By Howard Richards
New times call for new ideas. In a desperate situation, like that of South Africa today, some people may be willing to consider the new ideas that are on offer, going on the lookout for measures that might work. Others may have their minds already made up; they might be already sure that they know what miracle, if it would only happen, would save South Africa.
The challenge- Human exploitation:
The greatest challenge facing humanity today, I would say, is exploitation of a group of people by other groups of people. It is I believe one of the most pressing problems today. Daily in the world we see people working hard, e.g. the domestic worker, the farm worker, the factory worker and so on. They leave home before we even get up from our beds, they walk and commute long distances to get to work because they do not have their own cars and in most cases they live far from their work places. Their work is hard and farm workers work in all weathers. Yet they earn a miniscule percentage of what we earn, and are treated as “second class citizens”. They are the working poor, they are not unemployed yet they have very little money to be able to live a comfortable life. Importantly they are not counted in the statistics of the poor.
I refer to the unsolved ones, not to those that are pretty satisfactorily solved already. I focus on our two acronyms SF1 and SF2, where SF can be read as Staggering Fact or as Structural Fact. In the terminology of John Maynard Keynes SF1 generates a chronic shortfall of the inducement to invest. Once a society comes to depend on investment-for-the-sake-of-production-for-the-sake-of-sale-for- the- sake-of-profit to meet its needs, investment becomes its drug. It can never get enough of it. SF2 generates a chronic insufficiency of effective demand.
By Howard Richards
Pierre Bourdieu is a problem. He continues to be a problem even though since January 23, 2002, he is no longer alive. He is a problem because he has great prestige and he gives some bad advice. ATTAC, an organization he co-founded, continues to be a forum where his views carry great weight. The publisher of the Chilean edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, a periodical to which he frequently contributed, has reprinted a collection of his writings on political and social issues that includes: “The Essence of Neoliberalism,” “For Committed Science,” “Give Social Meaning to the European Union,” “The Architect of the Euro Confesses,” “A New Planetary Vulgate,” and “Masculine Domination.” I will be commenting mainly on these.
Presentation to Operation Phakisa:
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
By Dr. Gavin Andersson