Wishing to distance myself from rah, rah, legal commentators who merely cheer at a victory, I feel compelled to add to the blog some critique of law to balance what might seem to be a simplistic pro-Western, pro-law viewpoint.
To begin with, the victory of the Zim Farmers IS important, but NOT because law is important. If a political outcome had made them victorious that would be important as well. But the law got there first so, OK and law IS important. However, law without the social, economic or historical is vapor, a vacuum and dangerous.
The reason a legal victory in an AFRICAN court is singular, is because it is a voctory in an AFRICAN court. There is scant evidence of Western dominance here. Whatever problems there are between SA and Zim, they are AFRICAN. That is good!
There are fundamental problems with law. Law oppresses and is manipulated by the powerful. Women, the poor, minorities of all kinds are frequently abused by the law in LEGAL ways. A critical assessment of the law is vital in any society.
For example, the U.S. claims some kind of moral superiority in Human Rights which it lectures other countries on. It witholds Aid and asks for rules to be implemented.
Yet, women in the U.S. are underpaid, never compensated for work in the home, which incidentally keeps the economy running, and are bombarded by adverts to undergo platic surgery to remain attractive.
Where I live in Southern California, the newspapers are cluttered with ads for breast implants but I have YET to see one AD, let alone a multitude of ADS, promoting PENILE implants. Why is that and I ask this with a straight face...?! How is this not a Human Rights violation?
A critical assessment of law is vital to an understanding of ourselves and our location in the more universal order of things. The law is a necessary evil. Love and introspection are much more important. The personal and interpersonal are much more vital to our existence.
But that is not the topic of my PhD...I will write the love and introspection paper AFTERWARDS!!