Re: [OPE-L] neo-apartheid (was colloquium on primitive accumulation)

From: Patrick Bond (pbond@MAIL.NGO.ZA)
Date: Fri Mar 10 2006 - 04:19:11 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>
> Yes, but is there an agreed upon understanding of  the meaning of
> 'neo-apartheid'?

The comrade who used it - Lenny Gentle of Int'l Labour Research and
Information Group at Univ of Cape Town - just sent this note:

Hi Patrick
TO respond to the question:
I was teasing out a critic of the current "consensus" which takes 1994 as a
fundamental/watershed year and the constructs a whole series of attempted
analytical categories on the basis that what was before is "so obviously"
different from what is now and then tries to borrow terms like Developmental
state, "democratic breakthrough" etc to characterise the state now.
In rsponse to all of these inappropiate characterisations, I looked at the
continuities with the period of reformed apartheid prior to 1994. I find
that at the level of the ruling/capitalist class and at the level of the
mode of appropriation (cheap labour) there are remarkeable continuities with
apartheid post 1979 (The Wiehahn and Riekert reforms)  and post 1983 (the
setting up of the political institutions of the BOtha presidency).
But of course there are no direct, legalised forms of repressive labour as
under apartheid. I think, however, that neo-liberal changes to the labour
process (increased labour market segmentation, outsourcing, flexibility,
intoduction of market relations within the division of labor etc) are
replicating the racial and gender features of the apartheid. (And remember
that in the 1980s neo-liberal apartheid had already begun to reform the
old-style apartheid labour market).
That is why I use the term neo-apartheid (with all the problems of what
exactly this may mean).

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