News/Politics

The follies of humankind, through the eyes of a young girl

In this time of economic and ecological uncertainty, which has, tellingly, given rise to the philosophical genre of “extinction studies” (see http://thoughtleader.co.za/bertolivier/2014/06/30/human-extinction-its-not-just-science-fiction/), it may be wise to remind ourselves that the human folly which has given rise to the fraught state of the present, globally, is nothing new. Human history is littered with such follies,…

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Making sense of #ThisFlag, Zimbabwean dissent and South African solidarity

Blessed are the poor, in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus. (Commas restored) . Jesus was as usual talking about solidarity: about how we join with others and, in spirit, feel the world, and suffering, the same as them. This is the kingdom of owning the other as self, the self as…

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Turning human suffering into refugee chic

There are currently more than 65-million refugees and displaced persons in the world. It is one of the biggest human rights crises of our time, and deserves as much media attention as possible. But what refugees don’t need is to have their plight reduced to a fashion statement. “Refugee chic.” On Friday, there was a…

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Perhaps we all just need to log off and have a good nap

I have news fatigue. That’s not a terribly bad place to be in, because it’s evidence of actually taking notice of the world around us, but it’s similarly distressing all at the same time. Glancing over the major news stories that have soaked up my eyeball attention in just the last month or two, I…

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Mugabe’s only path to true statesmanship is his death

Robert Mugabe came to power as president of Zimbabwe in 1987. Next year, if Southern Africa’s Methuselah lives until then, will mark his thirtieth year in office and what has become a pathetic downward spiral into the abuse of state power and the obliteration of his nation’s fortunes. President Mugabe is famed as having said…

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We all need the SABC

When you watch what is happening at the SABC you get a feeling that it’s more like Days of our Lives, today Marlena and John are married and Kate is in love with Victor and tomorrow Marlena is possessed, John is arrested and Kate is mentally ill. Things move from the good, to the bad…

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#AndreOlivier: A world where white people took nothing from black people is not a real world, it’s an imagined one

By Sheena Jonker A South Africa where white people gained the position in society that they occupy and the place in the economy that they enjoy through sheer hard work, is an imagined South Africa. It’s not real. When Pastor Andre Olivier says “We (white people) took nothing from black people” he was accessing this…

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Open letter to a black South African, release the chains of an enslaved mind #AndreOlivier

By Lesego Setou Dear Black South African, I write to you from one soul to the next. I would like to know at what point did we forget our divinity that we seek affirmation of our worth from pastors? Could it be that we have things we need to heal within our self? That we…

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The Tshwane protests, Freud and how to control a crowd

It is regrettable that so many thinking people today – even those in the discipline of psychology – regard the work of the founder of psychoanalysis (which is by no means synonymous with psychology) as being of no more than historical importance, and Sigmund Freud himself as a historical curiosity. And yet, Freud is more…

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Racism, an idea whose time has come, again

As Britain votes to leave the EU, Polish immigrants have come under fire with xenophobic and racist attacks in the bastion of parliamentary democracy. This is no coincidence, as millions of migrants from north Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East pressurises the once hospitable European community on issues of immigration and race relations, there…

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