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Mediations  2008 

South Africa's "Developmental State" Distraction

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Abstract:

The idea that the South African ruling elite has the political will to establish a “developmental state” project early in the 21st century is popular, but is not borne out by evidence thus far. Patrick Bond reviews new information about the neoliberal project’s failures, which range from macroeconomics to microdevelopment to pro-corporate megaprojects, and which are accompanied by a tokenistic welfare policy not designed to provide sufficient sustenance or entitlements to the society. The critique by the independent left might be revised in the event that the trade unions and communist influences within the ruling Alliance strengthen, but there is a greater likelihood that the world capitalist crisis will have the opposite impact. Nevertheless, widespread grassroots protests and impressive campaigning by civil society keep alive the hope for a post-capitalist, post-nationalist politics, as bandaiding South African capitalism runs into trouble.

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