introduction
complicity, the intellectual,
apartheid
Even if all forms of complicity are not equivalent, they are irreducible.
—jacques derrida, Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question
After apartheid, the question of complicity is unavoidable—not simply
because it is necessary to know whose resources gave apartheid life,
nourished and defended it, but also because apartheid, by its very na-
ture, occasions a questioning of and thinking about complicity itself. As
a variegated set of policies and practices, apartheid may have been and
may still be, exemplary for provoking a response from the intellectual
that could not simply be of opposition. This idea is twofold. If apartheid
was a system of enforced social separation, its proponents were never
able to realize the essential apartness they proclaimed as their brain-
child’s arch¯ e and télos, its originary law and ultimate end.∞
When, in
diverse ways, its opponents a≈rmed an essential human joinedness
against apartheid, they thus proclaimed not only the evil of this thinking
but also its untruth. At the same time, like its dissenting adherents,
opponents found themselves implicated willy-nilly in its thinking and
practices and shaped their responsibility accordingly. Thus, beyond its
local existence, the obsession of apartheid with separateness may be
exemplary for causing the intellectual to emerge as a figure whose re-
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