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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Gaza is Everyone's Concern

Picture credit: Free Gaza/flickr Richard Pithouse - Every time a man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with his act. - Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, 1952 The ruthless assault on Gaza has sometimes been presented in our media, and on occasion in some solidarity efforts too, as an issue that is solely of concern to Muslim people. It is true that in recent years state politics in both Palestine and Israel has taken...

Gaza & the Long History of Liberal Brutality

Picture credit: Boys in Gaza fenced in behind a barricade courtesy Dale Spencer/flickr Richard Pithouse - As the Israeli state rains its murder on the people of Gaza we are confronted with a stark demonstration of the ways in which there is, in so many quarters, official sanction for according radically different values to human lives. Some of us are taken as sacrosanct, others as disposable. It has often been suggested that in the case of Israel and Palestine the inequality in the value ascribed to human life can be rendered as a mathematical ratio. In this calculus there is no such thing as a...

Marikana, Resolve & Resilience

Picture credit: Mining Recruitment Blog Richard Pithouse - The massacre on 16 August 2012, and the events that followed it, including the grinding strike that has just been concluded, have inscribed Marikana into our history. The name Marikana and the date 16 August have been carved into our history with the same brutality, blood and resolve that have shaped so many of the events that have brought us to where we are. Around the world both the massacre and the long and bitter strike have often been decisive turning points in societies. From Algeria...

The Nomzamo Eviction: A Potential Turning Point?

Picture credit: Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr Richard Pithouse - The destruction of the Nomzamo settlement in Lwandle, Cape Town, has received an extraordinary degree of political and media attention, much of it noting the illegality and brutality of the eviction, and much of it sympathetic to the occupiers. Evictions, generally illegal and frequently violent, have been an everyday part of actually existing modes of urban governance in post-apartheid South Africa. Most of the major cities have units maintained for the sole purpose of mobilising state...

Renewing Our Democratic Imagination

Picture credit: President Jacob Zuma with ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr. Richard Pithouse - Narendra Modi, a politician who combines a form of hyper-capitalism that produces fabulous wealth for some at the cost of ruination for many others with a narrow and dangerously chauvinistic form of hyper-nationalism, will soon take office as the new Prime Minister of India. The results of the election that bought Modi into office should give anyone who retains a naïve faith that democratic processes will always favour democrats, or that the assertion of nationalist sentiment from within...

On Abahlali baseMjondolo Voting for the DA in Durban

Picture credit: Abahlali baseMjondolo/flickr Richard Pithouse - Durban, the city where Jacob Zuma has his firmest urban base, is a hard place to do politics. A good number of the people who have attained political power in this city after apartheid learnt their politics during the civil war in the 1980s. Threats of violence are common from the top to the bottom of the ruling party’s local hierarchy and violence, including murder, is often used as a mechanism of social control. David Bruce estimates that there have been around 450 political murders...