Against liberal pluralist political practice in South Africa


In this article I take issue with liberal pluralist political practice in South Africa. Multicultural civil society requires the recognition of cultural categories which modernity, in the shape of liberal pluralism, cannot accommodate and therefore ignore in the interests of fostering a single monocultural politics. In South Africa this trend has taken the usual route of difference-blind, assimilationisl political programmes aimed at nation building (under the slogan “one people - one nation"). I attempt to show that liberal pluralist practice can be adapted to make space for cultural and ethnic categories, and that a nation of a common political identity can be constructed out of this adaptation, but that a re-interpretaiion of liberal notions of liberty and equality is required.