www.inside-politics.org

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

Tag: Hysteria

On hysteria


TheThingAboutSERIES: Much public rhetoric in South Africa is defined by hysteria and our response to current affairs, often hysterical in turn. So it is worth paying some attention to the idea. What is the nature of hysteria? Certainly it is extreme in nature but how so? It is perhaps best understood as a kind of drama, with heroes and villains, good and evil. And thus, the last thing hysteria will ever indulge is subtle or ambiguity, doubt or uncertainty.

Read the rest of this entry »

On moral outrage and bad journalism


FEATURE: In late 2010 the DA removed Sowetan journalist Anna Majavu from its mailing lists. In 2011, the mainstream press found out and the response, fuelled by the ANC, was so hysterical looking back it puts the outcry over The Spear in a whole different light. We seem to specialise in hysteria and moral outrage in South Africa. In the 2011 article below, I responded to all the vitriol and tried to put the decision in its proper perspective. I note with some irony that today the DA is still around, Anna Majavu, however, has abandoned South Africa for Australia.

Read the rest of this entry »

On exaggeration


SERIES: The Thing About is a weekly Business Day column designed to discuss democratic ideas, ideals, values and principles from a liberal perspective. What role does exaggeration play in public discourse? For the most part, a problematic one. Very often one’s instinict in countering exaggeration is to use some kind of greater exaggeration in the other direction. And, before you know it, everything is exaggerated and a state of hysteria exists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Moral outrage: the groundwork for authoritarianism


ARTICLE: Often South Africa seems willingly to throw itself into a fit of moral outrage about something incidental. We are currently in the process of doing exactly that, this time about the word ‘refugee’ and what it means. And so it is worth taking some time to try and objectively understand what moral outrage is, its nature and form. In the short piece below, I try to identify its general characteristics.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: