Business

Aesthetics of power and questioning what a ‘good’ university is

By Nompumelelo Zinhle Manzini It’s been two weeks of being at the University of Zululand (UniZulu) as a contract lecturer for the Philosophy Department. Perhaps these personal reflections are slightly premature but I think that they do bear some merit. I have only been on the main campus which is in Kwadlangezwa, which is in…

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Radical Economic Transformation: SMME funding

South Africa has a bipolar economy – pockets of first-world prosperity in a sea of third-world underdevelopment. The SA government has sought to bridge this gap using fiscal stimulus delivered through the social grant system in addition to other infrastructure spending. This has had the effect of lifting, on aggregate, swathes of our people above…

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Is it time to boycott the US?

After multiple delays, and the building up of a twisted reality television-like suspense, Donald Trump has finally announced that he will take America out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Among all the fluster of his presidency, this may be one of Trump’s most consequential decisions, and the one with the most long-lasting negative, if not…

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The essence of neoliberalism

France’s pre-eminent sociologist and social theorist Pierre Bourdieu, who died not so long ago, did not pull his punches when it came to identifying the hegemonic economic system of the present, neoliberalism, ruthlessly as a “utopia of endless exploitation”. In an article titled “The essence of neoliberalism” (in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 1998) he puts…

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The age of anger

A friend of mine – Avril Gardiner, art-fundi and owner-curator of the Liebrecht at gallery in Somerset-West – recently reminded me of a piece by Bryan Walsh in TIME magazine of 20 February (2017: pp. 15-16), in which Walsh talks about what he calls “this age of anger” in the context of the claim that…

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The fatal hermeneutic divide in South Africa

Many people are bound to have thought of Alan Paton’s novel, Cry the Beloved Country, in the wake of recent events in South Africa. And everyone who have thought of it as a suitable response to these events may be forgiven. But there’s a saying, that people get the government they deserve, and it is…

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Zuma’s South Africa is not in a crisis, yet

As a scenario planner, it is my job to paint a picture of the future – or alternative futures, different realities that may materialise depending on the choices we make. Late Thursday night, President Zuma bulldozed the good guys out of the executive and shut the door on his handlers in the ANC. The Nkandla…

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Open Letter to President Zuma: Reshuffling for a Dream Team Cabinet

Dear Mr. President, the grapevine is abuzz with news that you’re thinking of playing a national game of Russian roulette with cabinet – pun intended. I understand your desire to reshuffle. You can’t be very comfortable surrounded by individuals who have their own mind, a sense of conscience and a commitment to principles of good…

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A South African link to Trump’s inner circle

People are trying to figure out Donald Trump’s real agenda. There are big clues in the people around him. Trump appointed Steve Bannon as his campaign manager last year and Bannon is now his chief political advisor and strategist. Bannon is a multi-talented (journalist, naval officer, investment banker and Hollywood producer) white nationalist Islamophobe who…

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Are South Africans really all capitalists at heart?

The South African news cycle often is awash with nationalist rhetoric from the emerging and vocal opposition, raging against the African National Congress. These quasi-socialists hold out an image of an economically liberated Southern Africa, a picture of Mzansi at peace on the land – their land. The capitalists too have a vision for South…

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