In his influential history of the post-1967 history of the Palestinian Occupation, radical Israeli architect Eyal Weizman show how even well-meaning decolonial efforts from privileged allies can be coopted by the colonizers, in what I call “de-decolonizing.” Here I focus on one of his examples, namely IDF (Israeli Defense Force) military professors repurposing the anarcho-communist philosophy of French postmodernist Gilles Deleuze into a weapon against Palestinian guerrilla resistance. My conclusion is that attempted decolonizing via (inevitably complicit) privileged allies must include (...) what Weizman calls “co-resistance,” and I call “reconstruction.” In other words, when a Deleuzian “line of flight” to “escape” is impossible, as arguably for Palestinians today, then one should follow the heroic example of the Bedouins, who (as Weizman acknowledges) are the only Arabs who have never stopped rebuilding their Palestine. (shrink)
Scholars have compared the transitional justice processes of Colombia and South Africa in some respects, but there has yet to be a systematic moral-philosophical evaluation of them regarding how they have sought to allocate economic goods. Here I appraise the ways that South Africa and Colombia have responded to their respective historical conflicts in respect of the distribution of property and opportunities. I do so in the light of a conception of reconciliation informed by a relational ethic of harmony, a (...) value salient in the worldviews of many indigenous peoples in both Africa and South America. I argue that, given such an account of reconciliation, one of Colombia’s major proposed ways of allocating property and opportunities, whereby offenders would labour for the sake of improving victims’ socio-economic conditions, would be much better than what South Africa has done, even if Colombia has yet to put such a policy systematically into practice. (shrink)
In contributions elsewhere to this volume, we considered the histories of Colombia and South Africa and how some of the values indigenous to those locales might plausibly bear on transitional justice in them. We advanced broadly relational and constructive (non-retributive) approaches to the social conflicts that had taken place there, ones that make victim compensation central. In this chapter we consider how Metz’s ubuntu-based reconciliatory approach to reparations might be relevant to Colombia in ways he did not consider, after which (...) we reflect on how the kinds of communitarian practices advanced by Bautista might apply to South Africa. We conclude that these cross-applications are revealing, pointing out how economic compensation in Colombia should plausibly be influenced by cultural factors, and how considerations of culture in South Africa call for compensation beyond economic factors. (shrink)
This article is a critical attempt to problematise the notions of European Modernity and Rationality. It is fundamentally an Afrikan philosophical critique of epistemic violence that comes with European Modernity and Rationality. It argues that European Modernity triumphed in “South Africa” following unjust conquest of the Indigenous people since 1652, which was characterised by loss of sovereignty and epistemicide. This resulted in the violent imposition of the law and jurisprudence of White settlers, which are antithetical to Afrikan law and jurisprudence. (...) This epistemicidal nature of White settler colonialism manifests itself through the legal technicalisation of issues of historical injustice. Keywords: conquest; post-apartheid “South Africa”; White settler colonialism; epistemicide; Modernity; Rationality; Afrikan law; Afrikan jurisprudence. (shrink)
Boxing was arguably the most popular and controversial sport in colonial Zimbabwe. To tame the sport's violence, which was considered too extreme, colonial officials in Zimbabwe sought guidance and advice from South Africa from the mid-1930s on how best to regulate the sport. South Africa occupied a unique position in this regard, not only because of the relationship it had with colonial Zimbabwe as a neighbouring white settler colony, but also because of how sections of its white settler community responded (...) to the triumphs of Black boxers over white opponents around the world. The colony of South Africa played a significant role in shaping the control of boxing in colonial Zimbabwe. The relationship between the two colonies culminated in the passage of the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1956 in colonial Zimbabwe, an identical version to a similarly named law that South Africa had passed just two years prior. (shrink)
[Updated 2/23/21: complete chapter scan] In this chapter I sketch a rightist approach to monumentary policy in a diverse polity beleaguered by old ethnic grievances. I begin by noting the importance of tribalism, memorialization, and social trust. I then suggest a policy which 1) gradually narrows the gap between peoples in the heritage landscape, 2) conserves all but the most offensive of the least beloved racist monuments, 3) avoids recrimination (i.e., “keeps it positive”) and eschews ideological commentary in new monuments (...) or revisions to old ones, 4) as much as politically feasible, recognizes only the offense of willing tribemates, and 5) responds to aesthetic and other “irrational” offenses more than to “objective” historical or philosophical critiques. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to trace some entanglements of an event documented in my PhD research, which contests dominant modes of enquiry. This research takes place with a group of Grade 2 learners in a government school in Cape Town, South Africa. It is experimental research which resists the human subject as the most important aspect of research, the only one with agency or intentionality. In particular, the analysis focuses on the process of the making of the circle, and (...) how integral it is in contributing to building the Community of Enquiry, the pedagogy of Philosophy with Children. A critical posthuman analysis is offered which engages with the material-discursive entanglements of the making of the circle. Also, how this making of a circle can be a democratising practice, by including in the concept of democracy, the more-than-human. The analysis also focuses on the placing of the chairs by the children, as a deliberate pedagogical practice, and how this works to disrupt the adult /child binary. There is a move beyond the linguistic turn by paying attention to not only the discursive in the transcriptions but also the intra-actions in between human and more-than-human, the circle, the chairs and the materiality of place. (shrink)
Discussions of non-racialism in South Africa and discussions of post-racialism in the United States are sufficiently similar to invite the question as to whether South African thinkers could help to develop new ways of thinking about post-racialism and its potential in the United States. Biko's ideas are rarely taken up in the United States, yet they are relevant to contemporary discussions in critical philosophy of race. This article begins with an evaluation of the typology of non-racialism provided by Rupert Taylor (...) and the historical study of non-racialism provided by Julie Frederikse, distinguishing different understandings of non-racialism. The second section presents Biko's understanding of non-racialism, arguing that Biko's understanding of which is embedded in his account of Black Consciousness, and not a variant of racial eliminativism. The final section focuses on the striking similarities between understandings of non-racialism and post-racialism using a distinction it introduces between principled and progressive forms of both these terms. Ultimately, this article makes the case for a progressive understanding of post-racialism, which has yet to be articulated and is too easily dismissed in the United States. (shrink)
I critically evaluate South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in light of a philosophical interpretation of the southern African ethic of ubuntu. Roughly, according to this moral philosophy, an act or policy is right insofar as it honours communal relationships, ones of identifying with others and exhibiting solidarity with them. After spelling out this ethical principle and the specific kind of national reconciliation it prescribes, I show that there is a powerful justification for the TRC’s broad contours as a (...) tool to help foster national reconciliation in the mid 1990s. However, I also discuss respects in which the TRC was wanting in light of the sort of reconciliation demanded by respect for people’s capacity to commune. Specifically, I point out respects in which a communal reconciliation probably could have been fostered to a greater degree, had the TRC been different in certain ways, and also note how even an altered TRC would not have been enough on its own to realize it fully; a wide array of other agents could and should have been much more active. I close by indicating some of what needs to be done in order to foster an ubuntu-oriented reconciliation that is still missing, but sorely needed, in 2016. A refurbished TRC promises to help mitigate the crisis of racial divide that currently confronts South Africa. (shrink)
In Gandhi's Printing Press, Isabel Hofmeyr introduces readers to the nuances of the newspaper in a far-flung colony in the age when mail and news traveled by ship and when readers were encouraged by Gandhi to read slowly and deeply. This article explores the ways in which Thoreau's concept of slow reading influenced Gandhi and Hofmeyr herself. She discusses the community that surrounded Gandhi and the role it played in supporting the newspaper. Yet, I argue, the role of women of (...) all races as well as Coloured and black South African men in leading, modeling, and shaping the movement of resistance to pass laws and other racist legislation might have been integrated more into the main narrative. Gandhi's newspaper, Indian Opinion, reported on the pass law protests of the African women of Bloemfontein, and Abdurahman's APO newspaper (popular in the Coloured community) reported on Gandhi's protests. Indian Opinion included speeches given by John Dube, and it often praised Dube and the work at Ohlange and reprinted stories from the black press. I offer these remarks to supplement Hofmeyr's fascinating account by providing additional information in portraying the newspaper in its historical and social context. (shrink)
(Post)apartheid Conditions: Psychoanalysis and Social Formation advances a series of psychoanalytic perspectives on contemporary South Africa, exploring key psychosocial topics such as space-identity, social fantasy, the body, whiteness, memory and nostalgia.
Suppose that it can be right to grant amnesty from criminal and civil liability to those guilty of political crimes in exchange for full disclosure about them. There remains this important question to ask about the proper form that amnesty should take: Which additional burdens, if any, should the state lift from wrongdoers in the wake of according them freedom from judicial liability? I answer this question in the context of a recent South African Constitutional Court case that considered whether (...) an officer having been granted amnesty for apartheid-era killings should be held to mean that the police force may not discharge him on the ground of having been convicted of a serious offence. The Court ruled that, despite amnesty having been granted to the guilty officer, the police force was permitted to discharge him. I distinguish the major ethical reasons the Court gives for its conclusion, which ultimately appeal to the value of national reconciliation, and I argue not only that the reconciliation-based rationales rest on empirical contingencies for which there is little evidence, but also that their logic in fact provides some reason to reject the Court’s conclusion. Then, I sketch an attractive new theory of right action, grounded on salient sub-Saharan values often associated with talk of ‘ubuntu’, that I maintain provides a stronger, unitary foundation for the Court’s key pronouncements. I conclude by discussing some of the broader implications of the moral theory for related matters, such as the rights of victims in the processes leading up to presidential pardons of those who have committed atrocities and the duties of newspapers with regard to the reputations of the latter. (shrink)
This essay explores how the doctrine of the Resurrection informs theological reflection on reconciliation in post‐Apartheid South Africa. It begins by establishing the fragile and liminal state of reconciliation, despite the efforts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It then argues that the Resurrection offers an ecstatic and relational understanding of the human, which in turn provides a basis for advancing claims regarding human dignity and well‐being. In conversation with the work of Oliver O'Donovan and James Alison on the Resurrection, (...) this view is further contextualized by incorporating insights from ubuntu and from the work of Judith Butler on grieving. The essay closes with proposals for how the church in post‐Apartheid South Africa can give witness to the Resurrection in its immediate life and work through advocacy and carrying on the politics of grieving. (shrink)
There appears to be a growing disquiet amongst academics surrounding the ascendancy of 'responsible' investment that is egoist or self-interested in character — 'business case' responsible investment. This ascendancy has in no small measure been associated with the uptake of United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) as a de facto standard for mainstream responsible investment. This article contributes to this disquiet. It does this by examining how egoist 'responsible' investors (as endorsed by the PRI) might have behaved had they (...) been around in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s during days of the anti-apartheid socially responsible investment (SRI) movement. Armed with near perfect (hindsight grade) enhanced analytics, it is clear that the signals that such egoist ' responsible' investors would have sent to company management in terms of the apartheid issue would have been highly muddled and therefore ineffective. The net conclusion is that there is nothing inherently or inevitably ' responsible' about egoist investment and that the aversion to behaving ethically amongst institutional investors must be challenged and not swept under a carpet of rhetoric. (shrink)
The apartheid ideology in South Africa had a pervasive influence on all levels of education including medical undergraduate training. The role of the health sector in human rights abuses during the apartheid era was highlighted in 1997 during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. The Health Professions Council of South Africa subsequently realised the importance of medical ethics education and encouraged the introduction of such teaching in all medical schools in the country. Curricular reform at the University of Stellenbosch in (...) 1999 presented an unparalleled opportunity to formally introduce ethics teaching to undergraduate students. This paper outlines the introduction of a medical ethics programme at the Faculty of Health Sciences from 2003 to 2006, with special emphasis on the challenges encountered. It remains one of the most comprehensive undergraduate medical ethics programmes in South Africa. However, there is scope for expanding the curricular time allocated to medical ethics. Integrating the curriculum both horizontally and vertically is imperative. Implementing a core curriculum for all medical schools in South Africa would significantly enhance the goals of medical education in the country. (shrink)
This article explores the relation between the government and the media in post-apartheid South Africa. An overview is given of key developments and tensions between the government and the media in the first 10 years of democracy and the ethical frameworks underlying the respective positions. An overview of the debate between the so-called "national interest" and the "public interest" is given, and linked to normative ethical frameworks of libertarianism vis-a-vis communitarianism. A mean between the 2 is suggested in the form (...) of mutualism, whereas the necessity for conceptual clarification in debating the relation between the government and the media is emphasized. (shrink)
This article focuses on the politics of memory and forgetting after Auschwitz and apartheid. In the first two sections Habermas' critical contribution to the German Historikerstreit is discussed. Important in this regard is the moral dimension of our relation to the past. In the next two sections the emphasis shifts to South Africa and more specifically the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The article ends with a general discussion of the dilemma of historical 'truth' and representation in (...) contemporary societies. Key Words: apartheid Habermas Historikerstreit history South Africa. (shrink)
This paper explores the meaning of social justice and development in post-apartheid South Africa. It begins with social justice as a process of equalisation, presenting some evidence of the challenge and explaining the difficulty of achieving racial equality. Recognition of changes in national development strategy in the post-apartheid era, and their implications for inequality, leads to discussion of alternative development ethics, which involves reconsideration of what stands for the good life. The possibility of a combination of traditional African communitarianism and (...) the ethic of care is explored, as a basis for an alternative conception of the good. Some impediments to the realisation of such a vision are identified. (shrink)
Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu is the Zulu version of a traditional African aphorism . Although with considerable loss of culture-specific meaning, it can be translated as: “A human being is a human being through other human beings.” Still, its meaning can be interpreted in various ways of which I would like to highlight only two, in accordance with the grammar of the central concept ‘Ubuntu’ which denotes both a state of being and one of becoming.Firstly, it can be interpreted as a (...) statement of fact about the human condition, i.e. as a descriptive claim about the social nature of human being and personal identity; even the constitutive relation between alterity and identity. Secondly, it can also be interpreted as a value-judgement, i.e. as a normative appreciation of social difference and human diversity; even as an imperative to expose ourselves to others, to encounter the difference of their humanness, in order to fully become our own. The meaning would then be — to paraphrase a translation of Ramose : To be human is to affirm one’s humanity by recognising the humanity of others in its infinite variety of content and form.CONCLUSION :The challenge of a philosophical understanding of the multi-cultural context of apartheid South Africa has still to be met. To meet this challenge is to try and trace the consequences of what it would mean if — to paraphrase Walzer — our crucial commonality is our particularity. Perhaps it will mean accepting that what we are and are becoming, our identity, escapes any reduction to the categories of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ and eludes a dialectical ‘aufhebung’ of their difference. This may be the case if what we are and are becoming involves the paradox of being and becoming ever more different in the realisation of our self-sameness. Our African aphorism speaks of this paradox and, in so doing, it draws a limit to our philosophical understanding and provides us with a rule of conduct: Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu! (shrink)
The economic and socio-political impact of multinational corporations (MNCs) on third world countries has been the subject of intense debate and controversy leading to charges of exploitation and colonization on the one hand, and demands for codes of conduct on the other. This article examines the working of one of the most comprehensive of such codes under the most reprehensible political conditions, i.e., the operations of U.S.—based multinational corporations in South Africa under the acgis of the Sullivan Principles. It is (...) argued that despite the best intentions, and considerable social goodwill, the Sullivan Principles were seriously flawed both as to goals and as to means of achieving them. Finally, it suggests a new approach to developing standards of MNC behavior in third world countries which emphasizes those areas of activities that are directly under the control of MNCs, and offers targets of achievement to which MNCs can and should be held accountable.The paper is a revised and expanded version of a keynote speech delivered by the author at the First Biannual Conference on Advances in Management, Orlando, Florida March 25–28, 1992. (shrink)
Following a general sketch of my paradigm of the opening chapter of Genesis as a presentation and analysis of the human predicament, I offer an analysis of the Adam and Eve story and the story of Babel as paradigms of the Genesis authors’ understanding of human transcendence. A brief summary of the primary elements within this notion of transcendence precedes my applicalion of it to a contemporary social issue.
THE RANDLORDS by Geoffrey Wheatcroft. New York: Atheneum, 1986. 314 pp., $17.95. CAPITALISM AND APARTHEID: SOUTH AFRICA, 1910?1984 by Merle Lipton. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Allanheld, 1985. 400 pp., $19.95. THE ECONOMICS OF THE COLOUR BAR by W. H. Hutt. London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1964.