Category Archives for "Politics"

Putting the ‘Radical’ into Economic Transformation

Not many people know what the word ‘radical’ really means.

When politicians speak about radical economic transformation (or RET for short), they generally mean, depending on their point of view, violent, militant, extreme, or just plain awesome economic transformation. But what does the word truly mean?

Radical comes from the same word as ‘radish’ – the Latin word ‘radix’, which means ‘root’.

Therefore, radical economic transformation should really mean transformation that gets to the root of our problems. And that would therefore imply a kind of shared agreement about what the root of our problems is.

Of course, the proponents of RET have a simple answer for this – colonialism, which to them was the political expression of the evils of capitalism. And so the solution is obvious. End capitalism. Nationalise banks, mines, land. Let the government run it for the good of the people. Continue reading

Another Time, Another Place… Another Country, Another State of Grace

In order to understand the South Africa of today, and still live with hope, we must understand at least some of the past – its history and its great literature and ideals…

In the fifth century, Rome was sacked by pagan Goths.

This left the Christian world in deep shock. After having been mercilessly persecuted by the Empire in the early days, by some mystical fashion, the Emperor Constantine had been converted in a dream and had legalised the Christian religion. And there was an end to the constant bloodshed.

Despite the attempt of Julian the Apostate Emperor to re-paganise Rome, the march of Christianity continued, and Rome became the centre of the Church – the place of Peter and Paul’s martyrdom, and thus the home of their successors, the Popes.

But then it fell apart. Constantine moved the Empire to the East – to Byzantium which became Constantinople, and is now Istanbul in Turkey. Rome’s power weakened, and eventually it was conquered and the old Empire of the West fell.

What was the point of being Christian if God’s city on earth could be overwhelmed by brutal power from the north? Many people despaired. Continue reading

The Attack on Helen Zille is Embarrassing

Identity politics and outrage culture are poisoning our country.

Everybody laughs when Robert Mugabe blames his country’s woes on Britain and imperialism. That should scare the hell out of South Africans busy fuming at Helen Zille’s innocuous tweeting.

Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, recently travelled to Singapore and was perhaps a little bit over-eager to share the obvious lessons you can draw from one the great post-colonial success stories.

Singapore is a tiny little island country with no natural resources that after decades of colonisation and brutal World War II occupation resisted the surging Communism of the region to become a safe, rich, and stable first world country. Continue reading

No borders; no nations?

My generation will have to decide what a country is for…

Recently a group of students at the Berkeley division of the University of California started rioting in protest against a public speech on campus due to be given by pro-Trump journalist, the provocative and very strange Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News.

He was unable to give his speech and now much controversy ensues about the ideal of free speech at academic institutions.

But one chant from the protestors really got me thinking: “No borders, no nations, f–k deportations!” Continue reading

How Trump’s Flaws Became Political Strengths

The American people were given a ridiculously difficult choice – but it’s important we understand the reasons why they chose Trump.

Many thought I was a bit crazy when some time before the election I suggested both here and here that Trump’s campaign was compelling politics and that he had a good chance of winning.

And if anybody had any further doubts about his appeal, despite him winning the election fairly comfortably, all you had to do was look on Facebook after his victory.

While scrolling through all the angst, one quickly realises that all the mourning of liberals was a big part of the motivation for Rust Belt Americans to vote Trump – they wanted to annoy the social justice warriors; they wanted to poke their fingers in the eyes of the elite – just as middle England flouted the expertise of London and Brussels when they took Britain out of the EU. Continue reading

Fees Must Fall Is Flirting With Terrorism

Time to move the troops in?

Think about how moribund our basic education system is. Think about how many government school teachers never rock up to work. Think about poverty. Crime. Unemployment. Slums. Access to water. Our high abortion rates. Corruption.

I promise you varsity tuition costs are not the moral challenge of our time.

In the generally radical Freedom Charter, nowhere does it say university education should be free. If it didn’t occur to Communists sympathetic to Lenin and Stalin to ask for that, maybe the radicals burning universities down need to re-think their positions. Continue reading

America, don’t vote for Hillary!

What Trump’s critics are missing.

The sins of Donald Trump are obvious.

He seems to lack integrity, personal morality, and good character. (As Hillary noted, however, he has somehow managed to raise successful and balanced kids who have good families.)

But here’s the thing: You can be the nicest person in the world and be a rotten president. In fact, being ‘nice’ is often dangerous – you’re more likely to start wars to save the world thinking you’re doing good – thus unleashing all the demons and chaos of conflict.

Yes, Trump does seem to exclude himself from leadership by virtue of his sleaziness and basic indecency. This is not a surprise – very few casino owners are virtuous citizens.

But the problem is Hillary is likely to be worse. Continue reading

America Needs An Intervention

Trump, Clinton and the End of Democracy?

The Washington Post recently released a video recording Trump saying the most disgusting things about women. I won’t repeat them here.

To be honest, despite his overtly despicable public persona, I have always been a little bit sympathetic to Trump.

His scrambling of the right wing orthodoxy in the US is something the Republicans do need in the shadow of the Bush years – particularly his vocal opposition to the foreign wars that have dominated US foreign policy since the first President Bush, right through the Clinton, second Bush, and Obama presidencies. Continue reading