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The negative effects of the liberals' usurpation of th Green Movement : a study in the demise of the liberal paradigm

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dc.contributor.advisor Makhanya, E. M.
dc.contributor.author Mzaliya, Jabulani.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-22T07:52:26Z
dc.date.available 2012-05-22T07:52:26Z
dc.date.issued 2000
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/1038
dc.description Submitted to the Faculty of Arts in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Geography at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2000. en_US
dc.description.abstract While South Africa is engaged in the politics of transformation and constitution making green issues are gradually taking a back seat. The nature of our transition to democracy concentrated largely on the transfer of political power without due consideration to the other sphere of government upon which such political power is anchored. It was therefore no wonder that many provinces appear to be disinterested in taking serious maintenance costs of looking after their environmental protection responsibilities. The neglect of green issues is such that few politicians overtly mention them in their speeches. Instead of recognising the economy as one aspect of a whole ecological and social fabric, they tend to isolate it and to describe it in terms of highly unrealistic economic models. International pressure does, however, have some influence on changing government attitudes towards the environment. The aim of this thesis is to evaluate the type of change that has taken place in environmental awareness by the government. To do this, it is necessary to examine both the past and the present green movements as well as the ideological premises of both. The thesis traces the origins of the liberal argument and its transfer to South Africa. It demonstrates that while the origins of the green movement in America, Britain and Europe, was justified, it was not so justified in a South Africa that was ravaged by apartheid because it tended to favour the dominant political groups. The thesis argues mat the liberals' domination of the green movement has caused its demise. The systematic entrenchment of their role and status in the green movement has created the impression (sometimes believed by many) that green issues are theirs, and their alone. The thesis highlights the weaknesses of the South African liberal movement in so far as the environment is concerned. Cherished largely by the English liberalism in South Africa, it tended to challenge the Afrikaner rulers as a racial group. In such racially dominated contestations, ideology tends to be secondary. liberals incited Blacks to challenge the Afrikaner State. In the process, liberalism became a stop gap measure of trying to topple Afrikaner nationalism while at the same time colluding with the very Afrikaner nationalists to stop African nationalism. In their pursuit of the green movement, the liberals ignore knowledgeable Africans who could contribute handsomely to the environmental debate in favour of those who have gone through universities. By and large these graduates and experts come from the White middle class. Hence the monopoly for getting knowledge about the green movement resided with the dominant political class. The State and Capital are discussed as being two sides of the same coin. Capital maximises profits while destroying the environment; the State and state official depend on the rich industrialists for the coffers and for supporting their election campaigns. The thesis calls for greater vigilance on the part of environmentalist. The thesis is also against the distance the green movement keeps from the labour movement. Labour movements have bargaining skills and the numerical strength to bolster the flagging green activists who pathetically, in dismal numbers, picket companies in vain. Labour movements can also assist the green movement to find their way to the communities to which the Reds are closer. The thesis calls for the involvement of environmentalists and the integration between the international and the local advice to benefit the ecological struggles. In the final analysis, the thesis raises problems such as the centrality of the environment in the allocation of resources. The political transformation process was given as having failed to reduce the economic inequalities. The thesis raises concerns that political power was forsaken for a continued control of the economy and this economy resided in the environment of the land. The failure to control the environment was also mentioned as detrimental to the delivery of the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDF) which has the potential danger of raising the same arguments about dispossession as they were raised during the anti-apartheid struggle. Although there are legislative constraints, the thesis argues for a greater interest aggregation in the dismantling of such constraints. It also highlights hopes for environmentally friendly policy making and this stems from the changing political circumstances. It is also demonstrated that the non-existence of stringent environmental measures stems from the fact that liberals control the legislative mechanisms, and as such they will always legislate in a manner not injurious to the means of production which they control. Basically then, liberals have become wealthy, and in a situation of wealth there is also a systematic mechanism to protect it, and the liberals have succeeded in protecting their wealth. The thesis recommends that there should be an ideological shift for the green movement, and that this ideological shift cannot come about if the liberals still perceive the green issues as theirs alone. The liberals should not only view the environmental as an aesthetic entity but also as a means of survival for a large number of Africans. Co-operation between the labour unions and the green movement is essential because, at the end of the day, environmental degradation is a threat to the survival of both. Black people, who are directly affected by the green issues on a daily basis, should play a prominent role in the green movement. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Green Movement en_US
dc.subject Liberal paradigm en_US
dc.subject Liberals' usurpation en_US
dc.subject Environmental awareness by the government en_US
dc.title The negative effects of the liberals' usurpation of th Green Movement : a study in the demise of the liberal paradigm en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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