Where I Stand 09/09/2016

One of the defining features of a modern legal system is that the authorities have an official and private self.  This was not true of pre-mordern systems where the king, queen, sovereign, chief or Leviathan was above the law and not susceptible to its sanction.  The question is now is the ANC ushering in a new pre-modern or what Karl Popper called a ‘tribal society’ … Continue reading Where I Stand 09/09/2016

Where I Stand 04/09/2016

As Karl Popper suggested in his The Open Society and Its Enemies Platonic, Marxist and Hegelian versions of the dialectic are all attempts to return to the closed society (what he at times refers to as the ‘tribal society’).  Interestingly he suggests in the first book on Plato (the arch-tribalist) that one of the methods of retaining the essential and tribal core of a society … Continue reading Where I Stand 04/09/2016

Where I Stand 08/06/2016

Like much of Hannah Arendt’s thinking the three essays published in her book On Violence tends to need some further clarification and justification if it is to stand as one single theory.  Her distinctions between violence, power and authority are interesting but just how power and violence function separately is, at least on first reading, unclear to me. But as Tony Judt pointed out, that despite her often … Continue reading Where I Stand 08/06/2016

Where I Stand 03/06/2016

I have, over the last few weeks, been reading about violence in general and revolutionary violence in particular.  This is largely due to a certain focus within my PhD on Albert Camus and his book The Rebel, but also because of the reoccurrence of the strange version of political violence in South Africa that is taking place there yet again.  Perhaps the most enigmatic of this literature is … Continue reading Where I Stand 03/06/2016

Where I Stand 26/05/2016

‘I was brought up a Marxist.  Nowdays that isn’t much of a boast.’ This is how Tony Judt, one of the great liberals of the last fifty years, began his essay on Louis Althusser, which is an interesting and amusing take down of the French Marxist thinker.  I, unlike Judt, was brought up a liberal.  And certainly in South Africa it seems to have no bragging rights.  My … Continue reading Where I Stand 26/05/2016