July 2011

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Nationalisation of Assets Versus Socialisation of Wealth

Picture: Zadi Diaz Saliem Fakir - A while back, Deputy Minister of Transport, Jeremy Cronin penned a column in Umsenbenzi, the online publication of the South African Communist Party, where he wrote that perhaps we should be thinking about the ‘socialisation’ of wealth, rather than the nationalisation of assets. Cronin was positing the idea that the nationalisation of assets, for all intents and purposes, is not the only device for dealing with income inequality, unemployment and widespread poverty. He...

As Nelson Mandela Turns 93, Democracy Now Speaks with Ronnie Kasrils

Video As South Africa celebrates the 93rd birthday of Nelson Mandela, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now speaks with Ronnie Kasrils, who was on the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress for 20 years. Kasrils also served as Minister for Intelligence Services from 2004 to 2008. He recently published a new book "The Unlikely Secret Agent," about his late wife Eleanor, a Scottish South African anti-apartheid activist.

Workers' Strikes and the Battle for Public Opinion

Picture: www.prw.watchdog.org Leonard Gentle - Ah, so we have the strike season with us again. And with every story goes the same tiresome media refrain: “intimidation.” This, of course, is bolstered by every tame economist saying what they are so well paid to say: “The strikes are bad for the country. Labour laws are too rigid and strikes will only scare off investors and drive up joblessness. The demands being made are way above necessary, and therefore, certain to fuel inflation.” This is the kind of journalism...

How Rupert Murdoch Shaped British Politics for 40 Years

Video Rupert Murdoch was in London this week trying to neutralize the cell phone hacking scandal engulfing his media corporation. Following an exposé that journalists from his News of the World newspaper hacked into the cell phone account of a teenage murder victim, amongst others, to embellish media reports, Rupert Murdoch closed down the newspaper. Despite this radical intervention, whether the power of Rupert Murdoch will be touched is another issue all together.  He still the...

Foreign Policy Goes Gaga

Picture: Beth77 John Feffer - Celebrities are going global in their activism. But are they doing the right thing? Lady Gaga and Alice Walker don't have much in common. One dresses in red meat; the other doesn't even eat the stuff. One writes lyrics like "I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything as long as it's free." The other writes The Color Purple. But they are both cultural celebrities, and the media gravitates to them for comments. And they both have used this celebrity status to...

Nuclear Power Will Lead to Economic Ruin

Picture: www.solarpower.evinger.com Glenn Ashton - The technocrats are on the ascent and nuclear power is yet again on the cards for South Africa. How has the moratorium of 2008 been reversed? How can nuclear power, which was then considered an unaffordable option, suddenly have become affordable again? This is a story with many twists and turns. The nuclear lobby is, like any major industry, well resourced. It has consistently managed to project positions, which appear logical and reasonable – that nuclear power is safe, reduces...