This article compares and contrasts liberal democracy and national democracy. It attempts this by focusing on each of these as specific state forms with an effectivity or 'tilt' of their own which includes a determinate preconstruction of the category of the People. It is argued, inter alia, that internal to national democracy is a conception of colonialism (and anti-colonialism) and that the national-racial reference is thus internal to the national democratic conception of equality. In conclusion it is proposed that the tilt of a state form is expressed via the distinction of grammatical mood between the imperative and the subjunctive and that the 1994 South African Constitution, when read in this way, is more liberal democratic than national democratic.
This article discusses aspects of Rick Turner’s life and thought based on the author’s relationship with Turner in the 1970s. It weaves together an apercu into Turner as a person with a reflection on where Turner stood in the intellectual milieu of South African in the 1970s. His basic orientation in philosophy was a commitment to the self-transcending subject of Sartre, and this is discussed in relation to The Eye of the Needle, psychoanalysis and the Althusserian repudiation of the subject, which had by then reached the South African left.