News/Politics

We need to break the one sacred rule of the global economy

Scholars are still trying to figure out why the society on Easter Island collapsed, ending the people famed for their construction of towering stone heads. One interesting theory holds that it had to do with the heads themselves. Somehow, the islanders decided that the giant heads represented power and success, so different groups competed to…

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The horror of how our children die, I see it every day

Last week we heard of a teenager who went missing while running with her dog and family in Cape Town and was found murdered a few hours later. It’s a terrible story, the stuff of every parent’s absolute worst nightmare. We have all briefly lost sight of our children in a supermarket, at the park,…

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Men will never stop hurting us

As a child, I thought that grownups weren’t afraid of anything. They killed spiders. They didn’t believe in monsters and ghosts. They weren’t scared of dogs or the dark or the deep end of the swimming pool. Of all the disappointing discoveries of adulthood, the realisation that grownups are in fact very frightened very often…

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Zimbabwe: The triumph of hope over experience

Southern African politics is a rambunctious affair. It’s far removed from the predictable and safe parameters of the established Anglophone democracies against which we surreptitiously measure ourselves. It’s a bit like being slung into a tumble dryer with a sack of razor blades. One accepts that one is going to incur nicks and cuts, with…

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Foucault and the courage of truth

The last course that Michel Foucault presented at the Collége de France in 1984, when he was already quite weak (he died in June of that year, and taught until March), was on The Courage of Truth – later published with that title (Palgrave Macmillan 2011; Kindle edition). Although I cannot do justice to it…

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How the west destroyed the global south’s best shot at development

When it comes to international affairs, western politicians love to celebrate their devotion to development. In her flagship speech on development as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton offered stories about US aid transforming the lives of poor people in Indonesia, Nicaragua and South Africa. France’s minister of foreign affairs recently hailed his country’s commitment to…

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The art of hypocrisy: Appeal to re-constitute Shackville

By Shobane A wave of condemnations and outrage hit the media after University of Cape Town artworks were burnt on campus. Even those academics, who from the rooftops declared their support for the fees must fall movement were very quick to distance themselves from what they saw as a particularly “senseless” act. This violence, it…

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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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Time to act against the EFF

Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande, who was noticeably absent from the sites of student protest over the past months, has surfaced. Blinking his eyes in Rip Van Winkle befuddlement, true. But mercifully surfaced. The police, he reassures, will in future take “decisive action” over violent protests. Lest we be misled into thinking…

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Grand racism vs petty racism

By Sduduzo Mncwabe In South Africa racism and psychology had a difficult marriage consummated by Professor Hendrik Verwoerd in 1948 and dissolved by Professor Sathasivan “Saths” Cooper and company when the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) was founded in 1994. As a profession we have gone from having “one of our own” construct the…

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