Why Marxism is the Solution
by Katlego Sokopo, Soweto
It does not take much for a person to be apolitical and ahistorical in South Africa. One needs only to look at the pathetic, corruption-laden tenure of the ruling party in order to understand that the neo-liberal economic leaning of the country is only worsening the triad of poverty, unemployment and inequality. It is simply inconceivable that for a country as minerally endowed as Mzansi Afrika, it is necessary to pursue economic policies that are not in the interests of the working class and poor.
It is from this first vantage point that I became interested in, and, eventually became a member of, the Marxist Workers Party (MWP). For the fact that through its name alone it is founded on the basis of protecting the interests of the working class, along with an aspirational lens of lifting the poor and unemployed from poverty, through creating meaningful employment, and thereafter distribute the spoils of economic success to the people, I immediately signed up. For me, it simply was a no brainer.
Man is, by his very nature, a political animal, an oft quoted Greek philosopher once remarked. It being the case that Marxism is the only framework which can be utilised to end capitalism and the capitalist, elitist class. We need to contribute to the creation of a classless society, in which each individual, through collective effort and determination, offers their labour for a united, prosperous society.
There is a plethora of evidence pointing to the incompatibility of capitalism with the protection of poor and marginalized groups within society, what Frantz Fanon refers to as the ‘wretched of the earth’. The clearest of these is the Marikana Massacre, in which the capitalist regime exercised its unrelenting, blood and profit thirsty power, in the state in order to quell mineworkers’ legitimate demands for a living wage.
I joined the MWP because I encountered and I currently mentoring a young political firebrand from Marikana, whom has had a direct and lived experience of the repercussions of the massacre.
His story, that of the many left behind in abject poverty, financial insecurity and emotional turmoil, through a government which elected to table a farce of a commission which never sought to bring accountability to those who waged this inhumane act; let alone guarantee a modicum of dignity to widows of the slain, through reparations. Through this singular act, which reverberates painfully today, we are forever reminded that profit will always trump the lives of the working class.
It is for this reason, along with the cogent theoretical input of Marx, wherein a democratic workers’ state then becomes custodian of the economic might of the country, coupled with security of employment, gainful education and quality of healthcare, that I rightfully became a card-carrying member of the MWP.