Tag Archives: politics

Paris again: Has Huntington’s thesis been vindicated?

The recent events in Paris (not long after the Charlie Hebdo attacks), which have understandably shocked everyone who values peaceful interaction between people of different cultural orientations, will no doubt fuel renewed intercultural distrust instead. This is to be expected, particularly after reports that one of the attackers might have entered France a few weeks…

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A prodigious task facing the humanities: The creation of a new vocabulary

How does one articulate and make sense of the momentous changes that have taken place in the last three decades or so across the world, and that have not nearly run their course, if the existing vocabulary in the humanities is rapidly being unmasked as belonging to a different conceptual dispensation or “paradigm” – one…

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With friends like these, does black consciousness need enemies?

Mcebo Dlamini is a complex man. He’s the former SRC president at Wits. He spent his days claiming to be a Sisulu grandchild, spinning tall tales of political grandeur and insight into a liberation family that he actually had no ties to. The story may have changed many times, details being replaced with more believable…

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The Rhodes statue, erasing the past and importance of memory

The Czech writer Milan Kundera begins his unforgettable novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (Perennial Classics, 1999), with the following words: “In February 1948, the Communist leader Klement Gottwald stepped out on the balcony of a Baroque palace in Prague to harangue hundreds of thousands of citizens massed in Old Town Square. That was…

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What ‘war’ means today

When picking up Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Multitude – War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (Penguin, 2006), again, in the light of recent developments across the globe involving Syria, Isis, Boko Haram and al-Qaeda (to mention only some of the names associated with war), I was struck, anew, by their astute identification…

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Mvoko mugging video: Racial divisions find life in the comment section

Vuyo Mvoko, an SABC contributing editor, was mugged last night. Did you hear about it? Perhaps you’ve seen the viral video that caught the offenders’ faces. It’s everywhere; on all major local news websites. Maybe, upon seeing it, you feel you have a sympathetic message to share, or maybe you’re just outraged at the frequency…

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A state of panic: What is our response?

While witnessing the farce that was the State of the Nation address (SONA) last week, the cynic in me wondered, why are we surprised? We may not have predicted the chaos that unfolded in parliament, but the sentiments behind the event should not be a surprise. There are moments in South Africa’s political life that…

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Understanding ‘world politics’ today – Rancière and Žižek

What I have in mind with this title pertains mainly to the work of that inimitable philosopher Jacques Rancière who has infused political thinking with new life, given the fact that it has become moribund under the dead weight of largely irrelevant liberal political theory and the idea that all politics is governed by the…

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Charlie Hebdo: How to talk about terrorism

Terrorism always shines a light on the human condition. The aftermath of an attack is often coloured with blame, apologies, and almost mind-numbing debate about the problem. More importantly: the aftermath can also shine a light on those who are interested in democracy and the political sphere, while simultaneously unmasking those who do not care…

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Nouveau red: The cult of representation

The truly fascinating and engaging aspect of being part of a democracy, is the ability to tease, convert or overhaul the status quo for the sake of requisite representation if the electorate deems it necessary. Yes, even when the electorate is said to be largely on zombie mode. The results of India’s election and the…

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