communist Party member must take part in mass struggles
initiated by the S.A.C.P., the Congress movement or by other political bodies
within the liberation movement.
3. THE ASPECTS AND METHODS OF CULTIVATION
It is commonly thought that one’s intelligence, ability and the study of
Marxist text-books are in themselves enough to enable one to master the theory
and method of Marxism-Leninism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dealing
with this point, Liu Shao Chu says: -
“Marxism-Leninism is the science of the proletarian revolution. It can be
thoroughly understood and mastered only by those who fully take the proletarian
standpoint and who adopt the ideals of the proletariat as their own. It is
impossible for anyone to thoroughly understand and master the Marxist science of
the proletariat only by means of his intellect and strenuous study if he lacks
the firm standpoint and …. ideals of the proletariat. This is also an obvious
truth. Therefore, in studying the theory and method of Marxism-Leninism today,
it is necessary that our study proceeds simultaneously with our ideological
cultivation and steeling because without the theory and method of
Marxism-Leninism, we should have nothing to guide our thoughts and actions and
our ideological cultivation would also be impossible. These two are closely
related to each other, and are inseparable.”
We do need Communist Party members who are highly intelligent and who have
ability and who make it their business to have a thorough understanding of
Marxist theory. But a working class revolution will be carried out successfully
by those Party members who, in addition to the characteristics mentioned above,
adopt without reservation, the standpoint and ideals of the working class.
Although they may be unable to recite quotations from Marxist textbooks,
experience shows that Party members of working class origin have a keener
interest and deeper understanding of Marxism-Leninism than those Party members
of student origin provided it is explained to them in words they understand. In
loyalty to the Party, in discipline and in the handling of practical problems,
they often prove more correct and more in conformity with the Principles of
Marxism-Leninism than others.
This is so because Party members of working class origin have a firm and
pure Communist standpoint and ideals, an objective attitude towards things, and
in their minds they have no preconceived ideas whatsoever, and no worries about
personal problems or about impure matters.
Party members who lack a firm working class outlook, who have the habits and
….. of other classes and who have personal interests and selfish ideas are not
true Communists. As a matter of fact they very often find that Marxist-Leninism
principles will clash with their interests, and they invariably try to distort
these principles to suit their own personal interests and prejudices.
Every Communist revolutionary must therefore, firmly adopt the standpoint
and ideology of the working class. Unless he does this, it is not possible for
him to understand the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism.
4. RELATION BETWEEN THE STUDY OF MARXIST-LENINIST THEORY AND THE
IDEOLOGICAL CULTIVATION OF PARTY MEMBERS.
On Page One of this section we found out that our aim is to change the
present world into a Communist world where there will be no exploiters and
exploited, no oppressor and oppressed, no rich and poor. We also make the point
that the victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., in China and other States in Asia
and Eastern Europe proves that a Communist world is capable of attainment.
Moreover, since the victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. in 1917, the Socialist
camp has grown to become a world force with a population of more than 1,000
million and occupying a third of the globe.
But in spite of this victorious advance, the Communist movement still faces
powerful enemies which must be crushed and wiped out from the face of the earth
before a Communist world can be realised. Without a hard and bitter and long
struggle against capitalism and exploitation, there can be no Communist world.
The cause of Communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind,
because it seeks to remove from society all forms of oppression and exploitation
to liberate mankind, and to ensure peace and prosperity to all.
A Communist revolution is different from all other revolutions in history.
Whereas in other revolutions the seizure of State Power is an end in itself, in
a Communist revolution the seizure of State Power by the working class is a
means to an end, that end being the total removal of all forms of exploitation,
the liberation of mankind by building up a classless society.
Every Communist Party member must possess the greatest courage and
revolutionary determination and must be prepared to play his part and carry out
all political tasks without fear or hesitation.
In the struggle to transform the present world into a Communist world, we
must strive consistently to combine theory with practice.
Finally, WE must live and develop in reality in fighting to change the
world, we must start from the very people in close contact with us. We must
thoroughly study our own situation and problems, understand them completely and
work out appropriate solutions.
5. THE CAUSE OF COMMUNISM IS THE GREATEST AND MOST ARDUOUS CAUSE IN
THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
A Communist Party member must subordinate his personal interests to those of
the Party. The Communist Party has no interests of its own apart from those of
the working class. Therefore, the subordination of a Party member’s personal
interests to the Party’s interests means subordination to the interests of the
We test a Communist Party member’s loyalty to the Party, to the revolution
and the Communist cause by the manner in which he absolutely and unconditionally
subordinates his interests to those of the Party under all circumstances. To
sacrifice one’s personal interests and even one’s life without hesitation for
the cause of the Party is the highest manifestation of Communist ethics.
In the Party our members should not have personal aims independent of the
Party’s interests. The desire for personal power and positions, individual
heroism, conflict with the interests of the Party and the working class.
6. THE UNCONDITIONAL SUBORDINATION OF THE PERSONAL INTERESTS OF A
PARTY MEMBER TO THE INTERESTS OF THE PARTY.
A true communist should possess the following characteristics:
(i) He must posses very good Communist ethics.
He can show love and loyalty to all his Comrades, revolutionaries and
working people, help them unconditionally, treat them with equality and never
harm any one of them.
He always tries to do more revolutionary work than others and to fight
harder. In times of adversity he will stand out courageously and unflinchingly
and, in the face of difficulties he will demonstrate the greatest sense of
responsibility. He is able to resist corruption by riches or honours, to resist
tendencies to vacillate in spite of poverty and lowly states and to refuse to
yield in spite of threats of force.
(ii) He possess(es) the greatest courage. He can see his mistakes and
shortcomings and has sufficient willpower to correct them. At all times and
under all circumstances he speaks the truth and nothing but the truth. He
courageously fights for it even when it is temporarily to his disadvantage to do
(iii) He has a thorough understanding of the theory and method of
Marxism-Leninism. He has an objective attitude.
(iv) He is the most sincere, most candid and happiest of men. Apart
from the interests of the Party and of the revolution he has no personal losses
or gains or other things to worry about. He takes care not to do wrong things
when he works independently and without supervision and when there is ample
opportunity for him to do all kinds of wrong things.
He does not fear criticism from others and he can courageously and sincerely
(v) He possesses the highest self-respect and self-esteem. For the
interest of the party and of the revolution, he can also be the most lenient,
most tolerant and most ready to compromise and he will even endure if necessary,
various forms of humiliation and injustice without feeling hurt or bearing
The Communist Party represents not only the interests of individual Party
members but also the long-range interests of the entire body of workers and the
emancipation of mankind; the Communist Party has no other interests and aims.
The Party must not be regarded as a narrow small group like a guild which seeks
only the personal interests of its members. Whoever holds such a view is not a
A member of our Party is no longer just an ordinary person. He is a
conscious vanguard fighter of the working class. He should prove himself a
conscious living representative of the interests and ideology of the working
class. He should thoroughly merge his personal interests and aims in the general
interests and aims of the Party and the working class.
A communist revolutionary has his personal interests and the Party should
neither eliminate his personality nor prevent personal development, as long as
these do not conflict with the interests of the Party.
This is what is meant by the unconditional subordination of the personal
interest of a Party member to the interests of the Party.
7. EXAMPLES AND ORIGIN OF THE VARIOUS KINDS OF ERRONEOUS IDEOLOGIES IN
(i) People who join the Communist Party come from different classes of
society and bring with them various habits which often clash with the basic
tenets of Marxism-Leninism. Because these people do not have a firm and clear
cut Communist outlook they very often waver and even desert the Party when they
are faced with danger or difficulties.
The Party must pay particular attention to the education, steeling and
self-cultivation of such comrades since without them, they cannot develop to be
true Communists. No Communist Party anywhere in the world limits its membership
only to those who have a thorough understanding of Communism. The Party will
admit any person who accepts the programme of the Party and its Constitution. By
serious study and hard work such comrades can develop into excellent Communists
ready to give their lives for the Party and the Communist cause …. individualism
and self interests in their work. In their attitude and work they place their
personal interests above the Party’s interests, they worry about personal gains,
they use the Party for their own personal interests.
They always want special treatment, less work and more pay. They avoid hard
work and hardship; and will disappear at the first signs of danger, and yet they
will want to share the honours won by their comrades for the Party through
sacrifice and hard work.
Individualism frequently expresses itself in unprincipled discussions and
disputes, factional struggles and in sectarian tendencies and in undermining
Party discipline. A closely related mistake is that of departmentalism, in which
a comrade sees only partial interests, sees only his part of the work instead of
seeing the situation as a whole and of the work of others. It often leads to
obstruction and must be avoided.
(iii) Others show conceit, individual heroism and like to show off.
Liu Shao Chi says of these people: -
The first consideration of people with such ideas is their
position in the Party. They like to show off, and want others to flatter them
and admire them. They have a personal ambition to become leaders. They take
advantage of their abilities and like to claim credit; to show off themselves;
to keep everything in their hands and they are intolerant. They are full of
vanity, do not want to keep their heads in hard work and are unwilling to do
technical work. They are haughty. When they have made some small achievements
they become very arrogant and domineering as if there were no one else like
them in the world. They seek to overshadow others and cannot treat others on
equal terms, modestly and politely. They are self conceited and like to
lecture others, to instruct and boss others. They are always trying to climb
above others, and do not accept directions from others, do not learn modestly
from others and …….. from the masses, nor do they accept criticism from
others. They like to be “promoted” but cannot stand being “demoted”.
“They can only work in fair weather but not in foul. They cannot bear
attacks on injustices and are unable to adapt themselves to circumstances.
They are no great men capable of asserting themselves when necessary or of
keeping in the background when required. They have not yet got rid of their
deep-rooted “desire for fame” and they try to build themselves up into “great
men” and “heroes” in the Communist cause, and even have no scruples in
employing any means for the gratification of such desires. However, when their
aims cannot be achieved, when they …….. treatment from comrades in the Party,
there is a possible danger of their wavering. In the minds of such persons
there exists remnants of the ideology of the exploiting classes. They do not
understand the greatness of Communism, nor do they have the broad vision of a
A Communist should have none of these shortcomings. Whoever possesses such
weaknesses does not understand Communism and cannot rise to become as great as
Lenin. In the Communist Party leaders achieve success through mass support. Mass
support is earned by those Party members who have no personal interests as
against those of the working class and the Party who are completely loyal to the
Party, who have a high degree of Communist ethics and revolutionary qualities,
who strive to master the theory and methods of Marxism-Leninism, who have
considerable practical ability, who can actually direct Party work, who are not
afraid of serious study and love work, and who become heroes and leaders in the
Communist revolution because of the confidence and support they enjoy from the
masses of the people.
The struggle to change the …….. world into a Communist world cannot be
carried out by one person however able he may be and however hard he works. It
can be carried out successfully only by the planned and combined efforts of
millions of people.
Some Party members are contemptuous of technical work within the Party. Such
an attitude is incorrect because technical work forms an important part of Party
work and because a Party member should be ready and willing to do any work which
is important to the Party whether or no(t) he likes to do such work.
(iv) Other comrades within the Party reflect the ideology of the
exploiting classes. In their Party work and in their relations with other Party
members they behave like landlords, capitalists, and fascists.
These persons seek to develop themselves by holding down others. They are
jealous of those who are more capable. They are not prepared to work under other
comrades or to take instructions. They secretly rejoice when other comrades fail
in their political tasks and in their moral standards and conduct. They indulge
in gossip and spread false information about their comrades. These are the
characteristics of exploiting classes and are …….. the working class and the
Party. They should be fought and exposed wherever they are found.
The working class is entirely different from the exploiting class. It does
not exploit others nor does its interests conflict with those of the Party and
other workers of exploited masses.
The outlook and thinking of the working class are altogether different from
those of the exploiting classes. In dealing with the enemies of the people they
are merciless and uncompromising, but in dealing with their comrades they are
always inspired by love and the desire to assist. They are strict with
themselves but lenient towards other comrades. They are strict and firm on
matters of principle and always adopt a frank and serious attitude. This is the
outlook of the working class and should be learnt and developed by every Party
(v) Some comrades still have bureaucratic tendencies. They like to run
the Party by issuing edicts and directives without …….. without taking into
account the views of other comrades. They resent criticism and are very harsh in
dealing with other comrades. Such weaknesses are unmarxist and every communist
should strive to overcome them completely.
Furthermore a Party member should be broad minded and concern himself always
with the overall situation when dealing with problems. He should avoid pettiness
and unprincipled discussion. He should have …….. standpoint and not a fence
Although the Communist Party is the most progressive of all political
parties, and although it fights for a society which guarantees happiness and
prosperity to millions of people, not everything in it is perfect. In spite of
the fact that its members are the world’s most conscious and progressive
revolutionaries with the highest sense of morality and righteousness, there are
still defects in the Party and some of its members do not measure up to the
qualifications of a Communist revolutionary. The explanation for this state of
affairs lies in the fact that every Communist Party member emerges out of the
very society whose evils it seeks to remove. Its members come from the various
classes of that society and some of them bring into the Party the habits,
prejudices and outlook on life of the class from which they came. It is
precisely for this reason that Communist Party members must undertake
In addition to waging struggles against counter-revolutionary forces, the
Party must carry on inner-Party struggles against those comrades who are still
influenced by the outlook and prejudices of the exploiting classes.
The working class is commonly referred to as the proletariat. The working
class can be divided into three groups:
(i) The first group is composed of those who completely severed their
ties with the capitalist class years ago. This is the core of the working class
and are the most loyal and reliable.
(ii) The second group consists of those who only recently came from
the non-working class, who came from the …….. the middle class and the …….. They
are usually anarchistic and ultra-left.
(iii) The third group is composed of the working class aristocracy,
those working class members who are best provided for, who earn high wages and
whose economic position is comparatively high. They compromise easily with the
enemies of the people, with the capitalist class.
Every Party member should aim to be the most loyal and reliable to the cause
of Communism and to have a firm and clear-cut working class outlook.
8. THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS VARIOUS ERRONEOUS IDEOLOGIES IN THE PARTY AND
INNER PARTY STRUGGLE.
Some Party members have a pessimistic view on things and they see errors,
defects and a future beset with formidable difficulties and dangers. The growing
strength of the socialist camp, the power influence exerted by our Party in our
own country and the certainty of the final victory of Communism over Capitalism
inspire them with no hope in the future.
Others see only victory and progress, and fail altogether to notice defects
and errors in the Party. They become dizzy with success, become blindly
optimistic and become less vigilant.
Both views are un-marxist. A Communist Party member knows that the Communist
Party is the most progressive and most revolutionary Party in the world. He has
complete confidence in the future and he dedicates his entire career to the
cause of Communism. In spite of this knowledge he realises most clearly that in
our Party there are still various kinds of errors, defects and undesirable
things. A Party member clearly understands the origin of these errors and the
method to be used in removing them.
The following are the various kinds of attitudes towards undesirable things
in the Party:
(i) To enjoy seeing errors and defects in the Party and to magnify
them to undermine the Party. This is the attitude of spies and similar elements
within the Party.
(ii) Some people consider that the existence of errors and defects in
the Party is to their advantage and they deliberately help to spread them and to
make use of them. This is the attitude adopted by opportunists and similar
elements within the Party.
(iii) To leave these errors and defects undisturbed instead of
fighting against them. This is the course followed by those members who have but
a weak sense of duty towards the Party and who have bureaucratic tendencies.
(iv) To harbour violent hatred towards errors and defects and towards
Party members whose political outlook is incorrect. They believe in bitter
struggles among Party members and expel their comrades at the slightest pretext.
This is the method used by Party comrades who do not correctly understand the
methods of correcting mistakes and weakness amongst comrades.
All these attitudes are incorrect and dangerous and should be
scrupulously avoided by Communists. Our own attitude is as follows: -
(i) We first analyse the situation most thoroughly and decide which
views are correct and which of them are incorrect and dangerous to the Party.
Once we are convinced of the correct opinion we firmly uphold it to the bitter
end and no matter how strong the opposition and how influential the individuals
who hold the opposite point of view.
(ii) Having carefully analysed the situation and having decided which
is the correct opinion, we then devote our attention to the promotion and
development of the correct viewpoint. We never allow ourselves to be influenced
by an incorrect point of view.
(iii) Communists are men of action. In promoting and developing the
correct viewpoint we also fight actively against all the undesirable things in
life. A Party member who is afraid of action and hard struggle, however
brilliant he might be, can never be a Communist revolutionary. A Communist must
always and under all circumstances, be ready and willing to conduct an active
struggle against all forms of reaction.
(iv) Although a Communist never compromises on questions of principle,
he never adopts an inflexible and mechanical attitude in his methods of
struggle. The aim is always to reform and educate those comrades who still
possess non-Communist tendencies.
(v) The elimination of undesirable tendencies in the Party and the
building up of revolutionary qualities in our members enhances the discipline
and prestige of the Party. Those Party members who fail to respond to the most
patient persuasion and to efforts to educate and reform them, should be expelled
from the Party.
As indicated at the very beginning of this series, a Communist is a
member of the Communist Party who understands and accepts the theory and
practice of Marxism-Leninism as expounded by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, and
who subjects himself to the discipline of the Party. A good Communist is
therefore one who:
(i) Is a member of the Communist Party who is absolutely faithful and
loyal to the Party, who obeys without question all Party rules and regulations
and who carries out all instructions issued by the Party.
(ii) Has thoroughly studied the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and
Stalin, who understands them clearly and who knows how to carry out their
teachings in the struggles of the people to defeat capitalism and all forms of
(iii) Devotes all his time to one thing, and one thing only, the
struggle against Capitalism and for a Communist world.
(iv) In their relations with Party comrades are always inspired by
love and sincere friendship and the desire to be helpful.
(v) Are honest and upright and who are prepared to defend the truth at
all times and under all circumstances.
Such is a good Communist.
Dialectical Materialism is the revolutionary philosophy of the Communist
Party and the working class.
Dialectical Materialism was founded by Marx and Engels and is discussed and
explained in the works of Lenin and other prominent leaders of the Communist
It is a dialectical philosophy because it studies things concretely and
objectively and because its approach on all things in nature is always based on
data established through scientific investigation and experience.
It is materialistic because it holds the view that the world is by its very
nature material and that the numerous things and processes we see in the world
constitute different forms of matter in motion.
In ancient times dialectics was the art of arriving at the truth by
disclosing the contradictions in the argument of an opponent and solving these
contradictions. This dialectical method of establishing truth was later extended
to the study of nature. Using the dialectical method of study and investigation,
mankind discovered that all things in nature are always in motion and always
changing, and that nature develops as the result of contradictions in nature
The dialectical method has four main features:
(1) The dialectical method considers that nothing can be understood
taken by itself in isolation from other things or from its surrounding
circumstances. A thing must always be studied and understood in relation to its
environment or circumstances.
(2) The dialectical method considers everything as in a state of
continuous movement and change, of renewal and development, where something is
always arising and developing and something always falls into pieces or is dying
(3) The dialectical method holds that the process of development
should be understood as an onward and upward movement, as a transition from an
old qualitative state to a new qualitative state, as a development from the
simple to the complex, from the lower to the higher.
(4) The dialectical method holds that internal contradictions are
inherent in all things in nature. Everything has its positive and negative side,
a past and future. In nature there is always something dying away and something
developing. The struggle between the opposites, between the positive and the
negative, between the past and the future, between the old and the new, between
that which is dying away and that which is being born, is the sole reason for
development and change.
Historical materialism is the application of the principles of dialectical
materialism to the study of society and its history.
A Communist must strive to master completely the principles of the
dialectical method discussed above and use them as a guide in his political
Dealing with the first proposition mentioned above, the principle of
considering things in relation to actual conditions and circumstances and not
apart from these actual circumstances, is always of vital importance to a
Communist in deciding the simplest policy questions. A Communist is useless to
our movement if he deals with policy questions in the abstract without taking
into account the actual circumstances in relation to which policy has to be
implemented, without understanding that the same policy can be right in one case
and wrong in another depending on the concrete circumstances of each case.
In their struggle against race discrimination the oppressed people of South
Africa have in the past followed a policy of peace and non-violence. They still
seek peaceful solutions and they will do everything in their power to avoid
violent strife and bloody revolution. But a blind and mechanical application of
this policy, irrespective of actual conditions and circumstances can lead to
defeat and disaster for our movement. In the past the people were able to
conduct successful non-violent struggles because opportunities were available
for peaceful agitation and struggle. But the policy of the Nationalist
Government, which forcibly suppresses the peaceful struggles of the people, has
created new conditions under which non-violent and peaceful methods of struggle
have become inadequate to advance the struggle of the people and to defend their
rights. Under these new conditions it is easy to understand why the masses of
the people are searching for a new formula of political struggle which will
enable them to hit back effectively and end the violent and reactionary policies
of the Government. Whilst in the past it was correct to preach non-violence,
under present conditions it is not correct to go on stressing it as if nothing
has changed. There is nothing sacred or inherently superior about non-violent
methods of struggle. So long as they are effective weapons to fight for freedom
and democracy, they must be employed fully, but it would be wrong to persist
with them mechanically once conditions demand modifications.
The second proposition is equally important. If the world is in a state of
constant movement and development, if the dying away of the old and the upgrowth
of the new is a law of development, then it follows that no system of society is
permanent and everlasting. Just as primitive communal society was replaced by
slave society, and just as slave society was replaced by feudalism, and
feudalism by capitalism, so will capitalism be replaced by socialism. This is
what happened for instance, in Albania, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East
Germany, Hungary, North Korea, Rumania, Russia and North Vietnam. In all these
countries the capitalist system was overthrown and replaced by socialism. In our
own country capitalism cannot and will not last indefinitely.
The people of South Africa, led by the S.A.C.P. will destroy capitalist
society and build in its place socialism where there will be no exploitation of
man by man, and where there will be no rich and poor, no unemployment,
starvation, disease and ignorance.
According to the third proposition of dialectical method, the process of
development should be understood as an onward and upward movement, as a
transition from the lower to the higher and from the simple to the complex.
Hence the transition from capitalism to socialism and the liberation of the
working class from the yoke cannot be effected by slow changes or by reforms as
reactionaries and liberals often advise, but by revolution. One therefore, must
be a revolutionary and not a reformist.
Finally, if development and change in things take place by way of collision
between opposite forces, then it is clear that the struggle between workers and
capitalists is natural and unavoidable. Hence we must not try to preach peace
and harmony between workers and capitalists. We must stimulate and encourage
class struggle. We must call upon workers to conduct a ceaseless war against the
capitalist class and for socialism.
The philosophy of materialism as expounded by Marx is a way of explaining all
questions, and is irreconcilably opposed to idealism. Two examples are given to
illustrate the difference between the two methods of materialism and idealism,
namely, what causes thunderstorms and why are some people rich and others poor?
An idealist would answer by saying that thunderstorms are due to the anger
of God and that some people are rich and others poor because God made them so.
The materialist, on the other hand seeks for an explanation of the natural
forces and in the material and economic conditions of normal life. To a
materialist, thunderstorms are due solely to natural forces and not to the anger
of the Gods. He would explain that some people are poor because they are
compelled by material conditions to work for low wages for the rest of their
lives for the rich who own the means of production - the land, its mineral
resources and its forests, the banks, mills and factories, transport and other
systems of communication.
These differences have important practical results. If we accept the
idealist’s explanation of thunderstorms, and of why some people are rich whilst
others are poor, then there is nothing we can do about the matter except to sit,
arms folded and pray to God. If we accept the materialist’s explanation,
however, we will take precautions against thunderstorms such as building
lightning conductors. Instead of accepting our poverty as the will of God, we
will stand up and fight to put an end to a system of society which condemns us
to lifelong poverty and misery.
Materialism and idealism are irreconcilably opposed. Materialism teaches:
(1) That the world is by its very nature material. In other words the
things we see in the world are composed of matter.
(2) That matter is something we can see with our naked eyes or by the
aid of scientific instruments.
(3) That the world and its laws are capable of being known. That
although there are things which are not yet known, such things will yet be known
through scientific investigation and experience.
Idealism is essentially a belief in superstition, in the mysterious. It goes
hand in hand with religion. It prevents clear thinking and confuses people. For
ages it has been used by the exploiting classes to prevent the common people
from thinking for themselves. It is a philosophy of the ruling classes and not
of the working class. It is not the philosophy of people who fight for freedom.
The philosophy of the working class is dialectical materialism, the only
philosophy which is based on truth, and which is scientific and practical.
Political economy explains how men get their living.
It deals with the production and distribution among human beings of food,
clothing, shelter, fuel and other things essential to human life.
An important feature about production is that it is always in a state of
change and development. Furthermore changes in the mode of production inevitably
result in changes in the whole system of society, in the ideas of that society,
in its political views and in its political institutions. To put it simply, at
different stages of development people lead a different sort of life.
Five main modes of production and five main types of society are known to
history. These are primitive communal society, slave society, feudal society,
capitalist society and socialist society.
PRIMITIVE COMMUNAL SOCIETY
Under primitive communal society, men of the village went out together to
hunt for the animals, to fish and gather the fruit that grew wild. The land and
forests in which they hunted and picked up wild fruits, the rivers in which they
fished, belonged to the whole community and not to any particular individual
property and was shared equally by all. For clothes they used the skins of the
animals they killed, and for shelter they used caves and rocks. Their tools
consisted mainly of a hunting spear and trap and of a fishing net.
This is how man produced food and shelter under primitive communal society.
There were no classes. There were no rich or poor, no exploitation of man by
man, and all were equal before the law. The affairs of the village were
discussed publicly in a village council and all members of that community could
attend the meetings and take part fully in the discussions. In times of war they
killed their prisoners. They could not enslave or exploit them because they had
no food to feed them with. In those days man could only produce enough food to
feed himself and could not afford slaves.
The only division of labour that existed was between the sexes. The men
hunted wild animals and gathered wild fruits whilst the women managed the house,
looked after children and cooked the food.
This is the sort of life man led during primitive communal ........ the
earliest mode of production known in history.
In course of time some tribes developed new means of producing food and this
change in the method of producing food enabled men to lead a different sort of
life. They began to sow seed and rear cattle so that they should have food ready
at hand whenever they wanted it. Primitive agriculture began to develop and
there arose differentiation between the tribes. Some still concentrated on
hunting as the principal method of producing food, but others became pastoral
farmers. The latter could now produce more than required for their personal
needs. They became rich in cattle and began accumulating wealth. Under these new
conditions men captured in war were not killed as in former days. Now they were
needed to plough the lands of their captors, to look after their wealth and to
produce more wealth for the slave owners.
The division of society into classes had begun.
The land and forests in which men used to hunt in former times, and the
rivers in which they fished no longer belonged to the whole community but to the
slave owners. The common and free labour of all members of the tribe in the
production process, which existed under primitive communal society, had now
disappeared; in its place there was now the forced labour of the slaves who were
exploited by their masters. There was no common ownership of the means of
production or of the fruits of production. Common ownership was replaced by
Rich and poor, exploiters and exploited, people with full rights and people
without rights, and a fierce class struggle - such were the conditions under
The emergence of private property, of contrasting extremes of enormous
wealth on one side and dire poverty on the other, and the class hostility that
resulted, made it necessary for the slave owners to build an instrument which
they could use to protect their properties and their wealth and to crush slave
revolts by force. It was under these circumstances that the exploiting classes
created the army, the police force, the courts and the prisons and made laws.
These things put together are called the State which is an instrument used by
the exploiting classes to compel others to give in to their will.
The State will last as long as class society exists. Only under Communism
will the State disappear. In primitive communal society, order and discipline
were maintained by tradition and custom and by force of public opinion. It was
not necessary to rely on an instrument of force to suppress others. In exactly
the same way, under Communism there will be no State because mankind will have
reached a high level of political and cultural development and responsibility.
A significant development during slave society was the emergence of
commodity production. Articles produced not for the personal use of the
producer, but for exchange, are called commodities. This was a development of
tremendous importance and we will discuss it very fully when we deal with
This was then the mode of primitive life under slave society. The system of
society had changed, the people led a different way of life, new political ideas
and new political institutions had arisen.
Feudal society developed out of slave society and was essentially an
agricultural mode of production.
There were two main classes in feudal society. These were the Lords and the
As in slave society, the means of production were owned by the lord of the
estate. The serf was in a slightly better position than the slave because the
lord did not have the power of life and death over him, and also because the
serf owned the tools he used to plough the lands of his lord.
He was however, subject to cruel exploitation and restrictions. He ploughed
the land of his lord in return for a piece of land which he was allowed to
occupy at the pleasure of his lord, and out of which he maintained himself and
his family. The piece of ground where he lived was given to him to encourage him
to produce more food and more articles for the enrichment of his lord, and he
thus produced better results than the slave. He was tied down to the land and
could not leave without permission. He was in a similar position to our own
squatters commonly found on many white farms in our country.
Under feudal society, food was grown and clothes and other articles were
made to cater for the local population but the lords (or nobles as they were
commonly referred to) used part of their wealth to buy all sorts of luxuries for
themselves. In the course of time trade and transport developed and the desire
for more wealth and luxuries increased.
The development of trade and transport led to the growth of towns and their
influence. It gave rise to new classes of society and to new ideas. A new class
of men who earned their living through trade and commerce arose. These were the
Feudal society became an obstruction to the expansion and growth of trade
and commerce and the new ideas that were arising. The new class that was rising
to power came into conflict with that class that held power. Feudal society was
being challenged by the new social system of capitalism. Only by revolution
could the new forces that were arising be freed. It was by revolution that the
new forces challenged feudal society and replaced it with capitalism. It was
also by revolution that the working class in many parts of the world replaced
capitalism with the higher and democratic system of socialism.
We have now seen that five main types of society are known to history.
Primitive Communal Society, Slave Society, Feudalism and Socialism. New forms of
society grew out gradually from the other society and in some cases different
forms existed side by side. For example, in slave society there were traces of
primitive communal society, whilst traces of slave society existed within feudal
society. In our own capitalist South Africa there are still Africans, and to a
lesser extent Coloureds, who live and work on white farms under conditions
remarkably similar to those of feudal society of the Middle Ages. In other parts
of the world we see Socialist societies, and societies in transition to
We live in a capitalist country and the chief task of our Party is to
destroy Capitalism and replace it with Socialism. Capitalism is to us a …….. of
…….. great imbalance. It is for this reason that we devote the greater part of
this lecture to a study of this system.
Capitalism has three essential features.
(1) Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few people who own the
means of production as well as wealth in the form of money. The few people who
own the means of production are called capitalists.
(2) The vast masses of the people earn their living by working for
capitalists in return for wages. In Marxist language these working people are
called the proletariat.
End of MS
1. Karl Marx (1818-83), German revolutionist, cofounder with Friedrich
Engels of modern communism. Suggested that the capitalist society should be
overthrown by the working class. His theory of scientific socialism is now
2. Friedrich Engels (1820-95) Co-founder of communism with Karl Marx.
Exercised considerable influence in the shaping of communist policy and
3. Vladimir Ilich Lenin, original surname Ulyanov (1870-1924), Russian
Marxist revolutionary and theoretician, and founder of the Soviet state (1917).
4. Joseph Stalin, real name Yosif Vissarionovitch Djugashvili
(1879-1953), Russian Revolutionist and Soviet dictator. He established a
terroristic police state in which millions of his own citizens were