The Covid-19 pandemic graphically exposed the degenerate nature of the South African ruling class. While millions of workers lost their jobs during the lockdown and hundreds of thousands were infected by the virus itself, the ruling class went on a sickening looting spree. 

For days, protests have rocked cities across Nigeria. It is organised around #EndSARS, a movement that is calling for a complete ban of the so-called “anti-robbery” wing of the Nigerian Police, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS – no relation to the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2). Set up in the mid-90s to combat incidences of armed robbery, which had become rampant as a result of deepening poverty under the corrupt military regimes, SARS has since then metamorphosed into a dreaded force associated with all sorts of evils.

We republish Leon Trotsky's 1938 pamphlet, Their Morals and Ours. Written while Trotsky was in exile in Mexico, the pamphlet answers critics of the Russian Revolution, who smeared the Bolsheviks as "amoral". Trotsky argues that morality is not fixed but reflects class interests in society. So-called common sense and "elementary moral precepts" against violence, for example, in reality serve the interests of the ruling class. Revolutionary morality – including the use of violence in class struggle – is determined by whatever advances the cause of the proletariat, and thus the liberation of humanity.

South Africa has faced one of the strictest lockdown responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the world. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has been a disaster for the ordinary  working masses.

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