CCS
CCS Events
CCS Libraries
About CCS
CCS Projects
BRICS
CCS Highlights


Publication Details

Reference
Nash, Andrew  (1999) The Moment of Western Marxism in South Africa.  : 1-16.

Summary
The Rise and Fall of “The Generation of the 1970s” Any attempt to build a South African left which is both militant and rational — capable both of engaging with the struggles of the oppressed majority and developing analyses and arguments which depend on argument and evidence rather than faith — had better be aware that history is against it. We build on an activist culture pervaded by sectarianism and dogma, and an intellectual culture in which the assimilation of radical ideas has reproduced patterns of intellectual dependence and fragmentation. This legacy will not be overcome except to the extent that we understand the forces that produced it. Indeed, to the extent that we do not understand those forces, the more vigorously we seek to distance ourselves from that legacy, the more likely we are
to reinforce it instead.

This is a real prospect for the South African left today, after the demise of the generation of Marxist intellectuals and activists that emerged in the 1970s. Their Marxism sought to overcome the dogma and reductionism of Stalinism and Trotskyism, to engage with history as a living process rather than a mechanical formula, to found a historical consciousness linking local struggles to global processes, and implant itself in a working-class movement which sought to control its own destiny, openly and demo cratically, rather than submitting to the authority of nationalism or pseudo-science.

Beginning with a few dozen intellectuals and activists in the 1960s, this generation came to maturity in the late 1970s, and were a powerful presence in South African political and intellectual life throughout the 1980s. Their ideas and analyses reshaped social and political studies at South African universities, established themselves at the heart of the curriculum of many academic departments, and gave impetus to conferences, journals and other publications. They played a crucial role in guiding student, women’s and civic organizations, and above all the trade union movement which they had helped to build — half a million strong at the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions in 1985, and a crucial force in a mass movement which drew millions of oppressed people into active struggle for the overthrow of the state. In a global context, this generation of South African Marxists played a vital role in interpreting for the Western left, in the terms of their own thought, a struggle which had come to be “crucial to the whole history of our time” (Sweezy and Magdoff, 1986).

Read Publication 
 cast your net a little wider...
 Radical Philosophy 
 AFRICAN ENVIROMENTAL JUSTICE DOCUMENTARY FILMS 
 African Studies Association (USA)  
 New Dawn Engineering 
 Wikipedia 
 Indymedia Radio 
 Southern Africa Report online 
 Online Anti Apartheid Periodicals, 1960 - 1994 
 Autonomy & Solidarity 
 New Formulation 
 We Write 
 International Journal of Socialist Renewal 
 Theoria 
 Journal of African Philosophy 
 British Library for Development Studies 
 The Nordic Africa Institute Online Library 
 Political Economy Research Institute Bulletin (PERI) 
 Feminist Africa 
 Jacques Depelchin's Tribute to Harold Wolpe 
 Chimurenga 
 African Studies Quarterly 
 The Industrial Workers of the World 
 Anarchist Archives 
 Wholewheat Radio 
 Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa  
 Zanon Workers 
 Public Citizen  
 Open Directory Project 
 Big noise films 
 London Review of Books  
 New York Review of Books 
 Monthly Review 
 New Left Review 
 Bureau of Public Secrets  
 Zed Books 
 Pluto Press 
 Duke University Press  
 Abe Books 
 The Electric Book Company 
 Project Guttenberg 
 Newspeak Dictionary 
 Feral Script Kiddies 
 Go Open Source 
 Source Forge 
 www.kiarchive.ru 
 Ubuntu Linux Home Page 
 Software for Apple Computers 



|  Contact Information  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy