Tag Archives: capitalism

Capitalism: Why we live in a ‘schizo society’

What a pleasure it is to be in Istanbul — probably the most sensuous city in the world — for a conference on one of the most innovative and profound thinkers of the 20th century, if not in the history of philosophy, Gilles Deleuze (whose extensive collaborative work with Felix Guattari makes it imperative to…

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How to save capitalism from the capitalists

It is always a bit surprising to hear an economist described as a “rock star” in the media, but Thomas Piketty has been collecting this accolade in spades since the publication of his runaway bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It surely says something interesting about our times that this 700-page tome packed with dense…

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How to challenge your whiteness…

I am a white South African man, and when I wrote about the problems of white masculinity I faced a barrage of abusive tweets, threats and even a phone call to one of my work colleagues to complain about my writing. Ironically, all of this proved the argument I was making. More importantly: it proved…

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A ‘good story’ to tell – for some

I must admit, the ANC’s election moniker (you know, that it has a “good story” to tell) makes me very angry – probably much more than it should. In the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death, and the feeling that we’ll never again experience such collective unity or progress as a nation, the ANC’s election spin…

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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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