What comes after the revolution

This week’s column in The Herald Like many populists and revolutionaries, at whatever end of the political spectrum, there tends to be very little consideration for what happens the day after they get what they want. It is always the “how to” or the “what happens next” that remain elusive. What was it that Shakespeare wrote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? “The dove pursues the griffin. The mild hind makes speed to catch the tiger – bootless speed. “When cowardice pursues and valour flies.” Beware that moment when you catch the tiger you have been chasing. In politics it’s easy, though. […]

Implementing Land Expropriation: It’s the how that matters.

Public policy-making usually starts with ideas and ideologies, presented as necessary to correct past injustices, improve existing conditions, or secure future states of affairs or processes. It is in the afterglow of an idea or ideological expression when the hard work starts and when, ultimately, policies are evaluated on the basis of implementation and efficacy. Having said that, what is certain is that South African land reform will start in earnest. What remains unclear is how it will, actually, be done. One political formation seems to be obsessed with racism, ethno-nationalism, rapine and the politics of revenge as the basis […]

Hirschman and Zappa: Shout-out to Business Day

I want to give a shout out to the sub-editors (and leader page editors) of Business Day for keeping a reference to Frank Zappa in a serious column on Economics and Public Policy-making that appeared in the paper this week. Sub-editors are probably the least appreciated professionals in the newspaper world. There are very few young, or even mid-career reporters who have anything nice to say about “subs” or “copy editors,” as they are referred to in North America. As I have grown older, however, I have come to appreciate them more. If only because they fix my mistakes.  Other […]

Democratic Alliance and Diversity (and Thomas Paine)

  20 April 2018. This morning I came across this brief video clip of an old friend, Harvey Kaye discussing Thomas Paine. Harvey is a Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. His interview, on Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, has some relevance to my reference to Thomas Paine in this week’s column in The Herald (Published on 17 April). The following is the reference to Thomas Paine in my column, and the interview with Harvey is below that. In its current incarnation, the DA represents something more similar to the smug liberalism of former leader Tony […]