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Legassick, Martin () The state of the left in South Africa
 : 1-4.

I would have liked to start with the objective conditions, which are very favourable for social change. But there is no time for that. Instead I ask: what is the state of the left? The real question of course is not the state of the left but state of the working class. The only real force for change – for ending capitalism and establishing socialism -- is a united and conscious working class – by which I mean everyone who does not control the means of production, not just employed workers – ie workers’ families, the unemployed, youth and pensioners, urban and rural.

Since the 1980s, the level of consciousness in the working class has been driven back – by the propaganda for neo-liberal capitalism churned out daily. Today in the working class there are manifestations of xenophobia. In the Western Cape Coloureds are turned against African. No doubt it is the same with Indians in Kwa - Zulu Natal. In the Eastern Cape, I am told, older workers are sacked by the bosses to bring in young workers with no knowledge of trade unionism.

The task of the left is to assist in bringing about a united and conscious working class – not by preaching as a vanguard of intellectuals, but by joining in struggles and seeking to broaden and develop them.

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