The Second Man: An autobiography concerning​ a sense of belonging – 3

Like Crusoe, I wanted to escape my country when I was young. I had, as a boy, identified with England. Not only because of an ethnic similarity and a shared language but because it seemed to me progressive and open. It also seemed a land where culture was rooted deep and a place where the empty cultureless life, of what Stephen Watson referred to as … Continue reading The Second Man: An autobiography concerning​ a sense of belonging – 3

The Second Man: An autobiography concerning a sense of belonging – 1

I arrived back in South Africa in October 2008. My mother died that year and a three-year relationship had just ended. While I was on holiday in South Africa in January I had walked into my mother’s bedroom to find her dead. We carried her out of the house. I did some form of CPR but it was hopeless. I went to see her body … Continue reading The Second Man: An autobiography concerning a sense of belonging – 1

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

Are South Africans Free? – A Review

Are South Africans Free? by Lawrence Hamilton Nelson Mandela, in his Long Walk To Freedom, wrote that South Africans have ‘merely achieved the freedom to be free’. As Lawrence Hamilton, Professor of Politics at the University of Johannesburg, argues, in his book Are South Africans Free?, the political freedom attained in 1994 has in fact failed to ‘free’ the majority of South Africans. Instead Hamilton opines … Continue reading Are South Africans Free? – A Review