New South African Review 3 The Second Phase – Tragedy or Farce?
Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce …
(Karl Marx 1852)
In the face of the continuing national tragedy of the inequality, poverty and unemployment which have triggered rising working-class discontent around the country, the ANC announced a ‘second phase’ of the ‘national democratic revolution’ to deal with the challenges. Ironically, the ANC post-Mangaung has resolved to preserve the core tenets of the minerals-energy-financial complex that defined racial capitalism – while at the same time ratcheting up the revolutionary rhetoric to keep the working class and marginalised onside. If the ‘first phase’ was a tragedy of the unmet expectations of the majority, is the ‘second phase’ likely to be a farce? The chapters in this volume are written by experts in their fields and address issues of politics, power and social class; economy, ecology and labour; public policy and social practice; and South Africa beyond its borders. They examine some of these challenges, and indicate that they are as much about the defective content of policies as their poor implementation. The third volume of the New South African Review continues the series by providing in-depth analyses of the key issues facing our country today.
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