It is difficult to shake the images of activists and protesters dressed in camouflage fatigues, dancing and bearing imaginary machine guns, and others doing army crawls on concrete pavement to vacuous encomia. As a spectacle, they always make me smile, in the way you smile when a toddler does something quaint or cute, before you go back to doing grown-up things. Their idea of defiance, rather imbecilic projections of military preparedness, belongs in an age of single-shot rifles, old-fashioned terrestrial warfare and hand-to-hand combat. In the meantime, technological and military strategic advances now enable soldiers and misguided technophiles in air-conditioned offices and installations to drop bombs or assassinate people on the other side of the world using drone technology. Today in SA we get excited by a good knees-up with imaginary rifles, and flaunting chafed knees and elbows from showing how well we wriggle in mock leopard crawls. It is all rather consistent with the politi...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now