Friday, August 13, 2010

The bourgeoisie Of Process

I am beginning to wonder if there is a place of advance in post-apartheid South Africa that is not hampered by the bourgeoisie of process.

Allow me to explain by beginning with Frantz Fanon's remark in his book The Wretched of the Earth that post-colonial state institutions are severely hampered by what he called the "bourgeoisie of the civil service".

These folks are the ones who live in-between the spaces occupied by the former masters and the downtrodden.

In Fanon's thinking these bureaucrats pursue self-enrichment by playing agent for neo-colonial interests at the expense of the masses.

These are not revolutionary folk even though they may want to appear as such when the need arises.

Rather, the neo-colonial agent is a gatekeeper of process that is not about equitable and long lasting change.

I am thinking about the place of process and gatekeepers in post-colonial/post-apartheid South Africa more of recent.

I have come to the slow realization that the bourgeoisie in the civil service seek to process people constantly for the purpose of frustrating their expectations.

For this reason you will not find a moment in post-apartheid life that is not about processing, or rather, taking stock.

The post-apartheid bourgeoisie have forms you must fill out in order to raise you to the next level of other forms that will take you nowhere but still are necessary.

Some folks living in the developed West may say this is not unique to us.

Still, I think it is when you consider that the process is not aimed at an advance of function but rather at dysfunction.

The very act of bureaucratization and its processes is to freeze dissent and, thereby, it allows the agents to control the access to resources.

The "bourgeoisie of the civil service" is a counter democratic force in this sense.

The post-colonial state that then develops around their stunting processes is unavoidably alienating and corrupt.

The average citizen is left feeling insecure and even fearful.

I say fearful because the outcome of not complying with process and all its forms means you are in default of the system.

Being in default means that you must enter into other processes to meet the requirements of fulfilling the previous processes and so it goes on and on until ... well, death.

In this lopsided equation staying stuck and even going backwards in a collective sense is never the fault of the system.

The fault lies with you.

You should have known the processes to follow in order to meet the other processes that you must comply with even where those processes are not known.

Frustration is a precondition to alienation in more than just the Marxist emphasis on looting your labour and its worth.

The alienation of all these processes also, and perhaps more importantly, thwarts the very meaning of life and the universal quest to be free.


Picture Credit

No comments: