Many key participants in the ‘emerging Trade Union movement’
were once influenced heavily by Turner. Nonetheless, as they moved into the
unions, most adopted a mechanistic version of Marxism, and rejected Turner’s
idealistic, anti-authoritarian Socialism. There are two different ways to interpret
the significance of the ‘Durban Moment’. In one telling, there is a linear
progression between the social movements in the 1970s through to the foment
of the 1980s, and the end of apartheid in 1994. The other interpretation seeks
to understand the unique qualities of the political developments of the early
1970s in counter-balance to the opposition politics that came before and after.
The ultimate erasure of Rick Turner’s politics is to claim that they have been
assimilated into movements that developed after his death. As long as we
believe that Rick Turner’s vision was embraced by those who came after him,
we will remain within a cul-de-sac.