Leonard Gentle

With the claims that a new trade union federation will be launched in March 2017, it is appropriate to draw up a balance sheet of the labour movement in South Africa, and ask whether the optimism of many that a new Left force is going to be unleashed is justified. Or whether the possibilities for a force of revolutionary working class politics lie elsewhere.


Economics was originally called political economy, concerned with scarce resources and how to ensure general welfare for everyone given that fact. But US President Nixon and UK Prime Minister Thatcher are responsible for launching the Age of Economist as God

F v C

Technocrats and the judiciary aren’t any more likely to make decisions based on the people’s wishes than elected politicians, cautions Leonard Gentle. Democracy ‘is a matter of constant contestation in which ordinary people either actively engage in and expand its terrain – or their power and choices become more and more constrained by powerful and vested elites’.


In the wake of South Africa’s public sector strike, Leonard Gentle cuts through the negativity towards the strikers presented by much of the media and argues that the situation overall may well prove ‘a watershed in South African politics’. While officialdom has sought to demonise the strikers, their concerns around high interest rates, debt, high costs and inadequate pay may well come to chime with further disillusionment across key components of the ANC’s (African National Congress) base, G...read more