January 2011

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The Rand and SA's Three Growth Programmes: Searching for a Needle in the Wrong Haystack

Picture: SACSIS Leonard Gentle - Once again we are being hamstrung by being forced to take sides in what the business media is presenting as the debate of the day. Should the Rand be weak or strong? Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel’s New Growth Path (NGP) was released in December 2010 and, predictably, elite economists lined up to criticise it mainly on the lines that it asserted a greater role for the state, promised decent jobs and called for a more “competitive value” for the rand. Of...

US Supports Egyptian President Even as Thousands Call For His Ouster

Video Inspired by the mass protests that brought down the Tunisian President Zine El Ben Ali, tens of thousands of Egyptians joined in street protests against rising food prices, joblessness and calling for an end to 30 years of emergency law and President Hosni Mubarak's rule, on 25 January 2011. According to Al Jazeera, one police officer in Cairo and two civilians died amidst the rallies. On the same day as the nationwide protests, US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, reiterated her...

The Service Delivery Myth

Picture: SACSIS Richard Pithouse - The service delivery myth wasn't invented in South Africa. But our chattering classes have taken to it with more enthusiasm than a Karoo duck waddling towards the first puddle at the end of a drought. Given that one of its key tropes is that development should be governed by expertise and that this reinscribes the rule of the few in the name of the many we shouldn't be too surprised by this enthusiasm. But we should recall that in the 1980s struggles to democratise society from below...

Why You Can't Escape the Internet

Video Nicholas Carr writes on the social, economic, and business implications of technology. He is the author of the 2008 Wall Street Journal bestseller, "The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google," which is "widely considered to be the most influential book so far on the cloud computing movement," according to the Christian Science Monitor.  In the clip above, Carr addresses a question about how to resist the effect of the Internet on our brains. NICHOLAS...

Co-operatives for Development

Picture: Ontario Co-operatives Association Glenn Ashton - Few South Africans realise the power of Co-operatives in the global economy. Canada, Norway, Italy, India, China and Brazil each have a significant amount of their GDP generated by Co-operative organisations. One in four citizens in the USA and Germany are members of Co-ops. The United Nations has proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives. Even though our government has identified and prioritised Co-operatives as an ideal developmental tool, most South Africans remain...

Daniel Ellsberg: Charges against Bradley Manning Pure Intimidation

Video Daniel Ellsberg, the former US military analyst who released the Pentagon Papers to the public, an act that brought an end to America's war in Vietnam, says, "We need whistleblowers to stop murder." Ellsberg argues that every administration hates leaks that are unauthorized by itself. The highest officials authorize nearly all leaks. So unauthorized disclosures that are truly “unauthorized,” (such as those released by WikiLeaks) represent a threat. They are very much a...