Working Class Archives - ROAPE
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Working Class Tag

Chinedu Chukwudinma argues that the proliferation of strikes before and after the downfall of Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suggests that only the working class has the power to lead Algerian society to liberation. Chukwudinma looks at the history of workers’ struggles and assesses the possibilities for the future. ...

Njuki Githethwa discusses a recent workshop in Nairobi of activists and researchers on social movements in East and Southern Africa. The workshop set itself the task of asking a number of questions. How do social movements build and sustain resistance? What should the relationship between scholars and activists look like? What role can universities play in building and sustaining connections among social movement scholars and activists? Githethwa argues that the analysis and understanding that came out of the workshop provided rich ammunition for scholars and activists to transform protests across the continent into struggles for radical and lasting transformation.  ...

In this blogpost, Leo Zeilig looks at Walter Rodney’s journey from Tanzania, his return to Guyana in 1974 and then his extraordinary lectures in Hamburg in 1978. An astonishing scholar and activist, Rodney was constantly rethinking the question of working class agency and politics, and refused simplistic political statements or formulations. In Germany, Rodney asserted the central role of the working class in socialist transformation. ...

In an interview with roape.net Helen Batubo, an activist and worker in Nigeria, describes her experiences at the ROAPE workshop in Dar es Salaam in 2018. She argues that there are possibilities of influencing many other activists through these activities.  Such events are crucial, she says, in ‘calling us to revolt.’ Can you please introduce yourself for readers of roape.net? I was born in 1962, in Okrika, an island in the Niger Delta. I was the only daughter and became somewhat of a Tom boy to survive with my many brothers.  My dad was my mum’s second husband, but we generally depended on my mum for our upbringing due to his drinking.  My primary schooling was delayed by the Nigerian civil war and I later also saw the violence of the Niger Delta militants/gangs first hand. I have suffered my share of sexism and was nearly...

Nick Bernards argues that placing African labour in capitalism requires that we think seriously and in historical perspective about the politics of irregular forms of work. In his contribution to ROAPE’s debate on capitalism in Africa, Bernards points out that the kinds of work performed by African workers have often been key reference points in global debates about governing irregular forms of work. These debates are often shaped in powerful ways by the unfolding and contingent relationships between the state and various segments of working classes on the continent. By Nick Bernards The exploitation of ‘free’ wage labour – in Marx’s double sense of those workers ‘free’ to sell their labour to whom they choose and ‘free’ of any other means of reproducing themselves – is a core characteristic of capitalist relations of production. On more than a few readings, it is the defining trait of...

Samir Amin, a ROAPE contributor and comrade, died last week, we post tributes from some of his comrades, students and friends. Ray Bush, Peter Lawrence, Issa Shivji, Ndongo Sylla, John Saul and Natasha Shivji celebrate the work and life of a rebel in the Marxist citadel. As Ndongo Sylla points out, Amin's life quest was to mark out what alternative paths can lead the ‘wretched of the earth’ towards an authentic human civilisation that capitalism can only refuse them. ...

In a debate on roape.net, David Harvey replies to John Smith’s critique of his work. Marxism, Harvey argues, must not start with concepts and then impose them on reality, but with the realities on the ground. To start with concepts, as does John Smith, is to engage in rank idealism. Harvey challenges what he describes as ‘Smith’s crude and rigid theory of imperialism.’...

In this blogpost Zimbabwean socialist Munyaradzi Gwisai unpicks the situation in South Africa. He explains that the working class and poor must avoid the dangers of both Zuma’s ‘fake left-turn’ and the Zuma Must Fall protests. What are the lessons, Gwisai asks, for South Africa from the movement that rose-up against Mugabe in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s?...

In the latest interview for roape.net, Nigerian socialist Abiodun Olamosu talks about his early activism, the challenges for the radical left, Marxism and politics in contemporary Nigeria. He argues that there is a need to develop a real pro-poor alternative in the arena of mainstream electoral politics, and for the working class to mobilise across the country. ...