Cry for the Beloved Country: The Post-Apartheid Denoument


  • John J. Saul



Race, Inequality


A tragedy is being enacted in South Africa, as much a metaphor for our times as Rwanda and Yugoslavia and, even if not so immediately sealing of the spirit, it is perhaps a more revealing one. For in the teeth of high expectations arising from the successful struggle against a malignant apartheid state, a very large percentage of the population—among them many of the most desperately poor in the world—are being sacrificed on the altar of the neoliberal logic of global capitalism. Moreover, as I had occasion to remark during a recent stint spent teaching in that country, the most strik_ing thing I personally discovered about the New South Africa is just how easy it has now become to find oneself considered an ultra-leftist! For to talk with opinion leaders or to read their public statements was to be drowned in a sea of smug: this is the way the world works; competitiveness is good; get with the program; get real.

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