Liberation Lite takes as its principal focus the limited meaning that liberation has come to have in southern Africa – despite the heroic struggles there that had so recently overthrown white racist rule.
For the subsequent neocolonial recolonization of the subcontinent has not, in class and gender terms, allowed much real freedom for the mass of the southern African people, nor has it helped guarantee to them the expression of meaningful popular democratic voice. Liberation Lite also discusses the role that Canada, like other western countries, has played in facilitating just such extremely narrow outcomes to the struggles in southern Africa; surveys the continuing scope for socialist aspiration and achievement that nonetheless survive within the region and throughout the global south; and reflects both on related debates that the author has had over many decades with his close friend and sometime author, the late Giovanni Arrighi, as well as on other relevant aspects of his own intellectual autobiography.
Saul’s conclusion: the continued imperative of taking direction, personal and more broadly political, from Frelimo’s central slogan of that movement’s days of most active challenge to Portuguese overrule in Mozambique: A Luta Continua, the struggle continues.
Introduction: On Liberation Lite
Part A. Three Essays
Race, Class, Gender and Voice: Four Terrains of Liberation
Two Fronts of Anti-Apartheid Struggle: South Africa and Canada
Arrighi and Africa: Farewell Thoughts
Part B. Contexts and Challenges
On the Move: A Life in African Studies
Is Socialism Still an Alternative?
Renewing the Struggle for Real Liberation
Rusty Bernstein: A Letter
John S. Saul is a professor emeritus of political science at York University, Toronto. He has had a long and distinguished career as writer, teacher and activist in both Canada and southern Africa. As part of his involvement and concern with national liberation movements in Africa, he has participated in many committees with leaders of these movements, and interacted with them on issues of strategies and policies.
In recent years he has been very preoccupied with the fortunes of the aftermath of liberation in many of these countries. In particular he has written recently on what he thinks has been going wrong in South Africa, of how the aspirations of those who fought for freedom have been betrayed, and the need to incorporate the rights and needs of women, the minorities and the poor in the agendas of development. he remains committed to a politics of genuine liberation, one that is both anti-capitalist and profoundly democratic.
He has authored and co-authored some 20 books on Africa and more general development issues, and is considered an authority on the region.
John S. Saul
Three Essays Collective