'We, the South African Bolsheviks': The Russian Revolution and South Africa
In South Africa the Russian Revolution was admired by socialists and nationalists alike. The National Party soon stopped praising the Bolsheviks, but the effect of the Revolution on the nascent Communist Party was important and lasting. South African communists closely watched developments in Soviet Russia and established relations with the Communist International (Comintern) even before the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) was born. The Party’s ideology and policy were shaped by the Comintern’s ideas and instructions.
In the 1920s and 1930s the struggle around the the Comintern-imposed slogan of the independent native republic and the Comintern’s campaigns for ‘bolshevisation’ nearly brought the party to its demise. But it survived, and its leadership took the Comintern’s ideals and ideas into the post-war era. The Comintern’s theoretical legacy, particularly its idea of a two-stage (national and socialist) revolution proved long-lasting. This idea became entrenched in the programs of the African National Congress, the party of national liberation and since 1994, the party of government. Even today a significant proportion of South Africa’s black population cherishes the vision of a radical revolution and demands its implementation.
The article analyses the policy of South Africa's government in the sphere of nationality realtions.
The chapter is devoted to the life and activites of Nelson Mandela, an oustanding fighter against apartheid, first black president of the Republic of South Africa.
Since the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union the historiography of revolutionary Russia has developed a distinct provincial turn. The opening of Soviet central and provincial archives provided new research opportunities to historians. Numerous articles and volumes focusing on Russia’s provinces have since appeared on both sides of the former Soviet border, and the historiography of the Russian revolution matured with an accelerated speed to account for multiple local variables. The understanding of multiplicity of local experiences profoundly changed and challenged the historical interpretations of the crisis that played out in Russia from 1917 to 1921. The article discusses the variety of local revolutionary experiences as they are revealed in recent historiography, but also focuses on some larger themes and issues where this regional perspective provides new insights and affects the general understanding of the Russian revolution. In particular, it discusses the factors contributing to the disintegration and reconstruction of the state, including the patterns and meaning of power in a provincial context, mechanisms of popular mobilization in the civil-war period including in Russia’s non-Russian regions, as well as transition to peace.
This article analyses Soviet roots of the official policy and ideology of the African National Congress (ANC) – the National Democratic Revolution. The article deals with the evolution of the Soviet theory of the national liberation movement, with the history of its adoption first by the South African Communist Party (SACP) and then by the ANC and with the way this theory has been playing itself out in South African politics after the ANC’s coming to power. It offers a historical perspective which helps to understand the ANC’s present policy and politics and the thinking of its leadership.
The article is based on documents from both the South African and Russian archives, interviews with participants of events, Russian contemporary publications and a wide range of other published material.
In this article is made an attempt to reconstruct the attitude of the historian A.N.Savin to the situation in Russia in 1917 and after that, to analise his political views and ideas.
The chapter is devoted to the life and activites of Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president from 2009.