September 2010

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Legendary British Author John le Carre on Why He Won't Be Reading Tony Blair's Iraq War-Defending Memoir

Video David Cornwell, the legendary British novelist who writes under the name John le Carré, is interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in London. A former British spy, his books include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and The Constant Gardener. On the heels of the publication of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Iraq war-defending memoir, A Journey, le Carré explains why he refused to interview Blair and why he won’t be reading his...

South Africa's Economic Growth Path and the Limits of Imagination

Picture: valkyrieh116 Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Imagination is absent in the conventional spaces of South Africa’s economic growth path. Conventional wisdom equates increasing economic growth to around 7%, as an important target. In political speak, the growth target is of course a “necessary” and not a “sufficient” condition. What it In fact does is reflect orthodoxy. This policy stance is premised on the fiction that we can grow ourselves out of a situation of high unemployment, poverty and inequality. The...

The Forever Fidel Obsession

Picture: Beauty of Malik Saul Landau - In late September 2009, shortly after Fidel Castro and I exchanged hugs of greeting, I flashed back to my first visits to Cuba, in 1960 and 1961. In the six months I spent there, I experienced a sense of creative anarchy in which people my age (I was 24) ran government ministries and the revolutionary leader was only 33. Hundreds of thousands showed support at rallies where Fidel announced expropriations of U.S. property. Not all Cubans felt this way. Hundreds of thousands fled the island for...

The Cosmetics Racket: Why the Beauty Industry Can Get Away with Charging a Fortune for Makeup

Picture: Jackie Popp Anneli Rufus - Worth $50 billion in the U.S. alone, with Asia a close second and gaining speed, the $170 billion beauty industry conspires to convince women that our fates depend on our looks which depend on what we spend. In this equation, ugliness -- as society sees it -- can be remedied like a disease, if you just spend enough. Refuse to buy? Your face and fate are your own fault. But is a MAC Haute & Naughty Lash mascara really worth $18? When industry meets beauty, what does "worth" even...

Ending Hunger: Will the Free Market Ever Really Care?

Video Professor George Kent of the University of Hawaii challenges the idea that hunger is a result of resource scarcity. It is a misrepresentation that all of us want to see hunger abolished, says Kent, as he argues further that hunger is about indifference and exploitation. Under the the current economic model based on the market system, there is no good reason to end hunger. Kent is of the view that "solving the hunger problem requires transcending current simplistic understandings...

11th Annual Steve Biko Lecture by Alice Walker

Video American, author, poet and activist, Alice Walker delivered the 11th Annual Steve Biko Lecture at the University of Cape Town on 13 September 2010.  In her speech reflecting on South Africa, Walker said, "I have seen the hovels, the shacks, the unpaved roads, the unkempt children on one side of Johannesburg, and the mansions with the highest walls I have ever seen around dwellings on another. What to make of this? What to make of the words of your Constitution, in which you profess...