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Africa

Afric's Sunny Fountains

 One must admit there is a charm about some of the old, simple hymn tunes that survives the decay of one’s beliefs. Perhaps the mellowing of the years has toned the memory of hot, stuffy, fidgetty afternoons, spent in Sunday School classrooms, and left but the dim impression of droning harmonium and simply melody. To these were often wedded homely sentiments and words full of the colour and romance that appeal to the fresh imagination of a child.

    “There is a green hill far away.”

With the clear eyes of childhood one could clearly see that grassy knoll, though most children were unable to fathom why it should be

    “Without a city wall.”

Then, especially when one of the scholars had to emigrate, we would devoutly sing—

    “O hear us when we cry to thee
    For those in peril on the sea."

Book Review: 'Adventures With the Missing Link'

The Missing Link

'Adventures With the Missing Link', by Raymond Dart (Hamish Hamilton)

This book can be confidently recommended to readers of the Socialist Standard and all those interested in human evolution. Couched in a readable narrative style, partly because the story is largely autobiographical, it recounts thirty years' research in South Africa.

Material World: South Sudan – Another Failed State

Material World

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, was plunged into civil war in 2013, just two years after gaining its independence from neighbouring Sudan, after President Salva Kiir dismissed his deputy, Riek Machar. During the first two years of independence, the country was producing nearly 245,000 barrels of crude oil per day, raking in billions of dollars in revenue annually which paid for this trade. South Sudan's ruling class, responsible for atrocities, have managed to accumulate fortunes while the people suffer under a civil war. The country’s competing privileged elites are sacrificing their own people’s lives to secure the political and economic benefits derived from control of the state. Peace remains a distant prospect, with Kiir and Machar seemingly hell-bent on a military solution.

New Zimbabwe - Old Story

After that great epic series, the Lancaster House Saga (sub-title the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia talks), with its deadlocks and diplomacy, its cliffhanging and imminent walk-outs, Rhodesia now faces the prospect of some kind of limited democracy for all and a build-up of the economy with a largely African government. Since the agreement was signed in December leaders of the Patriotic Front, Nkomo and Mugabe, and many of their guerrillas, plus many Rhodesians who have been living in the UK, USA, Europe, USSR and other parts of Africa, have returned to ‘their’ country. Many of them are under the illusion that the forthcoming election will bring about changes which will enable them to live freely in a democratic society. The extent of the democracy rather depends, however, on who wins the elections, as some leaders appear to favour “one man one vote” only as long as they are victors.

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