50 Years Ago: Apartheid Must Go
The Socialist Party is opposed to Apartheid, just as to any other policy or movement based on colour prejudice. We think racism is foolish, unscientific and against the interests of the working class. We can see that the South African government’s slogan of Apartheid (‘separation’) is really a hypocritical screen for baasskap (white domination), and that all manner of atrocities and hatreds flourish under the Verwoerd tyranny.
Our attack on apartheid is quite distinct from the attacks made on it by other organisations such as the Labour Party, Communist Party, Christian Action, etc. We do not support the “anti-apartheid” movement.
Socialism will be a world wide democratic community without private or government ownership of the means of production and will mean the end of Apartheid, together with a lot of other major human problems like wars, slumps and poverty.
To detach ourselves from other organisations who attack apartheid is no sectarian quibble: the most that members of the anti-Apartheid Movement can suggest to replace Apartheid is something rather like we have in Britain today. In other words, they want to swap one system of oppression for another. The only ‘equality’ they want for the races of South Africa consists of the equal ‘privileges’ of wage-slavery.
The best interests of industrial capitalism in South Africa call for the abandonment of Apartheid policies and the putting into effect of social reforms aimed at integrating Africans into the labour force as better trained exploitable wage workers. However, in view of the historical background of South Africa, capitalism has to adjust itself to a political situation that expresses the deeply entrenched prejudice that exists. (….)
The Socialist Party of Great Britain is with the working class of South Africa in their struggle for democracy, for the vote and for the right to strike. But more than that, we work for the day when black, white, coloured and Indian workers in South Africa will unite with workers all over the world to remove wage-slavery and establish Socialism.
(from article by Steele, Socialist Standard, September 1966)