Monday, 10 September 2012

Aestheto-Vegetarianism & South African Labour militancy.

"Boss, we quit- the celery is too low'.
   From Time immemorial, this has been the cri de couer of South African Labour. 
   The question Prof. Honeytits Obwaweyo-Golem addresses, in her magisterial 'Aestheto-Vegetarianism & South African Labour militancy' (O.U.P. 2012),  is why complaints about under-bred celery- as opposed to plebeian asparagus or Grammar School Oik truffles- have so vitiated class relationships in the Republic of South Africa.
 Contrary to expectations, she places the blame not at the door of Mahatma Gandhi- who, as Kathryn Tidrick points out,  followed Tolstoy in romanticizing the soteriological properties of peasant stock celery- but on Nelson Mandela's nuanced response to Walter Sisulu's cryptics with reference to 'proleto-celerification' as the correct, dialectically materialist, problematization of the post- Nongqawuse Xhosa Nobility.
 In the context of the current upsurge of Labour militancy in the Johannesberg area, Prof. Obawayeo Golem's book will be welcomed by all not utterly indifferent to the Industrial Relations aspect of Aestheto-Vegetarian ideology as, if not its chef d'oeuvre then, at any rate, a salutary coup de pouce or nudge in the right direction.

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