Richard Pithouse

Richard Pithouse

Dr. Richard Pithouse teaches politics at Rhodes University where he teaches contemporary political theory and urban studies and runs an annual semester long post-graduate seminar on the work of Frantz Fanon.








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Rhodes Must Fall

Picture: Cecil John Rhodes courtesy Encyclopaedia Britannica Richard Pithouse - If you’re up early in Dakar and decide to take a walk along the shorefront before the day gets going you may see fishermen setting out on a raft cobbled together from the detritus of the city. If you look a little closer you may see, on the rocks, not far beneath the surface of the water, an old cannon. It’s just there, becoming, with the geological patience that operates at an unbridgeable remove from the urgency of the political, part of the sea. For a South African this ease...

Land, Dignity & Democracy: South Africa's Constitution Does Allow for Expropriation

Picture: Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Dikgang Moseneke, courtesy University of Maryland Richard Pithouse - At a public discussion on the land question in Johannesburg on Friday, February 27, Dikgang Moseneke, the Deputy Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court, began his remarks with a well-known quote from Frantz Fanon: “For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.” He spoke about the centrality of the land question to the struggle against apartheid and argued...

On Not Reducing Racism to Apartheid

Picture: The Sonorans Richard Pithouse - We would be more effective at dealing with the endemic racism in our society if we didn’t relentlessly speak in a manner that reduces racism to apartheid and ‘apartheid tendencies’. The reason for this is not because historical trauma should be repressed and its consequences in the present naturalised. On the contrary it is because the development of an adequate understanding of how our society came to be as it is requires us to speak a lot more about both colonialism and...

Shifting the Ground of Radical Reason

Picture: Dragaholic Richard Pithouse - For some time now much of the left has either been alienated from actually existing popular mobilisation or unable to make and sustain productive connections with it. But the emergence of new forces to the left of the ANC, forces with money, a national reach, easy access to the media and, in the case of NUMSA, an established and organised membership, is generating fresh optimism. However, the old fantasy that history will, in time, reward radical patience sometimes functions to prevent...

Riot Police in Parliament

Picture: President Jacob Zuma courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr Richard Pithouse - When the ANC raised Jacob Zuma above the rule of law and the scrutiny of parliament they repeated, on live television, an aspect of the logic with which the subaltern classes are routinely governed. The democratic rights that have been enjoyed by the middle classes over the last twenty years are frequently denied to people who inhabit zones, like the former Bantustan or the urban shack settlement, where different rules apply. In these zones, despotic forms of power are not uncommon....

Lindiwe Sisulu and the New Denialism

Picture: Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, addresses Parliament during the State of the Nation Address in June this year courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr Richard Pithouse - In 2005, early in her in her first term as Minister of Housing, Lindiwe Sisulu announced that the state had resolved to ‘eradicate slums’ by 2014. This was a time when the technocratic ideal had more credibility than it does now and officials and politicians often spoke, with genuine conviction, as if it were an established fact that this aspiration would translate into reality. It was not unusual for people trying to engage the state around questions of urban land and housing to...