Is U.S. President Joe Biden’s January 27 Executive Order to address ‘climate crisis’ as good as many activists claim, enough to reverse earlier scepticism?
Author Archive | Patrick Bond
On three days last week–December 23-25–South Africa’s east coast province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) lost three of its clearest voices for social justice and environmental sanity: rural women’s leader Sizani Ngubane (74), trade unionist Patrick Mkhize (60) and progressive activist Faith ka-Manzi (52).
Prof Patrick Bond from the University of the Witswatersrand (Wits) tells Business Day TV why the World Economic Forum, which held its annual Africa meeting last week, serves the interests of the ruling elite at the expense of communities.
The two major civil service unions on strike against the South African government vow to intensify pressure in coming days, in a struggle pitting a million members of the middle and lower ranks of society against a confident government leadership fresh from hosting the World Cup. Along with smaller public sector unions, teachers from the […]
Just how dangerous is the World Bank and its neo-conservative president, Robert Zoellick, to South Africa and the global climate? Notwithstanding South Africa’s existing $75 billion foreign debt, last Thursday the bank added a $3.75bn loan to Eskom for the primary purpose of building the world’s fourth-largest coal-fired power plant, at Medupi, which will spew […]
World-renowned political organizer and one of Africa’s most celebrated poets, Dennis Brutus, died early on December 26 in Cape Town, in his sleep, aged 85. Even in his last days, Brutus was fully engaged, advocating social protest against those responsible for climate change, and promoting reparations to black South Africans from corporations that benefited from […]
In Copenhagen, the world’s richest leaders continued their fiery fossil fuel party last Friday night, ignoring requests of global village neighbors to please chill out. Instead of halting the hedonism, Barack Obama and the Euro elites cracked open the mansion door to add a few nouveau riche guests: South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, China’s Wen Jiabao […]
After the weekend in which 350.org and thousands of allies valiantly tried to raise global consciousness about impending catastrophe, we can ask some tough questions about what to do after people depart and the props are packed up. No matter the laudable big-tent activism, let’s face it: global climate governance is gridlocked and it seems […]
With high-volume class strife heard in the rumbling of wage demands and the friction of township “service delivery protests,” rhetorical and real conflicts are bursting open in every nook and cranny of South Africa. The big splits in the society are clearer now. Distracting internecine rivalries within the main left bloc — which saw off […]
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One of Barack Obama’s leading advisors has done more damage to Africa, its economies and its people than anyone I can think of in world history, including even Cecil John Rhodes. That charge may surprise readers, but hear me out. His name is Paul Volcker, and although he is relatively unknown around the world, the […]
Far-reaching strategic debate is underway about how to respond to the global financial crisis, and indeed how the North’s problems can be tied into a broader critique of capitalism. The 2008 world financial meltdown has its roots in the neoliberal export-model (dominant in Africa since the Berg Report and onset of structural adjustment during the […]
The past week has been a wild roller-coaster ride in and out of Southern African ruling-party politics, down the troughs of world capitalism, and up the peaks of radical social activism. Glancing around the region and world from those peaks, we can see quite a way further than usual. Looking first to South Africa, Saturday’s […]
A telling remark about US imperialism’s double standards was uttered by Clinton-era deputy treasury secretary Stuart Eizenstat, who a decade ago was the driver of reparations claims against pro-Nazi corporations, assisting plaintiffs to gain $8 billion from European banks and corporations which ripped off Holocaust victims’ funds or which were 1930s beneficiaries of slave labor […]
In even the most exploitative African sites of repression and capital accumulation, sometimes corporations take a hit, and victims sometimes unite on continental lines instead of being divided-and-conquered. Turns in the class struggle might have surprised Walter Rodney, the political economist whose 1972 classic How Europe Underdeveloped Africa provided detailed critiques of corporate looting. […]
Amidst her welcome critique of the biofuel mania, Vandana Shiva‘s ZNet commentary last month (December 13, 2007) also made this point: “The Kyoto Protocol totally avoided the material challenge of stopping activities that lead to higher emissions and the political challenge of regulation of the polluters and making the polluters pay in accordance with principles […]
“O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight. By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]
If you want to know what’s going on in Zimbabwe, you could try taking seriously the view commonly argued by the independent left in this region, namely that Mugabe talks radical — especially nationalist and anti-imperialist — but acts reactionary, especially to the urban poor and working people. Fortunately, we have a fresh version of […]
Unless political elites change strategy and tactics in 2006, North-South relations will continue to degenerate. By the end of last year, opportunities ranging from rock concerts to summits and trade negotiations were lost. South Africa’s role in this failure of global nerve was substantial. Three leading politicians of South Africa — Thabo Mbeki, Alec Erwin, […]