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Editorial Notes


Until now the Verwoerd regime has tried to cover its naked oppression of the non-White majority of South Africans with the fig-leaf of parliamentary democracy and legality. But with the enactment of the General Laws Amendment Act-the so-called Sabotage Law - the pretence is dropped. Under this vicious law the Minister of Justice can confine any person-to his house or to a concentration camp without accusing him of any offence or bringing him before any court. He merely has to say that he is "satisfied" that the person concerned "may" further "any of the aims of communism." Considering that the Minister himself Mr. Vorster is a well-known Nazi sympathiser, who was interned during the last war as a leader of the fascist Ossewa Brandwag, there is little doubt that he will use his unlimited powers under his new law to take vengeance not only on Communists but on all who oppose apartheid and White supremacy. Already, acting in terms of the equally vicious Suppression of Communism Act of 1950 he has banned non-Communists like Chief Lutuli and outright anti-Communists like Patrick Duncan: both of them having annoyed the Nationalist government by demanding citizen rights for non-Whites.

Vorster openly said in the all-White Parliament that he would use the Act to suppress vigorously anti-Government papers like New Age and organisations like the Congress of Democrats, and when opponents of the Government, including the middle-class Women's League for the Defence of the Constitution (the "Black Sash"), university students, churchmen and others demonstrated against the proposed law, a fascist rabble, consisting of the dregs of the white population, organised and headed by policemen .In plain clothes was assembled to fling eggs, rubbish and filthy language at them.

The International Commission ,of Jurists in Geneva, represented 40,000 lawyers and judges in over 60 countries has condemned Vorster's Nazi law in the most outspoken terms. They said it: reduces the liberty of the citizen to the degree not surpassed by the most extreme dictatorship, that with this law, South Africa is taking " a major, if not final step, towards the elimination of all rights of the individual and the rule of law;" that "this measure is a culmination of a determined and ruthless attempt to enforce the doctrine of apartheid and is not worthy of a civilised jurisprudence "

The law defines "sabotage" as almost any "illegal" action taken to further political or economic changes - and since practically every sort of political activity is now "illegal" a trade unionist "trespassing" on factory premises or an African taking part in a strike (all strikes of Africans are illegal) can easily find himself accused of "sabotage", with the onus on the accused to prove himself innocent of the motive of wishing to bring about "political or economic change". If convicted the minimum penalty that can be imposed is five years imprisonment. The maximum is death.

The democratic organisations of the South African people have served notice on the Verwoerd government that they will not submit to this new instalment of fascist tyranny.

A statement issued by the Congress alliance - 50,000 copies of which were seized by the special branch of the police before they could be distributed to the public - points out that if legal and peaceful means of struggle for democratic change are outlawed the people will turn to methods which are neither legal nor peaceful. New Age, the fighting people's newspaper which for many years has kept the flag of freedom and equality flying in Cape Town, now itself under imminent threat of banning, links the new fascist legislation with the decision of the Government to spend R120 million (?60 million) on "defence" - "under cover of a fake scare of invasion"The government is preparing to rule on a war footing....As has been proved by the history of despotisms in all countries, this sabotage Bill will not achieve its object. It will merely steel the opposition and encourage it to adopt new and better methods of achieving its targets."

Thousands of leaflets issued by the South African Communist Party after the passing of Vorster's new law are a vivid illustration of what is proclaimed by the text itself - that such laws cannot destroy Communism, because it is true and in the interests of the people. Twelve years after the first of the Nationalists' laws designed to "suppress communism" the Communist Party is very much alive, and fighting in the forefront of the people's struggle for a free, non-racial, democratic South Africa.

The oppressed South African people have millions of friends and well-wishers in Africa and throughout the world. Their reply to the new attacks on the African masses by the Verwoerd-Vorster gang must be to step up the international campaign of solidarity against Fascist South Africa.

The representatives of White South Africa should ignominiously be expelled from the ILO, from international sporting and cultural bodies and from the United Nations itself. Economic and other sanctions should be imposed against the criminal Verwoerd regime.

Let the race-mad Fascists feel the weight of the contempt and disgust of the whole world towards their apartheid tyranny!


Far in the north, the counterparts of Verwoerd and Vorster, the last-ditch defenders of White supremacy and privilege in the fascist OAS, have let loose a ghastly campaign of murder against defence-less civilians, women and children. The aim of these unbridled atrocities was to sabotage the Evian agreement reached between the National Liberation Front and the French Government for the independence of Algeria - an agreement forced upon French imperialism by more than seven long years of heroic struggle by the Algerian Army of National Liberation, supported in France itself by the solidarity of the working class under the leadership of the Communist Party.

The same forces which won the long war against all the might of the French military machine, supplied and backed up by the United States and NATO, have defeated the attempts to sabotage the people's victory. Peace is returning to the cities of Algeria, while the fascist elements are hastily packing and scurrying in their thousands to make their getaway to France.

A heroic part in these historic struggles has been played by the Algerian Communist Party, to which we extend our warm comradely greetings on the victory of their people - a victory not only for Algeria, but for all of Africa. Light on the part played by the Algerian Communists is cast by an article in A I Houriyya, the Party organ, and the first Algerian paper to be published in the country since the cease-fire. This article, written by Sadek Hadjeres, points out that the Algerian Communist Party will continue, as during the war, to seek the best means of strengthening unity o action of all patriotic and progressive forces of the nation on the basis of a common programme for genuine independence, social progress and democracy.

"During the war," says the article, "the Party, while upholding unity around the FLN, was correct at the same time to maintain its own political organisation. Thus it could better take part in the war effort and support the action and the anti-imperialist positions of the FLN." The writer shows how the ACP did not only support the war effort militarily, they also did it politically.

"By its clear political analyses, the Party strengthened the courage of the whole liberation movement, brought home the lessons of its experiences and raised its level. On many important questions the policies which, at the beginning of the war, had been advanced only by the Communist Party, were later adopted by the FLN as a whole.

"For example, as early as the beginning of the war the Party pointed out the need to mobilize the masses politically to support the armed struggle; to popularise the social aims of the revolution: to strengthen the alliance with the socialist camp and the world peace camp, with the French workers and people; to adopt correct methods of explanation and struggle towards the European minority; to fight the imperialist influence of the ICFTU on the Algeria trade union movement, and other matters.

" Without the vanguard role of the Party, advocating and proving the necessity of these policies within the broad alliance, the people's cause would have suffered.

The article rejects anti-Communist attitudes within the FLN which call on the Communist Party to dissolve itself. Party members have been loyal members of the FLN, which is seen as "a broad patriotic alliance which should be open to every Algerian whatever his political trend or membership in another national organisation approving and supporting the anti-imperialist policy of the Front.

"Being organised in their own Party, the Communists do not try to manoeuvre. On the contrary, while they accept the common discipline, they openly defend their point of view, not in order to divide but to strengthen the movement. Patriots should not fear a constructive interplay of ideas - this helps the movement to advance. The ACP always tries to learn from the masses and from other patriots. The latter can only benefit from Marxist-Leninist theory and experience which has proved itself all over the world, particularly in former colonies like Vietnam and Cuba. This is exactly the way in which the Algerian Communist Party educates its militants. The more we train good Communists, the better patriots they will be, within the Front and for an Algeria advancing towards independence and peace, towards the building of a socialist society."


The so-called Central African Federation is on the verge of breaking up. This abortion - an attempt by the British imperialists to fasten the domination of a handful of white supremacists of Southern "Rhodesia" over millions of Africans in the North - has been vigorously resisted from the start, especially by the people of Nyasaland., Dr. Banda's Malawi Party's determined and uncompromising struggle has now made certain that, so far as Malawi is concerned, the unwanted "Federation" is about to end. What now of the African majority in the territories which the colonialists have called "Rhodesia," after the arch-imperialist whose unscrupulous manoeuvres, involving the slaughter of thousands of Africans, resulted in the annexation of this vast and wealthy area to the British Empire? (Nothing can be more certain than that, the day after emancipation, the name Rhodesia and all other wounding remnants of the name of Cecil Rhodes will be removed from the map of Africa.)

The United Nations is currently debating the explosive situation in S. Rhodesia itself, the nearest approach to apartheid outside the Republic. The Zimbabwe African People's Union, under the leader- ship of Joshua Nkomo, is vigorously demanding the end of the dictatorship of a privileged minority and the implementation of the democratic principle: one man, one vote.

Not only is this the only democratic principle, but it is the only principle consistent with the dignity and self-respect of the African people. For to ask Africans to accept less is asking us to accept that we are somehow inferior to Whites, somehow less of human beings, not entitled to the equal rights which the United Nations Charter itself has proclaimed the birthright of all, irrespective of race or colour.

British imperialism is using all sorts of cunning tricks in an attempt to persuade African leaders to abandon this cardinal principle. Using the image of the arch-racialist Roy Welensky as a bogey, they are trying to make a case that Africans should accept some sort of compromise which would leave essential control in the hands of the white settlers - because this would at least be "better than Welensky's policy."

One is not surprised to see the British Labour Party being recruited to play its part in this dirty game of British imperialism. Posing as the "friends of the Africans" the Labour leaders have tried to get African leaders to accept the undemocratic "Maudling Constitution" - on the grounds that Welensky opposes it (because it makes some gestures towards African representation.)

However, the British Labour leaders have for so long played the role of agents and junior partners in maintaining colonialism that African politicians have lost all confidence in them.

It is a different matter when one finds the representative of a newly-independent African state adding his voice to the chorus and attempting to persuade African leaders to accept the same sort of dishonourable and insulting compromise.

That is exactly what was done by Mr. Jaja Wachuku, Foreign Minister of Nigeria, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on the situation in Southern Rhodesia. According to a SAPA-Reuter-A.P. report from New York, he proposed: "An equal division of seats in the Southern Rhodesian Parliament - 32 each for Africans and White settlers - with a British member holding the balance of power."
Rand Daily Mail, June 21, 1962.

He said he thought this would "help to build confidence between the two races and give the African leaders experience of government."

We are astonished that an African leader could sink to making this type of proposal. Mr. Wachuku knows perfectly well that what is keeping Africans from independence and self-government is not their "lack of experience" but the desire of the colonialists in Rhodesia and Britain to continue exploiting and oppressing them.

We regard Mr.Wachuku's proposal as a stab in the back for the African People.


Mr. Mustafa, Finance Minister of Sierra Leone, put the attitude of independent African countries towards the plan to subordinate them to the European Common Market in a nutshell when he said:
"We have just gained independence and we are not going to renounce it."

What is the economic relationship of a colony towards the metropolitan country?

To serve as a source of raw materials and cheap labour, and as a dumping ground for surplus manufactured goods.

It is precisely this relationship which has ruined the former colonies and resulted in their economies remaining backward and undeveloped industrially, in low living standards, starvation and disease

What is the relationship of African countries proposed under the "Euromart" scheme?

It is exactly the same: the African countries will supply raw material and buy "Western" manufactures. They will remain a sort of slum raw-material providing annexure to the industrially-developed capitalist countries.

Instead of developing their own industries, our African countries will remain dependent on European manufactures. And they will- get cheated badly in the process. Over the past fifty years the prices of the chief African products on world capitalist markets have risen very little compared to manufactures and machinery, as can be seen by these figure:-

Percentage rise in Prices over 50 years (approximate)

Foodstuffs ................................... 130

Farm Products.............................. 105

Mineral Raw Materials.................... 90

Manufactured Goods..................... 300

Machinery...................................... 500 to 600

And this tendency is continuing.

The European Common Market is not only an economic but also a political concept, related to anti-Communism and the Cold War. African countries associating themselves with it will lose their independence and their much-vaunted neutrality, and become appendages to NATO. They will find it difficult to develop further their trading relations with non-European countries, including the countries of the socialist camp, which have been proving highly advantageous to Africa.

President Nkrumah was right in describing "Euromart" as "the greatest danger" to Africa. "The advocates of the Common Mark seek to enslave us economically," he said.

It would be regrettable indeed if some African leaders were found who were prepared to sell their people to this dangerous tactic of neo-colonialism.


Recently Pravda, organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, celebrated its fiftieth birthday. The name of the paper means "Truth"- and for half century this paper has indeed, day after day, brought home to the Russian people, both in capitalist conditions and under socialism the truth about the world we live in, the basic laws of human development, the evils of capitalist imperialism, and the bright future of Communism that awaits all mankind.

The African Communist was happy to accept the invitation of the editor of Pravda to send its representative to attend the celebration of this notable anniversary, and we take this opportunity of wishing our illustrious contemporary many more years of redoubtable struggle for communism and the cause of the working class.

If peaceful means fail are colonial people justified in a resort to arms? Is the theory of non-violence correct? Does Communist support for peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems contradict their policy of support for wars of national liberation? These vital questions are discussed and answered in this absorbing article by a well-known Soviet writer on colonial problems. The article is reproduced from the authoritative journal "International Affairs" published in Moscow.


A SOVIET VIEW by Y. Dolgopolov

The collapse of the colonial system of oppression is next in importance to the formation of the world Socialist system. Where formerly there were colonies and semi-colonies, there are now new sovereign states; by the beginning of this year forty-four former colonies had obtained their independence.

The colonialists and their apologists try to make out that the national liberation movement develops independently of the world class struggle for Socialism and of support from the Socialist countries, and that freedom is presented to the people of the former colonial countries by the colonialists themselves. The fact is that the achievements of the national liberation movement were possible thanks to the formation of the Socialist camp and its influence on the development of mankind as a whole.

The colonialists have never in the whole course of history voluntarily granted independence to the colonial peoples, and they never will do so; they are compelled to grant it only when the national liberation movement has become so strong that they are unable to deal with it. The main factors ensuring victory over colonialism are the determined fight of the oppressed peoples themselves and the support of the Socialist countries and progressive people throughout the world.

In his report to the 22nd Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, N. S. Khrushchov said: "Today the colonialists, sensing that their rule is coming to an end, are putting on a good face in a losing game. They assert that they are leaving the colonies of their own accord. Who will believe them? Anyone can see that they are taking this step because they know that anyway they will be driven out in disgrace".

Even in our times the colonialists still frequently resort to armed suppression of national liberation movements. Throughout the whole post-war period not a single year has passed without the imperialists waging colonial wars in one part or another of the world. The British, French, Portuguese, Belgian, Dutch and other colonialists rely on getting support for their bloody crimes from U.S. imperialism, the linch-pin of modern colonialism. The colonialists draw up joint plans within their aggressive military .blocs for putting down national liberation movements. They impose unequal military agreements on the Asian, African and Latin American countries and install troops and military bases on their territories, turning them into strong points for war against the Socialist countries and for the suppression of national liberation movements.

The ideologists of colonialism try hard to rationalise and justify the coercive methods used against people in the colonies and dependent countries. They have invented a doctrine of "small", "limited", or "local" wars, which has become part of official military policy in the United States, Britain and other imperialist countries. The British Labour Party figure John Strachey maintains in his book "The End of Empire" that the colonial powers cannot "avoid" suppressing revolts of oppressed peoples, since in the opinion of the colonialists some peoples "could not possibly take over the colony and govern it as a going concern". Prof. W. Drascher, of the German Federal Republic, claims that the colonial powers use force "only in those countries where there is fear of prolonged disruption of the existing social order.


Statements like this are additional proof that brute force was and still remains a main function of colonial policy. For this reason the national liberation movement in many countries will still take the form of armed struggle and will turn into national liberation uprisings and wars. "There will be wars of liberation" Khrushchov has pointed out, "so long as imperialism exists, so long as colonialism exists. These are revolutionary wars. Such wars are not only permissible, they are even inevitable, since the colonialists do not voluntarily grant independence. Thus only through struggle, including armed struggle, can the peoples win freedom and independence".

The imperialists, who frequently use force in order to preserve their colonial domination, also try to distort the real nature of national liberation uprisings and wars. They refuse to recognise that they are lawful and just, say that the armed struggle of oppressed peoples is the result of "external subversion", and call those who take part in the struggle "terrorists", trying to destroy "law and order" in the colonies.

The colonialists do everything they can in order to prevent the people in the colonies and dependent countries from taking up arms. They would like to see the national liberation movement deprived of arms and the peoples' minds instilled with the idea that national freedom can be attained only by means of gradual constitutional reforms and by negotiations and agreements with the Governments of the colonial powers. A symposium called "The Idea of Colonialism", published in the United States straight forwardly asks "how can violent revolutions and colonial guerrilla wars be forestalled now? . . ." Various suggestions are put forward for strengthening the colonial system by means of reform.

At the National Conference on International Economic and Social Development, held in Washington in June 1961, President Kennedy maintained that the main threat to freedom now comes from within, from liberating wars. It is fair to ask what kind of "freedom" is meant in this particular context. Apparently, freedom for the colonial powers to continue their oppression of foreign countries and to make immense fortunes from the sweat and blood of other peoples. Yet it is exactly against this situation that the people in the colonies and dependent countries are rising in revolt.

Contrary to the assertions of the colonialists, armed struggle by oppressed peoples and national liberation revolutions in general are not imported from outside and cannot be conjured up by wishful thinking on someone's part, if the objective and subjective conditions do not exist. National liberation uprisings and wars are a consequence of the rapacious policy of the imperialists' power. If the imperialists had not set themselves the task of preserving the shameful system of colonialism, national liberation uprisings would not have occurred and not one of them would have turned into prolonged wars.

The choice of the methods and forms of the national liberation movement depend not on the wishes of the people, but on the strength of opposition from the colonialists and the degree of violence to which they resort in their attempts to preserve at all costs their colonial regimes. People in the colonies and dependent countries are not interested in using violent means of struggle, since this entails tremendous sacrifices especially for the working people. They are, however, forced to use them as a last resort, in order to oppose the aggressive policy of the militarily and economically strong colonial powers.

The Marxist-Leninist definition of wars, including wars of national liberation, arises from an understanding of them as social phenomena.


"War", wrote Lenin, "is the continuation of a policy. The policy before the war, the policy leading up to and resulting in war must be studied. lf the policy was an imperialist one, that is, defending the interests of finance capital which plunders and oppresses colonies and foreign countries, then the war which is the outcome of this policy is an imperialist war. If the policy was one of national liberation, that is, expressing a mass movement against national oppression, then the war which is the outcome of such a policy is a national liberation war". Lenin stressed that as a general rule war is lawful on the part of an oppressed nation "no matter whether it is defensive or offensive in the military sense".

National liberation wars should on no account be identified, as bourgeois propagandists are wont to do, with local wars which are waged by imperialists in order to seize foreign territories and enslave and rob their peoples. In contrast to wars of this kind, national liberation wars begin as uprisings of colonial and dependent peoples against their oppressors for their right to self-determination and independent national development. This is how the uprisings began in Indonesia, Indochina, Algeria, Cuba and other countries, which later developed into national liberation wars.

Communists resolutely oppose both world wars and local wars.

They consistently fight to avert war and thereby ensure peace and security for all peoples. Nevertheless, they cannot fail to support those wars which are conducted by people for their own liberation "Communists", Khrushchov has said, "wholeheartedly support these just wars and are in the front ranks of peoples struggling for their liberation".

In an attempt to shift the blame from the guilty onto the innocent, the defenders of colonial regimes frequently describe the Soviet Union's support for national liberation wars as "interference" in the internal affairs of other countries and as "a call to arms." In our day these slanderous inventions deceive very few people.

In a speech to the 15th U.N. General Assembly, Khrushchov said: "I am not making a call to arms, since the question of rising up against objectionable regimes in this or that country is decided by the people themselves. I have merely said that if the colonialists do not take the step of granting independence and freedom to the colonial peoples, then nothing remains for the peoples of the colonial countries to do but rise up against this shameful oppression, and all honourable people must extend a helping hand to those who fight for their human dignity against plunder, against the colonialists".


Bourgeois propagandists try to discover imaginary contradictions between the policy of peaceful co-existence pursued by the Socialist countries and their resolute support of the peoples' armed struggle for independence and freedom. Recognition of the justness and lawfulness of national liberation uprisings and wars does not in any way contradict the principle of peaceful co-existence which relates to the field of reciprocal relations between states with different social systems. This principle has been and remains the general foreign policy line of the Soviet Union and the other Socialist countries, but it does not and cannot mean refusal to support the class or national liberation struggle of the people against their oppressors irrespective of the form which this struggle takes.

In a demagogic attempt to extend the principle of peaceful co-existence to relations between antagonistic classes in bourgeois society and between colonialists and oppressed peoples, the apologists of imperialism try to legalise the subordinate position of the colonies and semi-colonies and to place difficulties in the way of the peoples' struggle for their rights and freedom. They would like to deprive this struggle of support from the world Socialist system, but no one can stifle the people's longing for freedom. Every regime which is founded on the oppression and exploitation of other people is unstable and cannot last forever.

The impossibility of suppressing the people's desire for progress and a better life is clearly shown in the light of history. Typical in this respect is the example of the United States itself, which was established as the result of a stubborn war of liberation against English colonial oppression. Many other countries which are now the perpetrators of colonial oppression frequently in the past resorted ,to armed struggle in defence of their own independence.

The colonialists would thus like to deny the peoples in the colonies and dependent countries those same rights for which in its own day the progressive bourgeoisie of Europe and America fought.

The peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America resolutely condemn this point of view. They insist on their right to free and independent development and their right to use any methods and forms of the national liberation struggle to which the colonialists compel them. President of Indonesia, Sukarno, said at the 15th U.N. General Assembly that "the struggle for independence is always justified and always just. Those who resist that irresistible onward march of national independence and self-determination are blind, those who seek to reverse what is irreversible are dangerous to themselves and to the world".

It is, however, necessary to observe that some African and Asian politicians reject armed struggle in principle and maintain that only non-violent, peaceful forms of struggle against colonialism are permissible. This sort of opinion was expressed, for example, at the 1st All-African People's Conference in December 1958 at which a discussion on forms and methods of the independence struggle took place.

Marxists do not doubt the sincerity of those who favour non- violent methods; they know that many of them are frequently subjected to repressions by the colonial authorities. Still they do not and cannot agree with this rejection in principle of armed struggle.

The theory of non-violence does not provide a satisfactory answer to the question of what should be done if peaceful means do not bring the desired results, if the colonialists themselves do not refrain from using force.

To uphold this point of view means objectively to play into the hands of the colonialists who are striving to get the peoples to refrain from a determined fight for their liberation. One need only recall the energetic behind-the-scenes activity of the American propagandists at the 1st All-African People's Conference, where they tried to impose acceptance of peaceful means as the basic method of struggle for the African peoples. Nevertheless the Conference resolutions proclaimed full support for all fighters for freedom - both those who use peaceful methods of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience and those who are compelled to answer force by force.

The 2nd All-African People's Conference in January 1960 again declared that the African peoples prefer to win their independence by peaceful means, but, if the colonialists compel them to they will take up arms.


Actual experience and the practice of the national liberation movement has proved the untenability of the theory of non- violence. Many peoples began their fight for independence by peaceful, non-violent means and yet the colonialists' reply to this was mass repressions, imprisonment, and torture. The people could not sit with folded hands and reconcile themselves to their position of slavery, but were compelled to rise up and fight, arms in hands, so as to assert their right to a free existence.

Armed struggle has played and continues to play an important role in the liberation of colonies and dependent countries from colonial oppression. During the first stage of the general crisis of capitalism before the powerful camp of Socialist countries had been formed and when imperialism was the predominant force in the world, armed struggle was practically the only means of winning national independence. There is the example of China where armed struggle was the principal form of the national struggle against the domination of the country by foreign capitalists and domestic reaction. Mongolia won full independence through armed struggle, and the formerly semi-colonial countries of Afghanistan and Turkey also consolidated their sovereignty.

Armed forms of national liberation struggle were also pre- dominant during the second stage of the general crisis of capitalism. Many peoples in Asia and Africa, who had contributed towards the defeat of Hitler, had to conduct a heroic fight against the colonialists who tried to restore their former regimes by military means.

The national liberation wars conducted by the peoples of China, North Korea and North Viet-Nam, against the foreign invaders merged with civil wars against domestic reaction which served as a main support of colonialism. As a consequence the masses were freed not only from colonial, but also social oppression.

The peoples of Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Morocco, Tunisia etc. were all compelled to resort to armed struggle for independence and social progress. Many peoples have won their independence on the battlefield in bitter fighting with colonialist armies.

Within the last few years in conditions of the unfolding of the third stage of the general crisis of capitalism, people in a whole number of countries are also compelled to resort to armed struggle against the colonialists and domestic reaction. The most typical example of this is the Cuban war of liberation which overthrew the pro-imperialist mercenary regime and created conditions for the further advance of the Cuban revolution, which has become a banner of the liberation struggle for people throughout Latin America.

Quite recently, thanks only to having undertaken an armed attack, India succeeded in putting an end to Portugal's colonial domination over the Indian territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, which had lasted more than 450 years.

The eight-year-old war of the Algerian people against the French colonialists, supported wholeheartedly by the United States and other NATO countries, is a just and sacred war for independence and freedom. A passage from the Algerian Communist Party pamphlet "Our People Will Win" says: "Every single one of our victories, no matter how small, from November 1954 onwards, was directly or indirectly the result of armed struggle". The people of Algeria while in favour of exploiting every possible means for deciding the Algerian question peacefully, at the same time take every measure to strengthen the armed struggle, regarding it as a decisive factor in achieving national independence.

The national liberation movement of the peoples of Angola, Oman and other countries has turned into a just war of liberation. The patriotic forces in a country like Laos are compelled to wage armed struggle against the colonialists and their agents even after the winning of formal independence. Armed struggle is thus an integral and frequently decisive component part of the general mighty national liberation movement shattering the last foundations of colonialism.


National liberation uprisings and wars are conducted by all patriotic forces, united in a single anti-imperialist front. Communists are to be found in the front ranks of the participants in the national liberation movement, including armed struggle against the colonialists. The Communist Parties in many countries were responsible for forming liberation armies, and their members devote all their efforts to serving this just cause. The Algerian Communist Party, for example, while preserving its political and organisational independence, incorporated the armed forces under its control into the National Liberation Army under the leadership of the National Liberation Front. By their selflessness and loyalty to their patriotic duty, Communists everywhere have won the love and admiration of their comrades-in-arms.

Guerrilla warfare is the most typical form of armed struggle in national liberation wars. Ernesto Che Guevara, Cuban Minister for Industry, correctly points out in his book: " ... Guerrilla warfare is the struggle of the masses, the people's struggle; the guerrilla unit as an armed nucleus is the militant vanguard of the people, and its main source of strength is its reliance on the population".


From the point of view of the condition in which the opposing sides find themselves, national liberation wars are unequal wars. The colonial troops are armed to the teeth with up-to-date means of human destruction while the peoples waging a selfless struggle for their liberation have as a rule out-of-date, primitive weapons. The consciousness of the rightness of their cause, however, inspires them with firm resolve and finally allows them to achieve their desired goal.

In his speech to the delegates to the 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. Saifoulaye Diallo, Political Secretary of the Democratic Party of Guinea, said that the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America "entered the struggle regardless of the fact that they could oppose- extremely insignificant means of struggle to the machine- guns, guns, napalm and concentration camps of the colonialists. But your example teaches us that nothing can break the will of the people filled with determination to fight".

The solidarity of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America in their struggle against colonialism has been firmly established in our times and is growing stronger day by day. Their resolute actions make it impossible for the imperialists to wage colonial wars with impunity, as they were able to do in the past, in the period of imperialism's undivided rule. The 2nd All-African Peoples' Conference, for example, not only demanded the withdrawal from Algeria of African soldiers dragooned into the French army, but launched an appeal to organise a volunteer corps to fight in the Algerian war of national liberation. The colonialists can no longer continue to use the human resources of the colonial and dependent countries for the armed suppression of the people's liberation struggle in other countries.

The national liberation movement enjoys the active support of progressive forces in the imperialist countries. The working class and its vanguard - the Communist and Workers' Parties of the metropolitan countries - fight consistently against the shameful exploitation of the colonies and dependent countries and against colonial military adventures undertaken by the imperialists, and strengthen their fraternal alliance with peoples fighting for their independence. The recently published joint declaration of the Communist Parties of the Netherlands and of Indonesia on the possibility of Dutch reactionary forces provoking war with Indonesia over West Irian says:

"If war were to break out it would be a just war of liberation for the Indonesian people and would bring to an end the war for independence begun on August 17, 1945. This just war of liberation would undoubtedly receive even more powerful support from all anti-colonialist and progressive forces throughout the world, including anti-colonial and progressive forces in the Netherlands, than was the case in 1947 and 1948. For the Dutch imperialists this would be a colonial war, a futile action, which would arouse the indignation of mankind, a long and bloody war in which the blood of both Dutch and Indonesians would flow".

Only a small handful of bourgeois monopolists in the imperialist countries are interested in preserving colonialism, and they are doing everything they can to prolong their domination and retain the possibility of living off the backs of the colonies and dependent countries. The discussion at the 16th U.N. General Assembly on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to the Colonial Countries and Peoples showed that the imperialists would like to postpone for as long as possible the liquidation of the shameful system of colonialism. This proves the short- sightedness of their policy and groundlessness of their expectations. It is impossible not to realise today that further resistance by the colonialists can only make the struggle of the peoples against colonialism even more bitter, but cannot prevent its final downfall.


The foundation of the Communist Party of Lesotho (Basutoland)
by John Motloheloa (Secretary, Communist Party of Lesotho)

The newly-formed Communist Party of Lesotho (Basutoland) held its foundation Congress on May 5, 1962. Messages of solidarity were received, among others, from the South African Communist Party, the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party and from Walter Ulbricht of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. A Constitution and Programme were adopted and a Central Committee elected.


A united front of all patriotic political parties for the achievement of complete independence and national liberation is the central task of the new Party. Our foundation Congress decided that such a front could only emerge on the basis of a progressive policy, and in co-operation with the Communist Party. The attempt to build a united front on the basis of anti-communism was sterile and doomed to failure. A strong Communist Party with active branches through- out the country is fundamental to a national liberation front in our country.

The main enemy of Basotho progress has been and still is British imperialism and its ally - White South African imperialism. The country's backwardness can only be overcome when freedom is achieved. Under these conditions of national oppression, the Communist Party will work with any party or group genuinely fighting against imperialism, despite differences on other issues.

Our country lacks modern industry, its agriculture is primitive.

Our education, health and social services are backward. Despite all this, our Congress came to the conclusion that, led by the Communist Party, the people could defeat imperialism, create a State of National Democracy in our country, and advance on a non- capitalist path to Socialism and eventually to Communism. The possibilities of achieving these aims in a country surrounded by the hostile South African Republic existed because of the favourable international conditions. The existence of the powerful Socialist System together with the struggle of the working class in the imperialist countries and the powerful liberation movements in Asia Africa and Latin America, are a guarantee of the victory of the Lesotho revolution.

The Party is to establish offices in various parts of Lesotho, and will establish a Party bulletin, MOSEBETSI (The Worker). It pledges itself to create the closest fraternal relations both with the international working class and especially with progressive organisations in South Africa.

The Programme of the Communist Party of Lesotho, following a brief historical outline, analyses the present situation of the Basotho people and advances the proposals and aims of the Party.


Lesotho is an enclave entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is a small country of 11,720 square miles with a population of approximately 800,000.

Our country is a colony under the control of Great Britain. For the past 80 years or more the people of Lesotho have suffered colonial oppression. Threatened by the depredations of the Boers in the last century, the founder of the nation, King Moshoeshoe I entered into a treaty of Alliance and Protection with the British

Government in 1843. The Treaty provided for protection in the event of aggression by an outsider. In terms of the agreement, King Moshoeshoe and the Basotho Pitsot were to continue to exercise complete sovereignty over the country.

The Boers continued their policy of robbing the Basotho of their territory, with the help of superior arms and the barely concealed connivance of the British Government. Further treaties with the British followed, each more unfavourable to the Basotho. But Britain had no intention of abiding by the spirit or the letter of any treaties entered into with the Basotho. Over the years, by a combination of force and guile, the powers of the people over the traditional national council.country were whittled down to the point where independent Lesotho became a crown colony entirely under the control of an imperialist power.


At present the government is based on a constitution introduced in 1959, which purports to give more power to the Basotho. Provision is made for a legislative council known as the "National Council". This comprises 80 members, half of whom are elected by a system of indirect elections. The rest are nominees. Women are virtually excluded from the electorate. There is an Executive Council appointed by the British High Commissioner. It consists of 8 members, half of whom are British officials.

Although the National Council has extensive powers, these are circumscribed by the undemocratic character of the constitution. Ultimate power and initiative still rest firmly in the hands of the British Government, which can veto any law, and can repeal the constitution itself without reference to the Basotho.

The prolonged rule of British imperialism has had grave effects on the economy of the country. The land and natural resources are hardly developed at all. There is no industry. Agriculture is primitive. Health facilities are scanty, and educational opportunities limited. Of the population of over 800,000, the majority are so poverty-stricken that more than half the menfolk in their prime of life are forced to go and sell their labour power at wretched rates of pay in neighbouring South Africa.


The one natural resource which the people have managed by means of struggle to preserve is the land. Unlike other colonies, no foreigner owns any part of Basutoland. Land is held in trust for the Basotho nation by the Paramount Chief, and may not be alienated. Grazing rights are communal, but arable land is allocated to individuals by Chiefs who act under the authority of the Paramount Chief.

With the growth of population, and with changes in the needs of the people, the traditional tribal land tenure which depended on the easy availability of land has now broken down. The imperialists have been content that this remains the position. Allocation of land in the traditional manner is arbitrary, archaic and uneconomic. There is no element of economic planning in such allocation. Of the total land area of 11,720 square miles, only about 1,453 square miles are arable. There are over 170,000 households in Basutoland with an average land-holding of 4 acres each.

Actually, the majority of families do not have more than approximately 2 acres; 14 per cent of the households are completely landless. When it is considered that an economic unit of land in the best areas of Basutoland is considered to be 15 acres, it will be realised why it is impossible for the people to live on produce from the land. Only about 5 per cent of the landholders hold 15 acres and over.

Economists have also estimated that a person holding 5.7 acres would earn ?12 per year. A person holding 15 acres would still be able to earn only ?120 a year. In view of the fact that land is practically the only known asset of the country, a serious economic plight is revealed by the facts.


As a consequence, thousands of Basotho are compelled to leave the country to work on the mines, farms and industries of South Africa; 83,000 males of working age were absent from the territory in 1959. That amounted to 43 per cent of the adult male population. In South Africa, which has a developed economy, the Basotho are subject to the same conditions as have made South Africa's name infamous throughout the world. Like all Africans in South Africa, they suffer racial discrimination in all fields, including wages and conditions of work. That alone is a commentary on the disgraceful conditions existing in Basutoland. Our country is a reservoir of cheap labour for South African mines, farms and industries. It has been a fundamental principle of British policy to maintain this position. The recruiting agencies of South African mines have been granted extensive special privileges to operate in the country, and nothing has been done to develop our economy so as to provide employment within the motherland.

This flow of migratory labour has had disastrous social and economic consequences in Basutoland. But objectively, it has also given rise to the emergence of class-conscious workers, trained in the harsh conditions of South African wage slavery. Thus the weapon has been fashioned to free Basutoland from the ravages of British imperialism and its ally - White South African imperialism.

For many years, led by organisations like Lekhotla La Bafo and the Basutoland Congress Party, the Basotho have been carrying on a brave struggle in the traditions of Kin Moshoeshoe I to maintain and extend the independence of the country. Throughout their struggle the Basotho have receive valuable help from progressive organisations in South Africa. Individual communists, as members of Lekhotla La Bafo or the BCP have made significant contributions to the struggle in the last thirty years. The Communists are no strangers to the masses of Basutoland.


The struggle of the people of Lesotho for independence has now entered a new phase; it is taking place under new conditions; in a new epoch.

This new era in human history was ushered in by the Great October Socialist Revolution, organised by the Communist Party of Russia in 1917. A new type of state, the Soviet State, came into being, in which for the first time, exploitation and oppression of workers was abolished. Millions throughout the world, inspired by the example of the workers and peasants of Russia, were aroused to fight against imperialism for their national liberation. From a backward country the Soviet Union became within the space of a generation, the world's mightiest state in science, economy and technology.

Following the victory of the Soviet Union in the second world war and the defeat of fascism, the cause of the oppressed people made a further leap forward. The great Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party defeated foreign imperialism, and domestic reaction, and embarked on the Socialist path. In a number of European and Asian countries - Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Albania, Bulgaria and the Democratic Republics of Germany, Korea and Vietnam - the people rose against capitalist and landlord rule and laid the basis for socialism. There has thus come into being the world Socialist system, comprising a third of the human race. The Socialist system is a social, economic and political community of free sovereign peoples, pursuing the socialist and communist path, united by an identity of interests and goals and close bonds of international socialist solidarity.

Of vital significance, too, is the astonishing growth in the number and power of international working class organisations, especially noteworthy are those Communist and Workers' Parties working in the citadels of imperialism, in the United States, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and other imperialist countries.

The powerful socialist camp has become a bastion of and stimulus to movements for national liberation in Asia, Africa and Latin America. As a result a great wave of independence has swept over these areas. There are now no fewer than 29 independent African states. The disgraceful colonial system is approaching complete disintegration and decay.

The conditions described above enable our epoch to be characterised as follows:

"Our times, the basic content of which is the transition from capitalism to socialism initiated by the Great October Socialist Revolution, are times of struggle between the two opposed social systems, times of socialist revolutions, of the breakdown of imperialism, of the abolition of the colonial system, times of transition of more peoples to the socialist path, of the triumph of socialism and communism on a world-wide scale."

(Statement of Meeting of Representatives of Communist and Workers' Parties, Moscow 1960)


Lesotho, has also felt the effects of these great developments on the world scene, which have helped our people to win important victories. British imperialism is being forced to make substantial concessions, and the country stands on the verge of independence.

But it would be a mistake to under-estimate the difficulties and complexity of the struggle that still lies ahead. Politically, our country is still dominated by British Imperialism. The mine owners, industrialists and farmers of the Republic of South Africa exploit the labour power of the Basotho workers. The Republic includes within its boundaries Basotho territory obtained with the help of British Imperialism in the last century.

The Republic of South Africa, which is a tyranny in which a White minority enjoys political and other rights at the expense of the majority of the people, continually threatens Lesotho, as well as Swaziland and Bechuanaland, with incorporation, and the imposition of their evil system of apartheid.

To win complete and genuine independence, and to raise the living and cultural standards of the masses of our people, revolutionary changes are needed in Lesotho. Industry, agriculture and communications must be rapidly developed so as to provide employment for all inside the country, and enable the sons of Lesotho to return to their motherland. Such development is only possible under a system of socialist planning, which will enable the whole people to benefit from their labour, and not merely a small class or group.

To safeguard our independence we cannot rely on the protection of British Imperialism which has betrayed the trust of our own and many other peoples, and continues to do so. For example, the two protectorates of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia were forcibly joined in Federation with Southern Rhodesia for the sake of a few White capitalists.

We must rely, firstly, on our own strength and unity, and for this purpose the Basotho must enjoy complete sovereignty and self- government, including control of their own defence force, foreign policy, internal security, posts and telegraphs, air-lines, and all other powers which are controlled by genuinely independent governments.

Secondly, we must rely on our nearest allies, our oppressed brothers and sisters in the Republic, who are fighting against our common enemy, aggressive White South African Imperialism. For this purpose, the Basotho should maintain close friendly relations with the progressive movements in the Republic of South Africa such as the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress.

Thirdly, we must rely on the sympathy and support of the independent states of Africa, Asia and Latin America. We must rely on the member states of the United Nations, nearly all of whom have condemned apartheid, and who can be expected to extend prompt and immediate practical aid to an independent Lesotho, should she be compelled to resist aggression and embargoes from her imperialist neighbour. For this purpose, Lesotho must be represented as an independent country at the United Nations, and enter into friendly relations with all countries, irrespective of their social system. We should rapidly develop air and other means of communication with the outside world; and enter into any necessary alliances.


The parties and organisations which have hitherto existed in Lesotho have done valuable work for the country, but they have proved inadequate to meet the complex and difficult tasks of our people in the new situation which arises from our internal development, and from fast-moving changes beyond our borders.

These organisations have represented mainly chiefs, or peasants, or middle-class intellectuals. They have lacked a clear ideology and understanding of the modern world. Hence they often compromised with British Imperialism; neglected the interests of the Basotho workers both in the country and in the Republic, failed to adopt suitable programmes for industry and agriculture, and looked for the advancement or enrichment of a few, rather than the upliftment of the poorest sections of the people.

The Communist Party of Lesotho is a Marxist-Leninist Party of the new type. The Party represents the working class, and safe- guards the ultimate interests of the whole nation. It is a party guided by the most advanced political and economic theory, namely, Marxism-Leninism; the science which has already led a third of humanity to liberation.

The Party stands uncompromisingly for the freedom, independence and self-government of Lesotho as the only road to a socialist Republic of Lesotho. To achieve this aim, the party strives for co-operation with other patriotic forces in the nation, in a united front of national liberation.

The Party works for close friendly relations between the Basotho and their brothers and sisters in the Republic of South Africa. It safeguards the interests of the most exploited section of the people - the workers both inside and outside the country. It will help to overcome and root out all vestiges of colonialism in this country. It will lead the way to the winning not only of formal political independence, but also of economic independence, the raising of the cultural standards and the safeguarding of the future of Lesotho.


The ultimate aim of the Party is to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat to carry through changes that will lead to socialism, and finally to communism. But under the conditions prevailing in our country today these aims belong to the future.

The Party therefore advances the following immediate aims which are in accord with the necessities of the struggle today. Among the immediate aims of the Party are:

  • The achievement of immediate independence for Lesotho, and the creation of a democratic state with all local and national representatives in legislative bodies subject both to election and recall by universal, equal, direct, secret, adult suffrage without regard to race, sex, colour, creed, educational or other qualifications whatsoever.
  • The Party demands the ending of all vestiges of colonialism and, specifically, control by a democratic National Council of the civil service, defence, foreign policy, internal security, post and telegraphs, internal and external communications, airways, currency, and all other powers of a sovereign legislature.
  • It stands for the adherence of an independent Lesotho to the United Nations and the establishment of friendly diplomatic and economic relations with all countries, including Britain, but especially with the independent African states.
  • In regard to relationship with the Republic of South Africa the Party will demand that the Republic unequivocally recognise the independence and integrity of the country. It will make new arrangements with the Mines and other employers to pay adequate wages, guarantee safety conditions, and trade union rights. It will propose that Basotho officials take adequate measures to enforce such arrangements. Furthermore, the Party will demand the return of territories belonging to Lesotho, wrongfully included in the Republic by British Imperialism.
  • The Party stands for the creation of an Agrarian Reform Institute with wide powers over the use of the National asset - LAND. Radical reform must be undertaken in regard to all land. Building upon the traditional attitude of our people to the land, whereby it is regarded as belonging to all the people, the state should encourage the formation of co-operatives and collective farms under democratic administration. The state should take immediate steps to mechanise farming operations, conserve water supplies, and combat soil erosion. It should encourage scientific livestock breeding and diversification of crops.
  • The Party will demand the immediate nationalisation of all labour recruitment.
  • The Party will propose the establishment of a national bank and currency system.
  • The Party will press for guarantees of civil liberties, including freedom of speech, of the press, of movement and of belief.
  • The Party will work for a united national front with all progressive forces, aiming at an independent, self-governing, democratic Lesotho; a united front of all workers, peasants, professional and business people, chiefs and commoners, for independence and democracy, for higher living and cultural standards, and the development of the economy of the country by the Basotho themselves, through their own democratically elected government.


The historic 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union considered and adopted the great programme for the building of the first Communist society in the history of mankind.

The programme is a concrete, scientifically-substantiated programme for the building of communism. All mankind will inevitably march along the road to the highest stage of human society-COMMUNISM. Lesotho is no exception. Although our country lags behind because of specific historical features, it is open to us to achieve our independence, create a state of National Democracy based on a non-capitalist economy, and advance with the help of the progressive world to socialism and communism. That is the ultimate aim that the Communist Party of Lesotho sets itself.


"Imperialism is seeking to find new means to attain its colonial ends. It is seeking to launch a collective onslaught on the young national states. Recently the imperialist monopolies have been pinning very great hopes on the so-called Common Market.

"The ideologists of imperialism are praising to the skies this organisation, extolling the blessings it allegedly offers to its member- states. But their claims are very remote from reality. The Common Market is, in fact, a state monopoly agreement of the financial oligarchy of Western Europe which is threatening the vital interests of all peoples and the cause of universal peace, since the aggressive circles of imperialism are using it with the aim of strengthening NATO and steppirg up the arms race....

"Subordination of the young sovereign states of Africa to the Common Market would mean their consent to reconcile themselves to playing the part of agrarian-raw material hinterlands of the former metropolitan countries. But it was not for the sake of this that the African peoples rose in a sacred struggle against colonial- ism. In this struggle they have learned a great deal. They have amassed much experience of political struggle. Their desire to maintain and strengthen their independence, for which they have paid such a great price, is becoming ever more invincible."

Nikita S. Khrushchov (speaking at a Soviet-Mali Friendship Meeting in Moscow on May 30, 1962).


A Contient in search of a formula by Jalang Kwena

The African revolution has already brought national independence and freedom to 29 countries with a total population of 184 million souls; while four more countries with a total population of 30 million will be liberated this year or early next year. Though they have gained their political independence and have their own governments, most of these countries are economically still dominated by their former rulers.

But while their emancipation is still incomplete, and while many of these countries have yet to carry out important economic and political tasks essential to their full and complete freedom - establishment of their own national industries and development of agriculture, expulsion of foreign monopolies, removal of remnants of colonialism and imperialism, and introduction of farreaching agrarian reforms - they are already brought face to face with major national problems which demand immediate solution.

Having rightly condemned imperialist oppression and exploitation before they attained independence, leaders of these states are now called upon to remove the evil legacies of colonialism. The masses who courageously and selflessly fought for freedom, social justice and a bright future want an end to poverty, hunger unemployment, disease, lack of housing, low wages, illiteracy and ignorance.

The question of removal of poverty and its associate and resultant evils, therefore, is the greatest problem plaguing the newly freed peoples of Africa. Yet the solution seems straight-forward enough. We all know that for a country to be able to end those evils it must have a highly developed economy. It must have heavy and light industry, developed transport and communication systems, and its agriculture must be modernised. Its capacity and ability to produce wealth must be tremendously increased. It must have skilled producers and efficient tools with which to produce. This means that the government concerned must embark on a programme of planned economic and industrial development.

To end lack of education, knowledge and skill adequate primary schools, secondary schools, technical and training colleges and institutions of higher learning are necessary. To abolish diseases there must be enough well-equipped hospitals and clinics staffed with properly trained personnel, and to prevent disease all citizens must be properly housed, fed and clothed, and must live under good hygienic conditions.

But the big question is: how are all these fine things to be done? That is precisely one of the problems worrying the authorities in all independent African States today. All are aware of the gigantic economic and social task, even though some of them are sitting helplessly and merely resorting to usual bourgeois methods and tricks of keeping the people quiet. However, others are trying in their own way to tackle the problem resolutely.

Essentially, the matter is one of social systems: which system is it to be, which is adequate for the task, capitalism or socialism? Because of their feudal petty bourgeois background and anti-communist Western propaganda many African leaders in independent African States have a strong capitalist bias.


As a system based on private ownership of the means of production and whose sole purpose is to make profit, capitalism and its variants - colonialism, imperialism and fascism - has miserably failed to satisfy the needs of the mass of humanity. This is the case not only with regard to Africa, Asia and Latin America, but everywhere where the system obtains. There are over 3 million permanently unemployed workers in the United States and millions more in other capitalist countries. We all know of daily queues at labour bureaux, queues of desperate men and women seeking in vain for non-existent jobs, and begging for the dole.

Capitalism is to-day a sick and dying social order. It is in a state of chronic economic crises and depressions. Hence the reckless policy pursued by the Western powers in connection with the vital question of war and peace. Hence also the formation of many post-war economic organisations such as the "Coal and Steel Community", the "European Common Market" and others. These bodies have been set up to curb competition and control the supplies of particular goods, into the market. This system is therefore utterly inadequate for and unequal to the huge and very important social task envisaged.

The theory of and speculation about an entirely new and peculiarly African social system is nothing but a baseless reactionary petty bourgeois dream which should be rejected with the con- tempt it deserves. While admitting that capitalism has failed, the advocates of this absurd theory maintain that "communism has the soul of Africa against it", and that "the irrational, unpredictable and religious African soul will resist &e disintegrating power of Marxist-Leninist philosophy, even in cases where the African intellect has agreed to accept."

These wishful-thinkers are wrong, both in their assumption and inference. The African people are not against but for communism. But, in any case, what right has anyone to suggest that they therefore want their own different "African" social system? If it were true that Africans did not want common ownership of land and of the means of production, then surely they must be in favour of private ownership, capitalism. Happily, this is not the case. Africans are neither opposed to Communism nor do they want an "African social system". The African people are not going to cut themselves away from the peoples of the rest of the world.

It is true that they are searching for a humane social system. But a system which is good for the Europeans Asians or Americans is also good for the African people. The peoples of the capitalist world and of the newly freed African and Asian countries want a radical system, one ready and prepared to carry through fundamental social, economic and political tasks. Some have already found it.

"Africans," writes a Western spokesman, "are prepared to use Marxist doctrine as a guide to the solution of economic and poli- tical matters.... " And Mr. J. K. Tettegah, the General Secretary of the Ghana Trades Union Congress, says they in Ghana have chosen socialism because "capitalism has only brought humanity the evils of imperialism and colonialism."


The Ghanaians declare they are aiming at "a state based upon a socialist pattern of society adapted to suit Ghanaian conditions, in which all citizens, regardless of class, tribe, colour or creed, shall have equal opportunity, and where there shall be no exploitation of man by man, tribe by tribe, or class by class; and shall strive to promote and to safeguard popular democracy based upon universal adult suffrage and the rule of the majority". (Objective of the Convention People's Party, the governing party of Ghana.)

It is not in Ghana alone where a governing party has come to this realisation and has chosen socialism as the only type of social order that will successfully tackle the basic economic and social problems facing it. Governing parties in other African countries have come to the same conclusion, and in Mali and Guinea we can see purposeful development on non-capitalist lines towards the building of socialist societies.

However, recognising the strong dislike of capitalism among the African masses, and powerful attraction towards socialism, some African leaders declare themselves in favour of "socialism" but in fact do nothing to build it. Instead they do everything to foster the capitalist elements and even compromise with international imperialism and neo-colonialism. For example, in Senegal and Egypt we have the remarkable picture of leaders who claim to be socialists, while persecuting militant socialist and trade union leaders, and Bourguiba of Tunisia combines "socialist" demagogy with protestations of undying affection for "the West".

The difficulty is that, due largely to the black-out on true information maintained for so many years by the imperialist powers in Africa, there is widespread ignorance in Africa as to what socialism really is.

There is only one genuine form of socialism - socialism as defined in the teachings of Karl Marx and V. I. Lenin. There is not and never will be such a thing as "national socialism", "Christian socialism" or "African socialism". It is true that there have been several "socialist" governments in Europe in the last 44 years. But with the exception of the U.S.S.R. all of them failed; some ended in a Mussolini, a Hitler, a Churchill or a de Gaulle. All of them failed because the countries concerned did not attack the real fundamental issue: the problem of the basic means of life, the ownership of land, forest~s, waters, industry, mines and mineral resources and raw materials, and because they did not attack the power and forces of property owners or abolish their privileges.

So, while we are in full agreement with the proposition that each country will reach socialism through ways and methods best suited to its people, we do feel that it is essential that there should be no confusion or misunderstanding about what we mean by socialism.

"Socialism is a system based on social ownership of the means of production in its two forms - state (public) and co-operative or collective farm property. In this system there is no exploitation of man by man. The national economy is developed in a planned way, for the purpose of completely satisfying the growing needs of the working people by means of an uninterrupted growth of production on the basis of advanced techniques and realisation of the principle of distribution according to work.

"Under socialism the means of production are socially-owned, and production itself is for the satisfaction of the needs of society as a whole and of each of its members." - Political Economy, publication of the Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.

This then is the socialism for which we stand, the scientific socialism which the peoples of the U.S.S.R. built after their October Revolution of 1917, and which is being built in China, North Korea, North Vietnam and in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Socialism is not an emotional or sentimental thing. Socialism is a thorough-going social revolution in which public ownership of the means of production is substituted for private ownership. This truth cannot be invalidated by fancy names or labels.


It is absolutely necessary that all African students of economics and politics and all African political leaders should rid themselves of illusions and wishful-thinking when dealing with social problems and the structure of African society and its customs. The peoples of Africa do not have a homogeneous social system. There are several social orders in various countries of Africa. In some, Africans live under tribalism where there are no definite classes, others live under feudalism or capitalism. In the last two systems there are classes with irreconcilable class interests. Each country, therefore, has its own peculiar social, economic and political problems which have to be determined, recognised and considered separately and individually.

It stands to reason that political institutions set up for and policies pursued in a classless society will be inadequate for a society divided into contending classes with strong antagonistic class interests. Where there are no classes the economic and political policies will be easy, simple and straightforward: no civil war, no class struggle. The nation as a whole will move forward towards the building of a socialist order without much subjective difficulties. But where the people are divided into classes there will certainly be many subjective difficulties and some bitter and grim class struggles in which privileged sections aim at preventing any attempts to nationalise the means of production. In such a situation the government and the state must be of a type that is capable of and suited for implementing radical social policies. Here it is very important that the State should not flinch or hesitate when it comes to taking strong measures against the propertied classes or depriving them of power and their privileges.

The government concerned must be under no illusion regarding the aims of its opponents. The role and responsibility of the working class is vital in the stage and period of struggle for nationalisation. They have to play the leading and decisive role in the struggle for freedom and national liberation. However, under conditions of private ownership of the means of production it is at all times the duty and responsibility of the workers' organisations such as trade unions to fight for better wages and working conditions for their members.

Under those conditions there can be no question about "unity of action between the government, the governing party and the trade unions" unless such unity of action concerns attacks on private ownership of the means of production or basic progressive social measures. Any trade union which forgets the bread and butter issues betrays the interests of its members.

Even when the economic conditions have changed, when the workers are the owners and rulers of the means of production, trade unions still have to look after the interests of their members. But here the best way of doing this is by increasing productivity and in this way increasing or raising the share and material benefits of their members. Under such conditions the producers, the workers, and the whole of society benefit from the wealth resulting from increased productivity. Apart from their wages and salaries their rich society will provide them with all the necessaries essential for a full life: food; all types of education; good houses; hospitals; clinics; electricity; proper sanitation; efficient transport services; unemployment, sick and maternity benefits; old age pensions; recreational and cultural facilities and entertainments.

It should be quite clear now from what we have said above that only through the complete elimination of capitalism, colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism in all its forms, and by the establishment of socialism will! the fundamental and pressing economic, political and social problems of Africa be solved. The future salvation of mankind lies in communism, and socialism is the first stage of the communist society.


In order to achieve socialism it is necessary to do more than denounce capitalism and to declare oneself in favour of socialist objectives in general. To solve the concrete problems presented by each and every area in Africa, and to lead the masses of working people in the prolonged and difficult struggles against foreign imperialism and neo-colonialism as well as against local power- groups which will oppose socialism to preserve their selfish privileges, leadership is necessary by political parties which represent the most advanced element in African society, the working class, and which are enlightened by the study and application of the advanced theory of scientific socialism - Marxism-Leninism.

Several such Parties already exist in various African territories, and it is encouraging to note that at gatherings of the world communist movement African Communist and Workers' Parties are more represented than at any time in the past.

In many African countries one can observe the growth of groups which are moving towards or actually proclaim their adherence to Marxism-Leninism. In Senegal, the African Independence Party has long proclaimed its faith in Communism. In Nigeria several groups have been formed in various parts of the country which speak out in favour of scientific socialism it would be an excellent thing for Nigeria and in particular for its working class if these could all come together to pool their resources and talents in a single organisation. In Morocco the journal "Al Moukafih", edited by Ali Yata, vigorously advocates Marxist-Leninist ideas. In many African countries groups of readers of "The African Communist" have been formed to discuss the contents of this journal and to apply its inspiring ideas to the solution of their own local problems. Everywhere in Africa individual Communists are studying and working and playing an unselfish and leading part in the struggles of their people against colonialism and neo-colonialism, in close friendship and association with the national liberation movements.

From Cape to Cairo and from Somalia to Senegal, African working-class organisations, youths and intellectuals have decided for socialism and are enthusiastically turning to Marxist-Leninist studies and organisations. It is with these people - the youth in political organisations, in trade unions, in colleges and universities - that the future lies. They are the builders of to-day and the leaders and statesmen of tomorrow.


The President of the Republic of Mali, Modibo Keita, visited the Soviet Union in May, 1962, at the head of a Government delegation. Speaking at a reception given in his honour in Moscow, he proposed the following toast:

"To the triumph of the great idea of the abolition of all systems of oppression, whether oppression of one country by another, or oppression of some human beings by others. I raise my glass to this great idea which was discovered by the genius of the Soviet people, who have been able to translate this idea into reality - an idea which is now the hope of millions and hundreds of millions of people in all countries and on all continents."

In another speech during the same visit, President Modibo Keita declared:

"The peoples of the Soviet Union and Mali are waging on one single front a difficult, gigantic, but hopeful struggle against colonialism and all forms of oppression and for world peace.... Both you and we have confidence in the victory of Socialism. It is because of this that we wanted to come to the original sources of this idea, to see the realities of life in your country, your successes, even if the actual conditions of existence in your country somewhat differ from ours, and even if your methods somewhat differ from ours. Nevertheless, we want to borrow your experience, because the main thing is the aim you have set yourselves....

"We have already had a chance to appreciate your friendship at difficult moments in the development of our country, when it was the object of attacks from imperialists who tried to destroy our independence. The people of Mali will never forget the assistance rendered u~ by the Soviet people in consolidating the independence, territorial integrity and national unity of our country."


by B. Pela

"You from Africa, I from these States, We are brothers - you and I." Langston Hughes.

One in every ten citizens of the United States is of African descent.

As far as we Africans are concerned, nothing makes greater nonsense of America's claim to be the "leader of the free world" and the home of democracy and liberty than the outrageous treatment of our brothers and sisters in the United States, the denial of citizen rights, the lynchings and Jim Crow laws, the discrimination in every field of human endeavor.

Many of the worst practices of Verwoerd and other white supremacists in Africa are paralleled by the treatment of those whom the Americans call Negroes - that is, the descendants of those who were forcibly abducted as slaves from our common motherland, Africa.

Let us look at some facts.


Negroes make up about one-tenth of the U.S. population. A recent survey conducted by the U.S. Government revealed that of the 32,200,000 poorest families in the U.S., one-fifth, or 6,400,000 families are Negroes. And these 6,400,000 make up more than one-third of the Negro population in the U.S.A.

In 1948, Arnold Rose, an American sociology professor, wrote that "except for a small minority enjoying upper middle class status the masses of American Negroes in the rural South and in the slum quarters in Southern and Negro cities, have been destitute." At that time Ne~ro farm labourers in Mississippi spent only 37 cents a day on food. They spend practically the same to-day.

Significantly, Negro families in Mississippi subsist on less than $500 a year, while the average per capita income of white Missis- sippians is $834 per annum. New Yorkers average $2,258 a year. Though Negroes make up practically half the population of Mississippi, they own only 17 per cent of the land of Mississippi.

The homes of the rural Negro people are usually no more than hovels, in most cases without running water or proper lighting or sewerage.

Average Negro life expectancy in the U.S.A. is 57.8 years, while average White life expectancy is 67 years. The infant mortality rate among Whites is 43 per 1,000 live births, among Negroes it is 73 per 1,000.

These facts illustrate the bitter exploitation of the masses of landless share-croppers, tenant farmers and day labourers on Southern farms. Seventy per cent of these farmers are Negroes, who live in dire poverty and illiteracy from the cradle to the grave.

U.S. "goodwill" missions to Africa, when confronted with such facts, attempt to answer by asserting that to-day nearly two-thirds of all Negroes are city dwellers. But the Afro-American in the city is little better off. It is true that a handful have become capitalists in banking, insurance, service industries and similar lines of business. There is also a Negro middle class and a Negro intelligentsia.

But the bulk of our people in America are labourers, who are victims of the worst types of discrimination. They are kept out of certain industries, confined to certain jobs, relegated as a rule to unskilled and semi-skilled operations and paid lower wages than Whites.

The legal system of the Southern states continues the tradition of slavery, although this institution was formally abolished in 1863. Laws are made in the interests of the cotton planters and the plantation system. Debt peonage still exists, and there are "vagrancy" laws practically as brutal as South Africa's "pass" system. "Vagrants" have to choose between a job on the plantations or forced labour in chain gangs. According to Rose "threats, whip- pings and even more serious forms of violence have been customary to maintain strict discipline over Negro labour."


All classes among the Negro population, particularly the poorest, suffer from gross political discrimination. In the South, before a Negro may vote he has to satisfy all sorts of property and literacy 40 tests, and be of "good character" in the eyes of White citizens. Negroes are kept from the polls by legal trickery, intimidation and outright violence.

To-day Negroes have less say in running the Government of the U.S.A. than they had a hundred years ago, shortly after the Civil War. In the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War, 22 Negroes sat in the Senate and House of Representatives. In 1960, there were only three Negroes in the House of Representatives, and one in the Senate, all representing Northern constituencies, not one coming from the areas of major Negro population in the South. Proportionately there should be 50 Negroes in the House of Representatives! In 1896 the Negro vote in North Carolina was 120,000; in 1960, though the Negro population of the State had trebled and women had won the franchise, Negro registration stood at 150,000. Among 1,795 representatives in the State legislatures in all ex-slave states, not a single Negro can be found. Again, it is striking that there were twice as many Negro representatives in one state (South Carolina~ in 1878 as there are to-day in all Northern State legislatures combined!

This, then, is the pattern of American "progress" and "free world democracy" !


All the world has heard about the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court since May 1954, which have declared that segregated public schools are unconstitutional. These rulings have been held up as a shining example of "how American democracy works".

It should be noted, in the first place, that this is the same Supreme Court which in 1961. upheld the vicious Smith and McCarran Acts to stamp out democracy in the United States, by virtually outlawing t the U.S. Communist Party, and opening the way for persecution of r Communist leaders.

Secondly, we are bound to ask: how is it possible that the so- called "democratic" legal processes of the U.S.A. can be twisted by Southern legislatures in order to get around the Supreme Court decision by schemes such as making public schools "private", and by threatening jail for those advocating integration? In Louisiana alone $100,000 of public money has been paid to lawyers to devise schemes for keeping Negro children out of the schools.

Thirdly, discrimination still exists to a very large degree in Southern schools. Nine Negro children entered Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. To-day in all the former White schools of Little Rock there are only five Negro children. For 2,000 other Negro children in Little Rock, segregation still exists, with all its injustice and inequalities. In fact, in the South about three times as much public money is spent on the education of White children as on that of Negro children.

Discrimination is an everyday fact of life for U.S. citizens of African descent. Public libraries, parks, and recreational facilities are often closed to them. They frequently get longer jail sentences than Whites for the same crimes, they are less frequently pardoned. There are still a number of segregated jails.

Moreover Iynching is not dead. Between 1882-1946 there were 4,715 recorded Iynchings in the U.S.A., three-quarters of those murdered being Negroes. There has been a fresh spate of Iynchings in reprisal for the valiant campaign by Negroes against discrimination in public services in recent years.


Such is the reality of Negro life. How then are we to explain the contradiction between the ballyhoo about equality, democracy and justice, and this reality? Why does the U.S.A. maintain this backward "back-yard" of race oppression and poverty, when it is able to offer millions of dollars to the so-called "under-developed" countries of Africa and the rest of the world? Why does the U.S. Government not spend its millions in raising the standard of life of the Negro people? Why does it not stamp out White supremacy in the South instead of building up its strength for a new world war, and for colonialist expeditions in Laos and elsewhere?

The answer to these questions is to be found in Lenin's analysis of the nature of imperialism. Monopoly capitalism develops according to definite laws, and one of these laws is that it is more profit- ab~e for the monopolists to engage in the export of capital to the "backward countries", where labour is cheap, and land abundant, rather than devote these resources to uplifting the "backward areas" in their own country.

The industrialists of the North and the planters of the South have a vested interest in maintaining discrimination against the Negro people, because this system keeps profits high by holding down Negro wages and stifling opportunities for Negroes. The White planters" of the South, the colons of Algeria, the Kenya "White Highlanders" and the White supremacists of South Africa have an essential unity of outlook and purpose.


"The U.S. is engaged in a grim type of international gamesmanship," declared the American Assembly in 1958 in its publication The United States and Africa. "ln view of our great strength and the image we have created . . . it is ironic that we are vulnerable on race," bemoaned the Assembly. This is the dilemma of U.S. imperialism, which is highlighted by every fresh incident of discrimination. Such incidents evoke the immediate sympathy and solidarity with the White South on the part of White South African racialists and Algerian colons. But they provoke bitter indignation on the part of the African people. Try as it may, U.S. imperialism is incapable of resolving this dilemma.


It is a heart-warming thing for every African to see how our people - aided by the progressive labour movement and above all by the Communist Party of the United States of America - are fighting back against race discrimination and the U.S. brand of apartheid. In one stirring campaign after another, especially in recent years, Americans of African descent have shown themselves the foremost force for progress in the fight against American reaction - the leader of world reaction.

In an article in Freedomways (Summer, 1961) William L. Patterson points out:

    "Negroes, more so than any other group, now hold more power to mobilize the American people for a struggle for elementary decency, against the degrading effects of racism and for new and inspiring relations in the spheres of economics, politics, and culture.

    " And in the same magazine (Winter, 1962) G. and E. Edwards point out that -

    "The Negro liberation struggle is the spearhead of the anti- monopoly struggle in the United States. And the struggle against monopoly in this country to-day holds the key and the only key to the future of our whole people."

No African can fail to feel the greatest legitimate pride in this vanguard role of our brothers and sisters in the United States.


But it is necessary for us to do more than feel legitimate sympathy with dark-skinned people in White Supremacy America, or pride in their heroic struggles. It is time for us to take practical steps to assist them to achieve their birthright of human equality and dignity, wherever they may be.

Times have changed. To-day we have independent African states whose voice and influence can be felt in the world, and in the United Nations.

That America continues to oppress and discriminate against people of African descent is not only an insult to Africans in Africa, it is also a flagrant flouting of the United Nations Charter. The U.S. representatives try to curry favour with African and Asian statesmen by voting at U.N. to condemn apartheid in South Africa. But what about apartheid in the U.S.A.?
Many African statesmen and delegates to U.N.O. have felt the harsh and insulting brutality of American apartheid. When are we going to do something about it? This is a crying international scandal - and we cannot rest content until it has been ended.


"Before we came to the Soviet Union, we had certain misgivings and this was understandable when one thinks of the bitter campaign of discrimination and lies which is conducted against the Soviet Union. They told us, for instance, that religion is banned in your country, so imagine our surprise when we saw a mosque in Lenin- grad. They told us, too, that there was no freedom of the individual in your country. But everywhere we went we saw (perhaps this was just a first impression, but first impressions are generally right) freedom and respect for human dignity.... We have become convinced that the Soviet Union, which has gone through extreme difficulties in the past, has advanced to the vanguard of progress, thanks to the efforts of its working people and the wisdom of its leaders, and also thanks to Marxism-Leninism. While we were in Leningrad we visited the cruiser 'Aurora', which in 1917 gave the signal for the Russian Revolution, and we said that the 'Aurora' belongs not to the Soviet Union alone, but to all mankind, to all who suffer, all who languish under the colonial yoke, all who are exploited."

Sourou-Migan Apithy, Vice-President of the Dahomey Republic
(in an inter- view with Moscow News, June 9, 1962).


by A. Lerumo

"SALAAM!" is the traditional greeting in North Africa. Far in the South, the Basotho greeting is "Khotso!" Both words have the same meaning - "Peace!" Such greetings express the age-old long ing of the African people - like the common people of all countries - to live in peace and friendship among themselves and with the people of the outside world.

Yet, in modern times, our people have known little peace. Hardly a corner of Africa has not known the terror of invading colonialist armies, sent to seize our land and resources and to enslave our people. Even today, when through resolute struggle vast areas of Africa have been liberated from direct colonialist rule, the murderous slaughter of our people still continues, as by the O.A.S. in Algeria and the fascist Portuguese in Angola. In the South, the white colonialists maintain their rule in the Republic, in South West Africa, the Rhodesias and Mocambique only by the constant exercise and threat of armed violence. Sometimes this flares into gruesome massacres. Sometimes it shows itself only by the constant presence of soldiers and police, the stifling of all political freedom, the imprisonment, banning and exile of the peoples' leaders. But it is always there, overshadowing the lives of the people.

Colonial peoples are always at war it is the mode of existence of colonialism. For us, peace means and can only mean, not merely the absence of actual fighting at any particular stage, but the ending of colonial rule itself. Peace means freedom: freedom means peace. There can be no peace between the oppressors and the oppressed. Africa can only be at peace when the last vestige of foreign domination has been-removed from every inch of our Continent.

Abstract appeals for "peace" often fall on deaf ears among our people, because they fail to take into account these profound realities of the African situation. For too long have we heard talk of "peace" from missionaries and others - when what they mean is that we should submit to armed conquest and reconcile ourselves to enslavement. That we should lay down our arms while our oppressors retain and multiply theirs.

This pacifist advice to surrender to conquest has nothing in common with the message of the great and militant movement for world peace which has grown up in our times. Africa's support for world peace does not mean submitting to the imperialists. On the contrary, it means we must intensify our fight against imperialism, the main fomentor and instigator of war.

Some people incorrectly equate the call for the preservation of world peace with a suggestion that, in order to avoid conflict, we should maintain the status quo and avoid disturbing the established order of things. But this is a profoundly mistaken concept.

Let us ask ourselves who are the main fighters for preserving world peace, ending the cold war and achieving universal disarmament? They are precisely the vanguard of the movement for change and revolution throughout the world, the whole-hearted supporters of every struggle of colonial peoples for national emancipation and of the working class for the ending of the exploitation of man by man. They are the countries of the socialist camp, the world labour movement, the colonial fighters: sworn enemies all of the colonial system of imperialism.

Africa has great and vital problems of her own to be solved: the final extirpation of all forms of colonialism; the regeneration, unity and upliftment of our Continent. But, in tackling these problems it would be not only immoral but also foolish and impractical to turn our faces only inward and neglect the problems of mankind as a whole. What happens in the outside world profoundly affects and interacts with what happens in Africa. We cannot fulfil our own internal tasks unless we in our turn make our impact upon world affairs and struggle for the maintenance of world peace and the defeat of the criminal war plans of imperialism.

No one should be more conscious of the inseparable connection between our emancipation and the advance of the forces of peace and progress throughout the world than we Africans. As Dr. Nkrumah correctly said in his address to the Freedom Fighters' Conference at the end of May: "One great thing had happened in Europe which was having, and was to continue to have, its repercussions upon subsequent history throughout the world. That was the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, which spread rapidly throughout the Czarist empire and, overcoming the imperialist intervention, gave birth in 1922 to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."

The historic victory of the Soviet workers in 1917 opened the floodgates of the world-wide anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist revolution. Following on this great victory, the Soviet Union was built up into a mighty industrial state, which defeated the tremendous war-machine of Hitler Germany which international imperialism had created with the specific purpose of destroying the Soviet Union. The socialist revolution spread in Europe and Asia to create a great socialist commonwealth of nations, comprising a third of humanity.

These were crushing hammer-blows at the seemingly impregnable fortress of Western imperialism. They did not destroy it, but they so weakened it that it was powerless to prevent the tidal wave of national liberation from sweeping throughout Asia and Africa and now beginning to engulf Latin America as well. These have been great and significant advances for the cause of African emancipation, for the overthrow of colonialism.

But we should not confuse advances, however great and significant, with final victory. The enemy, imperialism, has suffered set- backs. It has been forced to give ground, to make concessions. But it is regrouping its forces, seeking new forms of perpetuating its domination and exploitation. Under the direction of the government of the United States of America, the agent of American monopoly capitalism, the forces of world imperialism and colonialism are preparing a vast international conspiracy to destroy socialism, national freedom and democracy, to set back the clock of history, and subject Africa and other huge areas of the world once again to the chains of colonialism.

The methods by which international imperialism seeks to further this sinister conspiracy are plain for all to see: the "cold war" - that is, the fanning of anti-Communism and war hysteria; preparations for a third world war; formation of aggressive alliances- the massing of nuclear and other armaments; frenzied efforts to secure control - by economic penetration, by espionage, bribery, military threats, subversion, dollar diplomacy and every possible means, fair or foul - in every non-imperialist country.

This criminal conspiracy against humanity can and will be defeated. But it will only be defeated by the vigilance and active struggle for peace by the masses of the people of all countries, for peace and against the imperialists' war plans.

This is a struggle which vitally concerns the whole future of the peoples of Africa. It is a struggle from which we cannot and dare not stand aside. For to stand aside means to help the imperialists to help them fasten the chains around our own necks.


Here in Africa one often hears, in one form or another, the argument: leave the rest of the world to fight its own quarrels while we stand aside. Let the "East" and the "West" fight it out, it is said. As between these "power blocs" we are neutral. We must not "commit" ourselves to either. Allied to this argument is a suggestion that as Africans we should not take part in the battle of ideas between capitalism and socialism or communism. They are condemned as "foreign ideologies".

It is natural and understandable that newly-independent African states should be jealous to preserve their independence from European control; that they should be unwilling to subordinate themselves to non-African groupings and alliances. But one must ask the question: who is asking them to do so ? Is it not the western imperialist countries which, even in this period of African independence, continue to put pressure on African states to stay in the British "Commonwealth" or the French "Union'; to permit European military bases on African territory; to enter as junior partners the cold-war European Common Market?

It is imperialism and no-one else who threatens the freedom and independence of Africa. Whether directly or acting through its Tshombes it is imperialism which murdered Lumumba and now threatens the life of imprisoned Gizenga; which is conducting a war of extermination in Angola; which from one end of Africa to the other is hard at work to buy African leaders so the imperialists can continue their profitable business in Africa of looting African resources and exploiting African labour.

As Comrade Ly Tidiane Baidy, a member of the Central Committee of the African Independence Party of Senegal, puts it in a special communication to this journal:

"Who gives arms to Portugal, to France and to the racialists of Pretoria to spill African blood? And for what reasons? Is it not the American, English and German imperialists, in order to defend their economic interests which are deeply involved.

"Who attacked Cuba and still tries to destroy her?
"Who fought in Vietnam and in Korea? Who divides these countries into two parts and opposes their unification and national development?
"Who caused the Congo tragedy? Who attacked Bizerta?
"We could multiply these questions and we would see that always and everywhere it is the imperialists, led by the United States, who are behind these actions inherent in their economy based on war." How can we be "neutral" towards the "west", towards imperial ism - which is actually attacking us, which is actually everywhere in Africa in a state of war (declared or undeclared) with us? The concept of "rival power blocs" is a false one, spread by the propagandists of imperialist colonialism to cover up their sinister plot for the unleashing of a global nuclear war. Socialism does not need war; its world-wide victory will come about not by force of arms but by the proved superiority of the socialist way of life in providing the needs of the people in the field of peaceful economic and cultural progress.

The real issue, towards which Africans cannot be indifferent or "neutral", is that of war or peace throughout the world. In this issue we cannot stand aside as spectators or neutrals. We are actively involved, whether we wish it or not. And we must actively take sides - for peace, against imperialism and war.


On the initiative of the representative of the Soviet Union, the United Nations has solemnly decided to adopt the goal of universal and complete disarmament. Even the representatives of the imperialist powers - standing in the searchlight of world public opinion - did not venture to oppose this resolution. They know that hundreds of millions of people of all countries demand an end to the fantastic wastage of human resources on arms, while the masses are starving, and an end to the nightmare threat of a nuclear world war.

The imperialist powers voted for the resolution hypocritically, with no intention of carrying it out. In fact they have consistently, since the resolution on disarmament was taken, continued to intensify war preparations in every way; to multiply their expenditure on weapons; to intensify nuclear tests and stockpile nuclear weapons; to carry out aggressive military operations such as the American intervention in Laos.

In the long debates on disarmament in United Nations sub- committees that followed, the imperialists have deliberately sabotaged any decision being taken, deliberately spun out the proceedings in procedural futilities and hair-splitting technicalities.

They have felt safe to do all this and get away with it because, unlike the vote in the General Assembly, the issues are more com- plicated; because their powerful propaganda resources can cloud the proceedings with lies and distortions; because they think the people of their own countries and the former colonies, which still have press and radio communications dominated by reactionary pro-imperialist interests, can be easily bluffed into believing that it is the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries who are res- ponsible for failures to reach agreement. But in the long run these stalling tactics cannot succeed.

The very same pressure of world public opinion that forced the imperialists to commit themselves to the principle of disarmament can be mobilised to force them to implement that principle.

In order for this to be done, it is necessary for the peoples of all countries, including those of Africa, to show a very much more vigorous interest in what is at stake than they have so far done.

Some of our people take a lukewarm attitude towards this question of disarmament, because they imagine in a confused way that it means the fighters for national liberation should lay down their arms while their oppressors remain fully armed.

But a moment's serious consideration will show us that the very reverse is true. When we speak of universal disarmament we are thinking in the first place of the dismantling of the enormous military machines of the great industrial powers, compared with which the armed forces of the liberation movements and the newly-independent countries, with their small industrial potential, are negligible.

It is not because of superiority of weapons that the national liberation movements of Asia and Africa have won one victory after another against imperialism; it is because of the justice of their cause, their skill, knowledge and determination, and their overwhelming mass support. That is how guerilla armies, whose own weapons have been far inferior, have managed to overcome imperialist troops armed with automatic weapons, armoured cars, tanks, warplanes, and all sorts of other equipment which the guerillas lacked.

Universal disarmament would enormously benefit the cause of African and other colonial peoples strugglng against imperialism and colonialism. It would mean that the imperialist bases at Bizerta and elsewhere in Africa would have to be liquidated. It would put an end to the vicious aggressive designs against Africa being plotted by Pretoria, Salisbury and Lisbon, which are arming to the teeth with the willing assistance of the United States and its NATO partners.

It is today only by its military preponderance that imperialism is able, either openly or behind the scenes, to continue to dominate Africa, to play - with the help of its African agents - its old game of divide and rule, to prevent our people tasting the fruits of independence in the form of rapid development and advance of living cultural standards.

Universal disarmament would not weaken the cause of Africa. On the contrary, it would enormously strengthen it. It would strike the weapons from the hands of the imperialists.


More and more Africans are realising that the winning of formal political independence is only the first step towards the regeneration of Africa. As J. M. Kariuki writes in a powerfully-worded plea for socialist advance (Kenya: Two Paths Ahead, in the Voice of Africa, April, 1962):

"Political power is essentially a means, an instrument in the hands of a people whioh entitles them to make decisions regarding their future development. If we are to inherit a government unable to make the vital decisions necessary for our economic development . . . it will be a shallow victory indeed, the victory of a man who spotting a great feast ahcad, is satisfied with a dry bone thrown by the wayside.... Those who have thrown us this bone will chuckle to themselves, knowing that the real victory was theirs, while our people v~ill face perhaps another decade of poverty and deprivation."

Independence must be won, but once it is achieved, gigantic tasks still remain. To overcome the terrible ravages left behind by colonialism, the backwardness, disunity, poverty and disease, we must move swiftly and work furiously, with ruthless disregard of private privileges and vested interests. So long as we lag behind the highly-developed countries economically, educationally, politically, so long will the New Africa not be truly free, but will remain an easy prey for imperialism and the subtle snares of neocolonialism.

Can we overcome that lag? Can we pool together and harness the mighty resources of the whole continent to raise its people's standards of living, technology and culture to the level of the highest in the world of today? And can we accomplish these huge tasks in the very shortest period of historical time?

The answer is: yes, we can do all these things. But in order to accomplish them, many things are necessary. Our working people must not leave the leadership of the New Africa in the hands of bourgeois nationalist politicians who cannot see further than the enrichment and aggrandizement of privileged individuals and classes. We must not be misled by empty slogans about "foreign" ideologies, but make full use of the brilliant light cast upon our problems by the most advanced scientific ideology - the sharp weapon of Marxism-Leninism which is not the property of any one continent or country, but of the working people of the whole world.

Above all, to accomplish its historic destiny and to contribute its full measure as an equal and honoured partner in the new world that is a-building, Africa needs peace, here and throughout the world. Peace is our necessity.

The prevention of a new world war, the achievement of an enduring peace and universal disarmament, the diversion of the enormous resources now squandered on war preparations to human welfare - including genuine assistance and reparations to the hun- dreds of millions of victims of colonialism - these goals are in the most vital and urgent interests of the people of our continent.


From Formal to Real Independence

    Six years have passed since the formal proclamation of Tuni- sian independence. It is now possible to survey the achieve- ments of the independent government in that period, and to measure its achievements against the hopes and aspirations of the Tunisian people who fought together for their inde- pendence. To what extent has independence answered thc needs of the masses? To what extent has it solved the prob- lems of the country's development? These questions were recently asked - and answered - by the 7th Congress of the Tunisian Communist Party. This article consists of extracts from the resolutions of that Congress.

The experience of these last years, declared the 7th Congress of the Tunisian Communist Party, permits the workers, peasants and the people generally to assess whether the policy of the government makes full use of all internal and foreign possibilities, and also whether it has really fulfilled their hopes.

True, the liquidation of the colonial administration has made possible the creation of a new Tunisian state which got rid of the feudal power. The new Constitution, based on a Republican system, recognised basic liberties of the citizens. The evacuation of foreign troops from our territory (with the exception of the Bizerta base still occupied by French troops), the creation of a central State Bank and a national currency, and the dissolution of the Customs Union with France were some of the factors making possible Tlmisian sovereignty.

In addition, partial measures have been taken in the economic field, in some sectors of agriculture and rural development as weil as in the direction of foreign trade. Efforts have been made to expand education, improve housing and protect the public health. The taking over of civil-service posts by Tunisians and the nationali- sation of a number of public utilities has enabled the State to create employment for some workers and young intellectuals. And the creation of a number of new enterprises gave work to a section of the unemployed, though at very low wages and without democratic conditions.

We must therefore state that, in the light of experience, the policy applied till now did not and does not yet exploit all the possibilities, and did not and does not yet correspond to the basic needs oj thc country.

Civil Rights and Workers' Rights

The Presidential system has developed towards a system of personal power, which is now criticised even by a number of politicians who helped to create it. The National Assembly does not discuss general policy; sometimes serious decisions are taken outside the Assembly (as, for example, Sept. 8, 1961, when there was a complete policy reversal after the battle of Bizerta). The Assembly is only called to ratify decisions after they have already been put into practice.

Liberties recognised by the Constitution remain purely formal, because of the infringements of them and also because of all kinds of direct and indirect pressure on citizens.... Thus at election times, strong pressures were exerted on the independent candidates; an atmosphere of intimidation is created by numerous legal pro- ceedings against citizens on various pretexts. The right of association is again at stake.

By an arbitrary measure, the Tunisia-USSR Friendship Associa- tion was replaced by another, with the same name and regulations,but with an "official" cha~cter. The Doctors' Association and the Barristers' Society were dissolved. In the name of a false idea of "national unity", the Trade Union organisation was compelled to work side by side with the government; it alienated itself from the working people, and placed many obstacles in the way of even the most legitimate workers' demands.

Workers' and lower-paid employees' interests have been sacrificed on the altar of the interests of the privileged minority. Wages remain fixed while prices continue to soar, and capitalists and the newly privileged reap large profits at the expense of the workers of town and country. Civil service salaries and family allowances have been substantially reduced. Because there is no just solution yet to the agrarian problem, large numbers of peasants are still living in misery.... There are constant blows against the middle strata of the towns, the independent craftsmen and small traders, who are all victims of the economic slump.

Economic and Social Problems

At the, time of independence, the colonial heritage lay like a heavy yoke on our economy. Only bold measures could lighten it. But the road of "economic liberalism" chosen already in 1956, has led to a policy of improvisation, and the halting of the development thut our people rightly expected once the colonial and semi- feudal regime was destroyed.

In spite of a number of partial measures, therefore, the Tunisian economy remained on the whole, dependent, unstable, backward, without basic industries, with a preponderance of unproductive activity, and with agriculture characterised by a flagrant inequality in land distribution - 600,000 hectares for foreign settlers, the same for five thousand large Tunisian landowners, and only 32 million hectares for four hundred and fifty thousand small and medium landholders. The social consequences are to be seen in the tremendous differences in income, as well as in the unemployment and under-employment of the people, especially in the rural areas.

When faced with the failure of the "liberal" economy in solving the country's problems, the government was forced, finally, to admit the need for economic planning. This is at least a positive step. But still they refuse to transform the economic structure, which has been inherited from the past, in a genuine and radical manner. They refuse to promote wide agrarian reform, to nationalise foreign trade and internal wholesale trade, or to infringe on the privileges of the minority.

Foreign Policy

Dealing with foreign policy, the resolution declares that the policy remains ". . . basically pro-Western, objectively helping the game of the neo-colonialists." This policy is followed despite statements from time to time of "non-commitment", and despite the final establishment of trade and diplomatic relations with the USSR and other socialist countries, which step was only taken after considerable hesitation. As a result, Tunisia does not play the part it could and should in international affairc, and remains far removed from its natural allies, the African States of the so-called "Casablanca" group, but close to the side of the so-called "moderate" states.

A number of leaders of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT), who are also in the leadership of the governing party, elpenly place their services at the disposal of the I.C.F.T.U., which is a facade for neo-colonialist penetration of Africa. They com- pletely reject the genuine solidarity of the African workers which was expressed in the formation of the All-African Trade Union Pederation.... They participated in the creation of a splinter organisation dependent on the ICPTU . . . to confuse and deflect the African workers from the anti-imperialist struggle.

The Class Basis of Bourguiba-ism

The contradictory policy followed by the Tunisian government inside and outside the country, which is known as "Bourguiba-ism", in fact expresses the class interests of the Tunisian national bourgeoisie, which has some peculiar characteristics of its own apart from those common to the bourgeoisie of other newly independent countries.

. . . Independence was the result of a national struggle in which all people without distinction of class took part. Workers, peasants and the youth in fact bore the main weight of and the main sacri- fices in this struggle. There was in fact a national front against imperalism....

The national bourgeoisie, represented by the Neo-Destour Party, was enabled by its fight against imperialism to carry with it all the patriotic forces, and to play the leading part in the national movement. Thus it acquired authority, and could put itself forward as the sole candidate for power . . . when this national movement became mighty enough to overthrow the protectorate regime and destroy colonial power.

Once independence was won, the national bourgeoisie, with the help of the masses, was able to liquidate the semi-feudal power of the Beys, and to establish Tunisian sovereignty in the form of the Republic.

But once in power, the bourgeoisie wasted no time in furrhering its own interests. The negative aspect of its role became the dominant aspect . . . determined by the characteristics of the bourgeoisie and by its place in Tunisian society. It is a new social class, which has forced its way to power without a substantial economic base. The colonial regime had confined it to limited economic fields; its part in established enterprises was small. Of 290 concerns which employed more than fifty workers (1955) only 33 belonged to Tunisians. The national bourgeoisie had its investments mainly in agriculture, commerce and property speculation. Once in power they tried to acquire the economic basis which they lacked. Thus they took a path completely different from the path of struggle for genuine independence.

The Policy of Compromise

A consistent struggle for economic independence and development would have required an appeal to the active assistance of the masses, says the resolution, and also have required some reliance on the world's anti-imperialist forces. But the class ideology of the bour- geoisie prevents it from taking such a course. It has also prevented the bourgeoisie from following a policy of "positive neutralism" in foreign affairs. The prevailing trend has been one of compromise with neo-colonialism, in an attempt to gain crumbs of personal benefit from their relations with imperialism.

True, in the first years of independence, the government limited the old bourgeois elements which had prospered under the colonial regime.... Enterprises previously managed by French capitalist concerns - such as railways, transport, concessions like electricity, water and gas, and the Sfax-Gafsa Phosphates Company, were transformed into state or mixed enterprises.

But their ideas of economic development were limited by their own cupidity; they chose "economic liberalism" which is based on a holy respect for private ownership. Therefore, "Tunisianisa- tion" had the effect only of allowing some enterprising local elements to replace foreign capitalists in certain fields of the economy. Some rich Tunisians, for example, reacquired the land of French settlers; moreover, some of the land acquired by the State was partially let to private individuals. The national bourgeoisie, a class of relatively small capitalists, developed, and new layers of privileged people appeared to join those who were already privileged....

But the bourgeoisie did not give the economy a new impetus. They continued to develop mainly as an agrarian and trading bourgeoise. The old landowners expanded their ownership, others acquired land and became agricultural capitalists. Most of the national capitalists threw their resources into property speculation and commerce, which absorbed 80% of the investments in 1959 according to a report of the Central Bank. Those who turned to industry, limited themselves to minor fields, such as food, footwear and textile industries.

Thus, the choice of economic liberalism certainly enabled certain elements to enrich themselves; but for all that, it did not give the bourgeoisie as a whole a sound economic basis, especially since it did not bring any solution to the problems of economic develop- ment. Its failure became obvious. The pressure of events and of the masses, forced them to look for another way. In 1961, the Tunisian government, like other governments of newly independent countries, chose the path of a planned economy.

Promise and Reality

This new choice was in itself an improvement. The plan has objectives which are, generally, good. In particular, it pushes ahead with the development of State-controlled industry, and promises increases to the lowest income groups.

But it is not based on profound reform of the existing system. It rejects agrarian reform as well as the nationalisation of foreign and wholesale trade. Its objectives, therefore, are illusory.

This plan reflects a reformist tendency . . . which gained ground under the pressure of events and following the failure of the policy of "liberalism"; it eventually became the official doctrine of the Neo-Destour. Like all reformists, the proponents of this tendency try to present their plan as a Socialist one.... They try to hide the fact that this plan . . . is basically a new attempt to settle economic affairs in such a way as to give an extensive base to tho national bourgeoisie as a class, and allows them at the same time to strengthen their political ascendancy by the use of the whole machinery of the State.

. . . This is the present position in the economic and social fields.
Promises are made; great ideas are launched - including the idea of "Destourian Socialism"; partial concessions are given a big build- up. But the conditions of the masses does not benefit from the promised and expected changes.

Clinging to Leadership

The national bourgeoisie finds its political expression in the Neo- Destour Party which led the struggle for independence.... The major concern of the Neo-Destour is and always was, to limit in one way or another the independent political activity of the masses.

Even during the time of the struggle against the colonial regime, the national bourgeoisie made great efforts - through the Neo- Destour - to gain for themselves the leadership of the workers' unions and other peoples' organisations; they wanted at any cost to prevent the working class and the poor peasantry from organising independently.

These efforts were intensified after independence. The national bourgeoisie openly attacked the improvements won by the working class and other toilers during the course of the anti-colonialist struggle. These disruptive manoeuvres . . . weakened the workers' unions, and limited their role.... The Central Union Organisation (UGTT) has been transformed to a bureaucratic apparatus whose leaders have given themselves the task of halting the forward march of the working class, and throttling its legitimate demands and its aspirations.

Other organisations also lost their mass character, and alienated themselves from those they are supposed to defend. This is the case with the National Agricultural Union (UNAT) led by big landowners, rich peasants or bureaucrats . . . with the Union for Commerce and Industry, whose leaders became themselves promi- nent businessmen; even the General Union of Tunisian Students (UGET) is subject to continual pressure to keep in line.

All these organisations are placed under the leadership of the Neo-Destour. Thus this party has acquired a kind of political monopoly.... The theory of National Unity is invoked to justify this state of affairs; it does not mean that they seek a democratic alliance with all classes in society, with a common objective which respects the legitimate interests of each class. On the contrary, it results from a denial of the existence of separate classes, in order to justify an unprincipled merger into a single party, the party of the national bourgeoisie.

. . . Till now, the national bourgeoisie imposed itself as the sole leader of the whole national movement. But since they have been in power, their limitations and weaknesses have been more and more clearly revealed. Experience shows that this exclusive leadership is harmful to the interests of the people, and to the country's progress. It is halting the development of the popular mass movement, and preventing it from carrying the national democratic revolution through to its end. Experience S/10WS that the solution of the national problems reqllires the intervention of other national forces, and their active participation in the affairs of the nation. It requires, in particular, the strengthening of the independent organisations of the working class and the poor peasantry, and that a more active part be played by these organisations in the political life of the country.


The Workers

Because of the underdevelopment of the economy, the numbers of the working class remain small compared to the population as a whole. There are now 157,000 workers in industry of whom 27,000 are in the building industry and 15,000 in mining. Apart from a few important mining centres, the working class is not concentrated in big industrial enterprises.

The colonial system has left its heritage of a low educational level and a lack of qualifications. There are a great many unskilled labourers. Since independence the composition of the working class has altered a little; old workers have been promoted; young workers from training schools and apprenticeship centres have found jobs in various fields of industry. But still, the presence of many unemployed is a heavy burden on the workers in employment. The result is a lowering of the value of wages, declassed workers, instability of employment, and higher pressure from the bosses.

But in spite of the factors which hamper it, the Tunisian working class has the qualities which make it the most revolutionary class in the nation, a class whose role is to determine the future. It is linked with the form of modern industrial production which will develop. It has no special privileges to defend, and its interests therefore coincide with the real interests of the nation.

The working class suffered directly from gross capitalist exploitation under the colonial system. They struggled constantly against this exploitation, and took an active part in the fight for national independence. Their past struggles have given them a rich experi- ence, and a spirit of organisation....

The Peasantry

The peasantry is the natural ally of the working class, and forms the majority of the population. It is made up of agricultural labourers, semi-proletarians who form the bulk of the seasonal labourers, the metayers - that is, farmers who pay their rent in kind - the small peasants with insufficient land, and the middle peasants.

The peasantry, as a whole, played an important part in the national struggle against the colonial and semi-feudal system of the protectorate. Its poorest sections expected that indpendence would bring a change in living standards and especially the satis- fying of their hunger for land. But the partial measures instituted by the government since independence did not bring any real solution to the land problem. The peasants see that the concentra- tion of land ownership in a few hands has been maintained and even increased. New privileged owners took over from the French settlers. The lands acquired by the State from the French settlers were not distributed amongst either the landless or the poor landed peasantry....

The number of landless peasants must be about 300,000. Agricul- tural labourers have always suffered from low wages and get no family allowances. When crops are poor, the small peasants are obliged to sell the little that they have . . . and then look for jobs in the "workplaces for the unemployed....

" In all its strata, the peasantry is subject to a greater or lesser degree of exploitation by the rich farmers and the big landowners. Peasants live very often in miserable conditions. Their educational level is low. Though liberated from the "caid" system, they still suffer from the arbitrary power of the government.

The hard experience through which the peasants have passed helps them to understand ever more clearly that their vital problems cannot be solved while they follow behind the national bourgeoisie. They understand that they must organise for the defence of their immediate rights, and for the achievements of their desire for land reform. Their deep aspirations have great revolutionary possibilities; consequently, they play an important political role side by side with the working class, and in alliance with them.

The Urban Middle Class

In Tunisian society there are a great many middle strata which give great variety to the urban petty bourgeoisie. Amongst them are salaried employees, petty and intermediate civil servants, intellectuals, craftsmen, small traders and all kinds of shopkeepers. Generally, all strata are condemned to difficult living conditions.

Office staff and the lower-rank civil servants face rising living costs with lowered salaries insufficient for their family needs. These conditions draw them closer to the working class, whose struggle they support for common demands. Craftsmen and petty traders are subject to the results of the economic slump.... Their businesses are jeopardised and they fall into the ranks of the unemployed. Under certain conditions, they, too, come closer to the working class and support their policy of social progress.

The intellectuals play an important part, and are possible allies of the working class. Their knowledge enables them easily to understand new ideas.... The students particularly are receptive to anything new and respond sensitively to everything which is noble and lofty. Social injustice, lack of democracy and favouritism revolt them.... More and more students are attracted towards Marxism, and show their willingness to master this advanced theory which makes possible great transformations of society throughout the world.

Nevertheless a number of the petty bourgeoisie have the illusion that at some time they too will be able to climb the social ladder.The small traders dream of increasing their business; clerks and civil servants believe they can become property owners- some young intellectuals are infected by unscrupulous ambitions and the race for the best-paid positions.


The Party of Independence

The Tunisian Communist Party always was, and still is, the only national democratic organisation which has kept its independent character intact from the Neo-Destour and its monopoly of political life. As the party of the working class, the poor peasantry and the advanced national forces, it was active in the service of the people; it has given the opposition a positive, national and demo- cratic content, based on its analysis and understanding of the process of history peculiar to Tunisia.

While they opposed the egoistic interests of the privileged strata, the Communists sought every possibility for a genuine national union between all patriotic classes, including the national bourgeoisie, in order to carry on a consistent anti-imperialist struggle and to develop towards democracy and progress.

Taking into account the fact that the national bourgeoisie could still play a positive part in strengthening independence, the T.C.P.'s policy decided upon at the 6th Congress (1956) was one of both support and opposition. It supported and still supports all actions of the government aimed at fighting imperialism and consolidating the peoples' gains. At the same time, it denounces and fights against all anti-democratic and anti-popular actions, and against all actions which do not strengthen national independence or which endanger it.

The political work of the TCP has met, and still meets with great difficulties as a result of the conditions described above. The national bourgeoisie, in an attempt at preventing the working and other progressive classes from playing an independent part in influencing the course of events, has done everything to hinder the Party's work, and to isolate it from the masses.

Though the TCP is a legal party, officially recognised, its legality is more formal than real. The documents of the 6th Congress were seized while in the press; party pamphlets are often prohibited, or seized during distribution, and legal action taken against party members. In Sfax, the party organisation was suppressed for months. Contact between the leadership and the local organisations in various districts is subject to police surveillance, and even to more or less concealed bans. Party public meetings are often sabotaged or prohibited under various pretexts; its members are subject to constant police pressure, and some are even fired from their jobs. They meet with shabby treatment from members of the ruling party, and militant communists are systematically removed from the lists of candidates for trade-union leadership regardless of the wishes of the workers.

Fighting for their Right

The party has had to fight against all these difficulties; it has had to make the most of all the possibilities opened up by its "legality" and by the growing sympathy of the masses for it. Its central organ, Ettalia, played an important part in clarifying the problems before the country, and in defending the demands of the workers.... In public meetings which it has been able to hold - as, for example, during the battle of Bizerta - the party has given widespread explanations of its policy, and met with the enthusiastic approval of its audience. Recently the party took part in the electoral campaigns for the Municipality of Tunis and for the National Assembly, though its campaigns had to be organised against considerable pressure which violated the legal regulations laid down by the government itself.

In spite of all these difficulties, the TCP used its opportunities to spread its campaign for democracy, for a foreign policy of real neutralism, for agrarian reform, for achievement of the worker's demands, and for a renewal of the trade union movement. In spite of the pressure, workers and democrats followed with interest and sympathy the courageous activity of the communist militants in the election period.

Owing to the activity of the Central Committee and member of the party in the political and practical work, the party's policies and slogans have won a firm place in the minds of the workers and the masses, and have been proved right by events. The tragedy of Bizerta particularly showed how right is the policy advocated by the party.

The party has not been isolated, as its enemies wanted. In spite of the efforts of some of the UGTT leaders, the communist militants have won the sympathy of their fellow workers. Within the General Union of Students, young communists work side by side with other young people.... Thanks to co-operation between communist militants and progressive democrats, a newspaper for unity, the Tribune du Progress, has been published under the direction of Dr. Sliman ben Sliman, chairman of the Tunisian Committee for Liberty and Peace, and is becoming the organ of the advanced forces in the country.

It has been proved in practice that the Tunisian communists hold out a brotherly hand to all those willing to struggle for an advanced Tunisian society. It has been proved that, though they ardently defend their own policies, the communists are those who most scrupulously respect the convictions of others who join with them for the common cause.

Still much to do

In spite of all difficulties, the party's work has made it possible for its organisation to improve and gain ground in a number of working-class areas, in some peasant areas and amongst the intellectual youth, and to strengthen its links with the masses. But the organisation is still not adequate for the important political tasks which are before it.

The practical activity of the party is still not sufficiently linked to the everyday problems which occupy the minds of the masses. Its propaganda is sometimes too general, and needs to be more specific. The distribution of Ettalia needs to become the concern of every member.... Though there is a certain improvement in the political level, efforts are needed in the training and promotion of cadres, and in educating new members.

We must aim, says the Congress resolution, at a mass Party. We must open new prospects to the masses for the just solution of their problems.

We must fight against the demagogic slogans which attempt to deceive the masses.... The links of the party with the masses must be strengthened, together with its character as the party of action.

The experiences of the Protectorate and of the first years of independence have shown that the capitalist way is not the best. Having defended the principles of "free enterprise" for a long time, the leaders of the Neo-Destour have accepted the idea of planning. They speak of "Destourian socialism"; so pervasive is the idea of socialism at this time when the world socialist system is becoming the decisive factor in the development of human society.

But the real meaning of "Destourian socialism" becomes clearer when one observes the working of the ten-year project. What, in reality, is a socialism which does not change anything, and whose sponsors themselves proclaim that it will not change anything in the social and economic structure? What is a socialism which maintains the private ownership of the means of production, accepts capitalist relations of production in all fields of the economy, and which considers it"anti-economic" to lower those wages which are too high in order to raise those which are too low?
In fact . . . this "Destourian socialism" is neither socialism nor a specific form of transition to socialism made necessary by the specific conditions of Tunisia. It does not even achieve the objectives of the national democratic revolution.... Its aim is to restrain the revolutionary feelings of the masses.


The Marxist Road - to Socialism

The Tunisian Communist Party fights for socialism as its basic objective. It tries to apply the universal principles of Marxism- Leninism to the situation of the country.... Our people, like all others, will advance towards socialism along its own path. Since socialism is the result of the historical development of each country, the paths to it will vary. But the experience of history shows that the content of socialism and the conditions in which it can be realised are the same in all countries, and follow general scientific laws.

The necessary changes cannot be carried through by those social forces which have special privileges to defend. Changes come as the result of a many-sided struggle of the working class, the peasant masses, certain middle strata in the cities and all advanced classes, against the selfish interests and the undemocratic power of the exploiting classes. The necessary revolutionary changes concern:

State Power, which must be one form or another of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the power of the working class organised and guided by the Marxist Party, in alliance with the peasantry and the advanced national forces; that is, the expression of a real democracy in the service of the overwhelming majority of the people, against a tiny minority of exploiters.

The economy, which must be based on collective ownership of the means of production and directed towards satisfying the material and cultural needs of the workers on the basis of increasing production.

Production relations, which cease to be based on the exploitation of man by man, becoming instead those of each man earning according to the quantity and quality of his work.

These revolutionary changes will make possible the building of socialism, and give birth to a new society without antagonistic classes, where every citizen will be able to develop to the limit of his ability and cultural level. At the present stage, while not forget- ting the prospects of socialism, the Party attempts to guide the efforts of the masses so as to give a new content to the Tunisian state. Since Tunisia won its independence, the content of the state is determined by the national bourgeoisie in power.... This does not, of itself, suffice in solving the country's basic problems.The independent Tunisian state must be given a democratic and advanced content. Towards this end, the Party fights for the following objectives:

For consolidation of independence: and the liberation of the Bizerta base occupied by French troops, which is a hindrance to Tunisian sovereignty over the whole country.

For a broad and real democracy: . . . which will take into account the existence of various social classes, and where the masses are in actual fact taking part in the management of public affairs. Elections to the National Assembly and all representative bodies should be free, and take place without state pressure, on the basis of proportional representation. The working class should really have the right to organise freely and independently for defence of its interests . . . and the poor peasants for genuine agrarian reform.

    It is already possible to win a real respect for the Constitution, including respect for individual citizen rights, freedom of speech, press, meeting, association and strike.

    For an independent national economy, at the service of the whole people, based on

    1. a radical agrarian reform . . . including the distribution of state land without division, for the benefit of the agricultural labourers and the lanslless peasants . . . and organising the beneficiaries into co-operative farms;
    2. the liquidation of large-scale land ownership . . . through limitation of the size of individual holdings, accompanied by compensation . . ., the free distribution of surplus land to the landless . . ., encouragement of co-operation . . .;
    3. increasing industrialisation . . . based on an industrial State sector, which must embrace essential fields like metallurgy oil production etc. In a number of fields, national private industry could be encouraged within the framework of the general plan;
    4. the nationalisation of foreign trade and wholesale trading;
    5. satisfying the material and cultural demands of the masses . . . with workers' and agricultural labourers' salaries adapted to the cost of living . . ., peasants helped with seeds, credits and technical aid.... Public health services to be expanded .... rents justly regulated, and inadequately filled or empty buildings to be put to use.... Schooling to be broadened and improved to make it available to everyone, and teaching to be "Arabised";
    6. the training of cadres in every field of economic and social work, using methods adapted to our conditions . . . learning from the experience of the socialist countries.

For an independent foreign policy, based on a consistent anti- imperialist orientation, opposition to neo-colonialism . . . and the real principles of non-commitment. This implies breaking with the pro-Western orientation, recognising People's China, and developing co-operation with the USSR, the other socialist and non-committed countries; as well as playing an active part in the struggle for dis- armament, peaceful co-existence and the ending of colonialism; for North African unity, and the birth of a united Maghreb.

For a National Democracy

The objectives of the Tunisian Communist Party have been based on the experience of other newly independent nations. The conference of Communist and Workers' Parties, in which the TCP participated, generalised this experience in the demand for a state of national democracy which:

  • consistently upholds its political and economic independence, fights against imperialism and its military blocs, against military bases on its territory;
  • fights against the new forms of colonialism and penetration of imperialist capital;
  • rejects dictatorial and despotic methods of government;
  • ensures the people broad democratic rights and freedoms . . .the opportunity of working for agrarian reform and other domestic and social changes, and for participation in shaping government policy.

The realisation of such a programme is in the interests of the Tunisian workers, the poor peasants and the people as a whole.But it requires the strengthening of the Tunisian Communist Party, the renewa~ of the trade union movement, the organisation of the poor peasantry and the linking of their struggles with those of the working class and the all-round development of the progressive and national-democratic trend.

By playing a more active, independent political role, by strengthening the positive national and democratic opposition trend, workers, peasants and progressive people create the conditions for a genuine national unity, where the national bourgeoisie will have its place but without a political monopoly.

It is obvious that on various objectives of national interest, there is the possibility of the unity of all patriotic forces even before the organisation of a genuine national union.

Therefore, the Tunisian Communist Party takes upon itself the task of continuing tirelessly to organise the working class and the poor peasantry, to direct their struggle and to develop their alliance as a basis for the union of all national and democratic forces - the union of all those regardless of class or party who wish to lead independent Tunisia forward on the road of democracy and progress.



Since its first publication, at the end of 1959, The African Communist has met with, and continues to find, a warm, indeed a glowing reception, not only in all parts of Africa, but in many other parts of the world. Articles from our magazine have been reprinted in British, Canadian and United States publications, they have been translated and published in Arabic, Russian, Chinese and other languages. The British monthly, Marxism Today, in its issue of April, 1962, says, "We would like warmly to greet and pay tribute to our colleague The African Communist," and proceeds to give its readers a detailed survey of the contents of our issue No. 8. In the same month, the French journal De'mocratie Nouvelle, reprinting the article on South African racialism by Toussaint from our French language special edition (of which more below), lists the contents of this edition and offers to make copies available to its readers on request.

For this continuing success we who, under severe difficulties, produce this journal owe most of all to you, our readers, who continue to write in from every part of Africa and many other parts of the world, encouraging and inspiring us in our work.


Naturally, most of our readers and correspondents are in Africa. But we are happy to know that our readers also live in other countries--some of them very far away indeed. What country could one imagine further away than Iceland ! Yet reader Gisli Gunnarsson, of Reykjavik in that far-away country writes ordering four copies regularly "to begin with", and adds: "Please render my thanks to the brave sponsors of the magazine and my well-wishes for the future. Many people in Iceland are keenly interested in the struggle of the African people for freedom, and a Marxist analysis of this struggle would help them to increase their understanding." And another reader, Iwasaki Shigeo, writes in from another far corner of the world - from Japan.

Perhaps if more Japanese readers would see The African Communist they might put some pressure on their government to stop its disgraceful and humiliating trafficking with the South African racialists - who, in return for a deal to buy South African pig-iron, have declared the Japanese "honorary Europeans"


Our journal is also circulating more and more widely among African students in Europe. One student writes from Italy, enclosing a years subscription, "with great happiness" and also enquiring about other publications "available of the South African Communist Party, and also of interest about East and Central Africa".

From socialist Czechoslovakia another African student, Yaw Assiedu, writes: "I just cannot express my appreciation of the socialist magazine The African Communist in words. It has certainly filled a vacuum which has existed far too long in Africa. As an African and as a socialist I must congratulate the South African Communist Party for this work.... My congratulations to you and all comrades for the fight for the freedom of the proletariat and for the liquidation of capitalism." And, from revolutionary Cuba, marching towards socialism - the brave pioneer of America - Comrade Ramon Calcines, of the Integrated Revolutionary Organisations, writes: "We have received The African Communist and you can be sure that we can use its excellent material to bring to the notice of our people. We are very much interested in the developments in Africa as seen from the viewpoint of the South African Communist Party."


The first special edition of The African Communist in French has clearly made an extremely favourable impression in French-speaking areas of Africa. Marcel Anoma of Morocco writes a warm letter "congratulating you on your excellent initiative in producing this in French. You will not be unaware that there is no equivalent of your journal in the French language and that few inhabitants of 'Franco- phone' Africa are capable of reading, English. I understand your difficulties and therefore will not say that I am impatient to see your journal coming out regularly in French. But I can assure you that it would be a great thing for other than Marxists in our part of the world to be able to read such rich articles by Numade, Toussaint and others. And for those who know nothing about Marxism because no one has yet told them anything about it, these articles will act as excellent teachers. There is no doubt about it at all that the French edition was an absolute necessity. You will understand this if you could know of the success the special edition, which I have under my very eyes, is going to have." Our Moroccan comrade, to whom we express our cordial appreciation, also tells of the keen interest shown in our special edition by a friend in Mali: "To say that he is very interested is putting it mildly, for since he has read it he dreams only of getting it into the hands of as many people in Mali as possible." Readers in Conakry (Guinea) and Caen (France) have also written to comment favourably on the French edition.

French-speaking readers will be glad to learn that we are now contemplating the production of another special edition in this language.


Readers in various parts of Africa are continuing to form discussion groups around The African Communist to study its contents and, in the light thereof to analyse problems and conditions in their own countries in the light of Marxist-Leninist theory. About twenty young people in Ibadan, Nigeria, have recently come together to form such a group. Clearly. there are a number of groups interested in Marxism which have been developing in various parts of this vast country, with its forty million inhabitants and urgent problems of the post-independence period. It would be an excellent thing if these several groups could come together to pool their resources and com- bine their efforts.

But the forces of reaction are more and more trying to attack The African Communist and prevent the spread of the liberating ideas of Marxism-Leninism.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, at Onitsha, a bookseller writes that the Roman Catholic Church is campaigning against our journal with threats of excommunication. One reader who bought it later returned it saying: "Our Rev. Father saw it and was annoyed with me and suspicious over my faithfulness in my religion. As I don't want to be cast out that is why I return it." Elsewhere, especially in British colonies, active police repression and bans are operated against our journal and its readers. Comrade J. W. Musole, a devoted reader and president of the Northern Rhodesian Socialist Movement, was raided, all his documents seized, and himself forced to flee from the country, after being arrested. He is nevertheless in high spirits and determined to carry on. "I believe in what I'm struggling for," he writes.

A reader in Uganda writes that he is constantly harassed by policemen who are looking for him - because of his selling The African Communist.

And in Kenya, despite an African "cabinet", the British authorties' ban on our magazine still persists - we hope not for much longer. Mr. Oginga Odinga, M.L.C., writes "with very best wishes" from Nairobi, that "you will be informed as soon as the prohibition of The African Communist is lifted in Kenya".

A similar position seems to exist in Nyasaland, from where a reader writes: "Our government of Central Africa (chiefly White settlers) does not want these books to come to our attention and once they are found they are just being destroyed."


But despite all these difficulties The African Communist still finds its way into the hands of readers all over the Continent, even in the most dangerous circumstances. It is inspiring to know that here in the heart of Verwoerd's Fascist Republic, enthusiastic readers are receiving our journal. Here are some of their comments: "Despite the pressures the government of the Republic exerts and despite the limitations of freedom of speech and thought, we do manage to obtain political pamphlets and papers from all over Africa. Of these The African Communist is of the highest calibre and greatest value in education and enlightenment of the people....

Mayibuye i'Afrika ! - Let Africa Return ! " (D.K., a student.)

"I am a great reader of The African Communist. I can't live with- out it. It is like gold." (B.G., Cape Province.)

"The African Communist is a credit to our Party and our country." (J.M., Johannesburg.)

We want, once again, to thank all those readers who have taken the trouble to write to us. We cannot print every letter, because we have not enough space, but we can assure you that we treasure every letter like something precious. We do not regard The African Communist just as something we have written and produced for you to read. It is a joint effort of readers and writers; of ourselves and yourselves. And we know very well that without you, our readers, our magazine could not have been successful, nor will it be success- ful in the future. Let us work together, then, to make this an even more powerful weapon for freedom, independence, unity and socialism in Africa.

BOOK REVI EW ~ AFRICA... The Lion Awakes

Africa - the Lion Awakes, by Jack Woddis. Published by Lawrence & Wishart, London.

In Africa - the Lion Awakes, Jack Woddis completes the analysis he commenced in Africa - the Roots of Revolt.

In the first volume "an attempt was made", he writes, "to explain why the African people are now in such powerful revolt against colonialism". The present volume is largely devoted to an examination of how the African people have conducted their struggles.

Together these two volumes provide an invaluable Marxist analysis of the main economic and political trends in most of the countries and territories of Africa.

In Africa - the Lion Awakes Woddis presents a careful and cogent analysis, amply supported by statistics, of the struggle of the African ,people for liberation. At the same time he exposes the tactics of the colonial powers in their efforts to retain their grip on Africa.

The first chapter contains a brief but excellent analysis of the changing content of the African liberation struggle since 1885.

Woddis identifies four different stages of this struggle. The first phase was the armed resistance of the African people to the military conquest of Africa by the imperial powers which began in earnest with the "scramble for Africa" in approximately 1885. With the conquest of the various territories by the colonial powers, the struggle entered its second phase - the resistance to and protests against the effects of foreign rule, with land and taxation forming the central issues. In this phase begins the formation of political and national organisations.

The struggles of the African people to win reforms from the colonial powers within the context of colonialism developed gradually into a fight for the ending of colonialism itself. This third phase - the struggle for national independence - entered its most intense stage after the second world war. As Woddis states, "the period from 1945 to 1960 can be characterised as one in which the working class, organised into trade unions, advances to a central position in the national movement; political organisations acquire a mass character and are no longer confined to the most advanced territories, but spring up everywhere; the people pass decisively from defensive protest actions against the effects of imperialist rule to the open challenge to colonial domination itself, to the demand for political power; the tide of anti-imperialist revolt engulfs the whole continent and direct colonial rule is swept away in most of Africa".

The fourth phase of the struggle was entered into in 1960 in those countries which had won political independence. This phase is characterised by the efforts to consolidate and defend the newly won political independence and to complete the national democratic revolutions.

This book is devoted in the first place to an analysis of the role of the trade union organisations in the third phase of the struggle and the attempts of the imperial powers to stem the tide of national liberation during this phase and in the second place to an analysis of the techniques adopted by these powers, in the fourth phase, to maintain their interest in Africa notwithstanding the achievement of political independence.

Woddis shows in detail the importance of the role played by the trade union movement in the struggle for national independence. While recognising that this struggle was not based solely on the working class, his analysis nevertheless indicates that it was the struggles of the trade unions which gave the national liberation movements their greatest impetus and direction.

Until 1935 throughout Africa the trade unions were repressed by the colonial powers, but as the result of the struggles of the working people and the developments occasioned by the second world war, the unions finally gained recognition. Immediately, the ruling powers adapted their tactics to the new situation. Every effort was made to obtain control of the trade unions by appointing "advisors"; by legislative measures which compelled registration of the trade unions, limited the right to strike, imposed heavy penalties for "illegal strikes" and prohibited unions from participating in political activities. Company unions were cultivated and attempts were made to break the militancy of the unions by encouraging rifts between black and white workers, fostering tribalism, encouraging "Moral Rearmament" and attempting to "buy off" sections of the workers by allowing some to advance to positions in skilled work. Woddis analyses these techniques and shows how they were designed to prevent the linking of the trade union movement with the national struggle for independence and to prevent the break- down of the cheap labour system. Notwithstanding these measures, however, the militant struggles of the workers continued. Strikes were frequent and widespread, as Woddis shows in his detailed statistics, and the unions were inevitably drawn into the anti- imperialist struggle, which was raised to new and more militant levels by these activities.

The culmination of these struggles was the formal granting of independence to numerous former colonial territories by the metropolitan powers. Having been forced to concede political independence to the colonial territories, the imperialist powers began implementing further measures designed to maintain their grip over their former colonies. Just as the colonial powers, having been forced to concede trade union rights, attempted to control the unions, so too, having been forced to grant political independence, these powers now attempted to control the new independent states.Various techniques have been and are being used by the colonial powers to achieve this end.

In the first place, although previously the colonial powers had attempted to prevent the growth of a national bourgeoisie. they now encourage such a development and attempt to find from amongst the emergent bourgeoisie "reliable" leaders to run the Government. Alternatively, all types of schemes of "gradual development", modified franchises, the removal of the so-called colour-bar pinpricks and such like are utilised. However, because of the difficulty of retaining any form of effective control through either reliable leaders or through such reformist schemes, the imperial powers have resorted to two tactics in particular to retain control of their former colonies in order to protect their interests.

The first is the establishment of massive military bases in various parts of Africa which enable these powers to maintain armies in close proximity to, or in their former colonies. Secondly, the great monopolies continue to invest global amounts in the liberated countries with the effect of maintaining an economic hold on them. For example, the Shell company has investments totalling sixteen million pounds in Nigeria, France has invested five hundred million in the Sahara in regard to certain oil schemes, while the United States, which had invested three hundred and thirteen mil- lion dollars in Africa in 1950, had by 1959 invested two thousand million dollars.

To meet these threats to their independence the newly independent countries are concerned particularly to build modern industry, to nationalise such industries as already exist which are owned by foreign monopolists, and to limit the profits and restrict the export of capital by the foreign monopolies.

Woddis' analysis reveals the continuous and major defeats suffered by imperialism in the face of the advancing struggle of the African people for national liberation and independence and con- firms once again that the days of colonialism, racialism and oppression in Africa are numbered.

Africa - the Lion Awakes is not without its faults. The statistical material could have been presented in a more organised and accessible manner and insufficient attention has been paid to the political and national organisations.

But these are minor defects. Jack Woddis has written a book of great value to all who are interested in and who are working for African freedom.