Re: [OPE-L] neo-apartheid

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Mar 10 2006 - 09:19:38 EST

> [...] it's definitely both... not to get hung up on semantics (for which
> people get bashed in sometimes silly ways),

Hi Patrick,

On semantics, see below.

> but the point is that
> notwithstanding decolonisation of a sort, much of the residual character
> of  apartheid's class, racial, gendered, ecological oppression
> reproduces, and  that requires the regime's repressive apparatus to
> hold in check.

Agreed, and thanks for the references and for sending the clarification
by Larry Gentle.  I guess my point, in making the comparison of neo-
colonialism to neo-apartheid,  is that the current situation in South Africa
is related to the ANC policy to seek reconciliation rather than to
redistribute wealth and fundamentally challenge the system of economic
relations which existed under apartheid: not only have many formerly pro-
apartheid forces gotten away (quite literally) with murder but they have
been allowed to keep the plunder accumulated under apartheid.  If
one is going to talk about "accumulation by dispossession"  then, it seems
to me,  that the rights of the dispossessed to the wealth that was
plundered from them needs to be addressed.  Of course, this is an issue
in many other social formations as well (e.g. the rights of Palestinians
to the land and wealth that was stolen from them: there an be no 'peace'
until these grievances are resolved).

On the semantics on 'neo-' :

I agree that people have been bashed in sometimes silly ways: e.g.
Ernest Mandel was bashed from many quarters for the expression
'neo-capitalism"  -- which he later dropped in preference for the
expression 'late capitalism' (which, as I understand it, meant the same
thing to him).   Problem is that 'neo-' is often an ambiguous
and confusing prefix.   For instance, the expression 'neo-liberalism'
is widely misunderstood: a student once asked me why the biggest
advocates of neo-liberalism are often neo-conservatives. And
the 'neo-' in 'neo-Marxist' seems to be added as a kind of
pejorative by those Marxists who think that they are pure
enough that they don't need a prefix added to their perspective
whereas ....  But, in that instance the issues aren't merely semantic:
rather, the semantic designations are abbreviations for often real
differences in perspective.

In solidarity, Jerry

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