A Note of Introduction

Against the Current, No. 58, September/October 1995

The Editors

THE FIRST YEAR of post-apartheid South Africa has presented a powerful paradox. The greatest popular movement in history, filled with revolutionary expectations, has produced at the moment of its victory one of the most “moderate” governments to emerge from a liberation struggle. Indeed, its policies can barely be described even as social-democratic. (See “The Uncertain Shape of Post-Apartheid South Africa,” by Patrick Bond, ATC 50, for a discussion of the ANC government’s economic policies immediately following the historic 1994 election.)

Both factors–the power of the popular struggle and the strongly conservative bent of the coalition of old and new political elites that dominates the new political “dispensation”–continue to put their mark on the new South Africa. The two essays presented here, by John Pape and Dan Connell, discuss the contradictory situation and the potential for ongoing grassroots struggle. In future issues we intend to present additional perspectives.

ATC 58, September-October 1995