The Position Papers and Constitution of the WSF were developed by mandated activists in the Workers Solidarity Federation in the period between early 1995 and late 1996. These documents were adopted as official policy by the WSF in December 1996.
These documents represent a systematic effort to apply anarchist theory to the specific conditions of South Africa in the current period. Although anarchism has a proud history as a fighting tradition amongst workers and peasants across the world, it has not had an organised presence in South Africa (as far as we know) since the 1910s and early 1920s.
We hope, now, to lay the basis for a new movement. Marxism, nationalism, liberalism- the history of these ideologies is a history of broken promises and failed hopes. We believe that only anarchism -stateless socialism- provides the basis for the liberation of the world's working class and peasantry from the crises and oppression that beset uncountable billions of toiling and poor people. We believe that freedom for the Black working class and poor majority of South Africa can only come through mass class struggle and revolution against capitalism, the State and all oppression. The programme of that struggle can only be anarchism.
These documents are a contribution to the process of building a mass anarchist movement in South Africa, and anywhere else that people suffer and are oppressed.
Overall, the development of these documents was underlain by a recognition that an effective anarchist political organisation can only be built on the basis of theoretical and tactical agreement. In other words, we need a clear analysis and clear guidelines as an organisation if we are to succeed in our aims. In addition, if we do not provide explanations and strategies for the various questions facing working and poor people, some opposing force will step into the space we leave, and seek to entrap the masses in this or that false ideology or programme. We must provide a comprehensive alternative to the tricks and illusions of other political groups, a theory that "ordinary" people can use as a weapon in the fight for freedom and equality .
At all points in the material that follows, we have sought to remain true to the general premises, theories, and classical writings of classical class-struggle Anarchism/Syndicalism as a starting point in developing our positions. Although these documents are often highly detailed, such detail was unavoidable for the sake of clarity and completeness.
Despite a number of delays in printing and proof-reading, we are pleased to invite you to read on.
Yours, WSF-National Secretariat May 1997