Constitutional Hill

On Steven Friedman’s incoherent conflation of criticism with censorship

South Africa is not a country in which freedom of expression is much respected or understood. At the time when the controversy raged around Brett Murray’s painting, The Spear, many artists, commentators and defenders of Murray wrongly conflated the right to free expression with his (non-existent) right not to be criticised, while others wrongly claimed that the artist did not have the right to offend either them or the President. Now Prof Steven Friedman comes close to conflating criticism of the governing party’s intolerant reaction to a First National Bank (FNB) advertising campaign with censorship. If we want to understand freedom of expression we need to be able to differentiate between criticism and censorship. Unfortunately, Friedman does not seem capable of doing so.

Friedman rightly argues that if you attack a political party, it has a right to defend itself. But then he bizarrely states that those who accuse the ANC of bullying tactics towards FNB are, in effect, denying the ANC its right to free expression. In other words, a political party has a right to criticise its critics, but when critics respond to this criticism they are denying the political party the right to free speech. If I did not know any better I would have guessed that Friedman had smoked some of the good stuff before writing this muddled column.

There is a fundamental difference between disagreeing with others and silencing them. There is also a profound difference between censorship and arguing (rightly or wrongly) that another’s criticism reflects an intolerant attitude or a lack of respect for democratic discourse. By taking issue with how a political party is responding to criticism you are not silencing that political party: you are merely engaging in a frank debate about what you see as the deeply flawed values and assumptions underlying that party’s behaviour. You might be wrong in your analysis of the political party’s behaviour. But in a constitutional democracy you have a right to be wrong sometimes. And others have the right to point out why you are wrong. You are not denying a political party its right to enjoy freedom of expression merely because you accuse that party of behaving like a bully. To hold otherwise would be to prohibit anyone from challenging the powerful bullies in our society – all in the name of freedom of expression.

At the time of the heated contestation about The Spear I argued that while Brett Murray had every right to create the work of art, I thought the painting was both artistically bad and politically profoundly problematic. It borrowed — knowingly or not — from an archive of deeply offensive colonial depictions of naked black men to ridicule a current day black leader, turning The Spear into a work of colonial-inspired appropriation of black bodies.

By criticising the painting, I was not trying to censor Murray. Nor was I trying to limit his artistic freedom. He can paint what he likes and I would never support legislation that would limit this right. But we all have a right to express our opinion about The Spear and state why we like or dislike the painting and argue about the merits, if any, of our various opinions. And if you believe some of the criticism of The Spear was misplaced, self-serving or itself based on an undemocratic insistence that no one had a right to criticise or mock an elected politician, then you have the right to point that out too.

It would be different if I told Murray that he had no right to paint that picture and should be jailed for doing so, if I mobilised a group of people to try and force the artist or the gallery to take down the picture, or if I encouraged people to assault or kill the artist. When lively debate and critical engagement bleed into intimidation, hate speech and the abuse of power, we have reached the limits of freedom of expression.

In a democracy it is in this free space (in theory open to everyone) where artistic and political contestation is supposed to take place. This contestation will often be loud, messy and — it must be said — not entirely equal and fair. But it can only remain a contestation if people have a right to criticise others.

Because not all those taking part in the debate will have equal power, some voices will carry more weight than others, which can frustrate those who feel they are not heard and can lead to more violent forms of rhetoric or even violent protest action. Those who feel silenced will often try and shout louder (and in a more shrill tone) and, in extreme cases, will demand that the loudest voices be silenced.

The relative powers of those who speak depend on many factors, including the race, class and gender of the speaker and the actual political power enjoyed by the speaker. If you are poor and black and living in a rural village, your voice is probably not going to carry much weight in any national debate. However, if you are a leader of a large political party or a white middle class intellectual with quick access to the media (somebody like myself), you will probably not have a problem to be heard loud and clear.

It must be said that most South Africans – regardless of political affiliation — are not particularly tolerant of the views of others. They love it when you criticise those they oppose or hate, but launch ad hominem attacks and death threats against you if you criticise those they align themselves with. Sometimes, it feels to me, DA supporters are more intolerant of criticism than ANC supporters. But perhaps that is because many DA supporters speak from a position of relative power. When such intolerance (wrong as it is) stems from powerlessness, it is easy to understand. But often intolerance stems not from powerlessness but from arrogance, self-righteousness, power-hunger and anti-democratic tendencies.

Because many members of Afriforum do not like Julius Malema and because they feel guilty about the way in which they benefited (and continue to benefit) from racists exploitation and are fearful about the manner in which past injustices may be addressed, they demand the suppression of old struggle song — even when such songs are sung in contexts where they could not possibly encourage people to intimidate or attack any person or group. Because Blade Nzimande has not yet embraced the progressive freedoms protected in our Constitution (and perhaps because power has been more intoxicating to Nzimande than his fourth glass of wine) he demands the immediate destruction of a painting he finds obnoxious — even though that painting is not inciting violence or closing down the democratic space.

I agree with Steven Friedman that a political party (as opposed to the government of the day) has every right to angrily criticise an advert it disagrees with. I also agree that it was a spectacularly bad business decision of FNB to flight advertising material that had the potential to alienate the majority of its clients. In that sense, the bank did what all good capitalists would have done: they apologised for the “offensive” parts of the campaign to ensure that they do not alienate their customers.

However, Friedman is just dead wrong when he claims that criticism of the ANC’s response to the FNB advertising campaign denies the governing party its right to free speech. As far as I know, there was no court case trying to stop the ANC from criticising FNB. And as the ANC is the party of government, there was also no insistence that a law should be passed to prevent the ANC from trying to stop big companies like FNB from criticising it. Although it does not always act like it knows this, the ANC is also the governing party — with access to vast resources and control over the police and the criminal justice system — so there is no chance that the criticism of others will have a chilling effect on its right to free speech. Friedman’s claim that it would, suggest an incoherent conflation of criticism with censorship.

The fact of the matter is that the ANC did not merely criticise the FNB campaign. Some ANC and alliance leaders claimed that the FNB campaign was treasonous, that it represented an attack on the state and that it represented an attempt at regime change. As I pointed out before, these responses go far beyond a reasoned engagement with the FNB campaign and are based on the anti-democratic notion that any criticism of a political party who happens to have received the most votes at the last election is not only wrong, but also somehow treasonous. This criticism of FNB stems from an assumption that the governing party has a divine right to rule and this kind of criticism poses a threat to our democracy. Pointing this out does not infringe on the rights of anyone — no matter what Friedman might think.

Moreover, given the fact that the ANC is the party of government and given the conflation of party and state, the ANC speaks from a position of enormous political and economic power and influence. When it uses this power not to rebut unfair criticism aimed at it, but to try and intimidate its critics into silence by branding them national traitors, it is surely important to point this out and to challenge this intolerant and anti-democratic behaviour. When people do so, they are not silencing the ANC and can therefore not be said to robbing the ANC of its right to free expression.

  • http://NU.org.za Shaun Russell

    Well put. Criticism is the key feedback mechanism for progress. And only great leaders understand this.

  • sirjay jonson

    There is too much bull being spewed by folks like Steven. In my view his brain power is being wasted with his skewered obsessiveness defending the ANC, all in the guise of intellectual analysis. Ivory tower perhaps? Are we fooled? Is he missing out on love?

    What we need is the way forward, all of us who are not caught up in racial turmoil and political enrichment, which I would suggest is the majority of South Africans who living their limited days want mostly peaceful lives and security.

    How long must incrimination, blame and guilt hold us back. Throw these away; life is short and the children are waiting. Once this self defeative chasm of illogic is leapfrogged with determination a whole new South Africa will appear to all but the most bitter.

    If anyone thinks the rainbow nation ideal is not possible then they obviously missed viewing the US Inauguration ceremonies or our recent cricket test.

  • Brett Nortje

    Some of you might think the only legitimate use for Friedman is to take pics of the ugly fkr wake the kids in the middle of the night and try and scare them back onto the straight and narrow.

    Well, his dubious utility in that department does not cancel out the urgent need to pound this dangerous AH into the ground.

    The problem is: Some people listen to him yet Friedman doesn’t think further than his nose is long. No foresight, no awareness of the potential scope for unintended consequences. Like Rumsfeld, only, to Friedman everything is an unknown unknown.

    He prides himself on being part of the think tank that instituted a user-pay system in the City of Johannesburg.

    All very well and good to make people pay for the water they use.

    But what happens when the people you give this power to are political appointees who do not have the administrative capacity or the training for more than the most basic, have no respect for the rule of law, are functionally illiterate with regards to the Constitution and the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act and do not even have nodding acquaintance with the Municipal Systems Act or their own By-laws? Cannot be bothered to pick up a phone or turn on a computer or investigate a complaint?

    Hello? The three year old Johannesburg Billing Crisis?

    Officials running the flagship city of Africa who could not be bothered to see what is administrative best-practice across the world? Things like Notice-of-Excessive-Water-Use? A Complaints Escalation Centre? Training their staff or making them subject to the Skills Act and draw up Unit STandards they must be competent in?

    This fkr has ruined my life. Cost me conservatively R250 000 since November 2009.

    Now, for 2 or 3 days he’s going to be front and centre in one of the few spaces I have to escape from the stress of daily living.

    Thanks, Pierrot!

  • John Roberts

    “It borrowed — knowingly or not — from an archive of deeply offensive colonial depictions of naked black men to ridicule a current day black leader, turning The Spear into a work of colonial-inspired appropriation of black bodies.”

    What utter bullshit. It borrowed from a portrait of Lenin because Zuma is an autocrat and he painted his dick hanging out because it seems the Prez like to screw around. What could be simpler ?

  • John Roberts

    Furthermore with farm murders at an 8 year high you have fuckall conclusive proof that the song “Kill the Boer” was not a hidden message understood only by the killers. Then again it may not but you have your mind made up without offering any proof other than some freedom of expression crap. I guarantee you if the song was about “Kill The Gay” you’d be singing a different tune, pardon the pun.

    You’re a bright boy, Pierre, but fuck you can talk shit sometimes.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Blue Ozone

    “Moreover, given the fact that the ANC is the party of government and given the conflation of party and state, the *ANC speaks from a position of enormous political and economic power and influence.*”

    But, but, but. Everybody including yourself are continuously reminding us, in fact hammering it in, as how bleck people (and the ANC are 999.99% bleck) are still so very oppressed?

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Blue Ozone

    There it is folks.

    “ANC speaks from a position of enormous political and economic power and influence.”

    And they are elected by the people. for the people. By overwhelming democratic majority.

    In fact they ARE THE PEOPLE.

  • Peter Vos

    @John Roberts 1 & 2:- Very funny, John. And true. But these points aside, the Prof’s case is very well stated.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Blue Ozone

    John Roberts
    February 6, 2013 at 22:05 pm

    “because Zuma is an autocrat”

    In fact he is more like a chameleon who agrees with everybody to keep them happen. Remember. Or perhaps he is sort of manic-depressive fluctuating between agreeable and autocratic whenever he forget to take his happiness pills. A veritable dr jeckyll and mr hyde scenario.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Hayibo!

    Now here’s incoherent.

    ANC wants a tax on graduates

    TERTIARY graduates be warned! You may soon be slapped with a “graduate tax” the minute you find a job.

    A resolution on such a tax was taken at the ANC’s conference in Mangaung, Free State, in December.

    Delegates participating in the education and health commission resolved that consideration “must be given to a graduate tax for all graduates from higher education institutions”.

    http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2013/02/07/anc-wants-a-tax-on-graduates

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs, you must realise that some of Mr. Jimmy Manyi’s utterances were deeply embarrassing to our beloved President.

    Naturally, he is wary of ‘clever blacks’.

    Thank you.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Address Gender Transformation in the Judiciary

    By Tabeth Masengu

    On the 12th of October 2012, the South African Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) was served with an unprecedented complaint regarding the lack of Gender Transformation in the Judiciary.

    Tabeth Masengu and her colleagues at the DGRU and Sonke Gender Justice have launched a complaint with the South African Commission for Gender Equality about the lack of gender transformation in the judiciary.

    The Commission of Gender Equality was created by Chapter 9 of the South African Constitution of 1996 as a means of supporting Constitutional Democracy. Its duty is to promote the respect for and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.

    The Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU) of the University of Cape Town and its partner Sonke Gender Justice filed the complaint after previous efforts to bring attention to the dismal number of female judges in the country had failed.

    This complaint was extraordinary not only because it was novel but also because it cited the President, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Chief Justice and the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) as Respondents.

    http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/?p=918

  • Gwebecimele
  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Blue Ozone

    Gwebecimele
    February 7, 2013 at 14:18 pm

    Does it satisfy you gwebs? That there are so many white beggers. I thought they simply didn’t exist. It is a sure sign of transformation, ain’t it.

    It would certainly give this Zama Khumalo a hard on.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Westdene-bus-crash-wounds-reopened-20130206

    Amandla!

  • Zoo Keeper

    Prof

    In principle you are right on the concept of free expression. If you want to live in a free society, you need to wear big-boy trousers.

    JR is also right on the money – and funny!

  • Deloris Dolittle

    I see the Boy Scouts of America need more time to decide whether to admit gay members. I again ask the question: in which centuary does these people live?

    What I find interesting though is that the membership of this organisation has decreased with about 30% over the last decade and funding from corporate America has decreased as well as companies with strong human rights policies do not want to fund organisations that still discriminate.

  • Pierre De Vos

    Quick question: I have added a Twitter feed to the Blog (on the right below the quote of the week). Stay or go?

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Stay!

  • AN Leigh

    Stay

  • Gwebecimele
  • Michael Osborne

    Stay

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Stay!

    Thanks.

  • Andre

    No, please remove the Twitterati feed Prof. Twitter is for those who are distracted by distraction, from distraction.

  • sirjay jonson

    My vote is also ‘STAY’ Prof, although as you know I already follow you on twitter. Regardless of naysayers, twitter is the most efficient breakthrough in instant media in media’s history. Anyone not tuned into it is missing out.

    If anyone with interest in daily SAfrican and International activity doubts this then follow @MandyWiener ‏on #Breytenbach for example.

  • sirjay jonson

    Considering that I’ve entered my 69th year of life today I have the courage to say the following. I agree with certain commentators that there is a sarcastic superficial aspect to rambling commentary on Prof’s blog which in my view promote little purpose and does not in fact serve either the perpetrators of we the readers.

    Fass, Maggs and OZ. You have much more to offer. Why not remember the import of Prof’s blog and work on giving us more quality. Its 2013, time for growth and change.

    My apologies for any hurt feelings.

  • sirjay jonson

    Correction: ‘… or we the readers.’

  • sirjay jonson

    PS: you can fine me @solinus

  • sirjay jonson

    Correction 2: ‘find’ Its that shared bottle of wine at my birthday party. These fingers seem to be staggering. Cheers.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Sirjay, thanks you for the encouragement. Those of us interested in reasoned debate must work together to further the cause of constitutional education. Mindless provocateurs like Maggs and Brett, we must be ignore. Remember, attention is the Troll’s oxygen!

    Thanks.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Prof

    Twitter feed should stay. Good move.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Blue Ozone

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    February 7, 2013 at 21:10 pm

    I agree with you regarding feeding the trolls. But what are we going to do about this Musewe bloke being allowed to troll with impunity our most prestigious platform for informed debate:

    We must change the way we think

    “However, I truly believe that unless we reconsider the way we think, unless we begin to look at the socio-political system in Southern Africa for example, as inextricably linked and therefore inextricably dependent, we will continue with our silo mentality and recreate the very conditions that got us where we are in the first place. We must shed old style thinking and fears. We must begin to embrace white Africans as part of the solution to developing our continent. We need a revolution in our minds first before we can be architects of a new African society. We do not need liberation struggle mentality in order to achieve that.

    Poverty has increased in Zimbabwe and South Africa and many other African countries, despite these countries having the resources. Education standards have not improved as expected, despite having the resources and the human capital. Corruption by black Africans is now a habit and there is rampant abuse of resources by those in government in almost all African countries. This has absolutely nothing to do with the white man or woman, but everything to do with our incompetency to manage, plan and deploy resources; period.”

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=355920&sn=Detail&pid=71616

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    sirjay jonson
    February 7, 2013 at 20:26 pm

    Sirjay,

    No I don’t have more to offer – those who don’t like my views or moan and bitch about me expressing it can fuck off.

    I’m particularly pointing to the likes of Peter Vos and AK.

    Peter Vos in particular should not be a coward and hide behind JR who has never been ashamed to say what he has to say. If he, Vos, thinks PdV has written crap he should have the balls to say so. JR really does not need a cheer-leader, well maybe he does – JR WDYS?

    Those whose best views are about how bad others comments are, should piss off.

  • Truth

    “I also agree that it was a spectacularly bad business decision of FNB to flight advertising material that had the potential to alienate the majority of its clients.”

    As a black man I find this insulting and patronizing. Firstly you are assuming that the majority of FNB clients are black and are ANC supporters or sympathizers. Secondly you are implying that black people are not capable of engaging with the FNB advert on the intellectual level by asking whether or not the advert has merits, but that they (or we) are likely to make decision on the basis of racial solidarity and ANC’s association. Since this FNB saga started I have not heard any black person saying they are going to cancel their accounts with FNB because of the advert. In the contrary I’m sure that if you cared to check you will probably find that more accounts were opened despite the advert saga. Even when the ANC made a call for people to boycott the City Press you’d find that it did not affect the circulation in other words people were willing to buy it despite that City Press might have reduced its circulation for security of their vendors.
    I’m sure that FNB has more clients than ANC has membership and therefore I would like to know the basis of your conclusion if I’m wrong about you.

  • Thomas

    “It would be different if I told Murray that he had no right to paint that picture and should be jailed for doing so, if I mobilised a group of people to try and force the artist or the gallery to take down the picture, or if I encouraged people to assault or kill the artist. When lively debate and critical engagement bleed into intimidation, hate speech and the abuse of power, we have reached the limits of freedom of expression.”

    Why is saying Murry should be jailed for painting the spear and wanting it taken down, wrong? Why is trying to force someone to take down a painting not right to you? What law was broken here? Will you also disagree with a homosexual organisation trying to force a church to remove a billboard with a scripture against homosexuals?

    “Moreover, given the fact that the ANC is the party of government and given the conflation of party and state, the ANC speaks from a position of enormous political and economic power and influence. When it uses this power not to rebut unfair criticism aimed at it, but to try and intimidate its critics into silence by branding them national traitors, it is surely important to point this out and to challenge this intolerant and anti-democratic behaviour. When people do so, they are not silencing the ANC and can therefore not be said to robbing the ANC of its right to free expression.”

    Whats your point here, that you can bully the ANC and the ANC cant bully you because you have less power than it? If you have the right to criticise the ruling party calling it corrupt etc (read your previous posts), yet when the ANC also uses the same tactics you cry foul. As long as no one was charged with treason then freedman is right the ANC was enjoying its free speech. Like you and me now disagreeing about this.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Truth – February 8, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Thomas – February 8, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Superbly and soundly argued!

  • John Roberts

    @ Sirjay

    “…twitter is the most efficient breakthrough in instant media in media’s history. ”

    The real truth about Twitter is that it is the world’s largest first-person shooter, massively parallel, multi-player, role-playing game.

  • Peter Vos

    Prof – Twitter, Facebook, whatever. Who has the time for this social media crap?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Thomas

    “Why is saying Murry should be jailed for painting the spear wrong?”

    I agree. There is nothing wrong with demanding that Mr Murry be put away. Shame on PdV for wanting to CENSOR the ANC when it makes a modest law reform proposal!

    Thanks.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ PdV

    “DA supporters are more intolerant of criticism than ANC supporters.”

    Pierre is right. I think of the leafy white suburbs that become virtual “no-go” areas for the ANC during election campaigns, and of the marauding gangs of DA thugs in places like Constantia and Bedford View who terrorise any ANC supporters who try to hold a meeting!

  • See See

    @ Mikhail

    You are correct but the DA still have a bit to learn, where are they outside of election time? http://www.iol.co.za/news/…/da-visit-to-rape-victim-blocked-1.1464231

  • See See
  • Gwebecimele

    All of a sudden we are reminded how bad rape is in our society despite the fact that it happens every four minutes. No once off march, petition or noise will change our current social, moral, economic, family arrangements which are the core of our problems. Next year this we will still have corruption, rape, underperfoming bafana, good banking system, good weather, good rugby team etc. Every now and then our courts and judges will continue to postpone and fail the victims.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Gwebe and Thomas

    It is time to stand up against the DA’s culture of intimidation and terror. As PdV wisely points out, the DA is in many cases MORE intolerant than the ANC. We must not forget the DA mob’s march on COSATU headquarters last year, requiring decisive action to defend the building. And what about Zille’s attack on the dignity and privacy of Mr Zuma and other DA militants when she marched on his home on Nkandla, an assault blocked only by the courageous actions of ANC loyalists willing to die for their leader?

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    February 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Dworky

    “There is nothing wrong with demanding that Mr Murry be put away.”

    People have been demanding Zuma be tried (and maybe jailed).

    It’s not illegal to do so.

    “Amen” is reserved specifically for church on Sundays.

    Free speech in democratic South Africa it more like the then popular song :

    Round, like a circle in a spiral
    Like a wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning
    On an ever-spinning reel …

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “People have been demanding Zuma be tried (and maybe jailed). It’s not illegal to do so.”

    You are right. One should criticise a person only when they propose something “illegal.” One should never criticize merely for proposing something that you think would be highly undesirable (but not illegal), like imprisoning Mr Murry or Mr Zuma.

    That is why I agree with Mr Friedman that it is CENSORSHIP to condemn the ANC for attacking FNB!

  • Donovan

    “IF YOU believe you support free speech, try this test. A bank decides it wants to signal to its clientele its support for our elected government. It flights an advertisement in which young people in the suburbs berate their parents’ generation for voting for the Democratic Alliance (DA) and urge them to change their allegiance. One of the youngsters featured in the advert calls a DA leader “brainless”.”…..Prof. you forgot to register this. This is the second time you attempt to attack Friedman, and your conservative lackeys lap it up. Friedman does not consider himself nor present himself as a legal analyst, rather he is a political analyst. And in my opinion, and the opinion of many other progressive people, with a shadow of a doubt, by far the best political analyst in the country. He is no ANC lackey and does attack them and every other worth attacking. But he unlike you does not bow down to the fourth estate and conservative elements still in control of our society. I detect a level of professional jealousy on your part….just maybe you could grant your fell colleague the professional courtesy and try to understand his point of view, because without a doubt on both ocassions you have been incorrect and Friedman on the money, so to speak !!!

  • Alibama

    sirjay jonson wrote: “..all of us who are not caught up in racial turmoil..”
    Previously I thought Afrikaans was an inferior baby-language.
    Recently I’ve wondered if/where’s its design documented, since it’s new and
    was perhaps designed, like [I'm told is] Korean-script, instead of evolved.
    Consider: “All of us are non believers” “Not all of us are believers”.
    Why must I have: “the cat IS fat, but catS ARE fat”?
    So, it seems that Afrikaans, with it’s constrained syntax is superior.
    An example of extremely constrained syntax is aviation-radio-talk, which
    is like filling-in-forms: give exactly/only what’s relevant.
    Apparently Afrikaans is superior for science, and probably law?
    The underlying legal-structure of PdV’s posts is always evident and
    valuable to me. It’s like knowing THAT’s the 3rd bar of the 2nd chorus,
    in music.
    ==
    Here’s a recent English clanger, from the BBC:
    “We’ll know how much money they’ll have to spend over the next 7 years”.
    Consider: “factory worker know how much output they’ll have to produce
    each day”; “factory worker know how much selection of material they’ll have”.
    I suspect that it’s the LEKKER-LOS-ness of English that makes anglo societies
    so suscepible to PeeCee-ness. Being so vague and fluid makes it suitable
    to morph peoples minds. OTOH, perhaps the lack of anchor points has great
    advantages and explains the inclination to free enterprise, whereas the
    Afrikaaners favour centralised control: piesang-raad, huur-raad…
    ==
    Donovan’s comment contracts to: ‘Friedman is a political analyst and doesn’t
    claim to be a legal analyst’. True, and Friedman’s recent analysis of lokasie
    lewe and mentality was revealing, but in this CC-blog, legal arguments must
    trump political ones. If this blok was from the Vatican, “Catholic” arguments
    would trump legal ones?
    ==========
    Newsgroups: uk.politics.misc,za.politics
    Subject: Common witch burning: S.Africa & Papua New Guinea

    Dig this: January 08, 2009: By Saeed Ahmed CNN
    A woman in rural Papua New Guinea was bound and gagged, tied to a
    log and set ablaze on a pile of tires this week, possibly because
    villagers suspected her of being a witch, police said Thursday.
    Also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21363894 …etc.
    ===
    Consider that according to latest theory:
    homo sapien evolved in East Africa 1..2 Million years ago.
    Waves of them migrated ‘out of africa’ and spread over the globe.
    Continental-drift is not significant in the period, although ice-age/s would
    have lowered sea levels, allowing crossing present sea boundries.
    ==
    How many generations separate the golliwogs in PNG from those in Soweto, with
    *NO* social contact to transfer customs/behaviour? They don’t even KNOW abou
    each other; like a cat in Peru doesn’t know about cats in Poland, that it ‘sh
    imitate’. The near identical behaviour must be carried in the genes.
    Would you expect the behavior in Scotland and Siberia, to have been the same,
    1000 years ago, when there was no communication to homogenise behaviour?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Donovan

    “[Steven Friedman is] in my opinion, and the opinion of many other progressive people, with a shadow of a doubt, by far the best political analyst in the country”

    With respect, it is outrageous to suggest that a WHITIST male could ever rank ahead of AFRICAN analysts like, for example, Andile Mngxitama. But then the latter is clearly too outspoken for the elite business interests who run and read the Business Day.

    Thanks.

  • http://buyschristianlouboutina.web1337.net Bymnoffefenub

    You produced some decent points there. I looked on the web for the issue and located most people will go along with along with your website.

    christian louboutin sneakers for men

  • http://buyschristianlouboutina.web1337.net Bymnoffefenub

    highly nice post, i absolutely love this web-site, maintain on it

    cheap christian louboutin shoes

  • http://www.xzhufu.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=2559 http://www.xzhufu.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=2559

    Xu Meng said: Do you want to look for our group to help veterans say something, and if lucky maybe you can borrow three million years, without further ado, you change clothes, we’ll be starting.

  • Andreas Meyer

    Is it that Steven Friedman that defended the “kill the Boer” song?