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When Fin24 contacted Professor Chris Malikane, he reportedly refused to speak to the media, saying he was viewed as a "mad person". He was quoted as saying "I am being called mad, yet I am a professor at Wits, writing articles for international journals. I am called crazy and mad, mentally demented." Far be it from me to judge whether his claims about being unjustly vilified — or about being sane — are accurate or not. But one might, reasonably, wonder about the writings of any academic economist who seems to welcome turning his country into Venezuela, at least if media reports are to be believed. Most economic training deals with issues of growth, development and industrialisation, not the opposite. What kind of articles would an economist who holds the reported views of Malikane write, and which reputable journal would possibly publish them? Luckily, a primary function of research universities is to institutionalise and — yes! — bureaucratise knowledge and its creation. An entire ...

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