The New Religious Political Right in South Africa

Monday, 12 April, 2021 - 16:00

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This paper traces the genealogy of the New Right from its earlier inception in the late 1980s and early 1990s, unravelling the core features of the 'New Right' that can be demonstrated to be relevant for current day South Africa. In particular, what is evident from conflation of New Right discourse with Alternative Right discourse is the overdetermination of whiteness as the primary modality of the New Right, to the detrimental exclusion of other factors that also have a great bearing on this global discourse. For those of us concerned with intersectionality in particular, what such a singular focus misses in the case of South Africa is the fact that class inequality (specifically in the form of racial capitalism) figures prominently in post-apartheid New Right discourse and appears in places where it is least expected. In particular, what both the old and new prevalent public discourses on the New Right in South Africa tell is a story of white ultra-nationalism, thereby completely circumventing the question central to New Right ideology, namely, the economy.


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