Tag Archives: revolution

Comrades Without Irony

For as long as I can remember, I have been dealing with lefter-than-thou comrades and more-authentically-revolutionary-than-thou types. Their judgemental bullshit has been harsh and unwavering. Their righteous certainty without irony. #ZumaMustFall protesters clash with BLF. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G) And, yet, among those very comrades I have seen (and continue to see) men fuck female and…

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Should revolutions have a leader?

Nelson Mandela was quoted as saying, “It is not kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people.” This came to mind as I watched what was unfolding in Burkina Faso. I watched Blaise Compaoré’s 27 year reign come to an abrupt end in the midst of a burning Parliamentary building. He…

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Have we forgotten Mohamed Bouazizi?

Two years ago last Friday, a young man from Tunisia named Mohamed Bouazizi died of burn wounds after literally igniting what the world has come to know as the Arab Spring. Bouazizi, a fruit and vegetable vendor immolated himself after suffering humiliation at the hands of a police officer who confiscated his goods, ostensibly because…

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Marikana: Political or economic unrest?

No one can argue that South Africa will never be the same again after the Marikana massacre. What remains arguable, however, is how the country moves forward in the aftermath of the incident. For business, the sooner everything dies down and workers go back to work the better. For workers, in sharp contrast, this is…

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Of Marxist wastelands and aborted transitions

On the occasion of the African National Congress’s 100th anniversary early this year, there was a literary text that kept playing inside my subconscious mind every time I watched or read about this momentous event – one of the most significant of our time. It is a passage from Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah:…

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Is it time for a South African Spring?

Let’s face it, our world is in a total mess right now. Social strife, political skullduggery and infighting, environmental degradation, and, for most, severe economic hardship, are pretty much the common denominators across every nation which makes up the global community. What makes this mess so particularly vexing to contemplate in South Africa is that…

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The significance of recent protests for democracy

There is a certain historical justice about TIME magazine’s choice of its 2011 Person of the Year: The Protestor, with the sub-script, “From the Arab Spring to Athens, from Occupy Wall Street to Moscow”. What managing editor Richard Stengel writes on page 7 of this issue (December 26, 2011/January 2, 2012), resonates with Albert Camus’s…

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Limping towards the socialist revolution

There are few functioning economies where there still could be a serious discussion on the desirability of a socialist revolution. That it remains a topic of earnest debate in South Africa is sad evidence of arrested mental development. This week it was John Kane-Berman, head of the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), who reignited…

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