Tag Archives: history

Triumph of capitalism: The new world plague

Some time ago, while working on a bigger project concerning contemporary society, I took Slavoj Žižek as my point of departure to raise the question of the state of the “ethical” today. This morning, when I was looking at Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx (Routledge 1994) in the context of this project, I noticed a…

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“Tik” and transformation: Shooting up the wrong tree?

Co-authored by Kirsten Harris Richard Nixon declared the “war on drugs” in 1971. However it was Reagan who took the “war” to “the streets” by implementing a number of detrimental economic and social policies that further divided America along racial lines. Under Reagan’s leadership, Nancy Reagan implored nice middle-class white kids to “just say no”…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 6)

For part five of the series, please click here. History has a number of valuable lessons to teach us not only about drugs, but also about ourselves. Problematically however, we still have yet to learn many of those lessons. While the “war on drugs” has begun to fade from view, at least in official rhetoric,…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 5)

For part four of the series, please click here. While some of the most interesting anecdotes and stories of cocaine’s convoluted history originate in the US and UK, Africa has its own tale to tell. While recent documents, reports, and sensationalist articles have reported an “explosion” of drugs on the continent, this is simply not…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 3)

For part two of this series, click here. In the previous two articles in this series, I briefly documented how cocaine became seen as a “medical miracle” and how the rise of the first habitué’s revealed to medical science cocaine’s addictive potential. These first “addicts” where not however seen as innately criminal or diseased, an…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 2)

For part one of this series click here. As I noted in the last part of this series, cocaine became a “medical miracle” at the same time as medical science was legitimating itself as a modern form of enquiry. At first cocaine was lauded, especially between 1884 and 1899, as the first real topical anaesthetic…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 1)

The use of drugs, such as cocaine, continue to feature regularly in the news. Drug users, moreover, continue to be condemned by the general media, being regarded as dirty, defiled, and criminal. However, very few people realise that for over 20 years cocaine was completely legal. Indeed, it was at one point described as a…

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Zille’s latest campaign – a desperate attempt for legitimacy

In the four general elections held in post-apartheid South Africa, the African National Congress obtained the lion’s share of the vote, always garnering more than 62%, and an even bigger slice of votes from black South Africans. The Democratic Alliance’s 2014 election campaign has already kicked off, with its characterisation of the ruling party a…

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Why all Afrikaners should go to Europe

By Mark John Burke Europe is a great place, it really is. You step off your plane onto a train that takes you to your destination and once there trams and buses stand ready to take you to wherever you want. Europeans have perfected recycling and they go to great lengths to ensure everybody’s safety….

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The genius of Foucault

Few 20th century thinkers have provided as much food for thought on the humanities and the social sciences (that is, the “human sciences”) as Michel Foucault. And the way he does it rescues the human sciences from those uninformed people who contrast them with the so-called “hard (natural) sciences”, the object-field of which – as…

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