Tag Archives: capitalism

Middle-class narratives and the disconnect with the poor

In January this year, numerous protestors were killed by the police in service-delivery protests, four of them simply for rising up to demand a most basic right — water. This is a contravention of human rights on many levels and while it sent shock waves through poor black working-class and marginalised communities, the broader middle…

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Is state surveillance only about violating the right to privacy?

In a recent article (sent to me by an astute and observant friend) on “Totalitarian paranoia in the post-Orwellian Surveillance State”, the renowned “critical pedagogics” intellectual, Henry Giroux, dwells at length on the implications of state surveillance on the part of agencies such as the American NSA. Giroux provides a thorough analysis of the relation…

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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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Bhutan’s lesson for the world

Reading Sipho Kings’s important article on Bhutan, “Forget your GDP, come on get happy” yesterday sent me back to my old TIME-magazines to find an article by Bobby Ghosh (TIME, October 15, 2012) on this tiny country wedged between India and China. The reason why I remembered Ghosh’s article is that it was entitled “This…

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A state of emergency?

There was a time when journalists knew not to ask too many questions. A time when they knew not to dig too deep. There was a time when they had a healthy respect for authority and knew their place. The Mail & Guardian‘s leak of the Nkandla report marks that moment when the journalistic profession…

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Are we facing an ethical vacuum today?

In Living in the End Times (Verso, 2010, p. 324), the man who has been described as the “most dangerous philosopher in the West” (New Republic), Slavoj Žižek, makes the following remark: “The task [today] is to restore civility, not a new ethical substance. Civility is not the same as custom (in the strong sense…

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Keith Hart on money, memory and democratising the economy

Keith Hart begins his thought-provoking book The Memory Bank: Money in an Unequal World (Profile Books, London, 2000) with the statement: “Ours is an age of money. Half the world worships money and the other half thinks of it as the root of all evil. In either case, money makes the world go round. If…

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The madness of capital

Last month the Associated Press reported that the income gap in the United States broke a new record in 2012, with the 1% grabbing a greater share of total household wealth than ever before in history. This news follows on the heels of the fact that the 1% not only captured all of the income…

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The ‘new’ South Africa #BroughtToYouByTheANC

I was reading through status updates on Facebook when I saw one in particular that caught my attention. It was a photo of a DA billboard with lettering that reads: “E-tolls, proudly brought to you by the ANC”. I then decided that I’d provoke a discussion on my wall about what people thought of the…

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Is there a crisis of credibility in the human sciences?

On a previous occasion I elaborated on the growing natural scientific evidence that the world is at “Red Alert” status regarding a looming ecological crisis. The question arises, whether the human sciences (humanities and social sciences) are in agreement with their natural science colleagues on this issue. In light of the incontrovertible evidence in this…

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