May 1968 was the greatest revolutionary general strike in history. Then, as now, the bourgeois and their apologists were congratulating themselves that revolutions and class struggle were things of the past. It took most of the Left completely by surprise, because, they had all written off the European working class as a revolutionary force.

Ever since the fall of the apartheid regime slightly more than two decades ago, there has been an ongoing attempt by the ruling class to construct a Chinese Wall between that monstrous dictatorship and the current regime of capitalist democracy. On the one hand, the method by which old guard of the ruling class aims to do this takes the form of a deception: that apartheid is "over"; that state power is supposedly in the hands of the "majority", that we live in a "democracy" in which the people decide, etc. All of this is a ruse which disguises the fact that because it owns and controls the means of production, the big bourgeois decides the fate of society much more surely than the government alone could ever do.

“Out with the Old. In with the New”. That was always the encouraging message of New Year. But amidst all the parties and the popping of champagne bottles, there was no sign of any optimism or hope for the future on the part of the ruling class and its strategists. On the contrary, the columns of the bourgeois press are filled with pessimism and foreboding.

On Wednesday, 9 December the government of South Africa was thrown into a new crisis when president Jacob Zuma unexpectedly fired his finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with David van Rooyen, a little known ANC backbencher. This decision was so unexpected that neither the ANC nor members from his own cabinet were aware of it. The events over the four days which followed, once again shook the country to its foundations and ushered in a new period in the class struggle.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of people in the south east of Turkey have seen their home towns and neighbourhoods destroyed in the face of indiscriminate and barbaric attacks by Turkish armed forces. Thousands of innocent people have been imprisoned and hundreds of men, women and children murdered in a barbaric civil war waged by the Erdoğan regime against the Kurdish people of Turkey.

The authorities in Burkina Faso recently announced that they are formally charging Gilbert Diendéré, the notorious former commander of the so called Revolutionary Protection Regiment (RSP), with the murder of Thomas Sankara in 1987. The murder charges relating to Sankara’s death are in addition to the charges that he faces in relation to the defeated right-wing coup that he launched in September. The bringing of this central figure involved in Sankara’s murder to justice represents an important gain for the revolution which broke out in October 2014.

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