Bert Olivier

How to bring South Africa’s fuel prices down – Use Sasol!

Just a quick thought: I have noticed that, quite apart from the large percentage of the debilitating fuel prices in South Africa being due to government taxes, our fuel is much more expensive than in the African countries surrounding us. (Check out these comparisons). What strikes one when you look at these comparisons, is that…

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The battle for America’s soul is also the battle for the world’s soul

Watching the tragicomedy playing itself out in America around the determined attempt on the part of Trump and the Republicans on the Senate, to appoint Brett Kavanaugh as lifetime judge on the panel of judges of the US Supreme Court, I had the uncanny feeling that this showdown between the forces of retrogressive neoconservatism and…

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Sense8 – The full spectrum of life and love

Although I have done work on the astonishing Netflix television series, Sense8 (a play on ‘sensate’) before, it was restricted to the first season. Since then, I have viewed the Christmas Special, the second season, as well as the two-and-a-half hour conclusion-substitute for a third season (which was ‘inexplicably’ cancelled by Netflix), Love Conquers All,…

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The American fascist, the Canadian activist and the French poststructuralist

In the Preface to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s major work, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (University of Minnesota Press, 1983, p. xii) Michel Foucault — another formidable post-structuralist thinker — makes the following observation in his brilliant characterisation of the book, where he lists the hostile forces targeted by Deleuze and Guattari: Last but not…

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Poetry and diversity

Usually, when the term, ‘diversity’ is mentioned anywhere in South Africa, it denotes racial and/or cultural diversity, and it carries strong overtones of obligatory political correctness. This is also true elsewhere, if ‘diversity’ is a reference to multiculturalism, one of the most powerful ideologies of the current era (as demonstrated and critiqued by Slavoj Žižek…

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Does the ANC realise that their expropriation drive will make of South Africa an economic ‘basket case’?

By the day I am more and more astonished that the ANC — with a leader whom I used to regard as an intelligent man — is forging ahead with an expropriation policy that can have only one result: lowering the economic status of South Africa to rock bottom, where it can rub shoulders with…

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God, Darwin and Spinoza

People often ask me if I believe in God, and my honest answer is always: ‘It depends what you understand by the word “God”’. This word probably means something different for every person who professes such a belief, which is why there is such a thing as ‘orthodoxy’ in a church (let alone ‘dogma’): it…

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Pandora’s box has opened…again!

Everyone knows the story, or myth, of Pandora (etymologically meaning ‘all-gifted’ or perhaps ‘all-giving’), who was ancient Greek mythology’s counterpart to Eve of the Old Testament — that is, the first woman created by the gods (out of earth, or clay), all of whom gave her a gift of some kind. Her notoriety derives from…

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‘Beyond Humanism’ in Wroclaw, Poland

We are in the beautiful and ancient city of Wroclaw, Poland (the former Breslau, in German), at the 10th International ‘Beyond Humanism’ conference, where theorists of post- and transhumanism come together (in a different country) every year. It is the third of these inter- and multidisciplinary conferences that we have attended, and as before, the…

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The destructive approach to nature: ‘Geostorm’

We are in Porto, Portugal, for an interdisciplinary international conference, and already we are impressed by the beauty of this old city. As usual, because I find seats on a passenger jet too uncomfortable to sleep, I used the time to catch up on some movies, including I, Tonya, with Margot Robbie’s Oscar-quality performance in…

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