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Reviewed by Sikelelwa Mfundisi

            The rise of insurgent trade unionism in South Africa | ROAR Magazine:

There is a critical discussion of the 2012 Marikana tragedy at the Lonmin Mine in South Africa in this article. This article discusses the philosophical and anthropological factors which might have contributed to the breakdown of communication between Lonmin management and its employees, which led to those terrible events. The following are the article’s key points and arguments:

According to the article, the circumstances surrounding the Marikana massacre were complicated, and there was no single factor to blame; however, several factors contributed to the tragedy.

It is argued in the article that reductionist anthropological trends in capitalism contributed to the breakdown of management communication and employee relations. In addition to increasing business profits, these movements often dehumanize workers by using economic concepts selectively.

As a result of economic unfairness and inequality, the Marikana demonstrations were sparked. The author of the piece links this need to colonialism and apartheid, which led to the disaster. It highlights the desire for higher salaries that was ignored by the management, which contributed to the disaster.

An overview of Thomas Piketty’s relevance: To illustrate the negative effects of economic inequality, the article makes passing reference to Piketty’s views on economic inequality. According to the article, Marikana tragedies serve as a cautionary tale.

It discusses the contribution of Adam Smith to the development of reductionist economics. Despite often highlighting Smith’s laissez-faire economics and self-interest, the article points out that his writings also included elements of sympathy and justice that are sometimes overlooked when discussing his work.

With a particular focus on Ricoeur’s book “Fallible Man,” the article discusses his alternative anthropology. Ricoeur’s philosophy emphasizes the complexity, fallibility, and ability to act responsibly of humans, making it a viable alternative to capitalism’s reductionist tendencies.

It suggests that Ricoeur’s philosophy offers a more compassionate approach that respects human complexity and encourages interaction than reductionist capitalist ideas of labour.

This article draws a connection between the Marikana tragedy and capitalism’s reductionist conceptions of labour. Lonmin’s inability to interact positively with its employees has to do with their reductionist view of labour.

According to the article, Ricoeur’s anthropology can influence the way businesses operate. It promotes a company mentality based on respect for one another and corporate social responsibility and emphasises that treating all stakeholders with respect can result in positive business outcomes.

In the article, the author emphasizes the importance of moving beyond one’s comfortable zone and into the unknown to address today’s problems. This challenge is seen as an opportunity for creative development and creativity.

As a conclusion, the article lays out a new anthropology based on Paul Ricoeur’s ideas, linking the Marikana tragedy to reductionist trends in capitalism. To address difficult issues and promote progress, respect and understanding are crucial in business and society.

Reference list

Boëttger, J. and Rathbone, M. (2016). The Marikana Massacre, labour and capitalism: Towards a Ricoeurian alternative. Koers – Bulletin for Christian Scholarship, [online] 81(3). doi: [17 Oct. 2023]

Daniel Pn. (2023). How to Write an Article Review: Full Guide with Examples | EssayPro. [online] Available at: [10 Oct. 2023].

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