New members: welcome to WASP
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WASP’s starting point is our revolutionary socialist programme. We are united by the simple idea that the working class must organise and struggle for a socialist society. A socialist society is one where the wealth of society is owned and controlled by the working class. Upon that basis we can raise living standards for all, end unemployment and develop education and culture. Agreement with that basic idea is why we have organised together in a party and why you have decided to join us.
It is our socialist programme, based upon the ideas of Marxism, which makes us different from all the other political parties. We do not want to manage the capitalist system as the ANC, DA and EFF do. We want to change the system. In WASP we can repeat with full confidence what Karl Marx said 150 years ago in The Communist Manifesto – we have no interests separate and apart from the working class as whole. The members of WASP are not looking for personal fame, fortunes, or political careers. If you have entered our ranks for these things, then we will show you the exit. We are forging WASP as a tool of struggle, which in the hands of a mass working class membership can create a socialist society.
Our organising principle of democratic centralism is designed to create such a revolutionary tool. We are a democratic party that allows full debate and discussion within the structures of the party. But we do this not as an end in itself but to achieve the highest degree of political clarity possible for unity of action in the class struggle. We believe in leadership, but we do not believe in messiahs or building personality cults. At every level of the party ours is a principle of collective leadership. We believe that socialism is international or it is nothing.
WASP is the South African section of the International Socialist Alternative (ISA) organised in more than 35 countries on every continent.
WASP and its predecessor organisations have a proud history in South Africa stretching back to the 1970s. In just the past few years we played a leading role in the mineworkers’ strikes that took place immediately after the Marikana massacre. We have led mass struggles of street traders, communities and students. Most recently we initiated and led the #OutsourcingMustFall movement on many campuses and in many cities. At every stage of the class struggle we have raised a sign-post for the working class in the direction of their political independence, supporting every genuine effort toward the creation of a mass workers’ party with a socialist programme as a step toward the creation of the mass revolutionary party necessary to overthrow the capitalist system. WASP is an embryo of a future mass revolutionary party.
What does being a cadre member require?
- Political education. To be effective in the class struggle you must be confident to explain our ideas to people. In WASP we believe that workers and young people can not only equal but surpass the understanding held by any capitalist politician, entrepreneur or religious preacher about society. Cadre members have a responsibility to develop their political understanding by reading, discussing with other members and taking part in the party’s political education programme.
- Participate in your branch. The branch is the basic unit of the party and the foundation of democratic centralism. The branch is the main arena within the party for democratic discussion and the principle unit to implement the decisions arrived at. Therefore the branch is the main point of interaction between the party and the working class. As a minimum all cadre members should regularly attend their local branch meeting. If there is no branch in your area the national office will assist you to build one.
- Recruit to the party. This is usually via their branch’s work but in our day-to-day lives every cadre member should always be keeping an eye out for potential recruits. But we are not talking about the capitalist political parties’ crude ‘politiking’ methods of bribing people to vote for us with a free t-shirt. This sort of recruitment is meaningless. Our recruitment is based on discussion and agreement with ideas and activity and solidarity in the class struggle. This sort of recruitment is vital to build the cadre that can lead the socialist revolution. It is the responsibility of every member to actively take part in recruitment to the party.
- Sell uManyano lwaBasebenzi. WASP produces a regular newspaper as one way of spreading our ideas amongst the working class. All cadre members should read it, write for it and sell it.
- Pay a monthly subscription. Finance is a fundamental political question for a revolutionary party. A revolutionary party must be financially independent from capitalist society to protect its programme from being watered-down by ‘funders’. Our finances are based on the cents and the Rands of the working class – our members. Every cadre member must pay a monthly subscription (sub) to the party upon the principle of equality of sacrifice. A student or unemployed person paying R20 per month is as politically significant as a well-paid worker paying R500 per month. You must agree an amount and pay your first sub before you can be counted as a cadre member.