Tag Archives: financial crisis

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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Change is happening worldwide…

On October 15 and 21 2012 the Current Affairs programme on the BBC’s Radio 4 broadcast a documentary in the form of an interview with the most cited sociologist and social theorist in the world, Manuel Castells, at The London School of Economics on his (then) recently published new book, Aftermath: The Cultures of the…

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Why is the state not helping farmers and miners?

When things go pear-shaped and certain critical sectors of our economy are likely to implode, the critical intervention of wise leadership is required. The role of government, even in countries like the US, which subscribe to laissez-faire policies, is to intervene when the market fails and when national interest is at risk. Thus in 2008…

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Where should the rand be?

For those who see conspiracy in the steep plunge in the value of the rand against the US dollar, the graph below showing the decline of the Australian dollar can only mean a similar conspiracy against the Australian currency. If you don’t believe in conspiracies — which is not the same as acknowledging that traders…

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The poor economy is not all Zuma’s fault

Some lessons I have learned from reporting on economic crises: * Don’t fixate on any one cause. Economies are complex webs of interrelated phenomena. Interest-rate changes are not the whim of the central bank, ie the Reserve Bank. They depend on a range of other economic actors, including our government and other economies in the…

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Read Yanis Varoufakis’s “The Global Minotaur”!

Until recently, Yanis Varoufakis was the Greek Minister of Finance, who resigned after the Greek populace voted overwhelmingly against the imposition of more austerity measures against them in order to service the country’s crippling debt — resigned, because he believed that would give Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, more negotiating space with the representatives of…

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Working class hero

If one takes a good look at John Lennon’s song Working Class Hero it must dawn on you sooner or later that, just like the song Imagine, it is powerfully revolutionary. In addition to targeting the family, school, college or university (Althusser’s apparatuses where ideology is inculcated in subjects), and the class structure of society,…

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The network: Towards a new way of life

In his insightful study of ancient philosophy, Philosophy as a Way of Life (Blackwell, 1995), Pierre Hadot disabuses one of the notion that philosophy was for the ancients what it has become in modernity (and postmodernity) since Kant, namely a specialised theoretical practice. Rather, he argues — citing many passages from ancient philosophers during the…

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The global leadership crisis

The 2008 global financial crisis has exposed the dearth of global leadership, especially in responding to the complexity of multiple global events that characterise our modern existence. The eurozone has been subjected to absurd economic policies that have plunged its economy into deeper trouble. Unimaginative leadership should be blamed for failing to propel the eurozone…

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The age of the indebted, mediatised, securitised and depoliticised

In Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s latest book Declaration (Argo Navis, 2012) — although, probably given its brevity (just over a hundred pages) compared to the books comprising their trilogy (Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth), they refer to it as a “pamphlet” — they articulate the global crisis of the present era in terms of four…

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