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.








Click on the image for a larger picture.

Praxis & Social Mobilisation

Picture: InFid Richard Pithouse - There is an extraordinary degree of popular protest in South Africa. It is diverse, dynamic and unstable and it includes elements that are emancipatory, contradictory and reactionary. This degree of sustained popular dissent – long organised and expressed outside of liberal frameworks, and increasingly also organised and expressed at a distance from the ruling party – provides fertile ground for building popular organisations. But, with important exceptions, the vast bulk of the...

Reason after Liberalism

Picture: Political Beacon Richard Pithouse - In recent days and weeks the liberal consensus on which the post-apartheid order was founded has been burnt away like morning mist giving way to the heat of the rising sun. From our liberal universities to the streets of Durban and Johannesburg liberal values have been spurned. This is not a new phenomenon. When popular organisation arrogates for itself the right to occupy land outside of the mechanisms endorsed by the state and the market, or when the ANC mobilises against a painting, or...

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...