Tag Archives: freedom

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 cartoons are linked to human freedom

There is a very obvious reason why cartoons are inseparably linked to human freedom. And here I don’t mean the Walt Disney variety, or indeed any cartoon film, although they are clearly connected to “artistic freedom” insofar as one’s creativity sets the bounds for the imagination as source of the construction of such films. What…

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Out of control: South Africa’s obsession with authority

The last month has been historically and politically significant for South Africa. The student protests have – and continue to – present a great opportunity for citizens to hold their government accountable. Although this social movement represents the potential of our politics to mature and become meaningful, this potential will be squandered if we do…

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Under fire SADC media must build alliances with citizens

The recent release of veteran journalist and editor Bheki Makhubu from a Swaziland jail should have been a momentous occasion for media freedom and freedom of expression activists in southern Africa. Instead, it has turned out to be a missed opportunity to inspire confidence, re-energise practitioners and consumers alike, and call the bluff on repressive…

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South Africa, we can do and be better

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar It would seem that racism is a divisive topic. It seems to me that the rattling of that word bothers people. It brings out such defensive reactions. It is troubling to see how easy it is to become self-righteous, indignant and defensive. We must guard against this tendency. Let us not…

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What could Scottish independence mean for us?

On Thursday, voters will decide whether Scotland will secede from the rest of the UK — a union that has lasted several hundred years. Although this doesn’t seem too important for people outside the UK, there is the potential for great change (or disaster?) following the outcome of the poll. While some South Africans have…

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Is state surveillance only about violating the right to privacy?

In a recent article (sent to me by an astute and observant friend) on “Totalitarian paranoia in the post-Orwellian Surveillance State”, the renowned “critical pedagogics” intellectual, Henry Giroux, dwells at length on the implications of state surveillance on the part of agencies such as the American NSA. Giroux provides a thorough analysis of the relation…

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Are we facing an ethical vacuum today?

In Living in the End Times (Verso, 2010, p. 324), the man who has been described as the “most dangerous philosopher in the West” (New Republic), Slavoj Žižek, makes the following remark: “The task [today] is to restore civility, not a new ethical substance. Civility is not the same as custom (in the strong sense…

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Total Recall and the neverending dream of liberation from oppression

I sometimes wonder whether people have noticed that many movies (as well as novels and short stories, which are not my concern here) thematise the fight for liberation from some or other dictatorial regime that oppresses people, often depicted as the working class. Just off the top of my head I can think of several:…

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The recurring historical struggle for freedom

Several things that I experienced recently contributed to a renewed reflection, on my part, on the meaning of freedom. Much has been written about it, and I, like everyone interested in the topic, have my favourite authors in this regard. Here, however, I want to take these experiences as my point of departure. The first…

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