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Lost causes of the rand revolt

Krikler, J (2011) 'Lost causes of the rand revolt.' South African Historical Journal, 63 (2). 318 - 338. ISSN 0258-2473

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Abstract

This article takes up some of the key issues raised in response to the author's work on the Rand Revolt of 1922. It begins by interrogating the idea, advanced by a number of scholars, that the employers' offensive against white labour in that year was linked to a need to provide opportunities for black mineworkers who had recently engaged in an historic strike of their own. The article then moves on to consider aspects of the racial killing by whites that emerged on the Witwatersrand during the strike and rebellion of 1922. It warns, inter alia, against explanations of this violence in overly general terms that gesture at the obvious, i.e. the mere presence of white working class racism. It suggests that historians would do well to explore the relationship of the violence (and the racial fears associated with it) to a somewhat delirious attempt on the part of the white working class to avoid an impending test of arms with the state. For the violent racial hysteria of this time betrayed a desire by white workers to assert their community with the established order. Paradoxically then, racial fear and violence were - in part - an unsuccessful attempt to overcome extreme antagonisms amongst whites. At the same time, the article stresses that this 'attempt' should not be seen as part of a conscious plan. Nevertheless, following the classic work of Henri Lefebvre, it emphasises that hysterical fear can fulfil a decisive function for those caught up in it. © 2011 Southern African Historical Society.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2011 13:37
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/606

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