Inside Apartheid’s prison: an experience that haunts for a lifetime (The Conversation, 23 October 2016)

What is revolutionary, what is militant and what is plain criminal? (14 october 2016)

Today it is reported that Max Price, VC of UCT was assaulted after meeting with some students. A couple of days back students set fire to a building at CPUT with guards locked inside.
There are repeated references to the current student protests as being revolutionary or militant and that earlier generations ought to learn from what they are doing, because they are a new generation, making their own decisions and their own history.
I do believe that the new generation has to find their own paths in the problems they confront, while older generations should not expect their own experience to guide the youth of today. But humility should not preclude us from naming what they are doing as criminality where it entails wanton destruction of buildings and resources that are needed by the poor, assaults or attempted murder of individuals, whether they are VCs, guards or anyone else. There is nothing militant or revolutionary about that. These are criminal acts and it is time that the more mature students and staff who support them should name things for what they are.

Marx’s compassion and Passion 19 September 2016

In the article I posted earlier today on the demise of the ANC, I said the ANC’s loss of connection with its constituency, its indifference to the fate of the poor, could not be explained by the analytical tools of Marxism, though I said that Marx himself demonstrated great passion for the plight of the poor and the cause of workers in some of his writings. I had in mind, at this point in time, the final words of his Civil War in France, paying tribute to the Paris Commune:
“Working men’s Paris, with its Commune, will be for ever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society. Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class. Its exterminators history has already nailed to that eternal pillory from which all the prayers of their priests will not avail to redeem them.”

We need an inter-generational dialogue on legacies and meanings of freedom (Polity 14 September 2016)

Exchange between Raymond Suttner and Edna Molewa (Polity/Daily Maverick 12 September 2016)