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Analysis of and commentary on South African politics from a liberal perspective.

Tag: Destruction

Burning books: The African way


imagesFEATURE: Much has rightly been made of the destruction of key texts and manuscripts held at Timbuktu; much less of the spate of library burning in South Africa over the last four years. Why is that? I have compiled an archive of libraries burnt in South Africa during this period and, in the piece below, argue that while we are quick to express passion about ‘African’ cultural ideals, we have little to say about book burning in our country and what it says about our actual cultural attitude to knowledge and education.

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On destruction


TheThingAboutSERIES: It is difficult at the best of times to plan ahead. Why cater for the possibility that something which functions well at the moment might, with time, breakdown? What an onerous undertaking. But that attitude is the very basis on which ideals and assets deteriorate – through neglect and a failure to maintain and manage their integrity. Any urgent crisis must, of course, be addressed but they are best avoided by relentlessly acting to ensure those things that work retain their strength.

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