Ever since the 17th century philosophy of John Locke, the concept of individual private property has been central to understandings of democracy. No surprise then that the current national debate about expropriation without compensation (EWC) has been viewed divisively as an attack on fundamental constitutional rights, or the key to the fulfilment of economic democracy for millions of historically disadvantaged citizens of South Africa. This article exams some of the debates and issues a salutary caution not just about EWC, but about the unintended consequences.
After the short-lived Ramaphoria that gripped the country and financial markets, sobering reality has once again set in. There are, however, reasons to be far more optimistic about our country in the post-Zuma era. This article places our current context in perspective.
I suppose, or I would at least like to venture, that you are probably as bored hearing about Donald Trump, Brexit, the set of European elections and the ‘always’ pending political changes in South Africa, as I am? The overarching question though is when and why did such seemingly huge and important political moves and machinations become so dull and repetitious?
So in a narrow revolt against the William Wallace of the 21st century, Mr Alex Salmond, the Scots have “given up their freedom”, or at least continue under Westminster’s rule.
Other than a brief moment, when the “ruling establishment of Westminster” panicked following a poll showing the YES tartan hordes ahead, a moment that even saw Mr Dave Cameron call his own party the “effing Tories,” was there ever any real doubt? Yes there was and, at times the head of the NO vote, Alistair Darling, seriously looked like the YES votes’ secret weapon, but even that stiff twit could not get the Scots to jump ship and go all native!
The more that things change the more that they seemingly stay the same.
I am not a political animal at all, but it never ceases to amaze me just how hypocritical people can be about “today’s political situation” when comparing it with the past. Politicians and other self-serving types have rose gardens full of glasses and they only ever see what suits them, at any particular moment.
Any existing government can be improved, the world is never perfect and you can never please all the people all of the time. The human race has apparently been a work in progress for several million years, according to Dr Leakey and Charles Darwin anyway.
The wonderful thing about democracy is how politicians are just so much more intelligent than the mere people who elect them into power in the first place.
Yes, it is a common fact that democracy has to be seen to be, rather than actually be, democratic. The man with the vote matters very little, he is spun a ‘manifesto’ of ideas that he votes for, but he must then accept that these were simply nice to haves and not necessarily things that would ever occur. In fact he might even find his chosen politician, and or party, swimming in the opposite direction that he voted “for”, without any real explanation.
They are revolting in the souk and disgusted in the casbah. Watching the news at the moment is complicated, as multiple revolutions in numerous Arab and Muslim states have segued into one long stream of sound bites and scenes of cheering people, you need a few moments to establish whether we are looking at Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan or Libya!
One of the profound impacts of this wave of totalitarian rejection, is that we see these people finally for what they are. Not what the US, UK, Israel or any other nation, with a hidden agenda desire. No, we see them in their humanity, they are ordinary individuals and families just like us, although seemingly braver than we would ever be.
Whena party girl from London marries a Muslim play boy and leaves the security of Annabels and the Ritz for a live as a Muslim wife in Pakistan even the bravest bookies will not give you odds on how long the relationship will last.