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I’m afraid the following narrative is sadly lacking my usual bonhomie and light-footedness of approach. Simply because the subject matter is too grave to be flippant about, what with its resultant decay already firmly entrenched in our midst. Witness the “I feel sooo empowered” advert on DStv.

Once upon a time, empowerment meant the ceding of certain powers onto individuals to enable them to do what’s generally forbidden to others like soldiers, police, hangman and professionals where competition was deemed to be inappropriate. This empowerment was preceded by intensive training and careful selection, according to stringent rules and regulations according to a code. Naturally any transgressions or incompetence were immediately avenged by the loss of empowerment privileges, to maintain standards. Enter the world of the Shangri-La socialist. Also known as freeloaders ….


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