Fanon's Thoughts a Warning for SA India Becomes a Sheep but SA Remains a Goat Check Your Facts before Criticising SA Irony of Schumacher Quote Lost on Bryer READERS' FORUM

Cape Times (South Africa), April 7, 2014 | Go to article overview

Fanon's Thoughts a Warning for SA India Becomes a Sheep but SA Remains a Goat Check Your Facts before Criticising SA Irony of Schumacher Quote Lost on Bryer READERS' FORUM


It is ironic that Keith Bryer chose to quote EF Schumacher in his article "Perhaps small is beautiful enough for nuclear power" (Business Report, April 3). The same Schumacher warned against nuclear energy saying in Small Is Beautiful: "Of all the changes introduced by man into the household of nature, large-scale nuclear fission is undoubtedly the most dangerous and profound... radioactive pollution is an evil of an incomparably greater dimension than anything mankind has known before". This great thinker warned of the destructive power of the resultant radioactive products of nuclear energy production, pleading for "... a harmonious co-operation with nature rather than warfare against [it]".

Is the author of this article's limited appreciation of his subject demonstrated in his idealistic visions of mini nuclear stations which are "sabotage proof" and that "no tsunami or earthquake can damage"?

These sorts of supercilious industry claims, so typical of the nuclear lobby, are inevitably proved false. When uranium can be cleanly mined (without spreading carcinogenic dust and poisoning watercourses)... When energy can be produced without routine radioactive emissions... When a solution is found to deal with radioactive waste (despite it being mutagenic for centuries)... When a free market finds the costs viable... When all this is done we will rationally consider nuclear power as a solution to our energy needs.

Retracing Frantz Fanon's spectre to resolve post-apartheid pathologies: "At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails because on a psychological level it identifies with Western bourgeois from which it has slurped every lesson.

"It mimics the Western bourgeois in its decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phase of exploration and invention that are the assets of the Western bourgeois" (Fanon, 1963).

This is a veritable admonishment found in the chapter on Trials and Tribulations of National Consciousness in French polymath Fanon's seminal book, The Wretched of the Earth, which is still relevant today.

Recent episodes in South African politics, animated by the Nkandla controversy, are a stark reminder of the need to retrace Fanon's spectre. They should serve as a reminder to South Africans that the Fanonian praxis of popular mass mobilisation against injustice remains a relevant tool of addressing the unethical ethos exhibited by the national bourgeoisie who are proxy managers of a client state produced by neo-colonialism. …

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