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

Tag: Fear

On paranoia

TheThingAboutSERIES: Paranoia seems to be part and parcel of public life – certainly politicians appear permanently gripped by it. Yet it is curious how often paranoia can infect otherwise rational people, when they are placed in constant contact with it. Today’s piece looks at the idea of paranoia in more detail, why it is problematic and some of its consequences. If you already suffer the problem, who knows, maybe this piece is about you?

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On panic

SERIES: The Thing About is a weekly Business Day column designed to discuss democratic ideas, ideals, values and principles from a liberal perspective. Panic is often offered up as an explanation for rash action, but is it always a legitimate excuse? The answer to that question boils down to a determination as to whether or not a person could reasonably be expected to have been aware of their panic and, in turn, acted to control it. And, when it comes to widespread moral panic, the difference between good and bad leaders is often best defined by their approach to such problems.

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Why difference is important

ARTICLE: Every single person on this planet is different in some way unique to them. Most people have one of two responses to that: either it is the source of insecurity or pride. For those who feel uncomfortable with difference, comfort is found in conformity. That is no bad thing, but when those same people take that fear to an extreme level and try to outlaw difference in others, in order that everyone might be the same, that is not only a sure path to authoritarianism but to misunderstand the very value and wonder of difference itself.

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