My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
If the ANC’s critique of liberal democracy was accompanied by attempts to deepen democracy by, for instance, decommodifiying electoral politics and access to the courts, enabling participatory budgeting, supporting independent community media and encouraging independent popular organisation, its position would be credible. But given that its critique of liberal democracy is being accompanied by a shift in power to securocrats rather than popular forces, and repression rather than opening, its opposition to liberal democracy can only be understood as anti-democratic. – Richard Pithouse on the The South African Civil Society Information Service website.BACK TO TOP