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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Excerpt from A Piece of the Pie: The Battle Over Nationalisation by Tim Cohen

A Piece of the PieNamibiana Buchdepot have shared an extract from A Piece of the Pie: The Battle Over Nationalisation by Tim Cohen.

In this extract, Cohen looks at why nationalism, which he regards as a “bad idea”, has become accepted in South African politics. This leads him to examine why politicians choose bad ideas and how they manage to convince others to support them:

For the proponents of the notion of nationalisation, the reason these questions arose is not complex at all. In fact, the reason, to their mind, is self-explanatory, because they would consider nationalisation efficacious and necessary in South Africa’s particular economic circumstances. But for me the two questions are complex because nationalisation seems such an obviously bad idea. Nationalisation has a demonstrably poor record, and has very little, if any, support across the political spectrum, around the world, in our era. In fact, most countries in this period of history are much more concerned with denationalisation, or privatisation.

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