Saturday, January 15, 2011

Towards a United Democratic Left Front For South Africa

United Democratic Left
Saturday, 15 January 2011


This document presents a perspective and argument for organising the Democratic Left initiative as an anti-capitalist political front. It is anchored in the premise of maximising the unity of social and ideological forces against post-apartheid and global capitalism.

To stimulate debate, discussion and resolution on the political form question for the Democratic Left initiative this document covers the following themes:

  • A strategic approach to fronts;
  • Learning lessons from the history of political fronts;
  • The case for a United Democratic Left Front for South Africa;
  • Key issues for a Democratic Left approach to building a political front through struggle;
The content of this document has been developed in different workshops and discussions within the Conference of the Democratic Left process.

What Are Political Fronts?

Political fronts can be understood as a tactical political form intended to bring together political parties in an electoral coalition or it can be utilised to unify a bloc of social forces around a set of common issues. These are narrow and limited understandings of political fronts which either reduces front politics to electoralism or issue based opposition. Our approach to political fronts recognises it as a strategic political form unifying social forces (national popular and class forces) in the context of offensive and defensive struggles to shift power to a new anti-capitalist historical bloc of forces.

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