Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away today, Dec 5 2013, and knowing how liberals and western media are going to rush in to appropriate, water down, and obfuscate his radical politics and legacy, I wanted to post this in honour of the real ‘Mandela’. This is a picture of Mandela in 1990 at an ANC rally with Winnie Mandela and Yossel Slovo, a Communist leader. They are in front of a massive Communist Soviet Union flag.
“Mandela was an African nationalist, […] also being “a democrat, and a socialist”. […] A democratic socialist, Mandela was “openly opposed to capitalism, private land-ownership and the power of big money”. Influenced by Marxism, during the revolution Mandela advocated scientific socialism, although he denied being a communist during the Treason Trial. Biographer David James Smith thought this untrue, stating that Mandela “embraced communism and communists” in the late 1950s and early 1960s, though was a “fellow traveller” rather than a party member.”
The thing that is probably going to be most white-washed is Mandela’s relation to armed struggle. Mandela actually helped organize the militant wing of the ANC, for which he was imprisoned and placed on America’s terrorism list until 2008:
“Inspired by Fidel Castro‘s 26th of July Movement in the Cuban Revolution, in 1961 Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”, abbreviated MK) with Sisulu and the communist Joe Slovo. Becoming chairman of the militant group, he gained ideas from illegal literature on guerilla warfare by Mao and Che Guevara. Officially separate from the ANC, in later years MK became the group’s armed wing. Most early MK members were white communists; after hiding in communist Wolfie Kodesh’s flat in Berea, Mandela moved to the communist-owned Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, there joined by Raymond Mhlaba, Slovo and Bernstein, who put together the MK constitution. Although Mandela himself denied ever being a Communist Party member, historical research has suggested that he might have been for a short period, starting from the late 1950s or early 1960s. Operating through a cell structure, the MK agreed to acts of sabotage to exert maximum pressure on the government with minimum casualties, bombing military installations, power plants, telephone lines and transport links at night, when civilians were not present. Mandela noted that should these tactics fail, MK would resort to “guerilla warfare and terrorism.” Soon after ANC leader Luthuli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the MK publicly announced its existence with 57 bombings on Dingane’s Day (16 December) 1961, followed by further attacks on New Year’s Eve.”
In the general rush to venerate the political visionary, the mainstream media will try to rewrite the historical narrative surrounding the man, trying to forever divorce the politically radical activist from the legend. While there is much to criticize about his time in power, we must not let his politics be forgotten. Remember, Nelson Mandela was not some saintly old man who through omnipotent patience and love changed the hearts of his tormentors, rather he was a radical activist who used the political tools and strategies at hand to liberate his people and nation. Remember that it was those political tools directed by a socialist political vision that liberated South Africa without expelling or destroying the Afrikaner population. So remember, remember his politics!