Tag Archives: economics

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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The early 21st century: Taking stock

We live in a society in transition – a process rooted in a technological revolution that stretches back to the middle of the previous century, with the invention of television, followed by other innovations in the media, and culminating in the invention of the internet, initially conceived as a military tool of sorts. Although the…

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Why capitalism cannot afford to support the human sciences

Ever wondered why capitalism does not (in fact, cannot afford to) tolerate and support the human sciences – in other words, the humanities and social sciences? There is a reason for this. The short answer is that they cultivate critical thinking and practice, which capitalism, in its current attempt to consolidate its global power, naturally…

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The REAL task of decolonisation

Too few people seem to take the work of those two inimitably emancipatory thinkers, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, seriously. And I am not talking about those nit-picking academics who engage with them at an analytic level to argue about whether they got Marx right, or Foucault, or Deleuze, and so on. What I mean…

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A promising PhD-student’s take on the so-called ‘Zupta’- phenomenon

What follows here is a piece by one of my and Prof. Pieter Duvenage’s graduate students, Casper Lötter, who is a PhD-candidate in Social Philosophy at the University of the Free State – it first appeared in the Weekend Post on 5 November: ‘In a recent and valuable contribution, Raymond Suttner asks, “What is the…

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What most South Africans don’t know, but can probably guess

The book by R.W. Johnson that I recently referred to, namely, How Long Will South Africa Survive? – The Looming Crisis (Jonathan Ball, 2015), is giving a lot of people nightmares, I’ll bet. Not only because of the unsustainable cost of the inflated public service, but for a lot of reasons, all set out in…

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The unbelievable cost of South Africa’s bloated public sector

South Africa would be significantly more economically viable if it did not have to carry a civil service sector that far exceeds the country’s needs in numerical terms. This is one of the many things one learns from R.W. Johnson’s candid, if sometimes completely disconcerting recent book, How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming…

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Why American market capitalism is broken

Yes, you’ve read correctly. You may not know who Rana Foroohar is, so let me inform you that she is a highly respected business and economic journalist working for TIME magazine, who has just published a book called Makers and Takers, published in May (Crown publishers), in which she makes this (to some startling) announcement….

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Ecosocialism can rescue us from ecocatastrophe

In Ridley Scott’s recent film, The Martian, there is a scene near the end that sums up the often ignored value of the earth. Astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is sitting on a bench in a park, shortly after having been rescued from a very lonely existence on the red planet, Mars. He…

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The ‘stupidifation’ of our societies and failure of universities

It may come as quite a shock to learn that, contrary to what we are constantly told through the media, we actually live in the age of the systematic “stupidification” and infantilisation of society. What, I can hear most readers say with exasperation and indignation — we live in the age of information, of “knowledge…

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