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South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. The present situation is, in objective terms, a house divided; a house that is tottering on rotten foundations. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC’s rule since 1994, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital. The ANC has become the key political vehicle – in party and state form as well as application – of corporate capital: domestic and international, black and white, local and national, and constitutive of a range of different fractions. As a result, ‘transformation’ has largely taken the form of acceptance of, combined with incorporation into, the capitalist ‘house’, now minus its formal apartheid frame.
What has happened in South Africa over the last 22 years is the corporatisation of liberation, the political and economic commodification of the ANC and societal development. Those in positions of leadership and power within the ANC have allowed themselves to be lured by the siren calls of power and money, to be sucked in by the prize of ‘capturing’ institutional sites of power, to be seduced by the egoism and lifestyles of the capitalist elite.
This book tells that ‘story’ by offering a critical, fact-based and actively informed holistic analysis of the ANC in power, as a means to: better explain and understand the ANC and its politics as well as South Africa’s post-1994 trajectory; contribute to renewed discussion and debate about power and democracy; and help identify possible sign-posts to reclaim revolutionary, universalist and humanist values as part of the individual and collective struggle for the systemic change South Africa’s democracy needs.
The book approaches South African politics through a democratic development perspective. The question of what are South Africa's prospects for democratic consolidation forms the underlying thread throughout the book.
It is divided into five parts, namely: Legacies of the past; Negotiating South Africa's transition; Procedural democratisation; Substantive democratisation and South Africa's international relations. The book is written using accessible academic language and covers the theoretical explanations for and practical aspects of politics within the South African context.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces three big challenges over the next generation. It will double its population to two billion by 2045. By then more than half of Africans will be living in cities. And this group of mostly young people will be connected through mobile devices.
Properly harnessed and planned for, these are positive forces for change. Without economic growth and jobs, they could prove a political and social catastrophe. Old systems of patronage and muddling through will no longer work.
Making Africa Work is a practical account of how to ensure growth beyond commodities, and to create jobs. It’s a handbook for dynamic leadership inside and outside the continent.
The story of a ‘rogue unit’ operating within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) became entrenched in the public mind following a succession of sensational reports published by the Sunday Times in 2014. The unit, the reports claimed, had carried out a series of illegal spook operations: they had spied on President Jacob Zuma, run a brothel, illegally bought spyware and entered into unlawful tax settlements.
In a plot of Machiavellian proportions, head of the elite crime-busting unit Johann van Loggerenberg and many of SARS’s top management were forced to resign. Van Loggerenberg’s select team of investigators, with their impeccable track record of busting high-level financial fraudsters and nailing tax criminals, lost not only their careers but also their reputations. Now, in this extraordinary account, they finally get to put the record straight and the rumours to rest: there was no ‘rogue unit’. The public had been deceived, seemingly by powers conspiring to capture SARS for their own ends.
Shooting down the allegations he has faced one by one, Van Loggerenberg tells the story of what really happened inside SARS, revealing details of some of the unit’s actual investigations.
Africa's leading producer of electricity, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, is also a vertically integrated monopoly, owned by the South African state. This national champion was shaken in 2008, when it was obliged to introduce 'load shedding', or rolling blackouts, and again in late 2014. Trying to understand how and why one of the iconic pillars of South African state capitalism is now in distress, the authors of this book argue that the so-called electricity crisis is in fact a public monopoly crisis.
Moving beyond technical aspects, they explore the relationship between state power and Eskom before, during and after apartheid. From this perspective, they suggest that the current technical and financial troubles of this public utility are illustrative of the weakening of its technopolitical regime, of how national institutions have governed Eskom's technological development, and of the pursuit of political goals in the production of electrical power. Without a clear industrial strategy during the 2000s, Eskom became a powerful tool of Broad-Black Economic Empowerment as well as a neopatrimonial system which generates profits captured by the ruling party. As a result, crisis in Eskom shakes the whole political edifice. Inefficient and its finances increasingly under scrutiny, this state-owned enterprise's existence as a monopolistic public utility is regularly a subject of debate.
The authors discuss the ambivalent role of Eskom in the national energy transition policy and whether solutions point in the direction of de-integrating this public monopoly and allowing its current technopolitical regime to enter a planned or natural decline.
If you have an interest in law and politics, South Africa’s political economy and the processes of policy-making in a parliamentary context, this is an essential read.
The advancement of black South Africans in ownership and management in the private sector is growing steadily. This growth is aided by government scorecard that penalise corporations that fail to include black people in senior positions and management. Some claim that this process will lead to a more fair, less racially biased economy. But will this transform the basic structure of the economy to benefit the people as a whole? Changing The Colour Of Capital unpacks the fundamental character of the South African economy and examines the relationship between the political system and the economy.
Contributors include Trevor Manuel, Rob Davies, Jeremy Cronin, Ben Turok, Philisiwe Buthelezi, Adekeye Adebajo, Enver Daniels, Cassius Lubisi and Richard Levin.
South Africa’s social landscape is disfigured by poverty, inequality and mass unemployment. Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present argues that it is impossible to think coherently or constructively about poverty, and the challenge it poses, without a clear understanding of its origins, its long-term development, and it’s changing character over time. This historical overview seeks to show how poverty in the past has shaped poverty in the present. Colin Bundy traces the lasting scars left on the face of South African poverty by colonial dispossession, coerced labour and segregation; and by a capitalist system distinctive for its reliance on cheap, right-less black labour. While the exclusion of the poor occurs in very many countries, in South Africa it has a distinctive extra dimension. Here, poverty has been profoundly racialised by law, by social practice, and by prejudice. He shows that the ‘solution’ to the ‘poor white question’ in the 1920s and ’30s had profound and lasting implications for black poverty. After an analysis of urban and rural poverty prior to 1948, he describes the impact of apartheid policies and social engineering on poverty. Over four decades, apartheid reshaped the geography and demography of poverty. This pocket history concludes with two chapters that assess the policies and thinking of the ANC government in its responses to poverty. One describes the remarkable story of the social security programme developed by the ANC in government since 1994, and finds that cash transfers – pensions and grants – have been the most effective mechanism of redistribution used by the ANC, even though the party remains edgy and anxious about a ‘culture of entitlement’. A final chapter reviews the distribution and dimensions of contemporary poverty, inequality and unemployment, and considers available policy options – and their shortcomings.
Two of the UK's leading economists call for an end to extreme individualism as the engine of prosperity.
Throughout history, successful societies have created institutions which channel both competition and co-operation to achieve complex goals of general benefit. These institutions make the difference between societies that thrive and those paralyzed by discord, the difference between prosperous and poor economies. Such societies are pluralist but their pluralism is disciplined. Successful societies are also rare and fragile. We could not have built modernity without the exceptional competitive and co-operative instincts of humans, but in recent decades the balance between these instincts has become dangerously skewed: mutuality has been undermined by an extreme individualism which has weakened co-operation and polarized our politics.
Collier and Kay show how a reaffirmation of the values of mutuality could refresh and restore politics, business and the environments in which people live. Politics could reverse the moves to extremism and tribalism; businesses could replace the greed that has degraded corporate culture; the communities and decaying places that are home to many could overcome despondency and again be prosperous and purposeful. As the world emerges from an unprecedented crisis we have the chance to examine society afresh and build a politics beyond individualism.
Herman Mashaba is a self-made entrepreneur who started his business Black Like Me in the dark days of apartheid in South Africa. He has told the story of his journey from the poverty of Hammanskraal to the comfort of a successful business in his book Black Like You.
When Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s president in 1994, Mashaba thought his struggle for personal and economic freedom was over, the battle was won. Twenty-one years later, he has had to question that assumption as his hard won freedoms are eroded and economic controls tighten. Mashaba is committed to freeing South Africans from poverty.
In this book Mashaba outlines his crusade for economic freedom for all South Africans – through a firm commitment to capitalist principles. He describes the changes in his political affiliations and maps out the route South Africa needs to follow to escape entrenched unemployment and poverty.
Elite Transition is a seminal accounting of compromises and struggles in post-apartheid South Africa. Combining original documentation, insider anecdotes and theoretical insights, Patrick Bond dissects a range of socio-economic continuities from old to new South Africa. He deploys political-economic analysis and draws upon case studies including social contracts, black economic empowerment, housing, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, World Bank and international financial influence, and corporate power. The original edition of Elite Transition provided an insightful review of South Africa's first years of democracy and an optimistic account of the potential that still exists for a progressive, grassroots resurgence of the liberation spirit. This updated edition includes a lengthy Afterword that maintains a scorching critique of elitist politics and economics. Most importantly, the book provides context for the upsurge in popular protest against the government's neoliberal policies since 2000.
Capitalism’s addiction to fossil fuels is heating our planet at a pace and scale never before experienced.
Extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels and accelerating feedback loops are a commonplace feature of our lives. The number of environmental refugees is increasing and several island states and low-lying countries are becoming vulnerable. Corporate-induced climate change has set us on an ecocidal path of species extinction. Governments and their international platforms such as the Paris Climate Agreement deliver too little, too late. Most states, including South Africa, continue on their carbon-intensive energy paths, with devastating results. Political leaders across the world are failing to provide systemic solutions to the climate crisis. This is the context in which we must ask ourselves: how can people and class agency change this destructive course of history?
The Climate Crisis investigates ecosocialist alternatives that are emerging. It presents the thinking of leading climate justice activists, campaigners and social movements advancing systemic alternatives and developing bottom-up, just transitions to sustain life. Through a combination of theoretical and empirical work, the authors collectively examine the challenges and opportunities inherent in the current moment.
Most importantly, it explores ways to renew historical socialism with democratic, ecosocialist alternatives to meet current challenges in South Africa and the world.
"Warning. Smoking Kills!" It also corrupts law enforcement officials and eviscerates state institutions. It devours politicians, professionals, business people and ordinary workers in the chase for big bucks and the battle for a slice of an ever-shrinking cigarette market.
Join one of South Africa's former tax sleuths, Johann van Loggerenberg, in a wild ride through the double-dealing world of tobacco's colourful characters and ruthless corporates. Meet the femme fatales, mavericks, mercenaries and grandmasters, and learn how the crime-busting unit led by van Loggerenberg at SARS and its "Project Honey Badger" became a victim of war between industry players and a high-stakes political game driven by state capture.
This is the tale of a few good men and women who dared to try to hold to account a billion-dollar international industry rife with private spy networks, tax evasion, collusion and corruption - ultimately at great cost to themselves and South Africa.
From Nobel Prize-winning economist and bestselling author Joseph Stiglitz, this account of the dangers of free market fundamentalism reveals what has gone so wrong, but also shows us a way out.
We all have the sense that our economy tilts toward big business, but as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in People, Power and Profits, a few corporations have come to dominate entire sectors, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to write its own regulations, tech companies have accumulated reams of personal data with little oversight, and government has negotiated trade deals that fail to represent the best interests of workers. Too many have made their wealth through exploitation of others rather than through wealth creation. If something isn't done, new technologies may make matters worse, increasing inequality and unemployment.
Stiglitz identifies the true sources of wealth and increases in standards of living, based on learning, advances in science and technology, and the rule of law. He shows that the assault on the judiciary, universities, and the media undermines the very institutions that have long been the foundation of economic prosperity and democracy. Helpless though we may feel today, we are far from powerless. In fact, the economic solutions are often quite clear. We need to exploit the benefits of markets while taming their excesses, making sure that markets work for people and not the other way around. If enough rally behind this agenda for change, we can create a progressive capitalism that will recreate a shared prosperity.
Stiglitz shows how a decent middle-class life can once again be attainable by all.
Recession, inflation, interest rates, income tax, exchange rates, junk bonds … We are bombarded with these terms every day, but what do they actually mean? And how do they affect you?
In this updated edition of Everyone’s Guide to the South African Economy, all these issues – and more – are addressed. The book clearly explains and evaluates a wide range of economic occurrences – from the budget and the rand/dollar exchange rate to the balance of payments and the role of the South African Reserve Bank.
The book investigates the causes and consequences of the 2008/2009 global financial and economic crisis, looks at the sub-Saharan African economy, and explores human development issues in South Africa and their implications for policy-making.
If you are baffled by the specialised jargon of economists and bankers and want to know more about the economic forces that subtly dictate your day-to-day existence, Everyone’s Guide to the South African Economy will put you in the picture. This is essential reading for every South African consumer and taxpayer. Economics, after all, is too important to be left to economists.
The rhetoric of `freedom and democracy for all' has become almost synonymous with the US. However, at home its business elites have enslaved the poor and underclasses and further afield, while masquerading as a force for good in the world, it has enslaved much of humanity in the name of progress. In this controversial book, investigative journalist Matt Kennard takes us deep into the dark heart of American power. From the corporate state, the prison state and the state of the environment, to humanitarian intervention, the free trade fetish and the divide-and-rule of the working class, The Racket reveals how, no matter which side of the border we are on, we are all being conditioned to condone this modern form of slavery.
Africa and the World: Navigating Shifting Geopolitics is one of the first books to analyse the global geopolitical landscape from an African perspective, with a view to the opportunities and challenges facing the African continent. Authors in this edited volume argue for the need to re-imagine Africa's role in the world.
As a cradle of humanity, a historical fountain of profound scientific knowledge, an object of colonial conquest and, today, a collective of countries seeking to pool their sovereignties in order to improve the human condition, Africa has a unique opportunity to advance its own interests. Authors reﬂect on all these issues; they outline how developments in the global political economy impact on the continent and, inversely, how Africa can develop a strategic perspective that takes into account the dynamics playing out in a fraught global terrain.
Central to this evaluation is the notion of 'island Africa' a vast island - with resources that extend into the oceans around it - that is a strategic centre by virtue of its geographic location, its endowments and its long-term potential. Authors assert that the positioning of 'island Africa' presents unique political, security and geo-economic beneﬁ ts. Yet they also acknowledge that, as has happened historically, these very advantages can serve as a basis for new forms of domination and exploitation. In addition, this volume takes into account the socio-psychological factors that inﬂuence how nations of the world receive and interpret the present, and assess prospects for the future.
The authors go beyond analysis of what is, to venture concrete proposals on what can be, with Africa exercising its agency. This requires the strengthening of continental integration and cohesion in pursuit of ideals that the African Union has enshrined in Agenda 2063. In this way, Africa would be able to engage - in a systemic and disciplined manner - with external powers to assert the continent's own interests which, in their framing, are also the interests of humanity. A continent united in both purpose and action can be an active agent in shaping the evolving global order. This volume makes a strong case for precisely such a perspective and contributes to what should be an ongoing effort to analyse geopolitics with Africa as a critical frame of reference.
The Occupy movement managed to draw global attention to the massive disparity of income, wealth and privilege held by 1% of the population in nations across the world. In The 1% and the rest of us, Tim Di Muzio explores what it means to be part of a socio-economic order presided over by the super-rich and their political servants. Incorporating provocative and original arguments about philanthropy, social wealth and the political role of the super-rich Di Muzio reveals how the 1% are creating a world unto themselves in which the accumulation of ever more money is really a symbolic drive to control society and the natural environment. A timely and innovative book that provides readers with the first global political economy of the 1%, while demonstrating how resistance can continue to challenge their rule.
Looks at both left- and right-wing alternatives to capitalism. Extremely timely in the light of the continued fallout from the financial crisis, and increased interest in critical takes on capitalism. Ideal as a core or supplementary text for undergraduate and post-graduate students in political economy. The global economic crisis has catalysed debates about the merits of capitalism as a system for organising production, distribution and exchange. Capitalism, political elites have argued, is not a fundamentally pernicious or crisis-prone system, and it can be successfully reformed if the right set of policies is found. Conversely, many have argued that a wholesale change of attitude towards the status and creation of wealth in contemporary society is required if crises of this kind are to be prevented in the future. In Capitalism and Its Alternatives, Chris Rogers provides a critical introduction to theories of capitalism and to the forms of its crises in historical and contemporary contexts, as well as reflects on the practice of anti-capitalism and the ways that economic and social relations are shaped, reshaped and resisted. Crucially, the book puts forward two key questions: What alternatives to capitalism exist? And by what processes and through what institutions might they be achieved?
In the aftermath of popular uprisings that unleashed the quest for freedom, Arab governments scrambled to limit sectarian divisions, though much of these efforts came to naught. Regrettably, weak governments fell into carefully laid traps, aimed to divide and rule. Protracted wars further destroyed Arab wealth and cohesiveness, and Sunni communities saw their power bases marginalised. On cue, and predicted by some commentators, extremist movements like the so-called Islamic State emerged, targeting Sunnis with extreme violence. In 2014 Nabil Khalife, an established Lebanese thinker, published a widely praised thesis that identified the root causes of renewed sectarian tensions at a time when confrontations polarised awakened Arab societies. Based on an extensive discussion of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the Shah, Khalife advanced the notion that the revolution was not Islamic but an Iranian-Shiah rebellion that ended the Pahlavi military monarchy, and that the post-2011 SunniShiah struggle was planned by leading Western powers, including Russia, to preserve Israel and impose the latters acceptance in the Middle East as a natural element. In this translation of Istihdaf Ahl al-Sunna [Targeting Sunnis], Joseph A Kechichian analyses the fundamental questions raised by the author to better place the current sectarian collision in a geo-strategic global perspective. Based on the books avowals of how the worlds three monotheistic religions perceive each other and Political Sunnism, Kechichian assesses Henry Kissingers famous appellation of the Middle World that houses significant and indispensable oil resources, and why that allegedly makes it -- Political Sunnism -- dangerous. In a comprehensive introduction to the translation, he describes various initiatives that led global powers to check the undeniable force of Political Sunnism.
'Naomi Klein's work has always moved and guided me. She is the great chronicler of our age of climate emergency, an inspirer of generations' - Greta Thunberg For more than twenty years Naomi Klein's books have defined our era, chronicling the exploitation of people and the planet and demanding justice. On Fire gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing from the frontline of climate breakdown, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of what we choose to do next. Here is Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the climate crisis not only as a profound political challenge but also as a spiritual and imaginative one. Delving into topics ranging from the clash between ecological time and our culture of 'perpetual now,' to rising white supremacy and fortressed borders as a form of 'climate barbarism,' this is a rousing call to action for a planet on the brink. With dispatches from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, the smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, post-hurricane Puerto Rico and a Vatican attempting an unprecedented 'ecological conversion,' Klein makes the case that we will rise to the existential challenge of climate change only if we are willing to transform the systems that produced this crisis. This is the fight for our lives. On Fire captures the burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the energy of a rising political movement demanding change now.
What would a fair and equal society actually look like? The world-renowned economist and bestselling author Yanis Varoufakis presents his radical and subversive answer.
Imagine it is 2025. Years earlier, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, a global hi-tech uprising has birthed a post-capitalist world in which work, money, land, digital networks and politics have been truly democratised.
In a thought-experiment of startling originality, world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis offers a glimpse of this alternative reality. Through the eyes of three characters - a libertarian ex-banker, a Marxist-feminist and a maverick technologist - we see the genesis of a world without commercial banks or stock markets, where companies are owned equally by all staff, basic income is guaranteed, global imbalances and climate change cancel each other out, and housing is socialised.
Is a liberal socialism feasible? Can prosperity grow without costing the Earth? Are we able to build the good society, despite our flaws?
As radical in its form as in its vision, Another Now blends Platonic dialogue with speculative fiction to show that there is an alternative to capitalism, while also confronting us with the greatest question: how far are we willing to go to bring it about?
How can we reduce inequalities? How can we make work get better recognition and better pay? Philippe Askenazy in this new book shows that the current share of wealth is far from natural; it results from rising rents and their capture by the actors best endowed in the economic game. In this race for rents, the world of work is the big loser: while many workers feed capital rents by increased productivity and worsened working conditions, they are stigmatized as unproductive and their earnings stagnate. By proposing a new description of the capital-work relationship, calling for a remobilization of the world of work, and particularly poorly paid employees, Askenazy shows that there is a more radical alternative to neoliberalism beyond simply redistribution.
The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard-and with Donald Trump's ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent "forgotten" Americans? Or does it represent the superrich? In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. Conservative parties, by their nature, almost always side with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society? Today's Republicans have shown the way, doubling down on a truly radical, elite-benefiting economic agenda while at the same time making increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to their almost entirely white base. Telling a forty-year story, Hacker and Pierson demonstrate that since the early 1980s, when inequality started spiking, extreme tax cutting, union busting, and deregulation have gone hand in hand with extreme race-baiting, outrage stoking, and disinformation. Instead of responding to the real challenges facing voters, the Republican Party offers division and distraction-most prominently, in the racist, nativist bile of the president's Twitter feed. As Hacker and Pierson argue, Trump isn't a break with the GOP's recent past. On the contrary, he embodies its tightening embrace of plutocracy and right-wing extremism-a dynamic Hacker and Pierson call "plutocratic populism." As Trump and his far-right allies spew hatred and lies, Republicans in Congress and in statehouses attack social programs and funnel more and more money to the top 0.1 percent of Americans. Far from being at war with each other, reactionary plutocrats and right-wing populists have become the two faces of a party that now actively undermines democracy to achieve its goals against the will of the majority of Americans. Drawing on decades of research, Hacker and Pierson authoritatively explain the doom loop of tax cutting and fearmongering that characterizes our era-and reveal how we can fight back.
Inequality is the crisis of our time. The growing gap between a few at the top and the rest of society damages us all. No longer able to deny the crisis, every government in the world is now pledged to fix it - and yet it keeps on getting worse. In this book, international anti-inequality campaigner Ben Phillips shows why winning the debate is not enough: we have to win the fight. Drawing on his insider experience, and his personal exchanges with the real-life heroes of successful movements, he shows how the battle against inequality has been won before, and he shares a practical plan for defeating inequality again. He sets a route map for us to overcome deference, build our collective power, and create a new story. Most books on inequality are about what other people ought to do about it - this book is about why winning the fight needs you. Tired of feeling helpless in the face of spiralling inequality? Want to know what you can do about it? This is the book for you.
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