David Saks

Global freedom in retreat?

Following the collapse of communism, Francis Fukuyama famously asserted that humankind was on the threshold of “the end of history”. By this, he meant that humanity’s sociocultural evolution was poised to resolve itself in a general acceptance of the principles of Western liberal democracy as the basis of government. This he spelled out in his…

7 Comments Continue Reading →

Pogroms in Mandelaland

With regard to the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence, I can do no better than quote Ranjeni Munusamy, who wrote (Daily Maverick, January 23): “Incidents of racism and xenophobia have again exposed South Africa as a superficial, ugly, violent nation that lacks respect for other human beings. From exclusive restaurants in Cape Town that discriminate…

11 Comments Continue Reading →

On jihadism, Islam and the ‘collective guilt’ notion

“For us, it is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. You know it well … If you harm our children, old women, our fighters, our old men, we will attack the men who fight against us.” This is what Amedy Coulibaly told his hostages following his attack on a kosher…

21 Comments Continue Reading →

The latest neo-fascist threat from Cosatu: Should I laugh or start worrying?

Earlier this week, the Western Cape branch of Cosatu put out a statement that, even by the increasingly feral standards of hard-core left-wing politics in South Africa, was quite extraordinary. Issued in the name of Provincial Secretary Tony Ehrenreich, this presented the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) with an ultimatum to cease its “Zionist…

15 Comments Continue Reading →

‘Hitler got it right’ goes multiracial

A posting by Rene Smit, an obscure ANC party worker in the Western Cape, quickly went viral when it emerged that it sang the praises of Adolf Hitler for killing off the Jews and intimated that had been retro-actively justified by the behaviour to date of those Jews who survived. The post featured a picture…

38 Comments Continue Reading →

The receding spectre of a one-party state

“If you have a country where everyone is complaining, you’ve got a democracy; if you have one where no-one is complaining, you’ve got a problem” (not bad, huh? — © Saks, D — all rights reserved etc … ). Related to the above is the paradox that huge victory margins in elections are indicative not…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

Is climate change all a ghastly mistake? Someone please tell me

In the early days of TV in South Africa, ie the late 1970s, a programme portentously called “Is the Ice Age coming?” was screened. After watching it, and being of a naturally panicky disposition, I spent a long time afterwards worrying about our imminent freezing to death. Had I been born twenty years later, I…

34 Comments Continue Reading →

Bloody nose for Wits BDS activists

It is surely a measure of my willingness to suffer martyrdom for my faith that I was prepared to endure ninety minutes of ghastly squawking at last night’s jazz recital at Wits. The Daniel Zamir Quartet, comprising four Israeli musicians, was to play in the Great Hall, and it was essential that there be a…

10 Comments Continue Reading →

On hatred and forgiveness

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, his unrelentingly bleak vision of humankind in thrall to a merciless totalitarianism, George Orwell relates how his mythical State of Oceania compels all its citizens to observe a daily “Two Minutes Hate” ritual. All citizens are required to watch a film denouncing the designated enemies of the all-powerful Party and work themselves…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Surreal manipulation of truth by Wits concert disrupters

It doesn’t matter what ball you put in your opponent’s court so long as you spin it. Shane Warne would agree, and so would those behind the break-up of a concert by Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshev at Wits last March. Ever since that incident, the latter and their apologists have presented a consistently changing set…

6 Comments Continue Reading →
Page 1123...