Nelson Mandela and the Politics of Life

  • Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


The idea of politics of life is well-articulated by the Latin American philosopher and historian Enrique Dussel in his Twenty Theses on Politics (2008). In this work, the politics of liberation is understood as “politics of life with others and for others” (Mendieta 2008: viii). It is a politics that is formulated and thought of from the “underside” of Euro-North American-centric modernity that authorized mercantilism, the slave trade, imperialism, colonialism, apartheid and underdevelopment. These processes and events contributed to corruption of “the noble vocation of politics” which is that of inscription of “the will to live” (Dussel 2008: 78–82). The corruption of politics takes the form of what Dussel (2008: 3), arguably inspired by Nietzsche’s “will to power,” calls “the fetishism of power.”


International Criminal Court Political Reform Transitional Justice Slave Trade African National Congress 
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© Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni 2016

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