Thesis Eleven 115 (1):25-42 (2013)

Marxism was central to the understanding of South Africa’s struggle for freedom. This article provides a critical analysis of Marxist literature on South Africa since the 1970s, drawing out its relevance for contemporary analyses of the post-apartheid state and for radical politics today. It suggests that while the literature offered important insights into the character of the apartheid state, it failed to provide a critical appraisal of the state per se. Moreover, the capturing of state power by the liberation movement was not grounded in an understanding of the oppressive character of the state-form. The undermining of mainstream Marxism under neo-liberalizing conditions in post-apartheid South Africa has opened up the prospects for anti-statist radical libertarian thinking (including autonomist Marxism), and this thinking is consistent with the practices of certain autonomist popular politics currently emerging. Social theorizing on South Africa has had a complex relationship with Marxism. This article is interested in drawing on this experience in an effort to understand its implications for the ‘new’ South Africa where, 20 years after apartheid’s formal ending, social transformation remains caught in the logic not of Marxism but neo-liberalizing capitalism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0725513612470532
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,308
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Power Elite.C. Wright Mills - 1957 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 19 (2):328-329.
State and Capital: A Marxist Debate.James J. Flynn - 1982 - Studies in Soviet Thought 23 (2):148-150.
The Northern Theory of Globalization.Raewyn Connell - 2007 - Sociological Theory 25 (4):368-385.
The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays.Edward P. Thompson - 1982 - Studies in Soviet Thought 24 (4):318-323.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Affirmative Action in Post-Apartheid South Africa.George Carwe - 2000 - Social Philosophy Today 16:77-94.
Racism in the Post-Apartheid South Africa.Nico Koopman - 1998 - In Louise Kretzschmar & L. D. Hulley (eds.), Questions About Life and Morality: Christian Ethics in South Africa Today. Thorold's Africana Books [Distributor]. pp. 153--167.
Theorising South Africa’s Corporate Governance.Andrew West - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 68 (4):433 - 448.
Apartheid, Heresy and the Church in South Africa.Neville Richardson - 1986 - Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (1):1 - 21.
State-Civil Society Relations in Post-Apartheid South Africa.Adam Habib - 2005 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 72 (3):671-692.


Added to PP index

Total views
28 ( #346,371 of 2,326,041 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #650,227 of 2,326,041 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes