Friday, 6 December 2013


Mandela was unquestionably a great man. But he was great because he was once a fierce fighter against oppression, not because he was a saint with a nice line in inspirational aphorisms. He was also a flawed human being whose party, under his leadership, capitulated to capitalism, embraced neoliberalism and perpetuated drastic economic inequality. Let's mourn the passing of a fighter against racial discrimination, who endured decades of suffering (on a level that I can't even conceptualise, let alone imagine myself tolerating) for his principles. But let's not lose ourselves in lachrymose sentimentality and forget the real history of post-Apartheid South Africa.




  1. As if we needed another reason to oppose this latest iteration of the Great Men of History argument, check out the letter to the Guardian below from one Simon Plosker of 'Honest Reporting'. The reason the occupation of Palestine continues, it seems, is because Mandela was engaged elsewhere...