A few months ago, author William Gumede described Zuma as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder — a set of traits defined by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut as “including an exaggerated sense of superiority, a lack of self-awareness about the impact of their behaviour and having a disdain for others, who they devalue to validate their own grandiosity”. These people lack empathy, have a distorted sense of reality and are incapable of seeing anything from anyone else’s perspective. Narcissists like Zuma, Gumede argues, can’t accept responsibility and don’t care if they take down entire countries with them. The events at Nkandla, sadly for Zuma, only reinforced that perspective.
The authoritarian national liberation left is locked in a state centric practice. Society must be engineered from above and through the state. The coercive apparatus of the state, its intervention capacity, must be harnessed to bring change to the people. The people are passive recipients of what is deemed in their best interests. The Democratic Left on the other hand is seeking to democratise and embed the state in civil society. It is about building the capacity of the people, particularly the working class and the poor from below, to lead societal change. It is about a relational understanding of the state in which the power of the people determines the power of the state. – Vishwas SatgarBACK TO TOP