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Fundamina

On-line version ISSN 2411-7870
Print version ISSN 1021-545X

Abstract

LEAL, Saul Tourinho. Constitutional scapegoat: the dialectic between happiness and apartheid in South Africa. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2016, vol.22, n.2, pp.297-309. ISSN 2411-7870.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2411-7870/2016/v22n21a7.

South African history is intrinsically linked to the apartheid era and its inevitable and persistent consequences. These consequences show that in some extreme political situations, leaders try to impose their ideology, and, in doing so, use either Constitutional rights or moral values as rhetorical scapegoats in order to dismantle our deepest commitment to ourselves in terms of our pursuit of happiness. In light of the historical documents that preceded the inauguration of the apartheid era, it is possible to identify that happiness appeared as a pivotal value under which the apartheid order would be erected. This paper aims to investigate the relation between apartheid and the misuse of happiness as a core value, addressing the idea of sadistic pleasure as a deformation of the ideal of human rights. Finally, the paper shows how the Constitution of South Africa, as well as other African Constitutions, has instituted the right to happiness in order to overcome the collective trauma generated by racism.

Keywords : South Africa; Apartheid; institutionalised sadism; Africa; right to happiness; human dignity; Constitution.

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