“Under a Communist Party government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey.” Nelson Mandela
“Communists everywhere fight to destroy capitalist society and replace it with socialism.” Nelson Mandela
“As we now know, Nelson Mandela was a Communist Party member and leader since the early 60s, though he and his allies denied it all his life.” Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2013, p. A 15
As we now know, Nelson Mandela was a Communist Party member and leader since the early 60s, though he and his allies denied it all his life. On his death, the South African Communist Party itself came clean, with deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila explaining that Mandela’s membership had been kept a fiercely-guarded secret for “political reasons.”
No kidding. The armed struggle, which Mandela had initiated in 1961, would prove a damp squib. It was Mandela’s international celebrity plus the collapse of the Berlin Wall that created the opening for fruitful change in South Africa.
The story is told how Mandela came out of jail spouting traditional Marxist rhetoric but was set straight by Western business leaders at Davos. Another version holds that he was simply reading a script placed in his hands by the Communist Party and promptly switched when word arrived from Moscow that no resources would be forthcoming to help with nationalization, so the incoming government had better play up to Western capital.
Yet another version holds that Mandela already knew which way the wind was blowing when he got out of jail and was just waiting for his comrades to catch up. This version is perhaps the most convincing. Continue reading