Richard Turner's contribution to a socialist political culture In South Africa 1968-1978
Keniston, William Hemingway
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This thesis evaluates Turner's capacity to encourage a shift in white politics towards New Left radicalism. Despite Turner's influence on many, tensions arose between Turner's politics and more orthodox forms of socialism, embodied in unions and in vanguard parties. The socialist political culture which developed after his death was driven by leaders who were determined to build organizations that could meet tangible, short-term goals. What was lost in abandoning 'the necessity of utopian thinking' as outlined by Turner? Eclipsed through banning and assassination, and simultaneously marginalized by doctrinaire Marxism, Turner's work has yet to take its proper place in the history of liberation struggle in South Africa. This thesis aims to revive Turner's discourse by re-engaging with the utopian elements of his thought, making them available for our present political climate.