“Revolt” – a South African Anarchist Paper from 1992 [UPDATED]

Revolt was a short lived South African anarchist paper. It appeared only once. It also lacked contact details for the publishers!

UPDATE: Its two editors were subsequently involved in the paper Unrest, which became Workers Solidarity in 1995, paper of the Workers Solidarity Federation. However, while there was a lineage Revolt to Unrest to Workers Solidarity, there was an important difference between Workers Solidarity and its predecessors. Workers Solidarity rejected the somewhat violent language of the earlier papers, and, while stressing the limitations  of the 1990s democratic reforms, insisted that these marked a major gain for the black working class. This was part of a shift towards a politics that recognised the struggles for reforms, as a means of mobilising people as valuable in themselves, and as a space to promote revolutionary ideas and self-management.This allowed WSF to actively engage in mass struggles, and with a range of militants, without losing sight of its larger revolutionary politics.

The South African police continue to assault, torture and kill people in custody. The brutal death of Simon Mthimkulu in July [1992] in one example amongst many.

More people are dying in Apartheid’s fall than at its height. The cause of the violence is not “tribalism” but a destabilisation campaign by the State and its Inkatha ally. The solution is not, however, a new government…

The New World Order is on our doorstep with the US imperialists setting themselves up in Botswana and Zambia. Washington, following the end of the Cold War, is placing renewed emphasis on projecting itself into Third World “flashpoints.”

During the uprisings and reaction that followed the October Revolution, the fertile earth of the Southern Ukraine was trampled under the boots of at least four advancing and retreating armies.

The Rio Earth Summit was dominated by the very people responsible for the global ecological crisis in the first place. Solutions were not, cannot, and never will be, found by such groups. Grass roots action is the only answer.


Society is divided into classes based on wealth and power. The ruling class, who are generally supported by the “middle classes”, and the working class. Such a society is the cause of all the problems experienced by working class people the whole world over. This can only be solved by the destruction of the ruling class by the working class … this is class war.

Real change can only come through working class people organising themselves to deal with the problems they experience, using direct action against the individuals and institutions responsible for them … there is no alternative. Violence is a necessary part of the class war, but only as mass class violence not elitist terrorist actions. The law is merely a weapon of the ruling class and must be broken when the need arises.

The ruling class divides us by getting us to fight each other on the basis of stupid things like race, sex, sexual preference or age. We will destroy these barriers.


1. A permanent end to the State

  • we stand for the smashing of all states regardless of ideology
  • the purpose of government is to maintain and regulate al forms of domination
  • the state can never be democratic or progressive
  • we believe that people can organise their own lives and communities and take care of any useful functions for which people now rely on the state

2. An end to capitalism

  • capitalism is a major form of class domination and exploitation
  • it makes no difference whether the economy is under state control (nationalisation) or private control (privatisation) … the system remains

3. We are anti-racist, anti-sexist and believe in direct democracy

4. We believe in ecology

  • all forms of life are interconnected and all forms of life (human and non human animals) should be respected and have a dignified existence
  • ecological destruction of the planet threatens us all
  • it results from the systems of social injustices, like capitalism, state control and racism
  • an anarchist society must be ecological and vice versa

5. No vanguard party

  • revolution can only be made by the workers themselves and under their own control
  • any “revolutionary party” which claims the right to lead and direct the revolution only reintroduces authoritarianism under another guise and provides the basis for a new ruling class