The Marikana Massacre : the problem of embedded anthropological reductionism in modern economic philosophy
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The Marikana massacre in August 2012 at the Lonmin mine was primarily a consequence of the modern economic philosophy and its embedded reductionist anthropology, as it manifests in the South African context. This reductionist view of people ignores what is at the core of being human — to be recognised and respected as an individual. A perceived complete lack of respect by Lonmin for its workers was a major cause of the Marikana massacre. Paul Ricoeur’s more comprehensive philosophical anthropology, as an alternative, opens up new possibilities in addressing the current dysfunctional view of labour and its dire consequences. Lack of respect for the person is inherent in the modern global economic philosophy and its implied reductionist anthropology. Ricoeur on the other hand, cannot even contemplate personhood without respect. With the unfairness of our economic system and the destruction of the middle class leading to unprecedented levels of social unrest, it is indeed time to embrace a new economic philosophy based on a more comprehensive anthropology.
- Humanities