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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South Africa: After the End of Our Innocence

Picture credit: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma courtesy GCIS/flickr Richard Pithouse - From our increasingly riotous streets to our ever more fractious parliament, it is undeniably clear that South Africa is not a country at ease with itself. And, as the language of those who come out to defend Jacob Zuma and what has become of the ANC grows more hysterical and sets itself against imagined ‘agents’, ‘criminals’, ‘Satanists’ and ‘Nazis’, the weakness and panic at the heart of the Zuma project becomes increasingly evident. What were...

Marikana, Gaza, Ferguson: 'You should think of them always as armed'

Picture credit: A protester in in Ferguson, Missouri courtesy Bilde. Richard Pithouse - In colonial wars the occupying power invariably reaches a point where it has to acknowledge that its true enemy is not a minority - devil worshipers, communists, fanatics or terrorists - subject to external and evil manipulation, but the people as a whole. Once this point is reached every colonised person is taken as a potential combatant and the neighbourhood and the home are cast as legitimate sites of combat. This is the moment when liberal paternalism breaks down. From its first...

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...