Quote of the week

A few months ago, author William Gumede described Zuma as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder — a set of traits defined by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut as “including an exaggerated sense of superiority, a lack of self-awareness about the impact of their behaviour and having a disdain for others, who they devalue to validate their own grandiosity”. These people lack empathy, have a distorted sense of reality and are incapable of seeing anything from anyone else’s perspective. Narcissists like Zuma, Gumede argues, can’t accept responsibility and don’t care if they take down entire countries with them. The events at Nkandla, sadly for Zuma, only reinforced that perspective.

Rob Rose
Financial Mail
4 May 2011

The [DA’s] open opportunity society is based on a conservative political philosophy, as it provides an ideological defence of the capitalist system. The children of the historically advantaged invariably have a head start in realising inherent talent. This society attributes an individual’s lack of success to individual weaknesses, not the system. Britain’s New Labour party, under Tony Blair, also adopted the open opportunity society as the ideological counterpart to its neoliberal restructuring of the economy and society. As a result, inequality grew more rapidly than it did under John Major’s conservative government. The capacity of those on the higher rungs to reproduce their privileged positions increased, with no evidence of downward mobility if their offspring were less talented. In contrast to the stated intention, Blair’s open opportunity society became, in Alex Callinicos’ words, “entrenched inequalities of opportunity.” – Jane Duncan on the DA

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