Tag Archives: neoliberalism

The essence of neoliberalism

France’s pre-eminent sociologist and social theorist Pierre Bourdieu, who died not so long ago, did not pull his punches when it came to identifying the hegemonic economic system of the present, neoliberalism, ruthlessly as a “utopia of endless exploitation”. In an article titled “The essence of neoliberalism” (in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 1998) he puts…

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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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Ubuntu and eco-feminism as an antidote to neoliberalism

How many people have noticed that neoliberal capitalism undermines the values of ubuntu (“I am because others are”) as a traditional African practice? And how many know that ubuntu and ecofeminism share some fundamental principles and values? I know of at least one such person, and her work in this regard is extremely significant. In…

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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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Bravo students: ‘The doors of learning and culture shall be opened’

The ongoing student protests across the country confirm, unambiguously, the failure of the neoliberal system in South Africa, which requires a hefty increase in student fees every year, given the fact that universities are now part of the invidious neoliberal economic system, instead of being state-funded public institutions. And don’t tell me that it is…

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The theoretically bankrupt intifada against liberalism: A response to Jared Sacks

In case you didn’t get the memo: liberalism is passé. Society’s (imagined) love affair with liberal politics is over, and you’re supposed to be cheering the advent of a new polity: the rise of “radicalism” as the new descriptor of choice, one to be employed by a million student activists and thought leaders in their…

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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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Isis and the end of history

In 1989 Francis Fukuyama proudly proclaimed that the world had reached the “end of history”. As the USSR fell into disarray and the Iron Curtain came tumbling down, the world was catapulted towards the acceptance of a liberal democratic political model and the neoliberal economics of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. It is of course…

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The terminal nature of poverty

By Gillian Schutte As academics, journalists, social commentators and activists we have a sense that we know the poor. We are outraged by poverty and inequality and advocate for equity and a life of dignity for all. We look for ways to bring the voices of the poor into the public debate and ask questions…

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Neoliberalism: ‘Stop thinking because this is it’

“What is neoliberalism?” The young American student looks at me with faux innocence of the wide-eyed sort. She’s not sure what it is. “Can you explain?” Sniggers precede and succeed the question. With that little question-and-snigger, neoliberal hegemony re-iterates its reach across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa, by way of that island that formerly…

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