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This is a short online and E-version which continues all the way down this page of my website. It is merely an overview and introduction to my book. In short my book provides a step-by-step manual and guide to help South Africa solve its problems relating to -----
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Dear Interested Reader
HOPEFULLY YOU WILL eventually BUY THE BOOK AND READ IT FOR YOURSELF.
THE PROSPEROUS and PEACEFUL FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY DEPENDS ON YOU
Enjoy this free online sample.
Full title of the book is;
BULLETS OR BALLOTS:
The ultimate solution to crime and unemployment in South Africa
The book "In Short ï¿½"
Crime and unemployment (and its impact on poverty and inequality) remain South Africaï¿½s major challenges. This book provides an analytical perspective on why these challenges remain but also proposes a ï¿½how-to-fix-itï¿½ solution for consideration by all South Africans.
A six (6) part emergency rescue plan is proposed for consideration and adoption for South Africa:
This book proposes that crime and unemployment is best solved through the creation of a new national consciousness - a new patriotism ï¿½ cast in industrial as opposed to political language. The book calls for the obsessive development of an industrial consciousness as the basis of a new patriotic identity for South Africa. In this way South Africa will develop a sustainable, yet innovative solution to its most pressing problems and challenges.
A personal note from the Author
This brief summary by way of introduction should entice you to read the complete book which outlines in comprehensive detail the basis of both my optimism for the future of South Africa and my perspectives on why and how we can fix the problems facing our country relative to crime and unemployment.
I am available for comment, discussion and presentation as the need arises.
Thank you for your interest.
Prof Ruben Richards
Cell: +27 82 498 0608
WHO IS RUBEN RICHARDS?
Ruben Richards is a local black Cape Town-born South African. Rubenï¿½s career and professional experience encompasses the public, private and academic spheres.
- Post Graduate Supervisor and Chairperson of the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Faculty of Business, Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
- Chairperson - Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Transformation Internal Standing Committee
- Visiting Professor ï¿½ WITS University Graduate School (P&DM) - Johannesburg
- Consultant and advisor to MERSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Skills and Education Training Authority of South Africa) focusing on Artisan Training - Johannesburg
- Advisor to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Forensic Investigations and Capacity Building pertaining to Corruption investigations
- Engine room mechanic (SA Navy)
- A tradesman (fitter & turner) (Private Sector)
- CEO of Marine and Heavy Engineering company (Private sector)
- Company Director
- Board Chairman
Government exposure and positions held
o Deputy Director General ï¿½ Scorpions
o Executive Secretary ï¿½ Truth and Reconciliation Commission
o Executive Director ï¿½ Police Practice
- PhD ï¿½ University of Cape Town
- BSocial Science (UCT)
- BDivinity (Ruschlikon-Zurich)
- MTheology (Holland-Michigan, USA)
- NTC 5 ï¿½ Athlone Technical College, Cape Town
THE e-BOOK version
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The book comprises four related, yet distinct, sections united in one theme and focus namely a solution to crime and unemployment for South Africa today.
Simply stated, the book answers critical questions relating to how South Africa creates jobs, reduces crime and (re)builds the South African nation? The short answer proposed by this book is to develop and adopt an industrial mind set ï¿½ an industrial consciousness - which in turn serves as the basis for a new identity and purpose for the South African nation, at an individual and a national level. This new identity has the potential to provide a new and more inclusive context for patriotism and national pride as opposed to that created as a result of race-consciousness. Industrial consciousness can motivate, mobilize and propel all South African citizens to meaningfully declare ï¿½war-on-povertyï¿½ through creating an economy where there is prosperity for all and not only for some.
The confidence with which the industrial-consciousness thesis and proposal is presented is founded on the three significant moments of transformation during the past fifteen years of transition from apartheid to democracy, as discussed in Part 3. These moments reflect South Africaï¿½s experience and ability to make a significant shift in its national psyche relative to the challenge of transformation and change. There is no reason why another shift towards an industrial consciousness is not possible.
The specific focus of Part 1 is the challenge of defining South African national identity and nationhood. Nation state formation and the development of a new psyche for the nation is a matter that needs to be addressed if the nation is to move closer towards each other rather the current situation characterized by a nation drifting apart. The growing polarization of the nation into categories of ï¿½haveï¿½sï¿½ and ï¿½have-notï¿½sï¿½ is resulting in a significant shift not easily explained by race since the emerging class of ï¿½haveï¿½sï¿½ include a new black economic aristocracy, colloquially described as the usual BEE suspects and beneficiaries.
The five chapters that make up the Part 1 therefore explicitly discusses and proposes the need for the adoption of a new level of consciousness, namely an industrial consciousness, as the basis for articulating and forming of a new South African national identity as opposed to an assumed race-based consciousness.
Chapter 1 explores the question: What unites South Africans? This is a probing question to which there is no easy answer. Asked differently, the question is: On what basis can we and do we pull together as a nation? What is it that binds us together as a nation? In exploring this question, chapter one also provides an extended rationale for the writing of this book as well as providing some definitional parameters for the ensuing chapters. The central thesis here is that industrial consciousness is the only sustainable basis to engender the kind of national unity and patriotism required to create jobs, reduce crime and entrench the gains of democracy in South Africa.
Chapter 2, Renewing the South African mind, discusses issues of patriotism, national unity, a pledge of allegiance and the call by the President of South Africa to build a nation mindful of its history. Notwithstanding the Presidential call for unity, instead of defining the nation by its past, we should consider defining ourselves by a vision of the future ï¿½ an industrialised future and not a racial past. Chapter 2 therefore calls for a self-made miracle sorely needed seventeen years into democracy ï¿½ a miracle that has three phases and steps: Step 1 ï¿½ finding a new mindset, Step 2, living according to a new standard by which we measure nationhood and success ï¿½ job creators and skills providers are the heroes, and Step 3, getting our hands dirty as patriots of a new nation and meaningfully fighting poverty as a collective.
The focus of Chapter 3 entitled, the B-BBEE bombshell, is the countryï¿½s economic transformation policy and project. An emerging consensus is that BEE, as it is commonly named, has not worked as intended. My contention in chapter 3 is that BEE, in fact, has worked brilliantly and as originally designed. BEE has created a class of super wealthy black aristocrats and has not benefitted the masses who were led to believe that BEE was the economic solution to the rampant economic inequalities inherited from the past generations of colonial and white-minority economic protectionism. Chapter 3 proposes the creation of a wide-ranging middle class which in addition to providing stability for a democracy, also provides a level of risk mitigation where change management options tend to be a choice between the bullet or the ballot ï¿½ options exercised by both sides of the socio-political and ideological equation. In short, the real battle for the heart and soul of South Africans only really begins when you start talking about spreading the economic benefits broadly and full blown economic liberation.
Chapter 4, a new fulcrum for national identity, proposes an explicit shift in psyche of the South African nation, from a default and embedded race-obsession to an explicitly constructed industrial-obsession. The thrust of the argument is that an industrial consciousness will be able to withstand a much greater degree of pressure than a race-sensitive consciousness. Industrial development therefore can only succeed if it is premised on an industrial consciousness which is forward looking and aspirational.
Chapter 5, a new performance standard for nationhood, proposes that South Africans actively and explicitly agree on a standard by which to measure the success or failure of the nation building programme which South Africa is currently undergoing. Without an agreed upon standard, the goalposts will constantly shift and politicians, especially, will wiggle their way out of being held accountable for performance. The performance standard proposed by this chapter is that the gap between rich and poor must be reduced and not widened. The explicit measure by which to gauge success or failure should be an agreed and consulted formula. For example, we should agree that the wealthiest person in South Africa cannot be more than one thousand, maybe a million times wealthier than the poorest person. I am sure the economists will come up with a fancy formula in this regard. The creation of an agreed upon standard will be controversial. But it is a hard conversation that the entire nation must engage in ï¿½ via the ballot rather than the bullet. A lurking question here will be: Is it morally acceptable that South Africa has a growing gap between the rich and the poor? If not, then letï¿½s get practical and define the standard by which we propose to measure and ensure that the gap between rich and poor is lessened and not widened.
The focus of the chapters which make up Part 2 is a set of emergency ï¿½out-of-the-boxï¿½ yet practical applications and solutions based on the foregoing discussions in Part 1. Each chapter in Part 2 explores a particular element of the proposed solution all of which make up the emergency rescue plan. Each element of the rescue plan is designed to address a particular aspect of the landscape of change and transformation with the specific focus on facilitating a shift in the psyche of both the individual and the nation at large. The proposed rescue plan therefore proposes simultaneous change interventions at multiple levels including system, process, individual, national, conceptual, psychological and morality at a personal and socio-political level. The rescue plan proposed here is not exhaustive but rather illustrative when discussing the six elements which are defined as;
- 9 ï¿½what ifï¿½ scenarios - Changing systems
Ø E.g. What if we abandon BEE
Ø E.g. What if we make the non-delivery of basic services a treasonable offense
Ø E.g. What if we obsessively and unashamedly create 4000 state sponsored colourless entrepreneurs
- 4 steps to personal victory ï¿½ Changing individuals
Ø Step 1 ï¿½ Change your consciousness
Ø Step 2 ï¿½ Change your skills profile
Ø Step 3 ï¿½ Buy a bullet proof vest
Ø Step 4 ï¿½ Be a patriot
- Saying the unspeakable ï¿½ Speaking truth to power
Ø Whose truth about reality becomes the trusted basis for interpreting performance?
Ø Are we on the brink of civil rebellion or has the rebellion already started with the middle and upper classes of society in denial about such a reality in the townships?
- 8 uncomfortable truths ï¿½ Confronting our beasts
Ø E.g. White opinion is no opinion
Ø E.g. Coloured people remain the ham in the sandwich
Ø E.g. Money can buy a race card
- Performance morality ï¿½ Confronting race-based morality
Ø Ultimately, it should be the performance of those in power and not the colour of their skins that matter. But is this the case?
- Ten doï¿½s and donï¿½ts ï¿½ The new ground rules
Ø E.g. Do not encourage entitlement based on race
Ø E.g. Reward risk-taking and entrepreneurship
The intention of Part 2 is not to be overly prescriptive since more creative solutions and brilliant remedies are likely to emerge from a wider consultative process. Thus the chapters making up Part 2 are solutions-focused and are designed to jolt the personal and national psyche with the intention of moving our South African society closer towards an industrial consciousness, indeed the central argument made by this book.
The opening chapter of Part 2, namely Chapter 6, Six components of a rescue plan, describes in more detail each of the components that make up the rescue plan required to address crime and unemployment.
Chapter 7, Nine ï¿½what ifï¿½ scenarios, describes nine scenarios of change with reference to the structural and social systems level of change required. The intention of the hypothetically proposed changes is to ignite the imaginative power of the reader. The reader is invited to dream of and contribute towards the creation of a different reality which results from and is caused by a different national psyche (i.e. industrial consciousness) and which when contemplated as proposed here will create a new basis for national unity and positive systems energy within the economy.
Chapter 8, Four steps to personal victory, outlines the four critical steps for an individual to follow in terms of the process which leads to the creation of jobs and consequently addressing crime and poverty in our society. These steps are: Step 1 - change your mindset (i.e. consciousness); Step 2 ï¿½ change your skills profile (i.e. ability); Step 3 ï¿½ buy a bullet proof vest (i.e. protect yourself); Step 4 ï¿½ be a patriot (i.e. join and celebrate with others).
Chapter 9 ï¿½ Saying the unspeakable, makes explicit things which many of us only think about but dare not say for fear of being negatively labeled. Resultantly, we are not true to ourselves and compromise our notions of truth (and possibly reinforce our falsity). The chapter notes that truth is at best an elusive concept in the context of societal and political change.
Chapter 10, Eight uncomfortable truths, builds on the theme of saying the unspeakable by making explicit uncomfortable truths that we need to confront as individuals and as a nation if we are to move forward with integrity and success. Labeling and expressing these truths will cause enormous discomfort and possible spark an outrage.
Chapter 11, Performance morality and the poisoned well, is designed to be a practical oriented discussion on what is here labeled as performance morality. I wish to make explicit three thorny issues impacting South African society namely racial morality, voter morality and the morality of democracy as a system. A prickly issue, and uncomfortably so, is to ask whether there is a difference between white and black morality, for example. This chapter is deliberately illustrative rather than exhaustive.
Chapter 12, Ten doï¿½s and donï¿½ts ï¿½ the new ground rules, summarises foregoing discussions into a proposed ten-point code of action. The proposed ten doï¿½s and donï¿½ts list is meant to serve as the new ï¿½rules of engagementï¿½ for a successful South African nation.
The five chapters that make us Part 3 provide the basis for believing that as South Africans we can do it. The chapters are reflective in nature and focus on significant moments of positive consciousness experienced by South Africa during the past fifteen years of nation building and transformation. These moments namely the TRC, Scorpions and the Jipsa moment, provide evidence, support and motivation for the view which says that under the right conditions it is possible to shift the psyche of the South African nation. The context for reflection is the first fifteen years of life in a changed and changing post-Apartheid society. The transformation of South African society has been mainly miraculous, notwithstanding some glaring failures and shortcomings. Nowhere in the modern world has a society undergone such fundamental change and transformation on a grand scale as has South Africa. The transformation process has been knife-edged and to some extent South African society still balances on a knife edge as we come to terms with some of the glorious failures of the transformation experiment. The challenge is to confront the failures head-on. By identifying these three moments of consciousness I am choosing to show that positive change is possible in South Africa, and that as a nation, we should build on these successes given the magnitude of the problems that still face us as a nation emerging from centuries of economic exploitation and racial abuse.
Chapter 13, Three moments of consciousness, creates an overall context and a conceptual framework to harness the valuable lessons to be learned from moments of positive consciousness during the past fifteen years of knife-edge transformation in South Africa. The moments bear independent significance and are here knit together thematically. The golden thread linking these moments is their impact on the national psyche of South Africa.
The ï¿½three moments of consciousnessï¿½ have a personal significance for the writer of this book, namely me, since I have been intimately and integrally involved with these moments of transformation. Such has been my privilege and in Chapter 14, Life comes full circle, I engage in limited autobiographical and personal reflections on how I happened to get involved and what it has meant to be part of the adrenalin and madness of change and the scramble towards transformation which characterized the first decade of democracy in South Africa. Chapter 13 is therefore selfishly autobiographical and creates a context for interpreting the various personal stories and illustrations emerging from the various moments of consciousness - stories which are rarely told or written about.
Chapter 15, Taming the state, commences the journey of transition to democracy through an analysis of the impact of the TRC on the psyche of South Africa. The significance of this moment is that it enabled South Africa to create a collective memory of the past. This memory remains contested. But of significance is the fact that at great financial expense to the state and emotional and psychological expense to the nation, a process was activated which averted a race and civil war in South Africa.
Chapter 16, Modernizing criminal justice, describes a second moment that warrants reflection. The particular focus here is the short but high impact introduction of the Scorpions on the psyche of the South African nation. No other investigative-prosecutorial capacity or law enforcement agency in the history of South Africa evoked so much emotion than did the work of the Scorpions. The story has not yet been told of the broader significance and impetus which the Scorpions gave to modernizing the criminal justice system of South Africa. As in the case of the TRC, the Scorpion story, from the perspective of those of us who were tasked to ï¿½get-the-job-doneï¿½ is rarely told.
Chapter 17, Industrial terrorism, Jipsa and beyond, describes the third moment in my trilogy on transformation and national consciousness. It took as long as twelve years into the new democracy for the ruling party (i.e. the ANC) to realize that it had been fatally wounded by an act of what I have called industrial terrorism, inflicted by the Apartheid state during the mid-1980ï¿½s. It was in 2005/06, and as if hit by an unexpected terrorist act of sabotage, that the ruling party awoke to the reality of the lack of skills required to grow the economy. As a result, Jipsa was created to unblock all impediments to accelerated industrial skills training. Whether the awareness of the skills need was a mere ï¿½flash in the panï¿½ awareness or represents a more fundamental shift in the ï¿½psycheï¿½ of the nation is an open question. The AATP arose out of the crucible of Jipsa aimed at significantly reducing risk posed by the scarcity of artisans through an innovatively accelerated apprenticeship programme ï¿½ indeed the modern apprentice. Whether or not we succeed and win the race against a fast disappearing technical and industrial skills capacity in the economy through programmes such as the AATP will depend on the extent to which we proactively create an industrial consciousness within the nation.
Chapter 18, Summary conclusion: true liberation and freedom, provides a summary of the foregoing chapters noting that decisive leadership will be required to move the country to its next stage of development and nation building. Who will lead the army to success and prosperity? Or will the nation instead implode as a result of an internal mutiny? The conclusion notes that barely sixteen years into the new democracy, South Africa again stands at a make or break crossroads as it did on the eve of its transition from Apartheid to democracy. This time the challenge is not the dismantling of Apartheid and the ushering in of democracy, but the eradication of poverty and its tentacles of crime and unemployment and the start of an era of prosperity and peace for all South Africans.
The conclusion suggests that the most radical, creative and inspiring solution that South Africa can ever adopt as it faces the ongoing challenge posed by crime and unemployment, indeed its existence as a free nation, is to actively create and adopt an industrial consciousness. It is this mindset that holds the magical key to the much desired move from poverty to prosperity. However, no such move will happen if there is no national unity and new patriotism that provides the glue to an unraveling nation. An assault on the beast of poverty and its abiding outgrowths of crime and unemployment requires a new mindset, new paradigm, and a new energy force. The conclusion notes that industrial consciousness is here proposed to be that energy force for a brighter future.
A final Postscript, For our childrenï¿½s sake, raises a number of questions linked to issues of legacy and inheritance including; What kind of future do we want to create for our children? What will our children say when they discover that we knew the solution to our poverty, crime and unemployment crisis ï¿½ we knew the success formula ï¿½ but we simply were not motivated enough to ï¿½make it happenï¿½ so that they could inherit a better country than the one we have left for them? What will future generations say about us, the first generation of post-Apartheid nation builders? Will they conclude that we were no different to the Apartheid and previous colonially minded regimes consumed by self interest and greed at the expense of the vast masses of the poor of the land? What an indictment that will be!
The postscript also signals the need to extend the Bullets or Ballots discussion concerning industrial consciousness into the realm of the spiritual ï¿½ a matter currently under discussion outside of the confines of the current book project albeit within a limited group. The burning question raised but not explored in the book is: What is it about African and black spirituality that allows it to absorb so much pain, trauma and abuse, like a dry sponge, and consequently remain the economic and political basket case of the world? Is African humanism, known to us as Ubuntu, not the problem? Should ubuntu, like Apartheid, not be declared a heresy given that it has helped to entrench black poverty and misery through its accommodating and forgiving spirit? Should the black African world not develop a killer instinct as has the white world (with particular reference to the European world) with an unashamedly capitalist and entrepreneurial worldview which has scant regard for human rights and dignity in the pursuit of gain? Is the dream of an African Renaissance that is undergirded by a notion of ubuntu not destined for failure? What then is and should be the spiritual basis and belief system required in Africa in order to propel it from centuries of abuse and misery at the hands of colonizers who strangely have rewarded Africans, through billions of dollars of aid money, for adopting a belief system which they themselves have long since discarded!
Dear Interested Reader
HOPEFULLY YOU WILL NOW BUY AND OWN A COPY OF MY BOOK AND READ IT A FEW TIMES AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND ABOUT WHAT I AM SAYING IN THE BOOK.
THE PROSPEROUS and PEACEFUL FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY DEPENDS ON YOU
Thank you for your interest. Let us join hands and make our country the kind of place we want it to be ... a land where there is prosperity and health and wealth for all ... in varying degrees of course - we can't all be millionaires. But this is no justification to perpetuate poverty, greed and corruption. Let's join hands and fix our country for the better. I believe we can do it!! In fact, I believe that we must do it - it is our spiritual obligation ... but that's another thorny issue. Let's first create jobs, make some good money and fix crime. Then we can debate and discuss other stuff. First things first, OKAY!! Thanks for understanding.
So, buy the book, send me your comments and let's debate solutions and not problems.