Pravin vs Zuma: Individualism vs Communalism

2016-09-01 17:04

Trying to make sense of politics in South Africa is like searching for a pattern in chaos.

One way to try to make sense of the feud between Pravin and Zuma can be found circulating in the everyday talk within South Africa’s contradictory national culture.

I refer primarily to the broader national cultural struggle between individualism and communalism.

I suspect the reason why Zuma still survives, and this ailing democracy is under even greater threat, is because South Africans are generally not individualistic and selfish enough.

The dominance of communalism is rooted in our history, from tribal communities, colonial communities, and apartheid communities to the current party-based political consumer communities and their mixtures of historical fragments.

Zuma’s survival points to the excessive dominance of fragmented community values. Ironically a fragmented and groupish national culture is easily manipulated by the individualistic and selfish despot. Divide! Conquer! Plunder!

On the other hand, Pravin articulates a relatively muted discourse – a discourse of individualism and nation building, a discourse of openness, autonomy, freedom of expression, a discourse of democracy – a discourse that, while superficially valued and admired, is but all too unfamiliar to the typical communal South African.

The heroic democrat working too much in isolation, it seems, and trying to take destiny into their hands, for the sake of the nation, will just not work in our all too communal national culture.

So, strange and contradictory as it may sound, South Africans today are generally not individualistic and selfish enough to support the democrat.

But as a divided nation, we are groupish enough to remain apathetic to the actions of the despot.

The democrat is likely to lose for this reason. We don’t have the individualistic sense to rally around their corner.

Never mind sense.

We don’t have the individuals.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.