Tag Archives: democracy

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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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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Open letter to Jeff Radebe, #FeesMustFall students and vice-chancellors

Minister Jeff Radebe you are heading up the ministerial task team to resolve the crisis on our university campuses. Good, thank you. This is a step in the right direction. Students and champions of #FeesMustFall, you have taken up the challenge of agitating for a fundamental change in the future prospects of your generation of…

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Will “Blockadia” help, or “Is Earth F**ked”?

One of the most revealing threads running through Canadian investigative journalist and tireless anti-capitalism activist, Naomi Klein’s rivetting book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), concerns what she terms the “new climate warriors”, or in one word, “Blockadia”. This unlikely-sounding word names a movement which has arisen in the shape…

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Brexit: Should ‘ordinary people’ be taking a decision as big as this?

By Abigail McDougall Between last night and this morning an “I’m in for Britain” poster popped up in the window of my upper-middle-class neighbours. This display of support for Remain is rather gutsy for Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where Leave posters are in many windows and I’ve had Leave propaganda raining through my mailbox for weeks. It…

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Protests herald the emergence of new democratic subjectivities

We are in Valletta, Malta, at a conference at present, and I have just done a presentation on the reasons for the widespread nihilism in the world today. What struck me was the fact that a number of the other delegates who came to me afterwards to talk to me about my presentation expressed their…

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A return to the African Renaissance

By Zukiswa Mqolomba “I am born of a people who are heroes and heroines […] Patient because history is on their side, these masses do not despair because today the weather is bad. Nor do they turn triumphalist when, tomorrow, the sun shines. […] Whatever the circumstances they have lived through and because of that…

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The particularity of race and the universality of being human: Derrida on Mandela

Judging by the seemingly never-ending spate of articles, debates, and to-and-fro accusations that reflect a veritable obsession with race in this country — an obsession one might have expected to abate somewhat at this point in time, almost 22 years after the demise of apartheid — it appears to me a timeous moment to return…

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The illusions of Facebook

At the recent South African Communication Association conference at the Afda campus in Cape Town I was astonished at the level of naïveté about the use of Facebook on the part of academics and students alike. On the one hand there were those who regard it as a mere tool for communicating with friends and…

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