South Africa’s morbid symptoms

In South Africa, the old endures and the new is nowhere to be seen. What is to be done? Public intellectual Steven Friedman helps us make sense.

Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash

In the final episode of AIAC Talk for the year, Will is joined by AIAC founder and editor Sean Jacobs for a conversation with Steven Friedman; a South African newspaper columnist, former trade unionist, and political scientist who specializes in the study of democracy.

Professor Friedman is the author of two new books reflecting on South Africa’s tortured past and its dysfunctional present, namely Prisoners of the Past—South African Democracy and the Legacy of Minority Rule, as well as One Virus, Two Countries: What COVID-19 Tells Us About South Africa. Why has South Africa been unable to implement wealth distribution for the masses despite its transition to a robust, liberal democracy? In the throes of a political impasse, which social forces are capable of bringing about change? Or is a further slide to disorder more likely?

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