Alex Magaisa’s recent blog suggests that xenophobia does not adequately explain violent attacks in the SA. He thinks the attacks which followed Ramaphosa’s speech on illegal foreign-owned business were motivated by a number of variables. For him, the need to find a scapegoat for failure by leaders could be the reason for foreign targetted attacks.
Among several examples, he mentioned the Jewish Holocaust authored by Hitler to illustrate his point.
Magaisa also thinks that the attacks are symptomatic of a phenomenon he termed “parochial nationalism”. Parochial nationalism relates to nationalism based on ignorance. Magaisa thinks politicians pursuing populist policies incite parochial nationalism. For him,
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It manifests in different forms including isolationism, withdrawal from multilateralism, exclusionary policies, largely targeted at immigrants, hate-filled rhetoric, physical violence, and generally xenophobic attitudes and practices.
Magaisa also revealed that Ramaphosa addressed immigration in a way suggestive of parochial nationalism. For him, the phenomenon is more established in more advanced economies, particularly, the USA, UK and Europe.
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