Emerging Human Rights: The African Political Economy Context

By George W. Shepherd Jr.; Mark O. C. Anikpo | Go to book overview

6
Revolutionary Violence, Development, Equality, and Justice in South Africa

Okwudibia Nnoli

Revolutionary violence is associated with a political program designed to effect a change in the social order. It usually occurs in the form of resistance against obvious social evils. Its goals are greater equality, justice, and freedom for the majority. It seeks the safety and freedom of both individual and group from threats to life and property and their protection from fear and doubt of all forms of danger.

Violence is often the result of the domination by the ruling class over the underprivileged classes, initially by force but sustained later by propaganda, intimidation, blackmail, bribery, and corruption. Usually visited by a dominant minority on a powerless majority, it is commonly based on a combination of exploitation, repression, and fragmentation of the majority which places them below a minimum level of existence and always at a disadvantage. Inevitably, confrontations ensue between spokespersons of the poor majority and those of the ruling class, including revolts, uprisings, and civil wars.

The objective of revolutionary violence is to pull the majority of the population above the minimum level of existence and to eliminate their disadvantage. When successful, it tends to move the socioeconomic and cultural system toward an ever larger measure of power to the people for conscious participation in building their own

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