|Name Harold Wolpe|
|Died January 19, 1996, Cape Town, South Africa|
Education University of the Witwatersrand
Books Articulation of Modes of Production, Race, class & the apartheid state
Race class and power harold wolpe and the radical critique of apartheid prof peter alexander
Harold Wolpe (14 January 1926 – 19 January 1996) was a South African lawyer, sociologist, political economist and anti-apartheid activist. He was arrested and put in prison in 1963 but escaped and spent 30 years in exile in the United Kingdom. He was a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Essex between 1972 and 1991 when he moved back to South Africa with his wife to direct the Education Policy Unit at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. White rule ended three years later. He died of a sudden heart attack in 1996.
- Race class and power harold wolpe and the radical critique of apartheid prof peter alexander
- Remembering nelson mandela with wife of anti apartheid activist harold wolpe ann marie wolpe
- Work and politics
Remembering nelson mandela with wife of anti apartheid activist harold wolpe ann marie wolpe
Harold Wolpe was born in 1926 in Johannesburg to a Lithuanian-Jewish family. He graduated from the Witwatersrand University with a BA in social science and an LLB. He married AnnMarie Kantor in 1955 and they had three children - Peta, Tessa and Nicholas. He was a leading member of the struggle against apartheid and a friend of both Joe Slovo and Nelson Mandela. His legal work was centrally connected with the South African struggles until his arrest in 1963 - much of it concerned with political detainees. He was an important member of the illegal South African Communist Party (SACP) and was engaged with the ANC (which was banned after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960). He was arrested and imprisoned in 1963 but escaped and lived in exile in England for 30 years. He was senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Essex between 1972 and 1991, and Chair of the Department between 1983-1986. He moved back to South Africa with his wife in 1991 to direct the Education Policy Unit at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. White rule ended three years later. He died of a sudden heart attack in 1996. His wife has written a biography of her life throughout the time of the struggles - The Long Way Home (1994).
Work and politics
Wolpe is best known for the theory that cheap labour in South Africa was sustained by the articulation of capitalism with subsistence economies in rural areas. Workers could be paid at below social reproduction costs because the costs of social reproduction were being met in the parallel subsistence economy. Apartheid and other segregation regimes were kept in place to prevent the formation of a stable urban proletariat and ensure continued sub-reproduction labour costs, as those unable to work could be deported to the bantustans, and workers did not create stable families in the cities. This theory has been applied to explain low wages across the global South, including in Gayatri Spivak's theory of the expanded form of value. In a posthumous examination of his work, Dan O'Meara commented: